Thursday, November 29, 2012

Challenge Complete! (FINALLY!)

Today I have the evidence! Ta da!

This challenge has mostly been about frustration and annoyance for me. I am so glad to be done. 133 was supposed to be my "easy" goal since 130 is my goal in real life. This challenge felt much harder to complete than the one in the spring due to a combination of factors - lack of motivation, parties, medications, carrying more muscle, and only indoor working out.

I was very surprised that it came down to the wire like this, especially after how well the Boost Your Metabolism week went. Looking at the weight loss chart, I realize the amount of effort I put in is the key element (shocker!). Despite all the external factors, when I stopped with all the little cheats, stuck to the workout routine, and (most importantly) went to bed at a reasonable hour (and therefore didn't night snack), which I only did consistently during the first week and last two weeks, I had actual results.

Now as look ahead to maintaining my weight and meeting my new goal - no need to diet in January - I realize motivation and willpower are the key elements (and the hardest to find!). Keeping up the workout routine should be fine. But not falling back into bad snacking habits and learning how to have cheat food in moderation is going to be hard. I always gain back 2 pounds right away after dieting. So I have ease back into "not being on a diet".

New goals:

1. Go to bed at the same time as Moose every night. No after dinner snacking.

2. Finish Body Revolution in a timely manner. (And try to meet my unofficial touch-the-ceiling-while-burpie-ing goal.)

3. Continue to eat new healthy recipes, but carbs are okay for dinner sometimes. Max 1 cheat food per day. Dessert (but not after dinner) or alcohol, never both!

When I am done Body Revolution (3ish weeks) I will assess where I am at and adjust my habits from there. I still want to have a flat stomach someday and not muffin-top out of slim fitting jeans, but I just can't handle trying to lose any more weight right now. That is a problem for the new year!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Starting to slack off...

I am so sick of chin-ups.  So so so sick of them.  Something about them make my right elbow ache (like it has a headache) and my lower back snap.  Not my best look.

I know that I am biased towards letting myself off the hook.  Because, dude, I'm lazy!  So, I'm offering a compromise.  I am still running and Jillianing and exercising almost every day. I plan on completing my chin-up goal.  I am just going to do fewer days in a week of chin-ups.  I will chin-up on the days that I run.  Give myself a break when I am already working similar muscles with Jillian.

I'm also hoping that cutting back will help my lower back heal a bit.  It's sore enough that I yelped while fetching a pan from the drawer under my stove.  Dude.  I am SO old!

In more interesting news, I am enjoying maintenance.  It agrees with me.  I absolutely find it stressful that I don't know what I should be eating...... or how much cheating is too much.  But I am reveling in the combination of exercise and eating good food.  Yes, I would like the left over meatloaf for a sandwich for lunch! And yes, I would like a very tiny cookie with my coffee in the afternoon.  And yes, I would like eggnog in my latte!!!! Dude!!

The challenge of maintenance remains a rather large learning curve.  With Christmas around the corner, an even bigger challenge.  Not to worry, if I fail at maintenance I can get right back to dieting.  And THAT I understand!

Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

This morning I step on the scale. Lo and behold, what do I see? 133.0! I scurry to fetch the camera, step on again, and the scale says... 133.2.

So not funny, scale.

So I try again. And again. And again, and again, and again. 133.2 every single time, dammit, until the scale gets pissed and starts showing 133.6 and then 133.8 out of spite.

Are you freaking kidding me?!

Scale, you can go die in a turkey fire.

Anyway, tomorrow I will be prepared - with the camera - for the first weigh-in. *Fingers crossed!*

The best I could get photographic evidence of. Balls!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Last Monday

Last week: 135.4lbs
This week: 134.0lbs
Goal: 133lbs

Getting close... 1 pound in 5 sleeps... hopefully with random water weight fluctuations it is possible!

This past week I worked really hard, so I actually feel kinda calm this week. I know I have done everything I can, so as long as I stick to the proper routine, I know the number on the scale is just going to be whatever it's going to be.

I have done Jillian every day and double Jillianed on Friday since it was Moose's birthday and we went out. My eating habits were essentially steel cut oatmeal for breakfast, whole wheat muffin and apple for lunch, greek yogurt with nuts for snack, and beef stew for dinner, with nothing but water to drink.

We hosted a Birthday Eve party on Thursday and I had one goat cheese tartlet, five mini eggs, three meat balls, two chicken fingers, two tostitos with salsa dip, two crackers with cheese, and the rest was roast beef and veggies with hummus. No alcohol and no butter tarts or snack size chocolate bars or brandy beans.

Friday (after double Jillian) I had a pear salad and wild boar ham with cheese/cabbage/almond deep fried ball, ate a few mouthfuls of Moose's dessert, and had two shot glasses of whiskey sour. The deep fried-ness did not agree with my gut which said, "WTF is this? I have no idea how to digest that anymore!" and immediately expelled it. I am very upset I forgot to weight myself the next morning, because right after eating breakfast and drinking a bunch of water I was 135.0 on the scale. I may have missed a challenge ending dip! Gah!

Saturday for Moose's Boxing Birthday I had cheese fondue for dinner (and tried to mostly dip apples and broccoli and ate a lot less bread and chicken peperettes) and a small piece of tart raspberry pie and ice cream for dessert, but I only had oatmeal and yogurt all day and had no alcohol, so I think the calories were maybe in an okay range even if the quality of the food wasn't.

Sunday I only had one piece of french toast and one piece of bacon with a tiny amount of maple syrup for breakfast, and complimented it with greek yogurt and raspberries. I had yogurt and nuts for snack (Jillian would yell at me for double dairying in one day) and roasted chicken with butternut squash soup for dinner.

I am on the last two workouts for Body Revolution. They are hard but very interesting. Can you do pushups in a bridge position? I sure as hell can't! But, I have two and a half weeks left, so hopefully I can do a couple by the end! The last level of cardio video is the most evil thing I have ever done. Jillian claims it is the hardest workout she has ever come up with. I put on a false grin as I must face it every three days...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Exercise Update

My titles need work.  Lisa, you are making me look bad!

Regardless, here is what is up with me.

Jillian: Once.  Yup.  Lamesauce.  I did, however, run almost all the other days.  Except Monday. And Wednesday.  The children infected me with their illness and I just didn't think Jills had my best interests in mind.  Also snotting all over my yoga mat isn't my best look.

Chin-Ups: Every day! Take that, laziness!! (And turns out, Michelle, that all this time I had been doing chin-ups.  I know there are two different kinds of yank-yourself-up-using-a-bar but I get the mixed up all the time!)

 Regardless, as per my lovely photo, I am improving.  Slowly.  However, now that I can do about 20 in three attempts, meeting the goal of 20 consecutively doesn't seem so horrible.  Easy? Hells no, but doableish. (So a word).

Having goals and being accountable seems to be working.  The scale and I remain friends.  The skinny jeans are here to stay.  Hopefully.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday = No Fun Day

Last week: 134.8lbs
This week: 135.4lbs
Goal: 133lbs

12 sleeps left. I am so screwed. Please be bloating that is gone by next week!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Cycle Ends Here and Now.

I am done.  So very done with my ridiculousness.  The cycle MUST stop.

Here is how it usually goes down:

1. Oh dear! The scale is so rude.
2. Time to diet! Salads and soups and running and Jillian.  GO! GO! GO!
3. I hate dieting. It's so much work.  I miss food.  At least the scale is less mean......
4. Goal achieved! I am amazing! I rock! YAY me!!
5. I love food. We are such good friends.  I deserve this pizza, this candy, this booze, this dessert, these chips.  Hell, even if I'm full or don't even really like junk food, I'm going to eat it.  Because I can.
6. Exercise? Right.  Um, I run sometimes.  But I have so many other things that have been put on hold while I was dieting.  I'm going to do those things.  Get caught up on life! And tv! And napping!

Later, rinse, repeat.  Again and again.

The worst part?  I am an idiot.  I don't want the other half of the pizza.  I don't like chips.  I always prefer running to cleaning.  What the hell is wrong with me??  Just because I'm not actively trying to lose weight doesn't mean I get to be so self indulgent.  Ridiculous.

So I am done.  For good.

This time I am making maintenance goals.  I will be accountable.  I will NOT go on a sugar-fat-carb bender. I don't even LIKE those foods.  Dude.

Maintenance Goals:

1. Exercise.

Because, come on, exercise makes me happy.  I have never wanted to be thin.  I have always wanted to be fit.  What good is being thin if you can't move the furniture?  I love feeling strong.  I know my body.  My left butt muscle is stronger than my right.  My right quad is stronger than my left.  My shoulders are weak but my triceps build muscle quickly.  My abs are great!  Nothing those puppies can't handle. I relish the fluidity that strength brings to my movements.

Exercise 5 times a week.  At least. Running, Jillian, whatever.  For any length of time. Twenty-four minutes of 30 Day Shred? Good times.

2. No Binge Eating.

There is no need.  I don't "deserve" anything.  I am just me, living my life.  Can I order pizza? Sure.  Can I do it all the time? No.  Should I eat the whole thing? Hells NO.  Don't be ridiculous.  Dessert.  Do I like it? Kinda.  Should I eat it? Sometimes.  Should I eat it when I'm already full and don't really like it? NO.  So many times NO.

I need to adjust my attitude.  My food is my fuel.  I feel best when I am eating healthy.  So I should do that.  Not rocket science my friends.

3. Have Something To Work Towards.

I do best with goals.  And consequences.  Even if that consequence is to admit that I have failed.

I am going to pick shorter term and attainable goals.  This is actually harder than it seems.  I'm going to continue to blog to keep me accountable.

Goals #1 and #2:

20 pull ups in a row.

Complete Jillian's Ripped in 30

My plan is to do pull-ups every day (ish) until I can do 20 in a row.  To keep me motivated, I am not allowed to have any alcohol or dessert that day until I have done my pull-ups.  No pull-ups? No fun.

Jillian will take me longer than 30 days because I plan to run on the off days.  If I'm not running, I am Jillianing.

I am not allowed to complain about something unless I am willing to make a change.  I am taking control of my life (again.  As usual!).  This is not allowed to go on any longer.

Wish me luck! I will, of course, keep you posted!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tell me why? I don't like Mondays...

Last week: 136.4lbs
This week: 134.8lbs
Goal: 133lbs

1.8lbs to lose in 19 sleeps. It is possible!

This past week the scale has settled down a bit, not jumping around like crazy. I'm not sure if my body has started to find equilibrium or if the combination of medications (one with the side effect of constipation and the other with the side effect of diarrhea) has made my gut act normal for a change. We shall see as I go off the second med. I am trying hard not to succumb to the "modest weight gain" side effect of the stupid drugs.

In Jillian news, I have started week 9 of Body Revolution, meaning I am on workouts 9 and 10 and cardio 3. These are definitely the hardest Jillian workouts I have ever done. (With exception to Extreme Shed and Shred which I just did with Krista. They have a lot of the same exercises, so it follows they are about the same level.) I am so sore, as if I've been doing solid weight training. But, I have never enjoyed Jillian more.

The more difficult the exercises get with lots of balancing and doing lower and upper body exercises at the same time, the more interesting it is. It takes a lot of focus to do the moves properly and I never get bored during the workouts or need to watch a show while doing the non-cardio workouts. I really enjoy rotating through three videos and doing something new every two weeks. I'm excited (and afraid) to see what workouts 11 and 12 are like.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Again

Last Week's Weight: 138.8lbs
This Week's Weight: 136.4lbs
Goal Weight: 133lbs

The scale is being a bit more reasonable this week. Still going to be tough to make the challenge deadline, though.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cleanse Pictures

In case you wanted more. Because dude, you can never get enough of the cleanse!!

Breakfast Day 1.  Yum?

Bottom's up!

Poor Scott.  He didn't know what he was getting into!

Our Frenemy the Juicer.  Making, um, something to "eat".

Layers.  Delicious.

Baba!! Cutest Cleanser. I cannot believe she liked the juices.

Getting worse.  Scott is not tolerating this well......

Rob has collapsed.

Breanna has turned into a lion!!! So so so cold.

Lunch (Dinner?) in my coat.  Yes, I was THAT cold.

And the best picture........................

Ta Da!
Challenge Complete!!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Goal Accomplished! And Notes About Cleansing...

So the weight loss from the cleanse looked like this:
Day 1: 130 (eff you bloat)
Day 2: 126 (nice!)
Day 3: 124.4(so close!!!)
Morning after Day 3: 123.4 (which is my absolute favourite number to see on the scale. My favourite time to see on the clock is 12:34 so really I am just plain weird)

The cleanse was exhausting, challenging, and rewarding. I really missed food while I was juicing, but liked knowing exactly what to make to eat.

It was such an adventure buying the groceries! I was the crazy vegetable lady in the grocery store! My cart was F-U-L-L! Of all kinds of things I would never buy. I even got into a sign language fight with an old lady (who did not speak English) over the last of the swiss chard! No! you can't have one! I need all eight! (note : swiss chard is the most disgusting of the cleanse foods. I should have let her take all of them)
                                               Four people. Three days. Fifteen juices!
                                            Fruit and vegetables as far as the eye can see....
Day 1: "Breakfast" No, not the delicious looking mayo. The brightly hued orange slime. Yum.

After completing the challenge, I wouldn't rule it out as a thing I might do again. I liked how full the drinks were. And some were actually delicious. Green Lemonade! I would actually drink that in real life.  Some were nasty (morning snack from day 2 and I are still not on speaking terms)

I would never recommend doing it alone. Team camaraderie is what got me through most of the days. It was great, truly. There are so few difficult things you do in life that others share with you in the exact same way. Having people who understood how hard it was and how proud you were of your self was amazing. Doing it alone would not be as rewarding. I am not only proud of myself but of my teammates!

It has given me a new appreciation of food. Breakfast was underwhelming. After spending days anticipating the first bite, it was meh. (we had egg mcmuffins, which I normally love). I find myself wondering where the flavour is! The juices were so vibrant - you could really taste all the ingredients (sometimes that was a bad thing - evil evil swiss chard). The other thing I found, was that because the flavours were so strong, you really took the time to focus on your food. So even though it was just a drink, you really had a chance to experience all the different tastes of the ingredients.

It was exhausting. I have never been so snappy in my life. I am glad that is over.

                                        Ginger, lemon and hot water. Cleansers best friend!
          Breakfast Day 3: trying the theory that everything tastes better in a martini glass.
                                                                     Bottoms Up!
                                                           Finished product!
March vs. November

All in all, it was an experience I will never forget. I am glad I did it just as much as I am glad it is over!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cleanse Day 3: Next up - DORITOS!!

It's done, it's done, it's done!!

The things I have learned:

1. Juice can be yucky.  And make you barf (Breanna! And almost Scott!).

2. When you drink all your meals through a straw your teeth stay very clean.  Bonus!

3. Running while cleansing just might be the stupidest idea ever.  There is certainly no eating disorder in my future.

4. Cleanse dishwashers, water bottles and poo all smell like The Cleanse.  I'm not even certain from where exactly that smell originates.  Some pureed something or other.

5. I am so very glad to be me.

Thus far I have been:
a) Scott
I found myself driving to the doctor and having missed my turn.  It was as if I had just "woken up" father along Ira Needles than I had planned.  I think I was on auto pilot to my mother's house.

b) Lisa
Cold.  So frickin' cold, all the time.  It's AWFUL. I never really understood the evils of permafrostiness until this week.  The LAYERS.  Oh the layers I had to wear.  Always bulky, never slimming.  The whole freezing-inside-for-no-reason was awful.  I can't believe Lisa has to do this every winter.  <Shudder>

c) Grumpy Person
I think I was just like normal people.  It was odd.  I didn't say hello to strangers.  I didn't hum to myself.  I didn't twirl for no reason.  I just didn't have the energy.  I miss being happy.  Like real happy.  Not the cleanse version of happy when I am happy because I am lying down.  Anywhere.

d) Anorexic Person
Horrible! Awful! Terrible! I cannot believe that people can live like this.  I am pretty convinced that between the cleanse and the run I was negative calories for the day.  Not a goal of mine.  Bad, bad plan.  It feels almost like you're drunk and trying to keep it a secret.  Woozy and off.  Not a fan.  Not one time.  I cannot CANNOT imagine feeling compelled to behave in this manner.  Not for the flattest stomach in the world would I make this my lifestyle.

6. Breanna might just be the most organized person in the whole world.  No seriously.  I may have been the person who dreamt up the idiot plan but Breanna was the driving force in making it happen.  She researched, she planned, she shopped and she juiced.  It boggles my mind how much she can get done.  (Breanna, you are AMAZING!!!).

7. Scott is lame. Normally he surprises me with his stick-to it attitude. The man loves to take on crazy and win! This time? Not so much.  Maybe he just had more toxins to purge......!!!! (Scott doesn't believe in toxins.) Regardless, he had a lot of trouble forcing himself to drink the juice.  More so than the rest of us.

8. I am not nearly as addicted to coffee as I thought I was.

9. Side benefit: The cleanse makes you SO excited for everyday eating.  I am in love with food again.  I can't  believe I ever took chewing my meals for granted!

And I think that is that.

The Cleanse wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Nevertheless I am fairly certain that I will never do one again.  Fairly.  Never say never, y'know! 

Body Image

In elementary school, I had a classmate named Jessica Sachse. It was hard to have a conversation with her and not think about her physical disability, despite the fact that she is a very intelligent person with many artistic interests similar to my own.

I have not talked to Jes since high school, but a couple of years ago I read an article about her in The Star called This Isn't an American Apparel Ad. She posed for a series of ads that ran on TTC monitors to "challenge conventional notions of sexiness."

I discovered Jes has also posed naked as a way to explore herself and see what everyone is looking at when they stare at her. She has a very insightful short video called Body Image posted here (or with an analysis posted here) that explains her thoughts and feelings on her disfigured body.

What follows may sound like a lesson that is learned in an after-school special, and I don't want to come off as preachy, but in truth it is important to sometimes step back and think about where your thoughts and feelings come from when assessing your own body.

Especially when we are dieting and exercising and trying to improve ourselves as much as possible, we (or at least I do) can fall into the mentality of "no matter how hard I work I am never sexy enough, can never get my body to match the ideal in my head". But we have to remember that almost all of our ideals come from current popular culture's unattainable idea that beauty is a godly standard of perfection.

The point of dieting and exercising is to be healthy, fit, and happy, to feel good about yourself according to your own standards. It is not about trying to win a beauty contest.

Imagine how you would feel if your body was too different to even compete with conventional ideas of beauty. Then what would you think of yourself? Where would your self-confidence come from? Like Jes, I'm sure we would focus a lot more on intellectual pursuits and think of our body as simply a vehicle to get our mind from one life experience to another.

I'll admit, I'm glad I'm attractive and that other people think so. Life is easier when you visually fit in to the accepted norm and people treat you nicely because of it. But being glad you're beautiful and being obsessed with being seen as beautiful are two different things. It's helpful to be reminded by people like Jes where the boundary is and which mentality will actually make you happy.