Saturday, June 28, 2014

Finally Past the Plateau!

Well, I did it. I weighed in this morning.

My usual routine is to get up on Saturday morning and just before I step into the shower I weigh in (no clothes, just me on the scale).

Last weekend I was dog-sitting and staying at someone else's house. First I couldn't find their scale (good excuse to not weigh in!) and then my excuse was that it wasn't my normal scale so it might not be accurate. I ended up weighing in anyway and the scaled showed a huge drop (about 6 pounds). I was at 195 on their scale. I was a little afraid to celebrate because what if MY scale didn't show the same weight loss. Would I end up being disappointed the following week if the scale went up?

After a day or so of deliberation I decided to claim it. Go for it. Even if the OTHER scale was off by a few pounds I was still down and I was still past my plateau.

But I didn't let my celebrating go to my head too much or slow me down from working just as hard.

So back to this week's weigh in. Drum roll, please.... the home scale said this morning 198. Hooray!

Wait, what? Did you cheer, even though it's up from the previous week?

Yes. I did cheer. Because I'm still past my plateau of being stuck just above 200 and because I still lost 3 pounds over the last two weeks. So, come on and cheer with me! Hooray!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Little Gray Skirt

Come on, admit it. You have an article of clothing hanging around that you hope to fit into again some day. Am I right? Of course I am.

I have a beautiful size 8 gray pencil skirt that I've been hanging on to. I haven't worn it since I was in my early 20's (I'm now officially in  my mid-30's). But I haven't been saving it so I could fit into it again. I've been saving it as a reminder of how I want to feel again.

When I wore that skirt I felt beautiful, sexy, vibrant, alive, powerful, and so much more. When I was at my heaviest I no longer felt those things. I felt sluggish, big, awkward. I wanted to hide. I wanted to try to fool people into thinking I was smaller than I was.

The skirt has been hanging on the back of a door where I can see it as a reminder of those positive feelings I wanted to feel again. But life happens and things got hung on the hook and covered it up. But recently I started packing for my move this summer and I uncovered it and was reminded of my goal- to feel that way again.

Today as I was on my walk I realized that I feel that way again. I feel beautiful, sexy, vibrant, alive, powerful, desirable, full of life, full of desire to share myself with the world. I feel like me again. And guess what- I'm not at my goal weight yet. And that's ok.

I still have a ways to go to get to a healthy weight, but the biggest accomplishment is my positive reflection of myself. I feel like me again and I love me, whether I'm at my goal weight or not.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Old Me - New Me

It's been a heck of a day. Apartment hunting. Online. Long-distance. With a roommate from another state. (She and I are both going to be newbies at the same school this fall.) AND missing my boyfriend who left for the Navy four days ago. Going to his storage unit to drop off some things and pick up some other things. AND it was hot out today.

I'm pooped.

The old me would've found some way to muster up energy to go to the grocery store for a pint of Ben & Jerry's. Or stopped somewhere to get chocolate. Or just guzzled from the bottle of Hershey's syrup in the fridge.

The new me knows that 1- it won't make me feel better and 2- the calories aren't worth it.

I just need to sit with my feelings and be ok with missing my boyfriend, crying when I need to, and accepting that these are temporary feelings. I also need to find another way to soothe myself.

I know a walk would make me feel better, but I'm not going to "should" myself into taking a walk. Instead, I'm going to allow myself to sit on my butt in front of the TV and knit without telling myself I should be going for a walk, or I should be water the plants, or I should be.... because what I should be doing is honoring my body, listening to how my body feels, and allowing my feelings to just be feelings and not dictate what I eat or anything else.

Feelings are just feelings. I like the new me. I'm proud of the new me. The new me is 50 pounds lighter than the old me at the start of this year.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Celebrate! ...maybe...

I usually weigh myself once a week first thing in the morning. Usually on a Saturday, but depending on plans I may do it on Friday morning. Two weekends ago I weighed in on Friday morning and was down about a pound. Hooray!

This weekend I didn't plan for. I knew I would be dog-sitting and staying in someone else's house. I guess I wanted to overlook my weekly weigh in. I knew the week prior to the weigh in would be stressful and that I might not do the things I usually do to take care of myself. I put myself on the back burner, but that was a conscious choice for the short-term (see previous posts).

As of Thursday afternoon I was back to focusing on myself again.... ok, maybe not Thursday afternoon. I was still very focused on my boyfriend and his leaving for boot camp. But Thursday night I for sure was focused on me again. I got a good night's sleep by going to bed early-ish.

Friday and Saturday I worked harder to take care of myself and did ok, but wasn't ready to face the scale. Conveniently, I didn't know if there was one in the house where I was staying.

Due to some motivation by a friend I went in search of a scale to face it. I needed to know the weight no matter what.

So this morning I stepped on the scale first thing. I had to stare at the dial for a bit for the number to sink in to my brain. Partly it was disbelief. Partly it was just early morning so it was taking a little longer to register. Now granted this isn't my usual scale so it's "zero" may be different from my usual scales "zero", but according to THIS scale, I have successfully moved past my 200 pound plateau and am at 195.

195! I should celebrate! I should be ecstatic! But I'm afraid to celebrate. What if MY scale at home doesn't say that? What if next weekend I weigh myself on MY scale and it's up?

Check out those white legs! Blinding!
What do I do? Forget the numbers and focus on how I feel. I feel good in my body. I feel less bloated than earlier in the week when I was eating poorly. I feel lighter and able to move with more grace and freedom. I feel beautiful and comfortable in my clothes. (And having a beautiful new dress from my boyfriend that I feel pretty wearing helps!)
Pretty polka dot dress from my boyfriend.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Brownies for Breakfast

Ok, so getting back in the saddle again was a little harder than I had anticipated.

I'm still dealing with a great deal of stress so I let myself sleep in a little later than usual, but not too much later. I'm dog-sitting and the dog is on a schedule so I had to get up to let her out to toilet. What did when I got up to take her out? I ate a brownie. Then I took her out. And what did I do after bringing her back in? I ate another brownie.

Hmmm....definitely not part of the plan for the day. I went back to bed to sleep it off. I dozed for a while longer before deciding to read in bed and do some writing. I started feeling better and found some motivation to get up and go for a walk. That was part of the plan for the day.

I brushed the bed head out of my hair (sort of) and put it in a half pony tail, put on my workout clothes and tennis shoes, and headed out the door. I walked 3.25 miles and felt great afterwards!

I listened to my body and what it needed, at least for the rest of the day. All in all, the day ended well. Things are looking better and tomorrow is another day to get back up and ride again. Giddy up!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Back In The Saddle Again

A congratulatory kiss after he swore in to the Navy
on June 19, 2014 at the Seattle MEPS building.
For the last week I put some things on the back burner. I relaxed a bit on my eating plan, didn't walk several
miles a day as usual, and didn't do my stretching or weight training. It was a choice I made so that I could focus on my boyfriend during our final days together before he shipped out to boot camp. I wouldn't change putting him first, thought I might have indulged in a bit fewer carbs if I had it to do over again.

But today I am back to putting my eating, walking, stretching, and weight training in focus. Sort of.

I chose to walk the mile to work and back home again at the end of the day. I chose to eat a salad for lunch, and yogurt and fruit for snacks. I chose my usual breakfast, and I chose an omelet for dinner. I also chose to eat four brownies with cream cheese frosting. Getting back in the saddle again is hard.

But I faced the hard truth and logged my food. Including the two one-mile walks that I took today, I was over by about 600 calories today. Since there was still plenty of daylight left I grabbed my headphones and took myself for a long walk.  I wandered all over Capitol Hill crossing streets in whatever direction the light was going. I ended up walking just over 3 miles in about an hour (my tracker didn't pick up the GPS signal until I was several blocks in to my walk).

I ended the day feeling better from my walk and exercise and proud of most of my choices. Tomorrow, my goals are:
1. Sleep in.
2. Make good food choices- no carbs and fewer sweets.
3. Walk at least 3 miles.
4. Stretch and do weight training.
5. Start working on a plan for my move to Utah.
6. Clean/tidy up my room.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How Do You Spell Relief? C-A-K-E

Birthday cupcakes- dancing shoes
Yep, that's right. I'm stressed and I tried to find relief through cake this week.

Granted, it was my birthday weekend so the cake was mostly birthday cake leftovers.

But yesterday at work (the school) there was a trip to the donut shop with my students and leftover graduation party cake. It wasn't even special cake; just a plain white cake with white frosting from some grocery store, or maybe even a big box store. Despite the fact that I've learned over the last four years that food won't bring me comfort. Despite the fact that I've learned to listen to my body and that sugar makes my body hurt. Despite the fact that I had told myself I would be fine without a donut and that I had a little bag full of all sorts of yummy food that I really wanted to eat. Despite all that I ate two pieces of cake and a salted caramel old fashioned donut.

And what did I get? A sugar headache, feeling of sluggishness and tiredness, moodiness, and an upset stomach. Oh, and no desire to do my usual walk and workout. Ugh! Why do I do this to myself?

Let's not go down that road too far. I'm not going to beat myself up. But here's a little bit of the story behind WHY I ate that way. (I find it helps me prevent it in the future and rewire my brain if I think about WHY I did what I did, but to not dwell on it and beat myself up.)

1. I was coming down off of the high of my birthday weekend. I had cake and strawberry shortcake over the weekend so sugar was in my system. It's hard to get away from my sugar craving once my body has gotten a little taste. And, I turned 35; that's a significant milestone. Another multiple of five.
As I was coming down off the high of the birthday weekend I realized that some big (hard, sad, stressful, etc.) changes are now a lot closer than before.
2. My boyfriend leaves for the Navy next week. I was there with him when he applied months ago. It seemed like we had a long time. Now the day is almost here and it's hard to face that he will soon be gone. I'm trying to process my feelings about it. I may have been too needy, too clingy this week. He's trying to process all his feelings, too. We're having a hard time communicating about this, so what do I do? I eat. And then I feel worse because now my body hurts and I'm still stressed and it hasn't done anything to help the communication.
3. The school year is ending and I'm leaving a job of four years. It's been a roller-coaster ride. I'm glad to be moving on to my next school (very excited to be teaching full-time, in first grade, again), but still, change is hard.
4. I'm moving. If you've ever moved, whether across the street, across town, or across the country you know that moving is hard and creates a lot of stress. Where will I live? How will I afford it? How will I get there? When will I get there? I have the added stress of needing to buy a car when I get there. I've mostly been relying on public transportation the last four years. Now I have to be (get to be) a car owner again- and everything that goes with it. Oh man.

Are you getting the picture that there's a lot going on in my life? Can you see how that would all be stressful?

In the midst of this I realize that I have not turned to God as much as I  need to, so today as I sat down to write an email of venting to myself (like a journal, but via email so it never goes anywhere but to me), I realized a few things. The biggest one is that I need to cling to God and not food or people. And as that thought processed in my mind I was reminded of a song that I had clung to a few months ago during another stressful time. I would play it over and over again and let it be my cry, my prayer to God. Starting today, this morning already, I'm going to be playing this song a lot as my reminder to cling to God during these stressful events. May it bless you as it has blessed me.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Originally, my goal was to make it to under 200 by the end of this year. As the weight melted off quickly in the first few months, I realized I may need to adjust that goal so I moved it to under 200 by the end of June. In May I was just a few pounds away so I decided to see if I could get there by my birthday (June 8).

Today, Saturday, the day before my birthday, is my weekly weigh in day, so I stepped on the scale this morning in eager anticipation. I had woken up feeling good, and hopeful that I was at my goal (since last week I was about a pound and a half away). According to the scale I went up about a pound; 0.8 to be exact.

I was very disappointed. I tried to remind myself of how far I've already come and to keep in mind the big picture. I tried to remind myself that yesterday was an off day and I might just be retaining water. I tried to remind myself that this is a new day and I can make it a good one. Nothing helped.

As I started my morning exercises, determined to work even harder to get to the goal of 200 pounds, my mother observed that I looked sad. As I started to explain, the tears began flowing. I've been really struggling to get past the 200 mark for the last several weeks. I just keep losing and gaining the same pound, pound and a half.

As I lamented and reflected on what's going on in my life right now and the choices I've made I was able to bring up grace, love, and most importantly, compassion for myself. Of course I would be having a hard time getting past this. This is a big milestone. I've lost a lot of weight already and my body may be trying to hang on. My own father had trouble getting past this point for several months until just a few weeks ago. Some days I've been choosing to spend time with my boyfriend before he ships out to Navy boot camp, instead of my daily walk. It all makes sense.

But it also renews my determination to keep my health a priority in my life. I'm going to review what I've been doing and think about changes I could make. I'm also going to see my nutritionist to see if she can make some recommendations to help me get past this hump. And I'm going to keep giving myself compassion, grace, and love because I'm doing the best I can and I've already come so far.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Weekend to Me!

It's my birthday weekend! Hooray!!
Having my birthday cookie and eating it, too!

An excuse to set aside the diet, eat cake, and enjoy, right? Well, yes and no. Yes, I have the freedom to do those things, but no, I don't think I will. I will choose to make good choices because I want to not because I have to.

I bought a cookie cake to bring to school to share with my students for my school birthday celebration today. Due to stressful events at work I ended up eating not only 1 slice of cookie cake, but two more after that. In my mind on the way to work that morning I planned to abstain because I didn't want the calories, knew I would have a hard time controlling sugar cravings if I started, and because I wanted to be able to enjoy my birthday cake tomorrow (being made by friends) without guilt of having eaten too many sweets over too many days.

That plan flew out the window, as I mentioned, due to stress. I beat myself up for a little bit, and felt the pain of too much sugar after having abstained, by choice, for a long time. But upon reflecting about WHY I made that choice I let go of my guilt and stopped beating myself up. I then made a plan to help myself feel better.

My plan was to get in as many walks (big and little) during the day as I could and to make sensible choices about my food the rest of the day. So while my class was with another teacher I went for a 25 minute walk. And I counted the whole-school trip to and from the park this afternoon. And I took myself for a long walk after school while waiting for the end of year school picnic to start. (Which reminds me, I need to wrap this up quickly because the picnic is starting now!) I also chose to not eat the big healthy salad I packed for my lunch because I was full on cookies. Yes, the salad was a healthy choice, but I knew that stuffing myself with food, even healthy food, wouldn't make me feel better. So instead I ate some peppers and hummus, and a plum. I felt great making that choice.

Now, with all the extra calories I earned from all my walking I have plenty of calories left for today so my big decision to make is: do I eat the salad I planned for lunch or do I choose wisely from the picnic foods? I think I'll go scout out the food offerings now and make a plan!

Share in the comments your strategies for surviving a potluck picnic!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Feeling It Today

Ever have a workout you knew you would feel later? Ever have a workout that surprised you when you felt it later? The latter happened to me today.

As I posted in the blog, yesterday I tried a new way of doing lunges- on a rolled towel to help work my core muscles.I also started doing side leg extensions with a big stretchy band. (You know the kind where you stand and lift you keep your leg straight and lift it to the side? I do those straight out, but I also bring my leg in across the middle of my boday. Today my core muscles feel very much how they usually do after doing abs work (not much different, so I suppose that means I need to do something more/different, but that's a topic for another post); however, my thighs feel different. I think it's a combo of the balancing on the towel for the lunges and the rather new use of the band for the side leg extensions. It doesn't hurt, but it does feel different.

I'm ready for that feeling of "feeling it" to happen more often, especially as I try to push past a plateau that I've been on this month. Like my father last month, this month I am struggling to get past the 200 pound mark. Overall I lost 6.6 pounds last month, but it was a bit of a yo-yo the last couple of weeks. I did hit my goal of getting to 201 by the end of May, and if I'm very diligent, I think I'll make the "under 200 by my birthday" goal. (My birthday is this weekend!)

My boyfriend suggested an hour of intense, crazy dancing every day to push me past. He even demonstrated his suggestion for me- at the bus stop no less- which gave me a good laugh, but not much motivation. I'm thinking more along the lines of adding a Zumba class in to my routine each week. My dance studio where I take salsa lessons offers Zumba almost every day of the week so I really just have to pick a day that works and go try it. (I used to do Zumba in the Curves circuit, so it's not totally new to me, but I also know it will be different from that.) I'm thinking Thursday might be a good day to go try it out. Here's hoping my motivation lasts until then...

Doing a Touchdown Victory Dance!

Last night my mother was watching video clips of Jimmy Falon. One of the clips was "The History of the Touchdown Dance" or something like that. I think I'll need her to share that with me (won't THAT be interesting to have my mother try to share a video link!) because I'm celebrating another little victory! Now on the third notch of my little belt!
Oh yah!
Go me! Go me! Go-go-go me-e!

How are you celebrating yourself and your little victories?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Just Another Day in Paradise

I got home from church this afternoon and knew I needed to do something good for me, but wasn't feeling very motivated to do anything. Then I remembered my promise on Facebook to try out some new activities that work abs (here's the link to the MyFitnessPal article), so I pulled out my print off of the article to see which activity I wanted to try. Since it was a "legs" day I decided to try the lunges on a rolled towel. Oh man did I start to feel it after just a few!

As I've mentioned in a few previous posts, the walking time can be great for thinking and reflecting. Unfortunately, the way my mind was wandering was towards some painful thoughts that were bringing pain and tears. A few months ago this happened to me and I gave in to the feelings and turned around to go home. I called a girlfriend, in tears, as I walked home.

Today I didn't want to give in to the pain and tears I decided to push through. I focused on the walk. Moving my legs, pumping  my arms, feeling the sun on my face. I pushed through the pain telling myself that if I need to I can deal with it later. I'm sure it'll come up later, but I'll feel it and deal with it when I'm in a safe place.

I love being able to take care of myself in this way. Sometimes I give in to the feelings and work through them right away. Sometimes I tell myself that it's not safe to feel them right now and I give myself permission to feel them later. Some of you reading this may be saying "of course, doesn't everyone do this?" To which I must say "no, not everyone knows how to do this or is able to give themselves permission to do this." It's an amazing skill I just learned in the last few years. I'm a very feeling-oriented person, but to know my feelings don't have to rule me is very empowering to me.

I'm glad I pushed through my walk and kept going. I was able to enjoy the sunshine, moving my body, and the act of walking. I ended my 4.4 mile route wishing I could have walked longer. (I have other stuff to get to this afternoon, like dance lessons, so I couldn't but it was great to want to do more!) And now to end this post- I've got a dance lesson to get to!