|April 18, 2012||16, 14, 12...||no comments|
|April 11, 2012||Adventures of a first-time Zumba'er||no comments|
|April 04, 2012||To weigh at home, or not to weigh at home...||2 comments|
|March 20, 2012||Brave new world||no comments|
|March 12, 2012||Flying colors, plus more on Greek yogurt||no comments|
|February 29, 2012||Encouraging words||no comments|
|February 20, 2012||Timing||no comments|
|February 01, 2012||Back on track||no comments|
|January 16, 2012||Fabulous 40, Greek yogurt||no comments|
|January 02, 2012||On the road again||no comments|
I've been crying a lot lately, for bad reasons and for good. But right now, things are REALLY good, so they are tears of joy.
In fact, I was thrilled to cry in a dressing room yesterday.
Let me explain.
A few weeks ago I weighed in at 179. After staying between 180-185 for months, I was elated. A few days later, I got on the scale and it read 182, and y'all, I cried so hard. I was absolutely devasted and I felt like I'd never lose this weight, never get healthy, never be able to run a marathon or do anything awesome because this weight would always, well, weigh me down.
But lately I've really been cutting back on calories and eating better, been really busting it in the gym (and at Zumba), so I could feel my body changing again. Finally, the scale reflected what I was feeling: 177. Finally!
And then I noticed my pants were, yet again, getting loose.
So I went to the store yesterday and tried on a size 10, and it fit, and I cried, and it was amazing. I've never been in this size, ever. It feels incredible. They're even a tiny bit loose on the legs (not in the belly, but that's OK, and it all just may be how they are cut).
I started this at a size 16. I am now a size 10. I never, ever thought I'd say that.
So, woo-hoo, it looks like I'm gonna finally start losing these last 30 pounds. I am so excited!
Yes, I know, Zumba is nothing new, but it is to me. I've been waiting a while now to find a class that wasn't packed (why go to a dance class when there's not enough room to, ya know, dance?) or wasn't at a time when I need to be at work.
My cousin told me about her friend who just got her Zumba teaching certificate, so I went to one of her classes last night.
Before we even started, though, I was perfectly and completely mortified. See, I was sitting on a bench, waiting on class to start, texting my best friend. Minding my own biz. All of the sudden I felt something move, so I got scared and jumped up – right as the bench crumbled beneath me. Yes, that's right – I killed the bench. The few folks who actually saw this swore it was already broken, but I was still embarrassed. At least I didn't get hurt – I jumped up before the bench fell, so I didn't fall – but my ego, well, that's another story.
So I went into Zumba already feeling super fat and bad about myself.
But Zumba itself was pretty awesome.
Because this is still a new class, it was just the instructor and one other woman in there with me. Lots of room to move!
Zumba is basically dancing for an hour, constantly moving and going, jumping and punching and shaking your hips. I'm the first to admit I cannot dance, not even a little, so I know I looked stupid (although not as stupid as I looked with the bench). But I love to dance, and I dance all the time. I decided I wouldn't care about my horrible moves: the point is to move, even if it's off the beat or not exactly the right step or whatever. So I just moved.
What I really liked was that a lot of the songs we danced to were ones that were already on my workout playlist, so I knew them well and could pick up on the choreography quickly. Some of the songs included LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win," the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow," The Contours' "Do You Love Me" (you know, best known from "Dirty Dancing") and Ike & Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" (believe me when I say, that song, more than any others, kicked my butt! But at least I got to dance like Tina!).
I've heard your belly gets cold when you're burning belly fat – I still have no idea if this is true – and normally, in the gym, my belly doesn't start to get cold until after about 15 minutes and it's generally good and cold. But with Zumba, my belly started getting cold after about a song or two, and half-way through it was ice cold (and stayed that way until the end). Never felt my belly that cold before. Pretty awesome.
After Zumba I went to the gym to do a little strength training. Trust me when I say, excercising is addictive. I didn't really want to leave the gym when I did, even though I Zumba'd for an hour and then only worked on strength training for about 30 minutes.
The next Zumba class is Saturday morning, so I know where I'll be. I'll just stay away from any and all benches from now on, thank you very much.
Weight is such a funny thing.
At the end of March, my gym card snapped off my keys and was gone for good. It took about a week to get a new card, so I was gym-less during that time.
(Yes, I can hear you now: I could've gone for a walk. Could've played my Michael Jackson dance game. Could've ran on my treadmill at home. I may not have worked out, but I did a lot of work – I finished a 12-foot-long Dr. Who scarf that was three months in the making)
I missed the gym terribly. Working out really becomes an addiction after a while.
When I stepped on the scale after my week-long gym absence, I was nervous. I'd been on this plateau, ranging between 181 and 185, for three months. After a week of not going to the gym, surely I was up a few pounds.
I know, I know, a one-pound loss is nothing to get excited about, but after seeing 183 for basically three months – why yes, I'll take it.
I haven't weighed since then (and this was about a week ago), but I'm hoping I've dropped a little more. (and yes, I've become quite the gym rat again, thanks to a shiny new card)
I basically only weigh at my parents' house, where they have an accurate digital scale. I've been there lately but I haven't weighed... and now I'm starting to get antsy. I wanna know now!
But I promised myself when I started this that I would not ever, ever, EVER buy a scale for my own place. I know myself, and I know if ever I get a scale I would stay on it day and night, fretting and fussing over every single ounce gained or lost. Checking in about twice a week or so is plenty – right?
I've considered buying one here and there, but this was the first time I really, seriously came THISCLOSE to making plans to pick one up on the way home from work.
But I won't do it – right?
I shouldn't do it – right?
Yeah yeah, still camping out on this plateau, yeah yeah.
My doctor said to basically keep on keepin' on. Tomorrow morning I'm going to the gym for a weigh-in (something I must admit, I haven't done in... months! eek!!), and I'm going to ask them what kind of work-outs I can do, or that I can do differently, to help me out. I know I just need to work out harder, but maybe they can introduce me to some new exercises, too. It hit me the other day that I've been at this weight for like 2 months, and that's 2 months too long.
Late last week I took a quick vacation to Florida. It was a cool trip, full of pretty beaches, dolphins and a bit of a sunburn (whoops), but here's the best part: for the first time in my adult (or teenage, even) life, I wore my swimsuit – JUST my swimsuit, without a cover-up! – to the beach.
For anyone who's ever been overweight, you know how terrifying it can be to step out on to the beach or pool side in just your swimsuit. Since I've been a teenager, I've always worn some kind of cover-up (a T-shirt, shorts or both) over my swimsuit. But this year, it was just me and my pretty red swimsuit. Can't even begin to tell you how awesome that felt!
It was my first official time to wear this swimsuit. I bought it basically 45 pounds ago, last summer. I never got a chance to wear it til last week. It was just a tiny bit too big, but not so much that it looked bad. In fact, it looked great.
I may still be camped out on this plateau, but this accomplishment is big enough that I feel like dancing.
Plateau is still going strong. I think I can feel it slowly starting to change, but not much. So, I'm still at about a 45-pound loss. SIGH.
BUT! Good news! I went to the doctor last week to get, basically, a six-month check-up since it's been six months since I started this. The results: I passed all the tests with flying colors. Woo-hoo!
I've been on blood pressure meds for a while now, but for the last little while I've been getting dizzy when I stand up. It's become worse and worse, so I told my doctor this last week. We're working on figuring out a lower dose, and I think I might need a lower dose still, since I'm still getting a little dizzy when I stand up.
But – I'm happy I got good results at the doctor. That makes me feel great.
Anyways, I found a great tip on a weight loss blog this weekend that I'm already putting into use.
I need to continue to lower my sugar intake, so I'm trying to find ways to keep my Greek yogurt (I swear, the secret to my weight loss success) without sweetening it up with fruit.
I read that I can give the plain, non-fat Greek yogurt some flavor and a hint of sweetness by simply adding in Crystal Light, Mio, sugar-free Jello mix or any kind of sugar-free water enhancer or something similar. It works! I tried this weekend with Mio, and it's pretty tasty (although – this was my first time trying Mio, and it tasted awfully fake-sugar-y, ya know? Not really a fan of that. Gonna try Crystal Light or sugar-free jello mix next).
I also tried eating cereal with Greek yogurt instead of milk or soy milk, and that was awesome (Be mindful, though, of how absolutely horrible for you most cereals are. They are super super super high in sugar and carbs, so watch out! I bought a yummy Kashi Go Lean Crunch brand – honey, almond and flax, I think? It was still pretty high in carbs, but it's past lunchtime now and I'm still kinda full from breakfast).
I guess some of these tricks are no-brainers, but hey, sometimes you need a few fresh ideas. :)
I'm excited about the doctor's visit and the good test results – I think I'm gonna buy some music tonight as a reward.
This isn't so much a post for those who are trying to lose weight, but for the friends, family and co-workers of those who are trying to lose weight.
First off: I'm not saying this as a representative of Everyone Who's Trying to Lose Weight. I'm saying this as me, and since I'm writing this blog and have written in columns about weight loss in a paper that reaches like 80 percent of homes in Northeast Mississippi, or something like that, I'm obviously very open about this fight to lose weight. I've had in-depth conversations about this struggle with everybody from my parents to complete strangers.
It doesn't bother me a bit when someone, even a stranger, says something to me about my weight loss. Some folks, though, may be more private about their struggle to lose weight and may not want to talk about it.
But here's, really, the point to all of this: if you know someone who's losing weight, please pass on an encouraging word.
Just the fact that someone notices that I've lost weight means something and makes me feel ilke I'm really progressing. I know I've lost like 45 pounds or something (gosh, I haven't stepped on a scale in nearly a week), but I don't see it in the mirror. Body image issues I guess. So when someone else says something like, "You can tell you've lost weight" – that makes my day. It's like, I know my jeans size is 2 sizes smaller than it was, but in my mind, I see myself bigger than I've ever been. Again, body image issues. But when someone else notices, it's like, hey, maybe this is actually working.
So, don't be afraid to say that to someone who you know is trying to lose weight. Just those words of encouragement – and maybe a little something extra, like "Keep going" or "You're doing well, keep it up" – can work wonders. Knowing you have cheerleaders is really helpful.
I've had a few guys – friends, co-workers, sources – be sort of awkward about it, and I can tell they're doing it in the best I'm-Not-Hitting-On-You way possible. It's totally OK for guys to mention this to me, so long as they're respectful. Most everyone has said something like, "Not to get too personal, but are you trying to lose weight?" or "It's none of my business, but you look like you're losing weight." That sort of thing – followed up with a "keep it up" encouragement – is just fine, and I don't take offense.
Basically, any words of encouragement, meant from the heart, are more helpful than you could ever imagine.
With a few Do's, there are always a few Don'ts:
– If we go out to eat together and you order something obviously unhealthy (fries, lots of fried stuff), that's fine – just don't make a big deal about it. Don't go out of your way about it. Just eat it and go on. No need to say, "Sorry, I'm having fries" or "Ohhhh!! Look at these greasy yummy fries!"I won't brag about how low fat my meal is if you won't brag about how fatty your meal is.
– If there's a party or potluck event, please don't say to someone trying to lose weight, "Oh, I guess you'll bring something healthy" (said in the snarkiest voice ever). Can't tell you how many times I heard that during Thanksgiving/Christmas, and I never brought anything healthy because I felt like I was letting everybody down. But just because it's the holidays doesn't mean I should eat poorly, and healthy food is actually yummier than fatty junk (TRUST ME).
Basically, if you can't say anything nice, keep it to yourself. Those trying to lose weight often aren't doing this for vanity – we're doing it because our lives depend on it. So, be positive, because that what I'm trying to do myself. It's not always easy, so lend a helpful hand – or an encouraging word – here and there.
First off, I admit this post is probably going to sound kind of whiny. But I'm really frustrated with losing weight right now, and since this is the place to talk about it, I'm gonna vent here if that's OK.
Ya know, I probably started this weight loss thing at the exact wrong moment.
Thanks to some changes here at work, my entertainment beat expanded to include the arts, and suddenly I had to balance all of my entertainment sources (the Arena, all local musicians and venues) with my new arts sources (theatre groups, art galleries, the symphony, etc.). I had to balance the coverage and put them all – and I mean ALL – of them into one tiny newspaper section a week.
My first "season" was last fall, about the time I'd finally found my grip on weight loss. I was losing consistently and was having fun... til work happened. If you notice, many of the major A&E events happen in the same month – and a lot of times, on the same weekend. That makes for early mornings and late nights for me, which I don't mind, but it means I'm sluggish at the gym, assuming I have the energy to go at all. My mind stays squarely fixed on my one section, even when I'm not at work, so it's hard to get to where I need to be mentally to lose weight (and trust me, weight loss is 90 percent mental, 10 percent physical). I guess I get too wrapped up in work, really.
So lately I've been carrying some kind of energy drink with me to the gym. It gives me the energy to work out, but I don't know, it feels like I'm cheating, somehow. And even if some of them are kind of yummy (I forget the brand, but the cherry limeade in the silver can is pretty rad), you know that stuff can't be good for you, somehow, some way.
I love it when my A&E beat is busy – mostly because it means cool stuff is happening in Tupelo, and no one can complain that we have nothing to do here – but at the same time, I am SO ready to get rid of these remaining 31 pounds. I'm ready for things to be a bit more tame so I can focus on my health again.
Til then, I'll keep on keeping on, when I can. But it is awfully frustrating.
I've never liked doing math and I certainly haven't liked doing it during the last few months.
I was doing so well in my weight loss, taking off about 10 pounds a month. Then Thanksgiving and Christmas and January – oh my – happened and it was like I only lost about 5 pounds in each of those months.
Right now I'm at a total loss of about 42 pounds. Pretty awesome, but yeah, I wish it was more. Had I stayed on track better, I could probably be way closer to 50 or even beyond. Still, I'm excited.
right now I'm in a size 12, but about a week or so ago I bought a size 12 skirt from the thrift store that is now basically too big. I'm kind of confused by this, since my size 12 jeans still fit (but they are starting to get a little loose), but at the same time, I'm excited. Size 10 is on the horizon.
Speaking of clothes getting bigger, here's an embarrassing story.
So, I've basically had about three pairs of workout pants during all of this work-out/weight loss. They've all fit relatively well but now they're all just way too big. I can usually drawstring them well enough that they stay up, but the other night even the drawstrings failed me. I was walking and running and on my first lap running, my pants fell down several inches – an embarrassing amount of inches! Thank goodness I was the only one in the gym or I'd probably have died of embarrassment.
So, yeah, it's time to get new workout pants. I've already started on that. Thank goodness for thrift stores and clearance racks!
I'm starting to feel like I'm finally getting back on my weight loss track. I don't know if I'll lose another 10 pounds in a month, but I'm going to try. Even if I'm losing slowly, it's better than not losing at all.
I've lost 39 pounds. That's awfully close to 40.
While I'm excited about this loss, I have to admit I'm kinda disappointed. I read back through some of my progress, both on my weight loss/calorie counter app on my phone and on this blog, and realized I basically have only lost less than 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and now. That's not that great, and certainly very slow, but then again, it was the holidays. I guess I need to go easy on myself. But it's also motivation to really work hard so I can get the remaining 35 pounds off.
My gym was closed this weekend. The reason: they're getting in new equipment. I'm excited about that, but at the same time, man, it was painful not going to the gym. I could've worked out at home but I decided I should probably tackle projects I've been putting off or working too slowly on (like my Dr. Who scarf).
I also thought now might be a good time to write a love letter to the food that I think has really helped in all this weight loss: Greek yogurt.
Greek yogurt is thicker than American yogurt, definitely more tart and has lots more protein – meaning it'll fill you up longer. Naturally, you'll want to go for the sugarfree or low-fat versions, since they're better in carbs and calories.
I typically eat Greek yogurt by itself (if it's flavored) or in a smoothie (I'll blend about a cup of plain Greek yogurt with about a cup of fruit, some ice and maybe a packet of Truvia).
It seems like I've tried all of the different brands, from Dannon Greek to Chobani to Athenos to Oikos. Right now my favorite is Voskos.
Some are definitely more tart than others. Chobani probably has the least-tart taste, as well as Voskos. Oikos is pretty tart, but then again, it's really good if you like tart. I haven't tried Yoplait's Greek yogurt yet.
The good thing about Greek yogurt is that you can use it in a lot of recipes, and if you use it in baking it makes your food that much more moist, so you don't have to use as much oil.
I usually base my lunches around Greek yogurt. I'll have a cup of yogurt with either a salad or a sandwich. Pretty yummy.
If you have a favorite kind, or a good recipe to share, bring it on.
A few ideas to throw around as we kick off 2012...
First off, what's the photo to the side, you ask? Well, it's just one example of how the tiniest things make me happy and get me motivated.
It's a long story as to why, but my job needs me to keep up with the number of times I go to the gym. I've tired doing this for the past month, just by marking little stars on my work calendar for each day that I went, but I was never very good at it. I needed something a little more fun.
So I went to a Dollar Tree, bought tropical calendar and a book of nearly 500 reward stickers, and for basically $2 I have an easy and fun way to keep track of gym visits. I'm keeping the calendar and stickers either in my car or in my gym bag, so the minute I leave the gym I can get a new sticker on that day.
I bought the stickers and calendar a few days before Jan. 1, and I was seriously bummed to learn my calendar didn't include any December '11 days! It's crazy how little things like that make you happy.
That being said, I feel like 2012 is a new start.
I know a lot of folks are making losing weight and getting healthy their resolutions. I've never liked resolutions. After all, for the last two years my resolution was to finally get serious about losing weight, and I never really did. It took one scary trip to the doctor in July, not January, to kick start my weight loss efforts last year.
Still, I'm at about the half-way point in where I need to be. I'd like to lose my remaining weight – about 37 pounds – by my birthday, which is May 6. It's do-able, so here's hoping I can do it!
With that goal in mind, and after the mess that was December, I'm ready to get back on my serious, strict track. (Remember those two pounds I said I'd lost? Apparently my thighs found them. And those two pounds brought friends.)
Still, what I learned in December is how social eating can be. At Christmas, you're either required to bring some kind of dish to a party or you're invited to a lot of parties, and then come the social problems: folks assume you're going to bring something unhealthy and un-yummy (can't tell you how many times I've had people tell me, "Oh, I guess you're bringing something healthy" and they say that like I'm bringing the plague), or you run the risk of offending your host if you turn down their super-sugary double chocolate fudge brownie delights or whatever. I really don't know how to walk the line between being socially acceptable at any and all fuctions and staying on a strict diet. I guess I'll get more practice next year.
But for now, my brand new running shoes are still getting a good breaking in every night, and my fridge is re-stocked with Greek yogurt and fruit and other goodies. Yay!
And here's one more resolution/goal for you, but I think this could be fun. I saw this on a weight loss blog this morning and I thought I'd share.
Every day, put eight (or more) bracelets – or rubber bands, or Silly Bandz, or ribbons, or whatever, really – around your wrist. Take a band off for every 8-ounce glass of water you drink that day. If you drink something caffeinated, put a bracelet back on or keep it on.
The goal is to get you hydrated each and every day. Sounds like a pretty fun way to remember to drink enough water, and it'll put all of my Superman and Harry Potter Silly Bandz to use.
Here's to a healthier 2012!