Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I missed you, workout. . .

I missed a workout this morning.  I had a 5:45am rise and shine, get my ass kicked workout with Wendy this morning and I slept in.  Not a little sleep in either - a big, oh crap now I am really behind kinda sleep in!

Why should you care, I know you are asking?  All will be revealed - I promise.  But first let me explain that in the past I was the Queen of All Excuses when I was supposed to be working out.  In fact, I have a handy list right here of why I simply CANNOT make a workout today:

I am too tired
I forgot my shoes
I don't have the right bra.
My back hurts.
My knees hurt.
I couldn't get a sitter.
My sitter was sick.
My kids are sick.
I 'm sick.
My cat is sick.
The betafish is sick.
My second cousin twice removed is sick.
I have a meeting.
Mark has a meeting .
The kids have ____________ (insert one of many activities here - band, piano, fastball, playdate. . . )
I am too sore from working out yesterday.
It's too cold, hot,wet, dry, windy, humid, rainy, or snowy.
I don't want to miss American Idol.
The Biggest Loser is on and I can't wait to see Bob's last chance workout this week.
Did I mention I am too tired?

And, oh yeah - I slept in.

Funny thing is, this time when I missed my workout - I actually MISSED my workout!  As in, I really was disappointed that I slept in and missed out on the opportunity to sweat it out and work my not so firm butt off.  That, my friends, is a first.  Because usually when I miss out on anything remotely related to exercise, disappointed is not the feeling that jumps to mind.  More like - "Thank God I dodged that bullet".  So it really is amazing to me that I have actually made exercise so much a part of my life that I actually miss it when I don't do it! HA!  Strange but true fact from the weightloss war!

So, since I missed my workout this morning I felt compelled to join Bob from the Biggest Loser in a 60 minute worlout video when I got home from work. So thanks a lot Bob, but let's face  it - you are no Wendy from BDHQ!

Tomorrow I will be  setting two alarms!  See you at 7am!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Emotional Eating (aka) OMG I just ate an entire package of cinnamon buns.

This week was hard.  Emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically.  Up til now I have managed to negotiate the "bumps" along my transformation journey without too much trouble.  There have been some tough moments, but this week it seemed like it was all tough moments.  And that, my friends, can be a recipe for disaster when you are an emotional eater.  And guess who is an emotional eater??

For many, many years I have eaten whatever pain or loss or angry feeling has come my way.  No wonder I managed to eat myself up to almost 270 pounds.  ( I do believe that anger and sadness weigh much more than fat - I think I should get a research grant to see if this is true!)  I am not really good at dealing with my "difficult" feelings, and am pretty much an expert at hiding them under all these layers of chub.  But now I can't do that anymore - or at least I am trying to choose not to do that any more.  And that is really, really hard.

This week I wasn't very successful.  And it hurts to admit, to put it out there for all to judge. A tough day at work was solved with fish and chips (which made me feel so ill that I was wishing I would throw up and put myself out of my misery!).  Some feelings of sadness were dealt with by a KitKat bar  ( so sweet and artificial tasting that I actually could only eat 3/4 of it - thank heaven for small mercies).  Angry?  Just try several tasty kinds of breads/carb loaded pastries for a quick fix.  I seriously felt like a junkie - eating and then trying to hide and deny to myself that I am not a user ( when in fact I really am a hardcore user of food).  It told me alot about myself that I try not to hear.  I am still an emotional eater, and I need to own it, forgive myself and get on with the business of transforming these unhealthy habits.

I would like to say I am no longer in a funk, but it seems to be hanging on.  Today though, instead of some bad food choices, I chose instead to work out.  I am still craving something nice and white and carbohydrate-ish, but I am going to sing instead (the bass section of my chorus will thank me).  And even though I have screwed up royally this week, I am not going to give up on all the hard work I have put into this journey so far, and use it as the "reason" I cannot be successful.  Because I am always going to have tough days at work, hurts and disappointments, and I know that there are healthier ways of dealing with them that do not include eating myself into a happy little sugar coma.

So I am starting fresh - thank goodness I get a new day every day!  And I feel better already - just sharing the struggle. 

 So, just in case you were thinking I was perfect in every way, I am not.  And that's ok with me.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

One month in. . .

I have officially completed my first full month of my BDHQ-Over!  Now that it is done - it seems to have gone by so quickly ( not my impression in the middle of a spin class, however - there I swear time moves backwards!!!)  We had our first month weigh in and measurements on this past Friday  - and you know how much I was looking forward to that!!

It's funny to me how many times I can say with a straight face that the numbers don't matter.  Because it is really a lie.  Yes, I know that they shouldn't matter, and that I am wonderful despite what the numbers say, but frankly a lifetime of being told by society, and myself, that the numbers DO matter means that is is just BS to say I don't care.  I do.  I really, really care.  I want that number to go down ( preferably at 100 times the rate it went up :)  )  Do I see that as the only way to value myself - thankfully I am learning that I don't have to do that.  But I am not there yet, and I would be lying to say that I am.  And I am pretty sure that many of you out there might be in the same place as me on this one.

So what happened Friday?  I showed up at the gym bright and early at 7am - which is actually later than the 5:45am start of earlier in the week.  ( I am beginning to see how this is actually sort of  a cult, or an incurable illness - I mean really - who gets up that early to sweat like a pig and breathe like I am dying, and endure a cheerful yet firm "just one more" from lovely trainers half my size?)

But I digress. . .

My fellow winners are there and we start our workout before the dreaded ( for me, at least) weigh in.  Lucky for us, the videographer is here to film us looking particularly attractive as we sweat and pant our way through a cardio tire workout.  I am seriously attractive when toting a huge tire over my head while performing squats - if you like sweat, anguish and stringy hair!  I had kind of forgotten the very public nature of winning this contest - which may seem funny since I am blogging it about it.  But there is something about being filmed while working out and weighing in that creates vulnerability - I mean what if I have GAINED weight - what is the reaction then???  Yikes - my capacity for creating worry and anxiety where it never existed before never ceases to amaze me.  At this moment of realization I get called over to step on the scale.

So many thoughts, worries and fears flooding my mind as I bend my head to check out the number - and a very loud WOOHOO when I see for myself that my hard work really is paying off. 

Almost 9 pounds since I started working out, and 20 pounds since January 1!  Holy Crap!  I almost can't believe it, and in that moment I am so relieved and happy that I DO believe that this transformation is really possible. Because there have been lots of days of doubts.  We continue to measure and I find that 11 inches have also found a new home somewhere NOT on my body - it is not just my imagination that my pants are getting baggy!  A little happy dance, a few high fives, and I am back to finishing my workout.  And the tire feels just a little bit lighter.

So - what have I learned?  I would love to say that I now no longer care about the numbers - because that is still BS.  But I have a new found sense of confidence in myself, and an increased ability to stay strong when the numbers aren't so happy, and an even stronger committment to continuing to eat healthy and get up at ungodly hours to sweat and burn and pant.  I am learning slowly that my capacity for making changes really is increasing - so maybe I CAN begin to let go of how much those numbers matter.

At least until next month.
( Just keepin' it real.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Confessions from the Scale. . . part 1

Oh the scale!  A frenemy if I have ever had one.  Truthfully - I have a had a love/hate  ( more hate than love) relationship with my scale since I was about 15 years old.  Back then I had a beautiful fit body ( and at 130 pounds, no where near fat!), yet every morning I would weigh myself and then feverishly do the 20 Minute Workout if I had gained a pound.  Now THAT, my friends is what we call a disordered body image.  I have spent most of my adult life being ruled by the scale - my mood determined by what the number was, or was not.  And, as I have gotten heavier and heavier over the years, its become pretty damn depressing to step on it.

But its a new day, thank goodness, and I am determined NOT to be ruled by an annoying electronic beep telling me I am too much or not enough! At least that is my story and I am sticking to it.  Reality is a little more difficult, and as I get close to my first month weigh in at BDHQ ( coming this Friday), I have to admit to feeling that familiar feeling of worry at the thought of stepping on that scale and somehow not being good enough, based on a number.  My first few weeks of weight loss were impressive - they usually are, and now I am back to my "slow and steady wins the race" pace, which, frankly, is a pain in my increasingly fit gluteus maximus ( and please, no comments on the maximus!).  I just really have a hard time with the one or two pounds a week thing.

So today I decided to take a couple of photos to see if I can see any non scale progress since my jump into the wonderful world of fitness. Check it out:

No, the changes aren't huge, but they are changes nonetheless, and changes that may not be reflected on the scale when I step on it this Friday.  So today I am celebrating the progress I can see in these photos and feel in my heart and body.  And that is definitely better than getting on the scale and letting it rule my emotional life. 

So beep away, my frenemy the scale - I am SO not listening.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Is that cake?

I have survived the first month of my "Year of Transformation", and the first three weeks of my BDHQ-Over.  I have lost 16 pounds (WOOHOO!) and learned a few things along the way. 

The biggest thing  is that it is no longer January and I am gonna have to do this for the rest of my life:

Umm - "oh snap" doesn't quite cover it!  January is awesome - new year, new enthusiasm, fresh energy and tons of motivation.  February is, well - not.  At least for me.  It is hard, tiring and a lesson in patience, resistance, will, and just keeping on keeping on.

This journey is about choices more than anything.  The choice to get healthy, to work out, to eat clean, to care for myself and to make some big ass ( literally!) changes.  I get that.  What is becoming clear, however, is that it is really about making those changes, little by little, every day.   About making healthy, positive choices not just once, but every day - all day.  Every thought, every workout, every bite (or not).  It means choosing NOT to eat cake when it looks so damn good, and choosing TO work out when I would really rather be eating that delicious, creamy, oh my gosh it's chocolate, cake.  And sometimes that sucks.  A lot.

This is a long road.  100+ pounds did not land on my body overnight, so I am guessing it will take a while to get rid of it.  And it will take determination and commitment and patience ( and anyone I know will tell you I am definitely more of  a "can I get it done and make it snappy!" kinda gal). 

I know what I am doing is what I need to do, and what I want to do and what I am choosing to do. And I am so lucky to have so many amazing people to help me and to support me and cheer me on.  I will do this, one "oh snap" at a time. But really, I would love it if it were easier.  And tastier.  And less sweaty.  And now it is time for dinner - Oh snap. Is that lasagna?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Oh my aching. . .

EVERYTHING!  Seriously people - there is not a part of my body that is NOT hurting now, or has hurt over the past almost three weeks!  Who knew there were so many muscles in this body of mine?  Pretty sure most of them haven't been used in a very long time!

I was prepared to work hard, to sweat and to "feel the burn".  What I wasn't prepared for was that the "burn" was actually a raging inferno of molten lava that continues to flow even after you have stopped working out.  In fact - it burns more the next day!  I vaguely remember this from exercising in my former life, but honestly, it's like childbirth - you forget after a while and get tricked into doing it again!

My kids think it is hilarious that I come home and moan when I go up and down the stairs ( thanks Christina - the 100 squats we did today feel just great!), or that passing the dinner plate is an Olympic event with forearms that ache hours after my training (my forearms, for goodness sake - who has a pain the forearm???!!!)  I even got a few emails and messages from friends concerned about my general level of health and the fact that all this pain couldn't possibly be good for me ( plus the spin pictures convinced a few members of my family that I was about to have a heart attack at my next class!)

So, in the interests of science ( and too much time spent on the computer ), I did a little research and found that there is even a scientific explanation for this post workout lava flow of fire - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. DOMS describes a phenomenon of muscle pain, muscle soreness or muscle stiffness that occurs in the day or two after exercise. This muscle soreness is most frequently felt when you begin a new exercise program, change your exercise routine, or dramatically increase the duration or intensity of your exercise routine. ( do I sound like I know what I am talking about yet? )

Although it can be alarming for new exercisers ( and apparently their friends and family!!!), delayed onset muscle soreness is a normal response to unusual exertion and is part of an adaptation process that leads to greater stamina and strength as the muscles recover and build hypertrophy).  So, all this misery is a normal part of becoming fit - I can see why they don't tell you THAT when you begin!

But really, despite all my complaining, I feel really, really good.  Yes, it hurts.  Yes, there are days when I am so happy to see the bath full of lavender epsom salts that I literally cry with relief when I step in.  But I am so happy to be feeling every muscle from doing something positive for myself, instead of being stiff and sore because I sat on the couch for four hours watching crap and eating other crap.  I actually - wait for it - feel like an athlete - and I take pride in complaining to other people at the gym about what hurts today!! ( Misery really does love company!)

So when you hear my complaining, or whining, or looking like a 90 year old with severe arthritis, please know that my body, and my mind, are just adjusting to this crazy new road of fitness that I am on.  I am really ok, and I am really proud of how I am improving each day.

But still give me sympathy - I really like sympathy.  After all, I did a hundred squats today, and my butt is really, really sore.