Sunday, January 31, 2016

Weekend Warrior!

Tomorrow begins a new month and puts us a bit closer to Spring!  Yippee!
The weather wasn't too bad so I managed to run at the fitness trail in Woodbridge both days.  Some parts of the path still had ice and snow from last weekend or were somewhat muddy  -- but I was so happy to be outside I didn't care.
On Sunday, my running mileage was the best it's been since I started back and I was so elated! My stamina is slowly increasing and as my weight comes down I'll work on my speed.
On the drive to the trail I pass by this house with its flock of flamingos and it ALWAYS makes me smile!

Friday, January 29, 2016

January Progress Report

After a maddening net GAIN in the month of November I went on to lose 5 pounds in December and 12 pounds in January.  It looks like the plateau is over and while I wish I were losing at a faster rate at least it is going down more consistently and for that I am thrilled.

At various points in this journey I have experienced the feeling that, in different ways, I had crossed over some threshold or “leveled up” in some way that reinforced the ‘new me” and solidified positive traits and habits.

One such threshold is a significantly increased desire and ability to push myself with exercise. I feel an obvious increase in my strength and stamina at the gym and at the track.  I’m not “phoning in” my workouts just to tell myself that I made the effort but being very present and focused and trying to push myself a little more each time.  In terms of exercise I have arrived at a very good place, finally, after nearly a year of effort.

Another milestone has to do with self-medicating with food.  December was beyond stressful.  I had a close family member end up in the hospital Christmas week and immediately after that two deaths in the family.  Adding to my pain was the fact that a man who claimed to care so much never sent me a message of condolenceot . 

Friends whom I barely know sent beautifully written messages of sympathy with offers to help in any way they could and yet those from whom I would have expected such a message remained silent and that hurt more than I can say.  I was really in a bad place emotionally but it’s only within the last few days that I realized that never once during all of this did I ever self-medicate with food  --- something that would have been automatic and unconscious not too long ago.

Emotional urges to eat and soothe myself with food did come up but they were like background noise that I could tune out.  I realized this recently and it’s one of the most important milestones that I’ve achieved so far.

Throughout this process I have made a game of setting goals to achieve certain challenges by a certain date  -- usually having to do with an event that I’d be attending.  I’m going away for the weekend in April and have set a goal to lose another 25 pounds by then.

I still have struggles going on with yet another family member having surgery on Monday.  It’s my favorite daughter-in-law and during her recovery I’ll be babysitting more than usual so I’ll have to be determined and creative about fitting in my work outs.  I’ll manage somehow.  I always do.

Thanks and gratitude to those who have reached out during a difficult time.  If can ever return the favor I will be happy to do so!
I’m off for a brisk walk!!  Onward

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Another Great Work Out!!

Yesterday morning I went to The Edge and rode the stationary bike for 35 minutes.
This morning I returned to Planet Fitness for another great workout:
Leg Press - 12/90, 12/110, 12/130, 12/170, 12/190, 12/210
Leg extension:  12/50. 12/70, 12/90, 12/90
Leg curls: 12/30, 12/30/ 12/40.
Chest press: 12/30, 10/30. 10/30
Pull Downs:  12/70, 12/70, 12/70, 3/90
Triceps press:  12/50, 12/50, 12/50
Shoulder press:  12/10, 12/10, 12/10
Incline press 12/10, 12/10
Arm curls:  12/30, 12/30, 12/30   

Monday, January 25, 2016

Move, breathe, believe!

I've been on an upward trend with my exercise although after this weekend's snow I'll likely be running outside a lot less.  Shoveling snow over the weekend did provide me with lots of cardio.

I belong to both Planet Fitness and The Edge and I've been enjoying going to both for different reasons.  The Edge has better classes, I think, including yoga.  I've found the Planet Fitness in Amity isn't crowded during the day.  I never have to wait for machines in there.  

I went in there today and got a really good one hour work-out!  I can already feel changes in my muscles, especially my thighs:

Leg Press: 12/70, 12/90, 12/130, 12/190, 12/230

Leg Extension:  12/50, 12/90. 12/90, 10/90

Leg curls:  12/30,  12/30, 12/40

Pec Fly:  12/55, 12/55, 12/55, 12/55

Chest press:  12/20, 12/20, 12/20, 6/20

Pull downs:  12/50, 12/70, 12/70

Triceps press:  12/30, 12/50, 6/70, 6/50

Seated row, 12/100, 12/100, 12/100
I hope to be a lot more toned by Spring!


Friday, January 22, 2016

This week's weigh in

Wooo-hooo, I lost 4.6 pounds this week.  My total, so far, for the month of January is 10.4 pounds. I'm stoked to have lost that much in a week at this point, having been at this for nearly a year.

I'm attributing most of it to how strict I've been with the food -- going back to my more "purist" approach of the early days.  I'm mainly living on hormone-free lean protein and greens,  But I've been better about exercise consistency too.  So I hope this signals a losing streak that will last for awhile!

I've been sleeping better and that is, no doubt, contributing to my success as well, as good sleep brings the cortisol levels down!

Next Thursday is my first weigh-in for the challenge and I hope to be one of the top "losers."  

Stay the course, friends

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Work Out at Planet Fitness with Betsy

I went to the Amity Planet Fitness with Betsy tonight and used the machines, no free weights.

I did:

Leg extensions
Leg press
leg curl
bicep curl
pull down
shoulder press
chest press
seated row
triceps pull down

I also tried the elliptical trainer for the first time.  We stayed there for a little over an hour.  It wasn't too crowded, which was great!

I'm stoked and want to make good progress in this 8-week challenge    

Monday, January 18, 2016

Doctor appointment -- uggh

I went to see my PA to renew my thyroid meds and my blood pressure was back up again.  Uggh!  So I'm back on the Amlodipine for awhile.  I'm going back next month for a check-up.

I'm hoping my BP will drop more when I get closer to my goal weight.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Last Year's Goals Revisited and Renewed

When I started my weight loss and fitness journey last February I set certain goals that I wanted to achieve in 2015.   While I met many of my goals there were some that simply didn’t happen. With some, I just wasn’t physically able to do them, for others it was a matter of time – as there are only so many hours in a day.

I’m weeks away from the one year anniversary of the start of this process.  I figured it’s a good time to review my original goals and renew my commitment to the ones I haven’t achieved yet.  

The number one goal that I had was to reach my goal weight within one year, which represents a weight loss of nearly 200 pounds. With the one year mark just weeks away I am about 35 pounds shy of my goal so there’s no way I will achieve it. Surprisingly, I’m ok with that. I have renewed this goal and would like to try and achieve it by the first day of Spring, which is about two months away.

It was important to me to hike to the top of Sleeping Giant State Park as it’s something I used to be able to do without even thinking about it. After shedding my first hundred pounds in less than three months I attempted the hike and was near collapse about half way up.   I sat on a rock until I felt better then walked back to my car feeling like crap in many respects.

This was initially so discouraging that I had to struggle to keep my resolve and focus.  It was eye-opening in terms of understanding that mere weight loss is NOT fitness.   Just peeling off pounds wasn’t enough for me and I knew it after that day.

And so I will return to Sleeping Giant in the Spring and see how I do.    

Another goal that I set was to participate in some 5Ks even if I had to walk them and even if I had to be the last one over the finish line. I never did this last year.  There was no particular reason other than a judgment call at the time.  I was working with a trainer three times a week, doing cardio 3 or 4 times a week, taking yoga classes and juggling all that with family responsibilities.

I was steadily losing 3 pounds a week so I figured, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”   I seemed to be doing fine without 5Ks so I let that goal sit on the back burner where it has simmered ever since.

I still want to do some 5Ks, not because I “need” the exercise but just to be able to say that it’s something I can do now that I couldn’t do before.  So, I’m definitely doing some this year.

OMG, to run again!  I used to be runner and did 3 to 5 miles every weekday morning and longer runs on the weekends.  When I started struggling back towards fitness last year I thought the aerobics aspect would bounce right back and be easy and that the weight training would be difficult.

It actually turned out to be the opposite.  Getting to the point where I could trot for a full mile took forever. It’s just recently that I can complete 2 miles at a light jogging pace.  I’ve also started to add some sprints in for a HIIT effect.        

I will work on my running stamina more in the spring and I’m confident I’ll find my rhythm and pace again sometime this year.   

A black dinner dress:  Back in the day, I had a favorite dinner dress that was a black crepe wrap dress that fit me perfectly and looked amazing.  I used to wear it with black heels and a strand of white pearls. 

One of my goals is to be able to pull off wearing such a dress once again.  Sure, they make them in plus sizes but it’s just not the same as being fit and wearing something like that.  I’m looking at this as something that I must earn,  a reward for my hard effort.

A dress something like this:

Hopefully, by the time I can wear such a dress, I will have met a gorgeous guy who’ll want to undress me with his teeth and have me for dessert.  LOL.  I can dream, can’t I?

Perhaps with a few more months of sacrifice and hard work I’ll be posting a photo here of my new black dress. 


Thursday, January 14, 2016

And the challenge begins!

Tonight kicked off the 8-week weight loss challenge at my gym. There were a ton of people there but I suspect not all of them will make it to the end.

I did lose about five pounds this week and I am beyond thrilled to have the scale moving down again.

I went on Amazon and ordered a HIIT workout DVD and a yoga DVD to use at home and help me reach some of the goals I set for the challenge.  I intend to push myself  hard as I can for these 8 weeks to hopefully be much closer to my goal by the end.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Long and Winding Road

While at the check-out with my latest resupply of produce, the cashier remarked how many people are "on a diet" for their new year's resolution and therefore are buying more produce.

One thing that really sucks about starting a fitness journey from a high weight is that after nearly a year of being mindful of everything I eat and drink, exercising religiously and doing everything in my power to remain positive and focused ---- well, I'm still not there yet.

Almost a year of effort and I still look like someone who needs to lose weight.  Mere words cannot express how much that sucks ass.

Hey, don't jump all over me, pointing out what I've already accomplished.  I know that I've come a long way. But I've worked hard and there are days, like today, when I long to be finished with the weight loss part of this journey and move on to meeting strength and fitness goals and having fun at my goal weight.

I realized going into this that losing such a large amount of  weight would truly be a process, not an event, and a long process at that.  Still, I have my days, like today, where I long for a greater reward for my efforts.

I'm just venting here.  I'm not at all thinking of giving up.  In fact, that cashier's remark made me work a little harder today.

Here's a shout out to anyone struggling on their own LONG journey!     I hope that you will persevere.   See you on the other side of success.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

On Point on all fronts

I've been on track with food and exercising everyday.  I went to the track all but one day this week so far.  Also, a friend is moving to a second floor apartment.  I've been helping her move car loads of smaller items over to the new place -- so a lot of up and down stairs.  Whew!  I hope this translates into a good weight loss this week. 
I'm feeling extremely well and energetic!