Monday, September 29, 2014

I Hate working out.

There it is, i said it. I hate working out. This is how I've always felt: 

    Hate is such a strong word yet one I've used so many times whenever exercise is brought up. It's always easier to say you "hate" something than to admit you struggle with it, that your body gets in the way making it harder or just that you are embarassed to show up at the gym. That's a stupid concept isn't it? A fat person being embarassed to go to the gym! Well, the reason is because some gyms (but def not all) are full of thin good looking people, therefore being the biggest one around made me feel out of place although I was the one who needed to be there the most. I realize that statement was not entirely true as much as I wanted to believe it. Yes, there were lots of fit people but lots of "normal" folks as well in all shapes and sizes. The thin people, is what I focused on, because it made it easier for me to make my case against the evil gym.That was just my justification. Scratch that, one of my many justifications.
     I have wasted so much money over the years on gym memberships I rarely used and I have used all sorts of excuses for it . Here's just a few off the top of my head:
1- I don't have time at all or too little time that's its best not to even go
2- Im too tired
3- it's too hot, cold and/or rainy
4- I "forgot" to pack my bag or forgot to switch out clothes
5- I'm probably getting my period, on my period or just got done with it
6- I am coming down with something
7- I'll just go tomorrow and work twice as hard
8- My foot/arm/ankle/head/stomach...even my scalp;) hurts

     Am I the only one who has done this? Surely not! A few years ago, I finally gave up on the gyms and joined the Y. That was a world of difference. The atmosphere seemed more relaxed. The mixture of ages, color, shapes and sizes made it for a comfortable place.  I didn't feel like the odd one out.
     So I started trying to love working out (keyword try).  Here's the thing about me, I would start all excited and into something then after a few days I'm all over and done with it. The excuses start and pretty soon I had given up on it. This sums up my relationship with the Y. I would start the week right, going every day then by Wednesday I'd either be tired, achy, icky or something and not go back til next Monday. Instead of trying to work my way up by planning to start off three times a week and then pushing to going everyday, I would just quit going. "Well, I've already missed  X so I'll just go next week" " my ankle wants to start hurting anyway, better off staying off of it". Excuses have always come easy. Yes, I do have an injured/past broken ankle and it acts up a lot, but instead of not doing anything, I should have tried adjusting and changing in order to do SOMETHING.
     Less weight would have made my ankle happy but eating like I was plus no exercise, only amounted into more and more pounds for my ankle and everything else to deal with. Eventually, as money got tighter, I rationalized that the Y membership needed to go. Not the fast food binges or junk food spending but the Y! Ha! How sad, I prolly could spend more than  the  Y fee during a  week of binge. Once I totally quit trying and became complacent with my sedentary bigger self, is when I ballooned up and hit rock bottom or high based on the scale.
     Fast forward to present time, I still struggle with working out, staying motivated and being more active. I have made so many good food related choices, changes and continue adjusting in order to get results. The area that could use the most improvement is exercise. I am still not a member of the Y or any gym but am lucky enough to have a very good elliptical, bunches of DVDs and a big yard at home. There is no excuse for me not to exercise daily. I could say I hate exercise yet I LOVE the way I feel after it. I love the extra energy and just positiveness I feel, as well as the sense of accomplishment.
      If you are anything like me, try with small goals, enjoy reaching them and then start shooting for more. Whether it is a walk, run, dance,swim or anything push yourself to do it.  Your  body will thank you for it and you will feel great after. Diet is a big part of this journey, some consider it the most important part. While I agree, I believe that it should go hand in hand with being more active. It's like they say two heads think better than one? then diet and exercise together have to be better than just one of them alone. Keep moving don't stop! Until next time'

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Think about it

      I was needing some extra positivity and food for thought this morning when I came across this great quote: 


How true this is! Real change only comes from within. It does not matter what you need or  want to change in your life. Relationships? Attitude? Weight? Anything you want to change, has to be motivated by a force within you and you have to do it for you. Otherwise, it won't "stick", it will become a hassle and eventually a struggle. This is not to say that it will be easy. nothing worth getting will ever be.
For me, anything that I tried before to decrease my weight had always been to shut up or please someone else. Any change is difficult, but one that you don't truly believe you need, is even worse. Did I need to do something about my increasing out of control weight back then? Of course! but I didn't think I did. I found ways to assure myself I was not as bad off as others or took advice as criticism. What is that saying kids use nowadays? Haters gonna hate? Yeah, it was all them hated trying to "advice" me because they were drinking that hateorade ...bless my heart.
Notice how above I said "decrease my weight". You see, for me, this need to change is not only about the number reflected on the scale but about learning to make better choices and having a healthy lifestyle be my lifestyle from now on. Sometimes all we focus on is a number and getting to that number we want. It  seems like many achieve their goal number only to find themselves back to square one after some time. I am looking for an overall change and I know it will take time, regrouping and lots of learning not only from my own experience but also from others.
So here's one thing I have learned about myself:  the idea or desire to want to change on my several failed attempts, didn't come from within me.  Therefore anything I did, I only did it long enough to appease x,y or z. This time, it's all about me and I am doing it for me. By doing it for me, I am also doing it for the ones who love me because hopefully, by being a healthier me I will have more quality time for and with the ones I love.
So, here's my parting thought, whatever it is you are looking to change or just improve, do it for yourself and love yourself enough to continue doing it by focusing on why it is important for you rather than on how easy or hard it feel at times. I believe this will play a great part in one's ability to achieve success. 
You can do this! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Water Dilemma Part 2

Well, it has been a week since I wrote the first part of this series Here. I decided to experiment and challenge myself for the following to weeks to drink half my  weight in ounces of water a day. When I wrote that I was at 279 pounds so I decided to round it up to 280 and shoot foot 140 ounces of water a day. When first doing the math, I was reminded of one of my favorite someecards:


Back to the subject at hand.  That number, 140, seemed so high! It amounts to 17.5 cups, 4.14 liters or 1.09 gallons. I was determined and excited. I used my handy note app to start a water log for documentation purposes. This is what I have so far.

Water log.  Goal 140 ounces or 17.5 cups
Day 1- 14 cups . Notes: For sure thought I could finish but I fell short. Maybe I just started too late in the day?
Day2- Only 8 cups.Feeling like crap.Queasy all day. struggled to eat and get 8 cups in. Had 4 cups of hot tea. Does that count?
Day 3- Throat hurts like heck.12 cups ...barely. This ain't going so well.
Day 4- 32 oz water bottle x3. Bad bad me had too much coke zero .
Day 5- Feeling better.18 cups finally!!
Day 6- bought a 50 oz water bottle to visualize better. 100 ounce in. 
Day 7- 100 ounces again. Seems to be where my tummy starts saying no more. 

So as you can see, I didn't do so good. I was only able to reach my goal once. I must say that aside from water, I do drink some coffee, tea and coke zero ( I know, I know but I've cut it about 80% I'm working on it!).
I feel like my brain and my tummy decide to act up once I get to 100 ounces. I feel like I will be sick if I drink anymore. Will be working on this from now on. I am not weighing in until the end of two weeks. I do not know if anything grand will be reflected on the scale but my jeans are getting baggy! Noticed by other baggy so I'm hopeful. 
I think that the increased water intake makes me feel "lighter" or maybe it's all those trips to the restroom ha! I have noticed my perpetual chin breakout has been so so much better and I haven't changed anything in my skin routine. So I toast you with some water in celebration of the first week and on to the second week.  Drink up, until next time!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Deciding, Discovering, Distracting, and Doing it all over again

     This weekend I had a lot going through my mind as I kept hearing tidbits about the going ons in lives of people I grew up with. At 35, it is amazing to see how everyone's life takes such different paths as well as how decisions and choices in all areas can make for very different outcomes. I am sure in 5, 10 and even 20 years the differences will prove even more shocking.
     I grew up being a fairly good kid, always career oriented and with a big sense of responsibility. Even though I put myself in plenty of stupid situations during my late teens, I was lucky and smart enough to always balance out the work and play. I think that the older I get and the more I self analyze, the more I realize how my weight and eating choices was one of the areas where even with having the knowledge and brain to make better choices for me, I still chose to fill up whatever voids I had with food.
     One of the many things that I seek to accomplish through my journey is being able to achieve all the D's : Deciding, Discovering, Distracting and Doing it all over again. I am so early in my journey that I may need to add some more D's and even may have to borrow some other letters. Here is a break down of what I call my D's.
     DecidingDeciding came to me when I realize I couldn't and wouldn't continue to hurt my body and myself with food. Deciding was stepping on that scale and facing the reality. Something very fulfilling and quite amazing happens when you decide to be honest with yourself. This is not just when it comes to weight but also in being honest with what you like or dislike. I am a people pleaser, I have plenty of times put other people's needs before mine. Saying no to others never seemed like a viable option. Deciding involves making choices that may not be easy but that are what you need. There is no better time to decide to love and take care of yourself than NOW!
.Discovering: Being honest with myself means discovering the true me. My likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. By identifying our weaknesses, not only in the way we eat but in every area of our lives, we can find ways to be better and do better. When I started being more honest with myself, as a result, I ended up being more honest with others. I was able to say you know what? I appreciate that but no thanks! this is mighty important when you are changing the way you eat. But discovering is about so much more than that, is about learning to accept and love yourself. I do not think you ever stop discovering and learning about yourself no matter what age.
Distracting:This may sound funny but I have found that whenever my brain won't shut off and the thoughts filling it are not good, distracting is a great tool. Distracting can entail so many things, getting up and moving around, picking up the phone and calling someone, or one of my faves, reading blogs. Distracting is changing your path when the one you are one is not going to be beneficial for you. Therefore, we can all benefit from distracting, during weight loss or any time we are going down a self sabotage road.Obviously, distracting is not foolproof and there are times that distracting will not be enough. But on a day to day basis, distracting can be a valuable tool to consider.
Doing it all over again: There's no rocket science to this one. Life is not static, therefore as we evolve we always have to reassess, rediscover and adjust. Doing it all over again means that you will keep up with all of the above and will continue down your path. Doing it all over again means that you will keep moving forward even if you face a set back. Doing it all over again means that as you continue to put yourself first and know yourself more, you will do and continue to do your best effort to achieve the best you.

Stay Strong, Get up and Push Forward ! Until next time!

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Failed Observation

     I have been hit with whatever bug is floating around which has me feeling queasy, exhausted and like i have some barbed wire stuck in my throat. So with energy bottomed out, I decided to indulge in some hulu and find a show to watch. A couple of years ago we got rid of our satellite, and although I thought it would be the death of me because I was so addicted to my trashy reality tv ( no shame, I admit it lol) it was the best decision ever.
     The show that was featured on their homepage was The Biggest Loser. How appropriate I thought! I used to watch way back when they first started, not because I was interested in losing weight but because it made me feel better. Even though I was already overweight, I was smaller than "those" people and that would NEVER be me. Ha! never say never! There is a saying in Spanish that roughly translates to " dont spit up  because it will eventually fall back on you". That's me in a nutshell when it comes to this show! I spit up by thinking I could never be that big and thinking I was so much better than the contestants because I would never let myself go that bad.The spit sure got me as I did let myself go, I had and struggle with food issues and I became one of "those" people.
    As I am watching the show, I decided to write down these thoughts.Because I had not watched in years, I was shocked when I realized that Jillian and whats his name are not on it anymore (BOB?). I guess it makes sense, Jillian seems to have gone down the solo promo and magic detoxes route (no, I will not research this, it is just moo).
     So this time around, all the contestants are former athletes.I am about 20 minutes in and there's already plenty of tears and shouting going on. Why am I watching this again? Oh my, someone just passed out .Here comes doctor whats his name.Oh yeah, the buckets soon follow. I don't think I will be able to handle the rest of this show.Bless their hearts.
      I am sure this show has plenty of yay and naysayers. I do not belong in any group because I can't really make myself watch it anymore. We all have to do what we have to do and in the way we think it needs to be done. Whether it is in the privacy of your home, alongside our friends and family or I guess on national tv.
     The one thing that I did take away from the short time I watched was something the new coach trainer said: "Its not about that first decision, its about making that choice every day". How very true this is, Making the decision to change is hard. Getting there, to that rock bottom where you have no place to go but up is hard. But probably the hardest part is continuing to make that choice every day regardless of anything else. Now I don't think that is a negative thing. Nothing worth getting is ever easy.
     I do think the daily choice becomes a tad easier the more change becomes a part of your routine and seeing results also helps. Now that tad easier will not be constant, there are harder days and more or less results. These results may not be on the scale or even on the way your clothes fit, but in your attitude and energy levels. I can't speak for others, but I feel like I have a better outlook on things and a desire to do things. I was way too comfortable to lay back and do nothing before.
     So although my tv show observation was a fail, I still think that some will find tv shows like TBL inspirational and some are wired through tough love. Otherwise, how could a show survive so many seasons? As usual, I have to leave you with some humor, Until next time!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Water Dilemma

     Have you ever felt that almost any time you read about how something is really good for you within a few months or years there will be new studies claiming it was not that good for you after all? or viceversa?
    I remember a long time ago when avocados were to be avoided because of their fat content. Growing up outside the U.S. I was able to walk out to the yard and pick an avocado during season and just devour it with a fresh cooked tortilla.Then all of a sudden, as my weight fluctuated and I was taken places to lose weight, avocado was one of the foods in their banned foods. I also can think back to when coconut oil was deemed a villain, I am sure there are many more.
     I love learning new things. I enjoy researching and reading, especially when I can read two opposing views on the same subject, allowing me to decide for my own self what I believe. One of the things I have been reading about lately is the relationship between water consumption and weight loss. 

     We all know and have heard that water is essential to our health and although many struggle with drinking plain water, the question is how much should we really be drinking? if I drink more, will I lose more?? According to Mayo Clinic the answer is not that easy and no single formula fits every one. But what is clear is that water helps flush out toxins and allows our body to stay hydrated.
      Some studies tried to link an increase water consumption to an increased metabolism, therefore leading to a higher calorie burn. From what I have read, findings are preliminary and the impact may be small.Who knows, in a few months we may be hearing the opposite and the impact be great. On the other hand studies have proved that drinking 16 oz of water before eating can help you lose weight although the true physiology as to why, is not completely clear.
     Regardless of what you read or believe, I think one thing that most of us can agree on is the fact that drinking plenty of water can help you feel fuller, will hydrate you after a workout, can help clear up your skin and will flush toxins out of your body. I used to think any liquid would do, so my drink of choice was coke zero. I realize that although it was a fluid, I was also consuming chemicals, preservatives and truckload of sodium.
     So all this gets me to another change I have been working on: drinking more water. Whatever formula you follow whether you drink half your body weight in ounces or the good old 8 cups a day, drinking water is a great step. I am not sure yet whether it accelerates my metabolism or not, but I think it helps me feel fuller and somehow "lighter" than my succession of coke zero cans used to do. An added bonus is that it is very budget friendly....well unless you're into those intelligent or fancy waters and such ( But that's your choice and a whole other topic ;)
     So for the next two weeks, I have decided to experiment with myself. I will start drinking half my body weight in ounces of water every day and see if this makes any difference to my progress. To switch it up some, I will be occasionally adding a couple of orange or lemon slices .As with anything, I encourage you to inform yourself and find out what works for you. I will be looking forward to see if I notice any differences. 


Stay tuned, Until next time!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Are you sure that's right??

     "Are you sure that's right?"... that is what I said the first time I decided to measure out right sized portions of nuts after buying a humongous can at Costco. I was doing this not as part of weight loss, but actually trying to prep snacks to take to work after fussing out the price increase on my usual individual packs.I kept thinking it was surely a mistake, could it be that little??? if it was, then boy oh boy I am scared to imagine how many servings my usual handfuls from the can would have amounted to.
      I was so convinced there had to be a mistake that I went searching for the single packs I would generally buy, and to my dismay, it turned out that yes it was a single that contained 2.5 servings, So what did I do about it? I measured out the portion then added a few more for good measure and because the portion just seemed so darn small,,,,bless my heart. I guess I figured the extra ones would not count...newsflash they do!what is that saying? what you eat in private you can see in public? All those extras combined with my portion distortion are yet one more thing that I did to get me where I am. I think we can all relate to this funny:

     I love Pinterest. It is like a black hole that can suck me in for hours at the time. It allows me to think that I can fix, cook and make anything. While I avoid perusing the food boards too long, I have developed an enjoyment for their fitness boards. I do not always agree or believe everything I read but I am constantly finding food for thought or daily inspiration. While browsing today, I came across this pin:

    Portion distortion is real. It is something I have done for as long as I can remember. Since moving to the U.S., my ideas of portion as well as my weight, skyrocketed. That is not to say that living back home I had no issues. On the contrary, my issues with food have existed since I was young but being on my own and having huge portions easily available only compounded my existing issues. You know how I would rate a place as a good restaurant?? by their portion size. It is sad but true. More bang for my buck is what I used to say. If I am going to pay the prices I better be getting my money's worth. Based on that logic, all you can eat would be the ultimate bang for my buck.
     When I made the decision to start my journey to a healthier and happier me, I knew I was looking for a life change not a quick fix. This to me meant looking to make changes I could continue forever and not just picking a diet and trying to follow it. I am no specialist and definitely not one who can give advice but one thing that I am convinced of is that you need to do what is right for you and in order to do that you have to be honest with yourself and discover what the problems are. If you are anything like me, there are several problem areas but rather than get frustrated because I can't tackle them all at once, I am trying to take them one by one and focus on small victories.
     The first problem I needed to solve cold turkey was my binge trigger of fast food. As I mentioned in an earlier post, in times of stress or anxiety I would stop by a fast food place inhale a crazy amount of food in a short period of time and then come home to eat dinner like I had not just consumed 2-3 days worth of calories at once. I have been successful so far, in avoiding this trigger. I have not binged, I have only been to a fast food place once in 58 days. That time , it was my only choice and I was proudly able to consume 350 calories of mostly protein.No, no fries with that Thanks! ;) Although I am sure I have only won a battle and the war is far from over, I am happy with how I have been able to not cave to my triggers even though my stress and anxiety are at the moment, probably the worst in the last 4-5 years.
     The second problem I decided to work on is portion control. This was a huge one for me. I am used to full plates and eye balling not only of portions but also of ingredients/condiments when cooking. When I started tracking my food, I decided to start measuring out my portions. I bought a little manual food scale for less than 5 bucks and some measuring cups from the dollar tree. This has been a huge eye opener, being aware of a true portion size vs what i considered a portion is mind blowing for me. Does it take extra time? a little bit. Is it worth it? YES YES YES!
     Measuring and weighing out portions have now become a part of my routine as much as logging everything I eat. I do not think of it as a chore anymore even though it did feel that way at the beginning. I jokingly call these babies my weapons of choice:


     I have upgraded to a digital scale, only because it is faster and allows me to measure out smaller quantities. My cheapie one kept falling apart after so many uses. Do your research, amazon has many choices to fit many budgets and needs. The most important thing, is learning and making a choice to not over eat. That is choice I have to work on every single day.
     My journey is about me and what works for me. I encourage everyone to find what works for them whether there is a book or study to back it up or not. I am open to learn not only from science but from other people's experiences. Thats the beauty of the internet and the blog world, it gives us a window into other experiences, an insight into different journeys and teaches us what works for some and not others.As I go along, I know there will be a lot to learn and lots of tweaks will be needed in order to achieve success.

Stay Strong, Until next time!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Long time, no blog

     Things have been and continue to be hectic around here with so much unknown and out of our control that I find it a continuos struggle to keep focused and calm. Somehow though, with a lot of effort, I continue to stay on track with this journey. I still could be doing better, I need to up the working out. There have been many times I've craved my binge triggers such as fast food but I have not made the choice to blow my effort so far. I have had to say no to certain things that I'd normally say YES! to (overindulging, sweets, high calorie food). I have to make many choices daily ( we all do), and continuing this journey by making the sometimes harder right choices regardless of what's going on is one of my top priorities.
      As far as numbers on the scale, I am happy to be going the right direction. I know slow and steady will be the way for me. So far, I've lost  21 pounds in 56 days. Lots is probably water weight. I am not feeling hungry or like I'm denying myself anything. I am doing it in such a way that I feel like I could eat this way forever, and that will hopefully be the key to help me be successful. I know the numbers on the scale are just that and I will not obsess over them. Some weeks that number may or may not move and that's ok.
     I found this quote from Stephen Covey that I think can be applied to many things including this particular journey. My bigger "yes" is a healthier and slimmer me. Until next time!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Feel Good Friday

Just a little feel Good Friday quote. We ALL need to remember this:


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Keeping at it

     I think this quote pretty much sums up what is going on with me right now...

     It has been a struggle between my old and newer self but I have been able to stay on track even with all the unknown and stress I'm feeling. I am so proud of myself for that. With the long weekend I told myself that yesterday I would allow myself to be less strict with my intake and just try to enjoy the yummy food we had been invited to eat. Even with that allowance to myself, I stayed well within my calorie budget. It definitely helps when the people you're with understand you're working hard at it, are trying to healthier as well and take that into consideration when preparing their food. It was great to just enjoy, visit and not worry for a few hours.
     I can't control what going on around me but I can control what is going in and within me. Gotta keep remembering that. Keep at it, until next time!