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.