Friday, October 29, 2010

Trick or Treat? The Two-Edged Sword of Halloween Candy

Last week I bought all my halloween candy. It was buy-one-get-one-free at Publix. I bought the good stuff....none of this tasteless sugary random crap for the little kids who ring my door bell, I bought bags of Reeses, Butterfinger, and KitKats.

On second thought, maybe I should have bought the tasteless crap so I wouldn't want to sneak my own candy every time I gave a chocolate to each fairy and superhero who comes to the door.

So anyway, I had a plan though. It worked all week. As soon as John got home from work the day I went to the store, I promptly handed him the bags of candy and told him to hide them. And, he would know if I'd snuck any because all the bags were still sealed. Now, we do have a fairly small house, and I know roughly were he hid it, but the point was, I would have to consciously make a choice to find it and open the bag, and eat the chocolate. There were multiple barriers so that I could rethink what I was doing at each point.

So, it worked great. There were several days that I really really wanted chocolate, but I knew that John would know if I opened the bag, and I knew I shouldn't, so I had yogurt or pomegranate instead.

Until today....... :(

John left right after work to go camping with some of our youth group, which left me all alone all evening long (and tomorrow morning). I would have gone out, but we share a car, and obviously, he has it.

There I was.
Just me......and the chocolate.
Dun dun DUN!

I ate dinner, cleaned the kitchen, checked email, looked at our finances, then sat down to watch a TV show. And then it hit me...the craving for sweets. mmmmm.

I rationalized that it was okay to find and open the yummy chocolates since it was only 2 days before halloween. Certainly I can use self-restraint for that long.

uuuuuh, yeah, evidently not.

I told myself that I would only have 2 pieces, so that I could prove to John that I made an okay decision to give myself a little treat. But then, as I watched my show, the bag was just sitting there. Right there next to me on the couch, like my little devil buddy.

So I had my two. and then another. and then another. I probably had like seven. Which is absolutely awful.

Even as I typed this I wanted to fudge on that number, but this blog will only be useful to me, and to you readers, if I am brutally honest. So there you go.

I was a little pig. I thought that since I haven't had hardly any sugar the entire summer, my gluttony with sugar would be under control. I was naive. It will take much longer than 5 months to cure that. I now remember how wise it is of me to not keep chocolate or ice cream in the house.

My very wise sister Angela pointed out a very noteworthy idea: With as much extra money as I'm spending to eat healthy, wouldn't it be worth it to forgo the B1G1 free deal and pay full price on Halloween day? Just another way to "eat healthy". I don't keep candy in my house other time of the year just because it's on sale. And the higher prices I buy to get whole foods and more produce is pretty much just going to waste if then I squander my nutrition on sale chocolate. So....lesson learned. Won't be doing that again.

Another good thing that I learned from this (again, the hard way). After about 4 pieces, my body was telling me I had enough. I had at that point had way more sugar than I've had in quite a while. My blood felt like syrup. I felt "bleh". But...I kept eating more, because my taste buds said it was yummy.

And then, I had a tummy ache. For which I'm very thankful. I'm so happy that even if I haven't retrained my taste buds (at least in reference to chocolate), that my body is healthy enough to respond when I give it trash like that. Six months ago, my body wouldn't have flinched if I would have eaten twice that much. Now, my system is functioning how it's intended to....telling me when I've had too much of something. Way to go body!

Body reaction: 1 Self-control: 0.

I'll work out that next time....I need to have the restraint to listen to my body. But until I cultivate that, I'm not going to tempt myself anymore than necessary.

Tonight, I definitely got the trick instead of the treat from that candy.

How about you? Do you struggle with the candy around this weekend? How do you handle the temptation?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Of Bull Fights and Consistency

Weight loss sometimes makes you feel like the little red cape in a bull fight....maybe the matador remains unscathed, but no matter how much it flutters and twists around trying to avoid it, the poor little cloth gets beaten by the bulls horns every time.

Every one who has attempted weight loss has experienced this at some point. You work your butt off. You count your calories. You shake and stretch and move in ways you didn't have any idea your body could. But get on the scale. And it hasn't moved an inch. Or even worse, you're stabbed by those bull horns by gaining weight.

Now certainly, sometimes it's deserved. A little too much dinner, an extra cookie, only staying 15 minutes on the elliptical when you were planning on doing 45. But sometimes, the calories just don't add up. You did have a calorie deficit every single day, you did do every workout, you did stay on point nutritionally. And still you get a disappointing number.

Here's where we each have a choice.

We can cry, whine, have a pity party, wonder why we even bother, or worse, quit.

Or, we can take a step back and look at the big the virtue of consistency.

This is what I learned a few days ago. I've had several disappointing weeks this summer. It was especially frustrating because I took the summer off my job and made weight loss my job for 3 months. I worked my tail off. And when I didn't see the scale go down, I was pretty darn upset.

I never came close to quitting, but John had to sit through many many many rants about how I didn't deserve this, how my work wasn't paying off, about why wasn't the "calorie in, calorie out" formula working. I felt like the bull had skewered me for a reward, and I felt like it had pooped on me too.
*If you want one such example of said rant, go read Grrrr....Stupid Scale!! from a few days ago

My "ahh-hah" moment happened when I posted all of my weigh-ins since starting in June (Here: Weigh-In's). It was the first time in probably 2 months that I had looked at my progress all together. And here's what I realized:

I have been way more consistent than I felt. Out of 22 weeks, I only gained weight 2 weeks, and had no change 2 weeks, since June. And two of those weeks were because of dear Aunt Flo.

The consistency that I have proved to myself is way more important and significant than any one week of seemingly failure. I have lost 33 pounds since June 1st...and that is something I am proud of! I will not stab myself over and over because I feel like my body isn't giving me what it's supposed to on any one given week. Because the fact is, I am losing weight. And I am doing it consistently. And that is what will get me to my goal. 

One week is not going to thwart my reaching my goal. Unless I quit. Unless I let it get me down. Unless I choose to let it overwhelm the many many many other weeks that I have done well.

And I choose not to. I choose to let the the truth of my consistency free me to be confident that even if I have an "off week", the next week, or the one after that, will be better. Because the changes that I am making, those will work. I just have to be consistent.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Goals--new and improved :)

I was looking back on some of my older posts today, and realized how very very different my goals are now from what they were at the beginning of the summer.

I have a job again...and thus, less time.

I have honed in on what I really struggle with, and what I need to focus on more.

I know what I can do, and thus have better expectations.

So, here they are, my new goals!

  1. Exercise at the gym 5 days a week, 2-3 hours a day.
  2. Burn an average of 1200 calories M-F
  3. Eat 1500 calories/day (and record my foods)
  4. Lose 2 pounds a week

Two pounds a week. I did that pretty much all summer long. The past month or so I've only been able to lose 1 pound week. I really am wanting to push to the next level to get back to that rhythm of weight loss.

Sometimes I feel like I get the raw end of the deal when it comes to weight loss. I read blogs of people writing about how they are doing great to workout 30 minutes 5 times a week, or that they only consider it a major "opps" if they lose control and have 3 alcoholic drinks and a burger and a dessert. And then they lose 3 pounds. Now really, I am absolutely, genuinely, happy for them. I would not in a million years wish anyone to struggle more with weight loss.'s kind of hard to not have a pity party when I know that, according to the numbers, I'm sweating my a** off to have a deficit for a good 2-3 pound loss every single week, and here I am, actually losing .5-1 pound each week. What is wrong with my body?!?! It's just frustrating.

So, back to goals. My goal is still to lose 2 pounds a week, but I'm going to try to not focus on the scale as much. I'm trying to look at it more as two separate things: 1) one pound a week is good, and the scale is still going down, and 2) the effort I'm putting in is something I can maintain. Oh well if those two ideas don't add up....

If I think of those things separately, hopefully I won't get discouraged when I see other people getting more results with less effort. I know that, eventually, my goals will see me to the end, as long as I am consistent with them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grrr......I wish I could throw the darn scale off a cliff!

So, I'm pretty peeved right now. Actually, I'm fuming.

This week was an AWESOME week for me this week. Here's why:

  • I burned an average of 1200 calories at the gym every singe day (M-F) this week. Yahoo!! Seriously, I kicked it into high gear this week. I was totally on my game, more motivated and excited than I have been in quite a couple months. 
  • My eating has been stellar. Though I haven't been tracking calories, I have only eaten the things I should, except for that small brownie on Friday night. I've watched my portions, I tried to rationalize any unhealthy meals, I've felt very confident and good about my nutrition this week.
  • I ran 1.25 miles this week.....for the first time EVER! Previously this summer my longest run was 1/2 a mile. I'm starting to run at least 3 times a week, and trying to increase the longest I've run once ever week.
  • I signed up for my first 5K! My goal is to run the whole way (slowly, but at least not coming to a walk). John will be by my side....even though he obviously could leave me in the dust. He said he wouldn't miss running my first 5K with me for anything. Isn't that sweet? :) Also, my entire family will be running the 5K as well! For many of them, it will be their first 5K also, so we'll get to go through the torture experience that together! I'm absolutely thrilled that my whole family is moving toward more healthy lifestyles.
So, with this amazing week, why am I so angry?

Because my stupid, idiotic, heartless scale says I weigh the exact same amount as I did last week. Seriously?!?!?! I freakin' had a 1500 calorie deficit 5 days last week!!!

One reason this is especially frustrating is I really really really want to be under 200 pounds before Thanksgiving. It will be the first time my family has seen me since I started my transformation. In order to reach that goal, I need to lose 2 pounds each week. Which is completely do-able. This whole summer, that was what I lost consistently. I went through a semi-plateau last took me 6 weeks to lose 5 pounds. So this week, I was absolutely stoked to break through that barrier, push my workouts to the next level, and get back to that 2 pounds per week.

And then this. *sigh* One explanation is that it is my time of the month, so that could affect it. Though I found that usually it doesn't, so I'm surprised. And even if that is it, it's not like my body will make up for it next week and lose 4 pounds. My body _never_ does that.

So, though I am going to keep working hard, this week might just make me not be able to be under 200 by Thanksgiving.....through no fault of my own. grrrrr. And it just feel like all my blood, sweat and tears are not rewarded at all.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Courage to Begin

I know it's been a long time since I've blogged. A lot has happened in the past week and a half, both good and bad in the health zone. Maybe I'll go back and write about it, but today I have something specific I'm thinking about.

John is starting to train for his first marathon. This is a stepping stone for his ultimate goal: an Ironman. I'll never do an Ironman, but it would maybe be fun to do a short triathlon with him some day. So, I was randomly looking up triathlon gear, and there's a lot of fun tee-shirts for tri-athletes. But one I particularly like. Here it is:
This is how I feel. I am no where close to my goal yet. I mean, 30 pounds is a lot (and by the way that's officially how much I've lost as of yesterday!), but I still have 70 to lose. But even though I'm not a slim and athletic 140 pounds yet, even though I haven't crossed the "finish line" yet, that is not where the victory will be.
The victory, the miracle, happened when I decided to change my life. When I decided to buy tennis shoes and wear them out. When I stepped into the gym that first day and knew it was going to become my second home. How many people will not make that decision because they think the victory is too far down the road? Too hard to make it? Will you be one of those people? The victory happens when you decide to change. That is the hardest hurdle, the one that will beat you down and not even let you get started.

So I declare today, The miracle isn't that I will finish. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.

When was your miracle? 
When will you summon the courage to start?

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Can Run!

I ran 1.25 miles tonight!!!!!!! And that was AFTER 2 hours at the gym in the morning, and immediately after my Zumba class this evening! 2 weeks ago, I ran 0.5 miles, the most I had run this summer. That was the last time I had ran. 
Tonight, I wanted to see what my legs could do, as opposed to dying because my heart rate was sky rocketing. I usually run at a 5-6 mph pace, so I slowed down to 4.5 so that I could keep my heart rate relatively under control.
I wasn't even hoping to run a certain distance, more just see how long I could run, but then I just going, and going, and going! And I actually.....wasn't dying! I decided I was going to shoot for a mile when I was at 0.6, and then when I got to a mile, I decided to keep going! oh my goodness!!!!!!!! I am SO proud of myself. John said he didn't think I would run a mile for a least another few weeks. I think this is the first time I've actually ever run a mile!
5K, here I come! I'll be conquering you before you know it!