A Dark Truth, in Numbers

When I was fat, (yea I said it) I would avoid numbers like the plague. Clearly the most avoided number was always the number on the scale. Alongside that was the number on my jeans indicating the size, the number of calories in the meal I just had, the number of promises to myself to make a change I had broken and the list goes on. My life was basically a game of numbers, or avoiding them. 

Image

Now, 60 or 70lbs later I find myself in a similar dark place. At least a year ago when I was avoiding numbers it was out of sight and out of mind. Now, I obsess over all kinds of numbers! How many calories/carbs/protein were in that meal I just had? How much did I do on my deadlift/squat/barbell curl last week in comparison to this week? How many miles did I run/not run? What’s my body fat percentage like these days? How many inches have I lost? I find that at times I have made myself crazy over these numbers, but then I STOP.

I force myself to collect my thoughts; I breathe in the positive and let go of the negative. Or better said, the anxiety of numbers that overwhelms me. 

This method of breathing in the good shit and breathing out the bullshit is a constant struggle, much like keeping up a healthy lifestyle is. I’ve posted before about moderation, trying and being happy with small accomplishments and I believe that in my heart of hearts but sometimes that voice in the back of my mind is so loud I cannot silence it. 

I debated whether or not to share this part of the “journey” but I have to share my truths. If there’s a chance others feel this way too there’s no reason not to put it out there. We should all know that this can happen, that it’s ok and that you can get over and keep on going.

I’m done feeling sorry for myself (yet again). I’m getting over this hump and I know, if you find yourself on it, you can too. 

I’ll file this under the first world problems category and go kill my next workout. xo

Advertisements

“Something to Try on Tuesday”

It’s just, something to try on Tuesday, she says. She being the yoga instructor at my local gym. During her Tuesday evening practice she always adds in a bit of a challenging move and encourages us to give it a try. Try getting one toe off the ground in crow position or try an elbow supported arm stand in peacock pose; her words challenge us to reach within and conquer a fear no matter how small it may seem to be at the time. 

I try to carry this advice with me outside the studio and today I conquered a little fear I had been battling for a while now. I took a new class! I know it’s really silly to say out loud, but this class always looked really hard and I never had anyone to go in with me so I avoided it – until today! I’m so happy I finally went! The class was challenging, engaging, fun and I finished standing up! So take a new step towards your goal, don’t get stuck in a routine rutt and don’t be afraid of something new! 

I am so happy I tried something new on Tuesday and I hope you will too! 

The Difference a Year Makes

I’m having a hard time deciding which cliche to lead with on this post… Was it a light bulb that went off in my head? Was it a click like when you fall in love? Was it the idea of my own mortality? I’m not sure which fits this story, my story.

I was on vacation of all places. Isn’t vacation the last place where you’d stop and think about your weight or health? I was indulging in all-inclusive gluttony, drinking and eating, making new friends and trying new things. But that’s when it happened — like the elastic in your underwear breaking, I snapped.

It wasn’t a crazy snap where I was crying my eyes out or an angry snap that involved me throwing items from my hotel room at the wall. It was a quiet snap. A feeling of calm washed over me and I was just done being who I had been for the past two or so years. Gaining and gaining without remorse – really without even noticing. I was going to do something, I said to myself. I was going to be stronger.

Why not right? I was (still am) approaching 30 and I knew it would only get harder to lose and keep weight off as I got older so why not start the minute I landed back in the States?

Now, you’re probably wondering what I did. You may be thinking that I just went back to my terrible lifestyle when I got home, absentmindedly eating myself to morbid obesity. I didn’t! I made the first step to a change, I made better food choices starting  on day one! Second step, I joined a gym and yes, I even purchased a personal training package. It wasn’t much but my once a week sessions were building a base of stretching and strengthening exercises that my body needed in order to avoid injury and potential discouragement from working out.  I found a gym buddy and got active at home even when I was not “working out”.

Looking back at those first few months, it was hard! I was in terrible shape and had the worst case of gym anxiety this side of the pan handle! Despite all my excuses I managed to go to the gym about 3-4 times a week and bike ride at least 10 miles on the weekends. I ate better, moved better and almost immediately started to feel better.

The months went on and my discipline only grew. I was determined to do this. I was going slow but I always knew that slow and steady wins the race. I ate badly sometimes, but I was always accountable to myself in the gym. I had months where I saw ZERO progress (kill yourself, I know!) and I had months where the progress was unbelievable. I had times where I could not work out due to injury but I learned to keep my diet extra clean to keep the balance.

Balance has to be the thing I learned over and over again throughout this past year. I learned to balance home and workout life, I learned to balance what was on my plate and the activity that would complement it. I learned to balance social activities and clean eating. Balance has been the key to my success.

As I write this, I am just 2 pounds shy of my one year goal; I’m still calling it a win!

I’ve dropped 58 pounds in 12 months.

I’ve gained so much more!

August 2012 vs August 2013

Same bathing suit!
August 2012 vs August 2013

The support of my friends and family has been vital to all my success! I am the luckiest girl in the world, people!

So what’s next for me? I still have to run a 5k, I’d like to see a thigh gap in the near future, I want some more definition in my muscles and I’d like to take a whack at Crossfit!

We are our own works in progress… I am just open to what else awaits me!

Toxic TV: Are Reality Shows Making Your Journey Harder?

You might think this post will go after TV shows like, “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” or “Man vs Food”; but when talking about TV and it’s toxic effects on your weight loss journey I’m actually referring to some of the more inspirational TV shows out there. 

I bet you didn’t expect me to name shows like, “The Biggest Loser” and “Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition”, but that’s who I’m putting on blast today.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of The Biggest Loser and was dedicated to watching Danni Allen take home the prize in season 14. I just think these shows give those of us at home a double edged inspiration cross to bear. 

Image

Danni Allen BL 14 Winner

Sure, on one side I felt inspired watching these sometimes morbidly obese people getting into the best shape of their lives. Some were coming back from the brink of death, some of the stories were gut wrenching and others were heart warming.

But I also felt like they had this totally unfair advantage. This sometimes made my own results seem minimal and made me feel like I must not be doing enough. Sure it’s naive to compare “reality” TV to real life and I know that, but how many people are fat, obese, or want to lose a few pounds and think the only way they can do so is by being secluded from family and friends under the strictest supervision of trainers and doctors for 9-12 months? That’s not real! 

Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition

Snapping out of that mentality and seeing my own progress and that of those around me remind me, probably daily, that each milestone and set back are mine to own. Sure, I’m on my own “ranch” and it’s chuck full of temptations, distractions and excuses but it’s mine to conquer! 

I work hard to remember, if I want to feel good about my real world, real life results I totally can!

A few ways I do that are by making small, attainable goals for myself, tracking my progress and keeping a nurturing support group close. Believe it or not even if you live far away from friends and family you can get their support on a daily basis. Just ask my My Fitness Pal friends. Our weekly (sometimes daily) encouragements of each other really help the journey be less of a lonely chore and more of a group effort.