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It's Not Gonna Get Any Easier...

I keep waiting for a break in my schedule, a few weeks where I can really focus on eating right and working out every day, and hopefully that would get the scale down enough that I didn't have to deal with it bouncing up to 150 every Monday morning.

But I don't see that happening any time soon, and it's almost to the point of being frustrating. I really do enjoy my weekends, I get to spend them with Randy, we do fun things around DC, friends come visit me. It's a great time! Until I see the aftermath of it, the scale has been above 150 for 3 days in a row as of today. Something that hasn't happened in a while. And it upsets me, even though I wouldn't really do anything differently this weekend. It really was the beer that put me over, that's what happens at a Beer festival!

I don't want to have to choose between having a good time and enjoy my weekends, and being healthy. I REFUSE, absolutely REFUSE!!!! to gain any of this weight back. But it's crept back a tiny bit since June, only 2 or so pounds, and I can usually get the scale back around 148 if I'm good Mon-Thurs. But it bounces right back up again come Monday. So, I do I have to choose?

Either I say, screw it, I'm sticking around 150 and as long as I'm not higher than that by more than a pound, it's good. It's maintaining over 65 lbs of weight loss. I guess I can be happy about that. But I'm still left unsatisfied because I'm not where I want to be. I'm still sucking in a bit when I wear some of my more fitted tops. And there's definitely a muffin top in my fitted size 6 NY&Co jeans that I HATE! And I still don't feel completely confident in a bikini. AND I WANT TO! I want to be happy about all those things. And the only way to get there is to lose the last couple pounds I've been holding on to. I was all excited in June that I might actually do it. I was down to 147, it stays there for a good 2 weeks, and then I get sent on my business trip and everything collapsed from there.

I'd love a few weeks where I didn't have to worry about any of it, but that's not realistic at all. I'm already looking at a chaotic Fall because of several trips up to Jersey for a friend's wedding stuff, my sister's birthday, my birthday (probably going away for the weekend with Randy), and people wanting to visit me and me going to visit people. There's not way I can hide for 3 weeks and get my weight back down. So I'm just going to have to do it amid all the chaos. I'm not 100% sure how yet tho...

My first intention is to reel in eating crap for an entire weekend just because I'm not home with my usual supply of healthy food. I've been staying over Randy's a lot more. I'm gonna have to start stashing snacks or something there. And when we eat out, I need to stop automatically picking something unhealthy just because we're out. There're are plenty of healthier choices out there that I can go with, and he's never said no when I ask not to go somewhere because of not being able to find something healthy.

The second thing I'm gonna have to do is really focus on the workouts. I haven't been getting to the gym as much as I should, usually only that once a week with my trainer. I need to start going at least one or two more times during the week and get some good cardio in. Turbo Fire is good and all, but it's not the same as an interval run or something. At least it'll be fall and I can run outside again as much as possible.

So, there you have it. My confession. I've slacked off and I'll admit it. I just didn't have the same motivation the last few weeks and it seems it's caught up to me. I also need to stop buying gouda cheese from Trader Joes and eating a few ounces of it with crackers at night. That CAN'T be helping right now. Ugh, kinda makes me want to throw things and tell everyone to leave me alone for a month so I can lose 5 pounds and be happier. But I know it's dangerous to tie my happiness to my weight. I just need to focus, find the positive in things, and keep chugging along. God, how I want to see 140 on the scale, but I don't know if it's gonna happen, and that sucks. I'm not admitting defeat, I'm just admitting that it's a tough road ahead if I ever want to see that number. I've just got to be willing to do it... not sure if I am right now, but I'm gonna try.

Losing My... Motivation? Or Just Getting Back to Normal?

Lately, I've started to question my level of motivation. I haven't wanted to work out every single night that I'm free during the week. I haven't been packing in extra workouts on the weekends to make up for going out for drinks or something. And I haven't been always picking a salad with dressing on the side when I go out to restaurants.

But is this a bad thing?

The way I look at it, if I'm ever gonna make this whole thing stick for the rest of my life, I've gotta do it in a way that means I can keep it up! I never thought 6 days a week of working out and eating like a saint were sustainable in the long term, who can keep that up indefinitely! But in the process of this transition, I've realized a few things.

First off, I'm not gonna gain back weight just from "living a little", something I was seriously afraid of. I thought the second I slowed up my usual routine of angelic eating and exercise, the weight would start to come back on. But it's been since January since I really lost weight... but at the same time, NONE of the weight I lost has come back on. And I've definitely been a bit devilish with my eating, drinking, and workout habits at times. Not a complete reversion to my old ways, but definitely not as diligent as I was when I initially got myself down to 150.

Secondly, I can keep up the healthy lifestyle without too much pain and suffering. I don't mind working out a few times a week, I'll workout on the weekend if I'm home, and I'll happily pick a delicious healthy option from a menu most of the time. And these are things I can keep up in the long term. I'll always have my workout DVDs and a gym membership, but that doesn't mean I have to commit to them 6 days a week!

So, what does this mean for me in the long run? I'm still anywhere from 7-10 lbs away from my goal weight of 140, depending on how well I've behaved in the last few days. So is this an admission of defeat? NO WAY! I'm just realistic. With some renewed dedication and a less busy schedule, I can get that weight off. And I intend to. It'll be a slow process (as if it isn't already as slow as possible!), but I know I can do it once I stick to my guns. It might happen a pound at a time, gradually knocking off a little bit of weight that doesn't come back. When I had 3 really good weeks in June, I was able to get down to 147 for over a week and now that's the point I get back to when I'm good. Before it was 149 or so. So my lows are getting lower. And my highs are getting lower too! I RARELY see 150 anymore, and that makes me happy. 

The whole point of this is that it's OK to slow down, take a breather, and reassess. I don't want life to pass me by while I'm busy looking down at the scale!!! I'm still gonna weigh in, keep myself in check, and hopefully with time I'll get to my goal. But it's the last 2 weeks of summer! Who wants to waste those? The important thing is to make as many days as possible "good days" so that I can enjoy myself on the "fun days!"

Slow and Steady Is Getting Annoying

I miss the days where I could log a 2 lb loss for the week and it wasn't a rare event. Much more gratifying. But now that I've basically been maintaining for the last 7 months or so, I've started to get used to the daily ups and downs of the scale. And when I do have a loss, it's a small one. And usually it doesn't last. Bummer...

This morning I was hoping to be able to record ANYTHING, even 0.1 lb. But I opted to live a little and had one beer before kickball and I ate dinner at 9:30, so no loss this week for me. I've started to realize this whole thing is about tradeoffs. I could skip out on things to avoid a bad situation, or I can adapt and deal with it. I went to a coworker's going away lunch yesterday, but ate a sandwich first and nibbled on a caesar salad (hardly any dressing) while I was there. And I let myself have the tinest slice of pizza, which I don't really feel guilty about. Same goes for kickball last night. I had one beer, low calorie, and I stopped. But I still got to spend some time at the bar before the game with my friends. 

Going forward I know I still want to get down to 140, but it's going to be a slow process if I want to have any freedom to eat and do what I want on occasion. But it's having the number in mind that keeps me in check when I do. Yesterday I could have easily eaten a few slices of pizza, or had more than one beer, but knowing that I didn't want the scale to swing back up to 150 kept me from going overboard. I'll take a jump of half a pound for my efforts. 

So, I've realized that setting boundaries and goals is a good thing. I'd LOVE to be down into the 145 range by the end of the month, and I'm slowly working my way there, halfway there so far. But I also know I have my sister visiting this weekend and a baseball game and crab and beer festival with Randy next weekend. So it's gonna be about balance. Be as good as I can on the days where I'm not doing something out of the ordinary, and enjoy myself a bit when I'm doing something special... but not too much!

So my goal for this weekend is to eat as well as I can, but I'm getting Thai food with Krissi tonight! Our favorite! And hopefully come Monday morning, I haven't completely reset myself. I'll be working hard next week so that I can see a loss on Thurs/Fri. It wasn't in the cards this week, but that doesn't stop me from trying next week.

Reversing A Bad Week (Or Two or Three...)

Here's a primer on how to reverse those bad habits that have crept back, the pounds that have slowly snuck back on, and the exercise plans that vanished or were severely limited. 

I started my week at 150.6, after a solid few weeks of hardly working out, drinking, traveling, eating, lazying around and in general just not being very on top of things. The scale even tipped to 152 at one point!!! That was a serious departure from what got me down to my all time lowest weight of 147.2 just at the end of June. I was pretty fed up with myself for letting it get to that point so I thought, what is the best way to fix it in a hurry?!?

Step 1: Get my butt to the gym! Or at least workout. No more "oh I'm a little tired, I'm taking a rest day" or "I don't feel like working out after grocery shopping on the way home". PUHLEEZZZZ... excuses excuses! Just get to the gym, do ANYTHING, it's better than nothing. And daily, I don't care if it's for 30 minutes, it's more than I was doing the last few weeks.

Step 2: Grocery shop for good, healthy food. I had to make a few stops to the store, but I got low sodium lunch meat, more yogurt, supplies for my protein fruit smoothies, and the fixings for healthy breakfast sandwiches. And that's all I ate! No fast food for lunch, no unhealthy snacks at work or after dinner. No alcohol (yeah, that's a hard one). After 4 days of that, things were looking better.

Step 3: Get moving on the water consumption. I was definitely slacking lately, and it's an excuse to get up from my desk, so I started drinking more water again. Definitely helps flush your system of sodium, and that was a major problem for me in the last few weeks.

Step 4: Relax! I've been pretty stressed out the last week with some other issues I've had going on. This week I just told myself to chill out, stop worrying about things I can't control, and focus better on one of the things that I can: my weight! So that's what I did this week. Workout every day, eat healthy food, get enough sleep.

Step 5: Watch the scale drop! Monday = 150.6, Tuesday = 149.6, Wednesday = 149.3, Thursday = 148.5, Friday (today) = 147.4!!!!!!!!!!!! That's a whopping 3.2 lbs in 5 days. And guess what I didn't do?

- Starve myself (look at my food diary, I was at 1500+ calories most days)
- Do any sort of wacky cleanse where I drank only juice or something
- Dehydrate myself
- Workout 3 hours a day (it was between 40-70 minutes each day)

So, there you have it. When you get off track, it's not impossible to get back on. It doesn't require any crash diets. Your body LOVES healthy food and some exercise, and it will reward you if you stick to it for a couple days. This is my motivation going into the weekend to keep myself in check. I will workout this weekend! I will enjoy myself and relax! And I will keep the restaurant food and beer to a minimum. A salad with dressing on the side won't kill me... in fact... that sounds delicious :)

Cupcakes in the Gym Followup

Just a few things to add to the blog post from yesterday (Cupcakes in the Gym).

I wasn't really mad at the trainers who brought in the cupcakes and ate them in the middle of the training area. They're free to eat whatever they want, and chances are they earned it from working out. They're all in great shape and have INSANE metabolisms from all that. Why shouldn't they be allowed a treat? And that was the only time I had seen them doing something like that in the 7 months I've been a member. So, I don't hold any (well, not much) resentment towards them.

The main issue that I was trying to get across was the interesting situation i found myself in. I was in my gym, where I tend to focus on fitness and being healthy more than any other place. And right in the middle of that gym was maybe the one food item that most represents everything I was before: red velvet cupcakes! They are seriously my favorite food in the world. And to see them invading my healthy space threw me off a bit. 

And it made me think. There were days where I'd inhale 3 cupcakes and not think about it at all. Didn't care how unhealthy it was or how many calories it had or if it was somehow shortening my lifespan. They were just delicious, icing-coated mini cakes of goodness. Same with all the crap food I was eating on a regular basis. I was flat out unconscious of what it was really doing. Yes, I knew I was overweight, but I didn't really have any drive or know how to fix it. At least until after I graduated college and got my act together.

Anyways, seeing that cupcake in my sacred workout space reminded me why I'm there! I'm working hard every day, when I slip up I get back in gear, and there are times where I'm allowed to have a treat because I'm not gonna go my whole life without another treat. When I have a treat, I don't need that as an invitation to throw the entire day or weekend out the window. It's a conscious effort to do that, and I'm getting more aware of when I do. Since seeing that cupcake, I've had even more resolve this week, and it's paid off! I've eaten healthy every day this week, and the scale is down to 148.5 already. That's only 1.3 lbs from my lowest weigh in. So I didn't do as much damage as I thought in July, and I know my body will get back to normal quickly. Now I just have to keep it up! Even if that red velvet cupcake appears again, there are times to say yes, and times to say no!

Cupcakes in the Gym

Who in their right mind brings CUPCAKES to a GYM???
My personal trainer, that's who! I finished my 30 minutes with him, a hot sweaty mess because we used the rowing machine and did a circuit twice with a weighted bar (27 lbs no less!) I walk over to the PT area and what do I see... all of the trainers... EATING RED VELVET CUPCAKES! That my trainer brought in!

Can we just take a minute to appreciate red velvet cupcakes and their cream cheese frosting delicious? 

Ok, back to the issue. I get these trainers are ripped and toned and the ideal weight and body composition. But do they really need to eat cupcakes in front of the less than ideal clients? I looked at them and flatly said "that is how I got fat!" And then I checked my heart rate monitor watch.

442 calories burned.That's about one really icing-loaded cupcake, right?

And I felt better because instead of having junk and eating a cupcake like I might have in the past (not that my trainer would let me anyway), I burned off every single calorie that one would contain. And my muscles benefited from it in the process. AND I had a good calorie deficit for the day.

I thought about that cupcake while pounding out 2 miles on the elliptical in 19m 20s. And when I got home and had my healthy dinner and evening snack. Sometimes it's nice to work hard for a reward, like a cupcake or a treat. But it's even better to work hard for the reward of not giving in and moving on! I'm trying to get down to 145 this month, after messing up my entire July and going from 147 to 150 again. And that incident convinced me that I've got the willpower this time. There are better rewards out there than a cupcake, like...

- Looking hot in my bikini, not just decent
- Being in better shape than people the same weight as me
- FINALLY making progress towards my goal weight, after nearly a year and a half on MFP and stalling out since January.
- Being completely comfortable in my skin, instead of 90% of the way there

So, next time you are presented with a cupcake, think of what it represents! For me, it's all the demons with food I still deal with, but I'm learning to take control of. So next time I'm in a situation where my trainer isn't hauling me away from the cupcake and sticking me on the elliptical, I'll have the same resolve to say NO!

Reboot for August

July was both a fantastic and terrible month, depending on how you look at things. I had fun with trips, friends visiting, fun weekend adventures with Randy, and being more social than usual. But with that came 3 pounds of weight that I thought I had lost for good. But each week they slowly crept back on, and I don't like it.

Time for a reboot!

New month, new week... new gameplan! I can't keep eating out this much, and letting myself make bad choices just because it's there. I managed to get myself in line a majority of the weekend, I went for soup and a healthy salad for dinner last night. My schedule is much better in August with less visitors and crazy weekends planned. It's actually a bit of a relief. As much as I love being active and going out, its really draining. I'm in dire need of some "Me Time". 

Goals always help me to stay on track, so here they are for August:

- Lose a pound a week, with 150.5 as my starting point today. I want to at least be back to 147 by the end of the month, with 145 as my Super Duper Awesome goal. That would be 2 pounds lower than anything I've seen. I'm logging my weigh in on Thursday, whatever it may be, higher or lower than what I have on here as my last weigh in (I think 148.1 was from 2 weeks ago).

- Stop ordering bad food at restaurants! There's a lot of temptations out there, but I have rarely encountered a situation where I can't find something on the healthier side. I'm not saying I can't have a little treat on occasion, but not every time I eat out!

- Get back into the habit of working out 4-5 times a week. This working out on Monday and Tuesday and then nothing for the rest of the week has got to stop. Yes, kickball is Thursday and that's something active, but I've been genuinely lazy and busy in the past month. More workouts!

- Cut down on the unnecessary snacking. I've been nibbling on cookies, having a piece of candy, or buying food that I really shouldn't be eating. So if it's not in my house, I can't eat it. Randy's cookie addiction is rubbing off on me.

- Drink more water. I've been slacking lately, I need to get up more to refill my water bottle during the day at work and drink a glass of water at night with dinner. Flush the sodium out of my system.
- Start getting in the habit of bringing lunch in to work again. Eating out all the time is killing my wallet and my food diary. 

All these goals are simple and achievable. I don't need to go crazy to enjoy myself. I'm hoping that August is a relaxing month where I can focus on myself a bit, I haven't done that enough lately with everything else going on in my life. I still have another month of wearing my bikini, I want it to look good!
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