June 02, 2013

One Year Later

I’m five months postpartum. I’m proud of myself and my baby. I hate my body though. Everyone tells you to be proud of your “tiger stripes” (aka stretch marks) from your pregnancy, because you earned them. Yeah, I earned them at each and ever dive-threw window I went to. The lose skin from my 37 weeks pregnant body is even worse then the stretch marks, the bloating that I’m still experiencing, the swollen joints, and the constant hunger that goes along with breastfeeding. All of it sucks. But, I’d never give it up; I’d never take it all away, because I have a beautiful baby. I would on the other hand choose a lot better lifestyle for myself during those 37 weeks then I had chosen. I don’t know where it began. The first few weeks of pregnancy I was still in fitness mode and for the most part still eating fairly healthy. I think it hit when I was suddenly I couldn’t perform at the same intensity as before, it was like a brick wall. And then being told you’re too sick now to continue much more then walking, and sorry you’re too high risk to lift weights. All of it became too much of an uncertain thing again to me. All of it was out of my control. Or so I thought.

I suppose we can all look back at our mistakes and say I should have done this and I would have do this differently, but we can’t change the current circumstances. So, I guess I can just say I better look forward and know that I did it once and I can do it again. With all the fear and anxiety that I had before still boiling up, I’m still going to move forward with my attempt at defeating my weight.

**If you haven't been keeping up with me on facebook, look me up and all that has happened in the past year.**

April 24, 2012

Back from the dessert of Life

Well, I’ve been off the straight path of this journey for a few weeks now, stumbling along a very rocky uphill battle. There is nothing like losing to yourself, and then not having a plan for your next steps. After the contest I lost all balance in life, all I wanted to do was keep going to the gym, but eat as much junk as I could find reason for. I had lost sight of the end results, and was very lost in myself. My husband needed me, my daughter wanted my attention, and my body was fighting against me. I am slowly coming back to my senses in many aspects, but still struggle every day with making smart food choices. Through so much of this long journey I’ve struggles with restricting myself, and find that it’s so unrealistic in my daily life. But, moderation is the key to not restricting me, and when depression and desperation seep into the mix those two keys go right out the door. Now, I haven’t put all my weight back on of course, and have been getting in semi-regular workouts, but no weight loss has occurred. That’s hard!

So, what am I going to do about? I’m not done with this in any way, this is a lifestyle, and I have to learn to loss more and learn to maintain it. My first steps are figuring out a more family oriented workout schedule, one that doesn’t interfere with our lives, that is satisfying to me and to my family. I’ve found this to be hard for me, I have favorite instructors and classes and they are only offered at certain times and days. I’ve also found that guilt easily comes on when I miss a workout, and then excuse making as to why I don’t make up the workout when I have the time. This is all part of the journey, and I know I can get through the rough part of it.

I’m planning to run more often outside now that the weather is warming up and not raining. I don’t have warm weather gear though, so mornings are all I’ve got my mind on so far. I need a running partner to keep me accountable too. I’ve noticed I find it much easier to cop out of the workout when no one is there to meet up with. I’m also very focused on weight lifting, and hope to keep up a 3 days a week body pump/weight room schedule. My loose skin issues are continuing to be a huge battle for me, seeming to get worse each day in my mind, so the more muscle I can build around the skin the better. Running and muscle building will essentially suck the skin back in place after a long period of time.

I also want to plan more family time in my life that involves exercise! Swimming is huge for Julia, she loves the water and wants to go to the pool of a lot this summer. Hiking will also be something all 3 of us can do together, and then out very exciting start to spring/summer is gardening. My husband has started creating a garden for us to grow our food in and allow us to work outside on our yard all together! I find this very rewarding not only to my active self, but my frugal self too! My food battle will continue along with my emotions over stress and self-image struggles, but I won’t allow it to overtake me like it has in the past. Hoping to find more time to inspire all of you as well! Happy Spring time!

March 26, 2012

Week 9 weigh-in - Final results

March 23:
Weight: 207

Weight Lose = -7 pounds
Total weight loss = 37.6 pounds
BMI – 35.7
Body Fat % - 36.9%
Total body fat lost = 7.9%

Starting/Janurary 20:
Weight: 245.4
BMI: 42.1
Body Fat %: 44.8%

Target body fat – 27%
Target/Predicted weight – 179.8 lbs
***I didn’t get a chance to get my measurements this week after my weigh-in or take a picture, so I will post those in the next post tonight or tomorrow.***

For those of you who are not on facebook, I did not win the biggest loser contest. Originally after my weigh-in I became so excited for my results that I felt like I had already won the contest. I was in 2nd place, and due to win the second prize. As long as no one came in and took out the person ahead of me, I’d be the 2nd winner. Then, at noon I was informed that this is exactly what happened. Someone weighed in and had a higher weight loss percentage then the person ahead of me, taking me out of second place and into third. I was devastated. All the excitement I had for my results, for my hard work, just flew out the door. It was never conceived in my mind that I wasn’t going to win. I had worked so hard for the past 9 weeks, and felt like I had made a huge effort to make sure I was going to win. But, two people did better then me. I couldn’t even comprehend how to react. It was a complete loss of something important to me, and I went through all the stages of grief. I am still grieving, and lost a huge part of my confidence in myself due to this. It is no one’s fault, and I have to be okay with that fact that I didn’t finish first. I have to appreciate the work I put in, and see it for what it truly is - a success.

About 12 weeks ago is when I decided I was going to do this contest. I felt completely led by the Holy Spirit, that this weigh loss journey was not over and I had to complete something before going onto another path in my life. I kept feeling like this is what God wanted me to do, that I was to win the contest and have confidence in myself and my abilities. I knew the 50 pound weigh loss goal was an unattainable goal, but again it wasn’t just pulled out of thin air, it was from God. I began to read scripture on how my body was a temple and I had to treat it that way, and how anything I did I did for the greater glory of God. All of these messages came to me and made me see myself as someone who was going to take on this contest full force. Along the way I struggled, just like any journey, and so many people came alongside me to encourage me and lift me up to keep reaching for my goals. I slowly saw the ability I had to do the same for those in the contest who were struggling much more then I, those who were just beginning their weight loss journey. I ran next to them, told them my story, and gave them tips. I never once told someone they couldn’t do it, I just always made them see their abilities. By week 8 of the contest I had a support group of people who cheered me on, ran with me, encouraged me, and became closer in friendships then I had ever expected in such a short time. I ran a 5K, I worked out with professional athletes and trainers, and I did it all without stopping; complaining; or just not being able to do it. So, once the anger and sadness lessened from my loss, I realized something very important that God was really trying to teach me. I wasn’t in this contest to win; I was in this contest to help others and to find connections with people who needed my guidance and encouragement. I was guided into this contest not to win, but to lose and to see that I can make an effort so strong that other people will follow my lead. That this is how I should lead my life in all that I do, not just in my exercise and weight loss, but in my spiritual life; my family life; and everything that surrounds me.

I am not at a stage in my grief yet that I am content with my loss. Contentment will come, when I meet my own goals, but I am at a stage to see that I am a part of the win. That without me there, the winners might not have done as well. They might have still won, but maybe without such an effort. Maybe they wouldn’t be as please with how hard they worked, but with me there I set a fire under them and lead them to know they can push themselves into new directions in life and it will be rewarding.

So, where do I go from here? I cried about that too. I wasn’t sure at first; I didn’t know how to keep going without the prize and victory I had expected to follow me through the rest of this. But, the real prize came to me in forgiveness and love. These two things brought on such a huge emotional moment for me, that I realized that I can forgive myself and others and love all the hard work I have done without any conditions put on it. I can do this for myself and bring along those I love with me to make this journey even more rewarding. The real prize is at the end; this finish line, not in the middle. I am not done!

I have so much more work to do, why would I think this what the end of the line? I have lose skin problems and I am not even at my goal weight. So, to the gym I go to keep on the path of making my body a temple. I posted at the top what my predicted weight would be if I hit my target BMI, giving me 28 pounds to lose still. That’s a good starting point for me I think. Let’s get to the healthy stage of this, and then keep going! I will work to lose 30 pounds (let’s just make it an even number) in 12 weeks or by my birthday (June 15th). This is 2.5 pounds a week, nothing I can’t accomplish already, right? I will NOT be going to the gym 4 hours a day for 6 days a week. Some days are going to be harder workouts then others, and I’m going to allow life to be in charge of what days those are. I might have to take a night off for family or allow myself some more rest. I’m not going to go at warp-speed this time, but I will continue to go just above the speed limit and find my own victory.

March 19, 2012

Goal Accomplished!

One day I put down on a list of things I wanted to accomplish this year that I wanted to run a 5K race, but it never occurred to me that I’d be able to do it like any other athlete could. I’ve never seen myself as an athlete, or sporty person, or even in shape. But, the last few weeks things have changed. My mind and body have gone through a transformation into this person who can put her mind to something and just do it (thank you Nike for that). And that is exactly what I did! I ran the 5K, faster then I have ever done it before, and without ever stopping to get a breath, some water, or to “tie my shoe”. I had no excuses to stop, I just kept going.

Last month I was encouraged by several friends, but one in particular to run the Shamrock run, and knowing that I was in the best shape of my life I thought about it, but was sitting on the fence. A few days later, my friend came up to me and said, “I’ll change my race to the 5K and run with you if you sign up.” Wow, that’s pretty powerful encouragement! How could I say no to that? So, there I was on the last day to sign up putting my name down as going to be running (rain, snow, or shine) in the 5K race.

About a month later I get my super cool green Adidas shirt and all the race accessories, and it all becomes a reality. I began to run outside a few times, and realize that “Hey, I can do that!” and then just days before the race I am finally able to just run a mile without stopping for anything. I’ve been pushed to become an athlete I realize, and that I am capable of running and that I am no longer the out of shape fat girl! It stirs so many emotions for me that I can’t help but cry off and on about it, but in the end I realize that I could never have changed that self image of myself without prayer and encouragement! God has blessed me with some amazing people in this journey.

The day of the race we get to the park and of course it’s freezing outside! I’m so cold I just want to run as fast as I can to get somewhere warm. We watched the 15K and 8K start, and then shuffle into the enormous 11,000 plus crowd for the 5K. I had a group of people cheering me on, and two great people to run with (as well as the Zumba party in my ears to keep me going!) I hit mile 1 and realized I did it again, just ran and never stopped, so I knew I could make it to mile 2. About a block before mile 2 I almost stopped, but all I heard in my head was “If I stop, I won’t be able to go again” because I knew I’d lose the confidence in myself, not the ability. So, I slowed a bit and then just kept going. I even passed up the water station! A huge hill (to me at least) to climb came just before mile 3, and I began to think about the finish line and wanting to find my husband. I envisioned being able to just run into a huge bear hug at the finish line, so as soon as we were down the hill I picked up my pace! I started to see people on the sidewalks, and looked up, but I had such huge tunnel vision that I couldn’t even focus on anyone’s face. I just hoped that he would see me. We crossed the finish line in a huge crowd of people and my legs were shaking, but I had this feeling that I could have kept going further. I wasn’t able to get that huge bear hug until a long search for each other, but I had high fives and hugs with my friends! That evening I found my race time and knowing that I ran faster and longer I was excited to see how I did. I ran the 5K in 36:06 minutes!

Now in my head all I can think about is how 3 miles is nothing, I’m gonna have to go longer then this next time. Jon and I joke that we’re going to do the 15K next year, so we can hear our names announced, and yes I’m going to have Jon run with me soon! No way am I doing this without him anymore, and I’m for sure going to run with great friends too! I can’t say thank you enough to everyone around me these days, life is pretty hard overall, but when you surround yourself with the right people life’s challenges can be much easier.

March 18, 2012

Week 8 Weigh-In

Weight: 214
Weight Lose = -3 pounds
Total weight loss = 31.5 pounds

Bust: 42” – 42”
Chest: 38” – 38”
Waist: 38.5” – 36”
Hips: 45” – 44.5”
Total inches lost = 3 inches

This week has been incredible! The amount of support I have received from friends and family has been amazing, and made me feel like I was already a winner. Each day of the week had a surprise filled with love and support from everyone, and by the end of the week I had a surprise “healthy” dinner prepared by all these great ladies that support me. I worked my butt off in so many different ways, and changed so much of my workout up to make an impact on my body and metabolism. Today I ran 5K for the first time ever! I feel so accomplished and proud of my body’s abilities. I would never have imagined that I could just keep going, and never look back at what I use to think I couldn’t do. It’s amazing to see God working through me, and continuing to allow me to grow through such an amazing journey He has put me through.

March 12, 2012

What to do with this........

One of the negatives about loosing weight is the things you are use to being tight on your, clothes and jewelry, begin to fall off and not fit anymore. It's a great boost, but it's a great hardship on the finances. Here's a picture of my hand recently where my wedding ring no longer fits me, I even have to take it off to workout now so it doesn't go flying off. I wear it around day-to-day, but am extremely cautious about it. My other tricks with clothes are closet shopping at friend's house - I've had a few friends give me hand-me downs from clothes that they have no need for. Thanks friends!

March 11, 2012

Week 7 Weigh-in

Weight: 217
Weight Lose = - 1 pounds
Total weight loss = 28.5 pounds

Bust: 43.5” – 42”
Chest: 39” – 38”
Waist: 38” – 38.5”
Hips: 47” – 45”
Total inches lost = 4 inches

This past week has been hard emotionally. I never once felt worried about my goals, but waking up in the middle of the week with an awful head cold/sinus pressure really threw me for a loop. I also felt pulled in many directions away from my workouts on top of the sickness, making me feel the need to shorten the workout. On top of all this I used these excuses to have extra snacks, and forget about the calories. These are all excuses, and I know I am capable of doing better. I also know that my body and mind needed a week with such a small number.

I’m excited for this next week; my running has really improved in the past 2 weeks, giving me some great accomplishments on the treadmill and outside. I actually began running outside when the sun came out on Friday, and I am going to try for 3 times this week to get outside before Sunday, which is the big 5K Shamrock race!

Some small accomplishments and excitements include the way my clothes are fitting, everything feels baggy and too big; my wedding ring is too big to wear when I workout now; and I have up coffee for 3 days to see how I felt! I ended up getting a small coffee late on the 3rd day though, I was lagging big time! 2 weeks to go!

March 08, 2012

Slow as a snail, but strong as a nail

I haven't been feeling so great this week, and something has been telling me in the back of my head to slow it down a bit in the workout department. So, I changed some things up, but didn't go overboard with exercise this week. At this point the 10 pound weight loss goal is off the table, and I'm just wanting some (a 5 would be great!). But, slow and steady wins the race, right? Let's hope so...there's plenty of ladies at my heals and one ahead of me in this contest!

March 04, 2012

Training in Session!

I have to say that there is such a difference from working out by myself as compared to working with a trainer. For a long time I have felt that I was capable of doing most of the work on my own, but in the past few weeks have felt that I was lacking in ways to challenge my body in ways I had not before. With the help of an amazing friend I was able to workout with a trainer today and the workout was brutal and challenging. With a mix between a cross-fit circuit and some great weight lifting sets I had 2 hours of serious calorie burning and muscle building.

My hope for the next 3 weeks is to be able to workout with this trainer 1-2 times a week and especially the evening before or day of my final weigh-in of the Biggest Loser contest! The workout was challenging, but at the same time I was capable. I felt amazing being told by a professional that I’m in great shape and needed to be pushed even more then this. I have an ability to be a great athlete for myself, and it feels amazing to know that I am so close to such a huge goal. My muscles are sore and tight tonight, but nothing a good stretch and some ice won’t fix. I have no problem pushing myself to this level of intensity, and am glad to have such an amazing opportunity to do so.

Goal for the week: I’m going to put this out here for all of you to know – 10 pound weight loss this week! I’m going for a huge number, and even if it’s an 8 or a 6, I know that if I push for that 10 I will succeed in any way possible. Bring on the pain!

Week 6 Weigh-in

Weight: 218
Weight Lose = - 5 pounds
Total weight loss = 27.5 pounds

Bust: 43.5” – 43.5”
Chest: 39” – 39”
Waist: 39” – 38”
Hips: 47” – 47”
Total inches lost = 1” inch

I hit another huge jump this week with 5 pounds, and I’m feeling strong and dedicated to my journey now. I have so much support flowing in at me that I am overwhelmed with appreciation and love for everyone. God has sent me some amazing people into this journey to lift me up and bring me to the end of this amazing journey I have been on. I am so blessed and thankful, and will continue on strong through this because of Him and these amazing friends!