Archive for November, 2008

a look back in pictures

Teresa, Me & Josh
My support system during this Ultimate Loser and my October 2009 Portland Marathon team!
(I stole the photo from Josh’s blog)

ter_josh_me-11_08

November 2008: 236 pounds
(not a great picture!)

after-236-11_081

September 2008: 260 pounds
(I had a rough couple of months are regained 18 pounds. It was a sad realization and I spent the better part of 6 weeks re-losing them!)

before-260-9_08

June 2008: 242 pounds

june-08-after

December 2007: 271.8 pounds

after-pic-0031

October 2007: 301 pounds

biggest-loser-007

Advertisements

3rd Ultimate Loser competition comes to a close

Week 8 is finally over and it was hard. In fact, if I look in the thesaurus under the word “hard” I’ll find this week. I’ve been tired, depressed, weepy and I even left work early Thursday because I was feeling unwell. And was it worth it… hell yeah!

I lost 9 pounds this week! 9 freakin’ pounds. I don’t even know how that is possible. My only explanation is that the last 3 weeks my weight loss has been so lackluster that the universe owed me and paid interest. I’m so grateful that I was able to get under my final weight from the second competition because I was beginning to doubt that would happen.

My overall goal for this incarnation of the ultimate loser, besides the obvious weight loss goal, was to finish with some tools to help me navigate the stress and emotions of having MS.

For the last 35 years when I’ve felt sad and stressed out by life I’ve turned to food to get me though. I remember in first grade my mom sending me to school with a twinkie and it helped me to face the loneliness of that school year. When my family moved to Oregon, just before my sophomore year of high school, I became so depressed that thoughts of suicide were never far from me and eating and sleeping were my only escapes from the emotional nightmare. I gained a lot weight on my already husky frame that year. Steadily over the years I’ve continued to gain pounds until I got to my highest recorded weight in 2007 when I was told that I would have full blown diabetes in 6 months. I weighed 317 pounds. Since then I’ve been able to lose over 80 pounds and I do not have diabetes. I’ll be revisiting my PA next month to see if I’ve left behind my pre-diabetes status so keep those fingers crossed!

This 3rd competition was the hardest I’ve participated in and I lost the least amount of weight. Part of that is my inclination to revisit my old eating habits when I feel sad. I’ve been in mourning over my previous life and so I’ve had days, and even weekends, where I did not care what I put into my mouth. I only cared that I had something that made me feel better. But increasingly I’ve found other things that have helped. My weekend walks and hikes have been great and after a bad day those walks have helped turn things around putting me on a better, more constructive path. I’ve also learned that the small moment of happiness a chocolate bar or bag of doritos brings isn’t worth the feelings of failure I experience after. I want to succeed at this. It’s important to me to be healthy and to look good (not skinny-gross but healthy). I want to do this so that I can have a great life. And I sincerely plan to have a great life!

So with no further ado here are my final weight in results:

Starting Weight: 260
Week 1:  260.8
Week 2:  253.8
Week 3:  252.2
Week 4:  248
Week 5:  246
Week 6: 244.2
Week 7: 244
Week 8: 235–yup, 9 pounds!!!

Total pounds lost in 8 weeks:  25 (I almost made my 10% goal)

past week catch up post

I meant to write earlier this week and record how things have been going as this third round of ultimate loserhood comes to a close, but I didn’t. So before I begin my post on the results of this week I just want to quickly jot down some thoughts about the past 6 or so days.

This week has been a very hard one and not just because I was trying to have a great finish. I began my MS shots on the 12th and this combined with my extra hard workouts, a very stressful situation at work, hormones and a dirty house has created a perfect storm of craptacular suckatude. Because my team has worked hard, both of our trainers offered an extra night of bootcamp training this week. That was such a nice thing for them to do as they weren’t paid for their time and I really tried to take advantage of the offering. However, along with the great workout I got, I also wasn’t able to get to bed by my usual time and it really confirmed that I do need 8 hours of sleep to function. I’ve been so incredibly tired.

Saturday and Sunday I went on a great walk/hike along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail with some friends. It really does make the time and effort of exercising more enjoyable when it feels recreational and these two great friends have been a great support to me. I’m very blessed to have them on my side. Monday was business as usual with the addition of some final week tactics to help me have a great weigh in. I was drinking 3 times as much water as usual for the first half of the week and had cut my sodium levels down as much a possible. I ate the same dinner (ground turkey patty, broccoli & a little rice) every evening as well. Starting on Wednesday afternoon I severely cut off my water intake, drinking just enough to keep me going and Thursday ate Activia yogurt, granola and prune juice so that my colon would be nice and clean (and I assure you it was empty). Since I cannot sit in a hot tub or in a steam room because of the MS, I also tried to workout just as much as I could.

Tuesdays extra training with our trainer Shelly, was great. I worked harder that hour than I ever have. I think the fact that it was in the evening helped my mood and I was determined to push myself to the limit. I ran, jumped, lifted and pulled as hard as I could and I feel really good about that. I’ve now created a model of how hard I can go and I need to push myself there more often.  long with the extra trainings, I also did a great water aerobics class, worked on the treadmill and the stairmaster. It was brutal. I’ve never felt so tired. And emotionally I’ve been a wreck. Thursday I left the gym in tears because I just didn’t think I could do it. It’s hard to know if this week of extremes was worth it. The scale was kind and I’m feeling really good about my accomplishments but the price was pretty high. I think this kind of extreme is good in limited amounts and while I believe I’ll revisit this level of intensity again for the most part I will find the middle ground between my old lackadaisical ways and the ultimate loser final week.

tearing down emotional barriers

This 8 weeks has been har-har-hard! I think that I’m going to blame it on all the things that are going on in my life that are not weight related. As it currently stands I’ve only lost half of the weight I did during the last competition and if things continue this week as they have the last two I expect that will be as good as it gets. I suppose overall it’s a positive move forward but it still feels a little discouraging when I had such high expectations.

Emotionally I’ve been all over the board. Sad, mad, happy, discouraged, overwhelmed, forgetful… and the comfort of a candy bar has been the escape I’ve turned to on more than one occasion. My goal for this 8 weeks, besides losing another 10%, was to figure out how to continue my weight loss under a dark could of emotions and stress. I think if I look at things that way, rather than the number of pounds lost, I can find some comfort. I have managed to continue to inch my way towards my goal even as my emotions spiral. While I have cheated and made bad decisions concerning my diet, I’ve been able to turn things around and get back on track in a day or two instead of throwing in the towel and giving up entirely. I’ve been able to be more active in my regular, daily life by going on walks and hikes instead of depending entirely on the gym for my activity. And these are the kinds of skills I’ve needed to gain. Have I mastered the art of becoming healthy? Not by a long shot. But I am getting there which is the bigger part of the battle. If I can experience the same rate of weight loss into the new year I can get pretty close to my goal weight.

So, I hope to have a great final week. A week full of reflection, exercise, no sodium, and tons of water (until wednesday when I quit drinking all together). After that I head into another year of hard work and learning. I also want to thank everyone who has been and still are so supportive. I couldn’t have come this far without your help. Thanks.

Starting Weight: 260
Week 1:  260.8
Week 2:  253.8
Week 3:  252.2
Week 4:  248
Week 5:  246
Week 6: 244.2
Week 7: 244 (I gained .2 this week. crap.)

Be the Dinosaur!

Thursday, during storytime, I was struck by the intensity of the 2-year-olds in my last group of the day.  We were talking about dinosaurs and there was a lot of roaring and stomping going on. Those little faces were so determined, so concentrated on roaring like a dinosaur that I knew that every part of them was completely focused on being a dinosaur. This whole hearted dedication to the task at hand got me thinking about what I am trying to focus on in my life. It’s been a little more than a year now that I’ve been involved in the SA Ultimate Loser competitions and I’ve had some success doing it. But looking back over the year I think that my intensity levels don’t reflect my expectations and I get disappointing results which then lead to discouragement which lead to big macs.

This last week is a good example of this particular cycle. I tried really hard to create a good result for myself. I believe I worked harder and was more aware of the things that I was eating than I’ve ever been. I had a good weekend, as far as staying active, by going on a hike Saturday and a walk in the rain on Sunday with some friends. I did have a weekend attack of the leftover Halloween Kit Kats, which I’m sure set things back, but I was hyper-vigilant during the week and had some great days. Friday I was prepared to see a good number on the scale. I expected to be rewarded. But… the disappointment when I saw that I’d only lost 1.8 pounds was overwhelming. I really wanted to save my teary breakdown until I got home but unfortunately I did some crying right then and there. I’m sure the other people in my group thought I was being a huge cry baby, I mean I had a loss, but I was so upset because that number didn’t seem reflective of the time and care I thought I’d put into the week. I’m still rather peeved about it.

So I’m thinking I need to take a lesson from my tiny storytime kidlets. Because, while I’m present during my workouts and I’m measuring every gram of food I put into my mouth I’m not really “being the dinosaur”. When I’m at the gym I need to engage my mind and body fully to the task at hand instead of letting my mind dwell on work problems or what I need to get done at home or what I’m going to eat for dinner. When I’m preparing meals and eating snacks I need to consider not just the calories I’m taking in but what those calories are doing for my body and if the answer is “not much” I need to reconsider it. I need to be like those 2 year-olds and be fully in the moment because if I can do that I may finally see the results I’m dreaming of!

Starting Weight: 260
Week 1:  260.8
Week 2:  253.8
Week 3:  252.2
Week 4:  248
Week 5:  246
Week 6: 244.2

This week was a big disappointment. I’m getting a little burned out and that combined with the abundance of Halloween candy worked against me. Last weekend I turned “free friday” (bad idea) into “free weekend” and didn’t record any of the food I ate. I was back on track beginning Monday morning but as far as the scale is showing that wasn’t enough.  I also really tried to up my activity levels this week. Along with going to my morning class I was able to get in extra morning and evening time at the gym. I was over 4000 calories every day but Friday morning only lost 2 pounds (and that was after insisting I get weighed again after class on Friday because I wasn’t going to settle for a 1 pound loss. Yes, I lost 1 additional pound after kickboxing Friday morning. I’m not sure what that means).

This week I must get a hold of my calorie consumption. Absolutely no more candy!!!!! I’m not even a really big fan on candy, give me chips or pizza any day, but for some reason the fact that I can’t have it is really making me want the chocolate. I may have to eat the same thing everyday to ensure that I maintain control but I will lose a bigger number next week!

My friend, Chelle, suggested that I may also be experiencing some muscle memory problems. For my extra exercise time I always do the same thing, walk on the treadmill. Walking is about as close as I come to having a favorite activity and I’ve been making progress with it. I’ve been able to increase my speed and the time I can run is also increasing. I’m reluctant to change things up… but I must. So heae is the plan for the next three weeks. I’ll still get to the gym early and that is when I’ll spend time with the treadmill walk/jogging. I’ll go the the rec. center after work and use the stairmaster (yuck) and eliptical (super-yuck) and then at 8 alternate between swimming and weights. I’ll also try to use my hand weights a little more at home for some additional upper body building. I’m hoping that this will confuse my body and make it work a little harder thus letting the pounds go!

Starting Weight: 260
Week 1:  260.8
Week 2:  253.8
Week 3:  252.2
Week 4:  248
Week 5:  246