Saturday, January 15, 2011

First Steps

As I sit here drinking my morning cup of coffee (ok, I’m on my second cup) I was thinking about what my first steps in this Gold’s Gym challenge should be. Obviously, I need to eat less and move more, but I think I need to be more specific. I’m sure I’ll be adding more to my list of steps, but here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

1. Cut the soda. I read last night that a 16 oz. soda has the equivalent of 14 teaspoons of sugar. I don’t think I’ve ever just had a 16 oz. soda. OK, I have, but not often. I usually buy at least a 20 oz. bottle at the store. And I know I drink more than 16 oz. when I pour my own from a 2-liter bottle. And you better believe if we’re at a restaurant I drink more than 16 oz. Really. That’s just unacceptable. It’s a wonder I’m not diabetic. That’s a lot of sugar I’m making my body process, not to mention the calories I’m consuming.

2. Add the water. I really can’t say much more about that. It’s a no-brainer. I have to drink something. And replacing my sugared sodas with artificially-sweetened sodas isn’t exactly healthy, either. In moderation, I’m sure it’s fine. But I can’t consume 60-100 ounces a day of aspartame. I mean, I probably could, but I’m going for healthier, not only thinner.

3. Skip the fried. Go for grilled or broiled when out. Opt for lower-fat choices at home (and when out). Remember that even though the calorie-laden meals do taste delicious, but so do the healthier options. Eat to live, don’t live to eat.

4. MOVE! Period. I have to move. My goal is to move every day. My “off” days will be at least a 30 minute walk. They offer classes at the gym that I’d be insane not to take advantage of. I love Kick and Power, and I’m sure I’d find other classes I enjoy if I gave them a chance. The first step is getting there. I talk myself out of it quite a bit, but once I’m done I feel so proud of myself. My goal is five days a week at the gym. Even if I don’t do a class, I need to get on the elliptical.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I’ve been a part of a weight loss group for few years now. I’ve been going to the gym for a few years now. You’d never know it by looking at me, but I really have been. At one point, I had lost about 30 pounds. I was looking and feeling better. I was down a size. I’d even given away the clothes that had become too big for me. You’d think I was on a roll and doing great. And I was.

What happened? I have no idea. Maybe I got overconfident that the weight was coming off and would just continue to fall off. Maybe I got lazy. Maybe it was a little of both. I stopped going to the gym. I quit running. I quit watching what I ate. This didn’t all happen at the same time. But gradually, it happened. So that 30 pounds I had lost turned into a 45 pound gain. Yes, you read that right. I gained it all back, plus about 15 more pounds.

Maybe it’s about here you are wondering why in the world I titled this “Inspiration.” Well, this really is about inspiration. Read on.

I started back going to the gym in December. It was in December that I received an email about the Gold’s Gym Challenge. I’m not super competitive, but I thought maybe a challenge is exactly what I needed to get myself back on track. Not really knowing what I was getting myself into, I decided I’d do it. I knew they’d have me come in for pictures, to get my weight, and take my measurements. Getting to the point where I’d let someone take those (picture, weight, measurements) was a huge step for me. I think I had kidded myself into thinking that others didn’t see me as fat as I saw myself. But by getting on those scales and letting them get those measurements, I couldn’t kid myself anymore. I’m doing this 12-week challenge – not because I want to win their big prize, but because this summer I want to look back at January and know I did something good for me. January 2012 I want to look back at January 2011 and know that I’m a healthier mom/wife/daughter/person. It’s not about looking fabulous, though that is a nice bonus. It’s about my own quality of life.

So, let’s get to the inspiration part. I promised this was about inspiration.

I’m not so sure I’d have had the courage to join this challenge if it weren’t for a friend of mine. I haven’t seen Lucy since Labor Day weekend. Before that, I honestly couldn’t tell you when I last saw her. What I can tell you, is Lucy looks amazing. Lucy started her weight loss journey in January 2010. She joined a gym. She joined a challenge at her gym. She started going to group fitness classes. She found she loves Zumba. She started running. She became a Zumba instructor. In one year, Lucy lost over 200 pounds. That’s not a typo. She’s so much healthier now. And while Lucy has always been beautiful, you can just see this new glow about her in her “after” photo.

You can see Lucy’s progress here: She also has a blog

I also have to tell you about my friend Jennifer. I remember a conversation she and I had sitting in the sanctuary at church about how hard it was to lose weight. Neither of us was active at the time. Life was just kind of in the way. I see Jen at least twice a week, and at first I didn’t realize there was anything different. Then one day, I looked at her and realized she was losing weight. I remembered when she weighed more than me, and here she was right at the same weight as me. Then I started gaining again, but she kept losing. What I learned from Jen was that you have to make exercise a priority. I have no idea what Jen eats, but I know what Jen does! She goes to the gym almost every day, if not every day. And I do not mean she goes for 30 minutes. She’s there for 1-3 hours a day. She’s taking classes. She’s working on weights. She’s doing the machines. Not only is she at the gym, but she’s out being active. She goes to the park and runs/walks. She plays soccer.

My goal is to one day love being active like my friends Lucy and Jen. I don’t think they started out loving the gym (or maybe they did), but they recognized that in order to reach their goals they were going to need the gym. Somewhere along the way, they learned to love it and what going there does for them. Somewhere along the way, they learned that being active is fun. Somewhere along the way, they learned that being active is rewarding.

Lucy and Jen are my inspiration.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 4 of 100

I really don't have anything to say that doesn't sound like a whine. LOL

But seriously, I hurt. I'm not used to being on my feet all day, so I was already sore. My back aches, my feet ache, my legs ache. We got home and used a gift card to go to Applebees. Then we did a 38 minute walk around the neighborhood. I didn't want to go the "usual" way because I didn't want to do the hills. So what did I do? I told the family to turn left at the next road, and we ended up doing a completely different set of hills. LOL

Oh well, I got a great walk in. My heart rate got up there, I moved, and I worked of some calories.

I'm not sure what tomorrow has in store for me. I know I'll be on my feet tomorrow, and that's cool. I can handle that. Eventually, I'll be used to it and I won't ache just from standing. Of course, I'll be smaller and carrying around less weight, too. That'll help. Tomorrow is choir practice, so I'll have to figure out a way to get my workout in between work and and choir, and somehow get dinner in there, too.

But, I'm going to do it.

Oh, and I can't remember if I've said it, but I have an amazing husband. He knows I'm working to get at least 30 minutes of movement in a day. Tonight, he didn't ask, "Do you want to go?" He said, "Go upstairs and get changes so we can do a walk." Love him! He's giving me the exact support I need!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Day 3 of 100

I really didn't want to do this tonight. I started a new job today, and I was tired. Honestly, it if weren't for this challenge, I'd have stayed home. I'd have been so ticked at myself if I had quit after only doing two days of the challenge.

So, I dragged myself off the couch. (I was snuggled up under my quilt.) I put on my workout clothes. And off to the gym I went. Did I mention I didn't want to go? I even felt sick on the way there.

BUT....... I stuck with my commitment.

As soon as I got there, someone asked me if I had done this class (Power) before. That was all it took to jolt me out of my funk. I started helping them get what they needed for the class. Class started, and there was no turning back. Priscilla kicked my tail. I still have this mentality that I can do more than I actually can. I was able to do so much more when I, for some unknown reason, quit going to the gym. I regressed so much, and I'm trying to get that back. I gained about 40 pounds (that's roughly the 30 I had lost plus 10 more) since quitting.

Not only am I doing the 100 Days of Movement Challenge, but I'm also going to do the 12-week challenge at the gym. I need all the challenges and motivation I can get. LOL

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 2 of 100

I used to run. Well, my version of it, anyway. Remember my posts about my run/walk this summer? Yeah.

So, we walked 1.5 miles of my 3.1 mile loop (cut some of the side streets that we took out). I thought I was gonna die. My lower back hurt, but that could be because those muscles were worked pretty good yesterday at Power. My legs hurt. Just walking I was gasping for air at times. The air is colder than I've ever run in before, so that could account for some of it.

I told Patrick we needed to do this loop two to three times a week, weather permitting. I'm nowhere near ready to start trying to run again.

I'm so glad I joined this challenge. I need something to work toward, and committing to at least 30 minutes a day of some kind of activity is just what I needed to get me back on track.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Is My Year!

I'm starting 2011 with a new outlook. I got up this morning and hit the gym for two hours. I did Group Kick and Group Power. We weren't halfway through Kick and I thought my left arm was going to fall off. I could hardly lift it, that's how bad it hurt. But, I stuck it out and stayed for Power afterwards. It was a big discouraging to see how much muscle and endurance I have lost. I gave up sometime in 2010 and gained all the weight back that I had lost, plus some. Most of my clothes don't fit. I'm tired all the time. I've become lazy again.

But, that's going to change. Yeah, I know. Everyone makes New Year's Resolutions. I do it, too. And of course, just like most of those folks, I give up before February. My last post I said how I was starting early on my New Year's Resolution, and then I did nothing. That's sorta been the story of my life. I'm not making a resolution this year, but rather I'm going to claim 2011 as my year. This year it's about me. I know how that sounds, but I truly don't mean it that way. I'm not putting myself above my faith or my family. But, for the first time ever I'm truly making myself and my health a priority. If I don't, by January 1, 2012 I'll be 300 or 350 pounds. That's really not acceptable, and it's not what God or my family would want for my life. It's certainly not what I want for me.

I'm not going to make a huge goal. Why set myself up for failure? I'm working on mini goals this year instead of setting a big goal and getting discouraged when it takes too long to get there. Why say, I'm going to lose 100 or 150 pounds, and then give up when the weight doesn't just fall off? This isn't The Biggest Loser. I am not on a ranch, working out 8 hours a day, with only healthy food in the kitchen. This is life. If I lost 1 pound a week until I reach a healthy weight where I feel good and am happy, I'll accept that.

My first goal is to just fit back into the clothes that are too small for me - the ones that I wore in early 2010. Once I reach that goal, I'll set a new goal. How am I going to get there? I am participating in the 100 Days of Movement Challenge. For 100 days I'm committed to at least 30 minutes of exercise. I'll probably get more than that most days, but I'm committing to a minimum of 30 minutes. I'm also going to be very cautious about what I put in my mouth. I'm not set on any one program right now. All I'm focusing on is eliminating as much of the junk as I can and replacing it with better options.

That's it. That's all I've got right now. This is where I am. And this is my year!!!