Exercise, Health, Mind and Body, Weightloss

My heart is smiling

Okay, so I’ve been busy. Busy working. Busy working out. Busy with life.

Between work, errands, chores, and a social life, it can be a struggle to squeeze in a fitness class that you’re not familiar with. But despite life’s many complications, I would like for everyone to make a solid effort at taking a hot yoga class. I did, and I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision.

Call it what you want: hot yoga, Bikram yoga, Continue reading

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Food, Recipes, Weightloss

A good weird

Even though I’m only five days into my summer weight loss journey, I feel like there’s so much I could talk about. So in order to keep this post focused, let’s just discuss food for today.

Cutting out junk food really feels like a cleanse. Of course I’ve been drinking more water, snacking on fruit, and eating smaller portions, but what has been so significant is making the distinction between wanting to stuff my face and actually being hungry. I had become so used to regularly allowing myself things like pizza, burgers and ice cream, so now it feels kind of weird restricting those foods again. But it’s a good weird. It feels good to make healthy choices at restaurants and pack myself a healthy lunch to take to work. And It gives me a reason to come up with and try new recipes.

Since I remembered having Continue reading

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Food, Weightloss

Goodbye Summer, Hello Life!

At the end of the third month of my plan to get bikini ready, I realized that I have actually missed bikini season altogether. As I was looking at the weather report for the last days of August on the Oregon Coast, I found that it was actually predicted to be rainy. Translation: I will not be able to enjoy even one day at a warm and sunny beach this summer because our hot summer days are done for. Consequently, I will not be engaging in your stereotypical summer activities which usually involve being half-naked in a body of water. Am I upset by this fact? I’m not entirely sure.

Mom on the grill for one of the last times this year.

My first emotional reaction to this fact is to be bummed that my efforts, specific to summer, have been pointless. Why make a plan to get skinny in the summer when I’m not even going to be squeezing myself into a bathing suit? But the other part of me is a little relieved. Shopping for swimwear is stressful and grueling to say the least. Trying on swim suits usually tears down my self esteem when my body isn’t quite where I’d like to be. And since the hot weather forces us to wear revealing tank tops and short shorts, I still had reason enough to slim down in the summer. And it’s not like I have to be in a bikini in order to enjoy results.

And beyond the demands of the summer season, I was ready to shed the 10 or more extra pounds that I have been carrying around since Christmas. Furthermore, this has been a lifestyle change that will help me to maintain the weight I’ve lost so far (I’m not entirely sure of the exact number of pounds).

While we’re on the topic of a lifestyle change, I would just like to add that I am aware that in my life I will make mistakes with my eating. I will have days that I do not work out, and my weight will most certainly fluctuate depending on the week. But life is about making mistakes and overcoming them.  I’m a bit nervous for what my next number will be, as I have been a bit lax on my eating lately. I don’t know if it’s because I feel  liberated by the spirit of summer, or if I just need to be reminded of why I don’t eat fast food, but I definitely have not been strict about my food rules. Obviously, I still make healthy choices and am not binge eating, but my diet hasn’t exactly been low-carb. Oh, and by the way, the other day I allowed myself…REAL LIVE ICE CREAM. And a week later, BURGERVILLE.

I’m not excusing my behavior, but my cheek and gums were sore from my dental appointment the other day (I had a filling replaced), so this was the justification I repeated to myself as I allowed Philip to treat me to Baskin Robbins. As for the Burgerville, I really have no excuse. I was desperate, weak, and completely out of line when I had the Seasoned Turkey Burger and a regular serving of french fries. I have taken the liberty of researching the nutritional content of my order, and I’m not happy with my findings: A grand total of 880 calories, 37g of fat, 1060g of sodium. Yuck.

It’s strange because I find that summer is a relatively easy time to go light on fatty foods and fill up on fruits and vegetables instead. All the best produce is in season: peaches, corn, blueberries, raspberries, summer squash, nectarines, lettuce, pineapple, rhubarb, and watermelon!

But sometimes shit happens.

I’ll reach my potential when I get there. I’m in no rush. Besides, my ultimate goal is to figure out how to get to a weight that I am happy with, that I can maintain in the long run, and to figure this out by the time I go to Maui in January.

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Weightloss

Weighing in

This morning I looked into the mirror as the realization of what today is came upon me; today is the day that I step on the scale and pray to Eywa that the  last month of tedious efforts has worked. The day before the big day, I discussed my nervousness with my roommate Jake.

“How much do you expect you lost?” he asked.

“I would be really happy if I lost 5 pounds,” I said.

Today is also the day that I try not to fall off the weight loss wagon if the number happens to be the same as it was 30 days ago. But most importantly, today is the day I try not to eat myself into an emotional oblivion if the number has increased.

After removing most of my sleepwear that could possibly add another half a pound, I softly stepped on the intimidating little fat-weigher. I tightly closed my eyes and fearfully tilted my head away from the scale. When my weight was balanced, I reluctantly looked down to see what the screen read.

p u r e   g l a d n e s s !

I was so excited and proud at seeing my number that it took me quite a while to do simple subtraction. “You lost 6.5 pounds” is what the scale said (more or less)! Upon learning this happy fact, I had to tell someone immediately. I bolted into the living room to gloat to Jake about my accomplishment.

This success definitely called for a new blog post. I had to tell my dedicated readers!

Now that I know that my eating and exercise habits have been working, I feel really encouraged to push even harder. Let’s see how far we can get on this plan. This is exactly the kind of healthy weight loss that I wanted for myself all along: making healthy lifestyle changes and losing weight in the process. Although losing pounds fast is usually the ideal, losing 6 pounds in a month is a healthy amount of pounds to lose for someone with my fitness level, and it is the result of a more than just diet and exercise. It is the result of a lifestyle change that is making me feel stronger, healthier, and more confident than I’ve felt in quite a while.

Losing that 6.5 pounds put me in the weight range that I want to be in. But seeing the number is actually just verification of my success. In all seriousness, I knew that I was making healthier decisions. I knew that I was getting more physically fit. And I knew that I could see a difference in the way I looked. But seeing that number makes it real.

The best part? The fact that I don’t feel like I’ve been starving myself! I definitely have been eating less, but my meals have all been filling and delicious. I still eat pasta, cheese, burritos, and dessert, but I do this in a healthy, moderate manner. (Veggie burritos are my new thing). This is certainly a lifestyle that I can maintain.

I’m not going to lie to you though. Last weekend was my friend Ryan Mowery‘s Birthday party, and there was cake. Ice cream cake. And not just any ice cream cake; it was homemade ice cream cake. One had a chocolate chip cookie dough bottom, and the other was cookies in cream. Since I hadn’t had much to eat for dinner, I decided to share a piece of cake with Philip. No harm in tasting the cake, right? But it was a larger piece than I expected, and somehow I ended up eating much more of it than I had intended.

Photo by Ryan Mowery

….There was also a piñata at the party…with candy in it. I ate a bit of that too. After the party I felt horrible and got down on myself. But since I really liked the cake and candy, I started to question whether I really cared about losing the weight. Maybe it’s worth it to be a little fatter if I can have cake, I thought. However, I was more preoccupied with my feelings of guilt and regret. I even blamed some of my friends for letting me eat the cake that which led me to think all those destructive thoughts.

Even though I had that slip up, I carried on with my plan and didn’t let that keep me from continuing with my healthy life. If a Christian commits a sin, does that make them not a Christian anymore? I don’t think so. Instead of falling off the wagon, I worked a bit harder to make up for the cake I ate. Because that’s just life.  Being rewarded with my weight loss has helped me to stop with all the obsessive guilt. I am more motivated than ever to lose another 6.5 pounds!

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