Friday, December 30, 2011

The Challenge

Yesterday, I went and bought 2 things that will help me along my path of being more active over the next year.  I got a coupon for $3 off of the Sparkpeople 28-day Boot Camp DVD by Coach Nicole at Target stores.  So, I went and bought that first thing.  A $5 counter coupon printed out for the Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 game for Xbox Kinect.  It was already on sale from $50 down to $40, with the coupon it was $35! 

I got home with my new workout DVD and my new fitness game.  I popped in the DVD.  It’s one of those workout DVDs that breaks down the workout into segments so you can mix and match your workouts.  I did the whole DVD except for the 30 minute segment.  So, I worked out for an hour flat!  That’s great considering I haven’t really worked out at all since September.  And, even then, it was a very lax form of working out because I was completely unmotivated.

During and after my workout yesterday, I felt great!  I moved with the exercises and nothing hurt or ached.  Of course, today I’m a little sore…mostly from the squats and lunges that she makes you do.  And you do a lot of them!  But, I felt alive and fluid when I was going along with the DVD yesterday. 

I work over the weekend, so I won’t be able to work out again until Monday.  I’m going to do another hour of Coach Nicole’s DVD and I’m going to give my fitness game a go as well for 30 minutes to an hour. 

At work, a co-worker and I have started up a little challenge.  Even though I’ve given myself an entire year to drop the 33 pounds I want to lose, this is a 6 month challenge.  He only has 1 pound more than me to lose for us to reach our goal weights.  So, our goal is to lose 5.5 pounds a month to achieve my 33 pounds and his 34 pounds lost in 6 months’ time.  So long as I can control my binge eating, I believe I can do it.  I’m excited to have someone in person that is going to be working with me.  Not actually doing the workouts and such with me, but we’ll be accountable to each other and that’s a lot.  We’ll know that there’s someone else that is expecting to hear that we stuck by our workout plan for our days off and that we refrained from eating Jack-In-Box or Taco Bell or whatever tempted us.  We’ll know that there is someone that is expecting to hear that we ate healthy and worked out for at least 30 minutes each day. 

Being accountable to someone will be a huge help for me.  It’s something I’ve never done before.  Sure, I’ve done the Weight Watchers thing and I’ve been on and off of Sparkpeople for years now, but I’ve never actually been accountable to someone in person that I knew.

It’s going to be difficult for me to control my binge eating.  But I’m going to do it.  I’m going to track what I eat in the food tracker and I’m going to make myself aware of what I’m putting into my body.  Once I can see it all lain out in front, maybe that will give me what I need to put down the fork and quit stuffing my face when I’m not even hungry.  It’s a serious problem to me.  It’s not something I make light of or joke about.  It causes me to be severely critical of myself, which is counterproductive, but I can’t seem to stop myself from talking smack to myself.

Hopefully, through this experience of weight loss and personal control I can learn to view myself positively and say good and nice things to myself.  I think I can.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finding My Motivation

I’m starting down the road to weight loss again.  I started that very same journey a little over a year ago.  At that time, I weighed it at around 235-240.  That was the heaviest I had ever been in my life.  When I stepped on the scale at the doctor’s office and realized just how big I was, I wanted to cry.  It was the lowest point in my life.  It didn’t help that I was trying to recover from the worst end to a relationship I had ever gone through.  Last year was not a good year for me by any stretch of the imagination. 

I’ve been lost in a sea of serious lack of motivation this year.  I struggled to lose the 35 pounds I did manage to lose, falling short of my original goal by 25 pounds.  I had set out to lose 60 pounds.  I felt like a failure when I went to the gym every day I was off work and worked out with cardio and weights for an hour and a half each session and I didn’t lose a thing.  I didn’t see any change in my physical appearance either…or in how my clothes fit.  So I let my gym membership lapse and ended up canceling it because it had become a waste of $50 a month.

I’ve been searching and searching for something to motivate me.  I’ve watched the Biggest Loser in the past.  An episode here, and episode there.  I wasn’t committed to watching it to say the least.  I didn’t really watch it this past season because I was too busy being enraptured by Dancing With The Stars.  The new season of Biggest Loser starts next week and I plan to watch every episode.  I feel that with as emotional as I get watching the few episodes that I have watched, that it will help motivate me.  It will show me that it IS possible and that I CAN do it.  I can achieve my goals.  I can finish losing that original 60 pounds…plus another 10.  I have second 35 pounds to lose ahead of me…and I want to do it by this time next year.

I will look for things to motivate myself in the coming year.  I will do my best to keep myself as positive as I can.  I will do my best to stay active.  I will do my best to add variety to my workouts.  I will do my best to make it fun so that I will keep doing it.

Staying positive with myself is one of the hardest things for me to do.  I’m extremely critical of myself.  When I look in the mirror and I want to tell myself I’m disgusting, I have to change gears and tell myself that I’m making progress and I’m doing great.  If I can do that, then I can succeed.

Something else I want to do this year is to compete in a half marathon, but the only thing is that I won’t be able to run it.  See, earlier this year, I tried to start being a runner.  I *wanted* to run.  I truly did.  I even was able to achieve a runner’s high most of the time and it felt GREAT!  I didn’t want to lose that.  I wanted to run and I didn’t want anything to get in the way.  However, after only a month, I was experiencing extreme pain in my shins.  When I was in the Army, I got really bad stress fractures in both of my shins and I was afraid that I had refractured them.  So I went to the doctor and he told me it was just really bad shin splints.  He told me to stop running.  So that was the end of that.  That’s when I went and got the ill-fated gym membership.  So, I will be walking the half marathon.  I know I can do 10 miles in 3 hours, so another 3.1 miles should take me another 50 minutes which seems like good time.  I want to do it with Team In Training and they train on a somewhat regular schedule, so I will have to wait until I can get switched to 8 hour shifts at work.  I’m on 12 hour shifts right now and my schedule is a bit wacky.  The days I work one week are my days off the next week and vice versa.

I have an acid reflux problem.  It doesn’t bother me too much on my days off from work, but on the days I work, my belt hits me in such a way that it pushes on my stomach and causes the acid reflux to act up.  I wear a uniform to work (I’m a corrections officer), so the waistline on my pants is higher than the pants I wear outside of work.  I am afraid that I will have to go to the doctor and have him put me on Nexxium until I can lose the weight and get rid of the acid reflux the natural way.  I have to be comfortable and, right now, I’m not.

I will do this.  I will succeed.  I will not let anything stand in my way or deter me this time.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Goals 2012

It’s that time of year again…the time of resolutions and goal making.  I don’t usually do the whole resolution thing because I’m one of the millions of people who can’t manage to stick by what she says she’s going to do in the new year.  So, instead, I like to set reasonable goals, not unlike the reasonable goals that are recommended for successful weight loss.

This year, I lost between 30 and 40 pounds over the entire year.  I’m hoping that I can replicate that weight loss and lose another 30 to 40 pounds by this time next year.  If I’m diligent, I believe I can succeed. 

I got an Xbox 360 with Kinect for Christmas from a really good friend this year.  I’ve been using that on my days off from work for an hour a day.  I play a dancing game.  It keeps me active and I even manage to break a little bit of a sweat doing it. 

Yes, I recently posted a blog about doing CrossFit.  I haven’t completely abandoned that idea in favor of just using the Xbox and Kinect.  I have just postponed it for now.  In the late spring/early summer, I will probably do it for a couple months to quickly drop 10-15 pounds and to get myself into the groove of more intense workout sessions.  At that point, I may even join a gym again so I can do weight lifting circuit training. 

So, my goals for the new year are simply to be more active and eat less junk food.  Pretty simple goals, I think.  And they should be easy to stick to.  Eating less junk just translates into not going out to eat as much or, if I do go out to eat, trying to make the healthier choice available to me.  I need to eat more greens and fewer additives.  Staying active will be easy with the Xbox and Kinect.

In the February, I plan to take my bicycle to the shop and have them do a tune up and fix whatever needs fixing on it so that I can start riding like once or twice a week when the weather gets better.  I just plan to ride around Austin until I get tired and then ride the bus back home.  Well, almost home.  The nearest bus stop is 5 miles away.  But, even tired I can do that last 5 miles without a problem. 

Another thing I can do is go for a 2-3 hour walk once or twice a week, which I can do in good weather or even in slightly inclement weather.  I have a good golf umbrella that will keep me about 90% dry.  I do love to walk.  It’s great alone time.  A great time to just be by yourself and think…or not think, whatever suits me that day.  I just enjoy the music I listen to while I walk and the scenery.  It could be the same scenery every day (which for the purpose of my walks usually is the same) and I would still enjoy it.  There are always subtle differences. 

I believe I can do it.  I believe I can lose another 30-40 pounds over the next year.  I have faith in myself.  I have to.  I can’t depend on someone else to have faith in me or, even if they do, for that to make any difference in me reaching my goals.  I’m going to be very positive about this.

I want to use to help me out.  I used them a couple years ago and it worked out great for me.  I was able to accurately track my daily intake of food and control what I ate that way.  It’s just so much easier to control what you eat when you see it all laid out in front of you in easy to understand numbers.  So much easier to stick to portion sizes that way too. 

Something that has made it difficult for me to lose weight is being on 12-hour shifts at work.  I didn’t realize just how detrimental a long work day could really be on someone’s body.  You can’t eat in any way normally, especially when you never know when your lunch break is going to be.  I get my lunch break anytime between 7am and 4pm.  Also, we’re not allowed on the internet at work, and that makes it difficult to use on a regular basis.  I mean, I guess I could enter my food in the morning before I leave for work in the mornings…but that makes sense.  Har de har har!  Yea, so I guess I’ll start doing that then.  I have about 10-15 minutes in the mornings where I’ve gotten everything ready and I’m just watching the news until it’s time to leave.  I supposed that I could use that time to plug in my food that I’ll eat while I’m at work. 

I really want to do this right.  I want to utilize every tool available to me to help me get the best results possible.  And I will make sure that I do it right.  When my friend wants to take me out to eat, I’ll pick out a recipe and make him take me to the store to buy ingredients so I can cook for us instead of eating out.  It’ll be cheaper too, which I’m sure he’ll like.  But, most importantly, it’ll be easier to keep track of what I’m eating and I’ll know exactly what I’m eating…instead of “mystery meat” and mystery preservatives and additives.  And that means that my dinning room table will start getting used on some kind of basis, which will be nice, because right now it’s just kind of taking up space.  It would also force me to keep my kitchen cleaner so that it would be easier to use.

Something I noticed when I went on vacation for a little over 2 weeks this month was that my work uniform gives me problems with my acid reflux.  Where the belt hits my stomach, it squeezes my stomach and it makes my acid reflux act up more.  So, that’s another reason to get on the wagon about being serious about losing weight.  My acid reflux has gotten to the point where nothing seems to help it.  I just need to lose weight, that’s the only thing that I know for a fact will improve it. 

Something else I can do is to do the fruit, veggie, and juice 15-day cleanse again.  I think I’ll start that in the next couple weeks.  Probably at the beginning of next payday, just do it for the last half of the month.  That’ll get me started in the right direction.  Then, I just have to make the effort to cook my own food all the time after that, staying away from junk food and fast food and restaurant food completely, except for very occasionally.  I really think I can do this and succeed at it.  I mean, I’ve given myself a whole year to accomplish losing 30-40 pounds.  Heck, if I really, really applied myself and did the CrossFit, I could probably do it in 6 months or less.  But I want to do this right.  I want to do this so that it’s a lasting thing for me.  I don’t want to lose the weight and then put it right back on because I didn’t change enough, because I didn’t spend enough time with the new eating habits (which I hear take about 6 months to really cement into you…so, 6 months after I’ve reached my goal weight is when I will be “safe” in my eating habits) and exercise habits.

Another thing I want to set as a goal for this new year is to save money.  It’s something I haven’t been able to accomplish in almost 14 years.  The first year I was here in Texas, I was a pizza delivery driver and would put aside $20 here and there and managed to save up about $700, but then my work situation changed and that money went away real fast.  If I can start saving $100-$150 a month (which is how much I’ve managed to save myself each month by canceling my DSL internet, my gym membership that I wasn’t using, and getting rid of my second storage unit), then I can have a good amount of rainy day fund money saved up before too long.  I currently have $100 deductibles on my car insurance.  I’d like to get $500 saved up so I can change those amounts and save myself a little bit of money each month on my insurance. 

I want to open up a second account, but at a different bank that I currently bank at for the purpose of saving money up.  I want an account at Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union.  They have great interest rates on car loans and they don’t look at your actual credit, they just look at your history with them and base your rate off that.  So, after about 6 months of saving up money, I want to try to refinance my car through them.  If I can, then I will save at least $50 a month on my car payment, which would be very nice.  Every little bit helps, that’s for sure.

The only major-ish purchase I have planned for the new year is to buy myself a new iPhone 4S.  I got rid of the iPhone I used to have because I thought I would like and Android phone better.  Yea, I like my Android phone, but nowhere near as much as I liked my iPhone.  But, so buying a new iPhone should only cost me about $400-$500 after warranties and chargers and a case.  Other than that, I plan to save money and be generally as responsible as I can be, which is a tall order really.

So, in all, my *goals* for 2012 are to be more active, eat less junk, and save money.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fit for CrossFit

I was talking with a co-worker the other day about my frustration over being completely unmotivated and uninspired to do what needs to be done to lose weight.  I told him about how I had gone to the gym and worked out every single day off from work (3-4 days a week) for 1.5 hours a day and nothing happened…nothing changed.  I wasn’t sore, I wasn’t challenged, and I in fact kind of dreaded the workouts.  I wanted to do personal training, but I didn’t have the money to do it.  He mentioned that he had gotten his wife involved in CrossFit.  He said that his wife hated him for the first couple weeks because she was sore all the time and the workouts were hard, but after she got used to it, she absolutely loved it and always looked forward to her workouts. 

So, I’ve looked into CrossFit.  A twice a week monthly membership with a flexible schedule will cost me $140.  This place also gives you the first 5 workouts for free, so that’s 2½ weeks free basically.  So, I’m thinking after I return from my trip to Dallas at the end of next week that I will give this CrossFit gym a call and get hooked up with their promo offer and decide if this is something I can do and something that I can stick with, because I know I can afford the $140 a month, so long as I actually go to the workouts and don’t waste my money.

While I was cleaning out part of my storage unit yesterday, I found a picture of myself from high school…from the night of the Homecoming dance my junior year.  I looked sooooo good!  I was tiny compared to how I am now.  Made me even more disgusted with how I look, with how far I’ve let myself go over the last 2 years.  Hell, I was looking through pictures that were taken 2 years ago and WOW I love the way I looked then.  If I can get back to that look, to that body, I will be so happy.  The only way I can see to make that a reality is to do something drastic and, since I can’t afford lypo and a tummy tuck, CrossFit seems to fit the bill just right.  It’s challenging, it’s done in a group setting so you have plenty of support and motivators cheering each other on. 

Not only would I get in shape, lose weight, build muscle, and sculpt my body doing CrossFit, but I would also be making new friends.  My other biggest complaint besides being unhappy with my body is that I don’t have very many friends and that I spend too much time lying around the house.

I want to build my self-esteem back up.  I want to be happy in my own skin again.  Lately, I have toyed with trying to get myself to be happy with how I am now…with being content at 200 pounds and a size 15.  I’ve decided that that is unacceptable to me.  I’ve decided that I want to do the best for myself.  I’ve decided that I want to regain my sense of self and get a sense of accomplishment as well. 

I want to do a workout that I find enjoyable.  I know that I loved Krav Maga when I did it years ago.  So, if I don’t like the CrossFit and decide not to do it, then I want to do Krav Maga again.  I still have my practice gloves and my wrist wraps.  I’d have to buy new boxing gloves because I think I got rid of the pair I had before since I can’t find them now.  I’d buy a pair of pink ones.

I just want to reclaim my life.  I want to reclaim the ability to wear whatever I want to wear and to look good in it at the same time.  I have held onto a pair of jeans that I fit in at the beginning of last year.  They’re a size 11.  The inner thighs are worn completely through, so it’s not like I could ever really wear them again, but I can measure when I have reached my goal by whether or not I’m able to fit into them again or not.  I will have to lose 2 pants sizes…from a 15 to an 11.  That would be a loss of about 20-25 pounds, which would put me at about 175 pounds.  It won’t put me back at what I was in that picture from Homecoming night, but it will get me back to where I was at this time 2 years ago.  And that is my goal.  That is where I have decided I will be happy.

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