How Embarrassing

I haven’t updated this thing in over six months and it’s always embarrassing forgetting about a commitment that I had made to myself. I have given up on a number of commitments that I’ve made to myself and it seems only natural that I would forget about this one.

I was skimming over my old posts and got really upset with just how helpless I sounded. Don’t get me wrong, I have always struggled with my weight. I probably always will struggle with my weight, but particularly the posts about not fitting into plane and train seats and struggling with the decision to have (or not to have) weight loss surgery really upset me. I can’t help but feel such a sense of desperation, almost.

That’s not where I am, anymore.

Since I’ve last written, I finally got the courage to go to the gym. How simple is that? Well, for someone weighing as much as I weighed, it wasn’t that simple. The gym has always intimidated me; I never felt comfortable there but with the job I’ve had for the past year, I have a free gym membership so I finally decided to use it. What a change that has made in my life. I feel like I sent 400 emails to the Health & Wellness Director trying to obtain a sense of comfort and belonging. Luckily, she was amazing and got me set up with a weight loss competition and I ended up doing really well. I didn’t win, but I still achieved quite a goal. If we are being completely honest here, though, I totally could have won. I put my heart and soul into the first six weeks and then kind of fell off the bandwagon for the last two weeks. Self-sabotage? Yes, that’s my M.O. It always has been!

But I’m not helpless, anymore. I’m not desperate. I know what I’m doing and I know what I need to do and I know what I need to not do. I also now know that when I self-sabotage, I can’t give up. I can’t take one, two, three, four, or five “bad” meals and say “forget it” and revert back to my old habits. Bad weeks happen; especially for women. Everyone knows that there’s that wonderful little occurrence once per month that causes some of us to eat like maniacs for seven days straight, but that’s ok. I’ve reframed my thinking and those “bad days/weeks” are just blips now. In the grand scheme of my life, eating one disgustingly unhealthy meal at Wendy’s is not going to undo all of the hard work that I’ve done. That’s not realistic.

I feel great. I’m doing much more than just cardio these days. Previously, I’ve never really been one to do any kind of strength training because I just didn’t know how, but since the weight loss competition began in March, I have been working with a personal trainer who has really shown me how to use the gym – aside from just walking on the treadmill (in fact, we have only used the treadmill like twice, maybe). Parts of my body feel harder and I can see more definition. I was brushing my teeth the other day and saw a little muscle in my arm that I’ve never seen before! And when I wear leggings, I can see an outline of a muscle in my thigh that wasn’t ever there before!

So, I go to the gym, I use the equipment, I walk in confidently, I know what I need, and I get it and enjoy my workouts. When I’m not at the gym, I utilize the cemetery near my apartment and run or walk in there, and it feels great.

I’ve recently registered for the Tufts Health Plan 10k for Women and I couldn’t be more excited. I started using a 10k training guide and am working closely with my personal trainer to ensure that I’m ready to finish strong. I’m almost finished with my first full week of 10k training and I feel great. I’ve got my long run today (3 miles) and I’m feeling really excited for it. Friday, I ran my first full outdoor mile in years and I almost cried. I can’t even put into words the sense of accomplishment I felt. I love seeing progress. Every time I have training, I say to my trainer, “Remember when I couldn’t even run for 5 minutes straight?” or “When I first started, I couldn’t even hold a plank for 3 seconds!” I love seeing that kind of progress. Nothing feels better than that. And when I finish my 10k, I’ll be the first to say, “Remember when I couldn’t even fathom finishing a 10k?”

I can’t wait.

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For Brenna

I got matched up with my IRunFor buddy after five long months of waiting (and coincidentally, it has been five months since I have posted!) and I am very excited! My buddy’s name is Brenna and as her mom puts it, she is a “little feisty red head” and I couldn’t be more excited as I have a fondness for feisty red heads! She is almost 9-years-old and her mom, Heather, thought she could use a buddy since she has had a pretty tough childhood and has been struggling at school lately, so I thought I would do something INTENSE!

Are you ready for this?

I am going to be running/wogging at least a 5k every month in 2015! One of my friends from grad school did this in 2014 and I totally stole this idea from her (Hi, Krissy!).

Here’s a list of the races that I’ll be doing:

January 4th, 2015 – The Frozen 5k
February 14th, 2015 – The Bradford Valentine Road Race
March 14, 2015 – Pace to a Pint 5k (because who doesn’t love to run for beer?!)
April 11, 2015 – Boston Strong 2.62 Mile Benefit Run/Walk
May 16, 2015 – The UMass Boston Strong 2.62 Mile Run / Walk (my alma mater)
June 7, 2015 – 7th Annual Tailgate Trot
July 4, 2015 – Firecracker 4 Mile
August TBD
September TBD – Girly Girl Parts
October TBD
November TBD
December TBD

Ideally, I would like to finish off 2015 with a 10k or even a half marathon, but I’m not going to get too ahead of myself!

Nothing To Report…

I really don’t have a lot to report. Weigh-in is on Wednesday and I’m preparing myself for a pretty big loss!

So far this week between Monday and Today, I’ve logged 3.65 miles of wogging (walk-jog). It’s hot, hot, hot here in the Northeast, but I snapped a picture mid-stride this morning, and another picture from the end of my wog.

Enjoy!

J

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photo 2

New/Old Pants…Why So Many Chemicals?

Good morning, readers!

I haven’t had a weigh-in for quite some time so I haven’t had much to report on that front. We were going to switch to the Friday morning weigh-ins since I work well into the evening on Mondays, but trying to get me up for an 8 AM weigh-in on my day off was just not happening so we didn’t go. We will go on Wednesday and I’m positive that we’ll have major success!

Also, I wanted to report that the jeans I had written about before that didn’t fit the last time I tried them on are currently on my body… COMFORTABLY! I didn’t have to squeeze any bits or pieces into them. They just slid right on. Couldn’t even believe it. I was hesitant to even try them on this morning because the last time I tried, I was disappointed. Unfortunately, one of the two pair of jeans that I had were totally worn out to the point of developing holes in questionable places, so the only other pair I have are skinny jeans and, well, I can’t wear those to work! I grabbed these suckers down from high up in my closet in the space where no clothes typically return from and popped ’em right on! They’re certainly not the cutest jeans, but they fit so I don’t even care!

Also: what is with all the chemicals in food? I guess this is something that I hadn’t thought much about, but in this journey of getting my body healthy, I’ve been paying more attention to what’s going in and there’s a lot of stuff that I’m not sure I want in my body! We went to the grocery store to pick up some produce and breakfast type things and I was looking for butter. Not “butter spreads”. Not “this isn’t butter, but it tastes better than butter”. Not “this isn’t butter, nor does it taste like butter but eat it anyway”. I just wanted butter. With no extra chemicals. No unnecessarily high amounts of sodium. Just effing butter.

When I was in fourth grade, we read The Little House on the Prairie and then made our own butter out of cream. That’s it. Literally just a bottle of cream that we “churned” into butter. Why doesn’t that exist anymore? I can’t even tell you how many “butter” products I looked at and only one included only cream and salt. Everything else had “natural flavoring”, and other chemicals that I couldn’t even pronounce. I was so frustrated.

I’ve been on this weird, potentially even paranoid, kick lately about what’s going into my body and I’m slightly embarrassed to even state why but here goes nothing: In the next couple years we are planning on getting married and starting a family. First of all, I certainly don’t want my wedding photos to be of me at my highest weight and secondly, I want my body to be as healthy as possible to carry a child. If I were to get pregnant right now, I would probably have a miserable pregnancy and I don’t want that. I want it to be a positive experience.

I’d always loved the idea of being pregnant (save for a few years in my early and mid twenties) and my childhood best friend and I had a game that we played (a variation of House) where we would pretend to be pregnant. It’s something I’m looking forward to, but only when my body is healthy. Of course losing weight is helping me achieve that, but also being vigilant of what chemicals I choose not to ingest.

Similar to that topic, we are going away next weekend for a pretty exciting trip and I designed a little outfit because I was feeling really positive and I’m sharing it below. Now I know that a brand new Kate Spade is not realistic (and I’m not even sure that one is still being sold) but everything else I already own, so we are golden!

As always, thanks for reading.

J

Fashion

Pizza What?/Listen To Your Body!

So, last night, my boyfriend and I had planned on going out for pizza as our “splurge meal” since we wouldn’t have another weigh-in until August 2 and if we were going to do it, then we might as well do it as far away from our weigh-in as possible. We had thought about having a “splurge meal” last week, but we talked each other out of it. So, last night, we made a plan: We were going to a restaurant that had pizza and a salad bar. We would fill up on salad and then order a slice or two. Easy, right?

Wrong.

The salad bar at the restaurant that we chose to go to was CLOSED. I couldn’t even believe it. The whole reason that we chose this restaurant (which, by the way, was not close to home) was because it had a freaking salad bar… and it just so happened to be closed. Sheesh. So, our plan was basically tossed right out the window and we ended up going a little nuts and ordered a ton of food.

I stuffed myself. I’m not even talking about oh-I’m-a-little-stuffed stuffed. I’m talking holy-shit-I’m-either-going-to-cry-or-throw-up-or-maybe-both stuffed. Why why why why do I eat like that? It’s totally out of control! I didn’t beat myself up about it nearly as badly as I would have, historically, because that doesn’t make for a success story. I told myself, “Ok, this meal was out of control, but tomorrow is not going to be like that. And thankfully, it wasn’t. I got right back on the healthy wagon and went on with my life.

One little problem:

I was absolutely exhausted today. I had my normal cup of black coffee this morning and was still struggling. Unfortunately, the struggle lasted all day long and I could not for the life of me shake it. It wasn’t until late this afternoon that I realized that the meal I ate last night probably had quite a bit to do with my drowsiness today. I haven’t felt that much grogginess in a while, since we’ve been eating more healthy foods in more healthy portions, then I ate enough pizza to feed a small army and the next day I was groggy as all get-out. Who’d have thought?

The moral of the story: Call ahead, to be sure your plan is possible and listen to your body! When it says it’s full, it’ll tell ya! When it’s suffering because you ate like complete crap the day before, it’ll tell ya that too!

Also: I lost another 2.2 pounds this week!

Thanks for reading.

J

Pancakes, Hold the Bloat

I’ll be the first (and my darling boyfriend will be the second) to tell you that I am not a good cook, by any stretch of the imagination, but this morning I woke up with a mission! Historically, Sundays have been pretty dangerous days for us — we love to go out for breakfast, and love getting all the bloaty, unhealthy, fried (albeit delicious), unhealthy foods. Then we usually feel like garbage for the rest of the day. Today, I decided to experiment with a healthy take on Sunday breakfast!

We had one really, really ripe, almost rotten banana and I didn’t want to toss it away so I decided to make it into a tasty pancake recipe. It’s so, so, so easy to make and quite honestly very delicious!

What you’ll need:
1/3 cup dry oats
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 ripe mashed banana
1/4 cup fat free milk
dash salt
dash ground cinnamon

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, set aside. Mash up the banana (if it’s super ripe, it’ll mash very easily. If not, put your wrist into it!), add the liquid ingredients to the banana mash, stirring to make a soupy mixture, then dump the soupy banana mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until the flour and dry oats are coated. It’ll look pretty lumpy because of the banana and oats, but that’s perfectly fine. This mixture should make two 4-inch round pancakes that are about 1″ thick. They also cook very, very quickly on the griddle and the smell… ohhh the smell! So yummy! You can top it with really anything you’d like. My boyfriend put blackberries and strawberries on top and I opted for a tablespoon of pure maple syrup and a strawberry.

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Enjoy!

Can You Ever REALLY Let It Go?

Today I’m having one of those days where I just can’t get full. I’ve had plenty of healthy food, but my tummy keeps on rumbling. I’m not sure what’s happening, but I don’t like it. I’m here at work looking at a Quaker Chewy “granola” bar, and I have a desk full of Starburst candy but I haven’t touched either of them, which is kind of a (huge) success for me.

Given that tomorrow is weigh-in day, I’m not going to sabotage my progress by eating empty calories. I’m also not going to get hung up on the numbers on the scale. It’s great to have something to help keep me in check, but those numbers aren’t the only determining factors of my success. Instead, I’ll focus on the fact that when I walked toward my reflection today, I saw a thinner, less bloated version of myself. Also, when I went to a physical training for work last week that allowed me to wear a T-shirt and yoga pants, I was able to put on the T-shirt that I earned (thankyouverymuch) at the Color Me Rad 5k that I did. Why is this exciting? Well, because it didn’t fit me until last week!

I also had a pretty healthy evening out with my boyfriend and one of his friends. I was nervous because typically going out to eat is when I lose all control. Historically, we would order appetizers, drinks, and an entrée. I said to my boyfriend, “We should really pick out our meal ahead of time and not deviate from that to make it easier for us” but ultimately I ended up rushing home from work, only to forget to choose a meal. Luckily, once I was at the restaurant, I was able to pinpoint what I wanted (a turkey burger) and have that, and only that. I modified it a bit by removing the bun, not adding condiments, and had a side salad instead of a carbohydrate. Surprisingly, it was actually really delicious.

Everything has been tasting so much better these days, too. I think it significantly changes your taste when you sit down to a meal and you’re actually hungry. I can’t tell you how many times I have had meals, not because I was hungry, but because I wanted to prevent myself from getting hungry later. Let me give you an example: On the weekends, historically, I have had pretty poor meal planning skills. I work on Sundays and oftentimes, I would order delivery on Sunday afternoons which would stuff me and keep me pretty full until late in the evening. By about 6 or 7 PM, though, I would think to myself that I should probably eat something because I didn’t want to go to bed hungry so I would order more delivery and stuff myself again. Crazytown. Nowadays, I have all of my meals planned, including meals eaten on the weekends, so I don’t get disorganized and impulsively order a large pizza with a bunch of appetizers.

So, it’s been going well. I feel great.

I wonder, though, with all of these successes, am I ever going to be able to let go of some of the quirks that I’ve picked up being overweight for the last twenty some-odd years of my life? I don’t necessarily believe that I’m a paranoid person, and certainly some people in my personal life would disagree in a heartbeat, but I wonder if when I hear people laugh, will I ever not assume that they’re laughing at me? Will I ever feel fully comfortable working with adolescents, who might remind me of some of those people who bullied me throughout my adolescence?

Last Monday was an especially difficult week at work. A couple of the kids were making jokes and comments that really triggered my insecurities. I was certain that when they were drawing pictures, snickering about them, crumpling them up, and throwing them away, that they were pictures of me (turns out, they were drawing pictures of each other). And when they would whisper and crack jokes, I assumed that they were whispering and cracking jokes about my weight. I have minimal evidence to support this, but I’m still not convinced that they weren’t.

Instantly, when I hear these types of things, my ears perk up and I tune right in. I wonder if that will ever go away. For now, I wish I could ignore it. I wish that I didn’t feel the need to know what people were saying about me, especially because a lot of the times when I think people are making fun of me, they aren’t but I insist on tuning in, no matter what.

Sure, there have certainly been some times when people have made fun of me in the past, but why should that have any bearing on who I know that I am? Why does any of that matter? I think we would have to go back many, many years of torturous bullying to really come up with a solid answer, and even after doing so, it would be a pretty simple explanation. That nervous, insecure, overweight child who was told, “they’re making fun of you” in fifth grade and “they nick-named you Big Bertha” in seventh grade, and harassed incessantly via AOL Instant Messenger throughout middle and high school still exists. No matter how much weight I’ve lost, what kind of degrees I have, or how much money I make, she still lives on. And I wonder if that’ll ever go away.

I suppose only [more] time will tell.

J