Sunday, February 23, 2014

Eating Clean

So... heaven help me. I've decided to start cutting processed food out of my diet.... eating more clean. We bought a few foods tonight to get me started - like real oatmeal, not the kind that's flavored and all sugared up. I've already cut artificial sweeteners out of my diet. I'm moving on to cutting sugar and increasing "real" food.

This is going to be a process, not an "all-or-nothing" event. I'm trying to ease into it and learn a little bit at a time how to eat healthier with the goal of being healthy. This is a major change for me as I have lived my life on a diet it seems. I mean, the name of this blog is Confessions of a Chronic Dieter. I'm either on a diet or out of control. There never really has been a focus on health. Oddly enough, thanks to social media and the Facebook page I created with this same name, I've come across so many people who are focusing on health and fitness, and the weight is coming off as a result. They aren't dieting, but rather they are living.

Another push toward better help came from my partnership with Zija International. I found out about this amazing tree names Moringa. It's also known as "The Miracle Tree." The nutrition found in this God-made and God-given tree is phenomenal. Take a look at this photo:

I'm learning about giving my body the nutrients it needs through the moringa products I get from Zija. I don't want to put all that junk in my body anymore. I want real food to make up my regular diet, and the "junk" to be the rare treats... not the other way around. If you have any clean eating tips, recipes, or resources please feel free to share. This is all new to me.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

To run or not to run, that is the question....

My husband has this goal. He wants to run in the Peachtree Road Race. That's a 10K. I've never run a 5K, much less a 10K. Well, let me rephrase that. I've done 5K races in the past. I walked most of it, and it took me an hour, but I did them.

This was prior to knee surgeries and adding about 30 pounds back onto my already obese 5'1" frame. I haven't run (or gone for a slow trot) since taking a nasty fall and two knee surgeries. I miss it, I think.

Above is a family photo taken before a run we did in 2010. I ended up mad at myself because I missed a turn and ended up not actually finishing the course. Everyone was so excited that I shaved like 15 minutes off my time, but really I shaved part of the course off my race. I couldn't bring myself to accept that time officially, so I ended up with a DNF. Kinda bummed, but I would know I didn't finish.

So, my husband signs us up to join the Atlanta Track Club. I was all for it at the time. But yesterday some stuff came in the mail from them.... membership stuff, a t-shirt.... Oh. My. Gosh. This. Is. Real. I need to start running.

To say I'm terrified is an understatement. I weigh right now somewhere in the 270s. I was at least 20 pounds lighter in 2010. I'm scared of injuring my knees again. I'm scared of the pain that I know will come until I get some weight off and I condition my body to do that sort of movement again.

But I want to be a runner!

I want to run The Peachtree. I have no idea if I can do it by July 4th since I don't run at all now. I not only want to run (or run/walk) it, I don't want to feel like I'm about to die in the process.

I found some reasons to start running, according to Women's Health Magazine. Here's a bit of what they say...
1. It's easy. If they say so! But what they mean is, a good sports bra and some running shoes are all you really need. You don't need fancy equipment to run.
2. But it's hard. Huh? Say what? Yup. It's hard. It's one heck of a workout. You will soak that sports bra and whatever else you're wearing. It'll burn some major calories. It also makes your heart stronger the harder you workout.
3. Your knees... they'll be thankful you run. Wait! What? Really? Well, according to this article, yes. Runners are more likely to be at a normal weight. People who are at a normal weight are less likely to get osteoarthritis. That junk hurts. Note to self: Get over the fear of hurting your knees now... they may hurt a whole lot more if you get osteoarthritis in them.
4. Less stress. Yup. Running reduces anxiety. Not only does it reduce anxiety, but a study found that it works better than relaxing in a chair. Crap. There goes my excuse for not working out. This article also says that running is used to treat clinical depression and other psychological disorders such as drug and alcohol addiction. Huh. Who knew?

5. Disease prevention. Studies have found that the most active people have lower chances of developing some forms of cancer. Running is also linked to lower blood pressure, better cholesterol levels, and stronger immune system.
6. Live longer. Research has found that regular exercise could reduce disability and risk of death.

OK, so I guess it's time to put my running fears behind me. Those are just a few reasons to run. I'm curious. Why do you run? Or are you not a runner? What's holding you back from running? If you aren't a runner, what do you do to get in or keep in shape? I'd love to hear from you. Please feel free to respond here or on my Facebook page.

Happy running!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

So maybe I've lost my mind....

I mean, seriously... what obese person wants a visual representation of his-or-herself? Yet, that's exactly what I'm going to do. I was thinking about how often when people are losing weight they just don't see the weight loss. I mean, they could lose 25, 50, even 100 pounds, but they often don't see the difference in their bodies that others see. Yesterday, I had a friend take a before shot of me at the gym in my tight-fitting gym apparel (that I covered up with a big t-shirt). And it'll be good to see the difference as I lose weight. But I wanted to see my body shrink with time.

I remembered seeing somewhere... maybe it was an episode of Extreme Weight Loss? I can't remember. Anyway, I remember seeing somewhere that someone had drawn an outline of how they saw their body, and then that person laid against that drawing and the actual outline was drawn. There was a significant difference in how that person viewed her body and her body's actual shape.

So, that gave me an idea. I'm going to get some butcher paper that is as long as my body. I'll probably have to tape two pieces together for the width. I'm not tiny. Then, I'm going to swallow my pride and get my husband to trace my body. I'm going to date it and put the weight on the original outline. Then, somewhere between every 25-50 pounds I lose, I'm going to do it again, making sure to add the date and weight. What a great visual to see progress along the way! I'm going to use it alongside my before photos, which I'm planning on taking regularly.

Speaking of before photos... I can't believe I'm sharing this, but hey, I need to be accountable. This is me, after a workout yesterday. I'm only going to get healthier and more fit! That's the reason I'm trying to lose weight. It isn't about fitting some mold or trying to get to a point where I love me, it's about loving myself now and getting fit and healthy because I love me! So, here you go! The last time I plan on weight 273 pounds. Ever!!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Starting Over

I honestly feel like I need to start over. We just had a "snow week" here in Georgia. It snowed on Tuesday. The snow melted and then refroze, making for some pretty icy roads. School was basically out that week. I completely quit caring that week about diet and exercise. I drank Coke. Way to much Coke. I had cheesecake, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. We had pizza and Chinese food. I just didn't stop myself. I indulged in comfort food. Oh, and then there was the Superbowl. Did I make healthy snacks? Heck no. So, I need to start over.

I could beat myself up over it. I could call myself every ugly name I can think of. But will that help me? Will it get this weight off? Will it encourage me? The answer, my friends, is no. No! No! No! It won't. All of that negative talk will not do me any good. So, I refuse to do it. What I will do instead is pick myself up right where I am and get moving in the right direction. Call it starting over. Call it moving through a setback. I don't care what you call it. But I'm not going to let a few days of no self-control define me or derail my efforts. I've got this.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Need a kick in the butt today

OMGosh... I stayed up way too late today and got up way too early. I had to stay up for the BCS Championship between Auburn and FSU. Congrats to FSU.. I'm sad that my Auburn Tigers didn't win, but it's still great to be an Auburn Tiger. What a season they had!

At any rate.... it's 8 degrees here, with a windchill of -7. The extremely cold temps coupled with my lack of sleep does not make for a very motivated me.

It's going to be a long day.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Get Moving

Sticking with an exercise regimen is, and has always been, a challenge for me. So, I went looking around online for some tips to keep me going.... here's some nuggets that I found that looked like they spoke to me. It's not just about doing intentional exercise, it's about living a more active lifestyle altogether.

Do something you like. It makes no sense to to and make yourself like to do something, especially if you love doing other activities. If you hate to swim, but you love to run - then run. I hate spin class. It's not so much the class I hate, it's how badly my butt hurts on the bike seat. Thus, I avoid that class. Now, that doesn't mean you can say, "Well, I don't like any exercise so I'm just not going to do it." Sometimes you just have to do what you hate the least. You might find you actually do enjoy activities, you just need to give it a chance. I guess I should probably give spin more of a chance, since I've only tried it once.

Don't feel like you have to do it all at once. Oh, I'm so bad about this one. I feel like I have to get the whole workout in at one time. But sometimes I can only give 15 or 20 minutes at a time. It's OK to do a few short workouts to get your activity in

Find ways to be active that may not be intentional exercise. Park farther away from the door. Take the stairs. Walk or bike to your destination instead of driving. That last one may not be feasible if you are traveling a long distance, but if only going a mile or two it's totally doable.

Exercise with a friend. It's always more fun to exercise with a friend. If you're taking a class at the gym where you feel less than coordinated, you can laugh at yourselves together. Trust me on this one. I love BodyCombat at the gym, but I look ridiculous trying to look like a bad-ass doing these moves. Going to the class with a friend, even if said friend looks more bad-ass than me, makes me feel less intimidated. Not only that, planning to exercise with a friend helps keep you accountable.

Schedule your workout time. Don't just exercise when you get a chance. You'll never have time if you wait until you get a free hour. Schedule your workout just like you'd schedule a doctor's appointment. You're more likely to go if you schedule it like any other appointment. And keep that appointment. You wouldn't blow off a doctor's appointment, would you? I don't typically blow them off, so don't blow off your appointment to get your workout in.

I'm sure there's plenty more tips, but I don't do so well with numerous things to do. I get overwhelmed. These are some that I found that were doable without being overwhelming. Do you have a tip to get your workout in? Feel free to share.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Choose Wisely

Well, it's January 1st. It's the day that most of us resolve to start getting healthy. We set all sorts of resolutions that we will abandon by March. I know, some folks are great at keeping those resolutions. I'm not one of them. I've decided not to set them this year, but rather set monthly goals. I need instant gratification, so I can't set a goal for a year from now and keep with it. I just know me too well sometimes. Other times, I confuse myself, but that's of no concern here today. Ha!

Another thing I know about myself is that I have to have some sort of support team. I can't do this alone. I need someone to encourage me when I fall. I need to be reminded that falling does not equal failing. I need someone to tell me I've done well and that they are proud of me when I reach a goal... or when I get up and do what I should do, even when I'm not feeling it.

There's a difference between having someone who nags you and having someone who encourages you. The person who nags you is the person who lets you know through their actions and tone that you are a disappointment if you don't reach your goal or if you miss a day at the gym. It's the person who you can feel the judgement when you eat something that he or she feels you shouldn't. I have those people. I bet you do, as well.

I also have people who will say, "I know you don't feel like getting your workout in. I'm coming to get you, and we're going to the gym." They say, "Here are your shoes. Put them on. Let's go for a walk." They are the ones who say, "You know, it was one meal. Let's throw the rest of the fried chicken out so you aren't tempted by it again."

I will not be successful if I feel like I have to live up to someone else's standards. I also will not be successful if I am judged when I miss the mark. It doesn't help. So, I have to do my best to distance myself from the negativity and surround myself with positivity.

If you haven't already figure out who your helpers and hindrances are, I challenge you to figure it out. And then I challenge you to set some distance between you and those who bring you down and begin surrounding yourself with those who build you up. Choose wisely.... surround yourself with positive people who want you to be successful and will encourage you along that journey.

Happy New Year!!!