Sunday, March 24, 2013

Vacation and what happens now...

Oh, how I love vacations! I have been extremely blessed over the past few years to be able to take my little family on vacation. This year, we decided to go early in the Spring instead of summer when it's so hot. Which worked out fine. We did a ton of walking in Atlanta because the weather was so nice. Things didn't start cooling down and raining until the last day in Pensacola.

This is the first time I have ever went on vacation and really TRIED to stick to a strict plan of eating. At times, I feel like I started obsessing. At times, it really stressed me out. But overall, I think I did ok. The first night I had soul food from a famous place in Atlanta (Mary Mac's Tea Room). The next day I picked at Chinese food (but it was horrible and not worth it). The third day we at dinner at a buffet in Tallahassee and I tried to choose lean meat and lots of veggies. But the last full day (in Pensacola) was where things went downhill.

I was able to cook breakfast at my sis-in-law's that morning, and between the drive to Pensacola and the beach and shopping, it was 9:30 p.m. before we had dinner. Other than a few snacks while driving to the beach early in the day, I hadn't eat. So I was hungry. And tired. And cranky. And my kids were on my nerves.

So I ordered a chicken pot pie and sweet potato fries from O'Charley's. And I convinced myself that it was the last night of vacation and I deserved it. And I enjoyed it SO much.

But the next morning I got up and at the leftovers for breakfast. And then proceeded to eat two blueberry muffins from the hotel's continental breakfast bar... Don't even ask me why I did that. I don't know why I lost my sanity. Muffins???? Where in the hell are they on my plan?

So on the way home, I was damned near emotional about the muffins. So at a stop at McDonald's for some coffee and fast food for the kids, I ordered a BIG MAC. Yes, you read that right. A BIG MAC. (And it was just as good as I knew it would be.)

I knew my day had officially gone to hell. And I began to panic.

What did this mean? Am I off the wagon? Am I out of control? Will I be able to get control back? Oh, God... please help me. I can not fail this time. I HAVE to get back on track.

So after the 7-hour drive home, the kids were chillin' and I read on Facebook that a good friend of mine was at our local Chili's having a 'rita. So I decided to join her. Because a margarita could only make this day better, right?

I had my margarita, but my friend and I also talked about the 60 lbs that she has lost recently, and I was instantly re-inspired to get my butt in gear. I knew that Sunday, March 23, 2013 was just a bump in the road. I knew that I would wake up on today, get back on plan, and keep moving forward.

And that's exactly what has happened.

But the crazy thing, is that when I stepped on the scale this morning (to assess the damage), this is what I saw...

How could it be? I'm back down to my lowest weight from the beginning of March. The four pound gain that I've been stuck with is gone. I stepped on the scale about 20 times... even moved it to different places around my room. 278 to 279.4 was the number each time. I've been stuck at 282.

Soooo, that was definitely motivating. Today, I have eaten clean and drank a ton of water. My plan is to stick to fish and veggies for lunch and dinner this week, and eggs/protein powder/veggies for breakfast. Five days straight. As a sort of detox. Because on Good Friday I'm hitting the road again for Missouri for Easter. And it's going to be lots of food temptation, as well as emotional stuff going on because I'll be seeing my mother. With Alzheimer's I never know what to expect, but either way it's so emotionally draining. I'll have a plan for my food before I leave town, and it should be easy since I'll be staying with my sister and we mostly eat in. I'll figure it out.

So here's to a great day back on track! Tomorrow I'll be back at the gym and I'm SO excited!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hitting a wall...

This morning, I really felt compelled to write... to pour out all my frustrations and to get out my feelings via this blog.

I'm frustrated. I've hit a wall. 

A plateau? So soon?

I mean, I knew that getting past 270 would be hard, but hell... I can't permanently stay away from 280!

Two weeks ago, I dipped down to 278. I was thrilled! But just a few days later, the scale was back at 283. I laughed it off... I'd had a little too much to drink at Bunco, ate some salty dip. But no biggie. Lots of water and clean eating would have that 5 lbs off in no time! Right?

Um... no. The scale has been between 280-281 for over a week.

What. The. Hell?

Thing is... I don't feel like I'm doing anything wrong. I have kicked up my exercise... instead of 3-4 days per week, I'm exercising 5-6 days. It may not be at the gym, but I'm hiking, walking, and even doing Wii Fit. I'm drinking plenty of water. I'm eating clean. I'm still sugar-free and mostly low-carb. Eating fruit, veggies and lean meat. I've cut my wine intake to a couple of days a week when I've had a very low-carb day. I have cut down on eating out.

But the scale still won't budge.

But... I'm getting to the point where I don't care what the damned thing says.

I KNOW that I've made permanent changes that are positively impacting my overall health. My size 18/20 clothes still fit. Not just from Lane Bryant, but from other stores (I went to try on clothes to make sure). I FEEL amazing... I don't get out of breath, my indigestion/heart burn is gone. My self-esteem is up. And I just feel better about myself and my life. I'm happy.

But the scale pisses me off. It makes me doubt. It makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong? Will the weight loss just STOP? What if eating healthy and exercise isn't enough?

Right now, I'm happy with my overall diet. I eat clean. I'm satisfied. No sugar cravings or binging. I could truly eat like this for the rest of my life. But what if it's not enough? Do I need to starve myself, or do something else extreme? I really don't want to... I want this to be enough. I know I can keep this up, and everything else just leads to failure.

I don't want to fail at this. Never again.

So as of TODAY, I'm putting the scale away for a little while. I don't need the doubt and negative feelings.

I am going on vacation tomorrow, and that itself makes me feel a little unsure. I don't PLAN on eating bad, but it's hard when you're on the road with four kids and your food is not entirely in your control. I'm taking plenty of meal bars and healthy snacks. I'm not entirely worried, but I am going to be careful. My one rule and guideline that I will not break is no sweets, no bread. Those rules help me stay in control. Otherwise, I will have fun and won't be stressed about food.

Honestly, the food part doesn't rule my life anymore. But why do I still let the scale and that stupid number get to me? Habit, I guess. The scale should be a tool... that's it. But for me, it's so much more. And I have to get a grip on that. But I'm really disappointed that I probably won't meet my 10-lb goal for March...

I found out a few days ago that a good friend of mine has cancer. My heart breaks for her and her sweet family. But it is just one more reminder that life is short, and it's not guaranteed. Good health should not be taken for granted. At the end of the day, this journey is about health. Mental and physical health. It's not abot wearing a size 10, or getting to a certain number on the scale. It's about being healthy enough to live he fullest life I can for ME. It's about loving myself enough to make sacrifices and to get control of bad habits that I've carried around for a lifetime. I'm worth it. Finally, I see that.

So, with my true intentions in mind and reaffirmed, I am going to enjoy my vacation. I am going to LIVE and remember that I now lead a healthy lifestyle. I'm going to pay attention to the food I use to fuel my body. And I'm going to move as much as possible (there's a gym at my hotel!). Next week, I'm going to continue to eat clean, drink my water, and exercise. I'm going to pay attention to my food and eliminate the occassional salty snacks and diet soda. I'm going to increase the amount of veggies I eat, and continue to drink plenty of water.

I will not be discouraged. And I believe that I can get past this plateau.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

13 weeks... Pushing through

Tuesday marked my 13 week milestone of being sugar-free/low-carb. It's been an amazing journey so far. I've learned so much about myself and my relationship with food over the past few months... it's been mind-blowing at times. But I'm having a good time.

I've lost a little over 40 lbs in that time. So, basically, I'm holding steady at that 10-lb per month goal I made. In December (when I first started), I lost 20 lbs, then 10 lbs in January and 10 lbs in February. At first, I was a little disappointed in that. But now, I'm happy. 10 lbs per month is great. 

I'm over that "race to the finish" mentality. Yes, I would love to lose the weight really fast. But, I gained it over 36 years of my life, slowly getting it off is okay. As long as it's coming off! And really, 10 lbs per month is not all that slow. At this rate, I'll pretty could still lose 100 lbs before the year is up! That's amazing to just think about being at GOAL by 2014. I'm so ready.

The past month has been different... I'm starting to feel "comfortable" with my eating. It's feeling like a lifestyle. I'm not scared (as much) any more. I've had a little bread/white flour slips, but nothing to freak out about. The one thing that I'm holding strong on is NO SUGARY FOOD OR SWEETS. I just really feel like that will knock me off a cliff. I'm just not willing to go there. I won't take that chance... it's just not worth it.

I've also been consistent wth exercise. I'm still enjoying the group fitness classes, and make it to the gym at least 3-4 days per week. I know that's not hard core, but it's a great thing for me and my crazy schedule. I'm actually looking forward to having the next two weeks off for Spring Break so I can exercise more. I'm planning on doing a 5K in April, so I really want to get out and walk/jog more. It feels great to be moving again.

I've also logged/tracked my food for 80 days in a row on My Fitness Pal. I am not crazy strict with calories, but I do find that it keeps my focused and on-track if I am able to look at my calories/fat/carbs/protein. I'm still trying to stay under 100 carbs daily, and I try to shoot for 80-100 grams of protein daily. My net calories usually fall anywhere between 1200-1700. I'm satisfied, and I don't really crave sugar at all anymore. If I'm hungry, I eat. But if I'm not hungry, I don't eat. I just try to listen to my body.

Now that I'm 40 lbs down, I'm finally able to tell a difference in my body and clothes. Remember those size 20 "goal jeans" that have been in my closet for the past 3 years? I can wear them now! Comfortably. No muffin top! I'm wearing them in the photo on the right, with a size 14/16 top from Lane Bryant. The pants on the left are new ones that I bought in a size 20. They fit perfect!

So my goal for March is to keep pushing through! I'm currently at 278ish, and I REALLY want to break through to the 260's with no plateaus. In 2003, and again in 2009 when I lost considerable weight, I hit a huge plateau at around 270. I don't want that to happen this time, and plan to work my butt off to stay focused on eating and exercise so that won't happen.

My biggest problem right now is that I've relaxed enough that I feel like I'm eating out too much. I make great choices when I eat out (fish, veggies, etc) most of the time, but it's still not as good as if I were cooking or preparing my meals at home. When I first started in December/January, I was scared to death to eat out. Now, I go out to eat all the time. I've also started to indulge in alcohol again (Vodka tonics and/or red wine)... I must also stop that. In my own insane way, I realize I might be trying to self-sabaoge as usual. Just in a different way.

So now I'm putting it out there, so I know my blog and Facebook friends will keep me accountable. I am so appreciative of the network of people that I have that support and encourage me every day. People that I know in real life, and people that I only know online. It's great! And I am thankful!