Monday, September 4, 2017

Pep Talk...

One of the mini-challenges I gave my group this week was to write themselves a pep talk and share it with their teammates. So here's mine...

Jill...you have come such a long way, it's almost impossible to see the starting line. I know your motivation rises and falls like the worlds craziest roller-coaster, but you always bounce back from the lows. Always. When the tough days come, lean on the amazing friends and family you have that have always been there to support you. You wouldn't be where you are without them!

You can do hard things. You've changed your diet, your exercise habits, your way of thinking, your level of self-confidence and respect, your habits...your entire life. You are a completely new person and a constant work in progress. So even though sometimes you might feel like you're tired and fed up and like it's just not worth the effort any more...don't give up. Those feelings always pass. Always. Push through them, and let others help. You don't have to do it by yourself.

You are almost back to 100lbs lost! Don't let that become a mental road block for you. You've lost almost 50 lbs since March and know how to reach your goal of breaking into the 100's by New Years if you just keep on doing what you're doing. Keep fueling your body with healthy things. Keep exercising and pushing yourself a little harder each time. Keep sharing your struggles and your successes with others and keep right on improving. You've got this and I'm proud of you.

Love, me

Monday, August 7, 2017

Back to the extreme...

As expected, Girls Camp completely threw me off of my routine. I had a great time with the girls and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but it definitely ran me off the rails as far as diet and exercise go. I tried to bring some of my own snacks and whatnot, but I really had no control over what was served each meal....and while I did have control over how much of each thing I ate, I exercised that control rather poorly. French toast, potatoes, chili cheese fries, cobbler with ice cream...I'd like to see most people say no to all those things haha.

But the problem wasn't so much the week at camp as it was that once I got home, I didn't jump right back into my routine like I should have. We had 2 sick kids and 2 weddings and 3 days of training for my new job...and I let it all become reasons to put off getting back on the wagon. We spent the last week eating out most of our meals and I'm pretty sure I've eaten my weight in baked goods. I truly feel sick. Not mentally....physically sick to my stomach. I don't know why we do this to ourselves. Eating that way makes me feel absolutely MISERABLE and yet it's so hard to stop!

Well today is a new day and it's time to go back to extremes. And this time the whole family is on board. Today is day 1 of no sugar in the Tracy house and the goal is to make it until Halloween (or Emma's birthday for herself...Oct. 20). I'll also be going back to doing the ketogenic diet every day, though the kids won't be doing that part with me. Ariana did ask if she could and I told her that she doesn't need to. I told her to just make healthier choices when it comes to carbohydrates. More fruit and veggies, whole grains, etc. She's excited to do it :)

I'm not as nervous about it as I was the first time around, since I know it works and works well...but I also know that I'm starting over from square one and the first 2 weeks SUCK. I'm not looking forward to it. When I was in full blown keto mode, I ate all my meals between 11am-7pm and rarely felt "hungry". Now it's barely 10am and I already feel like I'm starving. I know it's because I've lived off of carbs for the past 2 weeks and my body will need the time to re-adjust...but man it sucks. I'm so frustrated with myself for letting this happen. I knew it would happen...but it's like I just accepted it and let it happen instead of trying to fight it. Maybe one day I'll figure out why my brain works the way it does.

I need to get my eating under control because my workout schedule is going to be very different for the next couple of weeks due to lots of hours at work. I tend to struggle even more with my eating when I'm not getting in enough exercise so I need to really stay on top of it during these first 2 weeks. And I know I can do it because the first two weeks in March when I started this the last time were done while I was still unable to really workout due to my injury. So...no excuses.

So we're off and running. We have a new paper chain made and everyone has picked out something they want to earn should they successfully complete all 86 days of no sugar. I know for me, this is much easier when I'm not the only one doing it. Even Nathan and Gregory are in on it this time! So hopefully the 10lbs I put on in the past 2 weeks will come off quickly and I can continue on down towards breaking into the 100's by the end of the year.

Anyone else want to join us? ;)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

New job + girls camp = more routine change to challenge me!

After my mom and sister headed back to Florida (We had a BLAST with them here!) I was able to get back on track pretty quickly with my eating/exercise routine. Routine is what saves me. Routine keeps me motivated. In the past I really haven't done well when things change or when that routine is disturbed. So life is about to get very interesting!

Most pressing is Girls Camp. Since I am lucky enough to work with the young women (ages 12-18) in our church, I get to attend girls camp with them next week! While this is a lot of fun and a great experience to have...especially with my own 13 year old daughter...it makes me nervous. Last year around this time I had just lost about 20lbs and was finally in a good groove. Then girls camp happened. I did plenty of "exercising" around the camp...so that wasn't the issue. But I have no control over the food for 4 days and that's where I get nervous. After girls camp last year, I lost all mojo and ended up putting 30lbs on over the next 6 months. I REALLY don't want that to happen this year. It's not that the food at camp is super unhealthy or anything, it's just not what I've been eating for the past 6 months and it will be an adjustment to eat that way for a few days and then come back home and not let it become a habit again. I'm going to try and bring my own cooler with protein shakes/snacks to use as often as possible, but that won't fix everything lol. So I will just have to watch my portions, drink lots of water, load up on veggies/fruit when offered and promise myself to get right back on track the day I get home!

Exercising regularly has been easy for me for the past several years. I found workouts I love and it's just become habit for me to get a workout in at least 5 days a week. Well starting in August...even that is going to get challenged! I GOT A JOB!! I'm actually really excited. I haven't had a job in a long time. Yes, I know I'm a Zumba/fitness instructor, but at most that's an hour or two a week. Now I get to work part-time at the front desk of my gym. I'm really excited. When the job opened up, I jumped on it. I've always wanted that job, but wasn't sure if/when they'd be hiring or if I'd have the ability to even work outside the home given Nathan's job and the kids schedules etc. But it all worked out and I can't wait to start.

I have to get trained first, but once I am...I'll mostly be filling shifts for people who are sick/out of town or ones that no one is able to take. What this means is that I really won't have much of a regular schedule. While school is still out, I can fill in a lot more often since the older kids are home to watch my youngest while daddy works. This means that more often than not, I'll be working when normally I would be up in the aerobics room taking a class. This truly makes me nervous. I've relied on these classes for the past few years and while I know changing your workouts can often be a good thing...I really don't want to haha. So I will have to start trying out some of the harder classes that are offered at night or get back into working out alone with the weights/cardio machines. I'm nervous, but I know it'll be good for me. It's either that...or workout at home, and frankly I hate doing that if I don't have to.

So between camp and work, both my eating and exercise routines are about to get turned upside down and I am going to do everything in my power not to let it be the end of my progress. As of last week I was down to 243 and I REALLY want to get past that 100lbs lost barrier again. I do NOT want to see 250 again and have to go through that struggle yet again. So wish me luck....or hard work and determination. I'm gonna need it :)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Well we knew it was going to happen...

Over the last couple of months as I did no sugar and low carb...the thing I probably heard the most from people was, "I wish I had your will power. You are so strong! How do you not give in?" I kept telling people that it wasn't always that way...and it wouldn't always BE that way. Being on a journey of health and weight loss has always been..and will ALWAYS be a roller coaster. That's why I ride the highs for as long as I can. Because I KNOW the lows will always come. Well here we are.

Something always happens in life whether good or bad that disrupts the routine and allows for old habits to seep back in. This time it's a great thing! My mom has been in town since the end of June and I LOVE having her here. I've been blessed with truly the best mother in the world (She just is, you all need to accept it and not argue me here :P). She is the most selfless person I know and having her around just makes life easier. And happier. Not to mention my kids are in heaven having their Gram around. Now if only Pappa (my daddy) were able to be here too! But having company always means a change in routine. And while I've definitely handled it better this year than in years past, it still tends to give me that mentality of "vacation" and I get a bit lax with my rules about eating. I'd say I can't help it but we all know that's not true. I just don't WANT to help it haha.

We've kind of had it both ways these past 2-ish weeks. Some days I make everyone, including my mom, eat MY way. And other days, we go out to eat or to parties or with friends/family...and I just enjoy it. My mom was also kind enough to make all her signature baked goods while Nathan and I were away celebrating our honeymoon so that there wasn't quite as much of it sitting around my kitchen. But it was still there. It's been a long time since I had sugar that actually tempted me...just sitting around my house. None of this is my mother's fault and I hope as she reads this she doesn't think I'm blaming her at all. This is just how my brain chemistry has always worked and the best way for me to work through it is to write about it! The sooner I write it, the sooner I seem to move past it.

Ironically last night was my first real "binge" in months...and my mom wasn't even here haha. She was at her high school reunion. But I had cravings that hit me HARD. I had eaten well/low-carb all day but it wasn't enough. And I was cranky and stressed and just plain MAD. And I said screw it. We had Thai food for dinner and I had more carbs than I can count. Then as we sat and watched a movie I ate about half a bag of the cadbury mini-eggs I had hidden back in March when I wasn't having sugar at all. I felt justified and ate every single one with an "I'm eating this and you can't stop me" attitude. Of course as I sit and write this, I feel sick to my stomach with a food hangover and regret every bite...but I think I needed to go through that. I think every once in a while...everyone needs to go through that. It's a growing and learning experience.

And I have grown. In the past, a binge like that would just be the start. It would last for days or weeks and I would go silent and depressed and probably put on another 10lbs. But not this time. I let my emotions take over and that's okay. I'm still learning how to deal with them without food and probably will be for the rest of my life. Today is a new day.

Tonight we have a dinner with a bunch of ladies I haven't seen in years. We're going to Zupas which is one of my favorite places...and used to be a binge issue for me. But not today. I know what salad I'm going to get and will be passing on the soup/sandwiches and desserts today. Because I don't need them. My mom is only here a few more days and I am not going to let food be the central focus while she is. It shouldn't be the central focus of anything frankly. But come Tuesday I will be making another paper chain and sugar is going right back out of the house. I REFUSE to put 10lbs back on before I start losing again. I'm below 250 and intend to stay that way permanently this time. So this is just a little detour on my road to better health...not a road block.

This dip in my roller coaster is going to be the shortest yet. Time to head back up that climb.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Losing weight in the off season...

I used to think that was an oxymoron...losing weight in between seasons of Jilly's Losers. Because who keeps working hard during the break?! Well some people do, but I never used to haha. It's like my mind is so relieved to have a break from all that goes into running the group that it refuses to make any more effort again until the next one starts.

BUT NOT THIS TIME! HAAA!!!

Season 31 of Jilly's Losers started today and I weighed in 3.1lbs down from last week! That's 38.7 lbs since starting keto in March and just over 85lbs down from my heaviest ever :) It felt good to FINALLY bet at a place where it was just another week and not a week for me to go off the deep end. It took me 6 years to get there so I hope those in my group who still struggle with it know that I know how they feel!!! But it really does have to be a lifestyle change and not a "diet".

8 more days till my mama comes and I can't wait!! And surprisingly, I'm not chomping at the bit to have sugar when she gets here. We'll make some of our favorite Gram treats (her cinnamon rolls are THE BEST!), but I'm now fully confident in my ability to not let it derail me. The taste of success is far sweeter than the sugary stuff. I'm excited to get to show her how I eat these days. I'm sure she'll think I'm nuts just like I used to when I looked at my friends doing keto. But now I'm proud to be one of the crazies.

I suddenly have a much bigger wardrobe again and getting bigger by the week. I forgot how much I LOVE that. I also have to go buy some new bras today because well...you know. Yay for shrinking sizes!

This season of Jilly's Losers is going to be a big one in more ways than one. Not only is it looking like it may be the biggest season we've ever had (52 have weighed in so far and it's only noon!)...but with our goal of 6% weight loss this season, that will put me right at 230.6 which will be exactly 100lbs lost from my heaviest. This was a big milestone the first time around, but I'm just as excited...if not moreso...to be creeping up on it for a second time. Words can't describe how grateful I am for my group. Sincerely...family and my love for my Savior aside, it is the most important thing in the world to me and I don't know where I'd be without it. They're all kind of intertwined at this point.

Life is good!!!


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jilly's Losers Season 31 Rules & Guidelines

Season 31 Rules & Guidelines
1. Season 31 will begin on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. It will last 8 weeks and our final weigh in will be on Tuesday, August 15.
2. The buy-in fee this season will be $25. This is a singles season. Fees should be sent via Paypal to Jillyslosers@gmail.com with the note “Season 31 buy-in fee” and your name. All fees MUST be paid by June 27th. Make sure to mark your payments as being sent to family and friends to avoid any PayPal fees.
3. This season we’re going to go back to DietBet format! For those of you who have never heard of DietBet, it’s a company that runs 4 week weight loss competitions in which participants have to lose 4% of their body weight in that time. Those who do so successfully, get to split the prize pot. Ours will be a little different, but the same in that you are only really competing with yourself. After looking over this past season’s results, I’ve decided that our magic goal number will be 6% in 8 weeks. That will average out to be about 1-2lbs per week for everyone. This is completely doable, but not so easy that I think the prize pot will end up split 50 ways. But if it does, that just means that as a group, we lost a LOT of weight, and I’ll be extremely proud of us!!! After the starting weigh-in, I will post everyone’s 6% goal so that you know what you are personally striving for. The person who loses the HIGHEST % of weight in those 8 weeks will win 10% of the pot on top of splitting the rest with everyone else. Just a little extra incentive to keep going if you do happen to hit that 6% early! (NOTE: All prizes are given after challenge rewards are paid out (I tend to use half the total pot towards challenge rewards) and 10% is taken out of the pot for myself as insisted upon by you brats a few seasons back *grumbles*. Thank you lol)
NOTE: For those of us who are current group members returning for season 31, there WILL be a gain cap between seasons this time. It will be a 2lb cap. What this means is that if you weighed in yesterday at 200lbs and you weigh in next Tuesday at 205lbs…your official starting weight will be 202, which means those first 3lbs you lose won’t count towards your 6%. This will hopefully help keep us all from going too crazy in between seasons!
4. Regarding weigh-ins: We have mandatory weekly weigh-ins every Tuesday. (Why Tuesdays? Because that's the day that The Biggest Loser aired on NBC when I started this group and it's just stuck!) Your weight picture must be posted by midnight MDT to count! (Let me know if any issues arise. I’m pretty reasonable.) Please weigh in under the same circumstances every week (morning/night/clothed or not, etc) As for strikes...you are allowed 2 missed weigh-ins per person. That's 1 per month (or 2 in a row…or 1 here 1 there, etc. Use them wisely!). On the 3rd missed weigh-in, you will be disqualified and you will not get your $ refunded. (You may continue to stay in the group and weigh-in but you will not be eligible to win any $ or prizes either from challenges or the final weigh-in) Remember that weigh-ins must be a picture of the # on your scale with your feet showing. Not just a post of your weight. I understand people take vacations and sometimes use different scales. This is fine…HOWEVER…you MUST use the same scale for your starting and final weights so that we can be sure of accuracy.
5. Before pictures are MANDATORY. The pictures may be with or without a shirt (you'll notice more of a change if you do it without), but they must be full body pictures. (I highly recommend everyone take a shirtless before pic that they at least keep for themselves even if they don’t share it. You’ll be glad you have it one day!) If your before picture is not submitted within the first week of competition (by June 27), you will be disqualified. (If you submitted an "after" picture for season 30, that will count as your "before" picture for season 31) Those who win prizes at the end of the season will not receive their prize money until an AFTER picture has been submitted and they must do so within 48 hrs of the winning announcement. NOTE: Newcomers to this group always worry that their pictures posted in the group will show up for the public to see. This group is secret. As long as you are on the group wall BEFORE posting your pictures, no one will see them but those in the group. Your pictures will show up on your own feed when you view it, but I promise you no one else can see it!
6. Starting and final weights will be confirmed with a KEY WORD. This is to ensure that starting and ending pictures are truly taken on the day of the weigh-in and not before. I will post the KEY WORD in this group the night before the first and last weigh-ins. It should be written on a piece of paper or notecard and placed at your feet in the front of your scale before taking your picture. You may NOT just type the key word into your post or add it to your picture afterwards using an app. It must be physically IN the picture itself.
7. We will continue doing weekly challenges. I try to come up with new challenges whenever, possible, but for those of you who have been around a while, I'm sorry to say you will see some repeats! Each challenge will have different rewards/prizes that will hopefully help keep people motivated. There will even be a couple big prizes depending on how large a group we have!
8. Points system: I’ve decided to do the points tracking this season since it seems to really help those who participate in it. The points system is a tracking sheet (either print out or automated excel) for tracking food/sleep/activity, etc. More info below! (Note, the points have changed a little this time around!) The person with the highest points at the end of the 8 weeks will win 5% of the pot and a special prize that I have yet to decide upon file:///C:/Users/Jill/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.png:P The biggest change to the points this season is that you will NOT get points for weight loss. You will still get 5 points each week if you don’t GAIN…there will just not be extra points for losing. So you’ll really have to stick to the points if you want to win!
9. Remember that this group is about gaining health and losing weight through eating right and exercising. Extreme/fad diets are not allowed. Weight Watchers, the Ketogenic diet and things like that are fine, but no pills/drops/powders etc. (Protein shakes are fine)
10. This group is only for those who will be actively participating in the competition this season, so while I hope everyone will stick around, please know that if you choose not to join us this season, you will be removed from the group. You are always welcome to join us in later seasons file:///C:/Users/Jill/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image002.png:)
POINTS SYSTEM DETAILS!!! (borrowed from sixsistersstuff.com) -There is a weekly point calendar for each of the 8 weeks. (It will be posted as a separate document under the “Files” tab on the group page) Print it out and use to track your points and weight loss. If you prefer to use an excel spreadsheet that will do your math for you, Cody Mecham made one a few seasons ago that we’ve updated and will post as well for you to download.
-Beginning on Week #2 there is a double point challenge (highlighted in yellow)
-You can exercise each day, but you will only receive points for exercising 5 days a week.
-You can avoid carbs after lunch every day, but you’ll only receive points for doing so 5 times in a week (Carbs in this case is referring to the obvious…breads, pastas, cereal, grains/oatmeal etc, sweets. Fruits and veggies are FINE!)
-You can choose to not eat sugar/treats each day, but you will only receive points for not eating sugar on 6 days (everyone needs a free day!).
-There is a sample food journal that you can use or you can use your own kind of food journal to keep track of what you eat.
-Daily contact with teammate: It’s amazing the strength that comes from encouragement from your teammates! We said that you could email, call, or text someone in the group to encourage them to have a healthy day. It helps knowing that you are all in this together and makes you accountable for what you do or don’t do. Posting or commenting on the group page also counts. Hitting LIKE does NOT count!
-Example of maintenance points – If your weight is the same or lower than the previous week, you will get 5 points. There will be no points this season for losing so that will save everyone some math!
NOTE!!!!! Points totals MUST be either emailed (jillyslosers@gmail.com) or messaged via Facebook to Jill Tracy by midnight MST each Tuesday in order to be counted. With such a large group, I’m afraid there will be no exceptions. If you forget to tell me one week…they won’t count. I’m sorry!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The best season ever...

I'm sure my fellow "losers" (as in Jilly's Losers) are tired of hearing me gush about Season 30, but I'm gonna do it one more time anyway.

Yesterday we finished another 8 week season and I can say without a doubt that it was the best one. Ever. Going into it, I was nervous because we were doing teams of 4 for the first time. There are always people who LOVE working with a partner because it pushes them...and there are always people who don't enjoy it because of the fear of letting them down. So you never really know how a season is going to go when you force people to work together.

By the end, I had people begging me to keep it going!! That's saying something!

My own team...well honestly, there just aren't words great enough or big enough to tell you how I feel about my team. Amy, Shari, Sue and I met in our favorite Zumba class at the gym. Having a team that I could see several times a week definitely helped us to push one another. But in those 8 weeks, we went from workout buddies...to family. I genuinely love these women and I cannot tell you enough how proud I am of them.

As a team, we lost 67.6lbs in 8 weeks!! We worked hard and didn't let up. And as a result...we were the team with the highest % of weight loss at the end of it all :) I'm so beyond proud. This is only the second time I've "won" in 30 seasons...and the first time was when I was partnered with my husband. So clearly...working with other people works for me!

But even more than just my own team...as a group, Jilly's Losers lost 407.8lbs in 8 weeks. HOLY COW! I mean seriously! 407.8lbs???? This completely shattered our old record of 251lbs...and that was in 12 weeks time. Something about this season pushed people to work hard and try new things and to lift one another when it got hard. We only had one person DQ themselves the entire season and that in itself is a record lol. And it was only because she was out of the country! I'm seriously so impressed with this group of people and can't wait to do another teams season...sooner than later!

As for my own personal results, I'm pretty proud of myself. In those 8 weeks I lost just over 20 lbs and about 13" from all over my body. Yesterday I had to stop during a Zumba class and ask poor Sue to help me tighten my sports bra straps because I've lost so many inches and it was becoming uncomfortable! haha. One of the best parts was losing 5.3lbs in this last week...and that was after my birthday binge! It was a huge accomplishment for me to enjoy my birthday like that and get right back to work without even the slightest hesitation. Couldn't have done that without the support of my "Fit and Flab-you-less" team...and my amazing Jilly's Losers family.

I'm almost sad to be going back to a singles season next week, but I'm forever grateful for the support system that has come from this group. I crushed my season goal of breaking 250 and it's time for the next! 230.6 was my original 100lbs lost from my heaviest so that's where I'm headed next!