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"You Did It Once, You Can Do It Again!" .... Right?

Sometimes I'm really amazed at how I lost 50 pounds in the span of around 8 months in 2010. I'm still the same person I was a few years ago, but at the same time so many things are different. I keep telling myself this time around that "Hey! You did this once before and you were awesome! You can do it all again!"

 Well, if only it was that simple.

 

The truth that I've realized is that past success doesn't guarentee I'll be successful this time. And that just replicating what I did last time will work this time. 5 years is a long time, especially when you're a 20-something and things change quickly. I was just starting a new job, I had never really made any attempts to lose weight before that, and I was starting an entirely new lifestyle as a full time employee living on my own and in a new area. It was really that so many things were changing, why not add in being healthy to all of that. And it worked amazingly well! But a key component of that was being able to give my weight loss effort almost all of my attention and time. I didn't have a boyfriend, I wasn't taking grad classes once or twice a week at night, I didn't socialize as much since I was new to the area and didn't know many people. It was a completely different set of challenges. And I managed to conquer them. But it was basically by being a diet hermit (as I've coined the phrase). I didn't really eat out, so it wasn't an issue to make healthy food at home. I still thought craft beer tasted funny so I didn't drink it. And I wasn't spending large portions of my time staying at someone elses's apartment where I don't have my usual snacks or exercise time.

So I've come to realize that I can't just "redo" what I did 5 years ago.

I think that's an issue a lot of us who are restarting are facing. Everyone thinks "you did it once, it shouldn't be that hard!" But a lot of times the reason we gained back weight is because our lives are different. Now I have a work schedule were I'm working for 7 days straight and getting off on Monday and Tuesday instead of every other weekend. I'm in grad school where I don't get one night a week to eat a normal dinner or workout. And I have my boyfriend, where I spend many of my weekends over there and his health habits don't line up with mine most of the time. And we go out and drink beer and I generally don't workout over there. So I can't just lock myself away for the next 6 months and do this all over again. I have to make it work with the hand I'm dealt now. 

The last week and a half has been focused on all the little things I can do to be successful. I've been much more conscious about choosing food at restaurants, budgeting for the calories (i.e. working out that day to "earn" it), and limiting myself to 2 beers. I've been bringing breakfast, lunch, and snacks to work so I'm not tempted to eat something unhealthy. And most importantly, I've made time for exercise instead of excuses! Working on the weekend isn't always a bad thing, I have time in between satellite passes or after they're complete (usually around noon) to workout at the office gym in the building. It's nice because no one is there. Or I can run on the trail next to work. If I have the day off, I can head ot the gym or fit in a workout at home. And of course, logging on MFP has always been part of hte equation then and now.

 

The moral of this post is that I totally understand how frustrating it is to hear "you did it once, you can do it again!"  Even I was kicking myself and saying the same thing. Why the heck not?! But it really takes looking at your situation now and adapting. I'd love to have that time back 5 years ago when I could focus 100% on all this, but it's not realisitic. A lot of you have had a kid, gotten married, changed jobs, had an unfortunate life event... and you can't just do everything over again. But we can make it work. I'm hoping all these little things I'm changing add up. So far I'm down about 3 pounds from the day I said I'd had enough, which was 10 days ago. Probably water, but if I hadn't made that change then I would have been worse off. I just have to keep reminding myself that it won't take overnight and that I won't get there if I get defeated now. 

Absence Makes the Waist Grow Wider

So 6 months off from MFP is not a good idea. It's a terrible idea in fact. I took the one major component of my weight loss success and maintenance and I slacked. And where did that get me? 200 lbs. Yep, it needs to be written out (and bolded) because I swore to the high heavens I would NEVER EVER see that number on a scale again (barring pregnancy or something). And now I have. And I HATE IT. I know I did this to myself. Every single lazy and bad choice I made where I could have done better led to this. Every day I skipped logging because I was too lazy to look something up or I just didn't care how many calories went in and out. And now my clothes don't fit, I'm wasting money on new pants, and I feel like sh*t. Honestly, I wake up every morning kicking myself for not doing better and I've let it really get to me. I switched to a new postion at work, let working every other weekend mess up my schedule, and that only made things worse. I was already being lazy and that only gave me yet another excuse.

 

So, now what? I've admitted I got myself to this point. Now do something about it! I know I have stuff coming up in my life where I don't want me weight holding me back. I'm still dating my boyfriend of 4 1/2 years, so I'm anticipating that progressing to the point where I need to look amazing in a beautiful white dress ;-) Not to mention at other people's life events, the beach, etc... I want to walk up a few flights of stairs and not be winded at the top. I really want my entire closet back!! It's not that every single item of clothing doesn't fit, it's just that I looked 10 times better it all of it. I really want my Lilly Pulitzer dress to fit again!!! Plus I'm wasting a ton of money eating out when I can easily bring lunch or cook a healthy dinner. This past week was slightly weird circumstances (getting snowed into a hotel down the street from work for 2 days so I could get there in the snow storm, the joys of being an essential employee). 

 

So I need some rules.

- GYM! I have an awesome gym and there's no excuse not to get there. I'm shooting for 4 days a week at a minimum. I have grad class one night a week, so that leaves the other 4 evenings. On the weekends, there must be some activity (getting up and exploring with my bf or walking or helping with condo rehabbing) or an actual workout if I have to work that weekend. My work has a gym, I can go in between satelllite passes to workout for an hour.

- FOOD! The junk nibbling has to stop. I keep buying crap that I nibble on and it just adds up to hundreds of extra calories. From now on it's healthy and filling meals and snacks. MFP logging will keep me in check and make sure I'm getting enough protein in there, otherwise I'll default to bad carbs. 

- STRENGTH! It's been months since I ventured downstairs at my gym to the weights and strength machines. That was definitely a part of my sucess to build up some muscle and endurance. Not just slacking on the Crossramp machine. 

- RUNNING! Ah yes, my nemesis. Even when I was in super awesome shape, I wasn't that great. But it was a workout. And it pushes me like no other kind of exercise can. So I need to hit the treadmill at the gym or the running trail right next to my offie building. I can easily run on the trail on the weekends instead of using the office gym. I might look for a 5K to run in May, although I'd only have 2-ish months to prepare from being really out of shape. I never stopped going to the gym, but my cardio endurance isn't great right now.

 

So, now that I've laid it all out on the table, I need to stick to it this time. I really can't keep going like this wallowing in my own self loathing. I can get myself out of this, but some things have to change. NOW!

About Those Goals...

It lasted about a week, maybe a week and a half. And then my usual habits got the better of me and my eating went to crap. Of my 3 goals that I set out for myself, I've be OK on one of them, half-assed one, and definitely have made zero progress on the last one. So.... what is wrong with me now?

Goal 1 - Get running again so I can run for a mile

Well, I have been running at the gym as a warm up to my New Rules workouts, so that's not terrible. I've done intervals of 1/4 mile walk, 1/4 run for a mile. I can go the full 1/4 mile, I just need to start increasing that distance gradually. It's not a bad start, I just got lazy and haven't pushed myself at all past 1/4 mile.

Goal 2-  Lost 20 pounds at a pound a week. 

That one was going well for the first week, and then it's totally a wreck after that. I'm definitely not down a few pounds. If anything, I'm up a few pounds because I've eaten out so much over the last week. i realized I did awesome when Randy was in Utah for a conference for a few days, but my sister visiting, Randy returning, happy hours, etc and now I'm right back where I was at the beginning of the month (and then some). I'm clearly giving this 50%, because I'm great a few days a week and then the rest I just throw it away. 

I think part of the issue is that I try to keep up with Randy, when he's clearly able to eat more than me (and worse than me) without becoming a cow. I need to stop serving myself the same sized portions and I need to insist more that we cook our own food instead of defaulting to going out. That way I can at least control what I'm eating. When we do go out, I need to stop just ordering what looks good. I do it WAY too often and there's no reason for it. Once in a while, sure. But every time? No.

Goal 3 - Restart New Rules of Lifting for Women

This one I have managed to do, although with less workouts that I planned. I wanted to do 3 a week. I've done 2 I think (maybe one week had 3). So that's not bad. I am starting to build some upper body strength again and I like doing the weights. I even throw in an extra set or two of something different to add to it and make the workout a little longer. So at least there's one positive. BUT I can't exercise away my crappy eating (and drinking), so this is only going to be moderately effective without fixing the rest of my problems.

I have to wear jeans again, and pants, and things that aren't pretty flowy dresses that hide what I want to hide. I don't want to keep going like this, but at the same time I'm being so FREAKING lazy that I piss myself off. I kind of wish I could slap myself back into the motivation and self control that I had before. I'm actually getting really pissed off right now just thinking about it. I'm nearly back to where I started when I found MFP (still 20 pounds off from my max, but that's WAY TO EFFING CLOSE!). 

I think I need to do 2 things. Really focus on planning ahead so I don't get myself into situations where I'm making bad choices, and get Randy to help me when I'm with him in terms of eating out and not going crazy on bad food. I'll admit, my willpower is gone when I'm at his place. He doesn't keep the fully stocked healthy kitchen like I do. And I know he wants me to get back to where I was, so at this point, he's just going to have to help me out. Otherwise, it's not going to happen. I just keep thinking that eventually (when the time comes for all this of course), I'm going to have to wear a wedding dress and I refuse to look like a cow in lace. So I better start now. 

You Can't Reach Your Goal If You Don't Have One!

I've definitely been adrift lately, using excuses like "oh, I have to go to class tonight so I'll just eat fast food on the way home" or "it's the weekend and I can have junk food...". And I think part of the reason I haven't felt the willpower I used to have is because I have NO concrete goals! Nothing that I'm working towards. Nothing that is holding me accountable. Thanks to a friend on here for pointing this out! It's completely true.

I used to set goals for myself, like running a 5K, or completing a workout program, or losing 5 lbs a month. It's been a while since I had something like that. It's hard to hold myself accountable without that. What's stopping me from not going to the gym or eating something I shouldn't? Just guilt because I know I can do better, but I need a reason why. And I need to advertise my goals so that people help me stick to them too. My boyfriend especially. I know he's hinted that I'm not as in shape as I used to be, and it's my own damn fault. 

So, for some goals. 

#1 -  I want to run a mile without stopping again. I can go maybe 2-3 minutes right now and it hurts! My lungs want to die. I haven't run on a treadmill in months and months, I think I tried to get back into running for like a week in the winter and it fizzled. Plus soon it won't be at hot and gross around here and I can try to run outside. 

#2 -  I want to lose 20 pounds total, and aim for a pound a week doing it. If I lose more, great, if not, I gotta work on something. My ticker has only moved backwards in the last 6 months. I keep resetting it, saying it's got to change, and then I don't do anything. I think 20 pounds would do wonders right now, especially if I pick up lfting again (see Goal 3).  I want my stack of pants to fit again! I have work pants and jeans that I love but haven't worn in a year. I don't really have cash to spare to be buying new pants! The only reason I did was becaues they were on clearance for $10 each at Kohls and I needed SOMETHING.

#3 - Ah yes, the lifting thing. I'm going to restart New Rules of Lifting for Women. It did WONDERS while I did it and kept a healthier diet. I was leaner without necessarily dropping a ton of weight, and it helped my metabolism (which has slowed to a miserable crawl). I have a month where I don't have to go to class (2nd week of August til after Labor Day), so that's 5 nights in the week where I can hit the gym, giving me a night of wiggle room. I want to do 3 days of NROLFW and 1 class (either Pound! Mondays or Kickboxing Wednesdays). I can start out my warmup with running intervals to help with goal #1 and then do the 30 minutes or so of the NROLFW workout. I need to print out new sheets for that...

Now that I've written them down, I know what I'm working towards. I think I'll go for a point system like my dear MFP pal Cass so I can keep track of what I'm doing. 1 point for each NROLFW workout, a point for running or run/walking at least 15 minutes and 5 points for each pound lost. So a perfect week would be 12 points (or more if I lost more than a pound!). I'm going to use the next 3 days of July to get something protein-y for breakfast, finish Orange is the New Black so I'm not tempted to skip the NROLFW workouts, and get my eating straightened out (less carbs, more protein, NO freaking bad fast food!). I don't even want to admit to the number of McDonalds french fry orders I've gotten for no reason in the last month. 

And if I can hit 40 points, I get to reward myself with something. Not 100% sure yet... but I'll thinking of something. Perhaps a mani/pedi. I've been doing it myself almost all the time lately and I'd really love to just go somewhere and have it done.

Just Give It 20 Minutes!

After unpacking my summer clothes on Friday night and realizing that several of my favorite dresses and shorts DIDN'T FIT, I started getting all pissed off again. Everything was fine last summer, and then I let things go.

So I channeled my anger and annoyance and decided that even though it was 7pm and I wasn't planning on working out (and I wonder how i gained like 15 lbs!, duh...), I'm gonna go workout for 25 minutes and just GET IT DONE! I did a level of the 30 Day Shred (forgot how much that one hurts!) and I felt better. A lot better actually.

I started thinking back to 4 years ago when I was so gung ho about losing weight. I was working out 6 days a week. But not every single day was for an hour by any means. I just had it planned that no matter what, I would workout. 20-25 minutes is enough to get my HR up and kick my metabolism into gear, especially since the workout videos I have for 25 minutes are either the 30 Day Shred or the HIIT workouts from Turbo Fire. Definitely not slacking off during those short workouts! But I felt much better and it wasn't too hard to fit it into my schedule.

I used to work out every Saturday morning before eating lunch and venturing over to my boyfriend's place for the weekend. That went out the window in the last year or so, mainly because I was too lazy. But this past Saturday, I woke up, ate my Cheerios, and did another 30 Day Shred level for 25 minutes. Then I went to walk around the mall... hehe. Productive exercise! But that 25 minutes barely made a dent in my schedule for the day, but i felt SO much better!

So here's the new game plan. JUST GET IT DONE! Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are my definitely gym days (usually Friday too). I can definitely workout from home for 25-30 minutes on Saturdays.  I have class from 6-9pm on Wednesdays, so I'll likely be coming home, eating a really late dinner, showering and going to bed. But 5 days a week is better than 3 lazy ones!

Hopefully this helps get me moving in the right direction. I've been better about food too lately, now that my month of traveling every weekend is over. I'm not going anywhere until the first weekend of June. I really want my clothes to fit. My favorite dress, a beautiful patchwork Lilly Pulitzer pattern makes me look like a sausage.  I really want to be able to wear it again at some point this summer! Same for my bikinis... I hate resorting to my tankinis. I have all of May to get things going.... I just have to stick to it!

Let's Push Reset and Try This Again...

I wish could say that this weekend at my friend's wedding was a smashing success... but it wasn't. I had lots of fun! But I ate way too much crap...

First off, I decided to get the Mirena out on Friday and go back on the pill. It seems like that threw my body for a loop changing up the status quo and my mood was kind of all over the place. It seems to be better today, but I definitely just ate whatever the heck I wanted. It's already hard enough to eat better while traveling, so this didn't help. I don't want to make excuses for myself, I know it was bad and now I feel kind of gross for it. 

Anyway, hopefully as my body adjusts to the new normal I'll be OK. I wasn't really expecting to have that kind of reaction to having the Mirena out! But now that I'm back to my normal routine, I can focus on better decisions.

First off, I think I am going to try to work in running again into my routine. My biggest problem is the exercise asthma. It's INCREDIBLY hard for me to run for longer periods of time without stopping to walk. My heart rate easily hits 180 and then my lungs kind of crap out. So I'm planning just to go with intervals for now. Start small and work my way up. Even when I ran my 5Ks two years ago, I never ran the whole thing straight, I would take walking breaks. I'm not sure what the generally accepted "strategy" is, so if any runners who have any insight on this would like to chime in, I'd appreciate it! If I can even just run intervals for 10 minutes every time I go to the gym, it should help with my endurance levels.

I at least got my boyfriend to agree that we need to curb the bad eating together. This weekend we both enabled each other, but that has to stop. I told him how miserable I've been with this extra weight and that I need his help to fix it too.  He even admits he'd like to lose a few pounds too. It's kind of hard for him since he injured his finger, but we went for a walk last night for 45 minutes to get moving. It helped.

So, I really wanted to write a blog about how I conquered the wedding weekend and ate better and everything... but I can't. So I'm hitting the reset button and trying this again! I just registered for my Cornell 5 year reunion June 5-8th and I want to look as good as I possibly can for it! I have 2 1/2 months, so I can make some progress. Plus that's the start of summer, so it's even extra motivation. It frustrates me when I veer off track for no reason, I just really need to summon that willpower I had before to stick to my plan!

Fat Pants

I remember when I retired my "fat pants". I was dropping a pants size just about every other month it seemed like! I pretty much cleaned out my entire pants drawer and threw them in a giveaway bag, since of course I'd never need them again. That was just uder 4 years ago now. And every year since it seems like I've gone up a pants size! I maintained the 150s for the first year. Then it crept into hte 160s, but I was weight-lifting so my clothes still fit. Then it crept into the 170s and I upgraded to size 10 pants. Now, I'm sitting miserably in the 180s, hating myself for it, and I just had to buy size 14P! WTF! Those were the sizes that I threw in the giveaway bag! Why am I paying good money to buy them again!

I've just lost my mojo lately. I was SO happy before when I was skinnier, more confidence, didn't feel self-conscious about how I looked. And now, I'm completely back to how I was before, freaking out in the mirror and inwardly cursing myself for doing this. Why the hell was it so easy the first time around! I just set my mind to it and did it! Now, I can't get more than a few days without screwing up. I've tried a bunch of different things too, but my schedule got busy and I have class once a week. And then the food temptations come in and I end up eating out. I honestly want to go back to being a diet hermit. Life was easy! Workout 6 days a week, almost never eating out, and I was happy. I love my boyfriend, but I've got to figure out what needs to change since good food and execise goes to crap on the weekends with him. 

I have to go home to Jersey for a wedding and I honestly didn't even want to. I'd hate for people to see me like 25 pounds heavier than I want to be. I'm still 30 pounds less than my heightest weight, but it's not enough. I gave up running, basically I let the exercise asthma win on that one. Maybe I need to give it another go. It made me really push and challenge myself, and I was at my lighest when I ran. I also need to prioritize weight training again. I love my workout classes, but I think I need to spend some more time working out on my own. I can still manage at least 1 or 2 classes a week. 

Sometimes I really just wonder if I am one of those people who are completely screwed by genetics. No matter what I did before, I could never get under 147 lbs, and 141 and under is a healthy weight for my height (5'2.5") If I slack off even a little bit, the weight comes back SO easily. It's fighting a constant battle that I don't really have the energy to fight every single day. I know my metabolism is incredibly slow, it doesn't help. I wonder if my Mirena is messing with my weight, it definitely made my acne come back. But I like it over the pill, so I'm not sure what to do.

I hate writing about my "woe is me" attitude, since my blogs used to be so inspirational! I don't know what happened. I don't want to drag everyone else down, but I guess everyone needs a pep talk on occasion. I think I need to take a good hard look at what I've been eating, doing, and not doing. I know my food choices have been bad lately, I've been eating out too much. That can be fixed. I need to make working out a priority, and get back into my Saturday morning workouts and going out on walks with Randy on Sundays, now that it's warming up. And I need to stop being a pity party of one! I can beat myself up all I want but its not helping. It just makes me depressed about it. So, please do me a favor and help give me a good kick in the butt when I'm being bad or need some encouragement. I'm going to log ALL my food for a while, even on the weekends. I need to see what I've been doing. This weekend is gonna be hard because I have to travel to Jersey for a wedding, so Sunday will probably be a challenge. That can be my first test of not going nuts in a tricky situation. Travel food + open bar + sitting in a car. But, at least on my way home, I'll be sitting in my new (sort of) 2013 Nissan Sentra! Whoot!

Hip Hopping the Pounds Away

It's been a few weeks since I started my new, awesome plan to get back into shape in time for Spring/Summer/bikinis/my clothes that need to fit again ASAP. And I've come to the conclusion that joining my new gym was the best idea I've had in a long time. I'm a "regular" at several classes a week and they are tons of fun! I have my Retro Sculpt on Mondays (complete with awesome 80s music and cardio/strength intervals), Ultimate Conditioning on Tuesdays, and my favorite... Cardio Fusion on Wendesdays! That's the one that was really out of my comfort zone. It's basically a cardio dance class with lots of hip hop elements for an hour.

And let me paint the picture, I'm an awkward nerdy girl with no soul, minimal rhythm and I had to google was twerking was. And apparently I'm not a bad dancer after all! Plus everyone looks as crazy as I do and we don't really care. I find that if you spend too much time worrying about what people might think of the booty shaking, you end up not burning very many calories! So I just go all out. And I am definitely sore after any one of those 3 classes. Throw in my Friday evenings of half cardio/half weight training and I've got a pretty awesome schedule!

I didn't think that something so trivial as changing gyms would help so much, but the fact that I can have my pick of cardio equipment when I walk in the door AND there is TONS of space for weight training, interval training, weight machines, etc  totally makes my night when I get there. They even have a water foundation specifically designed to fill water bottles... GENIUS!

But the most important part... the results! I started the month off as a miserable 184.1 lbs. I haven't seen that number since I started losing weight nearly 4 years ago. Well, after 3 weeks I'm down 3 lbs and I'm quite content with that progress. My clothes are actually starting to fit a bit better now that I'm not as puffy from eating crap. I've been really focusing on eating more natural foods and less carbs. My new favorite thing ever is my Graze snack box! I get it delivered once a week and it comes with 4 pre-packaged healthy snack googies! I put one in my lunch box every day and it seriously takes all my willpower to wait until the afternoon to eat it! Plus since they have over 90 snacks, I won't get sick of the same ones. Anyway, if anyone is interested in signing up, right now the only way to join is to have a friend code. Mine is SARAT99PP and you can use it at www.graze.com

I'm shooting for a goal of being under 180 by the end of January, and I only have a pound to go! We'll see if I can manage to get there, but even if I'm a little off, I'm absolutely moving in the right direction for a change and I'm much more mindful of what I'm eating and how much I'm moving. I have a stack of clothes that I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to fit me by March/April, so that's my ultimate goal! 

I'm A Classy Girl

I think I've found the way I'm gonna get myself motivated to lose these 15 extra lbs I've put on over the last year... classes at the gym!!!

I've been going to the same gym for 3 years, it was small, classes were always packed (like you had to call at 12pm the day to even get a pass to get in the door!), and they were boooooooring. So when Crunch Fitness opened a new gym a minute or two away from my old one, I decided to sign up! What a difference! They have a MUCH better class schedule! Plus they vary start times and lengths, with a few classes starting at 6pm, which is perfect for me!

I went to my first one yesterday: Retro Sculpt. It's an aerobic and toning class that uses some light weights to the tune of 80s music, whoot! I'm gonna be sore today! I can already feel the muscle in my butt complaining. I figure if I can get to 3 classes a week, that will be 3 awesome workouts that mix up toning and cardio. Then I can do 1 night a week at the gym on my own. I've definitely realized that I tend to slack off doing workouts by myself, I was more interested in what I was watching on Netflix than working up a good sweat. At my class yesterday, in 45 minutes I had burned 550 calories!!! My average heart rate was in the 170s! Now that's a workout! So, here's my schedule:

Monday: Retro Sculpt at 6pm for 45 minutes
Tuesday: Ultimate Conditioning at 6:30pm for 30 minutes (with a 15-20 minute cardio warmup beforehand on my own).
Wednesday: Cardio Fusion at 6pm for 60 minutes (it's like a dance/aerobic kind of class)
Friday: Kettlebells at 6pm for 60 minutes (this is my backup class if I miss one of the other ones)

There's an awesome Jillian Michaels Body Sculpt class that I really wanted to go to... but it's on Thursdays when I have grad class! Boo! Wrong kind of class, since I sit on my bum for 3 hours straight! After that's over in March, I'll start going to that one and give up the Cardio Fusion since my Spring 2 class is on Wednesdays in the Spring. 

On top of the workouts, I'm aiming to get my food in check. I've started bringing preportioned snacks to work, like a baggie of trail mix. I'm aiming to get more protein and fresh food like veggies and chicken. And I need to stop snacking on crap at night! Last night I had hummus and baby carrots, so snack like that need to get back into my routine.

My goal: be under 180 by the end of the month! Right now I logged in at 184, so that's only a pound a week. I have NOTHING going on in my schedule that would mess me up, like travel or parties or anything. Gotta love January. If I can lose a pound a week, that puts me under 170 by April and my pants and dresses for spring will fit again! Then I have a cushion to get myself in better shape before anyone makes me put on a swimsuit again in June, lol. I'm coming up on the 4th anniversary of starting my journey to lose weight, and I don't want to be heading down a path again to my old self. I didn't like my old self very much, and I started slipping back into that mindset. I need to get things going again and be happy. A new year is a good time to get that going!

I've Lost that Healthy Feeling...

Oh hi blog, long time no see! I realized that it's been almost 10 months since I last wrote a blog on here, and over those 10 months I've been sliding down the slippery slope of unhealthiness bit by bit.

It's been nearly 4 years since I made my committment to get my unhealthy butt in gear, lose weight and develop some much better lifestyle habits so that I could stay that way. It was working great, but little by little something would erode away. First it was not running as much, then I started eating more than 1200 calories, then I was eating out more again, then it was drinking beer, then came my stint with strength training and then getting sick of strength training... and now I've started a grad program in Systems Engineering where I took 2 evening classes from Sept-Nov. 

The end result: I'm back at 178 lbs, when I used to be comfortably around 160! My 5X a week workouts have become 3. And my willpower... has anyone seen it? I know I left it around here somewhere...

Naturally in this situation, we get the point where enough is enough. We all have those moments. A pair of pants doesn't fit that used to fit fine (or worse, used to be the fat pants!), getting to the top of the steps and being just a little bit out of breath, or resigning oneself to fast food instead of going home to cook up something healthy. I, for one, am guilty of it all.  I bought a pair of size 14 petite jeans (they run small, but I still had to buy a pair of 12s from American Eagle). I decided to take the steps to the 4th floor and realized I was kinda winded (crap...), and I've been eating out more than I should. Add into that having to take classes (I'm done until January for now though!) and trying to be a normal, social person and you have a bit of a mess.

I've vented on here about how I'm pissed off at myself and my laziness, I'm tired of seeing myself in the mirror starting to look closer to my former self than my fit self, and that I need to do something about it. But what? Over the last week, I've realized that a lot of what worked the first time around just doesn't fit with my life right now. When I lost 60 lbs in the span of a year, I wasn't really dating anyone, I didn't have a busy work schedule, I wasn't taking grad classes, and I didn't get out much (let's face it, I was a diet hermit). So I need a new plan, that fits with my life right now and one that I can stick to. It doesn't do me any good to try and recreate what I did before when I know it will fall apart in a few days.

So here's the plan:

- Get thee to the gym! Or get home and workout. Whichever results in exercising more. I've been neglecting Saturday morning workouts and I need to start that up again. And there's no reason that I can't workout 4 nights during the week. I've already started doing strength training again, since that seemed to help my metabolism keep up. I've been doing 20-25 minutes strength/ 20-25 minutes cardio and it seems to be helping. Now I need to kick the intensity up a notch.

- Limit the eating out, and make better choices when I do. I admit, I use eating out as an excuse to eat whatever I want lately. I just don't want another salad... I want a cheesesteak! Well, that's fine and well ON OCCASION, but not every time. There are healthy choices out there, I just need to pick them!

- Keep the junk and calories down on a daily basis. I definitely started letting some off-limits food creep into my  grocery basket. Ice cream... cookies? Yeah, definitely not on the list of OK foods! I used to be happy with humus and carrots and greek yogurt.I think my apple a day habit needs to come back. In general, keeping any temptation out of the house will go a long way in making sure I eat better.

- Lay off the self-loathing! It's definitely counter productive to say to yourself "ugh, you're fat and ugly" every time you look in the mirror. And I'm definitely guilty of it lately. Suck it up! It happens, you let yourself get to this point, now dig yourself out of the hole! So you don't like the way you look... change it!

It's sort of like learning to ride a bike again, I know I can do it, I know the tools I need to do it. I'm just a little bit wobbly right now. I might fall on my ass in the process, but eventually I'll get there. The holidays are coming, so of course I've picked an awesome time to get my act together, but if I can make it through December, I should be well on my way. I'm shooting for seeing the scale below 170 again. It's been since the Spring and it's only 7 or 8 lbs. But it will go a long way into fitting back into my clothes that I own in abundance because it's one size smaller. Small steps...manageable goals. And I really need to find that willpower that I've seemed to have lost! My goal is to blog more again, just so I can get my good and bad throughts written down so I don't wallow in them. If anyone has any tips for when they were in my situation, I'm always happy to hear them.

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