Moving

I’m trying to simplify my life and am going to transfer this weightloss blog to my old art of invisibility home. If things go well I’ll be deleting big fat loser at the end of the month. Then new/old address is artofinvisibility.wordpress.com I hope you’ll visit me there!

Formal contest over but I’m still going

Last Friday marked the end of my 4th Ultimate Loser program and while pound-wise it was my least successful, emotionally I feel that this was my best UL yet.

When I started 8 weeks ago, I set goals to make sure that I exercised and changed my diet in a sustainable way. In the past, I have been so completely burnt out by week 8 that all I want to do is order an extra-large pizza and sleep. However, this time I’m still good to continue working out and eating sensibly. All because I took it easier this time.

Not to say that I didn’t work… I did. Hard. Getting up every morning at 5:30 to spend an hour sweating (and often vomiting ;-) ) is work but I found as time went on getting up was easier and I looked forward to getting my blood moving for the day. I’ve improved my mile time, by quite a bit, even though I was exercising fewer hours a day.  I also didn’t count calories as strictly as before. During past UL’s I kept my caloric intake to 1300-1400 calories a day and spent a lot of time dreaming about what I would eat when it was over. I would even shop for forbidden things and store them in my cupboards so I could eat them the second my 8 weeks were finished. I lost a lot of weight in 8 weeks but I also gained a lot of it back. This time I allowed myself more freedom. I had 1 free day a week where I didn’t keep track (at all) and I let myself have the occasional treat. I still lost weight, most weeks, but at a more modest rate and I’m okay with that.

So, I didn’t lose the 30 pounds of I’d lost in past competitions but I feel like I can keep going over the summer. I ended with a 4.2 pound loss during the final week bringing my total to 15 pounds lost. I have a long way to go before I start feeling like I’m looking any better but I feel better and emotionally I’m still raring to go.

And that, my friends, is Progress.

This posts for you Ash.

My baby sister has issued an ultimatum to me that she won’t update her blog until I do. What she fails to acknowledge is that the life of a 14 year old girl yields better blog fodder than that of a 35 year old woman.

Yes, I’m still alive and I’m still plugging away at the monstrous weight loss demon that plagues me. The last 6-ish weeks have been okay. My original goal to taking it easier so I wouldn’t burn out at the end of this session in the ultimate loser seems to be working. I don’t have great, huge loss numbers to report but things have been steady and at a pace that I feel I can maintain for the long haul. I’ve been working out 1 hour a day with my class and then that is it. I’m more careful about what I eat but I haven’t been militant about counting calories and restricting myself to 1200-1400 a day. I’m not experiencing dramatic weightloss but it’s been steady (14.8 in 6 weeks) and I feel really good about things over all.

I’m not counting the days until this is over and thinking about all the things I will eat when I’m done. I haven’t been depriving myself of things I’m just being a lot more careful about everything and so far so good.

I know this is a brief report but May has been incredibly busy. I’m scrambling to get everything ready for my summer programs at work and trying to balance my exercise, diet and church calling along with it. Hopefully once the summer gets going I’ll have a bit more time and can update this here blog properly.  Until then…

Go see the new Star Trek movie! It is awesome (I’ve seen it twice) and young Spock is hot (new fodder for my dream life :-) )

using my arms to get to the goal

So yeah, there was swimming last Thursday. I actually like swimming workouts because I don’t feel so behind and slow. I’m not a great swimmer but I can hold my own. Where I fail in the pool is when we use the kick boards. Natalie had us do 5 laps (down and back, 500 yards) just using the kick board. I do not move when I’m just kicking. I’m am naturally floaty. My Grandma Bowling was buoyant too and I’ve inherited her natural life preserver. Either that or my inner tubes of fat are not aerodynamic. Consequently, in the pool, I’m all about the upper arm strength. So Thursday, as my team dutifully kicked there way up and down the pool, I kicked my guts out and achieved an astonishing 1/2 pool length or 25 yards. Go Karen! When we broke into teams for a team swim relay race I was like a seal. I was gliding along quick-ish as can be.  Natalie asked where I came up with my considerably speedier lap. Easy… I could use my arms that time!

Friday, we had our third weigh-in and I lost 5 pounds which left me feeling vindicated after the previous weeks collosal failure on -1 pounds. 5 is a good and respectable number. Me likes the 5 :-)

As I was chatting with a friend later that day I mentioned that I was only 3 pounds off my goal of losing 5 pounds a week, thus shedding the 40 I recently gained during this 8 week competition. As we were talking she threw out an idea that I had not thought of before. She suggested that perhaps I was getting too caught up in those big goals. When I didn’t meet them it left me feeling defeated and then I give up. Since I’m trying to change my approach this time, she suggested that I need to reset the way I think about my goals. Instead each week the slate is wiped clean and I only need to think “how much can I lose this week?” I’m not even going to put a number on it because some weeks are harder that others. I’ll only focus on doing my best so I’ll have a loss on Friday. 1 pound–that it a loss. 5 pounds–great! Another loss. This way I won’t get so bogged down in that far off goal. The big number won’t depress me and cause me to give up.  We’ll see if this approach keeps me from gaining back everything I lose when I’m not longer participating in the Ultimate Loser. I’d love for this to be the last time that I need the UL to lose weight. I just need to take it 1 week at a time.

so busy…

Okay, I have 5 minutes to update everyone. I’ll write more when I get a chance (tomorrow?) but until then here are the basics of the last 1+ week.

I only lost 1 pounds last week. 1 stupid, ugly pound. I am sad.

We had our first group Saturday challenge and it was a 5k. I did not do well but I didn’t (as fellow team member Randi pointed out) cry. Instead I did something weird and painful to may ankle and vomited. Good compromise.

I’m feeling less our of breath during class but I’m also feeling more flatulent. This is unfortunate when you are doing sit-ups.

Tomorrow we swim.

Rambelings on keeping up

This weekend went pretty well, all things considered, and I was able to not only exercise Saturday morning but I was also able to keep my caloric choices in check. I cannot express often or fervently enough how grateful I am for good and supportive friends. Not only lovely people cheering me on but friends actively on the weight-loss path themselves who commiserate with me as we travail the path together.

(how are those big words Lisa? :-)

My trouble with weekends is the lack of early morning reminders in the form of sore muscles to carry me through the day. That and I’m at home, alone, with my cupboards and frigidaire. However, A little forethought went a long way and I had reasonable treats stashed about like strawberries, string cheese, sugar-free pudding and lemonade readily available for snacking. I also was pretty busy and didn’t spend a great deal of time at home. This coming weekend will be the test as I have less on my agenda.

Monday morning I was still feeling pretty good and getting up at 5 am has not been as big a hurdle as I thought it might. I’m loving that it’s spring and there is something about stepping into the fresh, cool early morning air that I find wonderful. I love the feeling of being the only person awake and even the thought of the tortures in the immediate future haven’t deterred me yet.

This morning my efforts were thwarted by my own stupidity. For whatever reason (distraction, tiredness, inattention) I set my alarm clock for 6 am rather than 5. I got up, dressed and headed out the door before the lightened horizon clued me in on my gaf. Sadly I did not make it to the gym. I won’t lie, the extra sleep was glorious but the price of getting an 60 extra minutes was not worth it.

Tonight I’ll check the alarm 3 times!

p.s. In the interest of keeping an accurate record of how I’m feeling I do want to record that I think I’m having a minor MS related episode. Not enough to hinder me but I am feeling a little off balance. I had a terrible case of vertigo 5ish years ago that I now know was due to the MS and so I’m a little nervous that this minor imbalance I’m feeling will progress into full blown world spinning. Keep your fingers crossed that it remains simply annoying and clears up quickly.

the first week curse if broken

In the past my first week on an Ultimate Loser team has not brought me the greatest results.  I’ve either gained a pound or lost very little. This little pattern has really pushed my frustration buttons.  There is nothing more discouraging to the weight loss process than to gain a pound!

This week with Natalie has been uber-tough.  She is a really good trainer and fair.  I really appreciate that she has noticed everyone’s different ability levels and pushs us accordingly.  There have been many times when I haven’t been able to do an exercise the exact way it should be done but she knows I’m doing my best.  However, she seems to sense when I can push it more and isn’t hesitant about making me tow the line.  It’s really a whole new level of working out for me, being pushed like this, but it is also, ultimately, pretty rewarding.

I’ve been keeping a daily eye on how things are going on the scale and it looked like I was going to beat the first week curse.

(yes, yes, I know you should no’t weigh yourself everyday but I need to know how things are going)

Wednesday the scale was down, Thursday down… but this morning as I crawled out of my warm bed and onto the scale things looked bad. +1 bad.  I was really expecting to have a crap week again but I was horrified that I would have that +1 by my name.  Especially after this week.  At the gym we did our laps and dynamic warm up and then headed to the magical scale of destiny.  As my turn to stand upon is cold, ruthless surface came I almost didn’t look.  I mean really, who wants to face that kind of news?  But then… magically, on the official Ultimate Loser scale I was granted a reprieve.  -6.  -6 pounds!!!

Yay!

-6 is great.  It’s better than I could’ve hope for and aside from the sore arms, knees, back, stomach, legs, feet and vomiting it was totally easy :-)

the sport’s academy has very absorbant towels!

I’m pretty sure that Natalie is trying to kill me.  Okay, now that may not be entirely true.  I suspect that she has better things to think about than killing off at 35 year old fat girl with exercise.  Things like taking care of her newborn, but this morning you would’ve been hard pressed to convince me of it.

*disclaimer: Teresa may have to correct my recollection of things as I was lacking oxygen when the following indecent occurred.

We started this morning, 5:30 a.m. to be exact, with our 2 laps and dynamic warm ups, activities that I expect.  But then, Natalie decided to herd us all out to the treadmills, or as I now fondly refer to it “the killing zone”, for some cardio.  We began at a 3 mph walk and then increased our incline to 3.  Then came 6 mph for what felt like an eternity (2-3 minutes?).  We then got to lower our speed to a brisk 4.5 mph but upped the incline to 5.  Then back to 6 mph.  I couldn’t do it.  I surreptitiously lowered my speed and labored/panted/pleaded with the heavens for the next minutes to end.  Are you getting that it was hard? :-)

After leaving the killing zone we headed back into the gym to do a team ladder race thing involving arm curls at the first line, front lifts and side lifts at the second line and burpees at the final line, running back to the starting line before each new activity.  All four team members had to run along while each person took their turn.  I ended this feeling a little green.

We then did something else, I can’t remember.  Lack of oxygen people!  Before repeating the team race, trying for a better time.  I opted to be the first one to run the lines and as I finished my term… it started.  I grabbed the nearest towel and began to vomit.  I vomited 6 or 7 times as I made my way to the dressing rooms.  It was just water but still unpleasant.  Natalie walked with me trying to help my calm down and breath because I’m pretty sure I was panicking at this point.  As she left me in the dressing room, heading back to the team,  she did tell me that while it was too bad I was sick it was awesome that I’d worked so hard.  I think this is code for “Yeah! I’ve got some bragging rights with the other trainers!”.

Have I mentioned that I think Natalie is trying to kill me?

As I headed back to the gym, after splashing my face with cold water, I passed by Dan, the Sport’s Academy director, and he high fived me for being the first vomit of the competition.  Is that a high five worthy event.  If so… I totally rocked it!

P.S.  I really do like Natalie.

getting to know Natalie

This mornings workout was tough. I’m so out of shape but I’m glad *now* that I tackled it. My friend Teresa, who is awesome and on my team again, sent this little summary of our workout in an e-mail to a few friends. I’m reprinting it with her permission because it sums things up nicely. I’ll add my 2 cents in italics.

  • Run 2 laps  –  my run was more of a quick walk. I’m not ready for running yet.
  • Walking lunges-down the long hallway, sprint back. — lunges… noooooooooo!
    Natalie introduces herself – she was very nice. i suspect that she is hiding her true identity!
  • Dynamic warm up consisting of:  (on a basketball court) high knees down and back, karaoke down and back, shuffle down and back, skipping for height down and back, run down and back. — I hate dynamic warm-ups. I need a warm up before the warm up!
  • Get a drink – *pant pant*
  • Run “Big” laps for 10 minutes to see how many you could do.  Big laps consist of two staircases, mingling amongst the general public, and a bit of the track. – I managed 4 of these suckers (that is not great btw)
  • Sit Ups — how many can you do in 1 minute.  I did 25, but I didn’t get good all the way up sit ups in like Karen did. She rocked at this! — Teresa is being generous. Did I mention that she is a wonderful friend for a reason :-)
  • Push Ups–how many can you do in 1 minute.  I did 34.  again, not great one, but they are what they are. – I did 22. A push up rock star I am not!
  • Wall Sits–how long can you sit.  1 minute 40 seconds.  I did 4 minutes 3 weeks ago.  Not sure why I wimped out so much. — I did 1 minute, 1 second. Am now feeling light headed.
  • Grass drills:  Kind of like football drills.  Lots of high knees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, push ups etc. — moving from one to the next speedily. – Speedily is the operative word. I moved at the pace of cold tar.
  • Sprints–down a long hallway 3 times (I made it twice and then realized I missed one at the end so I did another at the end) — sprint? hahahaha.

So there you have it, our first official day of class. It was killer but tomorrow promises to be more difficult. Can’t wait!

Hope

Last night my friend, Chelle, called me to chat after her week long vacation. Among all of the catch up I shared with her some of my worries and concerns about this current weightloss challenge and how I really need to make it stick. I mentioned how I felt I needed to do some personal introspection this time around and really figure out some of the underlying issues I have with myself and my body. When I was finished, Chelle said something that made a lot of sense to me. Something I hadn’t even considered.

I’m spending an hour+ every day working out, I’m logging every bite of food I take in, I’m drinking water and taking time to stretch so why not set aside some time, everyday, to work on the mental/emotional side of this issue. If I’m going to expend all this energy, put in all this work, I should also put a priority on the other side of things. So I’ve decided that I’ll spend 30 minutes, everyday, focusing on the unseen elements of of this journey. I may use that time to journal, to blog, to pray, to read or even take a walk with just my thoughts to accompany me. Time to really focus on me. I’m pretty skilled at burying these feelings so it may take a considerable amount of time to figure things out and I think it’s totally worth it. I’ll take the scary look inward.

I found this little video clip a few years ago. It’s silly, fun and full of “hope”. Enjoy.

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