An All-Time Low

Today I hit an all-time low.

Not the ‘I just ate a chocolate éclair out of the trash can like George Costanza’ kind of low.

Nope I mean a new low on the scale.
Today I weighed in at 164.2, a new low weight for me and I couldn’t be more pleased. It’s nice to be on the lower half of the 160’s because just like how I felt after months in the 170’s I am sick of being in the 160’s. I FINALLY feel like I am progressing out of this decade. Hopefully in the next month I will reach the 150’s and celebrate a new decade.

I am sure you figured out that my new routine has helped boost my weight loss this week and you are correct. This week has been pretty awesome and although I got off to a rough start on Monday I quickly fell into a rhythm and have been able to adapt nicely to the changes.

My workouts so far this week:

Sunday: short 12.5 mile ride through the city

Monday: CXWorx at the YMCA and a 4.27 mile walk with the doggies. We were supposed to stay for boot camp on Monday but Paul hurt his knee in the first class so we headed home and instead of calling it a night a went for a nice long walk.

Tuesday: Nia followed by a slow run along the river

Wednesday: 30 minute walk on my lunch break and then an evening spin class which was awesome. I cannot wait to go to another one!

Thursday: yoga and then 45 minutes on the treadmill doing 400m intervals (6.7+/4.0)

Workouts for the rest of the week:

Friday: I am hoping to get in a walk on my lunch break and also hoping to get out of work early to catch a 330p yoga class. If I do not get out of work early I will just head to the YMCA after work and do a custom routine there.

Saturday: 3 mile run in the morning on a paved trail through one of our parks and an 11am TRX class

I have another 5K on June 2nd and I am hoping I haven’t slacked off too much in the running department and am still able to run the whole thing. We’ll see.

I also hit new lows this morning for BMI and body fat percentage. This morning my BMI registered at 27.3 and my body fat was 29.7%. I first started measuring my BMI/body fat back on April 2, 2011. In fourteen months my body fat has gone from 41.8% down to 29.7% and my BMI has dropped from 45.2 to 27.3. Holy crapballs! I hadn’t realized how much it had gone down until I pulled up the numbers just now. Wow! That’s so crazy. Just seeing my BMI at 27.3, getting so close to normal at 25, makes me so happy about my progress and so hopeful for my future.

Working out is great and I love it but it is only part of the weight loss puzzle. This week I also focused on my eating. On Monday night I kind of went snack crazy at night (this seems to happen frequently on the nights before weigh in) and so I have spent the past few evenings planning healthy snacks and then cutting myself off after I have eaten what I planned. It’s ok to go to bed a little hungry. I need to remember that.

Goals

I haven’t really talked about weight loss goals recently so I thought I should share them with you now.

My first goal is to reach 150 pounds which will give me a normal BMI and is considered a healthy weight for my height. That’s less than 15 pounds away. Ridiculous!

My ultimate goal is to reach 143 pounds. That is my personal ideal weight. It is well within the healthy weight range for my height (120-150) and it gives me some buffer between normal weight and overweight. I’m less than 22 pounds from that goal. Again, ridiculous!

My target to reach goal is by the end of the summer. I want to be at 143 by Labor Day weekend. I want this to be the last summer I ever spend overweight.

Goals for this week:

-don’t drink too much

-eat only when I’m hungry

-portion my food, try not to over eat

-stick to workout plan

-have fun

I am looking forward to enjoying my three day weekend. It is the perfect balance of fun and focus.

How are you spending your weekend? Any goals or plans to help you stay on track over the holiday?

Happy Memorial Day! Thanks for reading!

May 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Fitness, Weight Loss. 3 comments.

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday: Running the River

Last night I took a nice slow run along the San Antonio river after my Nia class. It was amazing.

The path is slightly hilly and curvy which keeps things interesting. Even better is the landscaping; it’s phenomenal. So many fresh flowers and herbs I was enchanted by aromas as I ran. It was just what I needed.

I wish I could have taken more photos, maybe next time. These are from my starting/ending point. They hardly do the location justice. This is one of my favorite spots in San Antonio and I cannot wait to come back for another run real soon.

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Do you happen to know what kind of flowers these are? They are so beautiful. And huge. They are almost the size of my head!

Thanks for reading!

May 23, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Life. 3 comments.

The YMCA of My Dreams

I haven’t been to a YMCA in a very, very long time.

My best guess, 15 years.

So, yesterday when I walked into one of the local San Antonio branches I was beyond shocked. It was so nice. The branch I was at wasn’t huge but what they lack in size they make up for in high quality equipment and wide variety of classes.

They have Expresso stationary bikes which have these crazy interactive displays. It made me feel like I was playing a video game but really it was kicking my butt riding through the Alpine Pass.

They have Woodway slat treadmills which are designed to have less impact on your joints and are better for longer runs. Something I will keep in mind if I decide to ever go beyond a 5K.

They have a huge spin studio with the nicest spin bikes I’ve ever seen.

They have two additional group exercise classrooms with classes offered all day and evening long. The classes range from yoga and pilates to boot camp and TRX with about a half dozen Les Mills classes thrown into the mix. Tonight I am going to try out Les Mills’ CXWORX and then boot camp. I’m ready to get my butt kicked J

They have a rock wall.

They have two rope climbing machines. Tried those- awesome!

They have an Ab Coaster. Tried it- also awesome!

They have a computer that creates customized workouts for you. Log on and tell it what you are looking to do and poof! Out comes your workout on a sheet you can use to track performance. There is also a free app you can download.

They offer half marathon and marathon training programs for people looking to run the Rock n’ Roll Marathon in November.

But the coolest thing they had was definitely the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill. It’s basically a treadmill with a giant plastic bubble you climb into and from the waist down your body is in zero gravity conditions. This machine is designed so you can run with no impact on your joints. It’s great for someone rehabbing an injury or just coming off surgery trying to build strength without doing physical harm. We were also told the high school and college track runners use it to help increase their speed. I thought it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Designed by NASA, of course.

This machine does require you to pay an additional fee to use it. For one 25-minute session it will cost you $15. Of course if you buy multiple-use packages the fee per use is less.

I am thinking I may try it out one day. I’m curious what it would feel like to have half of my body in zero gravity conditions. It would be super cool if it was like walking (running) on the moon but I am doubtful that is what it feels like.

Although we still have 13 days left on our free two week trial I am pretty sure we will be joining up as soon as it is over. This place is so cool. It was so much nicer than I imagined it would be. Heck, it’s nicer than most of the nice, ‘upscale’ gyms I have been in. Our updated/improved fitness center on post is just sad in comparison. This YMCA is so nice and they offer so many classes that I can totally justify the cost. It’s hard to turn my back on a free gym with $3 classes but what we have on post just isn’t cutting it anymore.

I think my health and wellness are totally worth the cost of a monthly Y membership. Wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks for reading!

May 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Weight Loss. 1 comment.

Well, hello there…

I have been in a funk for months now. Although life has been great and I have had some wonderful adventures and created many fabulous memories when it comes to my weight loss journey I have been in a rut.

And until a few days ago I didn’t know why.

Or maybe I did but just didn’t want to admit it.

But the cat is out of the bag now. I have realized where I went wrong and the changes I need to make to get back on track and I am more than ready to make them.

Here’s the short version of what I’m talking about; well maybe not short but it’s the shortest version I can give you.

I went into 2012 seeking balance in my life. I had spent the previous 10 months dedicating 100% of my time to my weight loss journey. I spent my evenings at fitness classes, weekend activities were planned around workouts, I was constantly tweaking my diet to find out what worked best for my body and I experienced great results because of it. By Christmas I had lost 100 pounds in just 10 months and I was beyond the moon excited.

Although I couldn’t have been happier about my weight loss I was definitely feeling the toll those months had put on me. I had no social life. I barely saw my husband. I was borderline obsessive with my weight. I needed a break. I needed balance.

And so, 2012 started with my search for balance. I decided to ease up a bit and focus more of my attention on the aspects of my life I had neglected, namely my husband, as well as set some different goals/aspirations for myself. I was ready to start running. Something Paul does and enjoys doing and something I had always hoped to do with him. My focus was now on the only goal I had set for myself – run an entire 5K. I steadily progressed through the 8 week Couch to 5K program and at the end was able to run my first 5K, which I did in 34 minutes and 4 seconds! Paul and I also bought road bikes and took up cycling. I was enjoying my new hobbies.

I was also enjoying all of the fun activities Paul and I were partaking in; hockey games, beer tastings, parties, and lots of relaxing at home watching TV.

I was definitely bringing my focus back towards the areas of my life I had been neglecting but somewhere along the way I went from one end of the spectrum to the other. I hadn’t found balance, I found social Dacia. And I welcomed her back with open arms.

My life had gone from a constant focus on my weight loss to a constant focus on fun. I found myself becoming less active, some days even skipping workouts, but I was completely oblivious to this change in mindset since I was pretty much maintaining my weight. I had some fun new hobbies that were keeping me (somewhat) active, I was still following a vegan diet, and I still felt I was putting my health first but was I really?

I think what had happened was this- I was doing was enough to get by and that kept me feeling like I was still committed to my journey. However, it kept me from really making much progress this year and that has really started to wear on me. Bouncing between the same few pounds week in and week out, who needs it? Definitely not me.

Then the other night I was talking with Paul and he made a comment in regards to my fitness. He said;

“You write in your blog and tell others about how they need to find what makes them happy and yet you stopped doing everything you love. You stopped boxing, you stopped Nia, and you took up running which you don’t even enjoy.”

Yep. His comment was spot on.

Yes, I had my reasons for stopping my group exercise classes and at the time I thought swapping them for running and other standard gym activities would be no big deal.

And maybe it would have been no big deal if I had the same passion for running, the stationary bike and swimming that I had for the group exercise classes. But I don’t.

To say I enjoy running would be a half truth. I enjoyed setting a goal and achieving it but the training, the boring days on the treadmill, the solitude- eh, blah. That’s kind of how I feel. I plan on continuing to run but for fun. For me. When I feel like it. Out on the trails. Not on a treadmill. Not following a set training schedule. I’m just not that person. No matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise. Maybe one day. But not now.

So after a few conversations with Paul about what I want to start doing again (Nia, yoga, Journey Dance, spin class) and what new things I want to try (crossfit, body pump, boot camp, TRX) we have come up with a plan on how I will get back into my happy place in regards to my workouts and still continue to have a life as well. A plan to find balance.

This Sunday I will be returning to the Synergy Studio and I will start back with some Nia, yoga, and Journey Dance classes. I won’t be going every day because there are other things I want to do but going 1-2 times a week will help bring focus on the self-love/self-worth aspect of this journey. Those classes, in that studio, bring me calmness and inner peace and help me grow and heal both my physical and mental state.

Paul and I will also be taking advantage of a two week trial pass we have for the YMCA. The closest Y to where we live (which is literally down the street from Synergy) offers a crap ton of evening classes that would work into both of our schedules. They have multiple spin classes daily. They offer yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi as well as the more challenging classes I crave like boot camp, boxing and TRX. Plus they even have a rock climbing wall. How cool?
I think we are both optimistic that we will like the classes and trainers there and will be joining the YMCA after our trial period is up.

I am also excited because they offer early classes so I can hit up a class after work, shower, and still have time to hit up our favorite watering hole for a beer every now and again.

We can still enjoy our long bike rides together and then spend time with friends.

I can dance a Nia routine with some of the most amazing women I have ever met and then curl up with a book afterwards.

To me, that is balance.

And that’s what I need right now.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how the next few weeks play out. I am glad to be back. I’ve missed you guys. But I needed this break. I hope you understand. Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better and I think the worst is over now. I’m ready to recommit myself to this journey, and to this blog, and start being accountable again. Are you with me?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

P.S. for those of you that have been reading this blog for awhile may remember that I had set a reward for myself that when I hit the halfway mark to my weight loss goal I would go ziplining. Well the timing didn’t really work out and that reward kept getting pushed to the backburner. Well, you’ll be happy to know that I finally bought a ziplining package (through Groupon, yay!) and I hope to use it in the next few weeks. Post and pics to come 🙂

May 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Fitness, Life, Weight Loss. 2 comments.

And So It Begins

I have started to realize more and more lately that I greatly underestimate my capabilities; especially when it comes to running and the Couch to 5K program. Each Saturday starts a new week of the program for me and each Saturday I get scared wondering if I will be able to survive it.

Why? Why am I getting scared? I am still early on in the program and the most amount of running I am doing is five minutes at a time. In January I ran a mile, without stopping, in ~11 minutes so why the heck do I freak out about 5 minutes???

It’s because in my head I am still 286 pounds and completely incapable of doing such things.

It still hasn’t sunk in that I have spent the past 13 months exercising, building up strength, setting goals and accomplishing them.

Well, that might have been true until Sunday came and I put my body to a test. I surpassed my expectations which ended up completely changing my state of mind. But before I get to the test let me first tell you how it all started.

You remember how Paul decided recently that he wanted to start training for a triathlon? Then he went out and bought a new road bike? I was super excited for him. I thought triathlon training and cycling would be a great hobby for him and I was ready to take my spot on the sidelines cheering him on.

We started doing some research trying to figure out which tri he was going to do first. I started learning more about triathlons and the different levels (not sure that is the right word) you can choose to do. You probably know of the most famous triathlon- the Iron Man which is pretty freaking hardcore with a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. That’s just nuts.

But did you know that they aren’t all that far? One of the ones Paul was looking into had three levels; super sprint, sprint, and Olympic. The super sprint (the shortest distance) is 200m swim, 10 mile bike, and 2 mile run. Hmmmm….that seems pretty reasonable for a beginner.

That seems pretty reasonable for eve a beginner like me.

I mean why shouldn’t I try to do a triathlon? I am already training to run a 5K (which is 1.1 miles longer than the 2 mile run in the super sprint), I ride the stationary bike all the time and most days I ride farther than 10 miles, and I’ve started to incorporate swimming into my workout routine 2-3 days a week so doesn’t it seem logical that I could quite possibly do a super sprint after a few months of training? I kind of started to think that it was.

Before I committing myself to this challenge and a new more demanding workout schedule I thought maybe I should do my own version of a super sprint tri at the gym (with the events done in reverse order for ease) to see if I had the strength and stamina to endure doing these three activities back to back. Heck, I don’t think there could have been a better time to push the envelope a little.

So Sunday I headed out to the gym on post for my own version of a super sprint triathlon.

First up was the 2 mile run. This portion made me nervous since I knew I could do the distances on the bike and in the swim but I had never ran for more than one mile so running two was going to be a challenge. It was also a challenge because I wanted to go all out but knew I had to conserve some energy in order to do the other two events.

I ended up finishing the two mile run in 23 minutes flat. I ran the first mile in 11 minutes but ended up walking a portion of mile two so that one took me a minute longer at 12 minutes. I was still thrilled beyond belief. I was pushing to try and complete it in 24 minutes (as a stretch goal) so to finish in 23 was a huge victory for me.

Then I hit the bike and man my legs were super loose and I was able to blow through those ten miles in 27:49, which is the fastest I have ever ridden 10 miles in. Yes! Another huge accomplishment for me and I was feeling fantastic.

Then I had to make a mad dash for the locker room, quick change into my swim suit and into the pool. 200m is only 4 laps at the pool I use and I thought I would just push, push, push my way through them the best I could. I’m not a great swimmer, my technique is shit, but damn I am buoyant and that certainly helps.

I did not have any gas left in my metaphoric tank or the looseness in my legs anymore and those four laps were BRUTAL. It took me 6:50 minutes to finish. Even though that is probably slow by most people’s standards it was better than I expected. Doing the swim portion last I was hoping to stay at/below a 2 minute lap and I finished at a 1:42 lap time. I was thrilled. Exhausted but thrilled.

So there I was, chillin in the pool, with a million thoughts running through my head. Last year at this triathlon I was looking into the person who came in first in my age group did it in one hour and seven minutes. That of course includes the transition times (swim to bike and bike to run) without the transitions her time was one hour and five minutes. Of course it is a lot more difficult to run and bike outdoors and swimming in a pool filled with racers is probably similar to swimming against a current so I am not thinking my 57 minutes and 39 seconds would be anywhere close to what it would be come race day (I am thinking outdoors this would have taken me at least 50% longer) but damn if it’s not a good starting point, right?

This made me very excited. I saw competing in a triathlon as a growing reality and started to view myself as an athlete in training instead of the 286 pound couch potato I once was. I was so excited I wanted to tell everyone I knew that I was going to start training for a triathlon but then I stopped myself and said that I really needed to discuss this with Paul first (who was out on a 40 mile bike ride) and so I waited.

At brunch I told him about my results (he knew I was going to do that test at the gym) and that I was really excited about how well I did. He asked me if this is something I wanted to do and I said yes. His response was sheer happiness. He said ‘great, that’s what I was hoping you would say’. He had such an amazing time out on his ride that all he wanted was for me to want to join him- for us to have this hobby and common interest we could do and train for together. That was awesome. I was now even more excited. Then he said ‘well, I guess we need to go bike shopping for you’. And after brunch that is what we did.

I’m going to skip all of the details of bike shopping (including the one about the douche at one of the stores we went to that wasn’t very helpful or the one about the guy at a different store that was super duper amazing and ended up selling me my first road bike) and I’m going to skip to some pictures. Isn’t she beautiful?

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Last night we went and bought my road bike and got it all set up and I bought all the necessities which included a bike rack for our car. Tim, the most amazing salesman and bike fit specialist in the history of cycling (who works at Bike World in Alamo Heights every day except Tuesday and Thursday) spent hours with me on Sunday and again last night getting me all set up on the bike. When he couldn’t get the fit just right he even swapped out the factory seat post for a better one and that made it just right. I could not be happier. Can’t you tell from my facial expression during the bike fitting?

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So here I go. Off to start a new adventure. Am I crazy? Maybe a little but is that necessarily a bad thing? 😉

Thanks for reading!

March 20, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness. 7 comments.

MBC Week 2 Personal Challenge

Do you remember week two of Monica’s Birthday Challenge where I asked everyone to create their own fitness challenge? Initially I had set out to do a rowing challenge as mine but then as the week progressed I decided to do something different.

Something that was mentally challenging and still very physical. Something I hadn’t done in 14 years. Something I was afraid of doing.

Something that Paul had taken me to do when we lived in Washington and I absolutely refused to try as I was completely paralyzed with fear.

Skating.

It had been 14 years since I put on a pair of skates but last week I just felt like I was ready to give it another shot.

You see, back in 1998 I fell while rollerblading and did a number on my back. I broke my pelvic bone. It was awful. That accident not only kept me off any type of skates for almost a decade and a half it also left me with an overwhelming fear of injuring myself again and was how I stopped doing most physical activities.

It was there that my road to obesity all started.

But I don’t want to dwell on that story. That is my past. My future is now completely different because of this new road I decided to travel down.

And this road lead me to roller skating.

It was time to get back on that horse.

I was super excited to be able to push through my fears and get back out there. I asked Paul to record me skating around so I could share it with you and also as a reminder of how far I’ve come. He kindly obliged and took four videos. On the way home I stole his phone so I could check out the videos- I was thrilled to see how they turned out.

The first one- one second.

The second one- two seconds.

The third one- five seconds.

The fourth one- 1 minute and 25 seconds.

Yes! One minute and twenty-five seconds. I was so excited to watch since clearly he had some issues with the first three.

Sadly it was one and a half minutes of him filming the ground. WTF Paul! Really? No video! Blerg!

Well, at least I have this picture.

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We had so much fun that night. It took me some time to move away from the wall and get comfortable enough to skate. I never really got the hang of turning so I kind of skated in a rectangle. Straight line- stop at wall- turn- straight line- stop at wall- turn- you get the idea. I definitely was rusty to say the least but damn did I have fun.

I kept telling Paul that it might not look like it (because of my tense, serious facial expressions) but I was having a really good time. Surprisingly, he did too.

We skated for about an hour and a half and it wasn’t too crowded either which was nice. I felt like a giddy school girl watching Paul skate around during the boy’s only fast skate. Yeah, we were the only adults there not with kids but we didn’t care. It was awesome.

Afterwards we headed to Blue Star for some beers and sweet potato fries- it was the perfect date night.

And since I had so much fun and was super excited to go back again I decided to organize a girl’s night out this upcoming Tuesday. I’m not sure how many people are going to show but I guarantee it will be a blast!

I would love to know what your perfect date night or girl’s night out would be. Have you been roller or ice skating recently?

Also, do you have any fears keeping your from trying something?

Thanks for reading!

March 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Fitness, Health, Life, Weight Loss. 4 comments.

Pool PT

I didn’t even think to show a picture on yesterday’s post of the bathing suit I ended up getting. It’s a Speedo swim dress. I wanted to get a bathing suit that would hold up to frequent pool usage and that was meant to swim/exercise in opposed to beach wear. Although it is a swim dress it is a fitness suit, designed for swimming. It is hella comfortable and I love it.

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*Images from the Speedo website

I also love the fact that the on post gym has an indoor pool that opens at 5a on weekdays. This morning I was at the pool at 5a on the dot, with Paul by my side, for my morning workout.

After I had bought the suit Sunday I went to the pool with Paul so he could show me what the soldiers do during their pool PT sessions. I am not a great swimmer so I wanted to incorporate more exercises into my workout in addition to swimming laps.

This morning I took the exercises Paul taught me and created my own routine.

I thought I would share in case you are looking to add something new to your workouts.

Equipment Needed:

Pool (Aqua Fitness) Dumbbells-2

Buoyancy Belt

Using pool dumbbells do 20 reps each of;

Jumping Jacks- One dumbbell in each hand. Arms stay under water the whole time. Should have resistance on dumbbells in both directions

Push Ups- One dumbbell in each hand, under water. Slightly hunched over. Arms in front of chest with elbows bent. Push the dumbbells out in front and bring back in towards the body. Arms move like they would in a pushup while body remains in the same position.

Dips-One dumbbell in each arm, underwater. Knees slightly bent. Arms at side, hip level, with bent elbows. Push dumbbells down while straightening arms. Pull back to bent position.

One minute of cross-country skiing using dumbbells. Keep dumbbells under water. Move in place like you are cross-country skiing- alternate arm/leg movement back and forth.

One lap each;

Arms only-Take one dumbbell and place it between your legs down towards the knee. Swim one lap using just your arms. If you don’t have dumbbells try crossing your legs at the ankles and swim using your arms only.

Legs only- Take one dumbbell in each hand and swim with arms straight out in front, kicking only. If you don’t have dumbbells then just extend your arms in front and kick only.

Bicycle- Take one dumbbell in each hand and hold them underwater by your side. Bend forward and move your legs in circles to simulate riding a bicycle. If you don’t bend forward then you will end up staying in place.

Freestyle with dumbbells- Take one dumbbell in each hand and swim freestyle. This is a difficult exercise because of the added resistance of the dumbbell moving through and out of the water. You will feel the burn 🙂

Running- strap on the buoyancy belt and run (make sure to use your arms, too) one lap

Repeat both the exercise and laps

Once I completed two rounds of exercises and laps I swam regular laps (alternating breast stroke and freestyle) for ten minutes.

It was a great workout. I was in the pool for 45 minutes and it felt great. I have decided to make it a very regular part of my routine. So I am going to make that routine above my Wednesday and Friday workout and then on Sunday I will hit the pool again but probably just for lap swim.

Do you workout in the pool? Do you have any fun exercises or routines you would like to share?

Thanks for reading!

March 14, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Swimming. 1 comment.

Bathing Suits! Blerg!

If you were/are like me (morbidly obese) then you recognize the countless benefits from losing weight; better health, decreased stress on your joints, less limitations (i.e. weight restrictions), and overall wellbeing to name a few.

However, there are also downsides and one in particular has started to take its toll on me. My body. More specifically, all this weird hanging skin and my shriveling boobs. It’s kind of gross.

I knew that it was very likely that I could lose a substantial amount of weight only to be faced with a grotesque body. For months and months I was still plump in my belly and breasts and as they shrunk they still looked relatively normal. Recently, however, I can see more clearly the loose skin hanging around my stomach. When I lean forward or put my bra on I see how my breasts resemble raisins. It’s hard not to let this discourage me. Don’t even get me started on my thighs and upper arms. Ugh!

Even with my physical appearance unpleasantly changing I still feel fabulous and know I am making the best decision by losing weight. I have no regrets. This was/is the right thing for me to do; the lifestyle I should have chosen long ago. Feeling good and knowing I am working to get to a healthy place diminishes the feelings of disgust/shame with the physical body changes….most days.

Most days I don’t feel gross, fat, or disgusting. Most days I am happy and feel confident. Most days, however, I don’t go bathing suit shopping like I did this past weekend.

Sunday I spent a few hours trying on all different types of bathing suits and those same hours were spent feeling like crap about how I looked.

The weird thing is, when I was 286 pounds I didn’t feel like I was that fat. I knew I was big but I never felt grossly obese. I just felt like a normal heavy person. Now, now that I am 110+ lighter I feel like I am still really overweight. Don’t get me wrong, I am still overweight. I only recently moved from obese to overweight, but it’s like the more I lose the more self-conscious of my (naked) appearance I get and the fatter I feel.

So when I have to go and shove my odd-shaped body into tight-ass spandex and lycra swimsuits that reveal my back fat rolls, force my boobs to pop out of the sides, and do nothing to hide my giant belly well then that is when I have a break-down.

In a dressing room.

Feeling ugly.

Hating how I look.

It was awesome.

But I finally found a suit (at store# 4) that I liked and felt comfortable wearing, even if it doesn’t do a great job at hiding my belly, which made me happy.

Because I was buying a bathing suit so I could exercise in the pool. I wanted to be able to swim laps and take water aerobics classes. Because even when I feel shitty about how I look I still need to continue making good choices.

Choices that will help me get to a healthy weight.

Baggy skin and all.

I may never look like a model or have tight smooth skin but that’s not what my journey is about. Some days it’s going to be harder for me to recognize that. To see my progress, my improved health and physical stamina, through those layers of fat and skin. But I do know those days are getting fewer and farther apart. Self-love and acceptance are so much more than loving how I look on the outside. I can still love me and have days where I don’t love how I look and I accept these feelings to be normal.

I just focus on what I do love about myself.

I just focus on the next healthy choice I am going to make to improve my life.

I just focus on the love and kindness I am surrounded by.

And then I jump into the pool 🙂

Thanks for reading!

March 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Shopping. 10 comments.

Music and Inspiration

I love music…it feeds my soul.

I was lucky to be raised by two people who love music and was surrounded by it all of my life. There are pictures of me as a child, even as an infant, at concerts and festivals with my parents and their friends.

My adolescence was filled with music, too. I played a few different instruments and spent my teenage years going to shows all over Philly and wherever else I could drive too on my limited budget.
Music was a huge part of my everyday life.

And yes, I do believe this world would be better if music filled the streets like a soundtrack to life.

Music is a must for me during my workouts whether it’s being played at the classes I take, Nia, yoga, boxing, or whether I am listening to my iTunes. I workout without music is torturous.

What I am listening to is just as important as having something to listen to. Not like I am a music snob or anything but I look for inspiration in the lyrics and beats so I try to pick songs that make me happy and keep me moving.

And isn’t funny when that perfect song comes on at just the right moment?

“My body tells me no, but I won’t quit. Cause I want more, cause I want more.”- My Body by Young the Giant. My bestie says she thinks of me every time she hears it even though we’ve never talked about this song before. Isn’t that cool?

“It’s not supposed to be easy…that’s why it feels so f***ing good.” Jump on my Shoulders by AWOLNATION

“I think I found my place. Can’t you feel it growing stronger? Little conquerors.” Walk by the Foo Fighters

“You gotta be stronger than the story, don’t let it blind you. Rivers of shadow, this feeling won’t go.” This is Your Life by the Killers

“Never was a cornflake girl, thought that was a good solution.” Cornflake Girl by Tori Amos

“When you’re happy like a fool, let it take you over. When everything is out you gotta take it in.” Good Life by OneRepublic

But my absolute favorite workout song is ‘Timshel’ by Mumford & Sons. It’s not really the kind of song you think of for a workout song; it’s not really upbeat and it doesn’t have a fast tempo. I love it because of the words.

“Cold is the water
It freezes your already cold mind
Already cold, cold mind
And death is at your doorstep
And it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance
But you are not alone in this
And you are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand and we’ll hold your hand
Hold your hand”

Every time I hear this song I think that I am not alone on this journey and for those of you long time readers you will probably remember a post I wrote about this song and how it brings me comfort thinking of you here with me along the way.

Every choice I make, every word I write is for me but I always think of you. This journey; mine, yours, ours, it’s so much bigger than we realize. We lose pounds, we change habits, we exercise but really we grow, heal and evolve. It is truly life-changing.

And when I am on the bike or treadmill and I hear those words ‘you are not alone’ it brings a tear to my eye (as it does just writing it now) because for the first time in my life I truly believe it.

Thanks for reading!

March 9, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, inspiration, Music. 4 comments.

Training

Two things happened yesterday that I foresee impacting my routine. First, Paul went to purchase a bike. A Cannondale CAAD 10 road bike specifically. So he can start training for his first triathlon in June. This is crazy to me because I am just barely two weeks into training for a 5K and now my husband is starting triathlon training. Jeez, I may never catch up to his level of athleticism.

What does this mean for me? Well it means a husband who is training almost daily. But unlike when he was training for the marathon he won’t be doing it with the Army. This means he will still need to get in his PT as well. Which means early mornings spent doing Army PT and evenings spent doing Tri training. I am super happy for him to start and I know he is going to love it. It just means less time together and I really like Paul so that is kind of sad 😦

It’s not all bad though. Yesterday while I was at the gym I noticed they have a 5am Zumba class AND it’s free. So I grabbed a copy of the weekly class schedule and saw that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday they have 5am Zumba classes so I asked the desk attendant if they were all free and he said yes. Score! Free classes work perfectly for my budget right now. It’s also the incentive I need to go back to morning workouts. Between the Zumba classes, biking at the gym and doing Couch to 5K I think I can easily fill my weekday mornings.

This means I will be able to come home after work and spend some time with Paul before he heads out to train. I think it will be good. It will give me more time to do other things like take the girls for long walks, take a leisurely bike ride around the city (I’m signing up for a B-cycle card- San Antonio’s bike sharing program), or hit up an aqua fitness class- if I ever get around to buying a bathing suit. It seems like the tri training and my morning workout routine will be a win-win for us both.

Paul is even thinking about joining a local team that specializes in triathlon training called Alamo 180. One of the cool things about this group, aside from having coaches there to help you, is that they have a run every Saturday morning that is open to the public. I am thinking that once I get better at my running I will hopefully be able to join up with them. It would be a lot of fun.

When Paul bought the bike yesterday he also snagged a Polar heart rate monitor for me from the shop for super cheap. I am pretty excited to start using it to help with my running. I am hoping to have it all set up for my next C25K training day on Saturday. It’s week 3, day 1 and my jogging intervals are about to get longer. I really happy I decided to start this program. I will let you know if I feel the same by the end of this week 😉

Oh, and I wanted to mention to all the readers who are also participating in Monica’s Birthday Challenge- I changed up what I am going to do for my personal challenge. I am hoping to not only do it tomorrow but also have some of it recorded so I can show it to you. Look for my slightly embarrassing video to pop up this weekend 🙂

Are you currently training for anything? Do you have any fitness goals you would like to achieve this year?

Thanks for reading!

March 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness. 2 comments.

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