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Weigh-in 167lbs.  Well, at least I’m consistant.  And at least I’m not whining about how I “just can’t lose the weight, no matter how much I do“.  My ride schedule is going well, now I need to get control of my eating.  However, I am not going to sabotage my efforts thus far by not holding myself accountable for the bad choices I’m making.

I want to talk about training.  Training starts by building a strong mental foundation.  It starts by making a shift in our thinking.  In my mind, I have to go from being a fat woman to being an athlete with a weight problem.  Somewhere in proverbs the Bible states “As a man thinketh, so he is“.  Our minds are powerful, we can use them to achieve more than ever before or allow them to hold us captive in our bad choices for a lifetime.  It is always our choice.   That is what people mean when they say being fat is a choice.

I wish many of you that struggle with exercise could believe me when I tell you that where you are mentally determines the success of your workouts – EVERY SINGLE TIME.  When I ride my bike, it takes me about 1hour, 15 minutes to do 20 miles.  Some days, it is the longest hour I’ve ever felt.  Other days, the time goes by & I don’t even notice.  I figured out what was bothering me the most about FA last week.  It’s the language.  They consistantly feed themselves negative language, making the actions of losing weight that much harder.

I see this all the time while training cyclists to climb hills.  It isn’t the hill that takes them out.  They defeat themselves long before they get to the hill.  The moment they have the hill in sight, all of them say “ugh, a hill, I don’t think I can make it“. (or it’s going to hurt, or I hate the hills, or a hundred variations of that statement.)  Then they ride on & struggle tremendously with the hill.  Now, when I get them to the point where they approach the hill & think “it’s going to be hard, but I know I can make it”, that is when I have a trainable hill-climber.  [let me take a minute and give you some insight to who these cyclists that I train are.  Many of them are middle -aged, struggling with weight & hormone problems, several are recovering from serious illnesses like cancer or heart desease.  All of them have very busy lives & demanding jobs.  But every week, they gather all their biking gear and become athletes.  They show up.  They get the work done.  I love each one of them!]

The reason for the defeat is you can’t achieve what you don’t believe you can achieve.  That’s it, bottom-line, every single time.  So achieving my weight-loss goals becomes all about my belief that I can.  Removing the negative & increasing the positive in thought & action.  I’m not talking about spewing a bunch of meaningless “Positive Mental Attitude” statements.  I’ve been in sales all of my adult life & I always disagreed with making blanket positive statements over & over & over again as a means to improve your mental outlook.  Your statements have to be real, and have some meat on them.

I’m talking about visualisation.  This is a truly powerful tool that is used for everything from sports to business success.  To make it more effective, I’m going to focus it very specifically.  Visualisation is the process of  creating detailed visual pictures of yourself being what you want to be.  For our example, I want us to visualise ourselves as an athlete.  When I do this, this is what I usually see:

lance 1 crop

You imagine yourself doing that thing you visualise, and your brain then knows exactly what you want and finds a way to make it happen.  Now, I don’t want to be Lance Armstrong.  But I do want to be strong – a hard rider – an athlete – cancer free.  Seeing this image in my mind, I can feel his strength in my legs, his lung capacity in my chest, I become the amazing hill climber that he is, in my mind.  And I start to believe I am healthy!

The down side of the “My life as a fat woman” blog was that I let it turn into me visualising myself as a fat woman – a victim, instead of using it for accountability.  I embrace it differently now.  I have lost 15 pounds, so my life as a fat woman is talking about a past event, not something I am now.  I still have weight to lose, but at 167lbs, I am no longer fat – just overweight.  And I move on from here, reaching forward, striving to achieve my goal.

Here is what you can do to build that strong mental foundation:

Follow through your actions. Tell yourself through-out the day, every day, that you are an athlete, that eating is just fueling your body. That healthy food intake is what keeps you, the athlete, strong.

Focus on what you want to achieve.Give it details, give it life. Later in the day after a run, when I stand up and my legs are sore, I make myself smile, feeling the sensation in my quads & hamstrings – and think to myself “you are getting stronger”. I do this instead of getting up and thinking “omg, I am so sore from this mornings run, gosh, I am weak”. (or old, or fat or out-of-shape or whatever negative thing used to pop into my head.)

Adopt a specific, clear vision of how you want your body to look. Spend time imagining how your new body will look, imagine that body, going through the activities you andrea ms croppedenjoy – riding, running, dancing, etc.  Be optimistic. Be realistic. Be empowered.

Practice in your mind.  Athletes practice their success in their minds. They see themselves achieving their goal. Rehearse overcoming temptation. Rehearse not feeling like working out, and mentally overcoming it. Picture yourself working out at a moment of enjoyment, experiencing the positive feeling that occurred. By regularly focusing on successfully accomplishing your goal, you greatly increase your potential to make it a reality.

Guard your mind. You are the gate-keeper. You choose what you think. (and if you are fully, mentally embedded in your excuse for not losing weight, you will never lose the weight. Like I discussed before, the excuse is irrelevant. Example: “I’m genetically obese, all the women in my family were fat.” This is not a scientifically accurate statement.  Barring a metabolic disorder, obesity is 100% choice.)

Every time a negative or defeating thought comes into your mind, speak out loud a counter statement.  My mind says “I’m too old to be a competitive athlete”. I say, out loud “There are competitions for athletes in my age group, I am strong, I will train for it.  I can do this” My mind says “I will always be fat, there is nothing I can do”. I say, out loud “my poor choices got me where I am, every day I am making healthier choices, I will lose this weight”.

What you eat, what you drink, how you train, what you do with your body and your health – your whole life, really–is all in your power. The most important factor is in what you think. 

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Weigh-in this morning- 167lbs.  I am holding steady at this weight.  This is due entirely to my not eating the right foods, which causes me to eat too much food.  My stress reaction to the pulmonary Dr visit was greek pizza for dinner.  Guy bought us each a 12″, with plans of enjoying some the following day.  Ha!  It came home at 6pm & was gone by 11pm.  So much for that plan.  I need to find something else to stress with instead of food.

I am a passionate person, I give of myself 100% to everything I do.  Like I explained to the good Dr on Friday, I am very intense.  It is a painful admission that it applies to everything in my life EXCEPT diet & weight-loss.  I am such a weenie.  So, last week, when I decided to take a new outlook, my half-ass attempt at losing weight was done.  I am happy to report that Saturday we rode 24 miles & then ran 2.5 miles & did 20 minutes of stair climbing.  Sunday, 42 miles on the bike with a 2 mile run.  Today 18 miles biking & 3 miles running – AND I DIDN’T DIE.

My paradigm shift is from “just enough to get by” to “just whatever it takes to get it done“.  When I started this back in October, I had an undiagnosed slow thyroid.  I fought hard to find out what the problem was.  We have removed that obstacle.   I CAN do this!  I WILL do this.  I WILL NOT spend another year being fat!!  I am SO excited!

Here’s some advice:  There are 3 real things that may be preventing your weight-loss.

1.  If you really have been dieting & exercising to lose weight, but the weight has stayed on – find out why.  If you’ve spent 4 weeks doing a regular diet & exercise plan & haven’t seen results – YOUR METABOLISM IS SLOW!  Period.   Have your thyroid checked by a DR that knows how to check it.Fight for an accurate diagnosis so you can get the treatment you need.

2.  If you still have problems, LOOK AT WHAT YOU ARE EATING!  Some overweight people cannot eat wheat-based or starchy foods and lose weight.  They have an imbalance that causes an over-production of insulin, causing their bodies to store too much fat.  Do some food experimenting to find out how your body reacts to certain foods.  Also give some real thought to statements like “oh, but I just can’t give up my bread”.  Do you want to eat bread or lose weight?  If you’re anything like me, you can’t do both.

3.  Once you’ve done all that, THINK ABOUT HOW YOU ARE EXERCISING!  This was a huge problem for me.  It doesn’t matter that it seems unbelievable that I can ride my bike every day & am slow to lose weight.  What matters is finding the inner strength to do enough exercise to lose the weight.  Then, making your health a priority & GETTING THE WORK DONE!

No longer will I sympathetically listen as someone I care about goes through a litany of EXCUSES about why they can’t get it done.  Especially from MYSELF!

“The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t ‘ is you. And you don’t have to listen.”

Weigh in today:  167lbs pre-ride & 165lbs post ride.  I am weighing post ride to encourage myself.  It’s been a really hectic week in the business world for me & although I have kept up with most of my riding, my eating has not been good.  But it’s reassuring to see that I can eat my way through any & every difficult moment.   ; )

My  last word on Fat Acceptance.  I m glad I found out about FA, but I am done.  I learned some good thindancehappy1gs.  Online I met some really special people whom I hope have blessed & happy lives.  [April D, keep up that beautiful dancing, you are a truly special spirit.]  But as a whole, I just will never get it.  In visiting their sites, I’ve seen too much aggression & what I can only call almost hatefulness.   I’ve been ignored, attacked and argued to death to the point of hilarity.  For the most part, what people warned me about is accurate, either you are with them… or they’re against you.  Or, they just have a very narrow view of things and are not welcoming to anything other than what they agree with.  It amazes me how so many of them demand acceptance from others, but think all thin people are hateful bigots, regardless if they know them or not.  It takes way too much energy to work through not offending them when you try to openly & sincerely share your thoughts & feelings.  (please notice I said feelings… that is what I tried to share.)  I walk away a little enlightened but exhausted & drained completely.

I am coming to the end of a very stressful month of productive work.  I need to get into an especially positive place with this blog, my training and my mental outlook.  I ran across some running blogs & some foodie blogs that talk about & promote great food, enjoyable exersize and wise training.  It made me feel good to hear the diffirent stories & lives of people just like you & me, but at the same time, so different. 

Positive energy flow, positive energy flow, positive energy flow…

I go onlineto learn, share and exchange good energy.  That is just what I found at these new blogs.  I will be adding an additional blogroll to these great blogs next week.  I ran across one where the woman talked about her different faces as she’s losing weight.  She’s photo-logging the changes.   She was truly beautiful & that got me thinking.  So many times over the last 10 years I have spoken with overweight people about the person trapped inside them.  Today I remembered that I am one of those with a beautiful woman trapped inside an excess of adipose tissue.  I want to show her to you:

me again

Isn’t she beautiful.  (Please keep in mind as you read, I believe all women are beautiful, it’s not a comparative statement.)  I saw her in my face today, in a reflection in a store window.  As I was walking up, I looked in the glass & there was her face.  Then I realized it was me.  It made me happy!

Something else happened today that hasn’t happened in a really long time.  As I was walking up to another store, a man ran to get the door for me & said “Wow, you’ve got beautiful calves… oh, I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to be rude.”  I wanted to tell him: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!  But I’m a happily married woman, so I just smiled a little and walked inside.  It has been almost 2 years since anyone has given me a sincere compliment, it was cool. 

andrea legFor all of us who have gained a little too much weight,  I know there is someone deep down inside you.  She’s exactly like you – only without the issues & problems brought on by the weight.  Not only do others view me differently with the extra weight, I view myself differently as well.  Maybe you do too.

Onward.  I am removing as much negativity from this blog of mine as I can.  I use this blog for personal reasons, I’m not trying to build a following.  But having someone stop by & comment has been very enjoyable & insightful.  It helps me to keep my perspective open & fresh.  Lately, I’ve been so busy with work.  That’s why I haven’t been posting that much.  Time to change direction!!

On Monday, I will start adding different information to keep me (and maybe you, too.) motivated.  I’m going totally Zen & happy, and will refresh my energy to continue my success.  Hey, I’ve lost 15lbs, I’m at a success point!!  I’m going to keep that positive feeling going…

Have an excellent & blessed weekend.

July 16, 2009

Weigh-in, 165lbs.  I need to be at 163lbs by Monday.  I feel good about this.  Today is Thursday.  It is a rest day, no riding or running.  Next week will be a busy week.  I have several more Dr appointments scheduled.  On Wednesday, the gastro Dr, to see if I have a fructose sensitivity.  Thursday, the cardiologist for a chest xray & stress test.  Then they send me off to meet with a pulmonary Dr, to check out my lungs.  The following week, on Wednesday, back to the cardio Dr for the results of the xray & stress test.  Then on August 4th, back to the new Dr. (the internist) to rerun my thyroid & cholesterol numbers.  Off to work for me…

Today I reset my goal weight chart.  I spent several weeks thinking about this.  I am 12lbs behind in my schedule and I don’t feel I can make that up, based on how things have gone.  So, instead of beating myself up, I adjusted my timeframe.  I started this at 180lbs, in the latter part of March.  Today I weigh 166lbs.  I am happy and proud of this.  For now, it is enough.  I have said before, I didn’t get this big overnight, I’m not going to lose it in a few short weeks.  (I still have the old chart posted at the bottom of May 21,2009)

I am not on some crazed mission to be thin & beautiful.  I’ve always been beautiful to me, what I want is to be healthy as I age.  And that cannot be done carrying 35 extra pounds around.  The initial schedule was good, healthy, moderate timeframe.  It just didn’t happen.  Since I have kept dieting & exercising, this is not a failure, merely an adjustment.  It’s going to take a little longer to get there.  But I know I’ll get there.  ; )

I am excited again.  Next Monday, on 07/20/2009, I need to be at 163lbs.  I have the bike/run/bike/run/bike/run tonight.  Tomorrow I rest.  Friday I have a 25 mile ride that includes a 3.5 mile race simulation, followed by a 3 mile run.  27 mile beginner ride Saturday & a 30 mile intermediate ride Sunday.  That is 5200 calories burned.  If I watch my food intake, I could be at 163lbs on Monday!

I wanted to post my schedule so I can track the craziness.  My new goal date is September 21, 2009.  That is 5 days before the Conquer The Coast ride in Corpus Christi.  I wanted to be smaller so I could surf  the waves after the ride.  I wanted to not be fat when we spin fire at the bonfire BBQ on the beach that night.  I want my beautiful daughter Cass to come & surf with me that day. This is possible!! (but I gotta start weight training to make my arms stronger)

05/25/2009 –        172lbs                               actual – 171lbs

06/01/2009 –    167.5lbs                                actual – 174lbs

06/08/2009 – 165.25lbs                                 actual – 174lbs

06/15/2009 –        163lbs                                did not weigh in

06/22/2009 – 160.75lbs                                 actual – 167lbs     7lbs over goal

06/29/2009 –    158.5lbs                                 actual – 165lbs     6.5lbs over goal

07/06/2009 – 156.25lbs                               RESET SCHEDULE

07/13/2009 –  165.25lbs                               actual – 167lbs    1.75lbs over goal

07/20/2009 –       163lbs                                actual – 165lbs     2lbs over goal

07/27/2009 – 160.75lbs                               actual – 165lbs     5lbs over goal

08/03/2009 –   158.5lbs                                 actual – 167lbs     8.5lbs over goal

08/10/2009 – 156.25lbs                                 actual – 167lbs     10.75lbs over

08/17/2009 –      154.lbs                                 actual – 163lbs      9lbs over goal

08/24/2009 – 152.12lbs

08/31/2009 – 150.24lbs

09/07/2009 – 148.36lbs

09/14/2009 – 146.46lbs

09/21/2009 – 144lbs                  Goal Weight

July 15, 2009

Wow, two whole weeks without posting.  Weigh-in this morning has me at 167lbs.  Post-ride was 166lbs.   I cheated over the weekend.  I spent a week & a half being sick, somehow convinced myself the only way to survive was with chocolate cake & ice cream.  What I found interesting is the illness was brought on after consuming sugar. 

I know this sounds crazy, but it happens every single time I go back to sugary foods.  Almost as if it weakens my immune system.  I eat the sugary food and get a full-blown sinus infection.  It starts in my head & does not go away until it works it’s way into my chest.  So strange.

I want to talk about food addictions.  But before I do, I want to say out loud again what I did on Monday morning.  I rode 27 miles on the bike, then I ran (yes, me, running, not walking) 3 complete miles.  It was amazing and I am so happy.  Now, we had a hill-climbing clinic scheduled for last night.  About 2pm yesterday afternoon, I went to stand up from my desk and discovered I could barely walk.  It was hilarious!!  And none of you know it but, man, I was in so much pain teaching how to climb hills last night.  Ha!!

So, food addictions.  I’ve been talking with a lot of people and I don’t think they understand it.  Many of them think it is just that they eat way too much, like they lack the ‘willpower’ to control their eating.  Almost like they are compulsive overeaters.  What I’ve learned from all my all protein, high quality carb eating is that when you consume certain foods, it increases you appetite tremendously. 

So when I speak about food addictions, I’m talking about our bodies natural response to the types of food we eat, not our inability to control our eating.  This is not to be confused with true eating disorders, which I know nothing about.  But I know a lot of people that, with a diet that includes pasta, bread or potatoes, (or god forbid potatoes chips, fried or fast food)  see a large increase in their appetite – and they don’t have an eating disorder. 

I know for Guy & myself,  after eating food like that, it is as if someone flipped a switch & we are ravenously hungry no matter how much we ingest.  Going back to the protein- quality carb diet makes this go away.  After a few days, I can eat a 200 or 300 calorie meal & be satiated for several hours.  Now, if it was an eating disorder, it wouldn’t stop because I changed the type of food I eat.  Right?

What can be done?  First you have to see the problem, it is not your inability to control your appetite.  Certain foods trigger hunger in our system.  Removing them removes the intense hunger.  Puts us back in a place where we can consume a reasonable amount of food and feel satisfied.

Some foods are addictive & our bodies go through a period of intense cravings.  Removing them from our diet will cause our bodies to go through withdrawal symptoms.  But you have to understand this only lasts 4 or 5 days.  The benefit to working through the withdrawal from these foods is you feel better physically.  This happens to me every time.   After the withdrawal, I felt so much better. 

It takes anywhere from 5 to 10 days to completely clean your system of these ‘trigger’ foods.  Now that I am eating mostly protein with quality carbs, if I have a day where I eat poor quality carbs, I am only affected for a few hours, instead of days.  And suddenly I am in control.  I am still affected by stress, but it is a hundred times more manageable. 

Once you are able to see that certain foods cause you to overeat, you can work at modifying your diet so it is fueling your body to be healthy.  Do you remember that?  Food is fuel for our bodies.  So if what we are eating isn’t making us strong & healthy, we need to eat something else.  What you will find is it is much easier to control what you eat once you remove the trigger foods.

So many of these addictive foods cause depression.  And there are so many people running around depressed.  There must be some correlation.  Seems as though the Dr’s find it easier to throw dangerous medications at us instead of looking at possible causes such as diet, or disease.

Sugar has been linked to cancer, although I had difficulty disseminating the real info from the hype.  There is enough info out there to cause me to make some changes.  Sugar is highly addictive.  Something I’ve seen so many times with my diet modifications.  I’m going to continue to look into this.  I get crazy-hungry after eating sugary foods.

What is fueling your hunger?  What are you eating?  Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone and remove certain foods for 10 days to see how you feel?  Ready to get responsible with your health?

June 29, 2009

I can’t believe it’s been a whole week since I posted.   Work is vying for my attention.  But I am going to stay focused; on the riding, eating 2000 times a day and blogging about it.  I made a commitment to myself.  If I can’t keep commitments to myself, what good am I to any one?  Weigh-in this morning, 166lbs pre-ride, 165lbs post-ride.  This is a very big milestone for me today.  According to my goal chart, I am supposed to be at 158.5lbs.  6.5lbs off track.  I was supposed to be at 165lbs on June 8th.   That’s 3 weeks off track.  Sad, I didn’t stay on track.  But I will focus on the positive.  I’m not 175lbs or even 170lbs.

I remember the last time I weighed 165lbs.  I thought I’d never get back to this.  It’s disheartening in a way, because 165lbs on me is fat.  And that is so unnecessary.  I never should have let it get this out of hand.  But, it is what it is.  Now I want to focus my energy on losing the weight. 

Hey, this will be fun… how about gross fat pictures of me I’m too scared to post anywhere else???  Sure, there is no humility left  once you’ve blogged to the world about your fatness.  Why not!

180lbs b

 

This was me in May 2009.  180lbs, largest I’ve ever been in my whole life.  It was 88` that day, really hot.  But I was safe, cuz I had my fat clothes on.  Long sleeves & long pants.  Baggy & dark coloured.  It is my hope that I never get to this weight again in my life.

 (oh, and for all you ‘calories in – calories burned=weight loss’ dummies:  That is me, eating 1800 calories a day & riding 175 miles a week.  The only thing that has enabled me to lose the weight is the meds I’m on.  Kinda blows yer little formula all to hell, eh??) 

100_6653

 

 

This is me during the Tour De Cure May 2008.  173lbs, not a pretty sight.  So to those of you still arguing with me that I’m not fat, here’s the proof!

 

 

 

 

165lbs ok

 

 

This is me riding the MS150 in 2006.  161lbs.  That was back when I thought THIS was fat!  Who knew it would get worse.  Wow, look at how thin Guy was then…

 

 

The positive.  There are clothes in my closet I have not worn in a long time that now will fit me.  A whole group of ‘fat’ clothes I bought when I first became fat.  I haven’t been able to wear them until now because I was too big.  Making some progress.  It’s little steps, and I am thankful to God for each one of them he grants me..  This is cool.  And look what else I found in my closet this morning:  IMG_1028

 

Not only did I find it, I also used it.  See the ‘fat-girl’ impressions on the carpet???  I did core training. 1 five-set, 25 repititions group.  And 1 one-minute plank.  It was amazing!

  

 

I think it may have been last week I said I was going to start strength & core training.   I have to find some time tonight to do my shoulder workout.  This is one of the last habits I need to build.  Remember back here:  Habits.  I have to find a way to make weight training doable.  I already enjoy it alot, but I haven’t been able to get started with it again.  Post up a comment if you have any idea what it may be.

I had an epiphany last week.  But it’s such a big one, I haven’t had time to write about it.  Maybe later this week…