Week 17: Bah Humbug

I was super cranky yesterday because I didn’t lose any weight this past week. I am so close to the halfway point of my goal, but it just wasn’t the week. Cranky.

I have no one to be cranky at except myself. I’m distracted because I am going away on Friday, and I’m allowing it to throw off my routine. My focus is off. I only ran once last week, and did 2 out of 3 of my Jillian Shred workouts. I feel like a broken record when I say this, but I can’t slack on my exercise because my eating plan doesn’t allow deprivation. Without working out consistently, I can’t expect to see any results on the scale. I know this information, so I shouldn’t be cranky.

We also had a party this past Saturday that did not offer a variety of healthy food options. I did pretty well in that situation. I limited my intake, but I did indulge in a few of the small desserts and 1 mimosa. They were tasty, so that was good. I think if you’re going to indulge, they should be foods you really enjoy. Make it worth the calories. So, given my distracted state of mind, along with the mini-eclairs, I should probably be happy I broke even.

I started the Level 2 of Jillian’s Shred workouts yesterday. I would describe my first attempt at this level as unpleasant. I was sweating profusely by the end of the 28 minutes! Jillian says in the video that she wants us to feel like we are going to die, so I guess I was doing it right. Kudos to her though, you definitely feel like you had a workout in that short time frame. Since I am flying out on early Friday morning this week, I have no room for any skip days before my trip if I want to get in 5 workouts, and I’m determined to get in all my exercise before my trip. No slacking off is allowed.

Since I will not be home this upcoming weekend, I am bumping up my official weigh-in day for Week 17 to Thursday. It’s usually on Sunday, but I won’t have access to my scale and I’m detaching myself from thinking about my weight for a weekend. I’m going to a wellness spa, and I just want to focus on achieving mindfulness.

I cross my fingers I can lose that pesky pound and hit my halfway goal before I leave. It would be nice to feel that sense of accomplishment to help me stop obsessing about it. What is it about 20 pounds versus 19 that makes such a difference? I don’t know, but I know I want to hit that mark.

I should have some good stories next week after this trip. My friend and I are signed up for all types of wellness activities, and some out of the ordinary spa treatments. I expect to be relieved of my crankiness!

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Week 16: Tip That Scale

I lost one pound at my weigh-in this past week. That brings my total up to 19 pounds in 15 weeks, so I am ahead of the game, and so close to the halfway point that it’s going to be a painful week! It will really upset me if I don’t make it this week to the 20 pound point.

I’m still obsessed with the scale and weighing myself everyday. I’m just not a person that likes surprises. The scale is a funny thing. On Thursday, I weighed myself in the morning as I usually do everyday, and I was three pounds over my Sunday weight. It was a real downer! I was so upset and came to the conclusion that I’d end up with a weight gain by Sunday (my official recording day), and it would be the first time since I started this program that I’d have to report an increase. I thought to myself if I could just break even by Sunday I would be happy. I didn’t do anything different than I’ve been doing all along, and it ended up being fine. I guess it was just unnecessary stress. I wish that stupid scale and number didn’t mean so much to me!

I went shopping on Sunday for my upcoming long weekend. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected but I wouldn’t describe it as fun either. I’m not ready to buy new clothes, and I hate shopping under pressure. Although, I concluded that I shouldn’t get upset over sizes anymore, they are meaningless. One designer I can wear a small, then another an extra large. I can’t stand the mind games, I just want to feel good in my clothes. I am so tired of squeezing into sizes that don’t really fit me because I don’t want to go a size up, and I am feeling done with looking at clothes and only thinking about how well this particular item will hide my bulges and rolls.  I want to be able to breathe in my pants, and I want to feel attractive.

In news of personal growth, I actually bought a couple of tank tops. My arms are the bane of my existence. But, I put that aside and decided that I can’t ignore my needs to be cool in a hot climate just because I feel my arms are not worthy of public exposure. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t think I looked that bad in a tank top. Definitely not great, but I wasn’t throwing it off in complete disgust. It’s an improvement from where I started, so I will call that a win.

Time to focus on losing that pesky pound this week to tip the scale past the halfway mark! The weeks are really flying.

Week 15: Wide Awake

What a difference a week makes. I feel awake again and ready to conquer the next phase of my program. I lost 2 pounds last week, and feel as if I crossed over a plateau.

This morning I tried on this cashmere sweater that I bought almost 2 years ago at a big discount, but it didn’t fit me at the time. How many of us do this? I am sure I am not the only one that has several items in the closet with tags still on them that were purchased with the thinking of “this will fit me soon.”  Anyway, I try on this particular sweater every now and then to see if it fits me yet, and I finally did not take it off with disgust. It is very motivating to keep going! Quite the switch in my attitude from last week when I was thinking I deserved to slack off a little.

Also, I have come to realize that the number on the scale is somewhat irrelevant. It still means a great deal to me, but I can’t escape the fact that I weigh more than I did at this exact time last year, yet that cashmere sweater looked completely different on me today. While I weigh more, I’m getting leaner overall and in better shape than I was last year. I’m sure it is also mental. I wasn’t working out last year, and I was taking quick shortcuts to lose the weight. The person I saw in the mirror wasn’t someone I thought deserved to feel good.

I completed all my workouts last week, and the schedule worked out very well. It will never cease to amaze me how quickly the body can adapt to new routines. I haven’t run in ages, but with just 3 walk/runs doing 3 miles, I have already shaved 5 minutes off the time it takes me to finish.

In other news, I am taking a short girls getaway vacation at the beginning of May. I will be traveling with my best friend, who is also a dietician. We are going to one of those all-inclusive spa resorts that promotes wellness and health. We have plans to take part activities involving meditation, stretching, hiking, mental wellness, and working in a healthy amount of fun spa and relax time.

Given these factors, I am not worried about this trip derailing my program, but I am in a typical panic mode. My husband keeps asking me if I am excited. Who wouldn’t be excited about going to a spa for a few days? It’s an amazing resort! But it’s me.  My mind immediately jumps to thinking about how I need to go shopping with my current body in preparation for this trip, and how I am not feeling ready to try on or buy clothes. I have another 22 pounds to lose, and really don’t want to buy clothes until I reach my goal. Then, I think about taking another trip with my skinny friend and her skimpy bikini, and feeling, once again, like the fat disgusting one. I don’t even feel comfortable wearing short sleeves. I think about all the horrible photos of me that could be taken, burned in time looking hefty. Either that or I will just flat out refuse to be the subject of any photos. I also start calculating the exact time I have left before this trip and how much weight I can lose in this time frame, and then crazy stuff like all-chicken diets pop into my head.

I hate the fact that my mind goes to these unhappy and nutty thoughts.  I’m so lucky to have opportunities like this, and should enjoy every minute. I earned it, I work hard, and I deserve it. I am in a better place mentally than I was a few months ago, and this trip is designed to help improve my attitude. After all, it is a wellness spa. I plan to work on it during these few days, and focus on clearing my mind of this negativity. I promised myself this year would be about focusing on MY needs and working on creating a better lifestyle that would improve my mind, body and soul. This trip fits the bill.

So, to answer my husband’s question, I would say I’m pretty close to being excited. I am trying to live in the moment. That will have to do for now. Maybe they will fix me there!

Week 14: Familiar Feelings

I didn’t lose any weight this week and I am not surprised. I slacked off, and I deserve the slap in the face that the scale gave me.

In the first week of switching up my workout routine, I only worked out on Sunday, Monday and Thursday. I did my Jillian Michaels Shred twice, and I did one 3 mile run/walk combo. Unacceptable! The 30 Day Shred videos, while challenging, are short. I can’t expect it to have any effect if I only do it twice in one week. I was already concerned that doing them 3 times a week mixed with 2 runs wasn’t going to be enough, and then I skip 2 workouts? I’m so disappointed with myself.

I have reached a sensitive point in my 40 week program. When I’ve lost weight in the past, I have always started with the “Ra Ra” New Year’s resolution attitude.  From January until March, I have historically been good about diet and fitness. Then, I lose weight and start to feel better and the slip begins. From there, the slippery slope gets worse and by the Summer, I’m back to slowly gaining weight a bit at a time, although it doesn’t seem so bad as it is happening. By the Fall/Winter, I practically give up because the holidays are coming up and might as well start in January. I’m sure that I’m not alone in having this type of pattern.

I am having those familiar feelings. I haven’t even scratched the surface of my weight loss, but I do feel better about myself. I can see the difference in the way my clothes fit.  I am less flabby. While it’s great to feel better, that is no excuse for complacency.  I’m by no means breaking out the bathing suit, but I’m feeling good enough to think it’s OK to slack off a little, and that’s where the slope starts. The next thing I know I’m flat on my face in fat and depressed city.

I am still eating well, but exercise is a constant battle. I have never enjoyed exercise, and I don’t know how to make myself. With my eating program, exercise is critical for weight loss. I am not depriving myself enough on the food end of things to let myself slack off  on the exercise end.  I might not ever love it, but it needs to be filed in the non-optional category of routines, such as brushing my teeth, showering, or wearing clean underwear. Finding a workout schedule that I can maintain for the rest of my life is absolutely key to my long term success.

When I was doing the Power 90, there was some structure to that program that I enjoyed. It was well defined how often to work out, and what routines I should be doing weekly. There was a specific amount of time to complete the program.

I believe for my success, I need some structure and goals. To start, I’m signing up for a timed 5K race for the end of May. That will scare me into running at least twice a week in order to prepare and not be completely embarrassed. As for the Jillian Michaels routines, I’m going to stick with the program I worked out for myself last week, and shoot for 3 days a week. If I don’t lose weight this week, then I will bump it up to 4 times a week. I should at least try to complete the exercise  structure I worked out for myself and see how it goes for awhile before I start changing it up. I can’t blame the program if I haven’t even completed one week yet.

Change isn’t easy, and I can tell April is going to be a challenge. I have to focus and fight these old patterns of unhealthy living. I want to fight these feelings and win.

I know I’m strong and will emerge victorious!

Week 13: Phase 2 Begins

It’s April already? Where did March go? Unfortunately, I did not complete my ‘March Madness’ goal of losing 8 pounds in the last month. Setting a foolish goal like that was just madness in itself, I don’t know what I was thinking. I was steady with losing 1 pound a week, so my total for the last month was 4 pounds, bringing my total for the first three months to 16 pounds. I saw my parents last night for the first time in about six weeks and they said it was a noticeable difference. I was happy to hear it. Hooray! Pat on the back.

I started my Phase 2 workout schedule on Sunday. As I mentioned, I am switching to the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred videos, and mixing in running days. Here’s how I am planning for it to go right now for the next 12 weeks:

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday: 30 Day Shred – as follows,
(Weeks 1-4, Level 1; Level 2 for weeks 5-8; and Level 3 for weeks 9-12)
Monday, Weds: Running 3 miles or more
Friday/Saturday: Rest Days

I am a little worried this is not enough exercise to continue losing weight. The Jillian Michaels workouts are not long, they are less than 30 minutes. I’ve done it twice so far this week, and while the first 10 minutes of the routine I felt as if I wanted to die, by the end I was thinking, it’s over already? I will say that I sweat more in that 27 minutes than I was sweating during 50 minutes of cardio/abs with the Power 90 DVDs. If I don’t lose weight during the first 2 weeks, I will reevaluate the program. I may need to add some extra exercise to the days I complete the Shred routine.

I am taking 2 rest days per week during Phase 2. I was suppose to workout 6 days/week in Phase 1, but I found myself skipping a workout every week for the last month. I figured I wouldn’t set myself up for failure in this phase and just schedule an extra rest day. It also allows me some flexibility in my schedule. This week I already had to mix things up. It was snowing/raining on Monday, so I didn’t want to start running on a crappy day, and ended up doing the Shred routine. I also had dinner plans last night and a late meeting, so I wasn’t able to get in a workout and Tuesday became one of my rest days. For this week, my run days will be Wednesday and Friday.

Therefore, tonight is my first run in ages. I’m using the term ‘run’ loosely, it will probably be more walking than running, since it has been a long time. I wish it was warmer outside, the temps are still in the 30s! I can’t wait around for the weather in New England to be nice since that rarely happens. I just need to embrace my inner hardy New Englander and get out there. She’s in there someplace.

16 pounds is the number to beat in Phase 2! Can I crush my phase 1 numbers?

Time to get moving and see what happens!