One can for every pound I lose...bring it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Divine Gymtervention

My mother always says God is "no respecter of person" - like, He'll bless the man on the street asking for change as quickly as He'll bless the rich man in the mansion. Today, I learned God is no respecter or place. 

I found Him at the gym. 

A little over a week ago, I got a membership to the Rec Center a mile from my work. I had the grand idea of going during my lunch break so I would get some exercise in, without taking time away from my family. Note, I said "a little over a week ago." Well, it was like 2 weeks ago. Today was my 1st day of my "gym" lunch break.

My previous idea of a lunch break consisted of eating at my desk while I pored over the hundreds of emails in my inbox. That is, when I remembered to pack (and take!) my lunch to work. Otherwise I'd just grab a candy bar on the run. This was part of my "No more Groundhog Day Diet" plan. It got a kind of late start. But it started.Today. Somewhat reluctantly.

I was at work today and was pretty much caught up on what I had to do. I kind of sat at my desk and wondered what to do. (note to my boss: this rarely happens. It like, never happens.) My gym bag was in my car (where it's been for a little over a week) and I thought "I should really go to the gym." 

I didn't wanna. 

I was blah.
Blah happens a lot to me. It's when I'm in my blah state of mind that I start to let things my food tracking, and my exercising, and my will to make myself a better version of me. So I kind of said a little prayer to help me get un-blah. Because I know that I really do want to be a better me on most days.

I got up and announced I was going to the gym for lunch (cuz I thought this was a form of accountability I needed.) The response from my Front Office Manager (bless her heart - love her) was "Is this the 1st gym lunch you're taking?" cuz she remembered my grandiose announcement of said membership and intentions to go daily on lunch breaks.

I mumbled yes and went out the door. Now I had to go. 

Got to the gym, and my new membership card scanned in spite of the blah hand holding it kind of blah-ly. 

Went into the locker room, got dressed, and forced my way past the sign announcing the weight loss of their Biggest Loser contestants. WHATever. I was blah-er than I thought. I really just wanted to leave. I probably had at least 15 new emails to sift through...

"Lord, let me just get through 20 minutes, please" was my prayer. 

Walked into the cardio room and was immediately drawn to the elliptical-looking machine called "Octane." Got on it, fussed with the controls a bit, and started to move. Sluggishly and without enthusiasm.

A few things happened kind of all at once. 

I thought "I really just wanna get through 15 minutes Lord" and then I thought of how badly I want to look good in my Disney pictures and then I looked at the machine in front of me and told it "I'm just not that into you" and then...

And then God turned on the music. 

OK, naysayers, go ahead and say it wasn't God. But at that moment, I heard a song that only He could have orchestrated to come on at the exact moment I was starting to do something I didn't wanna do, when I was praying for strength and conviction of spirit. A song that immediately killed the "blah" and inspired me to just do it. 

The theme song from Rocky. 

Really? I laughed out loud, and my pace quickened and I grabbed the arm things that had been moving without my arms on them and I mouthed the few words to the song

Trying hard now, it's so hard now, trying hard now..
Getting strong now, wont be long now, getting strong now..
Gonna fly now, flying high now, gonna fly, fly, fly

Oh, yeah, and I did 30 minutes and man, did I sweat.

I find it amusing that God has not only the time to care for little ole "blah" me on my lunch hour, but that He does so with a divine sense of humor. The timing was impeccable. If I hadn't dawdled, I would have missed it. It was meant just for me.

God knows the desires of our hearts. And the desire of my heart is to be a healthier me. To honor the body He gave me - a whole body (albeit an overweight one- which is my bad.) In Malibu, I learned to respect this body which had healed itself from many injuries and was able to literally climb mountains. Yup, it was time I showed myself some respect, and did what I didn't wanna do to get where I wanna be.

I fall, but I get up. Every time. Cuz the alternative is staying down, and that's not acceptable to me. I am trying every day and know I will find the strength just when I need it. So it's still on, and I'm in! When I was done with my workout, the machine displayed the words "Congratulations, you've been fueled by Octane." Actually, today, I was fueled by God, and the faith that will get me through the rest of my journey.

Oh, by the way...the song He played for my cool down? 


Monday, February 21, 2011

Groundhog Day

You've seen the movie, right? It's a classic. Bill Murray wakes up and every day is the same day (Groundhog Day) - he keeps re-living it til he "gets it right" (loses his bad attitude and achieves true love)

Well, my friends, I have been on the Groundhog Day Diet. Every day I'd wake up, and start the same day all over again. Ya know - today's the day!! It's Day 1! It's the first day of the rest of my life!

Good intentions. They lasted til about 3, 4 o'clock. 

Then the next day would really be the day. Like, for real. But then it was someone's birthday and a piece of cake would open the door for me to slide down the slippery slope of not tracking, not counting, and "I'll start again tomorrow" attitude. 

Vicious cycle indeed! But, as you read yesterday, it was Groundhog Day again. And I did it. 

I tracked, I counted, I planned. I went to Zumba. Success! 

My tallies for the day? 
1288 calories, 30 WW points(only 1 "over" on the new system, plus I earned at least 5 at Zumba)

When I look back on the food I ate, it really doesn't "look" like much. As a matter of fact, while my husband and son were eating the pizzas I brought home (at their request - and I have been Febrezing the heck out of my car to get rid of the delicious smell!) I ate a modest dinner of pita chips, guacamole, and an orange. But I wasn't starved or anything, I just made sure I kept track along the way so I could be in charge of the numbers before they ran ahead of me. And it worked.

Hooray! And when I woke up today, I didn't feel the sense of "starting over" but a sense of continuing - for today- the seeds of good intentions that I planted yesterday. This time, let's hope they take root!

I know what I know. I have learned a lot. As many of you have I'm sure, I have lost and gained throughout my life. I have a lot of befores and afters. It's not that I'm crazy, or unmotivated. It's just really hard to get out of a rut you've been in for so long. But it's ok, and it's real life, and it's hard and complicated but it's the only one we've got so let's make it count.

I believe I can do it now. No more Groundhog Day. Cuz (sing with me!)....

I got you, babe.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dear Diary...

I kept a diary when I was young. I came across it a few weeks ago and was more than a little amused at my writings...I would talk to my diary as if it were a real friend. Pour out my heart to it, proclaim my "love" for various crushes (um, I was 12), tape little four leaf clovers inside with a wish they would love me was a very therapeutic tool for me, and I was really connected emotionally with that flower-covered book. 

The thing about my diary is that I would usually write in it just before bedtime...after my day was the emotions of the day, expressing my feelings and getting it all on paper so I could make it all seem "real."

These past few days, I've tried a similar approach to my food diary. (It's not exactly a "diary" per se...I track my food on my iPhone with the Weight Watchers app, and online with the Bodybugg program.) But this diary..well, as they said in the Wizard of Oz, it's a...

What worked in my 12-year old diary simply doesn't work when I try to track my food after the fact. I was at the kitchen table last night and asked my husband, "What else did I eat today?" (like he knew) and I tried, so hard, to recall every bite. Some things I could remember, but the day was so rushed, it was just not happening. Yes, my friends, I suffer from a case of

Food Amnesia
Can I get an "amen" from my fellow sufferers?

Unlike a "real" diary, a food diary (or tracker, journal, whatever you may call it) works best when it gets updated as you go. Or, better yet (for me anyway) before it even happens. Because as I have learned time and time again, when I try to look back on the day, I always - always! - miss something. Or, on the rare occasion I don't miss something and it's 6:00 and I'm making dinner, I realize I only have 100 calories left!  I've eaten the bulk of my calories in snacks throughout the day, underestimating them as I went. And mama ain't gonna eat no 100 calorie dinner. 
just ain't happenin'.

 At the Biggest Loser Resort they used the famous quote "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Well, duh. I knew it...and I blew it. 

When I was in Malibu I religiously wrote out all my meals for the day. There, it was easy, cuz there was nothing to sneak in along the way. That's where I mess up here at home or work. A dark chocolate Dove bar (good for you, right!?) set me back 4 Weight Watchers Points and almost 200 calories. I ate 4 of them this week.  I'm famished, I did not pack my lunch or snacks, and it's convenient. When I looked back, I "wasted" about 12 other "points" on random things, thinking they were negligible amounts of calories.  I thought wrong.

So, here goes. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. I hear from people at their goal weight who STILL track their food. It holds them accountable and they need the accountability. Ditto for yours truly. I bought an actual paper "tracker" book in addition to my lovely iPhone. I will sit down and plan out my meals for the day...just today...and follow my plan, allowing for some adjustments as needed. Let's see how this goes. I want my success story already. I love dearly to write, but I want to be sharing the fact that I've lost "x" amount of pounds and am on my way to a healthy BMI. Let's try this, starting now. One Day at a Time. One Meal at a Time!

I appreciate the support I've gotten (hi, Megan and Shelli!) (-:

I'm gonna use my blog to hold myself accountable. Wish me luck! I'm off to make my 1/2 cup egg beaters with peppers and onions and a whole wheat bagel thin. (-:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Until I lose it, I'm gonna decorate it.

I stole that line from Anita Renfroe, a comedian and Woman of Faith speaker, who actually wrote a book titled "If You Can't Lose it, Decorate it." 

Well, I CAN lose it. But until recently, I certainly wasn't decorating it. And I didn't even WANT to decorate it until I lost it. Follow?

In the rut that I was (see previous posts) I was just "blah" - and I couldn't find anything in my closet that fit. Why is that? Well, partially because I gained a few pounds, but more importantly, it was because all the clothes I've been buying lately have been for the Future Me. The one who's a single-digit size and wears stylish clothes. Oh, come to think of it, that was the Past Me too. This "Now" Me wasn't worthy of nice clothes now. I guess it was a form of punishment to myself?

I would go in the dressing room and try something on. It fit. But I didn't want to be that size forever, so I thought "Let's just see how tight the next size down is." So I'd try it on, it was snug, and I'd say to myself "5 or 10 pounds and it'll fit!" and I'd buy THAT one, thinking it would motivate me to lose the weight so it would fit me. And it still hangs in my closet. 

Did you know clothes can get dusty if you don't wear 'em? Hmmph.

Well. I have a lot of nice clothes in my closet with tags on them that don't fit. And my "now" clothes have been consisting of two pairs of black pants and a few Hampton polo shirts, which I'd wear with sneakers (hair in a ponytail and minimal makeup). It was the "I just don't care" all over again. 

The turning point for me (I have a lot of them these days!) was a recent trip to a sporting goods store. I had a coupon - $10 off $50 - and was going to buy my son a pair of basketball shoes. 

I got the coupon off the Internet. I had actually used this same coupon before, at the same store. Several times. So I get to the register, and my cashier asks the next cashier, "Are there any restrictions on this coupon?" and waves my coupon at her. 

Serious drama ensues. 

The other cashier comes over and says, "That's a fake" and looks right at me. I said "I've used it here before..." but stopped when I caught her icy (accusing?) stare  - she goes to her register, produces a small cardboard-like coupon (looked just like mine!) and said "Someone scanned this on the Internet, it's not real, this is what the real one looks like, and you can't use that one." I was really embarrassed. There was a line of people behind me. So, I didn't know if I wanted the shoes now. But they were the last size 9 so I bought them anyway. But I also wanted to know why they took my coupon before. So I asked that question. And the manager was paged. 

Here comes "Bob", with a ready speech. "Corporate won't let us put a sign on the door saying they're illegal, usually we honor it if it's your first time, we are not saying you did this on purpose"...blah blah blah. SO I told him it was the first time I KNEW about it, and that I felt the cashier treated me rudely in front of everyone, cuz all I did was hit the print button. He started to walk away from me and I said "I really don't feel this is good service" and he mumbles "OK I'll take care of it" but everyone was looking at me really weird. 

When I got to my car, I figured out why. 

I was wearing a pair of really cute Dansko clogs. They're a reddish color and oh-so-comfortable. But they didn't really go with my workout pants and aqua colored jacket from the Turtle Sanctuary in Juno Beach FL, which, combined with my greasy hair (in a ponytail of course) no makeup and a zit on my chin that I didn't have time to cover up, made me look like an absolute lunatic. An illegal coupon printing lunatic, perhaps. And here I was, trying to get respect as a customer? Ha!

I know you were curious about the cute shoes. Here they are.

I just kind of laughed at myself and the situation. It's a fact of life - people will judge you by the way you present yourself - and so what. But the result of me treating myself badly was other people treating me badly. And that's not OK.

I can make an effort to FAKE IT til I MAKE IT to the Me I Wanna Be. That's the day I went out and started buying me some decorations. So that the next time I printed out a fake coupon by accident, I might get a little sympathy. That, and I wanted to feel better about myself, of course.

I went out and bought myself some clothes. In my size. My Now Size. Ooooh, that was hard (but I had a coupon off the Internet so I saved some money. Yeah, that one was legit.)

Just a few sweaters, and some new shoes (on clearance at Marshall's!) I was sooo tempted to buy a smaller size sweater or pants, but I forced myself to get the ones that fit now. Right now. I even threw on a sparkly necklace with my new sweater. I blew out my hair instead of letting the vents in the car dry it enough to twirl it into a ponytail, and I used two coats of mascara and used eyeliner AND shadow.

Everyone noticed. (except for my husband and son - they suffer from near sightedness - can't see what's in front of 'em, haha) People started saying I looked nice. And all of a sudden I felt like I looked nice. And I wanted to keep looking nice. SO the next day I went all wild & crazy and threw on a huge turquoise ring. 

God bless accessories, and the power they have to make you feel "put together." I want to keep feeling put together until I actually get it together. Amazing what a little confidence boost can do.

Take that, Dick's! (um, that's the name of the aforementioned sporting goods store. For real.) 
Did you ever get the email that says something like "Don't save the good china for a special occasion - today is a special occasion!"? That's how I feel about my, clothes. I'm not saving the good ones for later (although I do already have good ones for later). So many places have clearance sales, I can get some reasonably priced clothing in my size NOW and, when they are no longer my now size, I can bless someone with them. Someone who needs decorations just like I did. For their now.

So, next time I'm out, I may do something totally reckless and put on one of these:

I will lose it. I will. But in the meantime....I'm-a decoratin' it. (-:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

By Bread Alone...

It's 10:30 p.m., and I am going to bed hungry tonight. 

Now, before you go and feel all sorry for me, let me say that I am doing this on purpose. 

When I was at the BL Resort, I went to bed hungry too. Except there, it was easier, because there was no food in my room to eat. I had my meals and snacks and then it was lights out, no access to the dining hall. Here, at home, I've got a kitchen, and it's kind of hard to lock it down. 

Don't get me wrong - I ate plenty of food at the Biggest Loser Resort - just what I was supposed to. And by the time I left, my night-time eating habit had been broken. My body no longer was "used to" the night time eating I did (all the way up til my head hit the pillow - and, sadly, sometimes after that!) 

Well, I'm home, and old habits...yeah, you know how they die.

I've been dancing. I think many of you know the steps. It goes like this: you take one step forward, and two steps back. If it was a video game, I'd be playing at expert level.

I have reasons. Call them excuses if you will (cuz that's what they really are). Busy, stress, life.  I went back to my "old ways." Not all at once, but in chunks, and enough to thwart my progress.

My husband asked me a question the other night. "So, did you give up on your blog?" I almost got a little defensive (ladies, you know it, you would hear "So, did you give up on your diet?" too...) but really, when I thought about it, I guess I gave up on me. Again. Darn, I hate it when I do that! And it's embarrassing. What the heck would I have blogged about? Titles like "My fat jeans don't fit" aren't exactly uplifting and motivating.

I've been going to bed feeling miserable the past few weeks. I have been "grazing" all night after dinner and just feeling stuffed and bloated and yucky as I lay there in bed. As an acid reflux sufferer, I was literally hurting myself. Sometimes it wasn't even bad food, just lots of healthy food, if that even makes sense. A yogurt, some almonds, a string cheese, a Vitatop, some dark, yeah, all this after dinner. Um, cue the intervention! This one - divine.

I thought of a sign I'm sure you've seen before:

I love that. It's OK that I went in the wrong direction. I can forgive myself and start now, again. So I did. Went back to Zumba (my happy place) yesterday and started on a healthy eating plan. Me and my sister in law are texting each other every time we eat something. Accountability and buddy system all in one. Got back to the gym to strength train tonight. Ate what I was supposed to, all within my calorie goal, and now? I am thinking of a scripture as my tummy growls at me for not feeding it a midnight snack. Luke 4:4

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word of God.
I can do this (and all things through Him that strengthens me!) There is no shame in trying and you know how many lessons I've learned that way? Lots! So here's one more. A friend said to me today "I know you can do it cuz I know you know you're worth it!" Thanks, Megan. You're right - I do know I'm worth it. And where before, the negative self talk would have taken over and kept me quiet and defeated, I am ready to get back up and give it a go. 

When I go to bed hungry, I know it's because I'm making a sacrifice. I am not going to feel sorry for myself for a temporary state of being as I change my body's habits - and actually, it's a much better feeling than before, because I know I am making choices that are good for me. I'm not crazy, I am just not perfect, but I'm in charge of what me I can be, and I'm gonna make it a good me. Cuz I'm worth it.

And that's what I call a You-Turn.