Starting Over

Sorry it’s been awhile. I’m not going to make excuses. I will fully admit that the only reason I haven’t been writing is that I didn’t really want to write about my health and fitness life because for the last several months, things have not been good. I have gotten kind of out of control, and I’ve been ashamed.

I can’t recall if I wrote about this or not (I skimmed my older posts and didn’t see anything), but I did a couple diet bets a few months ago. I signed up for them right after my first successful Whole30 because I had lost quite a bit of weight, and it was still coming off pretty steadily. I thought well, I’m doing it anyway, so I might as well earn some extra cash while I’m doing it.

The two bets I signed up for were a one month bet and a six month bet. If you are unfamiliar with how they work, for the one month bet, you have to lose 4% of your original weight in one month, and then you share in the pot with all the other people who met the goal. For the six month bet, you have to lose 10% of your original weight in six months with a smaller loss goal every month. The rewards for the six month bet are that you have to meet the smaller goal every month in order to share in a small portion of the pot, and then for the final weigh in, you have to have lost over 10%, and you share in the larger portion of the pot.

Joining the bets was a big mistake… as soon as I turned my focus from becoming healthier for the sake of being healthier to losing weight for the sake of the number on the scale, I started to do things that weren’t so healthy. My weight loss slowed down as it does because I was over the initial loss you always get when changing up your diet, and I started to get frustrated. I was allowing myself a little snack here and a little treat there until I was right back into my old, terrible eating habits.

I easily won the one month bet and the first month of my 6 month bet. I was pretty far ahead of where I needed to be for the next month’s goal, and that’s when I started to allow myself to slack. I thought well, I’m doing so well, what’s one little treat? But then one treat turned into two which turned into three, and so on. I missed my month two and month three weigh-ins, and by month 4, I was desperate. I turned to some very unhealthy eating habits. I did a “3 day diet” which is a very restricted eating plan for 3 days followed by 4 days of eating whatever you want. The theory behind it is that you’re tricking your metabolism into revving up by basically starving yourself for 3 days and then going back to normal.

I do have to admit that if you want to lose some weight quickly, it helps; however, it cemented my already dysfunctional relationship with food. I would do the diet and lose the weight needed for my weigh in, and then as soon as I weighed in, I binged. I ate all the junk food I could find, and gained all the weight back. Then a couple weeks before my next weigh in, I panicked again, and did the starvation diet managing to squeak by with my month 5 weigh in, followed again by a junk food binge.

I honestly have no idea how I managed to make my final weigh in, but I did. I did the 3 day diet a couple times and also worked out pretty hardcore. I even managed to get down to a major milestone, but I didn’t feel at all proud about it. I knew it wasn’t going to last, and I knew that I had done things that weren’t good for me to get there. I tried not to post my win to Facebook, but I must have hit the wrong button when the prompt popped up because it showed up. Someone commented on it, and I didn’t feel proud for my accomplishment; I felt embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to know.

Surprise of surprises, as soon as I finished the bet, I went even crazier. Every day was a free-for-all. I had everything I wanted when I wanted it, and I stopped exercising. I had ice cream every day, sometimes twice a day, and I started drinking soda again to the point where I was up to a 24 oz bottle every morning.

Even typing all this up, I feel really ashamed and embarrassed, but I think it’s important to get it all out there. I’m back into all my old clothes that didn’t fit me a few months ago, and even they are kind of tight. The definition in my face is mostly gone. I feel sluggish and lazy. I’m not sleeping well. My joints hurt, and my digestion is all out of whack again. I refuse to weigh myself, but I know that I’m at the highest weight I’ve been at in a couple years. I don’t think I’m back to my highest weight ever yet, but I know that if I don’t change something now, I will be very soon.

Even though I have been feeling really crappy and ashamed, I think there is some good in it… I took a good, hard look at myself and the things I’ve been doing and how I’ve been feeling, and I’ve said enough is enough! I’m sick of feeling like crap; I’m sick of being uncomfortable; and I’m sick of feeling ashamed, so I’m doing something about it.

My plan is to do another Whole30 starting July 5. I’d start now, but I know that I won’t be able to keep it up for the 4th, and I don’t want to set out to fail. Until then, I have been watching what I’m eating by focusing on getting more vegetables in and cutting down on the sweets. I’ve stopped drinking soda, and ice cream is the next thing to go because those are both things that I majorly overdo it with every time I have some.

Since health and wellness is a two-pronged approach, I’ve also come up with an exercise plan that will be sustainable because it starts out slow and builds on itself. I’ve decided to do a 12 week half marathon walking plan. It perfectly lines up with a half marathon in the area, but I don’t know if I want to do it yet because the entry is $100. That’s a lot of money, but who knows… maybe that might be enough motivation for me to stay on track. We’ll see…

The walk plan has 2 rest days written in as well, but I’m going to do active resting in the form of yoga. I think this will really help keep my muscles loose, and it will keep me from getting into the habit of skipping workouts. From yesterday forward, I plan to do some form of activity every day even if it’s just 10 minutes of stretching. Consistency is key as I know that this is where I’ve failed in the past.

In addition to the walking, I’m going to do some bodyweight training in the form of what I call SPS. It stands for Situps, Pushups, and Squats. For that, I’m using an app that is supposed to help get you up to 200 situps, 100 pushups, and 200 squats. When I did the initial test, it wasn’t pretty… I can only do 2 pushups, 10 situps, and 20 squats. I’ve done this plan before, and I got up to 10 pushups, 50 situps, and 65 squats, so it’s a little disheartening to see how much fitness I’ve lost, but I know that it will get better as I keep it up.

So that’s where I’m at… thanks so much for reading! Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers during these first couple weeks since they will be the most challenging.

Anyway, I’m off to enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having today with day 2 of my exercise plan!

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Take It Easy!

I don’t know about you, but I can be really hard on myself sometimes. I set absolutely unrealistic goals, and then I get upset when I don’t reach them. It’s completely ridiculous! I had one of those moments this morning until I made myself really think about it logically. After that I was actually feeling pretty good about myself!

I’m on day 14 of my second Whole30. I’ve made it 2 whole weeks, and I’ve got willpower up the wazoo to make it the full 30 days. I woke up this morning feeling awesome! I looked in the mirror, and instead of the usual picking and poking and focusing on my trouble spots, I thought I looked pretty good. Then I stepped on the scale… Because I was feeling so hot and light and thin, I was expecting a number that was reflective of my mood. It wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it was an awesome number! I am at my lowest weight since my junior year of college back in 2007, but it wasn’t the number I was expecting and hoping for.

I felt pretty down about it all morning until I really stopped to think about it. I started my first Whole30 on September 29, and since that day, I’m down 22 lbs! That’s 12 lbs from the first one and 10 lbs from the second at only 2 weeks in! That means that I’ve lost 22 lbs in 2 months which is really great progress, so it’s completely ridiculous that I was upset this morning that I wasn’t down more than I am. Also, I mentioned in a previous post that I had to go down a pant size the last time I bought pants, and well… they’re starting to get big on me!

These ridiculous high standards have got to go! Especially because they’re based on numbers that tell me nothing more than my gravitational pull… My weight does not indicate how healthy I am or what kind of person I am. I am not the number on the scale. I’m getting healthy, and I’m feeling amazing. That’s what I should really be holding myself to. I’m honestly getting to the point where I’d really just like to get rid of my scale altogether. Unfortunately because of the 6 month Diet Bet I’m in, I won’t be able to until May, but at that point… I’m thinking it’s gone, or at the very least hidden away in my closet so I’m not tempted to pull it out all the time.

So back to my second Whole30! As I said above, I’m on day 14!!! That little mental shift I had a couple weeks ago was exactly what I needed to kick my butt back into gear. It’s not about losing weight. It’s about my health, and making my body feel good by fueling it with good foods. The weight loss is just a natural side effect of fueling my body the right way. (It sure is awesome though! 😉 )

In full disclosure, I’ve been slightly more lax on this Whole30 than I was on the first one, but I really don’t think it’s going to do too much. I’ve had a little bit of sugar here and there because it was in foods that I was using for cooking, but honestly, I’m ok with that because I don’t really feel my sugar dragon breathing down my neck anymore, and it was in such low quantities that it really wasn’t going to do much anyway. The little bit of sugar that I’ve had has not led me running into my kitchen for the Reese’s trees I have hidden in my cupboard. (I think that alone speaks volumes to how far I’ve come. I have some Reese’s in my cupboard… I’m well aware they’re in there, but I haven’t been tempted once to break into them before my 30 days are up.)

I am feeling really good this go around. Now that I’ve figured out that I can’t eat eggs, my stomach is feeling mostly back to normal! I’m eating only until I’m full, and I’m not ravenously hungry between meals. It’s weird because I’ve tried the whole “listen to your body’s cues. When you feel full, stop,” thing before, but I always felt like a failure because I could never figure out when I was full. I know now that it’s because I was never getting the proper cues because the types of foods I was eating were blocking them. Crazy how that works…

Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I’m planning to stay strong! I’m making a couple of sides that I know I’ll be able to eat, and my dad is making the turkey and ham in a way that I can eat it. I was a little sad that I wouldn’t be getting all the traditional favorites that I usually enjoy, but honestly, I think I’ll be happy to not be walking around uncomfortably full all day! And, if I really, really want the turkey dinner with all the fixings, I can always get one somewhere when my 30 days are up. I really doubt I will though.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Whole 30-Days 8-9

This week is off to a great start. I think I chose a terrible time to start my Whole30 because all of my favorite foods are out right now. Fall is my favorite time of the year, so I love anything apple spice, pumpkin spice, caramel apple… Think of any quintessential fall flavor, and I love it. So anytime I go to the store, right there at the point of purchase and on just about every endcap is something that I usually enjoy during this time of year. They’re just calling to me, and I have to ignore them and walk right on past.

To make matters even more challenging, it’s National Customer Service Week, and my company goes all out for it. They decorate our main employee entryway with a unique theme and give out freebies galore-at least half of which are food. Yesterday it was free breakfast of doughnuts, fruit, fruit pizza, granola bars, yogurt, and juice. Today they handed out hot Auntie Anne’s pretzels in the afternoon. It’s awesome to work for a company that values it’s employees so much, but the junk food is killing me!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme Customer Service Week

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

I guess if I look at it in another way, maybe this was the best time of year for me to start my Whole30. I know that all the seasonal fall flavors are major triggers for me, and I definitely overdo it on the treats this time of year, so it’s probably a good thing I’ve got an added incentive to say no. This time of year is usually when all the vendor gifts start coming through, too, so I’ll be better able to avoid them as well!

While it has been tough to avoid the temptations, I have been keeping my commitment to myself to do all 30 days of my Whole30 with just two small exceptions. The first was that I used beef broth with sugar in it last week. I never even thought to look at the label of beef broth before using it. I didn’t want to toss the whole thing, so I’m just going to be ok with it. The amount of sugar that is in my meal is likely so minimal that it doesn’t make much of a difference one way or another. Is it truly Whole30? No, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it either.

The second was on Saturday I had a huge coughing fit while I was driving, so I grabbed a cough drop out of my purse. It has sugar in it. Again, I needed the cough drop to help stop my coughing when I had no other options, so while it is not Whole30 approved, I’m letting myself be ok with it. Honestly the point of Whole30 is to break your bad habits and get you on the path to a healthy life. If having an amount of sugar in my chili so minimal it registers as zero grams for a whole serving when I had about 1/4 of a serving or having a cough drop to ease a coughing fit throws me off course, then I think there are bigger issues at stake here.

So how am I feeling after days 8 and 9? Well, yesterday was a bit rough. I had some digestion issues all afternoon which I’m hoping is just my body getting used to my new way of eating as described in the Whole30 timeline. I did have an overabundance of natural sugars yesterday though which may have also been the culprit. As you’ll see in my foods list below, all of my meals had sweet potatoes in them as well as butternut squash and apples, and not to mention the giant plate of fruit I had for breakfast. I could definitely be doing a better job taming my sugar dragon.

So what did I eat?

Monday-Day 8

Breakfast: Large plate of fruit, Ham, Apple, & Sweet Potato Scramble, 8 oz Original kombucha

Fruit Plate Breakfast

Tastes even better when it’s free…

Lunch: Roast chicken thigh with roast sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash, sauteed summer squash and zucchini, 5 oz V8 vegetable juice

Roast Chicken Thigh and Veggies

I definitely need a new camera…

Dinner: Leftover Roast Chicken Soup from Against All Grain

Tuesday-Day 9

Breakfast: Ham, Apple & Sweet Potato Scramble, a banana, 8 oz Strawberry Serenity kombucha (definitely not my favorite flavor!)

Lunch: Leftover Roast Chicken Soup

Dinner: Chocolate Chili