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Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning doesn't just mean getting all the clothes I don't wear out of my closet. Which I happened to spend yesterday afternoon doing. All the XL size shirts, gone. All the poofy dressy tops that were meant to hide my stomach, gone. The size 14 shorts from last summer, gone. I spared a few items that looked good with a belt around the smallest part of my waist (that's in style, right?). I added some nice new spring clothes from a shopping binge in Banana Republic and the Banana outlet store... new tshirts, new work shirts, a new sun dress, new cardigan. All size SMALL (with a medium thrown in for a fitted shirt). Out with the fat, in with the thin, right?

And then there's some mental Spring Cleaning that I need to do. I'll be the first to admit it, I've gotten lazy and complacent. I've done exactly enough in the last 2 months to maintain my weight without really pushing myself for anything more. The drive has fizzled a bit. I'm in winter hibernation. Call it what you wish, I'm slacking.

But now that I have my inhaler, the Georgetown Cupcake temptation is mostly gone (I froze the remaining 3 cupcakes as a special treat), and the weather is improving, I'm getting my butt in gear again.

1. NO MORE JUNK FOOD!!! I'm all for treats, I couldn't do this all without the occassional treat. That being said, the key word is OCCASSIONAL! Not daily, not huge meals followed by dessert  followed by a massive brunch (that was this past weekend...). OCCASIONAL. Like my cupcakes, I'm gonna have to earn them, no more eating 2 in a day when I didn't work out at all.

2. No more skipping workouts, especially on weekends. I've been averaging 2 days at the gym a week. New mission, I'm going 4 out of the 5 weekdays (or at least working out 4 days) and then working out once during the weekend (Sat/Sun). My body isn't gonna want to change if I'm doing the bare minimum. 

3. Take up running. Today is gonna be my baseline test to see what I can do with the inhaler. I'm starting with how quickly I can do a 5K. Walk, run, intervals, whatever it takes to get to 5K. As long as I don't have to kill someone at the gym for a treadmill... hopefully people are lazy today. Once it's nice out, I'm gonna try running outside again. The inhaler should make a big difference there.

4. Stop having a lazy attitude about eating healthy. Yes, it's easier to microwave some crap for dinner. Yes it's cheaper. But is it healthier? NO. I need more fresh fish from Safeway, better (less carb-tastic) veggies, and some cooking skills. It's not impossible, it'll just take some effort. Damn, that reminds me I forgot to take the chicken breast out to defrost... looks like it's crab cakes tonight! Or a quick Trader Joe's run on the way home from the gym.


If you haven't noticed with my blogs, I like to-do lists. So hopefully writing all this down keeps me accountable for getting things going again. My goal was to get to 140 by Memorial Day. I have two new bikinis from Victoria Secret to remind me to get my butt moving so I hit that goal. It's not impossible, it's only 10 lbs and 3 months to do it, under a pound a week. I think once the scale starts to move again, it won't be impossible. 

Accidental Maintenance

I'm going to starting calling a plateau "Accidental Maintenance" from now on... 

I've always heard people on here talk about how difficult maintenance can be. Making a permanently change to one's habits and lifestyle. It's really easy to slip back into old habits, especially when things like stress, family and friends with a love of food (and drink), and being busy with work get in the way. 

Well, apparently I'm awesome at maintenance. I've been pretty much exactly 150 lbs since New Years, dipping below to 149 a few days, and I had one week were I was up a few pounds and then it was gone as fast as it came. But, I have a confession...


I'm not perfect. I know, it sucks doesn't it?


There's a few reasons I've been so good at maintenance, and it's conscious decisions that I've made. I've been nibbling and snacking and eating a chocolate here or there, not recording it. But it's definitely enought to add 100-200 calories a day. That's a lot when I'm shooting for 1500. I haven't been working out on the weekends, except for an active day like walking around DC or a large mall (I did hike one day with my boyfriend). And I've been taking more rest days during the week than I should. So, basically, I've figured out my body's secret to maintenance. I can do just enough to stay exactly where I want to. There's one problem tho...


I DON'T WANT TO STAY AT 150! I'm only 5'2.5", 150 isn't my goal. Getting somewhere in the 130s is!


So I think it's time to get my lazy butt into gear. I've started to fall into the winter doldrums. It's easy to stay inside when I'm tired and it's cold out. It's easy to grab a piece of Valentine's Day chocolate or a cupcake. I still manage things in moderation, but it's not moderate enough to get the scale moving again. And the worst is the exercise. I've gone from 5-6 days a week to more like 3. And I know some of that is because I can't push myself as hard as I want to with the exercise asthma. Now that I've realized that's the problem, I almost don't want to work out until I have my inhaler (doctor's appt on Monday morning!). But I know I have to, I can still do lighter cardio without having breathing issues. I just can't run.

So, maybe I'm writing all this to make me feel like less of a failure, even though I know this isn't failing! It's a success to stay the same weight thru the holidays and Valentine's Day and this blah freezing cold winter we've been having in Virginia. It's just I need something to kick my butt back into gear. All of you on here help a ton, when I don't feel like pushing you help me to find some motivation. I just need to find some renewed energy myself. I'm hoping the inhaler does it. I'm excited to run, to really push myself at the gym. I think it's what my body needs to lose the last bit of weight. It's not gonna give it up willingly, pushing myself is all I've got.

So new things to focus on starting Monday (I know my Georgetown Cupcakes that I won on Facebook are being delivered today so being an angel will be impossible... haha, and I'll get my inhaler hopefully).

- No more snacking on things I don't log. If it goes in my mouth, it's going in my food diary. Those little snacks probably really add up and I don't realize how much.

- Get my lazy butt to the gym 4 times a week AT LEAST once I have my inhaler, and do something active on the weekends (at least one workout). Or when it gets nice enough out (and enough daylight) get into running outside again.

- Stop eating so many carbs with my dinner. I need to food shop for some salad or something to eat instead of a sweet potato. My attempts last night at a low carb dinner results in one that had 40g of carbs... fail.

- Keep the treats and indulgences to a minimum. Nice dinner with boyfriend OK, random lunch with coworkers where I eat half my calories that day is NOT.  

- Don't stress... It's hard to keep my cool when I'm in a legit plateau (or accidental maintenance as I'm calling it now). I didn't lose any inches this morth... no good! But I'm fixing that! 

Excited To Go To the Doctor's??? That's New!

I've been trying to become a runner. I feel like I really have it in me to just throw on a pair of sneakers and run like the wind! So last summer I started Couch 2 5K and managed to get my still out of shape butt running. I was able to run a mile, slowly (like in 12 1/2 minutes) but it was a mile. Then I decided, hey, it's Fall, it's beautiful weather, let's run outside! So I went for it. And what a disappointment! I could barely run for 5 minutes before having to stop because i couldn't  breathe. I just chalked it up to still being out of shape.

Flash forward to last week. I was running on the treadmill... and I still couldn't handle more than 5 minutes at 4.5 mph. I couldn't take a deep breath. I could barely swallow actually. It was strange, given that it's an ENTIRE YEAR of working out nearly daily... and I still can't run? What's wrong with me???? Then I talked to my little sister, who flat out told me I have what she has... Exercise Induced Asthma. And the reason I haven't caught it until now is because I've never really exercised enough to trigger it in my entire life. I looked up the symptoms and it fits the bill! So I really am a runner... but my lungs aren't... haha

I've got my appointment with the Pulmonologist on Monday morning and I"m SO EXCITED TO GO! I want him to tell me what I pretty much already know, that I can be a runner. Give me an inhaler already! My sister says she doesn't have any issues with running or dancing with the inhaler, so I have hope that I'll be able to actually run a 5K (at faster than 4.1 mph) once I have one too. That would be so amazing! Actually being able to call myself a runner. I was always jealous of the girls at the gym who can just hop on a treadmill, set it to 6.0 mph, and run for half an hour. Now I know that I can too... in a week. I'm really antsy to get to that appointment!

Once I'm armed and dangerous, I think it'll really help with losing the last 10 lbs. I can't push myself in my workouts like I need to because I can't breathe, then I get dizzy from lack of oxygen (yeah, something is definitely up.... haha). And Spring is coming! It'll be awesome to run outside (not half-ass run for 2 minutes and then stop). I'm hoping to sign up for a 5K once I get the inhaler situation sorted out and I know I can run that far.


So, new goal... run a 5K before summertime!!!! AND I MEAN RUN! 

In Love With The New Me (One Year Later!)

So, one year ago today I decided it's time to get my lazy butt in gear and take on a task that has eluded me throughout all of high school and college.... finally getting in shape and living a MUCH healthier lifestyle. And one year ago today I found the most important tool in reaching that goal... MFP!

I stumbled across it while looking on my iPod Touch for a way to keep track of what i eat. For me, I had NO idea about nutrition info during college. Portion size was a mystery. I didn't realize how many calories I was putting in my body on a daily basis, it was enough to add 40+ lbs to my already overweight self during college. I was happy with myself in terms of my friends and my career and having just finished school, I was in a good place in my life where I could really afford to make a real change. So, I did!

I started working out, purposely, for the first time ever. I kinda played softball in middle school was I was still incredibly out of shape. I got EA Sports Active for my Wii, I went to the free gym in my office building. I started shopping by looking for the healthy foods and checking the nutrition info on every single thing I picked up. And I used MFP to tell me how much I should eat.

After that, the weight started to really come off!! I was losing over a pound a week for the first few months. I was squeezing into size 16 jeans and pants when I started. By April/May I was a 14. In the summer I hit 12... early Fall I was a 10! I've never worn lower than a 12 in my entire adult life.  Now I'm a size 6.... SIXXXXXXX. Still blows my mind. I can wear a bikini and not want to hide under a rock. I fit into any clothing store I want to shop in (what size I wear is a mystery with how varied it is, I have clothes from a small to a large that fit, from size 6 to size 10). And I really do like to workout. I see the results from it, like when I was hiking with my  boyfriend (more on him later...) yesterday. I was never winded, never exhausted, and we went up some decent hills. It felt great being in shape, almost addictive. 

MFP definitely teaches you a lot that you don't realize. It made me see how I thought about food. I'm not an emotional eater, I just tend to eat things that I want and taste good and I didn't know when to stop. Now I'm aware of it and I keep it in check. I have treats, I've eaten candy and ice cream and cake and had drinks and beer through the entire past year, but I know my limits, I save it for treats, and I try to stick to a calorie goal. I've set goals for myself for my workouts, and I can run for 25 minutes without stopping. I couldn't even go 30 seconds this time last year! I was feeling ill after 30 minutes on an elliptical. Now I can go to the gym for an hour and a half and have a personal trainer try to kill me and I don't feel sick. 

So, to sum things up, A LOT CAN CHANGE IN A YEAR! Basically, my whole life has. New job, new body, new goals and ambitions, new attitude, newfound confidence... and a new boyfriend that all these things managed to get me. We're doing dinner for Valentine's Day, and it's a nice change from when I was by myself last year. I don't think any of it would have happened if I didn't make the effort to change. It just takes a few weeks of getting into the habit... and those weeks turn to months. And now it's a whole year! So in a whole year I have gone from...

- 200 lbs to 149.4 lbs (as of this morning, whoot 140s!)

- Size 16 to size 6, size XXL/XL to size S/M

- Couldn't run to save my life from a grizzly bear to running for 25 minute straight

- The control to choose my treats and eat healthy otherwise

- Not having any confidence around guys to having a boyfriend

- Never having worn a bikini to being SO excited to rock a new Victoria Secret one at the beach/pool this summer (that'll be a reward purchase in the Spring).

- And gone from looking like THAT, to looking like THIS!


So, don't be afraid to make the change! I just did it gradually, worked more and more into my routine, changed things up when I got stuck, and learned from my mistakes. You can too!

My 93 Year Old Aunt Rita Called Me Sexy! (With Before and After Pics!)

When you've reached the point in the weight loss journey that I'm at, it's easy to start to get discouraged. I've got under 10 lbs to go, only one more pants size, and I'M LOSING AT A SNAIL'S PACE! It's a miracle if I can log a loss at the end of the week now. It's usually I can log just under a pound lost once every 2-3 weeks. So, it's slow and kinda steady progress. So how do I keep from letting the scale get me completely frustrated and pissed off every time I step on it (like this morning, where I'm 3+ pounds heavier than last week from a crazy weekend of drinking coupled with insanely sore muscles?)

Look for other things that show success or progress of course! So, here's a few I noticed that I'm writing down to remind myself to take a chill pill and that I'm still moving forward.


1.) My stomach is flat when I suck in! I noticed that this morning in the mirror. I could totally pull off a bikini now! I have a little muffin top still if I don't have good posture and breathe out. BUT if I suck in a bit and stand up straight, my stomach actually looks pretty decent! So I'm starting to be confident that by summertime (in 4 months, so far away...), I'll be able to proudly wear my bikini without having to sacrifice lung function to do it!


2.)  I've managed to work in extra protein (and calories) into my diet, and I'm noticing the positive effects. During my workout with my trainer on Tuesday, I had enough energy to get through the whole thing without getting dizzy. The first few sessions, I hadn't eaten enough and I was getting lightheaded. I also realized I'm pretty strong, I was using 40-60 lbs on the arm machines :) However, I have never had my leg muscles this sore before! I can't even sit down without lots of pain! I'm hoping a trip to the gym today will loosen me up.


3.) My size 6 jeans are comfy :) I bought my favorite jeans from NY&Co in 4 sizes... haha. The 10s were too big by the end Oct or Nov. And the 8s were loose after Christmas. So I ordered them in 6 and 4 petite (NY&Co was discontinuing the style and they were $10 each!). And now I'm proudly wearing the 6s and they fit great! I have the 4s in my drawer waiting for me, they actually fit and zip, but I have some SERIOUS muffin top, so I won't be wearing those til the spring. But they're my official goal jeans :)


4.) I rocked a HOT dress at my cousin's wedding this past weekend. Took all the pictures people could snap of me. And I stood next to my size 4 sister and we looked close to the same size! She's always been the tiny one, now I'm only one size bigger than she is. She's scared I'll raid her closet... hahaha. My family was all complimenting me, my Aunt Rita (who is 93 years young) told me I should change my name to Sexy when she saw me!!!  I was cracking up. But I've definitely make a huge change from a year ago and it shows. Here's a before and after pictures of me in a dress then.... and now :)


The starting point: 215 lbs in October 2008 (this is on my 22nd birthday)

The (almost) end point at 150 lbs this weekend

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