Archive for category Weight Loss

I broke it.

Ironically, the title of my last post, three weeks ago, was “Make It or Break It.” Well, folks, I broke it! Thoroughly. Regained the couple pounds that I had lost plus one or two. 😦 I’ll spare you all the details. They’re no different than the last 100 times I got “off plan.”

Once again I’m kinda feeling like I’m at the end of my rope. I just don’t what else to do. I don’t know what I could possibly do differently to make this weight loss attempt actually be somewhat permanently successful. I want to get out of this seemingly endless cycle of doing well for a time and eventually getting frustrated and basically giving up. I’ve tried so many times, and every time I think that this is really it. I’m really going to change my habits this time. I will really keep off the weight I’ve lost this time. Well, I’m basically back at my highest weight ever, so clearly that hasn’t happened.  I’ve also noticed that the cycle is getting shorter. Used to be more like do well for several weeks, lose several pounds, get frustrated at all the hyper-focus on weight loss and the super-slow progress, slowly lose motivation, eventually give up for several weeks, and so on. Now the cycle is more like days or even hours, not weeks or months.

I really think the main reason I can’t get back on track is that I’ve lost my confidence. I just have a hard time believing that I can really do it. And I think that’s due in part to the fact that I’ve tried and failed so, so, so many times. And I’ve worked so, so, so hard at  it those many times.

I haven’t exactly just completely given up and thrown in the towel these past couple weeks, but I’ve only been giving it a half hearted effort. However, I’ve noticed some things:

  • I really don’t just love many healthy foods. I love the way I feel when I eat them instead of junk, but it is far more natural for me to reach for a piece of bread than an apple. I really need to find some foods that I love and am excited about. I just feel like I’m going against the grain. After spending the first 20 years of my life eating unhealthy foods, I’ve got 20 years of deeply entrenched bad habits to overcome. So even eating healthfully for 2-3 months isn’t going to make that my default behavior. Sometimes I think I expect it to be easier than it is. However, I know some have overcome this, so it’s possible, just not easy.
  • Having gotten married just six months ago, eating well with a husband who acts like a fruit or a vegetable would kill him and literally consumes 1/4 of a thing of ice cream and a regular root beer every night without ever gaining an ounce is really a challenge. It’s more of a challenge than I thought it would be. I have talked to him about my weight loss efforts on a few occasions, and he is generally supportive, but he just doesn’t have the slightest bit of understanding as to what I’m going through. And why would he? I think it’s just so difficult for someone who’s never had weight struggles of their own to understand what it’s like.
  • I’ve been tempted quite a few times within the last couple weeks in a burst of short-lived but very intense motivation to throw out every piece of junk food in the house. That’s what I did two years ago when I started the most successful part of my weight loss journey. I actually did fairly for a few weeks and lost about 15 pounds. Of course, even then, I felt like all this healthy eating wasn’t quite auto-pilot. It still felt strange. It did help, thought, that it was not at all easy to eat something junky, because it wasn’t there. I had to go out of my way if I was going to eat sweets or breads. Don’t get me wrong, there were several occasions that I did get so desperate for chocolate, that I hopped in the car and drove to the nearest Dairy Queen for a blizzard or nearest grocery store for a brownie mix. However, it happened much less often.
  • I have noticed that I’ve really made exercise more of a habit. I actually enjoy it somewhat, and I miss it if I don’t get to do it. Plus I’ve been exercising even when I’m not eating well, which is a huge step for me. It used to be all or nothing.
  • I’ve noticed that I have a lot more self-control when it comes to making myself do something that I really don’t want to do (like exercise or cleaning or some dreadful task). However, when it comes to saying no to something that I really want (like a brownie), I usually talk myself into it by coming up with some bizarre excuse or rationalization.
  • I have only 3 pairs of non-workout pants that fit: 2 pairs of black dress pants and a pair of jeans. How sad. I miss my nice selection of clothing that fits.

Sorry this post is a little depressing, but I just needed to vent a little. Tomorrow I’m getting back on track (although I’m not yet sure exactly what that means) and I’ll be back with a much more upbeat report of how my “first day” went.

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Exercise Endorphins Rock!

So I had another awesome workout today. I didn’t have a lot of time. It was one of those situations where on the surface it looked like I just didn’t have a way to fit it into my schedule for today, but I made it work. Because of time shortage, I did workout DVDs. Started with Cathe Friedrich’s Rhythmic Step and then did her STS Shock Cardio 40/20 HIIT (high intensity interval training). It was seriously high intensity. I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but it felt great after I was done! I’m still feeling those endorphins.

Food wise, I did okay, but not great. Ended the day around 1900 calories, and I estimate that I burned at least 500 through exercise, for a net of 1400. My mistake came in eating a total of four Kashi cookies (130 cals each – so over 500 cals worth). I had two for lunch and two on the way home from work. I was so mad at myself for gobbling the two on the way home from work. One of those, “If only I could turn back time and not eat them” moments. I wasn’t even too upset about the two for lunch but the two in the car on the way home from work were totally unnecessary and I wasn’t even hungry. It was just five minutes of weakness. However, I did stop after two, so that’s something. The worst part about the incident is not that I consumed 260 extra calories – that’s really no big deal. It’s the guilt I felt about it that led me to start down the destructive path of “Oh I blew it, may as well give up.” Why bother exercising – you already blew it. Why not just eat whatever you want for dinner – you’ve already had too many calories. However, I recognized that thinking, and I was able to reason my way out of it. However, I still had the negative emotions hanging around – can’t really reason my way out of that. But the exercise really helped put those emotions back on a positive track. I think that’s real progress – in the past I may have turned the day into an exercise free calorie fest just because I made one little mistake.

That cherry almond cookie from the vending machine that’s been haunting me – it’s gone! They replaced with something else that I don’t even like. Yeah, I beat the cookie!!!

Do you bloggers ever feel really inspired to write throughout the day, but by the time you sit down post late in the evening you forgot what you were inspired to post about or you’re just not in a writing mood?

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Take that, you Chocolate Iced Cherry Almond Cookie!

I have to say, it’s unbelievable how quickly the evening goes by. I had totally planned to workout today, but, before I know it, it’s 9pm and I’m exhausted (get up around 5:30), which reiterates the fact that I need to workout first thing when I get home from work or this type of thing is likely to happen. However, instead of worrying about it, I opted not to eat anything else for the evening and go to bed a little early. I did log my foods for the day and ended up at 1591 calories – not stellar, but still low enough to stay on the losing path. I am redoubling my commitment to exercise the rest of the week, because exercise is SOOO critical for my weight loss. My goal is five times a week, and I can still make that this week. Part of the reason the evening went by so fast is that I tried a new healthy recipe, which turned out well, but took a while to make and clean up after.
A couple moral victories to report: first, those Hershey’s miniatures that I ate too many on Monday. Well, they were still in my desk drawer today. I ate 3 this morning, and I threw the rest in the trash. I just didn’t want to fight the temptation any more, and there were only a few left.
Next, I don’t know about you, but if there is a dessert or food that I’ve never had but looks good to me, I feel like I HAVE to have it. Like it’s some sort of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if I don’t get to taste it, I might miss out on some life-changing experience. How crazy is that? Monday as I was leaving work, I noticed a new item in the vending machine: a Chocolate Iced Cherry Almond Cookie – my favorite flavors all in a soft cookie in a unique way! I really, really, really love cherry, chocolate, and almond. Well, this morning, guess what? I didn’t even walk by the vending machine, but I had not forgotten about that new flavor of cookie!! It was on my mind. I really wanted it. A few times I came pretty close to giving in, but I didn’t. Whew! Made it all the way through the day without giving in! My life will be perfectly fine if I never get to taste that stupid cherry almond cookie with the chocolate drizzled on top. Part of me just wanted to give in and get it over with because I figured I eventually would anyway. Luckily tomorrow is pretty busy with meetings, but I have no meetings scheduled on Friday. I’ll just be at my desk by myself, which is when time seems to drag and I really get the munchies, and that stupid cookie will be calling my name again. If it were in my house I’d throw it away. I really don’t want to fight it all the time. But I’m bigger than the cookie. He won’t beat me!

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Week 1 Summary

Grand Plans

So I had grand plans of writing a fabulous, long post and letting out all my thoughts about my dieting disaster over the past few weeks, which I really need to do just for my own sake, if nothing else. However, as usual, the evening has flown by and it’s already time for bed. However, it was a fabulous and productive evening.

Weekend Summary

So for a quick update on the weekend. Friday I had no reason to eat poorly because we didn’t leave until after dinner, so I didn’t eat any meals outside of my control. However, I must confess, I ate too much junk – I think in part because I knew I wasn’t tracking, in part because of my looming fear that I would be forced to consume a bagillion calories the next day thereby ruining all my efforts anyway, and in part because it was Friday and I somehow thought candy and chips would make the time fly by (it doesn’t, by the way – all it does is make you feel fatter as you still watch the clock wondering if the end of the workday will ever come). Anyway, I didn’t just completely blow it, but I munched on a lot of extra goodies and had pizza for lunch. Saturday turned out to be okay eating wise, really. The family we stayed with had some relatively healthy foods available, so calorie wise I probably still had a deficit. Also, we hiked for three hours, so that burned some calories. And, really, I hard even thought about food or worried about it the whole weekend – wonderfully refreshing! And I did not overindulge despite the fact that I wasn’t obsessing over calories and weight loss and how to maintain my self-control – if only I could do that all the time!

Today

Today went pretty well. Felt confident. After just a week of being more on track I am no longer feeling quite so enormous (all psychological, I clearly haven’t lost that much actual weight in one week) and not quite so completely hopeless. My overall calories eaten were 1421 with 500 calories burned through exercise (so net well under 1000). So calorie wise, that’s right on track. The only bad thing is where some of those calories came from – I had most of a bag of Hershey dark chocolate miniatures at my desk drawer leftover from Friday. And, well, I ate 15 of them – about 600 calories worth. And that was while trying to exercise some self restraint, believe it or not. Moral of the story which I already knew all too well: Don’t have snacks stored at the desk. But, like I said, I still feel good about the day. My workout was absolutely, incredibly intense. I didn’t have a fully functioning car available to me, so I did a couple workout dvd’s instead of going to the Y. I did a new one – Cathe Friedrich’s 40/20 HIIT (high intensity interval training) from her new STS Cardio. I was so worn out I by the end I almost lost the dinner I hadn’t eaten yet. But I felt so great. And that intense of a workout takes away my appetite as well (for a couple hours afterward, but it comes back with a vengeance – I’ll waking up extremely hungry in the morning.).

The Weigh-In Results

I’m calling last Monday my first official day of my new plan or whatever. So, for the first week I lost 2.2 pounds!

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Weigh-in Results and Lots of Updates

I didn’t realize it has been almost a week since I last updated, which was because I was out of town. I have so many updates that I’ll go bullet style:

  • First off, a report on my weekend eating and exercise. I left immediately after work on Thursday to visit a friend for the weekend. Therefore, I knew I wouldn’t be able to exercise and we had some exciting, yet not so low calorie food plans – including the Cheesecake Factory – doesn’t even belong in the same sentence with “healthy.” Therefore my plan for the week was to maintain my weight, and basically have a maintenance level of calories for the week. That meant I would have calories deficits during the week and some excess on the week. My plan went pretty well, except for Thursday – for some reason I kinda gave in to Mr. All-or-Nothing and started snacking at work throughout the afternoon, and didn’t make drastic improvements for dinner either – got a huge 360 calorie cookie at Quizno’s. Oops. That wasn’t necessary because it wasn’t planned and I knew I would have a few treats over the weekend. That said, I did well the rest of the weekend with keeping things in check and not eating something just because I was on “maintenance mode” for the week.
  • I had their special Red Velvet Cheesecake at the The Cheesecake Factory. I had been craving it for weeks. MMMMmm! Good! Don’t regret it one little bit. Split lunch size entree with my friend, wisely. Their portions are huge.
  • I’m right back on track in super weight loss mode today, which was the major key to not allowing the extra treats this weekend ruin my weight loss efforts!!! About a  year ago, I went on a weekend trip to visit another friend, and I had been so, so well up to that point. That friend loves chocolate almost as much as I do, so the weekend involved a ton of excess calories (none of which I regret) – but where I went wrong is that I let that one weekend derail me for weeks. I didn’t get right back on track on Monday. This time I didn’t make that same mistake. Maybe I am learning something.
  • Remember the FitBloggin’ Conference I talked about wanting to go to? Well, I really did want to go, but something else has come up that same weekend. I was actually a little sad to find out I wouldn’t be able to go. Maybe next year, although I doubt it will be driving distance 😦
  • And my weigh-in results for this week: Down 1.4 pounds!!!! Thrilled considering I just wanted to maintain. Brings overall weight loss for the past three weeks to 6.4 pounds. I’ll take that too!
  • I had great stats for today:
  • I have a new plan for tackling my snacking problem that I talked about in my last post. I’ll share tomorrow. Also, hope to get caught on blog reading and commenting tomorrow. I hate to see how many unread items are in my Google Reader.

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True Progress

Here’s what I’ve been struggling with in my mind lately.

Since I started this journey a year and a half ago, I knew I had two major problems that I needed to overcome (among a lot of other things). Diagnosing those problems was not the issue. One of my major obstacles is the “all-or-nothing” mentality that is somehow so deeply ingrained in my thinking. I still have a LOOONG way to go in really overcoming that, however, I can see that I have made some solid progress in the last year and a half. And I plan to make even more progress in the next year.

However, my next huge desire to snack all the time, especially on sweets. It’s kinda the opposite of a binging problem, but just a severe and destructive. I want to munch on something small every 15 minutes or so at my worst. All those calories really add up. My whole life that’s what I’ve done. Snack. Snack. Snack. Just a little bite. Just a little taste. Just a little bit! Ah! Before I know it, I’ve eaten the equivalent of two or three pieces of 600 calories per slice cake by just shaving off one little sliverine at a time. Definitely not good. Here’s the thing. I feel like, despite all my efforts, I haven’t really made progress is resolving the true root of the problem. I feel like I’ve just managed to band-aid it at times. And there have been many band-aid efforts. About 4 years ago, I completely fasted for three weeks (water only). Once, I completely gave up chocolate for 8 weeks. I had junk-free January in 2008 where I had absolutely NO sweets -none at all- for the entire month. At some point a little over a year ago, I completely gave up snacking altogether for a couple months. And I really did. But I was having to force myself through it the whole time. I really wanted it to be a lifestyle change and I at least thought I was approaching it with that mindset. And of course I’ve tried the moderation approach countless times. I feel like no matter what mindset and approach I’ve tried, I keep coming back and fighting the exact same battles hundreds of times – sometimes wining, sometimes losing, and sometimes doing more of one than the other.

What prompted this is reviewing my posts over the last couple weeks and seeing how many times I wrote something like, “Did really well today except for those snacks.” I mean, really, that should be the title of my blog. So I was considering what to do. Should I try a no snacking no matter what rule and force myself into that for a period of time? Should I give up eating meals so I can just plan a small snack every half hour or so? And then I read a post on Pudget’s blog (Guess What I Did Yesterday) about how she had made a lot of progress with here binge eating struggle.  And I’ve been reading her blog since she began it, and when I thought about it, I could really see just from reading her blog posts that she had made true progress. And I want to get that point with my snacking problem – to make some true progress!

So my question for all of you is: How do you make true progress (not just temporarily band aiding a problem)? Do you feel that you’ve truly overcome or made progress in any of your eating/weight issues?  Any advice?

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Who needs the gym, when you have two feet of snow!?

It’s been a couple days since I updated, so I’ll just have to summarize the weekend.

We woke up on Saturday to two feet of snow!! It was unbelievable. Absolutely beautiful. Obviously, we couldn’t go anywhere. Roads weren’t plowed yet, a state of emergency had been called, and even if we could go anywhere nothing was open (nothing – groceries stores, drugstores, the Y, etc). All this would not have been so bad if only we had power! It went off sometime before 4am, and with such a big snowstorm, we had no idea when it was coming back on. It is really amazing how many things that I take for granted require electricity, including the foods we normally eat. No stove, oven, microwave, and I wanted to open fridge/freezer as little as possible. So all we had to eat were crackers, chips, salsa, candy, marshmallows, and high-calorie homemade sourdough bread. After eating a really early dinner on Friday, I woke up very hungry Saturday morning. Unfortunately I took this situation as license to eat basically whatever I wanted. That’s the not so good part. However, I did want to get some exercise, so I dug out one of cars – took a good 45 minutes of shoveling, worked lots of muscles, and burned some calories! Luckily our power was restored in the early afternoon!

Pic of snow near our house:

Sunday, I am happy that I worked out using exercise DVDs at home (Y isn’t open on Sun morning). Burned a lot of calories and had a decently intense workout. I did Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred for the first time. It really is a good 24 minute workout. And I was very sore from it today! I also did another video to get some extra cardio in. Unfortunately my resolve to make good food choices waned steadily throughout the day. By the time the superbowl party was ending, I dug into the cookies! Whoops! All told, my weekend was definitely high on the calorie side. And also very difficult to count since I ate at other people’s houses. I would guess 2500 or so calories Sat and Sun minus the exercise calories of course. So, bottom line, my calories for the week overall were probably a slight deficit, but not too much. Which brings me to the next topic:

This week’s weigh-in: -0.0, stayed exactly the same. Funny, worked out exactly as I thought it would. Unfortunately this week doesn’t look to be a stellar week calorie deficit wise. Leaving Thursday night to stay with a friend, so I won’t be able to work out Thurs, Fri, or Sat plus the food probably won’t be as healthy as if I were eating at home. However, I’m going to continue to do the best I can this week. I really would like just a slight lose, and then I can really pick up my intensity next week.

Which brings me to today. I did a killer bootcamp class at the Y. Once again, I made a fool of myself and couldn’t keep up, but I did burn some calories. And I’m liking trying all these new classes. I’m also getting a bit of weight-training which I never did on my own. I burned about 500 calories in 56 minutes. Most of the workout was cardio drills (Jump rope, jogging, sprinting, suicide drills, etc) followed by leg/arm combo moves with weights and a few stationary arm exercises. The last 10 minutes were ab work, and although my abs got a killer workout, ab work doesn’t really burn many calories. The heart rate is really low. Plus, with so much weight to lose, I won’t even be able to see muscle definition until I lose another 70-90 pounds.

Anyway, here’s todays stats:

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