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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why I Do What I Do

I am so happy that the semester is finally coming to a close. This week is the last week of classes and then there is exam week. I am looking forward to no longer having the pressures of my work schedule dictate my exercise schedule. Having more down time means more time for me to visit the gym and to train for my upcoming race. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me to meet my goal time, but I am determined to stay motivated and positive.

When the going gets tough, I usually find it difficult to remember why I even set my health and fitness goals in the first place. In preparation for those days, I am making a list of reasons why I am doing what I am doing. 
  1. I need to prove to myself that I can stick to it!
  2. I want to do as much as I can to avoid a life plagued by weight-related illness.
  3. I want to be physically prepared to fulfill my calling and reach my life goals.
  4. I want to feel better about my physical self.
  5. I want to have more options when shopping for clothing.
  6. I want to instill healthy habits in my children.
  7. I want to be a better example for my daughter.
I suppose that I could think of other reasons, but my biggest motivation is conquering my self-doubt. While I have moments of confidence, I am constantly battling the inner-voice that tells me that I am not going to be successful. But, with each step that I take toward my goal, that voice seems to grow quieter and quieter. I am looking forward to the day when that voice is finally silenced! In the meantime, I am moving along on my weigh to reaching my goals.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sweet 16

Yesterday I attended my high school reunion to celebrate 16 years since our graduation in 1996. There was something very surreal about the whole thing. I cannot believe how much time has passed since graduation. And I really don't feel old enough to have graduated high school 16 years ago!

I guess the blessing is that I don't feel that old. Time has been good to me. I have accomplished so much since leaving high school. I am alive and healthy and I am enjoying my life. I am happy to know that so many of my classmates are doing the same.

We were fabulous in high school and we are even more fabulous now!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Raw Emotion

Lately, I feel like I am so much more emotional than I have been in the past. As a woman, I know the curve balls that hormones can throw my way. I am very in tune with my hormonal cycle and I know exactly when my "crazy days" will occur. But what I have been feeling is so much more than the usual PMS. After mulling over this for several months, I think I have finally pinpointed my issue.

For the better part of my life, I have been an emotional eater. When I am feeling off emotionally, there is nothing that a burger and fries can't cure. However, since I recommitted to exercising and eating right, I no longer bury my emotions in food. While this is an overall positive change, there is a downside. I have to find new, healthy ways to manage my emotions. This is something that I have yet to accomplish. Until I do, I will continue to struggle with my raw, unmasked emotions.

The good thing is that I am finally aware of this issue. My next step is to find ways to address it. For starters, this blog is very cathartic. Once again, I am able to express my feelings in a productive manner. I am working on building a better support network of people who are making this weight loss journey with me. It is nice to have people to commiserate with and to look to for guidance and support during the tough times. I am sure that this will get easier as I move on my weigh. But for now, excuse me if I am a bit cranky.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Calorie Counting Craziness

Calorie counting is a necessary part of any weight loss endeavor. As they say, "you can't manage what you don't measure." While I understand how important calorie counting is, it makes me crazy sometimes. And now is definitely one of those times!

I have been feeling a bit confused as to whether I am eating enough for my size and activity level. My Fitness Pal says I should eat 1880 calories per day, and the other calorie calculators say I should be close to 2200 per day. Then there is the obsessive voice in my head telling me to stay around 1400 calories per day. With all of these numbers swirling around in my head, what is a girl to do?!

On the one hand, I want to trust the higher estimates. I know that you have to sufficiently fuel your metabolism to lose weight. But, then I am fearful about eating too much and gaining weight as a result. I know that 1400 calories is probably not enough, so I will let that one go. So that leaves me with 1880 or 2200 calories per day.

Hubby suggested that instead of getting stuck on a rigid number, I should shoot for a range. On my very intense workout days, I should eat closer to the 2200 calories. On rest days and days that my workout is not as intense, I should stay closer to the 1880 calories. I suppose that Hubby is right. He is always so sensible about things, whereas I tend to be very rigid and legalistic.

So my plan for the next few weeks is to stay within a range of 1880-2200 per day. I will see how things go weight-wise and I will make the necessary adjustments. I will let you know how it goes!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Perfect Saturday

A while back I started a new Saturday routine and I absolutely love it! This new routine includes two hours at the gym, a nice healthy lunch, and a long hot bath and facial when I get home. It is the perfect way to end a long week.

At the gym I usually do Bodyjam for an hour, followed by an hour of Bodyflow. Lately, I have switched out Bodyjam for an uphill walk on the treadmill. I love Bodyjam and I still go on Tuesday nights, but two Bodyjam classes a week was getting a bit boring. Now that I am training for BWC, I will be running on Saturday mornings before taking the Bodyflow class.

The combination of cardio and Bodyflow is divine! Bodyflow is a mix of Tai Chi, yoga, and pilates, so there is lots of stretching, deep breathing, and calm, positive energy. Don't get me wrong, I definitely work up a sweat. But, in a much more relaxing manner. After a long week of ripping and running, Bodyflow is just what I need!

Once I leave the gym, I feel peaceful and my mind is clear. I usually enjoy a nice salad or a scrambled egg with veggies. Then I revel in a steaming hot bath and pamper myself by giving my skin the royal treatment. (I recently started using this organic skincare line that works wonders!)The rest of my Saturday involves relaxing and keeping positive.

Thinking back to the old me, a great Saturday would have involved anything but time at the gym and healthy eating. I am also not sure how much relaxation it would have involved. But, I have come a long way to where taking care of me is enjoyable and does not mean stuffing myself with unhealthy food. I now see challenging myself physically and eating healthy as two of the greatest things I can do for myself. Of course, a long hot bath and a facial have always been a great idea!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Keeping My Goals in Mind

It has been about five months 7-10 hours per week, my fitness level is the best it has been my entire adult life, and I have lost 15 pounds. While I am often tempted to feel that I should be further along with the weight loss, I remind myself that this is a process and that slow and steady is best.

In terms of fitness, I am working on two goals at this present time:
  • losing at least 20lbs for the  8-week "Extreme Brickover" competition at my gym
  • training for the Baltimore Women's Classic 5k in June
In terms of the weight loss competition, we are in week 5 and I am down 10.2 pounds. I really need to make these next three weeks count, if I am to reach my goal. I have been a bit lax since Easter, but I will be tightening up immediately!

I am really excited about training for the race. I ran the BWC for the first time in June 2010. It was the first 5K that I ran and it was hard...but I finished in a little over 57 minutes! My goal for this year is to finish around 45 minutes. This week was my first week back to running in a while, and I am doing a 17-minute mile. To meet my time goal, I need to be at a 13/14-minute mile. While it will be a challenge, I am excited to have something other than the scale to focus on.

I would like to get this blog going again as a way to keep me on track. With the semester winding down, I am sure that I will be able to write a post at least once a week. Please stay tuned and follow me on my weigh!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Different Approach

I have recently been feeling the need for some extra support and accountability in terms of my weight loss efforts. With my increasing responsibilities at work and at home, it has become so easy to forsake exercising and eating right on busy, stressful days. This has resulted in some significant weight gain over the past few months. I will not even get into how unhappy I am about that. Instead, I will focus on the fact that what is done is done and all I can do is move forward on a better path.
I contemplated a few different options but decided on 1) starting back with Diet-to-Go, 2) reviving my blog and 3) joining a gym and working with a personal trainer. I started the meal plan and joined the gym last week. Initially, everything was moving along fine. But, yesterday, my emotions and my body rebelled like nothing I had ever experienced. So, I gave in. I had the chicken ranch pizza that I was craving and I did not bother to feel guilty about it. I simply made up in my mind that I would get back on track today.
With that in mind, I am on my weigh to the gym for 45-60 minutes of cardio and a group exercise class. I will let you know how that goes!