Getting Healthy: Being Healthy

So the last few weeks have been somewhat of a test for me.  I’ve come back to the conclusion that again I need to stop focusing on the scale (I know, someone is just going to have to beat me over the head with it to be me to understand this) and I need to focus on my overall health.  After getting the shingles earlier this year I’ve started having a multitude of health issues and I realized this week that I have not been practicing being healthy overall.  I’ve been so focused on diet and exercise and my mental health that I forgot about the BALANCE.

You have to find a happy medium when it comes to getting healthy overall.

Over the past year and a half I’ve focused in on cleaning up my diet, making exercise routine, and taking control of my mental health, but at times I take one of these to the extreme and I forget that everything needs balance.

Losing weight is not going to be the rest of my life, but living a healthy life is.

So where does this leave me?

  • I’m celebrating everything I have done to get me to this point.  I found the most unflattering photo of me that was taken a few weeks before I started this journey and it really reminded me how far I have come.

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  • I’m going into “maintenance” when it comes to calories.  The idea of this is literally terrifying for me.  TERRIFYING.  After counting calories (at a deficit) for 19 months, it’s shocking to think I can “eat more”.  Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to start a daily routine of ice cream and oreos, but it does mean I can splurge more here and there and eat a little more of things that I love…like sweet potatoes and black beans.  And I will always log my food and participate in the wonderful community on MyFitnessPal, but relax on the constant pressure I once put on myself to log every single calorie.
  • I’m continuing to challenge myself with new workout routines and programs that help me gain more strength and stamina, but don’t kill my body.  I want to tone and become stronger.
  • I’m practicing the skills I have learned to cope with my anxiety and depression.  And continuing to look inside myself on how to better manage them.
  • And learning when to stop.  How to keep the balance.  When to know I’ve gone too far or not far enough.  Listening to my body.

So, I’m working on practicing what I preach, finding the balance in my life, and celebrating how far I have come.

May 2014

Thank you everyone for always being amazing supporters!

Getting Healthy: 500 Days Strong

Today marks the 500th consecutive day I have logged into MyFitnessPal.  I’m pretty sure I have NEVER done anything in my life before this for 500 days straight.  And this time it was for my health.  Honestly I couldn’t be more proud of myself for staying committed to something this long.

In 500 days I have changed my life.  It seems like a long time, but it really isn’t.  It’s 1 year and 4.5 months.  A lot more things in life take a lot longer than that amount of time.

In that time, I’ve done the following:

  • Lost 90 pounds total
  • Said goodbye to the 200s and welcomed a 1 in front of my weight for the first time in over 15 years.
  • Exercised 229 out of the 500 days
  • Logged 12,897 minutes of exercise.  Or 215 hrs or 9 days of the 500 days total.  That’s only 2% of my time spent on exercise during those 500 days. TWO PERCENT people!
  • Burned 136,031 calories from exercise
  • At 3,500 calories per pound, I only lost 39lbs of the 90 from exercise and 51lbs from diet alone.

Pssst…excuse me as I get on my soapbox and remind you that that means diet is more important than exercise….again.

  • Lost 11.5 inches from my waist.
  • Went from a plus size 20 to a normal size 10.
  • Started and completed 3 workout programs – Insanity, Focus T25, and 30 Day Shred
  • Stopped drinking soda
  • No longer frequent a fast food restaurant on a weekly basis.  Can’t even stand to eat McDonald’s.
  • Tried new foods, like green smoothies, chia seeds in oatmeal, kale, roasted cauliflower, black beans in everything (I love black beans), found alternatives to breads and pastas, and I eat A LOT of veggies and like them!

And most importantly, I changed my perspective on life and how strong I am, what my body can do, and how important mental health is as well as physical health.

iamstrongI wasn’t perfect out of those 500 days.  I had my ups and downs.  I had my great days where I logged every single calorie and every minute of exercise and stayed within my limits, my good days , my bad days, and my just plain ugly days where I logged it, but wanted to look away at the same time.  But the important part was that I stayed the course.  Just because I tripped up one day or one meal didn’t mean I gave myself an excuse to ruin all that hard work.  I recognized the bad, picked myself up, dusted myself off, had no regrets (most of the time…because you have to live a little), and corrected course.

So, all of this is to say that 500 days ago, when I really, REALLY got serious about taking back my life and my health, I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to accomplish (lose weight), but I never imagined what all else would follow.

317 to 177

Getting Healthy: Why I’m Choosing Not to Focus on the Last Pound – For Now

I recently hit 176 on the scale.  That means I only have 1lb left to hit my goal, but I have chosen to forego that last pound right now.

I know, I know.  You are saying, “What the frig Tracy? What are you thinking?” But hear me out.

In the process of getting to the 176 from 180 I lost myself.  For the past few months, I plateaued in my weight loss and hovered anywhere between 180 – 184.  It was frustrating, despite my constant – DAILY – reminder to myself not to get fixated on a number on the scale.  So, finally when the scale dipped below 180, unfortunately the crazy clicked on in my brain too.  I had another boost of motivation to keep going, but maybe a little too much of it.  I got laser focused, to the point of extreme.

I forgot about the journey I was on.  The journey to be healthy.  And instead all I could think about was a number.

So after some reflection, several long chats with friends, and a really hard talk with myself, I have decided to push the goal of 175 to the side (for now).  I’m still on my journey, that will never change, but I’m choosing something else to focus on in a healthy way.  Before I can get to 175 I have to mentally become healthier.  Along the way I’ve realized my mental health is just as important.  And going to extremes or becoming obsessed with a number on the scale is not the way to get to my definition of a healthy me.

I’ve thought about what being healthy is for me and it’s not that number.

Yes, one day I will get to 175.  It may even be tomorrow, but being healthy is so much more.  It’s being able to walk up the hill to the parking lot at work and not even get out of breath.  Carrying a 4 year old up 2 flights of stairs and not even think about it.  Running around outside with the kiddo.  Being more centered with who I am.  Controlling my anxiety and depression better.  Going for a run to let off steam.  Gaining my confidence back to make smarter choices.  And living in the here and now.

Here’s a look back, again to celebrate where I have come:

Sep 2012 to May 2014 - 140lbs

Getting Healthy: Why Your Scale Isn’t Always The Best Measure of Success

Today marks something amazing for me on this journey.  Two things happened.

First, the scale hasn’t moved in months.  It hasn’t budged past my lowest of 180lbs.  Now for someone trying to get to 175lbs this would be frustrating.  Like seriously what the frig.  But, and there is a big BUT here, everyone who is losing weight has to remember (and I seem to constantly have to remind myself of this fact like a big slap in the face) –

Your scale isn’t always the best measure of success!

Why do you ask this?  Well the second thing that happened was when I stepped on the scale and it read 182, I then went to my closet and zipped up a size 8 pair of pants for work.

A size 8 people!

I don’t EVER remember wearing a size 8.  Maybe like when I was 10 , but it just goes to show that with eating well and exercising my body is still changing, getting stronger, leaner and healthier!

So here they are, my size 8 pants:

Size 8

Starting Weight: 317lbs | Current Weight: 182lbs | Goal Weight: 175lbs + Healthy