Thursday, June 27, 2013

Stupid people won't mess me up...

As most of you already have heard, my husband and I just put an offer on our very first house and had it accepted.  Thus started the whirlwind of chaos!  I can sincerely say that I had no idea what we were getting into when we started this.  The emails and phone calls to this company and that...for this quote and that approval etc etc God, it's never ending.  It's overwhelming and stressful beyond belief, BUT!!!...It's the kind of stress that is a means to an amazing end and it is WORTH IT.

And then...there are stupid people.  Verizon namely.  Yes you...stupids.  Ugh.  I know I ranted about this on facebook already, so I won't get into the details much here...since that's not the point I wanted to make in writing this.  Basically they tried screwing us out of $400+ dollars and keep backpedaling their decisions and changing their minds and it's just a big mess.

Needless to say, THIS kind of stress surpassed my limit for BS today.  And now my point for writing this.  The old me would have taken a day like today and let it shove me into a dark hole where the only way out was to eat my way out with a spoon or my hands or whatever was easiest.  The old me would have said "screw it" to any progress I may have made with my weight loss and just jumped head first into a pile of fried cheesy fatty goodness.  The old me would have went out and bought a bag of chips, some ranch dip and an entire cake and then hid it from her children so they wouldn't try to steal any.  Yup. I've done that.

But today, the old me was nowhere to be found.  When the stress became too much, I packed up my kids in the car with their swim gear and headed to the pool.  They ran around crazy to beat the heat while I relaxed with a good book (Game of Thrones...though my reading is way behind what I've already seen in the tv series.  They're long freaking books!)  And then when I got hungry for lunch, I made a Peppermint Patty protein shake and downed a few almonds and a banana as the day went on.  The old me didn't even try to poke her head out.  I didn't even have a craving for any of the old stuff.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???  This would have been the perfect excuse for some Betos!  Though who really needs an excuse for Betos...honestly.

I know the old me still hides down in the dark corners and that she has her days when she wants to be heard.  She'll never fully go away.  But I'm realizing that I don't NEED her anymore.  I'm okay without her.  I'm strong enough to handle the things that come my way...without the help of food.  And man, does that feel good :)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Yoga is hard...

About 2 months ago I decided to try out the "Gentle yoga" class that's held on Friday mornings at my gym.  After 4 days of hardcore workouts, it's nice and relaxing.  I was really nervous my first class but quickly grew to love it...and my teacher is amazing.  (It didn't hurt that she recognized me from the daycare.  She used to work in there and knows Emma...and so she commented on my weight loss over the time I've been going to the gym there.  So that won her big brownie points haha)

Gentle yoga, I noticed, is mostly filled with older ladies, bigger ladies (like myself) and the occasional hardcore girl (and a few guys) who just want a good stretching after working out all week.  Most of them seem to be on my same level in yoga as far as flexibility and strength, so I've never felt out of place there.  For the most part, it's an easy, relaxing class...with the occasional core work thrown in there.  And who doesn't like spending the last 5 minutes in shavasana (You lie flat on your back with your palms up and eyes closed while the teacher rubs oils into everyone's temples.  It's SO nice).  I never understood why my sister Tiffany is always saying how tough her yoga class is!  Then I found out why.

Well as summer starts, Denise (my teacher), begins doing a "yoga under the stars" class on Wednesdays which is 90 mins long and held late at night out on the pool deck outside.  I decided last week to try it...and convinced Nathan to come with me.  We got set up on the pool deck amidst all these itty bitty skinny girls (I'm not even slightly overexaggerating here) and then the wind kicked up and the temp dropped so we all went back into the studio.  And then we were thrown into yoga hell.

In gentle yoga, we spend the first 5 a seated position, just controlling our breathing.  Nope...not in this class.  From the first 30 seconds we were on our hands and knees and quickly thrust into downward dog (basically you're on your hands and feet, pushing your ass into the air)...WHICH I HATE.  I have no problem saying that this is my least favorite position ever.  It hurts my palms and my wrists if I have to hold it for more than 15 seconds and it very quickly causes me to start sweating all over my mat.  Did I mention, this class was 90 minutes long?  Man.  I won't even try to name all the positions and balances we did or try to remember how long we held each one...but I was SOAKED in sweat.

For the most part I was able to keep up and I definitely didn't quit.  Although when she expected us to balance on JUST our hands, with our elbows pressed into our hips...I sat and watched lol.  I may have lost 94 lbs, but it's still not quite enough to avoid a face plant were I to try holding all my weight up that way.

After an hour of brutal leg and arm work, she had us sit back down.  "YAY!" I thought to myself.  No...not yay.  That's when the core work started.  My stomach is the weakest part of my body.  That and my arms.  And this wonderful lady, whom I adore, wanted me to sit in a V (hands and legs up in the air with just my butt on the floor)...and then drop my legs one at a time.  HAAAAA.  I think I actually laughed outloud when she said it.  Nathan wasn't thrilled with it either.  It didn't help that the girls next to us on both sides...were doing this in perfect form without breaking a sweat.  I think one of them was a ballet dancer.  But we tried it. My whole body shook like a leaf...convulsing with every movement of every muscle...but I think I managed the gist of the thing anyway.

Yoga is hard.  Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.  As much as I hated every second of it...I loved it.  I was sore all the next day and trying to shampoo my hair after all that downward dog was NOT easy.  But I loved it.  I don't know that I'll ever get Nathan there again, but I'll definitely be going again next week. (Maybe I can convince my mom to come while she's here? Maybe?)

I went back to my gentle yoga class on Friday and Denise came up to me afterwards asking me how I was.  She told me that she was so worried that I'd hate her after the Wednesday class because she knew I was used to the easier version.  I told her it was extremely tough and that I blamed her for my soreness...but that I'd be back.  Maybe one day I'll even be able to balance my entire body weight on my hands.  Maybe.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Challenge...

We're halfway through season 6 of Jilly's Losers and right about now is when it really starts to get tough, especially for the new people.  If you think about it, doing something like this is hard anyway.  You are in a group consisting mostly of people that you've never met and every week you're standing on a scale and posting that picture for all of those people to see.  It takes guts and it takes commitment and I'm proud of every single person who has ever been in my group.

Lately a lot of people (including me) have had reasons/excuses for not doing well.  Things going on in life...changes happening...places to go, people to see, etc.  And sometimes we just want to say "screw it, I don't care.  I'm just gonna eat whatever I feel like, consequences be damned."  Sometimes it's a case of being a mother of young children and having to put their needs first and deciding that your journey isn't as important and has to be set aside.  But whatever the "reason" for not eating right or not getting in some sort of intentional movement every's always an "excuse".  Always.

One thing I really try to drive home in my group is that it's okay to put yourself first sometimes.  It's okay to want to be healthier and happier and it's okay to take the time you need to do so.  And this week I want everyone to prove to themselves that they can do anything...for one week.  Below is the challenge I posted to my group (minus some of the logistics that don't matter to people not in the group)

"CHALLENGE(s)!!!!!!!!! Every season I do a take on this challenge and I think it's time to do it again. After watching the group this week it seems that a lot of us are really struggling...for various reasons. For this challenge I want everyone to focus on 3 specific things. 1) Putting YOURSELF first 2) Will power and 3) NO EXCUSES. 

This group is a place to vent. It is a place to share our struggles and our successes. It is a safe place. But it is also a place to learn and to be pushed harder than we may want to be pushed at times. So this week I am going to push you and you are all going to push yourselves into a very uncomfortable place. But before you freak out about it, I want you to tell yourselves this. "I can do ANYTHING for one week. Anything." Because you can. There is no excuse not to do this challenge. Having said that however, it of course is not mandatory. But I truly hope everyone will do it. And if you do, I promise you you will see results.

(They can do 1, 2 or 3 of the below challenges...with rewards and penalties for each.  Or none at all.)

1) NO SODA for the entire week. Not regular, not diet. None, nada.

2) No eating out for the entire week. None. No Subway, no "But what if I get a salad?" Nope. Nothing.

3) NO SUGAR for the entire week. This does not mean you have to read the label of every item you eat. It is a common sense challenge. No cupcakes, no candy, no sugared cereal, etc. If when you eat it you think of it as a sugary food, don't eat it. Fruits are fine as they are a natural sugar.

So put yourselves first this week. I don't want to hear "Well I'll be at a party!" or "But I'm going on vacation!" or "But I HAVE to...." etc etc. This is a no excuses week. There is no reason why we can't do this for one single week. We are strong and we are capable. Tell your families your challenge and have them do it with 
you! But even if they won't....put yourself first. You are important. This is YOUR journey. Don't let anyone else dictate it for you. This week will be very hard, but if you do won't regret it :) Good luck everyone!!!"

So that's the challenge for this next week and I fully expect people to hate me for it haha.  Is it hard?  Of course.  Is it going to be miserable?  Probably more for some than for others, but yes.  But it will also help us to realize that we don't NEED those things.  The more we eat them, the more we crave them...and then we blame the scale when it doesn't show us a number we like.  But it's not all about the number.  It's about changing our lives.  Permanently.  This isn't a diet.  This is a change for the better.  No one's asking anyone to give up these things forever.  God knows that I need a cupcake every once in a while or someone gets hurt!

I challenge anyone reading this to try something similar in their own journey.  Challenge your spouses and your kids..or your parents. What can you give up for a week?  The things you have the hardest time parting with are probably the thing you need to give up the most!  As for me, I will be doing all 3.  The no soda thing will be easy as I've already implemented that in my home, but the other two....oh man.

So we'll see how it goes!  No excuses.  None.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch!!  :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Today I decided to sit down and re-read my blog from the beginning.  I wanted to remember where I started and what I went through.  I've mentioned in several of my blog entries how I sometimes have a hard time seeing how far I've come..and reading all those entries helped me to see it in more ways than one.

                        September 2010                                      Present Day
Weight                       330                                                     238
BMI                           48%                                                   34%
Diet                    HCG/no exercise                  5-6 days in the gym/eating 1400 cals a day
Mile time         Uh..20 mins walking                     13:30 and I can jog the whole thing
Clothing size                28                                                    18/20
Shoe size                     11                                        10 1/2 (even my feet lost weight!)
Favorite meal      Big Mac/Fries/anything Italian         Zupas soup and salad
Favorite Drink      Mountain Dew/Diet Coke      Water!!! (I only drink soda maybe once a month)

There's probably more, but these are a pretty good way for me to see just how far I have come.  I haven't just lost weight, I've become a completely different person.  I wish I had done it all sooner, but I'm just grateful that that switch inside of me finally flipped and I'm no longer dieting.  I just live differently.  I'm healthier, I'm happier and I'm more excited about the future.

I've had quite a few people in my zumba class come up to me this past week to comment on my weight loss and ask me what diet I'm doing.  It's always fun to watch their face drop when I tell them that it's just eating right and exercising.  One lady and I got to talking and HCG came up and she said she was about to try it.  I told her that I really wouldn't recommend it to ANYONE and that it was miserable for me.  I had to laugh today reading back over my blog about my experience with HCG.  I had people telling me it was a bad idea and unhealthy and I shouldn't do it but I was stubborn and determined and I lost 40+ lbs on it!!  But just as most people had predicted...I gained almost all of it back.  It was a quick fix.  It was a "diet".  It wasn't sustainable.  It was painful and stressful and I'm 99% certain it caused my kidney stone.  But I think in a messed up way, it also showed me that losing weight wasn't impossible.  That I didn't HAVE to weigh 330 lbs my entire life.  I had a choice.

That choice has saved my life...and it just keeps getting better.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Indulgence without bingeing

Today I turn 34 and in the weeks leading up to my birthday, I made a deal with myself.  If I could eat really clean and lose a good amount of weight and be super duper good...I'd give myself one whole day to eat whatever I want without counting the calories.  That was my birthday gift to myself and it sounded great!!  Yesterday, my husband had the day off from work since he had a dentist appointment and my daughter's recital was in the afternoon.  So we decided to have my food celebration a day early.

I worked out in the morning and had my weekly weigh-in and by the time I got to really eat anything, it was already lunch time!  I had wasted half the day!  So much to eat and so little time!!  It sounds silly but I've been really excited about this indulgence day.  I haven't had one in a long time (though I've let myself have little treats here and there) and there were so many things that sounded yummy.  I made homemade cinnamon rolls (my favorite) and my husband bought a red velvet cake (also my favorite).  The hardest part was deciding where to go to lunch!

We ended up going to Red Robin (Yum!) where I couldn't even finish my chicken sandwich and barely finished my first round of "bottomless" steak fries!  Back in the day I could put those things away like water.  It was amazing to see how much less I can stomach compared to when I was a bigger girl.

Unfortunately, one of the side effects of eating like crap after eating very cleanly for so long is that your body rejects it...painfully lol.  So for most of the day my tummy was not happy.  I managed to eat a few cinnamon rolls and some of my favorite carne asada fries from Betos (with my first mountain dew in MONTHS!), but I never even got around to my birthday cake.

It was a very eye opening experience.  It's so great to see that all my hard work is paying off in other ways than just on the scale.  I actually found myself craving HEALTHY foods when I woke up this morning and started drowning myself in water just to flush out my system.  I'm a different person now and I am finally learning how to indulge without bingeing.

I've always been a binge eater, which to an emotional thing.  I don't count yesterday as a binge because it was planned out far in advance, I earned it...and I felt in complete control of it.  It was such a great feeling.  I'm 36 days binge free and counting.  Food addiction really is tough.  I've never had to knock smoking or alcoholism or drugs, but I'd imagine this one is right up there with them.  You can't just cold turkey quit.  You need food to survive.  You HAVE to eat.  And training your body to crave the right things and choose the right things is really hard. I'm still far from perfect in my diet and there are plenty of things I will never give up...but I've definitely begun to see what things I really do not need anymore.  The hardest days are the ones where I'm feeling upset or emotional.  In the past I've always turned to food for comfort and it takes a lot of will power to not do that now...or to do it with foods that won't derail me.  But I'm improving :)

I'm 8 lbs away from hitting my 100 lbs lost mark and I just keep reminding myself of that goal.  It's a big one and I can't wait to get there!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Best birthday present EVER!!! (Warning: It's a long one!)

The thing about writing a blog for so long is that you tend to forget what you've already written about and what you haven't.  So if something sounds repetitive, I apologize.  Deal with it haha.

As I'm sure I've mentioned many times before, my weight loss journey has been going on for as long as I can remember. Even in my teens I was trying things like Weight Watchers and Richard Simmons workouts to try and lose weight.  Of course now I'd give anything to be the weight I was in high school, but I've always been slightly overweight, even back then.  Since then I have tried almost every diet that's been out there.  Nothing ever stuck.  That's because I was calling them "diets".

And then season 11 of NBC's The Biggest Loser aired and while I loved the show before then, two new contestants...sisters...really made me fall in love with the show in a whole new way.  Hannah Curlee and Olivia Ward were fun, spunky, hard working and really freaking determined for the entire season of that show and I admired them both.  I felt a bit more of a connection with Hannah because she was a volleyball player and we're the same age and she just reminded me of myself as I watched her struggle over the course of the season.  I felt like I was watching myself lose weight from the comfort of my couch with my chips and dip and bowl of ice cream.  Unfortunately, that doesn't quite work.

But watching them flipped a switch in me and I decided that it was time to change.  I auditioned for season 12 of Biggest Loser.  I told myself before even getting in that long line at 7am that whether I made the show or not, I was done being "morbidly obese".  I was going to do this once and for all.  Obviously I did not make the show, but the experience was something I will never forget.  I walked away from it more determined than ever.

I went home and ordered my BodyMedia armband (which, though upgraded, I have worn for almost 2 years now) and bought our family's membership to the local gym/aquatic center.  And then I created the thing that has helped me the most.  Jilly's Losers.  My little weight loss competition group on facebook has never grown to more than 30 people max, but it has become my family and the biggest support I've ever had aside from my actual family.

After a while I wanted to add even more things into my weight loss regimen that would push me to keep going..especially when I spent almost a year within the same 10lb range.  I tried new classes at the gym and switched up my workouts in the weight room...but I was also introduced to by two of my very best friends, Amy and Angie.  This website basically allows anyone to host their own weight loss competition where people pay a buy-in fee and have 4 weeks to lose 4% of their starting weight.  Winners split the prize pot at the end.  And when I heard that Hannah and Olivia from season favorite contestants ever...would be hosting their very own dietbet...I HAD to join.

The first round went great and I was able to lose all the weight I'd regained on my vacation to Florida as well as a bit more.  When they announced a second round, it wasn't even a question.  I was in.  I had to lose 10lbs in 4 weeks (after having JUST done that same thing).  But I was on a roll and I wasn't gonna stop!  I broke through the famous 250 milestone that had eluded me for so long and kept going all the way down to where I'm at now...240.8.  I won $48 and thought hey, that's awesome!  I like money.  But then there was the grand prize drawing.

The 750+ people who had lost their 4% were thrown into a random drawing (done by a computer) for the grand prize and two runner up prizes.  They'd told us when the dietbet started that one grand prize winner would receive an all expenses paid trip for two to the Biggest Loser resort in Chicago (which JUST opened this weekend) for an entire week.  And that both Hannah and Olivia would also be there with us!  That's a pretty freaking awesome prize.  The runner up prizes were brand new, waterproof armbands, which is also awesome considering the one I currently have has to be taken off to swim, etc.

Yesterday, Hannah and Olivia were having a live Google Hangout to answer questions and announce the winners.  I mixed up my time zones and completely missed it as I was at the pool getting a nice burn with my family.  I came home and remembered...and realized I'd missed it.  Luckily they archive and post the chats so I excused myself from family time for a few mins to just go check quickly what I'd missed.

As I pulled up the webpage with the youtube video for the hangout...there it was.  My name...sprawled out above the link saying Congratulations!  You won the grand prize trip to Chicago!  I did a double take and then I just started to scream.  And then I screamed some more.  This went on for long enough that my children started plugging their ears and telling me to stop haha.  I opened the video and skipped to the part where they made the announcement just to make sure it wasn't some mistake (though I did go back and watch the whole video was 45 mins long and I needed to know like NOW!).

People may think I'm nuts for being so overjoyed about a week long trip where I'll be working out for hours and hours a day, but this is very literally the best vacation I could ever imagine.  I get to spend a whole week alongside the very people who got me started, learning from them and being pushed by them as I work harder than I probably ever have in my whole life and I'm going to love every sweaty, sore minute.  Not to mention we will have amazing chefs cooking healthy meals for us all week and there will be luxurious spa accomodations for after the workouts haha.

The hardest part about winning such an amazing thing was having to decide who to take with me as I would love to take all the people in my life who have loved and supported me through all of this mess!  But I'm excited to be going with one of my best friends, Amy...who is on a weight loss journey of her own and is sure to push me throughout the week that we're there.  I know this is going to be an amazing experience and I am truly grateful that I've been given the opportunity.  Somebody up there has definitely been cheering me on and has kept me from going insane and throwing my scale out the window when it hasn't been so easy.

So here's to the second half of my 180lb weight loss journey.  May it be a bit shorter and less dramatic than the first!!