19 April 2013

What Does FIT Mean?

My name is Aly and I'm an emotional eater.
I hate saying it, but it's true. Each time I say it, it get's a little bit easier.  I've yo-yo'd for long enough, my friends. The smallest I've ever been in my adult life was 181, and that was when I was counting all my calories and working out 5 - 6 days a week.  I hit a plateau and I hated it and I didn't give it time and so I figured it wasn't working and I gained it all back.

Then I got down to 190 and I stayed there for a while, but then I gained it back.

Then I got down to 193 and I stayed there for a while, but again, I gained it all back.  And that is where I stand today folks.  I'm back up there (I'm terrified to weigh in because I know the scale is going to say 213 or 215 and I really don't want to see those numbers), but I just have to lose it. I can't live like this anymore.  I need the change - not just so I can wear cute clothes, but so I can live a full life!  I'm tired of my weight holding me back.

Because of my weight I'm self conscious - in all aspects of my life.  In my writing, in my work, in my clothing, in the bedroom. I hate it, and it has to change.

So here we go, let's try this again, huh?  Something has to be said for my ability to keep getting back up after I fall down, but this has to be the last time I fall down.  I'm going to be 30 in a few year and I REFUSE to go to 30 as an overweight individual.  I will be a healthy weight and BMI and, damnit, it will happen before I'm 30!

First: I'm giving up all soda and soda-like energy drinks.  They're sweet and carbonated (2 of my favorite things) and so very bad.  Plus I've noticed when I have a soda or a Monster I eat more, and not healthy choices either.  So I'm cutting them out of my diet for good! Cold turkey, baby, lets do this!

Second: I'm switching to tea as much as I can, and reserving coffee (which I love) for a once or twice a week treat.  If I'm too dependent on caffeine I can't get up in the AM to save my life.  I am naturally a morning person, and being dependent on caffeine messes up my internal clock.  Plus, my favorite coffee drink (soy misto!) has 170 unnecessary calories.

Third: I'm counting all my calories and planning my meals.  If it goes in my mouth, it goes in my tracker.  This way I can keep an eye on how I'm eating and when I'm more prone to overeating and why.  I go through phases where I'm good at this then deplorably bad at it, but I have to be on point.

Fourth: I'm going to actually work out.  I'm so bad about this - I'll put it off and put it off and then it will be 9PM and I'll be all "Too bad, bed time!"  I hate getting up in the morning and working out, but that's what I need to do!  I just need to suck it up and enforce some willpower and discipline on my life.

The workout plan:
3 days a week strength training + cardio for a total of 45 minutes (15 + 30)
1 - 2 days a week cardio for a total of 45 - 60 mintues 

Here's my problem: I hate getting up in the morning to workout at first - once I get in the swing of it I'm fine, but getting in the swing is SO. HARD.  And if I wait until after work I risk talking myself out of it or being "too tired" to do anything or put much effort into it.  The most fun I had working out was when I attended a Bootcamp in town on a groupon, but I can't afford to attend the classes without the groupon (since it's $300 a month! ouch!).  I loved that bootcamp (Zone Athletic Performance) and I would have kept going if I had the money.  Without question.  But I have to do it myself because I don't have that kind of money lying around.

So here's what I'm going to try to do: one day a week I'm going to get up early and go workout before work.  Then the other 2 days I'll workout after work. Slowly I'll start to transition to 3 days a week getting up early and working out before work.  I'm thinking M/W/F.  I'll spend 15 minutes doing a strength training circuit, and each day will focus on a different group of muscles, and then 30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical.   One thing I'm good at is learning a lot about a subject I'm interested in, like fitness and weight loss.  Applying it is a little bit different but I'm prepared to do that.

The 2 cardio days will be S/S and those days will be some kind of "fun" cardio.  I love to hike and I don't have a problem getting up early to do that, so one day I'll probably get up early and go for a hike - which is easily over an hour and hundreds of calories.  I can only do that for so long before it starts to get too hot (darn Arizona weather), but as long as I go early enough it shouldn't be a problem.  The other day I'll go for an hour long bike ride or an hour long jog or something similar. Even an hour long walk will count, as long as I'm moving my body.

I'm not going to "plan" other fitness events, but I won't let them stop me from my schedule, either.  Like if my BFF wants to go roller skating one night, I won't say no just because I'm too tired, I'll just need to make sure I get my planned workout in that morning.

The easiest way for me to ensure that I'm getting my workouts in is to get up and do them early - that way I can't make the "I'm too tired" excuse later in the day or the "I'm too busy" excuse or the "but now I have plans" excuse.  I'm really good at coming up with excuses - not as good as my boyfriend, but still, pretty good.  (haha - love you hunny!)

This is going to get challenging, because I'm also working towards another lifelong goal of mine: to become an author.  I plan to self publish, and I know I have a long road a head of me before that can happen.  It takes some authors many years to get their first book out, and I expect that will be a similar story for me - I want it to be perfect.  I prefer to write in the afternoon/evening, which is more of a motivation to do my workouts early in the day.  I can't skip my workouts for my writing though - and vice versa.  I need to be able to balance them, which will be a challenge at first but I feel like I'm up for it.

I also need to be better about tracking my food and planning my meals.  I've had a really loose approach to it lately, letting myself underestimate the foods that I'm eating.  I know that they have more calories, but who am I to argue with my app, right?  Wrong.  I need to be specific. I need to measure and I need to plan.  I have always been the most successful when I have planned my nutrition and my workouts. I know that in order to be successful again I need to do both and stick to the plan, no matter what kinds of excuses I want to make for myself.  Excuses are not a valid life choice for me.

Overall, I know that it will be hard at first.  Getting back in the swing always is.  I will hate counting my calories and planning my meals because it takes extra time out of my life when I could be reading or writing or playing a game.  I will hate getting up early to do my workouts because I just want to sleep and make excuses.  I will be sore and I will be tired and it will be an adjustment.  I know it's an adjustment that I need to make, and NOW, so that I can live a happy life.  

I know that I will never be one of those people who doesn't have to workout to maintain.  I know I will never be one of those people who can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound.  I know I will never be one of those people who doesn't have to count their calories or keep an eye on their emotions when they're eating.  I get it, and I can deal with it, I just have to start now and wrangle it now, so I'm not 30 years old and obese and unhappy.

Fitness + Inspiration = Transformation.

Stay Shiny!

13 February 2013

Mid Week Check In

So my weigh-in days are now Sunday.
But I check in on Wednesdays to see if I'm on track. I know they say to only weigh in once a week and it can be too neurotic etc to weigh in more than once a week and the scale isn't everything and yadda yadda yadda.  I know all that, but I'm still weighing in on Wednesdays and Sundays.  Sunday is my official weigh in, though.

The main reason I'm doing it is to see how my weight fluctuates during the week. Am I typically higher on the weekends and lower mid week? What about shark week (AKA that time of the month)? So rest assured I'm not going crazy and I wont be weighing myself in twice a week for the rest of my life.

But on the weigh in front, good news!  Down 1 pound! Woo!  I was at 211.9, then for 2 weigh ins I was up to 212.4 (which is only a .5 difference), and now I'm down to 211.1!! Yeah!

I'm hoping that by Sunday I'll be down to 210.  How exciting would that be?! I've already lost my 5 pounds for February, and the month is only half over! Now, I don't expect that I'll loose another 5 pounds this month (even though that would be awesome!), but I don't think it's crazy to hope for 3 more.  Rounding it out to an even 8 pounds for the month of February would be a great start to my new, healthy lifestyle!  Besides, it's always good to be ahead of the game!

I'm also pleased to say that I worked out last night.  I'm not doing too great on consistency with workouts, so that's something to work on, but my eating has been spot on (most days).  I did 45 minutes of cardio last night and I'm planning on hitting the gym again tonight.

One thing I do need to focus on is getting more strength training in my routine.  I know I'm not great at it because it takes extra time and I'm not great at building those routines.  But I can easily add squats, push ups, lunges and a few other arm & ab work outs to my routine easily enough.  It doesn't have to be a complicated set of movements or a hard to remember exercise.  It can and should be simple and I can and should start slow.

My boyfriend is doing great on the eating front, too. He talked me out of pizza and keeping candy around the house for "after dinner treats" - I was so proud of him!  It's great having him on board with it, he really helps motivate me.  I just need to try to get him to work out more.  But it's the same with me, really. Eating on point, but not working out as much as we should.  We'll get there!  We're only 2 weeks in!

So this weekend he has 3 days off in a row, so I'm taking Monday off (President's day).  It'll be pretty great for us to both have a 3 day weekend together!  Pretty rare, too, since usually he only has 1 weekend day off with me.  I'm going to kidnap him one morning to go hiking, I think.  We haven't done that in a while and we could both use the exercise.  Plus it's supposed to be gorgeous this weekend! Mid 70's and sunny!  Can't beat that!

So the plan is to keep doing what I'm doing nutritionally, and add in more exercise.  I'm thinking I'd like to get a membership to a real gym again, since our apartment complex gym is small  We have quite a few machines: 3 treadmills, 2 bikes, 2 ellipticals, a ski machine, a 4-station weight bench, a ball and a full set of free weights... but it's all crammed into a tiny, tiny room.  Last night there were 7 people in there (including myself)... it's the most packed I've ever seen it.  

It could be the time of year (a lot of people setting New Years resolutions) or the time of day that I went... but man!  Normally it's me and maybe one or 2 other people.  So I'm going to give it a month or so and see if it get's any better.  If not, I'll consider finding a gym nearby.  The problem is that there AREN'T any gym's nearby.  The only gym between me and the office is ridiculously expensive, and the one my boyfriend goes to is a little bit of a drive, too.  But a lot of gym's have really good deals right now, so I don't want to wait too long to decide.

Anyway, that's that. More strength training, good eating, more working out.
Peace love & sunshine to you all, and happy Valentines day!

Stay Shiny!

06 February 2013

Weigh In...

So my "official" weigh in day is today.
That would be Wednesday.

Officially, my weight is 212.4 ... as of Sunday it was 211.9  which is only a 0.5 pound difference. PRETTY AWESOME!!

I did a happy dance.  Especially considering that I hadn't used the loo prior to my weigh in and I was running late this morning. It happens.

I'm going to stick with my Sunday weigh in (since weight fluctuates a little bit every day) and change my official weekly weigh in day to Sunday. This is pretty exciting stuff because it means since my first weigh in on Jan 30th I've lost 4.1 pounds!  Which is pretty damn impressive for me!

I'm also proud to report that today my coworkers tried to pressure me into going to Wendy's with them and I resolutely told them no.  They threw the Frosty at me, and the fries with sea salt, and the baked potato and the chili.... but no matter what they said I kept saying no, I'm good, I have my salad.


I'm sad to report that I haven't worked out since Saturday.  I had full intentions of doing so last night, but I didn't get off work until 6:30, home by 7, then I finished dinner at 8 and I was in bed by 9.  I could have dedicated a 1/2 hour at 9 to work out, for sure, but I was just so sleepy!

I've actually been a lot sleepier lately.  I know that it's probably because my body is still adjusting to the reduced calorie diet and eventually I'll be fine.  For now it's an adjustment.

So: my goal is 190 by June 7th, which is 26 pounds, and I'm going strong, 4.1 pounds down,  which leaves only 21.9 pounds to lose in about 4 months. WHEE!

Stay Shiny!

04 February 2013

Mid-Week Update

I know it's not Wednesday yet. Surprise!
I wanted to post a mid-week update this week because I've got some things going on.

I decided to weigh in on Sunday, just to see where I'm at, and according to my scale I'm at 211.9 - down a whole 4.1 pounds!  Now, I don't want to get too excited about that.  I mean, when I weigh in my set up is the same - I'm as naked as a newborn, there's no food in my tummy and I've used the loo.  Am I skewing the results a little? Probably, but as long as all that remains the same every time I weigh in, I'm not going to worry about inconsistent weigh ins.

Moving on, that was really exciting news.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much because my "official" weigh in day isn't until Wednesday (in 2 days).  I'm hoping that this same weight (or more!) reflects in my Wednesday weigh in, but again, trying not to get too excited about it.

My goal for Feb. is to drop 5 pounds... if this is right I'm practically there already.  YAY. But not yay. Forget the yay. I'm trying not to get my hopes up haha.

The thing that has really helped me recently is a fun little app called "Lose It".  What I love about the app is that it gives me an overview of my day on the home screen and shows me a calorie budget.  This is probably the best way for me personally to look at my calories, because it tells me right up front how many I've consumed and how many more I can consume.  Here's a peek at last Saturday:

The pic on the left shows you the "home" screen - you can see I still have a LOT of calories left to eat (don't worry - I didn't starve myself!)  Then when you click on that segment of the home screen, it breaks it down. (see the pic on the right)  I burned 464 calories, so it subtracts that from my total eaten calories of 1,284.  I still ate almost my max of 1,465. 

The best part about this app? It's FREE. And it's totally sexy.  I love the food icons and how easy it is to add things in.  I do wish the food options had more selections for adding... for example, I can add almonds by the piece or the cup, but not by the ounce.  For some food items it can be challenging but it's actually been a lot easier for me.

And if I don't measure my food, I err on the side of more calories rather than less, that way I can ensure that I'm not over eating.  So if I put cheese on my salad but I don't measure it, I guess high on the measurement, using up more calories and making sure that I don't go over later.  Chances are good that the higher estimate is probably more accurate anyway.

I'm slowly getting back into working out again.  It's not as easy without my dedicated bootcamp, but I'm doing pretty OK going to the complex gym so far.  I'm trying to go every other day.

Another big bonus is that I got my boyfriend on board.  He downloaded the app and weighed in yesterday, and we're going to be each others support system.  I'm a little nervous because I think he'll loose weight a lot faster and easier than me, and that's always irritating (curse you, testosterone!) but I can't let it get me down.  I just have to focus on me and keep chugging along. 

So the big push is my HS reunion - 10 years.  So far it's going to be held the 2nd weekend in June, which gives me right about 4 months to get into great shape.  I know that I won't reach my goal weight by then, but I'm going to work hard and try to be in the best shape that I can be.  I've set my goal to be down 20 pounds by the reunion, which would put me at 195 pounds.  I've been there before, and as much as I'd like to be at 180 for my reunion, I have to be realistic.

Now, if I can drop 30 pounds and be at 185 for my reunion, that would be amazing.  It's only a few extra pounds a month, but we'll see. Again, I don't want to push too hard or set unrealistic goals, but I'm going to try as hard as I can.  It would truly be amazing if I could be in a size 14 for my HS reunion.  It's not the most important thing, and sure this is a selfish goal, but I think sometimes the selfish goals are the best ones and the ones we work the hardest for.

So that's that. I'll post my weigh in update on Wednesday and let ya'll know if I'm going to keep Wed as my weigh in or move it to Sunday. Stay Shiny!

30 January 2013

Weigh In Day + Gulp

So today is my weigh in day.
And I finally actually did it. I haven't in probably several months.
Well today I weighed in and I'm 215.8


Yeah, this was totally me.

So anyway I found out last night that my HS reunion is this summer. In about 4 months. It's oddly motivating.  It even motivated my boyfriend.  So, anyway, here goes.  Time to DO IT. 

I'm not great at daily check ins, so that won't happen, but I'm going to really try to do my weekly ones. If I can I'll do daily, but we'll see. Usually that makes it feel more like a chore.  I'm using the Lose It! App on my iPhone and it's pretty great. It's been helping me eat better over the last week or so already, so I'm counting that as a win.  I love that it shows you the daily calorie budget right on the home screen - it seriously helps.

So the plan is to eat healthy and workout. It's getting to be hiking season again so I'm going to be doing more of that for sure. I'll record my progress on a calendar and check in here at the very least weekly. I'll make more food at home. I'll stop buying crap (I've actually already gotten really good at this). 

Because it's shallow, but extremely motivating: no one wants to be chubby at their HS reunion.  I won't be at my goal weight, but I'll be on the way, and by then the healthy habits will be routine. It'll still be work, but everything that's worth it is.

Challenge accepted. Time to rock on.
Stay Shiny!

17 January 2013

Getting Back On Track... Again.

To say I haven't been good is an understatement.
I've been really, really bad.

I can't afford to continue to go to the bootcamp that I love (since the Groupon has expired), and without it to motivate me I feel like I've fallen back into my old bad habits and a rut. I can feel the weight slowly creeping back on.

Bad Aly, bad!

Anyway, I know I need to be better, so I'm going to fix it.  It's not that I've been eating terribly - I am on a spending fast this year, so no extra spending for me.  Which means no fast food.  Well, I gave myself 1 day per week when I can have 1 fast food meal.  It also means no eating in restaurants except for very rarely, which means I am making about 99% of my food.  It's hard, and time consuming, but good.

They say that weight loss happens in the kitchen, right?

But unfortunately it's not enough.  I'm not doing anything to move my body, so no matter how good I'm eating I'm not burning enough calories for it to make a difference.  Which puts me right back at square one.

I haven't even weighed myself in weeks because I'm terrified of what I'll see there.

So even though I haven't left work before 6pm this entire week (I normally work 7 - 4), and even though that will probably continue for at least the next week or so at work, and even though when I get home the last thing I want to do is workout, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Even if it's only 30 minutes on the elliptical, I am darn well going to do it.  And I'm going to gradually work my way up to 3 days a week of strength training, and jogging, even though I hate it.

It's been really cold here lately (colder in Phoenix than in Anchorage, Alaska!) so I don't plan on doing any out-door activities, but if I can get my butt in the complex gym 5 days a week for 30 minutes I'll be satisfied that I'm moving in the right direction.

Then, when the weather warms up again, I'll hit the hiking trails and take my beach cruiser out for a spin... minus the beach, of course.

it's all about perspective. I was looking at it like the end of the world, but it's not.  It's just another opportunity to improve, and darn it, that's what I'm going to do!

stay shiny, lurve me

06 December 2012

Weekly Weigh In #4 & Progress Report

So I haven't been the best about my blogging, I know.
Which sucks, but life happens, you know? So I can't beat myself up about it.

Before I get into what's been going on the last few weeks, lets start with my weight:

Better than the last time I weighed in (which was, I know, like 2 weeks or so ago), but it's not the progress I'd like to see.  Obviously I did not drop the 3 pounds I was hoping for in November, but December is a new month and things are already looking up.

November was probably the most stressful month I've ever experienced in the history of my life.  Primarily due to work.  My boss is pregnant (she just told us yesterday, though we've guessed for a while) and she's been cranky and bitchy for almost 2 months now.  Her hormones are all out of whack and she's putting on weight everywhere and she's taking it out on us.  Plus, she's stressed because she just got a new boss... a new boss who she also happens to be really good friends with.  So it's a big adjustment for her, since she's a "fly by the seat of her pants" type person and her new boss is a strict planner.

So my boss being super stressed out and crazed on pregnancy hormones took it out on us (primarily me) and my life was intensely stressful for about a month. I was very close to quitting on several occasions - it was really that bad.

I didn't eat terribly, but I pretty much stopped working out, because I just didn't have the drive, energy or passion.  By the time I got home from work I was so exhausted from trying not to rage-quit or commit mass-murder that I couldn't bring myself to workout.

Needless to say, I did not run my 1/2 marathon.  But I did learn an important lesson: Running is not my "thing".  Part of the reason I couldn't bring myself to workout, even though I knew it would probably relieve some of my stress, was because I HATED the whole running thing.  I dreaded it. I was not thrilled about it in the least.  Try as I might to love it, nothing could convince me that what I was doing was making me happy.

So November is over, and let's talk about this month.  So far I've logged my food for 3 consecutive days.  Which is definitely a step in the right direction.  I also bought a Groupon for a Bootcamp (Zone Athletic Performance) and I basically love it.  

I went Monday & Tuesday, but by then my body was rebelling, so I took yesterday off.  It was really hard not to go, since I only have unlimited classes for a month (basically up to 6 classes a week if I went every day they were available).  I can only really attend 5 classes a week (because their last class on Friday is too early in the afternoon for me to make it), so I want to get the most out of my Groupon.  Plus, I really enjoy this one.  Like, way more than any of the other Bootcamps I've tried.

So tonight I'm going again, even though I'm still sore, but I'm excited about going, which is a huge deal!  I looked up their prices online, though, and unfortunately that is less than thrilling.  I can't afford this bootcamp without my Groupon, and this is the only Groupon I'll be able to use. 

My plan is to keep going throughout the month, let them see how dedicated I am, and then when I have about a week left, chat with them about prices and options.  Maybe they have some kind of discounted rate I can jump on.

I still have my LivingSocial deal for CrossFit, which I plan on using in January, so regardless I'll get at least 2 months of good, hard core workouts.  I'm hoping I'll be able to put some of my tax return $$ towards a bootcamp, but it depends on how much I get back.  I can't really afford a whole lot, as almost all of my paycheck goes towards bills (primarily student loans, rent and my car payment).

So there's the clincher.  I know I need a hardcore bootcamp like this in order to love what I'm doing for exercise and to succeed and finally loose this damn 60 pounds (now 69 pounds) I've been trying to loose for the last 3 years, but I can't afford to attend a class like this.  I don't know what to do, since I can't just get rid of my student loans or rent, and I need a car to get to work so no matter what I'll have a car payment.

Any ideas? 

Stay Shiny!