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Monday review

Another week is done in February! And I am happy with how the week went and what the number box said this morning.

This week’s stats:
Start weight (3/1/2011): 140.9kg (310 lbs)
Today’s weight: 95.4 kg (210 lbs)
Lost this week: 0.6kg (1.3 lbs)
Total lost: 45.5 kg (100 lbs)

There are many things I am happy about with this week.

My eating averaged out at 9330 kj a day, with some days over 9500 and some days at about 9000. There were a couple of special food things, we got takeaway last Tuesday night for Vday and it was nice to share a special meal with my man. On the not so good side, I made spicey plum jam last wednesday and ate alot of the fruit when I was trying to strain the spices out. It was wonderfully delicious but it was far too much sugar in one sitting for me. I need to start asking myself -how will I feel in 5 or 10 minutes?- before eating something. Apart from that, it was a highly successful week on the food front.

I exercised 5 times in the week, my 3 Up and Running workouts and 2 additional fast walks. And my 5K on Saturday! I am already up to 87km of running and walking in Feb!

I remembered my affirmation on most days. I tend to forget it on the weekend, I need to remember to say it then as well. I notice the difference when I do. Progress was made on the money front, too. I am getting organised and taking steps to make my financial situation better. Even taking small steps on this front is reducing my overall stress.

I am happy with the loss this week. I was hoping for more but I got back down to 100lbs and that makes me very excited.

This week I will stick with my target of 9500kJ a day and 5-6 workouts. This seems to be a good balance for me. I have already survived a work morning tea today and I did really well in sticking to my plan. I don’t know what else is happening but there will be things on the weekend, I am sure… I am starting to want to bake. I might need to investigate a cake option, and more importantly, cake disposal options.

It is almost the end of the month. This week I will start to think about my challange for next month. Still no chocolate for me so far!

Things are good. The upcoming week looks good. I am happy.

Running in public

The running workout that I have been doing for the last couple weeks has involved the sequence (run for several minutes, walk for a small bit, do some half squats)*several times. And it is fine to do early morning when there is no-one about and I am running around the back paths of my suburb.

On Saturdays, I have started going with my man and our boy to a lake where we meet with friends. I do my workout around the lake and everyone else walks around and we meet at a play ground at the end for the kids to all get out and play. It works really well. The path mostly follows the lake; there are two bridges next to a very busy road and about 400m on the side of another very busy road. Last Saturday I was uncertain whether I should do the squats. I mean, it would look… Well, you see people running and walking and power walking and stretching but not really doing other sort of moves… And I feel self conscious enough…

But by the time I was at the first lot of squats I was 20 minutes into the workout and didn’t care that much. As long as I was not on the bridge (where there is not alot of room) I was good to squat in public. I was even next to the very busy road towards the end of the workout and squatted. And it was just me, doing my exercise and it didn’t matter. I was very proud of myself at the end.

Today I overslept and I needed to leave 30 minutes earlier to get to work early. So, I did not get my early run in. But because I was there 30 minutes early I was able to take a long lunch break. I packed all my gear and at 12.30 I got out for my run by the lake – it’s a different lake; a busier lake with bigger roads and bridges and alot of lunchtime traffic around it in the form of people walking, running, riding, sitting, strolling. I decided that I would do the two bridge loop which would give me about 7km for my workout. I know this workout needs about that much.

Again I was really uncertain about the squatting! Initially I planned to just walk for an extra 30 seconds before running again but by the time I got to it, I just did it. I stepped off the path so no-one would run/ride into me and got on with my workout. And each time I got to the squatting segment I was able to step off the path. So I did. And I felt silly. But getting fit is more important to me than a fleeting silliness. These people who see me exercise really don’t care. They don’t know me, they won’t see me again. All they see is someone working out and working hard. And I am ok with that.

Well, mostly ok with it. The next workout, the one I had planned for today, had skipping segments (not jump rope skipping but skipping along). I did not want to skip in public, but I am mostly ok with squatting in public!!!

In other news. Today I weighed in and the stats are:
Starting weight: 140.9kg (310 lbs) 3/1/2010
Today’s weight: 96.0 kg (211 lbs)
Loss since last week: 1.6kg (3.5 lbs)
Total lost: 44.9kg (99 lbs)

Last week I exercised on 6 days – I did 4 running workouts and 2 walks. One of the running workouts was a bonus; it was not planned but I got the opportunity and I also thought that I was busy the next day. So, I went. And then the plans for the next day fell through and I went walking that day instead. I deliberately did not run on two of my workouts. Last week I did a total of 34kms.

I ate well and consistently, averaging at 9225kJ/day which was a little more than I was aiming for but only twice did I think I had a little too much. I am doing well not having chocolate and really am not craving sugar, although I am still loving the summer fruit and choose to eat my extra kJ that way.

I have been more consistent in saying my positive affirmation. It starts off “I breathe in, I breathe out. I breathe in peace, I breathe in joy, I breathe in strength, I breathe in love. I breathe out fear, I breathe out discontent, I breathe out stress.” I repeat that a couple of times and then the focus changes a little. But, I breathe deeply and relax and when I say ‘I breathe in joy’, I can feel my cheeks lifting and I am smiling.

It was a big loss last week. Look at the numbers!!! Almost 45kg gone! Almost 100lbs gone!!! And I am very close to the lowest I got to in early December. My clothes are a little looser and I feel really good. It is very exciting. But I need to be careful. I need to eat enough to sustain my exercise – that is one of the things I got wrong in January. This week I am aiming for an average of 9500kJ a day, so just a little more than last week. I want to slow my weight loss to about a kg a week but I want to keep my exercise intensity up. I will aim for 3 of my Up and Running workouts and 3 fast walks. Again, I will choose not to run in some of my workouts!!! I love how far I have come, that more and more the expectation is that I will run!

So far, Feb 2012 has been a good month. My exercise and food choices have been ones that bring me closer to my goal of health and fitness. And my actions and choices bring me joy.

There be progress

I am not sure what happened last week on the scales, whether it was a real number or not… I am just happy to report today that the scales are down, that third number at the front is gone and I am feeling positive, energised and determined.

This morning I weighed in at 97.6kg (214.7 lbs) which is 2.7kg (6 lbs) lighter than last Wednesday. That is a total loss now of 43.3 kg (95.3 lbs). I am still not back at my lowest but I am only 2.5 kg away and now I am confident that I will get back there this month.

I don’t know what happened in the last 5 days with the number box on the floor; because it is only 5 days since my weigh in at the start of the month. But what I can say is that I have done really well food wise and exercise since last Wednesday. This is fact.

I went out for a run last Thursday and it was hard work after not having run for a week. Then on Saturday I ran 5K in 36.08 minutes which is a PB for me. I was stoked. This morning I went running again and it was a hard workout but I did it; 7.09km in 60 minutes with 40 minutes of that running and with some short walking segments and squats thrown in. I also did a 5K walk yesterday around one of the lakes nearby. After a week of cold and rainy weather it was lovely to be out in the sun! The exercise last week felt more balanced because it wasn’t every day and I was eating enough I think to cover for it.

From Wednesday to Sunday I averaged 9100kJ a day which was just over my target. I managed to fit the extra in by eating fruit. I love stone fruit and the peaches and plums are just wonderful right now. I buy several, thinking I have fruit for the week and then need to get more because I have already eaten it all. And I am finding that food planning is working well to give me varied meals which are healthy and tasty.

I am also doing really well on the no-chocolate front. I have not had any chocolate in any form since last Tuesday, so that is 6 days now. I did use the fruit those first couple of days for some extra sweetness and that helped. I also had a bad headache last week from giving up the chocolate and associated sugar, I have not had any biscuits or cake or other sweets either, but the headache passed and I am eating well and am satisfied.

The biggest food challenge of the week was at a birthday party yesterday. I had my snacks before arriving, chewed gum and and drank water. And I did not eat anything while I was there, not even chcolate brownie cake. Fortunately, I have had this brownie in my past and I know how wonderful it is so I did not need to taste it to learn that. (This is a trick I use sometimes at parties. If I have had something before, I don’t need to have it again, I would rather try something new if there is something new than have something that I know; even if that something is really good. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.)

I am saying my positive affirmation frequently and I think it is a good thing for me; I think it is helping with my motivation and general attitude.

And one new thing from last week is that I started reading my text book for the course I am about to start. Last year I decided to start studing nutrition formally. I find it so interesting and it will help me learn more about getting healthy and staying that way. It might be something I could move into career wise but I have now set plans there. I enrolled in course and classes start in March, all online with assignments and exams. I am doing two subjects this semester and I picked up one of the textbooks last week. I started reading and I am enjoying it. I am thinking again about why I eat what I do, about my choices and whether they could be better; what changes I could make to improve my diet. I am comparing my old diet to my new diet as well and I am really encouraged as the changes I have made seem to be very sensible ones. This bodes well for the future.

This coming week I am going to do more of the same. Eat well, plan meals, exercise consistently but not excessively, keep reading and thinking. I also want to cook something new and write it up. It is an age since I have posted a new recipe here here… I will see how the week progresses on that front.

January Review – Febuary Commitment

There were some great things in January and some less than ideal things. And I am frustrated that I am recording a weight gain for the month rather than a weight loss. But to not report the gain would be a bad sign… it would mean that I was continuing in denial rather than facing up to my poor decisions.

In January I had committed to eating well, doing my Up and Running workouts 3 times a week and reading one book about self acceptance and thinking about it.

I did my Up and Running Workouts consistently. I am now doing a series called Bridge to 10K which builds on the 5K course by providing workouts that are challenging but aimed at the 5K distance, improving stamina and time. The longest workout in terms of distance I did was 7.3km which took 57 minutes and I ran about 40 minutes of that time. They are hard and more challenging than I would devise on my own but I trust Julia Jones, the running coach who devised them and so I would argue with myself to push through to the end of the workout. And that sense of satisfaction when I am done is amazing.

I read Karen Anderson’s book called ‘After (the before and after)’ about her journey towards self acceptance on her weight loss journey. It was listening to Karen talk to Shauna Reid and Carla Birnberg on the Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone podcast last year that inspired me to look at my own issues around self acceptance. The book was not quite what I was looking for but was a good place for me to start. I started building a personal affirmation which reflects where I am now that I can use in a meditative way. I thought about different aspects of myself, especially those that are the negative voices in my head and how I can talk to those aspects of me and not let them hold me back. But these things did not become habit and I realise while writing that I have not thought of them in the last 2 weeks or so… the two weeks which coincide with my poor eating choices.

So why did my eating go off the rails? It did, obviously as I had started losing weight and now I have ended up with a net gain for the month. There are many reasons
– pushed myself too hard with exercise and did not eat enough which meant that I got really hungry and overate to compensate
– then I dropped the exercise a little (back to my 3 workouts a week) but still did not manage to balance energy in with the exercise
– stress about money and using food to avoid dealing with the money issues
– going to decaf coffee. I decided I wanted to reduce my caffeine intake. I was having two large (mug sized) espresso coffees a day plus 2 mugs of black tea. Over two weeks I transitioned to decaf coffee and kept the black tea. But I realised on the weekend that I am not reaching for sweet things to give myself a mental boost – especially at work. I need to find another way to manage less caffeine.
– feeling very virtuous after the first two weeks because I did so well, especially at a lunch with friends where I chose to leave 2 slices of pizza on my plate. The old feelings of entitlement came back with a vengence that night and I had chocolate.
– work has been really busy. It is not stressful like my last job but I am so busy and focussed on the tasks at hand that reaching for an extra snack helps get me through.
– I stopped tracking food, I stopped weighing myself on the scales every couple days, I stopped saying my affirmations which remind me of the big picture.

I need to think about all these things, the lessons I can learn, the ways I can manage stress and work pressures better. I hope that in learning I can start making better choices.

So today I got on the scales and that third number is back. Weight this morning was 100.3kg.

Fact. Information. Move on.
(I will try not to beat myself up for too long)

So, that was January. I made some really good progress in terms of exercise and building tools to help me on the journey. I stuck to my eating plan for the first two weeks but it was not enough for the intensity of exercise. And the last two weeks contained alot of poor food choices. I am not back where I started because my consistency with running has improved and I have some tools that I can pick up again.

February…

One of the things I ate in January was chocolate, too much chocolate. When I eat chocolate I want more chocolate. Maybe not immediately but the next day and the next day. It triggers bad eating habits for me and they cycle in a negative way. I need it to stop. February will be the month of no chocolate.

I will take steps toward selling my unit which will lead to sorting out my money a little better.

I will continue with 3 Up and Running Workouts a week but will not run on other days. I need to find a balance with exercise and food and running 5 days in a row upsets that balance.

I will track food and aim for 9000kJ a day. I will report my weight every week on Monday; I like that extra bit of accountability. I will aim for a loss of 3kg in the month.

I will work on my affirmation again and I will say it every morning when I get up. I will reread After and think some more.

I will keep going. There is no end to the journey, there are many small steps. There is today, there is far off. There is continuing.

my weekly report

I have had a good week. I have averaged 8780kJ a day over the last week, I exercised on 5 days, doing a total of 25.4km in 3 hours 46 minutes. My exercise time is down from what I was doing last year but the intensity has gone up because of the running. I have been doing some reading and some thinking. I met my commitment to myself to eat well, exercise and do some head work. So, it was a very good week. There were some stress points but I did not use food to manage the stress. I also had an unstructured day yesterday with a big brunch and then two light snacks and then dinner but I tracked the food and I did not use it as an excuse to over eat. So, I am really happy with that. The number on the scale is down 2.2 kg (4.8 lbs) from last week! I am almost back to my lowest weigh in for last year and that makes me feel good. I know it is a large weight loss for one week; some of it I attribute to the week before (my stress eating last weekend impacted weigh in). It is also still a ‘starting out’ weigh but it is alot for one week.

This coming week I have a couple of social events that I will plan for but I think they will be ok given what they are and who they are with. I have my exercise booked in, I have meals planned and most of the shopping done. I will keep reading and thinking. I will try and eat a little bit more to bring it up to 9000kJ a day. I want to keep the weight loss steady and so it needs to be slower.

My running is going well. I had some good times this past week and I think I might try running 5K this coming weekend as a timed run. When I ran 5K late last year it was without good eating or consistent training leading up to it. Some of the Up and Running girls have been talking about 12 races in 2012 – be that virtual or actual races. I like that idea and as I will be away the last weekend in January I thought I could try next weekend. I will see how the week goes.

I got a call from the Get Healthy Program last week. I knew the call was coming – it was my 12 month follow up call – but I thought it would be a couple of weeks away. It was really good to report in to them. The Get Healthy Program is run by the state/territory govts in Australia and provides free phone coaching over a period of 6 months on healthy living to people living in those states and territories. I signed up in January last year for the additional support and I really enjoyed the calls from my coach. I agreed to do the followup call as part of the research on the program itself. I think it is important that programs get information from the participants so they can try to assess if the program met the objectives. There were questions about food/exercise/planning/motivation and weight and waist circumferance. I felt so strong and positive in that conversation. I haven’t finished this journey yet but I have come so far. I know that having those check in calls last year did help my motivation and commitment. I highly reccomend getting as much support as you can, be it a group, family or friends, online forums or govt sponsored programs. Wouldn’t it be a good thing if we could be there for each other as we walk our own paths to better health?

Weekly wrap

The past week was really quite good now I look back. I had a great time doing the Up and Running workouts… I write that and I wonder at who this girl is who loves running!!! Anyway, the workouts this week were hard and pushed me and I saw myself improve in the week as my body got used to regularly exercising and eating well again. It was just so good to see. I did my longest workout yet in terms of distance with 7.3km in 57 minutes, which included a total of 5.8km of running. I was so proud of that workout and I was tired afterwards 🙂 And I loved having the stats from my garmin to see how I did over the different segments. Overall last week I had 2 rest days and did 6 workouts with a total of 29.2 km. Yes, I did two on one day because I had my new toy and I was trying it out.

My eating was pretty much spot on all week as well after starting on Tuesday. I felt better for eating properly. My energy levels were good, I enjoyed the food and I wasn’t hungry or feeling like I was missing anything. It was like I slipped back into the way I was eating last year and that felt normal. It was a big relief to just fall back into it so easily. I was aiming for about 9000kJ a day and averaged (over 5 days) at 8830kJ. I was interested in how my running impacted my hunger and energy needs for the day and I felt I was listening to my body and making good choices. I ate a little more on the days I ran (up to 9300kJ) and a little less on the days I didn’t (about 8500kJ). And so it averaged out and I was really happy with that. But the best part of the week with food was the awareness of how much better I felt when I eat well, when I get hungry between meals, when I listen to my body when it needs a little more and then I give it a little more of healthy food. So it was a great start to the year. The other positive thing I did over the weekend was do a meal plan for the week, go shopping, prepare foods for lunch this week and cook one meal for the freezer. This week will be easier because I have a plan and am prepared.

I did have one slip up yesterday (hence not tracking for 6 days last week)… I had not planned an outing well. I really should have thought about this one a little better. Firstly, my period started yesterday and the first 24 hours are difficult with back ache, cramping and general moodiness; after that it is usually bearable. Secondly, the outing was not quite what I expected, I was disappointed and that threw me a little. I had taken food with me that I was not planning to track and that was a bad call. I was a little tense because of the company. And so I ate the foods I was not planning to track in amounts greater than I would have eaten had I not been where I was. When I am tense, I eat to help me relax because having a full belly means comfort and security. I know this is how my brain works. So, what do I do next time? Think about the outing/event and plan the food a little better. Take chewing gum so that I can trick my brain into getting the relief from a tense situation without the calories. Do some positive self talk prior to the event. Continue working on my issues around self acceptance. I can’t do much about the timing with hormones but I can have painkillers with me if I need them.

The slip up was half of one day. And in the scheme of a week it isn’t much, in the scheme of a month it is only a a moment. I was frustrated this morning when I stepped on the scales and did not see as large a loss as I would have liked. But now, looking at the whole week and knowing what happened yesterday, I can accept it and move on. I had a relly good week with food and exercise and I am happy. The number box on the floor was down 0.8kg (almost 2bs) from last week and I am satisfied with that. I feel that it is a pretty accurate reflection of how the week went.

I also decided what to read to help me in the area of self acceptance. I will read Karen Anderson’s “After: (the before and after)”. I chose this book because it is Karen who partly inspired me to look at self acceptance from her discussion with Shauna Reid and Carla Birnberg on the podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone in episode 27. (Insert Plug for the podcast Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone: Love your work, Shauna and Carla!!!) Listening to that podcast again late last year made me first realise there was work I could do in this space. Without having something on the shelf that spoke to me on this issue, without knowing where else to go, not wanting to spend hours browsing book shelves in shops (although that can be fun), I decided to go back to the original prompt and start there. I have a starting point.

A new week awaits. New training plans, a food plan and a commitment to making healthy choices today.

First Anniversary Post

Happy First Anniversary to my changed life!

It seems like such a long time ago and also just like yesterday.

This time last year, I started out tracking my food, working out an exercise plan and writing about my journey to lose weight. I was excited and scared but I was determined!

link to first entry

Taking a long view of my first year*

Starting weight 3 January 2011: 140.9 kg (310 lbs)
Today’s weight 3 January 2012: 99.7 kg (218.5 lbs)

Total weight lost: 41.6 kg (91.5 lbs)
% starting weight lost: 29.5%

Measurements January 2011: Bust 130cm, Waist 137 cm, Hips 141 cm
Measurements January 2012: Bust 108cm, Waist 109 cm, Hips 121 cm

It was such a big year. I still have a long way to go but I am over half way to my goal weight. I am a smaller size now then when I left school in 1992. Things have certainly changed for the better around here 🙂 And I have really enjoyed writing about it and will continue to do so.

Here is to the second year, continued health, strength and improved fitness.

*raises glass*

* My lowest weight was 95kg at the beginning of December. December was a bad month for me – there was alot of stress and I ate to cope. So, I am back up a little. But I stayed under 100kg and I am happy about that. Now is not the time to fret about the gain. I can learn from the poor stress management but it is time to look forward.