I’m Feeling Inspired – Down A Size

So first off, I have to say…WOW. Last month was one of the biggest on the blog and I posted a whopping 5 times. Which makes me wonder if you’re trying to tell me something. That, or June was just a huge month for Golf Cakes and Apple Butter. I never thought those would be the most popular posts on CMD.

I’m also doing something a little different with this week’s inspiration post (just pretend there wasn’t a month long gap since the last one). I realized I haven’t given you a proper update on the weight loss journey lately.

[I could not get the smears off the mirror, sorry]

 Down a Size_2

My ‘fat’ jeans are in the donation box!

[Holy crap, did I just post a picture of my ass on the internet?]

 

YES. I. DID.

 

Thing have been going great on the weight loss journey, I’m down 28 lbs and a full jean size. I’m also starting week 7 of the C25K and have gone from struggling through a 90 second jog to finishing 20 minutes straight. Now instead of reaching for food when I get stressed at work, I find myself looking forward to my workout. Who thought that would happen? I still have a long way to go, but I’m smiling again.

In all honesty, I hate these types of posts, because I don’t like tooting my own horn. But I’m trying to learn that sometimes it perfectly healthy and justified to pat yourself on the back and share the good news. Especially justified since this blog is supposed to be all about my journey to changing my destiny, right? Well, I see progress.

So here’s to sharing the great news all over the internet!

…especially since my dog just doesn’t get it when I dance around the bedroom in my now smaller jeans.

A Day of Eats

So after my recent weight loss update post, I had quite a few emails asking me about what I’ve been eating lately. How I eat always make the biggest impact on my weight loss, but I (like a lot of people) don’t like ‘diet’ food. I don’t like air crisped snack bars that taste like packing Styrofoam and I’m just not satisfied by prepackaged freezer meals; I’m hungry an hour later.

I don’t ever want to feel like I’m on a diet. Even while I’m trying to lose weight, I feel it’s important to eat for the body I want and in a way that I can maintain long term. What I eat changes on a daily basis, I eat similar meals everyday, but I don’t usually eat the same thing each day.

For fun, I took pictures of everything I ate on yesterday. 

Better Oats Chai Spiced Oatmeal with 1 Cup Blueberries, Flax Meal, and Walnuts

In general I like oatmeal, but I like it plain and dry. Plain to me is without sugar, butter, or milk. Prepackaged oats are easy, but so many of them come in flavors like Maple, Brown Sugar, or Apple Cinnamon. These are always too sweet for me. If I’m not making my own oatmeal, I use Better Oats. They are prepackaged and only take minutes in the microwave. The other brand I like is Trader Joe’s frozen Steel Cut oats.

Blueberry Oatmeal

LOTS of baby spinach & half a container Trader Joe’s Rosemary Chicken & Wild Rice

I eat a lot of Spinach each day, this salad had about 4 cups chopped up. I found the Chicken & Rice meal at Trader Joe’s and they are delicious (they are fresh made in their deli section). There are two servings per container and cook up easy in the Microwave or Oven. If I put it over spinach then I use the rice flavor as a dressing.

Rosemary Chicken & Rice over Spinach

Sometime between Lunch and Dinner I snacked on a serving of Hershey Dark Kisses. I refuse to give up all sweets, it’s not realistic for me. If I do, I’ll end up eating a whole cake in a few weeks and gaining all the weight back. Moderation.

Dark Chocolate Hershey Kisses

Dinner was Fish Tacos, without the avocado (I didn’t have any in the house).

I had some cabbage that was going bad so I decided to make my favorite fish tacos. They are easy, fast, and delicious.

Fish Tacos 

So that’s it, a typical day of eats for me. I’m not a big snacker at night and I keep a mason jar full of water next to me all day, usually drinking between 10-14 glasses a day. Luckily I like my water plain and I prefer water over other beverages.

 

A few other questions I got after the weight loss post.

 

Are you still following the Tracey Anderson Metamorphosis program?

Yes! I have restarted the program since I had to take a few weeks off around Christmas. Technically it’s a 90 day program, but I’m using it as a cardio/muscle program so I’m not very concerned about whether I finish it in 3 months as long as I keep at it.

 

Do you track calories? How?

Yes, I do track calories. Usually I wear a Bodybugg because it gives me an accurate overview of my calories burned so that I can fuel properly. However, over the past few weeks I’ve been testing out the My Fitness Pal website and Android app. The phone app has a bar code scanner that allows you to scan the bar code of foods you eat and it automatically brings up the nutrition info for you. I’ve been pretty impressed so far.

 

Do you have any Before/After pictures?

Yes, I did take before pictures, and I plan to take new pictures every month as I lose more. I don’t plan on posting them until I’ve made significantly more progress. At some point I may feel comfortable sharing them, but not yet.

 

In Other News…

The tile is up on the fireplace!

My dad came over today and help me with it, then we went out for lunch. It was actually a really fun day. I’ll wait to share which style I chose and a final picture until we get the grout finished on Monday. However, it looks amazing and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Weight Loss Reward: 20 lb

Usually Tuesdays are a tough day for me. I have some important calls at work that take a lot of prep every week and they stress me out. No matter how long I’ve been doing this, it still makes me nervous to talk to smart people. Lucky thing, I’m pretty good at making people think I know what I’m talking about.

 

Other lucky thing…

I’ve lost 20 lbs!!

 

Wow…terrible transition…but let’s keep going.

I’ve been working really hard to clean up my diet since the holidays are over, and I’ve also been slowly getting back into a workout routine since the back injury. Turns out it’s all paying off! I’ve been steadily dropping and last week I finally hit a total of 20lbs down. Actually I’m down 24.7 as of this morning, and it feels so good.

Since losing weight is slow, tiring, boring, exhausting, and sometimes depressing…I have to give myself a goal. Every 5 lb loss gets a reward and the 20 lb reward was a shopping spree at Aaron Brothers for Art Supplies.

Art Supplies - Reward

I’ve been wanting to get back into painting for a while and I have a great idea for a series in the Spare Bedroom so this was perfect. It was too much fun to wander through AB and pick out new paints, brushes, canvases, and a few sketch books. The added bonus was that AB is doing their Penny Sale right now so I every second item only cost me a penny. The few that weren’t on the sale were on clearance and marked 50% off.

Technically I get another reward at 25 lbs, but the next reward I want is some art that is pretty expensive, so I’m focused on losing 10lbs for that one.

 

Do you ever use a reward as motivation when trying to get healthy? Do they work for you? If not, how do you stay motivated?

Metamorphosis Level 1 – Complete

So we’re finally here, two weeks in and the first Level done! Things are going well and I feel great overall. For a little background, each level (I sometimes refer to them as cycles) will last me 14 days, 10 of which are Meta planned workouts. The other 4 days are either rest days or random fun workout days. I will post updates like this every 14 days for the next few months to keep me on track.

Stats:

Pounds Lost this cycle: 7.7

Pounds Lost overall: 22.7

Inches Lost this cycle: 4”

Here is a recap of how the first cycle of Meta workouts.

Day 1 – 3

[D1] I’m no pro, but I do consider myself a pretty damn good dancer. I also have  knack at picking up routines very quickly. However, the first day I felt like a total spaz. The moves change so quickly during the dance cardio that it’s tough to keep up. [D2] It hurt to move. But I kept at it and did both the cardio and muscle work. [D3] I could move on day 3, but it hurt to breathe…and sneeze. Oh dear lord my abs hurt so bad when I sneezed, I wanted to cry. I completed both the muscle work and the cardio, but I was so sore I couldn’t go full out on the cardio.

Day 4

The soreness was getting better on day 4. I didn’t cringe when I walked down the stairs or burst into tears at the grocery store when I unexpectedly had to sneeze. Everything still hurt, but that was to be expected. I was working my body like never before. Even with all the pain, I felt stronger and leaner. As of day 4, I felt leaner because I had already lost about 5 lbs which was a great motivator to keep going.

Day 5

Finally the golden day, the first day everything felt good. I was still sore, but it was far from unbearable. In fact it felt like a badge of honor since I could feel my abs working and my legs felt strong. I still struggled on the leg muscle work, but it’s far better than on day 4.

Day 6

Part of the arm workout uses weights, but since I’m new to this, I haven’t been using them. However, on day 6, I added the 3 lb weights. It felt good and so empowering to be stronger today than a week ago.

Day 7 – 8

I only did the muscle work on day 7 & 8 because I was frankly still tired from finishing the 10K. The blisters on my feet hadn’t healed enough to put my tennis shoes back on so I skipped out on the 30 minutes of dancing for a good night sleep. However, I did add in the weights to the arm muscle work both days and it felt great. Just hard enough to really feel it, but totally doable since I’ve gotten so much stronger in the past week.

Day 9 – 10

Back in the groove and feeling good. I finished 30 minutes of Cardio Dance and the full muscle work with weights. Food did slip a little on these days but I honestly didn’t feel bad about it because over the course of 2 weeks I had worked out at least 10 days and lost almost 8 lbs.

General Tips I’ve learned this Cycle:

  • Know your own pace and how to push it. You get out of this program what you put in, so if you slack off, you’re only cheating yourself.
  • Do your own warm up and cool down, also add in a little stretching since it’s not really included in the DVDs.
  • Use your own playlist for the cardio dance and don’t be afraid to freestyle the entire dance section. I stopped following her cardio dance on day 4, I find it more fun to freestyle it.
  • Use a towel under your knee during the ground legwork (this made the biggest difference for me)
  • Watch all the DVDs at least once before starting the workout, trust me on this, it will seriously help you out.
  • Close your blinds until you really get the hang of this. You will look like a spaz the first time out, having the blinds closed meant I didn’t really care how I looked since no one could see me.
  • Odd fact: My left leg is stronger than my right; however, my right arm is far stronger than my left. Overall my arms are so much stronger than my legs right now.
  • The workouts are tough, but doable. Don’t feel like a failure just because you can’t keep up or do all the reps. Just keep going and you’ll see major progress.

Things I’ve learned work for me:

  • I like to work out at night since I’m a night owl. I do not do mornings very well. So at 6pm I started having  a little coffee to give me the perk up I needed to really push through the tough workout later that night. A little coffee to me is about 1/2 a cup. Anymore and I get very chatty and my dog didn’t appreciate it.
  • While I do still wear the BodyBugg to track my calorie burn, I stopped counting calories that I eat. I try to hit goals based on the number of fruits, veggies, and water I get that day. After that, I can have my ‘foodie’ dinner and not stress.
  • I really wear myself out when dancing so I learned that it was better for me to complete the muscle work first. Otherwise I’m too tired to maintain proper muscle work form after the cardio dance.

As I mentioned before, I’m not following the included Meta eating plan. A few people asked me to post my daily eats and while I won’t be sharing my eats on a daily basis (I just don’t have the patience for it), here are just some of the dinners I have had recently.

Potato Soup with Cheddar in a Bread bowl

Potato Cheddar Soup/Bread Bowl

Veggies, Eggs, and Toast

Breakfast For Dinner

Brussel Sprout stalks are back!! I roasted some sprouts and potatoes one night for a light dinner.

2011-11-12 16 20 02

Brown Rice, Tilapia, and Broccoli Cheddar patties (really good way to eat broccoli if you don’t like it)

Broccoli Patties & Rice

Spaghetti, Peas, Shrimp and Parmesan Marinara

IMG_2349

Yesterday I started Level 2 and it hurts to breathe again, but I know I will get better and stronger everyday.

A Weight Off My Shoulders (& Hips)

Vacation Mode Goals Update:

Two days into the work week, and the goals have been successful so far. When I was on vacation, I was able to easily get up early and walk Baxter around 6:30am. I honestly didn’t think I’d stick with it, since I’m a die hard night owl. However, yesterday and today I made a point to get up early and take Bax on a 30 minutes speed walk. By 7am it’s already 70 degrees, so you go for a walk early or not at all.

Before setting these vacation mode goals…

On a typical weekday I would wake up late, check my email before I’m even out of bed. Immediately begin stressing out about work issues, skip breakfast, feed Bax, then head upstairs to pace the office for a bit, talking to myself, while my computer starts up then start working.

After…

Wake up before the alarm clock and put on my tennis shoes while Baxter eats breakfast. Head out for a 30-40 minute walk with Bax. Return home, shower, eat breakfast, check twitter/news then head upstairs and scan my work emails on my phone while my computer starts up, start working.

A MAJOR difference if you ask me. I have been oddly calm both yesterday and today, and I’m completely caught up on work right now. I think it all has to do with the morning walks.

I’ve also kept up with my workout, healthy eating, being presentable, and making lists. I haven’t meditated like I’d hoped, but I think I can consider the walking an outdoor mediation for now.

 

A Weighty Issue…

I promised to be very honest about a lot things on this blog, including the constant fight I have with my weight, which I’ve battled all my life. I feel somewhat comfortable opening up about this now since I’m actually making some progress. Accountability is key so, here we go.

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog since the beginning (which was a mere week ago), you may remember reading that I gained an extreme amount of weight over the past two years, 80 pounds to be exact. At the time, I was just breaking 200 lbs after losing about 30, so I wasn’t even at my goal weight when I started gaining again. At my highest I dented the scale at 280…OUCH!

There are so many reasons why I got to that point, depression and disordered eating being the main two reasons. But as anyone who’s battled their weight over a lifetime knows, it’s never as easy as it seems to fix the issue.

I’ve never been one for quick fix diets, weight loss pills, or ‘celebrity’ diets. I’ve never tried the cabbage soup diet or eaten only protein. I’ve never done a master cleanse or delighted in the cookie diet. These plans have never sounded effective to me, since I’ve never been looking for a quick fix. I have, however, been looking for a healthy lifestyle that felt right to me. One that would be tasty, help me lose the weight, then later maintain a healthy lifestyle. One that wouldn’t feel like deprivation or make me desire to binge on 8 dozen cupcakes at a time. Lately I’ve been blending several ways of thought together to create an eating plan that works for me.

In November, I started following the 17 day diet because the eating plan made sense to me. At the time I was binging a lot and following the strict eating plan helped me get back on track, like eating bootcamp. In a month, I had lost 20 lbs and started feeling so much better about myself. However, life got in the way and I stopped eating healthy, gaining back about 10 lbs.

My mom used to tell me that you couldn’t change a person, they needed the desire to change for themselves in order for the change to stick. I second that by adding that it can’t simply be a ‘desire’ to change. I’ve desired a change all my life, but I’ve finally reached that moment where I want to live authentically and make the necessary changes, not just desire them anymore.

In the past few weeks I started reading Crazy Sexy Diet, Tracy Andersons Method, Food Revolution, several resources by Kathy Freston, as well as many other publications. All were leading me toward the same thing, a Vegetarian eating style that cut out processed food and sugar. Seems so simple, but I guess I just had to be ready to learn, and ready to make the change for good.

My food plan lately has been completely meat free and I feel amazing. I’ve also cut out a majority of dairy and gluten, but I do plan on slowing integrating those back into my diet. I have no desire to give up milk, cheese, or eggs long term at this point. I also know I can physically tolerate Gluten, so I don’t need to cut it out to be healthy. In the end I’m torn on whether I’ll continue to be vegetarian long term or just a majority of the time. However, it fits in my lifestyle now, and it has had such a positive effect on my life so far.

 

Progress Update…

I’ll try to make weight progress updates a weekly feature to keep myself accountable. So far, I’m down 28 lbs and I’ve almost broken through the 250s. I can’t tell you how amazing that feels, just 28 lbs lighter and everything is easier. I’ve also started following Tracy Andersons 30 day Method (although I’m not following her eating plan) and I absolutely adore the cardio element. I grew up dancing and this is essentially 30-40 minutes of pure happiness everyday. How can you go wrong with that?

Adding the dancing, strength training, and morning dog walks have obviously made a difference. Next week I’ll give you a weight loss progress update along with measurements to see just how effective this new eating/workout plan really is. Here’s hoping that the scale has me in the 240’s, and I’ll officially be down 30 lbs.

 

How else have I changed lately…did you hear I cut off 20 inches of hair recently! Maybe that accounts for a few of the pounds!