Category Archives: Exercise

A Quick Check-In

Happy Easter my friends!

Good things are going on in my life and I have so much I want to write about right now.  I just don’t have time right now to do any of it justice, so the more detailed posts will have to wait.  Here’s some of what has been going on:

  • My dairy-free diet, although not yet perfect, is coming along quite well and I am seeing many positive changes in my health and happiness.  I plan to continue this well beyond the four months suggested by my Dr. and will be adding other healthy eating habits as well.
  • I was spiritually fed by the recent General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I felt like so many of the talks were given for my benefit and that I can incorporate so much from what I have learned.  I’m looking forward to re-watching and reading them over and over.
  • I’ve been able to be more active lately.  Although I still have flares from the Fibromyalgia, I’m learning how to read my body and adjust my activity to minimize the issues that arrive from the flare.  It gives me great hope for additional improvement as I continue to learn.
  • I’ve been making some strides with my personal budget management and debt reduction plan and it is SO LIBERATING!  Debt really is bondage and I’m so hopeful that I can overcome my bad decisions of the past.

and OH SO MUCH MORE.  Hopefully I’ll have some time in the near future to share more.

Have a great day!

Challenges and Rewards

Are you goal setters? I try to be. Throughout all my years of trying to lose weight, I’ve used setting goals, joining competition, etc. as a way to help myself be accountable–a way to keep my desired outcome in the forefront of my mind.  I like a good challenge.

I’ve decided not to wait for January 1 to set a New Years resolution.  Beginning today I commit to exercising 6 days a week, improving my eating habits, and putting my health first on my list of priorities.  I know it will be a work in progress, but my intent is to see marked improvement weekly.

Because I tend to do better when I have something I’m striving for, I’ve decided to set up a reward for myself.  Yes, I know.  Getting healthy is reward enough, but on those days when I really want to eat a whole pumpkin pie or when the fibromyalgia is raging and I’m so exhausted that getting out of bed is a chore, I need something extraneous to get me through.  Normally I would just set a goal of something like “I want to lose 4 pounds a week.”  I’ve decided that setting a specific weekly goal is probably not in my best interest.  I know from previous attempts that counting calories and knowing how many I burn usually can accurately predict what my weekly outcome will be….if I look at it over time.  However, I have proven time and time again that a 16 pound weight loss over 4 weeks will not present itself as 4 pounds per week—even if that is what all of the number say.  Week one might be 8 pounds with week 2 being only 1 and so on.  So….I’m leaving those numbers to do what they may.  While I may have a goal of losing 60 pounds over the next 90 days I will measure my success in the following ways:

  1. Did I log my food and stay within the 1500 calorie range?
  2. Did I drink my Shakeology?
  3. Did I do my scheduled Turbo Fire exercise?
  4. Did I get adequate sleep?
  5. Did I interact with my accountability group on facebook?
  6. Was I kind to myself?

If I can make it through the next 90 days honestly feeling like I could answer that I did my very best to do those things listed above, I’ve arranged a little reward for myself. 🙂 Exciting!

I’m not sure if any of you know that I LOVE piano music.  I could listen to Jim Brickman, David Nevue, George Winston, John Schmidt, and Paul Cardall all day, every day.  There is just something about listening to piano music that soothes my soul and reminds me that there is God and beauty in everything.

Well, Jim Brickman is coming to Logan in February—a few weeks after the end of my 90 day goal.  I was going to purchase a couple of tickets and invite a friend when it struck me..this should be my reward.  So, instead of purchasing two, lower cost tickets, I purchased a box seat.  Just one.  And….If I meet my goals, I will take myself to a fabulous concert.  If I don’t, I will be giving that ticket away.  Hopefully someone else out there won’t mind going to a concert alone (although that won’t really be necessary as I will be going to that concert—because I’m totally going to rock these goals).

As a side note, how ironic is it that I will be going to a concert titled “An evening of romance” all by myself?  It sort of makes me smile. 🙂  I don’t really mind going to things like concerts or movies or out to eat alone.  I also think it is a bit symbolic.  It has been a really long time since I’ve allowed myself to entertain thoughts of dating or being in a relationship.  I think that my weight has been one of those things I’ve used to protect myself from repeating mistakes and bad choices in that arena.  I mean, I’m not really going to mess things up, get in abusive relationships, or choose the wrong guy if I never date, right?  And I’m so much less likely to date if I make myself as unattractive as possible, right? (100’s of posts I don’t really want to write lurking in here).  However, I’ve decided it’s time to get over myself and open up to the possibility of ….. more.  Perhaps this will be just the stepping stone to get me moving in that direction.

Inspiration

I want to introduce you to the blog of a woman from my gym.  She is just starting out on a path to better health and is blogging her efforts.  She is brave for sharing her struggles. And, I think the folks at the gym are awesome for helping and encouraging her.  I’ve never met a better bunch of fitness professionals and I know my experience has always been that they are so sincerely interested in the members well-being.  I have benefited from it many times over.

One of the great things that has come to me by blogging my own efforts to lose weight and get healthy is having the support of my friends and family.  Those I know in person as well as those I’ve met here on line have made such a difference for me.  I hope you take a moment to stop by and cheer her on!

I don’t know her in person yet, although I think we may have had a conversation in the locker room this morning about swim wear.  If that was this lady she is charming and sweet.  I look forward to getting to know her better.

Good luck my new friend!

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Find out what it means to me….(lalalalala…you know I always have a song in my head 🙂 ).

I don’t even recall what got me thinking about this lately, but my mind keeps wandering back to thoughts about the tie between what we value (or purport to value) and how we utilize our related resources.   Perhaps it came from recently viewing the movie “In Time” (which I highly recommend—I saw it ten days ago and I still find myself thinking about it).  In the movie, people stopped aging at 25 and their currency was time. They were paid for their work in time (actual hours that appeared in a digital clock in their arm).  They paid for their life’s necessities with time. If they ran out of time—they died.  How they used their time and making sure they always had enough time was life or death.  There was a great disparity between those who had a lot of time and those who lived day to day. (I have to admit it also got me thinking about our actual currency and the difference in our current society between those who have and those who have not and the pathway for improving ones position or squandering ones resources—but that is a different post for a different day.)

Time is our one great equalizer.  Everyone gets the same 24 hours in their day.  We can’t bank it.  We can’t give it to someone else. We can’t borrow it.  It is ours and it is fleeting.  Which turned my thoughts to whether or not I appreciate the time I’m given and if how I use that time shows the appropriate respect to both the time I have available and the things I want to accomplish—the person I want to be.

How we choose to spend our time is a great indicator of what and who we value in our lives.  Am I giving the proper respect via my use of time and resources to those things and people that matter most to me?  I say that my faith and relationship with God is my most high priority, but do I give it the proper respect via the time that I dedicate to prayer, learning, and service?   When was the last time that regular consistent fervent prayer was really a part of my daily life? Do I study the word of God regularly? Do I serve in my church callings and my fellowmen with happiness or do I murmur?

I say I want to get out of debt, but do I really show my hard-earned money the proper respect by how I choose to use it?  Do I sometimes (or often) spend without thinking about my long-term plan and showing respect to this valuable resource?  Am I more interested in immediate gratification or in the big picture?

I’m basically obsessed with losing weight and improving my health.  Is this reflected by how I utilize the time available to me? Do I respect this amazing body that God has given me by feeding it healthy nutritious food or do I drown it repeatedly in diet Mountain Dew and other less healthful foods?  Do I get adequate sleep? Do visit the dentist as often as I should? Do I exercise appropriately in relation to how much I value a healthy body?

I value my personal relationships. I think I do a bit better in this area than in most, but am I really doing the best that I can?  Would I be further ahead to, on occasion, turn the T.V. off and go visit someone I love?  Do I know more about what is going on with Castle or the people on Survivor than I do about my brother, or my niece, or my friend?

Do I nurture those talents that I know I have been blessed with, or do I squander this precious gift either by wasting my time or doubting my abilities? Doubt and fear often cause me to be tentative and let time slip away while I’m questioning my abilities.

These are just some things that I have been thinking about lately.  If I were to give myself a grade on how well I do with showing the appropriate respect to the things I value and to the time that I am given, I would have to say that I’m well below average.  Too much T.V.  Not enough planning-which allows me and my time/money/resources to be influenced by and shift with the tide, the wind and anyone with a stronger agenda/plan in place.

But, that is the one great thing about time.  Once it is spent, there are no refunds—but if you haven’t used it yet, you can change your plan and utilize it better.  Luckily we don’t get additional time based on how well we have used our previous time. We do get to start fresh everyday with a new 24 hours.  Money’s a little tougher, but with time and commitment the mistakes can be corrected.

Does my use of time/money/resources reflect what I value? Am I using them in a way that helps me be the best version of myself?  If not, am I willing to change it? How can I best show respect for those things I value?

I’ll be thinking about this a lot.  If you have any insights I would love to hear them.

Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time.  Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ~M. Scott Peck

Discouraged!

I’m discouraged today friends.  I don’t want to be whiney or prattle on with all the reasons (which just sound like excuses to me) for my current state of discouragement, but I’m going to.

I felt really good yesterday.  I pushed myself to do more with my exercise. It wasn’t easy in the moment.  I was very aware of my size and my limitations.  I’m not usually one who shy’s away from working out in a group because I’m not Barbie-doll skinny or not able to keep up with the choreography.  I just do the best I can and anyone who doesn’t like it can look elsewhere or leave.  They don’t get to choose whether or not I participate.

Last night was different.  Last night it felt like I was the star in the Fat Girl Follies. So in addition to not being able to keep up and being very aware of how much ground I’ve lost in my abilities over the past three years, I’m fighting the added mental fatigue that goes along with feeling like a walking joke—like I don’t and I can’t . . . everything.

To top it off, I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a train and knowing that this kind of soreness is not the kind of soreness that I used to have after a workout—my body has changed.  Whether age or fibromyalgia or a combination of both, my body responds differently now than it ever has before to everything physical I do, and it makes me so sad.

What I now need to do is realize what my limits are and live right at that precipice until it changes (and it will—I have hope that it will).  I need to be consistent in doing just as much exercise as I am able—every day—but not going over that limit so that I am able to do it again the next day.  If I do that, the fatigue I feel won’t be more than I can handle and it is more important that I have shorter, maybe less intense, CONSISTENT exercise than that I overdo it and am only able to exercise every 10 days because I feel so sick in the interim.

As much as I may want to or feel like there is no other choice than to sit in the corner and cry while eating an entire jar of peanut butter and watching reruns of The Biggest Loser, I need to pick myself up and realize that while things are not what they used to be, they are what they are, and I have the power to be my best self within these parameters.  Perhaps if I do that, the parameters will adjust and eventually the Teresa I see in my mind will actually be the Teresa of reality.  Today, reality bites!

A Mile In Our Shoes…

This weekend as I was working on a project at home, I caught the blurb on a t.v. program that was advertising what was coming up in the next segment.  I’m not sure what program was on the t.v. as I was very immersed in my project.  Before the next segment aired the channel had been changed to a football game (my brothers were helping me and so the channel was always set for their entertainment–it was the least I could do 😉 ).

In that blub about the upcoming stories there was mention of a personal trainer who was gaining weight so that he would know what his clients felt like and could show them how to lose the weight.  Interesting.  My thoughts have returned to thoughts of this all weekend.  Much to my delight I saw it also mentioned in my facebook feed this morning, so I checked it out.

Drew, a personal trainer, really is in the process of gaining as much weight as he can over the course of six months. So far — 72 pounds –and he still has 4 weeks to go.  Check out his story here.

I can see the benefit to this.  There have been times where I’ve picked a personal trainer or mentor BECAUSE I knew they had been through what I’m going through and could “relate” to me.  I’ve also had excellent luck picking trainers who haven’t ever been anything close to obese.  I have found that most people in this profession really do want to help–regardless of where your starting point is.

I guess my biggest concern would be in what he might possibly be doing to his health.  But….I’ve been obese for decades now and I’m ok, so he’ll probably be ok for the 6-8  months he is dealing with it.

It is amazing to see the change in his physical appearance and to hear about some of the things he is becoming aware of.

Check it out and let me know what you think–smart idea? crazy idea? would you be more likely to choose him as a trainer knowing he has been to the other side?

Overkill….but I LOVE it!

If a little is good, a lot is better! Right?  Well, not necessarily, but in some cases…

I’ve decided that I need constant reminders that one of my goals is to lose weight.  I need the encouragement of others.  I need to be reminded daily of what other people are doing to be successful.  I need accountability somewhere each week.  So, I’ve gone and joined two weight loss challenges and one facebook workout group.

Here’s what I’m up to:

  • The Evolve-SLC weight loss challenge:  This is a weight loss challenge headed up by my good friend Blake.  My two favorite work out buddies, Josh and Karen (more about them in a future post) joined me in this endeavor.  We started on September 10th (yes–one month down already) and have six weeks left to go.  There is a $1K prize for the highest percent of weight loss.  So far….I haven’t done the best, but it has kept me thoughtful about what is going on and I’m kicking things into high gear this week.
  • The Logan Weight Loss Challenge: This challenge was started by my friend Jenn and her friend Krista.  Every participant chipped in $20 bucks and the person with the highest percent of weight loss after 10 weeks walks away with all the cash.  We are currently in the middle of week 3.  So far…a struggle, but I’m feeling inspired and have been so grateful for the public accountability of a weekly in-person weigh in.
  • And…I’m participating with a group on a P-90X challenge on facebook.  I haven’t met any of these people in person, but have benefited from their encouragement and positivity.  Week one was very difficult for me.  Today starts week two and I’m tempted to start my workouts over as if this was week one.

My overall goal is not to “win” anything except my life and own good opinion of myself back.  Between these three groups I will have had some sort of outside accountability and encouragement for the last four months of the year.  I started September at 323 pounds.  My goal is to make it lower than 290 by the end of the year.  It is a pretty tame goal, but in light of how difficulty the addition of fibromyalgia (I’m hoping to post soon about the effects of fibro on my workouts) has made my exercise attempts I feel it is probably a more aggressive goal than it seems, but yet very doable.

So, thanks to my friends and these programs for helping me keep my goals at the forefront.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Oops I Did It Again….

well….I didn’t think I would ever audition for The Biggest Loser again, but I did.  My friend, Jodi, and I went down to the open casting call in Salt Lake City a few weeks back.  It was definitely a different experience from last July.

This time, the call was held in the Maverick Center.  They were in between ice hockey games at the arena so the ice was all prepped and ready for that evening’s game and it was C.O.L.D. up in there!  BRRRRR.  My buns are still a little frost bitten.

Last time I auditioned I was the fortunate recipient of a VIP pass–that I never had to use because there wasn’t even a line.  This time, no VIP pass and the numbers we were assigned when we arrived were 474 and 475.  I don’t recall exactly what numbers they were calling in at the time, but we were a long ways down the list.  I wasn’t too discouraged, however, because they seemed to be moving right along and there were some nice people around to talk to.

Unfortunately about 3 hours into our wait in line, the movement on our end of the arena stopped completely and the VIPs seated in the next section started pouring in.  We sat almost two hours before people from the non-VIP section were called to be interviewed.  Oh how I wished I had the coveted VIP this go around. 🙂

The interviewer we sat with this time was cute and bubbly.  She talked to us about the importance of not taking too much time with our answers or there wouldn’t be enough time for everyone to answer, and then we were off–rapid fire questions and equally as rapid answers.  At one point the casting director asked if anyone came with a partner.  Jodi and I spoke up and she light up like a light bulb–until she found out we weren’t related and then it was back to business as usual.

Looking back on this experience I can see a lot of things that I should/could have done differently.  But….it was a fun day and it is always fun to hang with Jodi. We went in on a video camera together so we could make a home tape.  I encouraged her to see if she could talk a sibling into sending in a tape with her because I think she would have a better shot with that.

At a certain point, I was unsure about sending a video in.  I mean–that’s a lot of time and effort to put into something that won’t likely work out and that even if it did would bring a whole new host of decisions that would be difficult (can I afford to chance losing my job? can I take the scrutiny from family, friends, and the general public that will come along with such an opportunity? am I really strong enough to do this?).  But, I decided that it is best to finish what I start so I threw my whole energy into it.  Was my tape great?  Probably not. But it was me and I had a good time putting it together.

The hard thing about going through this process (which is also one of the good things about going through the process) is that it really makes me think of why I want to lose weight, how I ended up here, what I really want out of life, what I’m really capable of doing.  That kind of self-introspection often leaves me tired and feeling completely overwhelmed about the situation and trapped.

The past weeks have been a struggle with that.  Then, this week a whole boat load of the current season BL cast was at Golden Corral for a meet and greet.  I wasn’t able to go, but there has a been a “Biggest Loser” buzz in the air in Cache Valley this week.  I heard on the radio that Rulon’s gym is doing a 12-week boot camp that starts on Monday.  I called and got all of the info about it.  Unfortunately, I just can’t justify the cost.  I don’t know how I would pay for it.

But it has me thinking…..I’ve been seriously working on losing weight for the past 5 years.  I know what to do.  I have a lot of resources available that won’t cost me a lot more (if any more) than just my current (fairly inexpensive) gym membership.  I am strong and capable.  I can do this!  I can do this!!

D is for Decide

Yes.  I wrote a post about being consistent and then went totally off the map.  Not very consistent.   Not what I wanted this series of posts to be like.  But hey, life happens and I’ve been dealing with a lot lately.  Which brings me to our friend “D” is for Decision.

I’ve been mulling this over for a few days while I’ve also been mulling over some decisions that I need to make.  In doing so I came across three quote that speak well to my thoughts on why making an actual decision is important.  They are:

Indecision is the thief of opportunity–Jim Rohn

Indecision is often worse than wrong action.–Henry Ford

The indispensable first step to getting everything you want out of life is this:  decide what you want.–Ben Stein

I’m a dreamer.  I think about what I want all the time.  I picture different scenarios in my mind and think about different options.  I even play out various outcomes in my mind–complete with interactions and dialogues.  Don’t get me wrong, dreaming is important.  Dreaming helps us figure out what it is we want.  I get stuck, however, in the place between the dream and the reality far too often.

Decision is the catalyst that moves us to action.  I can want to be fit and healthy until the cows come home (I think they are close–I smelled them last night–or perhaps that was just the dairy down the street) but until I make an actual decision about how I’m going to act, what I’m going to do, what my attitude will be–nothing will ever change.

I have decided that even though I’m not feeling well right now (doctors, tests, and long stories here that I’ve decided I just don’t want to get into here) there are things I can do to make my situation better.  I have decided to:

  • get up every morning, put a smile on my face, and have a FANTASTIC day
  • exercise regularly (I even got up at 6 a.m. this morning to exercise and I feel GREAT)
  • eat healthy things, not too much of them, and LEAVE THE CRAP ALONE (nuff said)
  • be honest with myself and give myself a break when it is really warranted, but stop giving myself an easy ride down the path of least resistence
  • put my health first

So far (and I realize it’s been a mere 14 hours since this decision was made) I feel like a new person.  Making those few decisions listed above has freed me from the bad space I’ve been in lately.  Do I still feel like I was run over by a truck?  Yes.  But somehow, it doesn’t seem so bad today.  Am I hungry and wanting to reach out to food for comfort? Yes, but I have a bag load of good nutritious things to eat in the fridge and I’m sticking with that plan.

I’m no longer willing to let my inaction, my lack of commitment, and my presumed inability to decide what is best for me rob me of the person I am supposed to be.

 

C is for Consistency

I’m learning that sometimes the things that help us the most–that we need-are the things that seem so small and insignificant.  Yes.  It would be grand to focus our time and efforts only on the things that are larger than life and amazing and noticed by everyone around.  But….it’s hard to maintain any kind of momentum for the long-term focusing only on the fireworks and neglecting rest.

I see this a lot in my life, and not just in the area surrounding my health and fitness.  Perhaps it is just the way I’m wired, but I get bored easily.  I want things now. While that mindset allows me to jump right in to new projects and things that might seem overwhelming to others, it often leads me to leap from one thing to another, one plan to another, one schedule to another (picture a dog chasing its tail) with the only outcome being frustration.

This was brought home to me this week.  I’ve been working with a former (and now current) trainer since the first of the year utilizing his online personal training service.  Say hi to Blake (hi Blake).  (I have a whole other post brewing going into detail about what he has me doing, etc. so I’ll save that for another day.)  Earlier this week, I was reporting my food to him and made the comment that I had eaten the same old vegetarian chili as other days–that I was boring.  His response was just what I needed to hear.  He said, “Boring is good because it’s consistent. Some people think that healthy eating has to be elaborate…I disagree. I have my staple healthy foods that I eat day in and day out which I love! It’s good to get creative on occasion but consistency is WAY more important.”

Consistency is way more important than flash. I need to quit making things harder than they need to be and just get into  a routine that utilizes a few simple things, both with eating and exercise, that I know work for me.

I’ve already shown that I can do it.  After all, my poor eating habits and lack of exercise are the result of consistently doing the wrong things. Habits.  Consistently doing the same things.  That is what got me here.  That is what will get me to where I want to be.