Twinks Gets Fit...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hey, I put some new shoes on, And suddenly everything is right

Well I've had a trepiditious couple of weeks. I had a worrisome lump develop on the back of my neck, which my advanced degree in Googling indicated was either a) muscular or b) lymph nodes AKA: infection. This resulted in a good for nothing migraine and some pretty mean back pain that lasted pretty much the whole of a workweek. I was able to have a physical therapist buddy work on my neck, which he thought was muscular and looking back, I think it was both. He said there was a really big knot in my neck, which kept him from being able to fully do some of the stretches. In session one, I did experience traction for the first time and since back and neck pain can stem from the shoulder, I experienced having my shoulder actually popped out of the socket. It wasn't the shoulder and that didn't exactly hurt persay, but that was a feeling like none other. Anyway, the therapy helped to a degree, but then the migraine took over and I turned to Excedrin Migraine, which unlike Aleve, Tylenol, or Motrin, actually relieved my upper to mid back pain. It also took the edge off the migraine. And then I got a cold (more lymph nodes kicked into action--see: got inflamed and painful). I'm still getting over my cold.

In other words: I didn't workout. I got in some calorie burn informally with cleaning and running around with Little, but the stationary bike seat is colder than a glacier in Alaska. I ate enough (though my water intake suffered big time with the migraine and then when nothing tasted good), even more than I was supposed to,  but here's the thing--my body is in gear it seems so I pulled out a good weight loss. Since I last checked in on the 15th, I've lost 3.2 pounds. This means, dear Internet friends, I have 1.8 pounds to go until GOAL.

I have lost 72.2 pounds.

That deserves its own line.

I realized on my walk into work this morning that when I was about 37 or so weeks pregnant, was retaining water like crazy and suddenly had my blood pressure spike and white spots in my vision and got sent to L&D to get checked out, I weighed more than 100 pounds more than I do right now. Sure, I was retaining water and had an almost 8 1/2 pound baby on the way, but still. I saw the number. I was embarrassed of the number because it meant I had started off at a very unhealthy weight. I was ashamed that I hadn't given myself and the peanut the healthiest start possible. Fortunately, everything turned out. Little's healthy, though she spiked a fever and now seems to have another bug (and is probably snuggling with her Daddy at home) today.

I will never see anything close to that number again. I know that. I also know that should I birth another baby (our hearts are pulling us toward adoptions if we have any more kids), I'll be much healthier to start, which would hopefully mean less issues with swelling and so forth. If I don't, I'm so much healthier now. I'm about 50 pounds lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight for starters. So even if I got pregnant, I wouldn't let myself even touch my pre-pregnancy weight.

Also, my feet and legs will never look like this again -->>

Bottom line, that was a nice feeling of accomplishment--the contrast of sitting in L&D being asked my weight by the nurse in front of Hubs, who I made turn away whenever I got weighed to now, when I announce my weight, inches lost, and current size loudly and proudly.

Something else has changed, too. Or rather, things that have never happened before are happening. Like being called skinny, several times in one day. That. is. weird. And I turn into a bit of a blubbering idiot when I receive a compliment.

Inevitably when praised for my weight loss, I get hit with the question: "What are you doing?"

My response is typically that I started off doing Weight Watchers and then switched over to just tracking calories online and I can see the enthusiasm drain out of the asker's face like the fish listening to Marlin trying to tell a joke. Apparently, my method is boring and not what people want to be told. It's all about the quick fixes and fad diets nowadays for dramatic results fast. Most (not all) would prefer I tell them that I eat nothing but dehydrated tofu and acai berry bars, inject myself with pregnancy hormones, and hang upside down for an hour each night.

Nope, my method is simple math. It's slower. It's controlled. It's a lifestyle change. I wouldn't have done it any other way. Sure, it would have been nice for the weight loss to be faster, but there's a learning process and it takes time for the knowledge and willpower to stick. I think I appreciate each pound because I earned it. I didn't do anything unhealthy to lose any of them. I can only speak for myself, but I think if I had lost the weight too fast, my attitude and mindset wouldn't have had as much time to adjust.

I do notice that people who have complimented me on my weight loss pay attention to what I'm eating. I eat well. The food I bring to work gets a lot of envious sniffs. I don't starve myself. I eat more than I did before, but I learned what to eat. I learned to love tomatoes and zucchini and mushrooms--first on WW because they were 0 points and even converted to MFP, they're low calories, but they help fill me up. I learned to get my fiber because it keeps me full and gives me a boost. There's nothing I can't eat, I just have to be smart about it. I don't believe in depriving myself. If I want queso, I have my queso, but I make a conscious decision...and informed. I know what I'm eating so I have the option to compensate somewhere else, but I very rarely experience that "Feed. Me. NOW." feeling unless I haven't eaten as often as I should. It's difficult to get hungry when you're drinking enough water and you're eating every 3-4 hours. Plus I can eat more of the healthier stuff. You should see some of the mountainous plates of food I make for dinner sometimes.

Let's say I decide to go for broke and go for my old beige standby at Cracker Barrel--chicken fried chicken with white country gravy, two helpings of the hashbrown casserole and mashed potatoes, also with white country gravy. (Ugh.) Krys before would have done that, felt tremendously guilty, would have given up on food choices for days after (because what difference did it make if I already screwed myself over?), and maybe a weight loss program altogether. Me now? I make the decision, I enjoy every. single. bite. without guilt. I know that 3,500 calories (extra when daily activity is considered--though with that entree, activity is on par with a hibernating bear) equals a pound. Just being sedentary, I know my body burns roughly 2,000 just functioning. I know the fat and sodium is outrageous so I would expect to retain fluid. I'd need to compensate with a lot of extra water. I'd expect my body to freak out a bit and for me to gain temporarily. BUT I'm not going to followup my carb-rich dining at Cracker Barrel with Chick-fil-a and In 'n Out Burger and Burger King and pizza and whatever else I can stuff in my face.

Another thing? I'm not going to punish myself either. If I want to eat something, I'm going to have it, savor it, and have fond memories of it. I'm not going to still be torturing myself about it a week later. So if you see me having a relationship with my huge juicy cheeseburger and cheese fries or a savory looking New England Clam Chowder bread bowl, don't start planning an intervention. Just try not to take the extended pauses in conversation personally or get embarrassed by the spontaneous and frequent "mmmm" sounds and pass me a napkin. As far as the calories and repercussions? "Shhh, not while I'm eating..."

Ah and the new shoes title? Three new pairs of shoes got added to my fashion repertoire and I'm actually really excited. About shoes.

Who am I?

Edit--make that 4. These little babies will be waiting for me when I get home on Wednesday. Perfect for running the dusty trails around here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I feel the need. The need for speed.

I hate stationary bikes. Like seriously hate them. Thus why I have to force myself to get on it in the first place and I stare at the clock counting down until I can get my numb, tingling butt off that seat. I think I'm a runner--an outdoor, wind in my face kind of runner. I like to feel like I'm making progress and moving somewhere. I'd make a horrible hamster.

Before summer took over, I was working on lengthening my running spurts and improving my endurance. During lunches, I'd lace up my sneakers and take off. I had time to think, pound the pavement and gravel, and find some clarity. That's not a possibility right now and since I have other priorities before work (see: getting Little ready to go and brewing a homemade Frappe and occasionally being a cleaning whirlwind) and at night (see: getting Little ready for bed, making dinner, catching up on home organization stuff, admittedly pinning up a storm on Pinterest, and lounging on the couch with the Hubs eating Smart Pop butter popcorn) so running has taken a back seat and I have made an effort to substitute biking. While the Hubs puts Little to bed, I'll sneak it in, or while we catch up on the DVR shows. Sure, it feels good. Afterwards. During, I hate every. stinkin'. second.

Probably why I'm logging maybe 2 bike rides a week at best for the past month. I'd rather clean for twice as long than bike.

I need to run. Despite the heat, I need to run.

Perhaps I'll recruit our Husky mix, Budaj, to join me on a night run. Or more accurately, a huffing, puffing, wheezing training session. It'd be slightly cooler outside, but there would be shadows and I always have the abnormal fear that someone might jump out from a shadow. Thus why I'd bring the street-wise Budaj. I'd be intimidated by him if I didn't know him. He loves his Momma. I'd take Gracie, but our individual fears might collaborate and make a super-fear. Though Gracie has a track record of protecting me. Once when we were on a long walk when she was just over a year old, I spontaneously started to jog. I wasn't paying attention to the sidewalk, which had been torn up by construction (though I'm skillful at tripping without such an obstacle). I tripped, flipped heels over head, totally messed up my knee. There was blood gushing and I had about a mile and a half to go. It started to downpour once we got moving again, by the way. In the process of tripping, I dropped the leash. Now, pertinent to know is that Gracie is a scaredy dog and at that time, was an escape artist. There wasn't a collar, leash, or harness she couldn't slip herself out of. My mind immediately jumped to her running into the busy street (there was no buffer between the sidewalk and the street) and getting hit by a car. I desperately tried to grab hold of the leash again. But Gracie didn't run. Instead, her heroine doggie instincts kicked in and before I knew it, she was standing between the street and me, legs rigid and chest out, protecting me.

This is why I'm so attached to Gracie and why I trust her so much with Little. She looks at her the same way she looks at me. Like she'd throw herself in front of a car to protect us.

Anyway. Now that I have the desire to run home and hug my giant dog, I'll move along. (I'll just order her something special online.)

I do think I will start some sort of running regimen to build up to longer distances again. Even though it's hot. I'll build up slowly, but at least I'd be doing something and something I enjoy. Plus, a quote on Pinterest set on a photo of someone running in the desert got to me: "There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people." Ouch. I won't repin or repost, but this photo is inspiring:

All that said, I had a good week after the mystery of a gain last week. :eyebrow raise:

Technically, I lost 3.2 pounds this week, but there were some extenuating circumstances so the true number is a bit lower. Fun fact for you--my precise weight this morning is my fake driver's license weight from years ago. (Why do they even ask this when people are most certainly going to fudge it?) My current faked driver's license weight is 5 pounds more than I weigh right now. That's pretty cool, isn't it? I will most certainly make a point of getting a new photo and correcting my weight on my driver's license at some point.

I have exactly 5 pounds to go. My weight chart thus far--slow & steady?

It was a good week mentally since my body started cooperating again. I also cleaned out my side of the closet. I removed clothes that don't fit. Yeah, not a whole lot left, but it's much easier to sort through in the morning! I divied everything up into piles for donation, to sell on eBay, to throw out, and to use for sewing projects. Did I mention I'm getting a sewing machine? I'm turning into a DIYer and I have soo many projects I want to do that require the ability to sew. Sooo, my practice sessions will involve making pillows and maybe simple dresses for Little out of the shirts that don't fit (if I like the fabric). So there will be life on this blog beyond weight loss soon. I'll hopefully have some excellent projects to share.

I also got my order of tall pants from Old Navy & Banana Republic. Um, I'm in a size I never thought I'd wear. When I tried on too-short pants in store, I tried on a size bigger than what I'm wearing and my immediate thought when they were loose on me was "Wow, designers are making their sizes bigger." Ha. Brain, could you please keep up?
So things are going well. Probably not likely to meet my goal by the end of this month, but we'll see what happens. I'll be there by my 29th birthday (uh, surreal, but I'm totally okay with it) and that's a really great accomplishment.

Oh and my bathing suit that I just bought 3 months ago is saggy. Um hmm. Saggy tushy, saggy around the middle. Yuuuuuup.

What a difference. In my clothes, my closet, my attitude. "Big. Huge. I have to go shopping now."

Oh and because he's awesome and I'm so, so proud of him--the Hubs? Almost 43 pounds lost.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's hard to look cool on a Segway.

Yeah, didn't pull it off last night when the Hubs and I zipped around a resort and shopping complex on a Segway Tour (a b-day present from last year that was about to expire). In fact, I almost ate pavement when I tried to be a daredevil speed demon. I didn't, but I did fly off the side and land on two feet. I'm like a puma that way.



(In the course of the weekend, I managed to slam my index finger in the car door, burn my pinky finger, slam my toes in a door, and have a mystery bruise appear on both legs.)

Anyway, despite this near-catastrophe, this wasn't our first go-around on a Segway. Before our Honeymoon cruise, we did a day at Disneyworld and did a tour of Epcot before the park opened. Then when I was about 15 weeks pregnant, we went to Disneyland for my birthday and did a tour of California Adventure. In other words, we are at ease on this nifty mode of transportation.

When the Hubs forwarded me the camera phone photos, I noticed something.

For a couple of goofballs wearing helmets, we. are. looking. good.

Comparing to Sept. 2009...

(The Shorty on the left is BFF Sherry.)

I'm about 55-60 lbs lighter from there. The Hubs? Almost 40 lbs lighter.

That's right, I haven't mentioned the Weight Loss Ninja. 2 months or so in and he's down a current Little and a half. So proud. So proud and perhaps a small percentage jealous, hehe

Anyways, had an off week--I didn't fall off the wagon, but my body simply isn't cooperating. But I'm continuing on, charging ahead. Usually a bad week is followed by a good week :knock on wood: so hopefully a more extensive McFatty Monday post next week.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Green light, red light

Sometimes weight loss feels like one long game of "Red Light, Green Light." Last week, it was red light practically all week and then green light right before my Monday morning weigh-in. This week's the opposite. My weight loss was cruising right along and then came to a screeching halt over the weekend. Oh well. It was still a pretty good week with about 1 1/2 pounds lost, though it had been up to as much as 2 pounds. If I'm being honest, I didn't completely apply myself when it came to working out. I fell into the hole of "not feeling like it" and "oh I'm so tired." That said, I did pull something in my hip joint dancing around and being goofy with the dogs and still pushed through a fairly intense biking session while watching Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. (The hip's fine, but that. did. not. feel good.) It helped to remember that I'm hiking with Chris Powell (cool huh?) in a couple of weeks and I'd like to be able to say I've lost over 70 pounds at that point. Plus, as I mentioned last week, I'm in the homestretch. This is. not. the time to slack off. I kind of feel like I did because I could have done so much more than I did and I'm disappointed that I didn't, but I can't change that. I can do better this week and ensure that I meet my original goal by the end of this month. I'd like to hit it before then, but my body's being a little unpredictable.

I saw something this week that said weight loss is 80% food, 20% working out. You can lose weight without working out, but most are happier with the result if they do. I've been focused on keeping my nutrition in line--making sure I don't eat too much of any one thing--I'll eat basically any vegetable you put in front of me, but I just don't like fruit. Over the weekend, I made french toast and gave myself a serving size of strawberries. I had to force them down and most of the time I masked them behind a piece of french toast. I still didn't like them. (Yeah, I know. Who doesn't like strawberries?) I don't know what it is, but I don't like the sweetness or the texture. But I know I need to eat fruit. Soooo, I think I need to find a recipe for a strawberry daiquiri-type beverage, because that I don't mind. I suppose I could get another big container of natural, unsweetened applesauce and have a serving or two per day.

I'm sure having a couple of regular detox baths each week will help me along the way, too. Basically:

Epsom Salts + Baking Soda + Very Warm Water= My choice of detox soak. You start to feel like you're sitting in a steam room, it's exhausting (best idea to do right before bed), but it has so many benefits, including helping to break up fat, getting rid of toxins (duh), gets rid of excess water, etc. Plus I get 20 minutes of uninterrupted reading. It's how I've managed to read Heat Wave and get into The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

Now that I think about it, I've lost 68 pounds. I'm doing something right. Maybe I need to look at each week's results, not with a magnifying glass of what I didn't do well, but appreciate what I did do well.

Oh and I'm going to start buying my new clothes :) It's time.

6 pounds to go. I suppose I could go sit outside in the steamy 105 degrees and sweat it off though, right?

P.S. Green light!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The one where I sound like I'm on the verge of a Stuart Smalley affirmation...

So. I have a big 5 weeks ahead.

It's the home stretch.

This week wasn't looking terribly promising, but it turned around and I ended up with almost a 2 pound loss. This puts me 7.8 pounds away from goal.

I had to take a moment this morning to really process how far I've come. I looked back at my first McFatty posts and how I set these milestones--pre-pregnancy weight, wedding weight, "psychological happy dance" (a # on the scale that seemed unattainable), weight I was when I met Hubs, high school weight...

I've hit all of those milestones. I'm a little over 2 pounds below high school senior weight, when I looked like this:

I've been through a lot since that picture was taken, including having Little and now I weigh less than I did then when I was shorter than I am now.

I've lost over 66 pounds. I'm so proud of that. I'm not proud that I was at my original starting weight, but I'm proud that I did something about it. That I chose to change my life. I'm proud that I didn't give up when I felt challenged. I'm proud to have continued to make choices that help me along and that improve my health and my life, including giving up soda on March 31. (Yes, it's marked on my calendar.) I'm proud that I feel healthier and more fit. I'm proud of the fact that I feel good in my own skin, despite imperfections, for the first time in my life. I'm proud to be so close to finishing what I set out to do. I'm proud that I have set goals beyond that.

You know what? I'm pretty gosh darn proud of myself.

I was reading BA's post this morning and I think everyone who's losing a significant amount of weight has these thoughts. When is it going to be good enough? When am I going to look at myself and say, I'm happy with my body?

My answer? I don't know. Right now, I'm to the point of beginning to like my body. I don't shy as much from my reflection. If I stayed this weight for the rest of my life, I'd be content with that. Here's the thing though--I know I can push my body. I don't mean to be a rail. I mean, to really be fit. Athletic even. I know it's capable of running a 5K, 10K, and beyond. I know it can overcome obstacles I never thought I could.

But to do all that, it needs more conditioning. So it's not about getting as thin as I possibly can. I would rather weigh a little more and have muscle and tone than be rail-thin and flabby. Not body-builder muscle, but muscle.

I don't know how to really gauge when enough's enough. If I had to be honest, on only the weight issue, I'd say that now's enough for me. I'm well into "healthy" now. Getting to goal would be extra cushion, so to speak.

Once I hit goal, it's the fitness challenge part. For that, I have some goals in mind. My focus won't be on weight loss.

I guess that's a big thing to say--right now, at this moment, I'm good enough for me. I'm so much more confident than I've ever been. It's not just in feeling confident in my own skin, it's a sense of confidence in myself, in who I am, in what I say.

It's a good place to be.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Non-scale victories

Some unsolicited advice for those at the start of their weight loss journey? Take photos. I know it's not fun, but you will be so grateful for that when you're further along and can see the changes for yourself. Take some in your skivies, too (but probably not a good idea to post those), to really see the difference in some of those problem areas. I say this because I wish I had taken more photos and more measurements to start off. It's really difficult to see the difference when you're in the middle and the changes are happening slowly. But they're happening. Photos help to remind you of that.

Another thing is to take measurements. Measure your natural waist, your hips, your upper thigh, your calf, your ankles, your wrists, your upper arm, your bust.

There's a thing on MFP called NSV. It took me a little Googling to figure out what that stood for. It's "Non-Scale Victories"--looking at photos and seeing a difference qualifies, as does continuing to lose inches. Basically, any extra motivation and encouragement you can get is a huge help during the weeks when the scale isn't exactly cooperating.

I'm sort of in that place where my weight's not moving all that much. It fluctuated up 1-2 pounds throughout the week and settled back to just about where it was last week. I'm not complaining too much. I've lost just over 64 pounds. I'm below the weight I was when I was 16-17 years old. I'm about 10 pounds from my original ultimate goal weight (soon to be a stepping stone for my new ultimate goals). I see a big difference from my before pictures. I'm sort of waiting to reveal the true before/after once I hit goal, but it's hard to believe. We'll check in with my virtual model though. She's dressed more appropriately for summer and she's at the beach apparently. Lucky. haha

Before--64 pounds ago
So another NSV is noticing that the loose skin on my upper thighs--you know, that pesky problem area where the skin rubs together?--is shrinking up and there's actually a gap starting there. I'm having some loose skin issues in general, which is kind of annoying in that it conceals some of the progress I've made, but I'll take it over the option of having it filled out again. I think it'll just take time for my skin to catch up and I might always have some of it, but it is what it is.

Oh and my work clothes are getting seriously limited. The pair of pants I actually liked was getting to a frumpy level of bagginess and Friday, they actually started to fall down as I walked. I might need to invest in some pantyhose or tights :pant: and switch to skirts for awhile until I invest in my goal weight wardrobe. The only reason other pants are still managing to stay up is due to a spandex shapewear lining that I don't think qualifies as shapewear anymore. It's great that things aren't fitting (for the right reasons), but it's just an awkward phase right now. Yes, I'm too cheap to get some in-between clothes for the next month or so :)

Anyway, I did a lot better fitting in pilates last week and I want to get at least 3 sessions on the bike this week, even if my legs hate me for it. I'm like 0 for 10 with planning to get in some weight training, but I'm going to make it a goal to do at least one session this week. Attainable goals are key I guess.

Anyways, that'll do it. Not a whole lot to report. Just truckin' along. On to the next week!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Marchin' on...

Not a whole lot to say this week--I lost between 1/2 and 1 pound, but there are some contributing factors that are keeping me stuck and even slipping a little bit these past 2-3 days. (TOM for one thing.) Otherwise, I have my head in the game food-wise. It's strange how my relationship with food has changed. I still have my food weaknesses, evident by the fact that I can put away a bag of popcorn on my own (though I still prefer my air popcorn--RIP nostalgic mini air popcorn popper), but it's usually pretty controlled. I can have a hamburger, pizza--nothing is really off-limits, but it's just modifications and moderation. I still can get the feeding frenzy reaction like a shark picking up on the smell of chum, but if I focus on the food, enjoy every bite, and pay attention to when I'm actually getting full, I find I don't over-do it, thus avoiding that really uncomfortable ate-too-much-and-now-I-can't-move feeling.

I did unload a few pairs of jeans and a work pantsuit (which I never got to wear because I went through the size too fast) that drown me these days on eBay. This added a good amount to my new wardrobe savings. It occurred to me yesterday that I could start buying certain goal weight clothes--shirts probably would be okay, but I hesitate a little. I don't know why. It's surreal to be this close to goal. I know I have a way to go to tone up and really get the body I want, but I'm so close to goal. Maybe I want to do a big elaborate shopping spree when I hit goal, rather than slowly have the new clothes trickle in. This isn't really like me, but I guess I've earned an indulgence like that. To go into stores and have a big budget to work with (of course the bargain shopper in me will want to get as much as I can for that amount, but I'll be looking for quality clothes too) would be a great reality check of the progress I've made. Aside from replacing my sports bras, I haven't spent much time at all in a dressing room during this whole process. I'd kind of like to be shopping from my new size reality rather than it still being snug or not fitting at all yet. I don't want to be buying clothes that don't fit yet. I've done that before and it's not a good feeling.

Anyway, enough of that. I'm less than a pound from high school weight. Heck yes.

Need to step up the cardio and strength training this week. I don't think I got on the stationary bike at all last week when I've been doing at least 3, though I did two days of pilates (2 DVDs worth each). I need to motivate myself to push harder. I can talk myself into sitting on the couch and relaxing since I'm so tired most days, but this isn't the time in the game to back down.

There's so many wars we fought,
There's so many things we're not,
But with what we have,
I promise you that,
We're marching on,
(We're marching on)
(We're marching on).

--OneRepublic "Marchin' On"