Sometimes, you have these great ideas, and they just don't work in your favor.
So, I came up with some questions that people HAVE asked me over time, at random. I know. This seems a bit narcissistic. But hey. yolo.
1. How much weight have you lost?
24.5 lbs. And counting. My nephew weights 21 lbs. Talk about holding a kid and realizing you have lost what they weigh!
2. How much weight do you have to lose?
A lot. I don't have an actual number because my doctor won't give me one. Which might sound odd, but her logic is that if she gives me a goal weight/number of lbs to lose, I will go crazy trying to get there super fast. So instead, I pay my doctor a visit every 2 months, she sees that I am still losing weight, gives me a gold star, and sends me on my merry way. To some it may sound like a waste of a $30 copay, but it actually really helps me to stay accountable. I love my doctor and she is helping me on my journey because I can tell that she actually cares about me and my health. I have this team of people helping me, and she's on it. So always, ALWAYS include your doctor on your weight loss journey. If you don't like your doctor, find one that you do like. That is key, people. Weight loss isn't just about trainers and nutritionists.
3. What do you do to exercise?
I belong to the greatest gym in Oakland County. No, for real. It is the best. It's pricey, but worth it. Anyways, I go there 4-5 times a week, usually in the mornings before work. The bike is my favorite. I usually go about five to six miles on the bike. I also love the elliptical (I used to hate it) and go on there for about 20 minutes at a high incline/resistance. I mix it up sometimes and walk a mile or two instead of doing the elliptical, but I almost always do the bike. I used to swim once a week, but I stopped and now can't get myself back into it. It's harder to get dressed after swimming (omg, how lame do I sound right now??) and I juts haven't done it in a while. Maybe I can start putting that back in my workouts. But ANYWAYS- I do zumba sometimes on Saturdays, too.
4. Were you exercising at all before you started your "weight loss journey?"
Hell no. Okay, I took a walk once in a while and I played volleyball once a week for a few months. But for the most part, no. I made a lot of excuses like not having time and things like that. Now, I make the time. Getting up at 5 am isn't my favorite thing in the world, but it's part of my routine now.
5. Do you lift weights or just do cardio?
Both. Primarily cardio, but I spend the last 10 minutes of my workouts doing weights. Sometimes its free weights, sometimes the machines. I do this because I want to get toned, too. My favorite weight machine is the sitting row machine. I can row 110 lbs now. My arms are sculpted now!
6. What motivates you when you want to give up?
Well, for starters, seeing the scale drop down helps. There are times when it goes up or stays the same and I admit that's frustrating, but I keep in mind all the times it has dropped down and that helps keep me going. Also my bimonthly doctor visits, because I practically run in there and yell "WEIGH ME, I DARE YOU" to the poor little nurse. I just want my doctor to see that I'm losing weight and I get excited. Having people tell me I look good or that they can see a difference helps, too, because I know it's not all in my head. Recently, my clothes have started falling off of me which is embarrassing but also motivating. I have a workout buddy, too. My boyfriend. He is also a member of my gym and works out with me most mornings, even the days he doesn't go into work until 2 or into work at all. That helps. We barely speak at the gym because we're doing our own thing, but just seeing him there and knowing he's doing this with me is helpful.
And then there's the whole emotional aspect. When I think about giving up I sit there and think do I really want to be where I was before? Which was overweight, unhappy, depressed, etc. No. I sure don't. That allows me to push forward and to continue getting better and healthier.
7. Do you count your calories?
Yes. I read once that Carrie Underwood counts every single calorie she puts in her mouth, including like, spices. I'm not that brand of crazy (but good for Carrie, have you SEEN that girl's legs?), but I do count almost everything. And I try to do it right away. The good thing about smart phones is apps. I use MyFitnessPal and try to put in every meal after or while I eat it. When I am cooking, I count everything I put in it separately so I make sure I get everything. (Ex. Last night I made pasta, so I counted wheat penne noodles, ground turkey, vodka sauce, parmesan cheese). Also, sometimes you don't want to put in what you eat. I get it. You ate a donut and don't want to count it. But count it anyways. That way you aren't hiding what you are eating and you won't feel so guilty. Just eat the damn donut, count it, and don't go over your calorie intake that day. Or go over it, and forgive yourself. Not every day is going to be perfect.
8. What are some of your previous eating habits that you cut out when you started your weight loss journey?
- I cut out 90% of my pop (soda) intake. I was drinking, like, 5 diet cokes a day. I stopped cold turkey. I occasionally drink Sprite, but not too often. I had a sip of diet coke the other day and spit it out. Yes I realize diet coke is zero calories, but it does not have any positive health effects for you, so why keep drinking it?
- I used to get fast food, like, all the time. sometimes I'd even stop on my way home, get chicken nuggets, and then come home and eat a huge meal for dinner. Also if I went somewhere like Starbucks I'd get a sugary drink and a cookie or a rice krispy treat. Now if I go there, I get iced green tea, unsweetened, and no treats. And I rarely eat fast food anymore. If I do, I get something like a chicken sandwich w/o a bun and apple slices as a side, or I get a kids meal instead of a supersized meal.
- I cut my alcohol intake a TON. I used to drink a lot-more than the average person probably should. I would go through, like, four bottles of wine in a weekend. I know. Stop judging me. Now I pretty much drink one night a week, IF THAT, and when I drink it's not nearly as much as before. I have found this to be a HUGE help overall.
- Portion control. I could easily eat an entire box of cooked pasta before. Now, I cook my food and immediately but 1/2 or more in Tupperware to take to work for lunch. I do this with pretty much anything, even salmon which is low in calories. But I get my salmon from Costco (well actually, my parents get their salmon from Costco, and I take a few pieces each week), and the pieces are HUGE. So I cook it on the George Foreman, and cut it in 1/2.
Water is key to weight loss. Start becoming friends with water. Start slowly. Add things to it like lemons, cucumbers or mint. Soon, you will love water. I try to do my 8 glasses a day. I try to drink a full glass of water before lunch or dinner. My roommates will tell you I fill up a water glass at night while we watch tv and I sip it instead of snacking to give me something to do during commercials. I have begun to almost crave water.
10. Do you plan your meals?
I'm pretty simple. I rotate between two breakfasts: one is Oatmeal, one is egg whites on an English muffin. Lunches are easiest because I usually just eat leftovers. If I don't have leftovers I grab a lean cuisine or can of soup or something. So that brings us to dinner. Before this weight loss journey, I didn't have much interest in cooking. Now, I love it. I don't necessarily plan my meals, but I do buy groceries with keeping what I'd like to make in mind. Like, I know there is salmon and chicken in my freezer right now. Tom and I are making a frozen pizza tonight before the concert, so I don't need to worry too much about dinner tonight. But I am already thinking ahead to tomorrow. There's about 4-5 chicken breasts in the packet, and I'll be gone this weekend. So, I'll make the salmon tomorrow night, and have leftovers from that for lunch Friday. I'll probably do something with chicken Monday night and have enough leftovers for Tuesday's lunch AND dinner. See? Semi planning. It works.
I'm not very good at snacks. I should be better. When I do eat a snack it's usually yogurt, granola, nuts, or veggies.
12. Do you ever allow yourself treats?
Absolutely. I'm careful about it, but I allow it. I had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup yesterday. People bring in donuts or muffins a lot for work, and I'll split one with my friend Amy so that I can still get a taste for it. I eat ice cream sometimes. I had a piece of cake at my nephew's birthday party, but then skipped cake at a work party. It's all about control. And counting the calories.
13. Has there been a point where you have said "I am doing something right. This is good." ?
I have those moments a lot. But I do remember the first one I ever had, and that was when Paula (who I just wrote about the other day) told me that my eyes don't look so dark and sad anymore. That hit me big time, mostly because at the time I barely knew Paula but she, from afar, could see that this whole weight loss thing has had a positive effect on me. Now when I look in the mirror I look at my eyes first.
Also, last week I got two messages via facebook from people who told me that I am inspiring them and that I'm doing a great job. Things like that help me more than anyone can ever know!
Alright, I think that's enough. I don't want to bore you all too much. I hope this helped anyone who is on a similar journey or anyone who is thinking of getting started.
I mentioned up there that I have a team of people. Here's my team: My parents, my siblings and sibling in laws, Tom, Paula, Martha, gym trainers, Sam, Lauren, Peggy, Sue, Amy Z, Maggie, Carol, Lynn, Amy S, Laura P, Christina, Christine, Lizz, and anyone who likes or comments on my facebook. You all are the bomb.com.
Have a great week, everyone!