Making the Committment and Remembering my Motivation

*This post will contain discussion about my actual weight, the number of pounds I’d like to lose, and other similar themes. If discussion of weight could possible be a trigger for you (as it was for me during my eating disorder) feel free to skip this post and come back tomorrow.

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150 pounds.

That’s the number that I saw when I stepped on the scale this morning.  And while it is a healthy weight for my height and build – it is on the heavier end.  Moreover, it is 6 pounds higher than what I weighed at the end of Roni’s DietBet on January 31st.  It is also 21 pounds heavier than my lowest weight in November 2011.

For nearly a year, I’ve told friends, family, coworkers, even virtual strangers that my body was “out of whack’.  That I had gained 20 pounds between November 2011 and January 2012 and nothing…NOTHING…I did would make the pounds budge.  And I thought it was true.

Then I signed up for Roni’s DietBet.  I began to track my calories, push myself in my workouts, bypass the deserts, and I saw the scale move down.  And I felt good.

But life happened – work got busy, family life got busier, I was tired.  It became easy to phone in my workouts (or skip them altogether), eat fast food for lunch rather than pack my own, swipe just “one or two” of the Hershey’s kisses in the candy jar.  And this is the result.

So it’s time to be honest.  I have gained 20 pounds. Not because my body is “out of whack”, not because of hormonal issues, illness, or anything else.  I’ve gained weight because I have stopped during all the things that I once did to lose it.  For me that’s:

  • Consuming a net 1250 calories per day (that’s calories consumed less calories burned during exercise)
  • Running for at least 30 minutes twice a week, and 60 minutes once a week.
  • Cross-training (via aerobics class or DVD) twice a week.
  • Lifting weights for 30 minutes 3 times a week.
  • Not eating extra sugar
  • Limiting (or hopefully eliminating) my consumption of diet soda.

All of those things are doable.  I have done them before – during a time in my life that was far busy and more demanding than now (can you say the early days of motherhood).  I just haven’t wanted to do them for awhile.  But this morning, that number on the scale was my wakeup call.  Half-arsing it is not going to cut it anymore. Time to get focused.

Why?

It’s not about losing the 20 pounds – although that is a goal and would be nice.

It’s because of these two people:

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My husband wants to lose weight. And while he is fully capable of achieving his own goals. It is much easier to do so when you have a partner – encouraging in your workouts, helping prepare healthy meals for you to eat, and reminding you of what you hope to achieve.

And our daughter, who will develop her body image and ideas about eating, working out, and healthy living from us.  And I want her to not have to think about reaching for the fruit instead of chocolate, to see exercise not as a way to burn calories but as a normal party of her daily routine, and to love her body no matter what the scale says.

So here I am, declaring for all the blog world to see, my committment.  I will lose these 20 pounds. I will once again live the healthy life that I was embraced.  For myself, for my husband, for my daughter.

Game on!

 

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Celebrate the Small Victories

Weight loss is HARD.  And no matter the amount you have to lose it can be a frustratingly slooooooooooow process.  Given these facts, it is often easy to say “Screw it” and go scarf down a bag of Doritos.

But then you just feel guilty.

So what do you do?  How do you keep yourself motivated as you move thru your journey?

For me, the one thing that has kept my motivation (and sanity) has been to celebrate the small victories.  Take this week for example, I was able to shave a whole minute off my mile time, managed to stay under my recommended sugar and sodium levels for 4 days, and walk 3 miles every.single.day.

I have no idea if those actions will translate  into a loss on the scale. But even if it doesn’t, I know I have made myself healthier. And that excites me, and has me wanting to keep going. Life just like weight loss is not an end-point destination, even if I make it to my goal weight tomorrow, I still have (hopefully) many, many, many years ahead of me. So I need to focus on those things that improve my health and trust that in time the weight loss will come.

What small victories can you celebrate this week?

 

Weight is NOT always Calories In vs. Calories Out

I have spent the last year trying to lose 20 pounds.  And it has been a humbling experience.  For the majority of my life, losing weight was never a problem. I gained 60 pounds my freshman year of college and lost all of it and then some less than 4 months into my sophomore year of college.  In 2008, I fell in love and gained 20 plus pounds that I managed to shave off in the mere 5 months between our engagement and our wedding.  And by Joycie’s 4 month check-up I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

But something’s changed.

And I don’t know what.  The majority of the medical profession (and the health and fitness industry for that matter) will tell you that the key to weight loss is to consume less calories than you burn.   However, in my case that has not been true.net caloriesThis is a chart that shows my “net calories” for the last 30 days. Net calories are the total calories consumed less any exercise. On  95% of the days, I was below my target – meaning I burned more calories than I consumed. Therefore, it would seem logical that the scale would show weight loss.  But my weight was remained the same for the last 30 days.

Frustrated, I started digging into my past food journals, and I began to see a pattern. When I was at my lowest height, there were 3 common factors: I walked 2-3 miles every single day (in addition to running and weight lifting), I kept my sugar consumption under 26 grams per day, and my sodium consumption as between 1500-1800 mg.  Fast forward a year, and I am not walking 2-3 miles a day, and as for sugar and sodium….

Well, I think the graphs speak for themselves.

sodiumsugarBased on this, I am drawing the conclusion that for me to lose weight – I have to walk every.single.day, reduce my sugar consumption, and lower the amount of sodium in my diet.  I have a follow-up my doctor on Wednesday. I am going to share my thoughts with him, and see what he thinks.  But for now, this seems like a good plan of attack for those extra 20 pounds.

 Over to you, have you found that weight loss is more than just calories in vs. calories out?