Time.

August 28, 2013

It really does make fools of us all.

Time feels like it is rushing forward lately.  It feels as if it has no concern for how I need things to slow down.  I turn 29 in less than a month.  When the hell did that happen?  My little step-daughters went back to school in grades 6 and 2.  They aren’t so little anymore.

Regardless of the passage of time, I’m slowly progressing on my weight loss.  After gaining and losing what felt like the same 5 pounds, I weighed in last Friday at 180.  I am a mere 13 pounds from the initial goal I set 3 years ago in January of 167, which is the uppermost healthy weight for a lady standing 5’8″ according to the CDC Body Mass Index chart.

I feel healthier than I have in my entire life; I’m sure I am healthier right now than I have been in my entire life.  Two weeks ago I celebrated one entire year smoke-free.  I am at my lowest weight since my wedding in 2009.  I bought a pair of size 12 pants for the first time in 4 years last week. I am so proud of myself.

And I am so scared. I know I can do this, but there is this huge milestone looming ahead. I have never pushed my body past this current weight.  Even losing 1 pound, pushing myself to 179 will be amazing.  I don’t work well under pressure.

*

We almost bought a house.  Then, last week it fell through.  That was a giant disappointment.  I tried very hard to not comfort with food.  Instead I listened to music (much too loudly for my age) in the car.  I ran on a sore Achilles much too hard for my own good.  (It is still a bit sore, but it has gotten both too dark to run before work, and too hot to run after so I have been hitting the gym instead and spending more time running intervals instead of steady miles)  I let myself feel the feelings and be sad about it.  I did not let myself eat whatever I wanted in an effort to feel better because all that does it makes me feel worse about letting myself do so.

The old Sara would have used this bump in the road as an excuse to completely fall apart emotionally which would have lead to eating anything and everything that I know I shouldn’t and eating it all in excess.  I can’t let that happen.  That is where new Sara steps in and changes things.

While it feels like a new and exciting chapter of my life is being delayed, again, I am attempting to focus on my health and fitness just a little bit harder, in an effort to push through this last 13 pounds and finally be at a healthy weight for me for the first time in way too many years.

I have let life, once again, allow me to neglect this space.  My love affair with fitness has only grown in the time since I last wrote here.

I have never written in depth about how I feel about exercise. I repeat how much I am a happier person because of it ad naseaum, but that only scratches the surface. The gratification it provides to my soul is astounding.  I epitomize the saying “Learn to love the burn.”  My day doesn’t feel quite right on rests days, or days where life happens and workouts don’t, although those have become few and far between lately.  I make the time.  I get up earlier, stay up later to get my heart rate up.  It makes me feel like I have tiny bit of control of things and for a perfectionist control freak, that goes a long way.

So isn’t it ironic (dontcha think?) that the chubby child turned teen turned young adult (who spent WAY too many years feeling inadequate and awkward and everything else you can feel when you don’t look like how everyone thinks you should look) is now obsessed with fitness?  Then again, it sort of makes sense.  I started this journey because of simple vanity.  I weighed 218 pounds in January of 2012.  I wanted to change that number so I moved more, tracked my meals, joined a gym and made fitness a part of my every day routine.  It has been hard, but I now weigh 185 pounds.  I look forward to the most active part of my day.  I live for it.

I just announced my highest weight and my current weight to the internet.  Wow, that is liberating. There’s something I never thought I would do.  It has become so much more than numbers to me; numbers I have been obsessing over for practically my entire life don’t control me anymore.  It has taken me 20 years to figure this out and truly understand it.

I have discovered it is so much more than lowering numbers on a scale.  It has become my life and how I spend my time.  It’s how I manage the stress and cut through the crap and the mundane days and sleepless nights and everything in between.  It is setting goals and meeting them, and creating new ones.  It’s going from being a kid who dreaded running the mile in gym class to being a woman who voluntarily runs, sometimes as fast as a 10 minute mile, sometimes before the sun is up because it feels amazing.  It’s letting my inner 6 year old (who desperately wanted to be a ballerina) shine every time I step into Pure Barre class.  That sense of accomplishment is worth every cent.  I can’t imagine living my life any other way from this point on.  Whenever life takes me away from my usual active routine it shows.  I get cranky and restless and then I remember I call the shots.  I make the time for running, or going to the gym, or going hiking or trying a new class.  It’s all up to me.

I feel like I have grown so much as a human in the past year.  Instead of dwelling on the defeats of my past I look towards the successes of my future.  I know nothing in life worth having will come easy, that just isn’t my life and that’s okay because I can do pretty much anything if I want it bad enough.  And these are the thoughts I have from 20 pounds away from my goal weight.  That is the part that astounds me.  I haven’t even gotten there, but I know I will.  I haven’t been sure of too many things in this life thus far, but this one I am certain of: I will see myself at a healthy weight in the next year.

The bad days still happen.  The old, tired, negative voices that have held residence in my head for the majority of my life will not go silently into the night.  But with every step of a run they get quieter and the confident lady inside me is beginning to drown them out.

2013.

January 9, 2013

I have a short list of goals for 2013.  2012 was a great year for me but I want to make 2013 even better.

The top of my list is to consistently hold myself accountable for what I am eating.  So far so good on that front, and it has paid off with a 4 pound loss in the past week.  While I am eager for the weight loss aspect of my healthy living, another huge part is that I am trying to focus on the bigger picture and how the exercise/weight loss is only one aspect.  I feel great when I eat healthy things, and I feel like crap when I don’t.  I want to feel my best as often as I can. I am also too hard on myself when I am not losing….hell, I am too hard on myself 90% of the time when it comes to body image.  This year I want to change that.  No more self hate.

Tying into my overall healthy lifestyle, I want to spend more time doing things I love so I have decided to read at least 52 books this year.  I am blogging about that over at A Book a Week in 2013.  Reading has been something I have done excessively since I was 6 years old and got my first pair of glasses.  When in college, I did not have much reading for fun time, due to the reading for school, so I am making up for all that lost time (6 years during my undergrad then Master’s program) by taking up this challenge.

Lastly, I have decided this is the year we stamp out all of our petty credit card debt/have a year of nothing NEW on credit.  We began this year with a New Year’s Eve hotel stay at a Hilton, which is something I would have put on a credit card in the past but I decided we would not.  And we were still able to set back some monies from our last pay day as well.  So I have set a good model for the rest of year.

Here is to 2013 being as positive and productive as I can make it to be!!

Losing.

December 5, 2012

Finally! Some Progress!  Hooray! I have dropped 2 pounds per week for the past 2 weeks.  After a months long stretch of maintaining, this feels AMAZING.

I have been running 1 mile at every trip to the gym (plus time on the elliptical) and I have been squeezing in outdoor runs as well.  I did 2 miles in 25 minutes this past Saturday and it hardly felt like work. I’m excited to see how the weather is this coming Saturday because I can’t wait to get outdoors again.  Early morning runs are out of the question (way too dark) and so are after work with little fading daylight once I am home.  I am thinking of actually following through and finding a 5K in my area in the Springtime.  I have this irrational fear of any type of group fitness…classes included, but I really want to run a 5 K and if I think of it like running on a treadmill next to other people at the gym, it doesn’t seem so scary.

I hope to keep up the losing until the end of the year…it would feel awesome to start 2013 off almost 30 pounds lighter than a year ago.

Thankful.

November 22, 2012

I tend to ignore this space when I don’t feel like I’m making any progress on the weight loss side of my life.

Then I remind myself of how a year ago I wasn’t active on a regular basis and the thought of me going for a run was laughable. Now I find myself looking forward to the most active parts of my day.  Just when I think I am getting bored with the gym routine, I dust off an old workout DVD or I start trying to squeeze in outdoor runs again (the weather is giving us yet another small reprieve from typical November in Ohio so I must take advantage).

Tuesday marked 4 months completely smoke free for me.  I had cut down to only smoking in social situations for the past couple years, ones that usually involve alcohol, but 4 months ago I was finally done.

Weight loss is great, but it isn’t like I haven’t accomplished things in the past year.  I have lost about 25 pounds to date, I became a runner and I kicked a nasty habit for good.  I’m so thankful for all of these things, and how they are shaping me as a person as I move into the next years of my life.

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m going out on my own personal Turkey Trot right now!

Stuck.

September 24, 2012

So.  I have been losing and gaining the same four pounds for about two months now.  It is getting really old.  I’ve decided there needs to be some major changes to my routine.  I’m going to keep with the moderate to high intensity early morning workouts but I’m striving to do something different every day.  For example, today I ran intervals of running/power walking switching every minute on the treadmill for 25 minutes.  Then I did the aerobic program on the elliptical for 15 minutes.  I think I need to get over my fear of something new and try the rowing machine.  I used to bike either on the stationary or recumbent and I haven’t been doing either lately.  I’m also going to start walking a couple miles in the evenings as well.  I need to get my husband in on this (he recently went from retail where he was on his feet all day long back to a graphic design 9-5 job where he sits all day) as well.  The fresh air will do us both good and since we are in Ohio, the pleasant early fall weather could be gone any day.

The biggest thing is: I need to clean up my diet.  I am not doing very good lately with making healthy choices with what I put in my body.  I need to remember just because it is the weekend, it does not justify eating poorly.  Or just because I had a shit day at work, doesn’t mean I get to eat pizza for dinner. Breaking 20+ years of emotional eating does not happen over night, but I have already made gigantic strides on certain things.  I no longer eat when I’m bored, and any time I’m hungry right after eating I drink a glass of water because I’ve learned I’m usually just thirsty.  I often think of the following quote I saw on Pinterest:

“Do not reward yourself with food, you are not a dog.”

I also need to remember it took 2.5 years for me to gain almost 40 pounds, Losing 20 of that in 9 months isn’t horrible progress.  It is twenty pounds down.  I have a 2 1/2 year old niece who weighs about 26 pounds (she is a lil thing!) and that is practically what I was carrying around before.  That is some heavy stuff.  I need to stop comparing my current progress to how my last weight loss went.  That was three years ago.  This is now.  I need to learn to stop looking back so much.
It doesn’t get you anywhere but stuck.

This week is all about looking forward, because like it or not, the future becomes the present every day.

Thoughts and stuff.

September 11, 2012

I have been keeping up with my early morning gym trips where I have gotten back into a routine of running 3 days a week and elliptical machine-ing it the rest of the time.  Somedays if I am feeling bored, I’ll split time between a bike and the elliptical as well. I have also added daily strength exercises, because I felt like I wasn’t getting enough lately.  This also keeps me from getting bored with the same thing every day.  Which is totally key to sticking with it.  As the weather gets cooler, I’m thinking about adding a morning run to Saturday or Sunday.  I love this time of year, so to be able to run in it makes me a happy woman.

I know I expected to have lost a lot more by this time when I set out back in January to finally take control over my habits.  I think gaining a new approach and outlook to my life (after flailing a bit in the beginning) makes my slow yet steady pace alright.

People have been noticing my weight loss.  Sometimes I notice it as well.  But I need to weigh in.  It has been a few weeks since my last one. I have an irrational (and long running) fear of the number on the scale.  I need to get over this because seeing tangible proof is always a good thing.