On to another round!

How did I not update on Monday? Or at least Tuesday. I was so excited, I won my challenge! I’m excited, and happy, and proud of myself, and a little bit disappointed. I know I should have pushed harder and gone farther, but I did what I did and I need to start learning to let things go.

So anyway. Yeah! I won! And to celebrate winning and a good 12 weeks of dieting, I’m doing it again! Yep. One of the girls from the challenged decided to host her own, and I’ve become friends with her over the last couple months, so I joined up! I recruited one of my cousins and my stepmom to come along this time, too! I’m really excited. This time the group seems to be off to a really good start, we all get along and are much more talkative.

I don’t know if I can manage to win this one again. If I go for my same percentage weight loss as I had in the last challenge (12.2%) it’ll put me all the way down to where I was at in high school. I know it’s possible, but it sounds SO intimidating! It’s totally a mental block.

But I’m going to try. I’m going to try even harder this time around. I’m running more and enjoying it more. I love seeing how much faster and how much longer I can run every time. I easily get to my old calorie goals when it’s a gym day and I’m just doing the elliptical. Crunches, squats, pushups and all those bodyweight exercises are getting easier. Obviously, because my body’s weight has gone down.

I’m just so excited to be so obviously seeing the difference in my body. And to be knowing that everyone else is seeing it too!

I need to start including some recipes and my food experiments in this blog. And, you know. Updating it regularly.

I’m so excited at how far I’ve come. 🙂

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Week 12!

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I’m almost to the end of my challenge! I have definitely had some huge challenges, mostly willpower related. Some were social situations that I didn’t handle the best way. Some social situations were fine, though. I’ve had some personal challenges. On my own and in my relationship with my husband. We have two cats, have had them since a couple weeks after I moved in with him almost 8 years ago. 3 weeks ago, he opened the sliding glass door to cool off the apartment and didn’t see that the screen was open. Only one of the cats returned.

I’m completely beside myself. I don’t care what anyone says, these cats are my babies, and one of them is gone. I’m sure that the missing one is never coming home. It’s been too long.

So, depression sucks for maintaining motivation for things. And I still feel the same way about myself as I did before I started dieting. I should mention that at this point, 7 months after deciding to make a difference, I’m down 38 lbs. But in the day to day, it’s hard to remember. I still look down and just see fat. I’m capable of so much more now than I was at that stage, and my physical health is so much better. I just have the mentality of a fat girl. I’m a food addict. I want to binge eat.

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My husband and I just looked at that picture for a while. Neither of us can quite believe that was the reality. Neither of us thought it was that bad. But it was such a gradual thing, it happened over a few years, and then I lost a lot of weight, and then I went back up, up, up again. I’m really scared that it’ll happen again this time. I don’t want to be that person again, but I don’t know if I can do it. I think that’s my absolute biggest hurdle.

Week 4

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Yesterday was the start of week 4 of my fitness challenge. I didn’t hit the 10 pounds I had been hoping for, but I was down 9 lbs and 11.5 inches! Not a bad result for just 3 weeks. I really have to be giving it my all every day from here on out. I’m encouraged by the reactions of the people around me already. It’s nice knowing that there are noticeable results so early on. Normally I wouldn’t expect much until I had been at it for a month at least.

I have to really focus on my diet now. I won’t say I’ve cut gluten out of my diet, because that wasn’t my goal. I’ve just gotten rid of a lot of the carbs I had been eating in favor of more nutritious alternatives. It has been over a week since I’ve had a piece of bread. My usual lunch sandwich has been turned into a wrap using an organic whole wheat tortilla. I also haven’t eaten any refined sugar since starting this diet. The few sweets I have had have been sweetened using fruit or honey. I really am proud of how well I have stuck to my plan.

There’s 4 weeks left until my high school reunion now, too. I’m really hoping to drop another 10 lbs by then and, hopefully, quite a few inches.

Running is becoming easier every time I go out. I have been quite good about sticking to my wed-fri-sunday schedule. I even went out for an almost 2 mile jog before going to spend Mother’s Day with my mom!

Summer is an exciting prospect for me, I am really looking forward to getting fresh produce at the farmer’s market and to having nice weather to do all my favorite outdoor activities.

Even though today started out as not great, I’m really optimistic for my future. Here, as a bonus, have a picture of Moo being reluctant to be photographed with me.
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Weight Loss Challenge!

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Ok, I’m bad at this “updating things” thing. Nearly 3 weeks ago I joined a weight loss challenge group being hosted by a friend on Facebook. I wasn’t positive about joining at first, but I am becoming very glad that I did. Each woman paid in $50 to the pot and at the end of the 12 week challenge, the one who lost the largest percentage of weight will be the winner and be awarded the pot! Wow, that’s a huge inscentive to actually stick with my life changes this time around.

I’m doing pretty well. Most of my challenges are mental this time around. I’m starting to jog again and so far, no injuries. I’m starting to weight train, little by little, and that is working too. I started the plank challenge and have already noticed a loss of inches on my arms. I’m (supposed to) only weigh in on mondays, but I do check in every other day or so. We started on April 21st and as of today I am down 8 lbs. Not a massive, huge, amazing amount, but I’m consistent so far. I’ve also lost 7.5″ across the 7 areas I’m measuring. I know it’s a big goal, but I’d like to lose 15″ in the first 4 weeks of the challenge. That will get me to a crazy good start.

Pinterest is my best friend and worst enemy. I’ve found some good workout routines, some that suck, and some awesome recipes. I also get sucked into the vortex of food porn, and that hurts me. Physically. Ugh, so many pretty, delicious things I won’t be eating for a while! I’ve cut way down on my starch intake and even though my daily carbs are still high, I don’t feel guilty about most of their sources. I try to keep fresh fruit on hand for when I feel like I need “something” but don’t want to go totally off the rails. My challenge now is finding new meal ideas that will keep both me and my husband satisfied. He isn’t “dieting” exactly, but he’s mostly eating what I’m eating for dinner.

One recent winner was this Creamy Chipotle Shrimp. It was delicious! I altered the recipe since it was just for the two of us and I didn’t want to have a bunch of leftovers. Chris absolutely loved it and I can see it being on the menu again some time in the future.

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My sweet tooth is gonna kill me, too. I’m trying to find healthy alternatives, but most sweets and pastries are… full of pretty pointless calories and lacking in nutrients. It’s going to forever be a challenge to find dessert recipes that have some sort of redeeming qualities. I’ve just finished a strawberry banana loaf that was made with oat flour (whole oats that I pulsed in the food processor until they were a rough flour) that used no sugar, just honey, and no oil, just greek yogurt and mashed banana. Next up is some quinoa cookies made with mashed banana and peanut butter and cocoa powder.

My biggest upcoming challenges will be keeping motivated and not becoming discouraged. This is not a short road, and even though I HAVE seen the changes and AM feeling the difference, I’m feeling pretty down about the whole process.

Progressing!

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I am slowly, slowly getting there. I have been quite bad lately. Ignoring My Fitness Pal, eating whatever I feel like (including an entire meal from Panda Express, full with the delayed regret) and skipping the gym. I’m ready to get back to it

The good news is that I haven’t set myself back from where I’d gotten to. I’m still down almost 20 lbs from when I started and my body shape is still much smaller. I notice the most difference in my face, and so does everyone else.

I know that my life is going to be incredibly busy over the next few months, I just got myself a third (yes, 3) job. My husband has been unemployed for nearly 8 months and we’re nearly at the end of our savings. It’s nowhere near enough for us to live on still, but we might be a little closer. I know that stress is a huge trigger for me, so I am pretty forgiving of my occasional food binges.

I’ve gotten back to counting my calories, though, and am headed to the gym once my crispy edamame come out of the oven. The local Farmer’s Market gets started tomorrow, and I’m SO excited to add that back into my life! Our very good friend has an amazing catering business and a booth at the Market and I can’t wait to have her food back in out life. I love that it’s starting to really feel like spring and that my outside time can increase again. Winter is not good for me.

My family gets together every July for the last 6 years and participates as a group in the Swedish SummeRun for Ovarian Cancer Research and every year since the first time my husband and I have been back in Washington, we’ve told ourselves we are going to run. And every year, we walk. I really want this to be the year I run! I also realize that if it’s going to happen, I need to start training NOW. Four months should be enough time to actually get me into running shape, however slow I might be!

All in all… I’m cautiously optimistic. I don’t know where my life is going at the moment. I don’t know what will happen to us if Chris is unable to find a job. I don’t know how I’m going to handle having 3 jobs and being busy for most of the day 6 days a week. I just don’t know. But I think I feel ok. Maybe.

Feeling a little discouraged

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Hi again, it’s been a few weeks and I’m keeping on with my (mostly) clean eating. There have been a few slip-ups, mostly due to circumstances. My favorite cousin had a birthday party, and I had a few drinks, and PIZZA! I managed to only have 2 slices of a medium pizza, though, so I felt pretty triumphant. Another slip was when I got snowed in at my cousin’s house, right after she had been to the store and bought fried chicken! Ah, temptation.

I do feel much better. My blood pressure is in much better control, I have halved the dosage of my medicine I take for it. I was getting lightheaded at times from it dropping too low. It’s something I’ve had to compensate for in the past, but it means I’m getting healthier inside.

I’ve been spending at least 40 minutes a day, 6 days a week, doing dedicated, intense cardio. A few times it has been over an hour with combined time on an elliptical, treadmill and calisthenics. I’ve also been tracking my calorie intake, and have been pretty good at staying at or under my goal of 1200 net calorie intake per day.

Even after all that, my weightloss has stagnated. I know it’s way too early to be truly discouraged, but it’s hard to tell myself that. I have stopped weighing myself too often. I’m shooting for once a week, but around thursday, my curiosity gets the better of me. My weight loss was very fast in the beginning of my diet change, but in the last 2 weeks, I only have a 2 pound change.

I know, I know. That’s a healthy rate, and I am feeling so much stronger than I had been. I’m positive that I’m gaining muscle, my endurance for the exercise I do is increasing. I’ve been adding weights to my home exercises, and a able to increase the resistance and incline on the machines at the gym. I didn’t take body measurements until almost the end of January, but I’ve noticed some loss in inches so far. This Thursday I will be taking my 3 week measurements, and I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m enjoying the process so far, but it is slow. I’m an impatient person, I can’t help it.

Unfortunately, there’s no “skip to end” button on real life.

Getting There

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I’m now almost a week into clean eating and I feel amazing. I have so much more energy than I usually do. Yesterday I took my cousin, aunt and uncle, and my cousin’s kids to the airport at 5:30 am. At 10 pm I was still up and not feeling as drained as I would have otherwise. I’m enjoying the food I’m eating more than I have recently.

Its amazing how much of a change it can be when you really think about the food you’re putting into your body. And it really isn’t an extreme amount of work to keep it up. I spend a little bit of time chopping veggies up so I have them around for easy snacking, keep apples and pears around for when I want something sweet. The vegetable broth made for WONDERFUL beef stew and cooked up yummy quinoa.

I’m having fun finding new recipes. I still have to work on my willpower. Today we had lunch at Jimmy John’s. There are a lot worse choices out there, but I still should have eaten at home. I still want coffee, but i feel better with the green tea. Today, to mix it up, I threw a couple frozen raspberries in to steep with the tea. It’s delicious! I’m making these cookies today, hopefully that will help conquer some of my cravings for sweets (and make me feel less guilty about them if I cave).

Chris and I have decided to go to the gym daily. Between the two of us, there should be enough encouragement there to actually get it done. Most of the time, I think we just end up feeding each others’ laziness and food addictions.

I’m looking forward to feeling better in the future, and really being able to make a change to the way we live. I want us to have kids one day, but I can’t do that if I’m not sure how long I’ll be around for. I want to feel good and be able to be a really good mother.

This is the End

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Yes, already. I don’t think that a full juicing cleanse is for me. Yesterday left me feeling sick and exhausted again. Husband is complaining about dreading the next juice, not being excited to try new varieties and incorporate them into our lives. So I think that we will be going back to real food today.

That also means we’re going to be on our way to trying to get “clean”. We are going to try to find as many ways as possible to cut processed and pre-packaged foods out of our lives. I know that is where a lot of the unhealthy things we’re eating are coming from. We can’t just blame fast food anymore. So now we start on cleaning out our cupboards, finding recipes and trying out homemade options, and finding good, natural, local options for the things we don’t have the time to make.

Fortunately, the greater Portland area is an amazing place to live when trying to go natural. It’s a huge trend here, there are healthy markets everywhere. Local bakeries, even “good” fast food in Burgerville. We can buy Dave’s Killer Bread almost anywhere. The Vancouver Farmer’s Market is the most amazing thing. I’m so excited for it to start back up in March, I know this summer will be our healthiest and best yet.

Also adding to my optimism is the nearly 10 pounds I’m down already. In not even two weeks! Before the juicer even came in the mail, when we decided that we HAD to make a change in our lives, I cut coffee out of my life. Now I only drink whole, loose leaf teas (mostly Jade Dragon Mao Feng green tea). Every day of last week I would make myself a quart of very lightly brewed tea to refrigerate overnight and drink the next day. I cut the amount down after a few days to more like 16 oz of iced tea, but I still think it was making all the difference.

So, now we will be returning to whole foods, but keeping in mind the amount of unhealthy ingredients that can be found in things that would otherwise seem okay. There are so many things I could be making myself that we buy out of laziness or out of habit. Or out of weakness. My biggest obstacle will be overcoming WANT.

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This is me, and my journey to health.

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Hi. My name is Meg and I have a muffintop.

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In fact, I have several, depending on the angle. There’s probably about 50 extra pounds I’ve been carrying around. I’ve been sick, in pain, and feeling exhausted for months. My life needs a serious change and I just hope I’m making that change in time.

A few weeks ago, my husband suggested that we buy a juicer. We both did a little research, and decided to give it a shot. We ordered a juicer, watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead and decided to go for it. We started cutting bad foods out of our life 2 weeks ago, putting more and more juice in our diets. Saturday, we dropped meat. On wednesday my husband started his juice cleanse, and I started mine today.

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I have to admit, I hate it. I absolutely hate the thought, taste, idea of juice, even as I drink my dinner. This has been a horrible, long, uncomfortable day and I am feeling so very discouraged. I feel like my hubby is almost mocking me, telling me how great he feels, and how yesterday wasn’t even difficult for him. Even when I’m not physically hungry, I’m psychologically hungry and it’s making me miserable. I can’t stand the idea of another DAY of this, and a week makes me want to cry.

BUT. But, I am going to give this a full shot. I’m going to consume only healthy, fresh juices for another 2 days at a minimum. I promise. There, now it’s written down and I can’t ignore it.

My life was becoming progressively harder and less happy. I haven’t been treating myself well and i need to change that. My hope is that I have the willpower to make the change, and the strength to make it a lifelong habit. My life needs it.