"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Friday, August 29, 2014

Weigh-In ... Better Down Than Up

Today's Weight:  174.0
Loss/Gain: - 2.0 lbs

It pains me to say I am down two pounds this week, but I'm higher than I was at the beginning of the month.  I also get frustrated when I see myself in my workout clothes with pudginess in spots I didn't have a while ago.  Or frustrated when I put on some capris that were getting loose on me a year ago, but are so snug now I'd rather not where them unless I have to.  Or frustrated that my speed work during my run yesterday had me running my fast speed at what used to be my average speed a year ago.  

However, *deep cleansing breath*, I have done very well this week getting back on track.  Some non-scale victories include:

  • Since Monday I have stayed within my calorie budget.  Sometimes I eat my exercise calories and sometimes I don't.  
  • I have actually drank 4 cups of water a day, among my other beverages.  (Boy, how I'd let my water intake slide as well lately...)
  • Yesterday I resisted the samples of the new pumpkin with cream cheese filling muffin at Starbucks.  
  • When I realized the sandwich I had to order instead of the turkey bacon one I usually get at Starbucks was almost double the calories -- after the fact -- I made up for it by not having a snack in the afternoon.  I was pretty hungry by dinnertime, but I knew I had to be careful. 
You'll notice these all are food victories.  Getting the food under control again is my main goal.  So, even though I'm frustrated that I even have to deal with getting weight back off again, I'm grateful the scale is down and not up some more. 

Thanks for checking in and for all of your support as I get back on track.  I really appreciate the words of encouragement.  Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Repost: Are You Lying to Yourself?

I have to confess that I am not beating myself up for the gain that I'm experiencing this year.  (See post from earlier today.)  It's been a rough year. 

Do I wish I could've handled the changes in my life without gaining weight?  Of course. 

Do I wish I would've seen the ten-pound gain and lost it over the summer without putting on another five pounds?  Absolutely.

However, that has not been the case.  For some reason, that I really can not put my hand on, I have not gotten serious until now.  I say that because as I am about to go to bed I can proudly say I've stayed within my calorie budget for the day -- including a mini s'mores I made with my girls after dinner.  

One of the things that has been helpful to me is to see motivational quotes and articles that kind of bring my mind back into focus.  

This article titled, "Are You Lying to Yourself?" by Bonnie Phiester pretty much sums up what I've been doing.  Being honest with myself has always been key to my success, so I thought I'd share this article with you all in case you need a good dose of honesty like I did. 

176 ... First Ugh, Second a Plan

Last Thursday, before packing up and heading out to our church's 3-day kids camp, I decided to weigh myself.  I won't belabor you with my reasons, but let me tell you I wasn't pleased with what I saw. 


Um, that's up 4 pounds from the beginning of the month.  That was also after getting back into regular exercise, so I was a bit mortified.  I kind of chalked it up to water retention from exercise or my muscles growing already, so I tried to not let it bother me too much.  

However, while at camp I could tell in my clothing that 176 was probably a real number.  Lately, I've noticed my middle seems fuller than it has in a long while; even before my skin removal surgery.  

Sunday morning I weighed myself again, hoping I'd still see 176 because I'm always up a couple of pounds after camp, so if that number was a fluke it might still be there.  

Um, no.  It said 180.  

Proving 176 was most likely a true reading a few days earlier.   

Ugh. Double ugh.  How embarrassing. 

The only good thing about this revelation of where I'm truly at right now is that I did not allow that number to ruin my Sunday.  Instead I decided on a plan. 

  • I am going back to weekly weigh-ins while losing this weight I've allowed to creep back on.  
  • I am also faithfully tracking my food daily AND making sure to stay within my calorie budget six days of the week.  
  • I will continue with my regular exercise, including running 2-3 days a week and HIIT classes 2-3 days a week.  My goal is to exercise 4-5 days a week at minimum.  

The exercise is nothing new.  Outside of my surgery recovery time I've never really had a problem getting 4-5 days of exercise in, especially once my children return to school. 

The food is a whole other ballgame and that has been my problem.  I'm on day 2 of tracking and staying within my allotted calorie budget for the day and it's going fine so far.  

For the record, I have My Fitness Pal set to lose 1 pound a week, so I'm allotted 1520 calories daily.  I will input my exercise, but I think I'm going to try and only eat about 1700 total, even if MFP allows me more...unless I'm truly hungry.  

This is a lifelong journey and I don't plan on starving myself back down the scale (and to where my clothes fit comfortably again).  I also refuse to buy bigger clothes, because this recent thicker Leah is not my new normal.  

So, there it is.  I've seen another new highest number, I'm a tad humiliated, but instead of letting it take me down I'm choosing to make a plan.  

If I don't make it back before Friday I'll see you then with my weigh-in -- hopefully it will be less than 176.  (It was already back down to 178 a day after camp...that weight never stays for long..whew!)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Motivational Monday - One Scary Step

Today in my gym class the instructor says, "Next is a lateral jump with one leg onto the step." 

I stand next to the step and watch her demonstrate.  Suddenly the "...with one leg.." part hits me.  I'm supposed to jump up a couple inches onto the step with just one leg???

Um, probably not. 

"Feel free to jump with both legs to modify if you need to.", she says.  So, I do that.  I jump up and down laterally onto the step with both legs.  Challenging, but much easier to attempt than jumping with one leg.  

And then I think, "I have to see if I can do a one-legged jump, but I'm scared."  The other dozen ladies are doing the jump, but the thought of lifting all my weight with one leg really makes me uneasy.  

Finally I did it.  I had to tap my lifted leg after landing to make sure I didn't fall, but I lifted myself and jumped laterally onto the step with one leg.

I only completed two before we had to switch to the other side.  Again I looked down, got scared and then finally made myself try it.  Again I got about two done before it was time to move on.  

The next round I did two-legged lateral jumps and then made myself finish with one or two single-legged jumps. Of course, it was a little easier that time;  at least my mind was more comfortable with the idea.  

The last round I made myself do a few one-legged jumps before switching to the two-legged jumps.  My mind was past the scared stage and into the "just do a few, you'll get stronger with time" stage.  

When we finished that section of the class I pulled my phone out for a quick picture, because I realized this is exactly what life is like when faced with tough situations.  Maybe it's all in the head or maybe there's a true physical limitation, but by taking one step in the right direction we have a chance to overcome any obstacle. 

Have a great week!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Long Run Mom Style

I decided to go out and get my 5-mile run done this morning while my daughter was at cross country practice.  She has practice for 1.5 hours, so I knew even with my slow pace I should be able to finish in time to go pick her up. 

About 35 minutes into my run my phone rings and it's my daughter. 

"Hi Mom, I'm done.  Coach ended practice early today."


"Okay.  Can you get a ride?  I'm running.  ... No, wait.  I'm almost near the house, so I'll just head to the house and come get you." 

I had originally thought about only doing the scheduled 3 miles today and then heading out for the long run tomorrow morning, but it was a lovely morning and I was in the mood to get that long run in.  I was also tired and just wanted to be able to sleep in and only do 3 miles tomorrow, or even skip it if I felt like it.  

As I headed the quarter mile to my house I decided I guess I'd just call it a day and be done, but as I drove home from picking her up I was like, "No, I need to finish this run." 

There's no real pressing plans tomorrow morning that would prevent me from getting 5 miles in, but I was in the groove this morning and I knew I really needed to finish my run.  

So, I dropped her off, used the restroom and headed back out for two more miles to finish up my run. It was definitely getting warmer out, but I was so glad I got it done.  The rest of my day could go on as planned since I finished what I started first thing this morning.  

This also means I've completed four days of good, solid exercise this week and I'm very happy about that.  

I'm a mom first and a runner second, but today I was reminded that I can make them both work even if it requires moving around little disruptions in the plan.  :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Motivational Monday - My Son The Motivator

My daughter's coach upped the morning cross country practices to 1.5 hours this week, so I had considered going to the gym for my HIIT class again since it falls during her practice time.  

Then I woke up, and among other things, TOM arrived and I just didn't feel like going.  I figured I'd do a Jillian Michaels workout (30 minutes) sometime during the day today.  

However, as I was sipping my coffee and reading my Bible my son came downstairs and asks, "Do they have elliptical machines at the gym?" 

"Um.. yes."

"I can do that while you do your class!"


So, when it was time I got ready and we dropped his sister off at practice and then headed to the gym.  

He is still recovering from his skiing accident so he did what he was able to on the elliptical and walking on the treadmill.  I went to my favorite HIIT class and made it through just fine.  
We were both wiped out, but glad we made the effort to get it done.  

It wasn't until our drive home that I told my son I hadn't really felt like going to the gym today and how he ended up being my motivator.  He grinned and when we walked in the door to the house we did our post-workout imitation of a favorite scene of ours from The Incredibles...

Happy Monday!  Now I'm off to do laundry and shower and maybe take some Alleve and sip more coffee between loads.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Perfect Words at the Perfect Time

I like to listen to podcasts when I go running.  Music is encouraging for getting my sweat on on a cardio machine or in a workout class, but for running a podcast gives me something to listen to and think about so I'm not thinking so much about how far or how long I am going.  

My two favorite podcasts to listen to are Another Mother Runner Radio and Half Size Me.  

I don't go to a therapist, though there are times I think I should with regards to my food issues (only slightly joking here..), but many times these podcasts are all the therapy I need.  

Today I picked a Half Size Me podcast solely based on the length of time so it would last the duration of my run.  Heather's interview with Scott Abel was interesting, full of good reminders and also well balanced.

None of the information was new to me, but when I completed four miles of running I not only felt better physically I also felt better emotionally for the words of encouragement I listened to. *contented sigh*

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Feeling Better [Emotionally]

I have officially signed up for this race. 
And today was my second run of my training plan.  

It was a sunny 77 degrees with 90% humidity, which they said "feels like" 86 or so and that meant a hot, sweaty run, but I didn't mind it.  In fact, I wasn't even scared about going out in it.   

Prior experience running in heat and humidity taught me to listen to my body and only push as I'm able.  It also taught me I can do it and I'll live.  lol 

So, I went out without much hesitation and just got it done.  It was this positive attitude that made me think I am feeling better emotionally about exercising and getting back to "normal".  

I don't regret the decision not to run the half marathon this September -- I needed the break emotionally from the requirements that kind of training requires -- but now I am ready to get back into some training.  

And it feels so good to be able to say that. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's Not the Sweet N Low

Am I the only one who does this? 

The new healthier lifestyle isn't going so great and suddenly I start thinking about all the things I've read or heard about certain foods I eat that might not be good for me.

"Oh, if I would stop drinking coffee I'd lose weight." 

"It's the white bread I use for sandwiches on occasion.  In fact, it's all the carbs; definitely the carbs' fault I cannot control how much or what I'm eating."

"No, it's the Sweet 'n Low.  I've read that it can cause sugar cravings and that must be why I'm overeating." 

A thought or two along these lines will hit followed by...

"I'll stop eating/drinking ________ and then I'll have no desire to eat anything unhealthy again and the weight will drop off, or magically stay in a safe place, without hardly any effort by me."

So, I brush my teeth, crawl into bed and toy with the idea of being very stringent about x, y or z because I'm sure that's why my weight is up, or my spirits are down. *

Then comes the alarm clock and as the new day dawns I realize once again that drastic measures are not the answer to living a healthier life.  Yes, there may be some truth to all of the above statements, but they are not the main reason I struggle with my weight.  

Because the fact is, I know people who do none of those things and are still unhealthy or overweight.  

Curbing certain things in my life may ease the struggle to eat healthier, but the truth of the matter is I need to eat only what my body needs -- versus filling up on excess food when my body tells me it's full.  

It's as simple as that.  

Maybe some people feel that drastic measures are how they want to live their lives, but I'm just not like that.  I have changed a lot of my eating habits -- quite honestly the above are probably the things I keep refusing to change -- but I'm more of an "all things in moderation" type of girl.

So, when I'm feeling bloated and overweight, it's usually from the large meal or chocolate ice cream with peanut butter mixed in that I really didn't have room for added to the fact I hadn't exercised and probably not so much from the Sweet n Low I used in my coffee that morning.  Just saying. 

*Note:  Another thought for another time...did you notice these thoughts hit me right before bed?  It's ALWAYS in the evenings that I go through this.  hhmm....

Monday, August 4, 2014

Motivational Monday - Just Do It: Running

As I was shopping in Ross last week with my son I came across this t-shirt

and I grinned to myself because I've been lazy about wanting to get back into running, even though I knew my training plan for the fall 10K I want to do started today. 

Over the weekend I even found myself looking over various training plans to find the "easiest" one.  When I mentioned to a lady at church, whose husband runs, that I was looking for an easy plan she laughed and replied, "There is no EASY training plans.  Running is hard work." 

And you know, yes it is.  I mainly looked for plans that covered the least mileage in preparing for the final 6.2 distance, but deep inside I knew I was capable of doing the original plan I looked at which builds up to 8 miles and then tapers back down to the race day 6.2.  

So, I decided yesterday I was going to just do it.  I decided I'd take it slow if needed, but I would simply get each run done and begin training for my race whether I felt like it or not. 

And I did.

After dropping my daughter off at cross country practice I went back to my neighborhood and went out for the scheduled 3-mile run.  It was a somewhat cool 73 degrees with complete cloud cover.  Had it not been raining earlier thus being 97% humidity it would've been glorious.  A nice breeze and the cloud cover really did help though. 

The run was very nice yet a bit slower than I like, HOWEVER I realized my pace wasn't too far slower than what I learned my summertime speed was last year when it's warm and humid, so that was a huge plus. 

Of course, as I knew would happen, it felt really good to get the running done.  

In fact, as my daughter's cross country team was finishing up practice I heard them do their team cheer, yelling and whooping it up and I told her later I wanted to join them because yes -- we can do this!!  

One day at a time, one decision at a time I will not give up.   I will just do it.