Saturday, September 24, 2011

Great Expectations

The positive side of having lost a ton of weight before (a time or two) is that I know I can do it, I know how to do it, and I can hold on to that knowledge and it can fuel me to keep going because if I just have faith, I will get to my goal. I've done it before, after all. The not-so-positive side is that it leaves me with expectations - expectations of how fast the weight should come off, what I should be able to do physically, what I should be able to get away with, etc. Then, when those expectations are not met, I start to get frustrated or even lose faith.

I have mentioned before that I really need to put my scale away. With these expectations weighing down on me, I cannot afford to be monitoring the daily ups and downs that likely have more to do with water retention and hormonal swings than any actual effort on my part. And truthfully, when I am monitoring only things like my energy level and how my clothes are fitting, I am pretty pleased.

So, my commitment for the coming week has less to do with how intense my workouts are and how much I'm eating and everything to do with staying positive and keeping my expectations reasonable.

Six mile run tomorrow - time to turn it in!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week 2 - Navigating Rocky Terrain

Week 2 begins with obstacles. Sunday was great – I ran my five miles, albeit slowly, and ate about 95% clean the entire day, despite the fact that it was my daughter’s birthday and it is a tradition in our house to start with donuts and end with cake. (I put a donut in the freezer, because I WILL eat what I want while on this diet, I just won’t eat it very often.)

Then on Monday, I had a scheduled meeting about two hours from my house that began at 10:30 am. I figured I would just find time in the afternoon to work out. How frustrated was I, then, when upon exiting, I discovered that security had lost my license? They asked me to check again in my wallet and with slight annoyance, I did and told them it was not there. Two hours later, my colleage said he would continue to work on it and I should go home. Exhausted and frustrated, I went right to Old Navy to buy a new pair of jeans (size 16 – finally!) rather than to the gym. When I got there, I figured I should re-sign the back of my credit card since I wouldn’t have my license to use as ID. There, staring up at me from within my wallet I was mortified to find…my license. Thank goodness I wasn’t bitchy to the security guard.

Today, I had a meeting that I was told started at 8 am, an hour from my house, so I was on the road at 7. Again, no time to work out, and I won’t get home until 6 pm. Apparently, that was a soft start because several people arrived between 8:30 and 9 and we didn’t actually start till 9:15. I suppose I can get up early tomorrow and workout. Definitely Thursday and Friday, for sure.

I am very pleased to say that I have done two things very, very well this week.

(1) I have brought food with me both days so my food has been crazy clean.
(2) I have kept up with my water – I am currently on liter #3 today, and yesterday I have about 3.5 liters.

The other thing I’ve been doing very, very well is that I’ve been listening to meditations that support this process. My goal is to keep my attitude, thoughts and words all very positive. It helped to find that I was a solid size 16 yesterday, down from a size 20 after the baby was born. I am doing a 12-week weight loss challenge on Facebook and my hope is that I will be a solid size 14 by the time it is over in early December, with even some size 12s fitting here and there.
The family is fairly supportive. The girls constantly tell me how beautiful I am, which certainly feeds my desire to think positively. I think it’s also a really good example for them, especially because I refuse to say I’m on a diet. On my daughter’s birthday, I said, “I’m just taking a break from junk food for awhile so that I can get back to the size I was before Max was born. I’ll be able to have snacks here and there, but I don’t have to have them right now. I’ll definitely have a piece of cake on Max’s birthday.” (That’s in March of 2012.) My husband continues to eat the way he wants (he had red velvet cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory on Saturday night. God was good to me – they were out of Linda’s Fudge Cake, which is what the birthday girl wanted). Last night, however, he had a turkey burger and opted to forego the bun. Not from anything I said, but I like to think that maybe he’s following my lead.

Here’s the thing. I have had people suggest in the past that I clean my house of all junk food, both to make it easier on me and to encourage my kids to not eat junk, ever. Personally, I don’t think that’s realistic. Junk is everywhere. It just is. I would like my kids to feel like they can have it from time to time and still be healthy, active and overall in good shape. I also don’t want to be sheltering them from it – I want them to know how to have it in moderation, how to increase their activity to counterbalance it, or how to have it one day and not the next. It seems to be working.

The girls have an account in their cafeteria and the first year they were there, I randomly monitored it and found that not only were they abusing it – ordering chips, rice krispie treats, ice cream every day, even an extra lunch one day that was eaten in favor of the one we had sent with them to school, which was deposited in the trash! We had a sit down and a conversation about it and I explained to them the importance of eating healthy and said that if they needed more snacks, I’d be happy to pack something. They said that would be good and I did pack them each two snacks every day – one healthy, one not as healthy (e.g., string cheese and a bag of baked Doritos).

Last week, I got a notice from the school that their accounts were low. I thought they had high balances at the end of last year, so I got worried. When I went in to check, how thrilled was I to find that all they’d been ordering was milk to go with the lunches we’d sent them? My honest opinion is that they are making healthy choices because they are armed with the right information and given the freedom to make choices. Plus, they are not forbidden anything, they are just encouraged to make good ones. So heartwarming to see.

So, I will just keep being the best possible example to them for how to make healthy choices with regard to eating right and exercising, not to mention staying positive. Esther Hicks/Abraham says to be appreciative of what is happening now and eagerly anticipate what’s yet to come. Learning the lesson of not speaking negatively about myself even before I lose this 40-50 pounds is so important. I do not want to teach my girls to be self-critical. I want to teach them to love themselves and always seek to be the best selves they can be. I intend to do the same!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Scale Madness

So, it looks like I'm going to have to go cold turkey off my scale. I have to ask my husband to hide it in order not to be tempted to weigh every day. Sad, but true. And I guess it could be worse - I could be unable to stop stuffing my face with sugary nonsense. Truthfully, I've done a pretty good job staying away from the sweet stuff - especially considering this was my daughter's birthday weekend - and I'm figuring that's probably more important in the long run when it comes to shaving off poundage.

That being said, this past weekend I definitely found myself facing the scale demon again. Food was squeaky clean, workouts were kick a**. Then, I snuck a peek at the scale on Friday and I was only down a pound. This is after five days in a row of squeaky clean eating and thousand calorie burn workouts that left me literally drenched in sweat. I ran the two miles I was scheduled to run yesterday morning and food was clean all day - I even packed a salad for my three hour afternoon gig. Had a protein smoothie after my workout, then the egg whites and oatmeal, then salad with an egg and salmon.

Then, the family wanted to eat dinner from the dreaded Cheesecake Ffactory. I ordered the Skinnylicious chicken lettuce wraps, which I had had the previous week at a business lunch. I had found them really light and yummy and I was proud of myself for ordering off the skinnylicious menu even though I knew it was a slightly smaller portion than the appetizer portion and I was starving (and had barely eaten all day). Anyway, when it arrived I realized the chef had decided to put some weird peanut sauce on it, so I tried to eat around it but could only eat two of the three. I was starving so I had about a quarter of my sister in law's burrito. That woke the dragon - he was still drowsy, but definitely sniffing around. I had a bite of my daughter's miniburger and about five fries, then a bite of my husband's cheesecake and some frozen grapes. I reined myself back in finally, opting for a true final meal of a pure protein bar and some green tea.

What the hell? Could this really have all been triggered by my stepping on the scale? Possibly. All I know is I really want to do things differently this time, so I confessed it all to my online trainer and got my ass up to run five miles this morning. Food was clean for the most part today and I had neither the birthday donuts that are a traditional breakfast in this house on someone's birthday nor any of the ice cream cake with which the rest of the family finished off the evening.

Monday's coming. Back to the grind. Tomorrow I will post the official week 1 weight. Till then, good night everyone!

Friday, September 16, 2011

It Hurts...Oh, It Hurts...

Or at least I do.

Every inch of me is sore, down to my hair follicles. My quads scream out almost audibly when I go up and down stairs. My shoulders are permanently slouched because the weight of holding them up is more than I can bear. I think my eye muscles are even strained. Or, maybe that's from all the blogging.

Anyway, I asked my trainer what he wants to see as a weight loss goal and I was happy to see that he is looking for 2 pounds, would be thrilled with 3. I think I lost six pounds the first week when I trained with him before, so I was really bummed when I snuck a peek at the scale and it looked like I had only lost a pound. I'll probably give him that two-pound loss but probably not a whole lot more.

The bigger question is, how do I sustain this level of exercising and eating clean as life continues to hit me from all angles? This weekend, my sister in law is coming down and we are officially celebrating my daughter's 9th birthday. She wants to go bowling on Saturday night and wants an ice cream cake (yay - not at all a fan of ice cream cakes, me), and then Sunday she wants me to take her to the mall for some shopping and an Auntie Anne pretzel (not yay - I am a fan of Auntie Anne). I've already decided that she can ask for whatever she wants - my new and improved lifestyle is not going to impact her, if I can help it. However, that does bring me to my...

Recreating My Body - Tip #1:

If you are trying to lose weight, indulge in EVERYTHING. Just don't indulge in it all the time. Here's what I mean - if my daughter had opted for the Genuardi's chocolate cake with the white icing, I would have seriously wanted a piece. My plan in that scenario was to cut off a hunk of it and put it right in the freezer for my dedicated cheat day. Whether or not I ended up having it on that day is not the point. Just the act of cutting the cake and putting it in the freezer would quiet the little kid inside that would be screaming, "WHY can't I have some? WHY? WHY? WHYYYY?" My response: "Oh, you can TOTALLY have some, sweetie. Just not today."

So, there you go. I know it's working. People are already commenting on how toned I look. I'm just looking forward to they day someone says, "You're not on a diet, are you? Because you're already so thin and fit!" And my response will be (say it with me now):

"No, I'm not on a diet. I'm on a MISSION."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Are You On a Diet?

Someone asked me that question this past Sunday, and my answer was a solid and resounding "NO." Now, it just so happened that I hadn't actually started my Dreambodies journey - yesterday was Day 1, as you know. But to be honest, even if I had been asked the question after I started, my answer would have been the same.

I don't believe in dieting. We've all read the magazine articles that talk about the fact that diets don't work, and I believe that to be true. It doesn't work to go "on" a diet, because that presupposes that eventually you will go "off" the diet. In my case, my period of being "off" a diet more than counterbalance any of my good dieting efforts.

All that being said, though, my reason for being so convicted about not being on a diet when my friend asked me had less to do with the efficacy of diets and everything to do with the Law of Attraction. The fact is, I am done with perceiving myself (and being perceived) as someone who has to diet in order to have a great body, beautiful skin, and tons of energy.

So, I am not on a diet. I am on...


I am stoked to be on Dreambodies, because I basically get my marching orders - daily meal plan, workout, etc - and then I don't think about it anymore. If I feel myself weakening, I send an e-mail to my trainer and he e-mails me right back with an answer to my question, words of encouragement or a virtual kick in the pants.

  • I am on a mission to become a leaner, stronger version of myself, better even than before I got pregnant.

  • I am on a mission to show my daughters that motherhood, aging, and fierce beauty don't have to be mutually exclusive.

  • I am on a mission to reclaim the inner vixen, inner goddess, inner Betty Boop that I have carried with me all these years but only in small spurts have been released to the outside world.

  • I am on a mission to follow through on my commitment to myself, my health and my children's desire to have me around for a long time.

I am on a mission. Feel free to come along for the ride. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 1...PM check in...I MADE IT!

Phew! I made it to the end of the day! And guess what? I did GREAT! I can totally do this. I can!

Food was clean. In addition to what I posted before, I had a turkey burger (no bun, no cheese), steamed cauliflower and broccoli, followed by protein pudding (yuuummm....).

I had four liters of water today, plus green tea I'm having now with a bit of soy creamer.

It helped that we had our parent meeting for the girls' youth choir. I think the ridiculous number of activities they have is actually going to be great for my diet. Here's our schedule:

Monday night, Devon and Amelia swim team 5:45 - 6:45
Tuesday night, Devon and Amelia, swim team 5:45 - 6:45, Autumn, soccer practice, 6 - 7
Wednesday night, Devon and Amelia, choir practice 4:30 - 5:45
Thursday night, Devon and Amelia, swim team 5:45 - 6:45, Autumn, soccer practice, 6 - 7
Friday...relax. Ahh...

Anyhoo, we're also going to fit band practice in there somewhere, because we have a gig at White Pines Estate and we intend to have the whole band for that. If you're in the Elkins Park area on November 8, come through!

I guess that's it for now. I'm gonna read my kindle and then listen to my guided meditation MP3s so that my mind is right for tomorrow's FOUR-PAGE ABS workout. Yikes. Doesn't the guy know I just had a baby six months ago? Hello...NO core. I'll do my best.

Day 1...afternoon check in

So, I'm about halfway through day 1. A good day so far.

I went to the gym after dropping off the kids and did the FOUR-PAGE workout Tony assigned to me, without any shortcuts. Looked like this:

10 min run at 4.5 mph
Two sets reverse crunch, 45 reps each (was supposed to be four, WTF??) and two 20-second planks
Two sets regular crunch, 25 reps each
Arnold shoulder presses, FIVE sets
Side raises, two sets
Two min interval run (alternating 3 mph, 8 mph)
Chest press, 3 sets
Overhand row, 3 sets
Two min interval run
Behind the head extensions, 3 sets
Bicep curls, 3 sets
Biceps 21s, 2 sets
Two min interval run
Squats, 3 sets
Step ups with barbell, 2 sets
4 min interval run (interrupted by pee-soaked diaper emergency)
10 min elliptical

Ugh. I'm so sore. My knee was hurting throughout the workout so we are going to try to just use the elliptical until I get through the pain (well, until the glucosamine kicks in...I'm finally taking it faithfully again).

OK, fast-forward to 2:30. Now. I've had one workout shake with glutamine, egg whites with veggies and oatmeal with sugar-free syrup and that's it. I'm afraid to eat anything else because now I'm at the time of day when I start craving carbs, chocolate, sugar, etc., and I don't know what to eat to satisfy that craving. Ok, truthfully, I'm not supposed to satisfy that craving.

I'm gonna make some ... um...I don't know what to make!! Urgh. I need to grill up the chicken or something. Maybe I'll just make a whey protein shake and then have lemon chicken for dinner tonight. That seems like a good, solid plan.

I'll check in tonight to let you kguys know that it went, that it went GREAT.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Journey Begins Again...

Well, my Facebook weight loss challenge starts tomorrow and my online trainer is also going to officially have me on board and starting his crazy workouts, not to mention the fact that I’m in the midst of my half-marathon training for the Philadelphia half-marathon in November. As such, I had to get myself out to the trail this morning for a four-mile run, despite the fact that my husband, who ran it yesterday, said it was a bit of a mess. This trail has been somewhat of a sanctuary for me for sometime now. In 2005, I ran my first marathon and did all my training runs there, running without music, meditating on various parts of my life for often four or five hours at a time. When I had my third child and got to the point of my pregnancy where I could no longer run, I missed the trail like an old friend. In fact, one of the first places I went to after getting out of the hospital was Valley Green.

So, I felt a little bit violated on its behalf when I saw the downed trees and gauged out roadway, all the various damage from Hurricane Irene having had her way with my trail. A little less than halfway through this morning’s run, I came upon a 50-yard length of trail that was covered in huge boulders and rocks (see photo). As I slowed to a cautious walk, I realized the lesson this new trail had to teach me. Despite how attached we are to the things we love and the way we love to do things, all things are subject to change. The only thing we have control over is whether or not we embrace the change.

In that moment of epiphany, I decided to enjoy the walk break and the change in muscle groups that were being used. I hopped right back into my run after I cleared the rocks, and I sloshed through mud and waded through branches on the other side, being overcome by seas of cross country high school boys, I giggled to myself at my ability to stay the course. This was no longer just a run, it had become an adventure. This was also a perfect analogy to my life. I could either buckle under the pressure of the rocky times, or I could enjoy the change of pace and look forward to the smoother roads ahead.

This weight-loss journey I am about to embark on will be a challenging one, different from ones I have faced in the past but equally surmountable. I look forward to sharing it with you.