Thursday, May 30, 2013

Finding inspiration.

This morning when I went looking for a little inspirational fit and healthy blah blah blah I found this image. Which made me think of Charlie. Charlie the Unicorn. Don't know it? Aw, dang. You need to know about it.

I learned about Charlie many years ago and he has stayed with me. So, Shun the Non-Believers! But don't let anyone fool you into following them into Candy Mountain. It just ends in pain and disappointment. I read a lot of motivational/inspirational quotes and posters about how sweating makes you hardcore, pain is something to overcome, push yourself! Go harder! Faster! Whatever. Here's my favorite encouragement:

It's simple. It is not demeaning. It is not a chastisement hidden within an encouragement. I think it at least once every time I go to yoga, the gym or for a run. I look for posters and such that make me feel like I can keep going, like I can do it, like there is something worth working toward in the near term and also the short.

And lastly, because I have long-held desire to figure out how to wear secret yoga pants (yoga pants that look like fashion pants or trousers) to work, I would like to share this with you, too.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Is there anything you wish people talked about from their weight loss journey?

In future posts I plan to cover things I wish other folks wrote about:
  • how to buy clothing that will help you through your transitional weights and sizes
  • what the little victories are and how to find your own
  • how much freakin' work it is to plan and execute a successful weight loss plan
  • navigating the weight loss conversation with friends, family, co-workers
  •  what happens when you DO lose weight
    • changes in energy (fact or crap?)
    • what happens to your skin
    • the mysteries of cellulite
 Are there other things you want to hear about? 

I joined a gym.

I also downloaded MyFitnessPal. Spending the last few days chronicling my every calorie and rep has been... revealing. My determination to get back to a manageable, healthy-feeling body is sharply focused. Here are a few shots of my journey so far.

Left to right: May 2010 BSB @225lbs (Before South Beach), Fall 2011 Height of my Success@174lbs, May 2013 Current State of Affairs @209lbs

Here's the current plan: 
  • Weekdays 
    • early morning workout 30-60min mixing cardio and strength training
    • record my workout content and rotate muscle group focus
    • record calorie intake and stay under my daily calorie goal
  • Weekends
    • days off of daily workouts
    • 1 yoga or other class
    • prepare for the week (menu prep, grocery/foods prep)
    • keep calorie counts consistent with workout days (about 1550)
      • this may get tweaked but my no-exercise calorie goal of 1200 just makes me hungry all the time and I know that will only lead to binging which defeats the purpose altogether
And that's kind of it for the moment. I'll be on the lookout for great salad combos since I get a lot of eating satisfaction from eating them without a huge whomp to my daily totals. Some days will be more successful than others. I plan to reward myself with clothing and music. Days that I go over or fall off the wagon are just that: days.

I've also made the move to rework my closet and dresser contents. For awhile now I've been slowly migrating my these-don't-fit-right-now items to the corner of my closet. I think it's good to have them out of the daily rotation but I know it will be more exciting to pull them out of their cleanly packed bins and feel the victory of wearing things I love and will fit again.

I got two large bins that now hold everything that falls into the SMALLER category. Under the tape labels of the second bin are a second set of labels that say BIGGER. I'm excited to migrate clothes out of the SMALLER bin and rotate clothes into the BIGGER bin. And rip those SMALLER labels off.

I won't make the mistake I did previously of getting rid of everything. I have been between a rock and a hard place as I have gained weight: I have little that fits and that I enjoy wearing and yet I do not want to buy things that will fit my body now. I don't want to buy things that have such large numbers on the tags. So no, I won't purge my whole wardrobe this time around. I will hold it as a reminder.  Just as the presence of too-small clothing in my closet drives me to feel ashamed, the presence of clothing that is too big will make me feel victorious.

I look forward to writing about the little victories and the big.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Well that took awhile...

Here we are, approaching Memorial Day weekend and I've had it. I am tired of feeling fat, holding my breath to tie my shoes, feeling my belly push my breasts up and make normal tops and necklines seem like after-hours-only clothes. I am tired of being winded walking up the stairs at work every morning. I am tired of my calves burning while I try to keep up with friends while simply walking through the skyway. I am done.

I am 4'11" tall. About 3 years ago I started on the South Beach diet and lost 51 pounds. I was in grad school, living in Philadelphia and working full time. I had a full, busy life and I still made those changes. I got down to 174 pounds and cried in relief. I was still very overweight for someone my height.

In my transition to living in Minnesota I lost my progress. The things that had worked weren't working anymore:
  • I didn't love my yoga classes anymore- In Philly I had been going 2-3 times a week and felt utter joy and resonating calm and determination. I felt motivated to keep coming back. I loved all of the teachers. In MN I struggled to find a studio that gave me those feelings. I still haven't and I have only recently come to realize I may need to find a new exercise-drug.
  • I was a dating maniac and my diet became less stable. 
  • The winters here are long and dark and cold. I just didn't want to do anything. 
  • I have struggled to make a new circle of friends. Having long-held, close ties with a large group in Philly meant always being able to fall into the net of finding a buddy and having a true choice about going solo for various activities. 
I stopped feeling motivated. I blamed my diet. I went to yoga less. I tried running (which I LOVE but is very hard to get going seriously in the winter!) I tried going gluten free (gained 20 pounds!). Slowly, all of my progress slipped off as I stopped holding onto it. I made poor food choices. I wasn't exercising.

So. Here I am. Again. Just about 10 pounds lighter than when I first embarked on my big weight loss journey. I am not fucking around. I am determined. I want to be able to run and jump and play. I want to be able to buy pants in a traditional size run.

I will post separately on my plans to shed the pounds. There are plans, for sure. And I am gonna kick this chubby machine into action. Checking in here will remind me to revel in the small victories as well as the bigger ones.