Tag: weight loss

Don’t be an Obstacle to Your Own Success

I think the last few posts I’ve made, I start out the same…”well it’s been awhile…blah, blah, blah”. The thing is, I could say it again, but I’m not going to. I’m starting this off with a challenge to myself, to write once a month. Honestly, for my mental health alone.

I’ve talked about strength a lot before, but I keep coming back to it and it’s timely to talk about once again with all of the stories coming from the Olympics of strength, grit and sportsmanship.

But how do we relate to the strength of an Olympian on our journey to becoming healthier and losing weight? I know it sounds impossible, but promise me you CAN.

Because that strength that every Olympian has, is in each of us. The key is to know that you have it and to use every ounce of it along the way for your own journey.

You may not be training to be the fastest runner or swimmer, but moving forward on your journey takes strength. Physical, and most importantly, mental strength. Mental strength is the most powerful but sometimes the hardest to come by. We overthink things, we psyche ourselves out, we are multitasking ourselves into the ground, we’re parents, students, worker bees, you name it.

Our greatest obstacle to success is the belief

Part of that mental strength comes in believing in ourselves. This is hard. I know. This is one of the areas where I constantly struggle and talk about on here (even in the last post). The belief that I can lift a little more weight or run a little further. Or how about the belief that I am parenting my kid the right way…don’t even get me started.

One of our greatest obstacles to success in anything, not just losing weight, is believing that we are powerless – that we don’t have the ability to do what we set our mind on.

When I was in elementary school, my PE teacher always told us she never wanted to hear us say the word “CAN’T.” That no matter how hard we thought it was, we COULD do it if we put our mind to it. Despite my struggles, and the ups and downs, the memory of her telling us to never say the word “can’t” when I start to say it to myself, comes back to me. And this is where that inner power/mental strength comes from. You have to remove the limits you put on yourself and believe that you have the power to do it, and push yourself beyond those limits.

I tested the theory of pushing myself beyond what I “thought” I could do these past 2 weekends. I’ve been running more and more, slowly increasing my distance before I run a 10K in September. But, I’ve never made it past about 4.5 – 5 miles. On the first Sunday, I told myself I was just going to go and do it. So, I ran out almost 3 miles, then turned around and went back the same 3. By the end I was walking, better yet practically crawling up the giant hill to our house, but when I got there, it was an amazing feeling to know I had just completed under 6 miles. This past weekend, I did the same thing and changed up the route. Having an idea that it was roughly 6 miles in my head. I headed out after winning a small battle in my head telling me not to go and did it. Over 6 miles later, running much more than the weekend before, I made it home feeling tired but psyched about what I had just accomplished.

run me picSo, never say never. Remove CAN’T from your vocabulary. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and take on the next challenge. And develop your mental muscle to become a stronger more powerful YOU.

Believing in Yourself and Finding What Works for You

I started a new workout plan about a month ago.  It’s amazing!  And it’s a lifting program.  I’ve been wanting to do a weightlifting program for ages, but for some reason I kept holding myself back.  I’d go back to the same old routines, start one up and a week in I’d get bored.  Finally, I said: “Fuck it, I need to do the program that I want to do and not let what’s in my head stop me.”  

IMG_9565

The thing that I have learned over the last few years is if you want to be consistent with exercise, you don’t necessarily have to be consistent with WHAT you are doing; you just have to find what you like to do.  And DO IT!  There are those people that will always do the same workout day in and day out and be perfectly content.  I am NOT one of those people.  I’ve stopped and started plenty of workouts.  

But don’t get frustrated with the process of finding the right one for you.  For me, finding the right workout program has been to find one that has an end point.  Two months, three months, even 30 days, whatever it is, I have an end in sight and that becomes my goal – complete every workout within that program (even if it takes a little longer than the prescribed time frame given).  

And listen to yourself, listen to your friends.  This is where your support network or even the girl in the checkout line who just came from a workout (I’m not afraid to go grocery shopping looking a hot mess after a workout) can help you figure out the right program.  I’ve scoured the internet, read up on different programs and picked some losers and winners based on my support system and their advice.  

Don’t give up on finding the right exercise routine for you if the first one or even tenth one doesn’t work out.  Remember, you’re still getting in the exercise while you find the right one.  

And here’s something else I have learned along the way…actually, let’s back up.  I’ve been listening to a podcast recently during my lifting sessions and I heard this quote and it spoke volumes to me:  

1

The thing is we hold ourselves back so much when it comes to improving upon oneself.  It’s time to stop.  Remember way back in the day when I did the workout program Insanity?  I almost never started the program.  A program that I ultimately believe propelled me into the remainder of my journey to lose weight.  Why was I scared to start?  Because I didn’t believe I could do it.  I didn’t believe that I could be amazing.  That I was STRONG.  

Belief in yourself can change the course of a goal from failure to achievement.

So, whether it’s Insanity, Strong Curves, yoga, running, Shaun T, or Jillian Michaels, there is a program that is right for you.  Believe in yourself and the strength that you have and get out there!

Being Honest and Going Back to Basics

Let’s start off with the fact that I’ve probably drafted about 5 different blog entries over the past 2 months but never finished a single one. The thing is, I haven’t completely found my rhythm yet with the new job, new city, new way of life and well, its hard folks.

And with all that is hard in life, my weight has crept up and that is what I am going to talk to you about today. And here is another hard part…being honest. Being honest with all of you. And especially being honest with myself and what I have gotten myself into. What is it that our moms used to always say to us?  Honesty is the best policy? When I started writing about my weight loss journey in the beginning, what did I say?

BE HONEST!  Honesty is the key to losing weight. Especially being honest with yourself and well, I kind of chose to ignore myself over the last few months.

Sure I can give the excuse of moving across the country, trying all the new foods (and I’m talking ALL. THE. FOOD), and starting a new job, but if I get down to it, I wasn’t being honest with myself. I knew what I was doing. I CHOSE to ignore what my mind was telling me.

So, here I am, up 25lbs from 6 months ago and mad at myself. I’ve been through despair, and pity, and now I’m just plain mad. I started this year off with a resolution to be more mindful, yet I completely threw that out the window on day 2 and said F*** it. Being mindful, to me, includes being honest with yourself. And I was none of the above. But with that anger, I’m taking that fire and putting it back into what I know. Round 2, one could say. I’m going back to the basics.

Or in the wise words of several friends and my ever patient husband, “You know what to do Tracy” and I’ll add in a “Duh!”

So, I’m tracking my food, finding an exercise plan that I LOVE (Piyo Round 2!), and adding in a heaping dose of mindfulness. Listening to my body, my mind AND those around me.

IMG_9361
excuse the super weird look on my face while I try holding side plank during piyo

I know, I know. I said I didn’t want to track my food again, but when you veer away from the tracks so far you start heading the wrong way, you have to re-route and start back over. This time tracking is different. I’m not setting out a plan and eating every last morsel planned, full or hungry. I’m eating when I’m hungry and ONLY when I’m hungry. This may mean that breakfast comes at 6:15 or at 9:30. It may mean that I have only snacks all day or a big meal at lunch and not much for dinner. I’m being mindful and listening to what my body wants, but within the limits of a calorie restriction.

The lesson learned, time and time again is maintenance is hard. Losing the weight is not an end point. You hear it, but do you really hear it? The maintenance phase after losing is like a dirty little secret that everyone sort of talks about, but doesn’t really want to let you in on when it comes to losing. You want to lose and get to that goal, but then what? Its trial and error and well I may have made a few more errors than I wanted to over the past few months, but here I am now. Being honest with myself. And most importantly all of you. Correcting course and going back to the basics. Remember, it’s a journey with ups and downs but never give up on yourself.

IMG_9355

Anniversary of Change

Today is a special day. It’s always been a special day. A day of celebration for one of my greatest and oldest friend’s birthday. And now the 3rd anniversary of my wake up call to change my life.

39969390000-800x571

I went for a run this morning.  I needed a change in my workouts and I thought, change is hard.  Period.  End of sentence.  I honestly detest change.

I grew up in the same house my entire life, I knew the same bedroom until I was eighteen. One of my first big “changes” in my life was moving away for college and I mentally fought it tooth and nail. Each time there is change in my life my body, brain and everything from my head to toes says, “No, thank you!”

15812104523_39f0276304_o

But here’s the thing…since making the change to become a healthier person those 3 years ago I’ve learned to overcome that overwhelming sense to fight change.

Embrace the change.

Don’t believe for one second that it isn’t hard to fight because my mind and body still go against change as much as it can, but deep, way deep down, I’ve now learned that taking that leap of whatever you want to call it to make the change is almost always worth it. Sure you will trip up, you will have your ups and downs, but if you set the goals you want to achieve and stay the course you will get there.  As I listened to Shaun T’s podcast this morning, he said,

You have to TRUST & BELIEVE in yourself that you can do whatever you decide to do!

81c86f2727926d650de5fa5c77cfe1b8

I don’t always win the fight either.  For me, I’ve learned that along the path to change, to achieve a goal, you have to be flexible. You have to “go with the flow” and make adjustments along the way. But that’s what change is all about. A lot of times if we think of the little changes along the way instead of the one giant mountain of change we are about to face it makes it a little easier to overcome that overwhelming urge to run away screaming and go cry in the corner.

We’ve had some big changes in our family lately and probably many more to come, but one of the most important ones was Sammo heading to kindergarten.  It was huge.  For me, for her, for Mike.  It’s changed our schedules, what we have to accomplish at night and in the morning, but one thing I am so impressed with is how Sam takes it all in strides.

She embraces the changes head on.  She loves the idea of a new adventure ahead.

IMG_7986

So on this 3rd anniversary of an always day of celebration I ask you to take the leap. Commit to one change. One small goal. You never know how one small change can turn into a 140 other changes to get you to a healthier, happier you.

Struggles, Strength and Trust

Brace yourself…this is going to be a long one.  It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything down and there’s a lot on my mind.  Let me pause so you can get a cup of coffee or tea or diet coke before you sit down to read this….

I realized today that I had been holding a lot in.  When I began writing about my journey I said I would be honest and not hold back.  I wanted to open people’s eyes up to the ups, downs, bumps and bruises that all come with the journey to lose weight, change your lifestyle, and deal with everything in between.

So let’s start with the STRUGGLES

My struggles should be affectionately titled, ‘The Diary of a Binge Eater’.  I’ve struggled with binge eating disorder for a long time, even through my weight loss, but more recently it has come on strong.  The quick and dirty on binge eating disorder is that (for me) you will eat and eat and eat (a lot of times the same food) until you are full and then even more full and then until you feel like you want to burst and then you will eat some more.  Binge eaters restrict until we can’t restrict anymore, then binge on food after the restrictions we have put on ourselves is too much.  We eat to numb, to deal with the emotions we don’t really want to deal with, or fill a void.

With the winter months and my depression and anxiety mounting, the binges have come steadily and with the binges so have weight gains.  And for someone who focused 2 years of their life losing weight, weight gains are DEVASTATING.  Yes, I’m a chronic weigher (is that a word?).  While I know I shouldn’t, I weigh myself almost every day.  Yes, I know (I’m trying to be better).  And while I know weight fluctuates, with the binges, I have seen more gains than losses or maintenance and it freaks me the F out.

IMG_6240

I was reading something from a fellow binge eater the other day and it was like a light went off in my head.  For two years my goal was to lose weight.  I didn’t know how long it was going to be to get to my goals, but that was my goal.  When I went into maintenance, I no longer had that goal.  I didn’t have my positive reinforcement.  Sure, I made goals that were related to fitness, like finishing a program or lifting heavier, but honestly there is something satisfying about seeing that number on the scale drop.

My other revelation in dealing with my binge eating is that I still have a lot to work on when it comes to my relationship with food.  Tracking calories got me to my goal of losing 140lbs, but it has also caused me to lose my sanity in the process when it comes to thinking about food in a normal way.  I think in calories and I’ve lost a sense of satiety when eating food.  I am having to re-learn how to eat – when I’m hungry, when I’m full and not on a calorie and time table that gets me to a goal of weight loss.

But through these struggles, I am being reminded of the STRENGTH I have gained and to not forget where I started. I’m reminded by myself, but more importantly from my family and friends.  Like, Mike reminding me (multiple times) that I can fit into one pant leg of a pair of pants I used to wear.  That I pushed myself and overcame so many things I never thought I could do to make myself into a new, healthier person.  I have to hold on to that knowledge that I have that strength to continue to move forward in my journey that will always be changing.  To set new goals for myself, non-weight related, like building that strength to overcome my binge eating and develop a healthier relationship with food.

And despite the recent gains, I’ve come a long way.  I looked up my from my desk today and saw a picture of Sam and I from when we went to Disney World right before I started my journey.  So much has changed since then.  Our recent family vacation to Disney World was a whole new experience for me.  Rides were easy, walking all day didn’t hurt, my eating choices (while not perfect) were so much better than vacations past.  The knowledge of the journey is what will also propel me forward.

SONY DSC
Sep 2012 to Jan 2015 – Magic Kingdom

 

SONY DSC
Sep 2012 to Jan 2015 – Magic Kingdom

And finally there is TRUST.  I’ve talked about it before, but making the journey to lose weight and continue on with a healthy lifestyle takes a lot of trust.  Trust in myself.  Some days I have that trust or faith or whatever you want to call it; that I can make the right decisions, overcome my struggles, and use that strength to push past them, but other days, I lose it completely.  I lost weight for 2 years, I should trust and KNOW that I know what to do, but sometimes it waivers.  I’m working on trusting myself.  Believing in myself.

So, there you have it.  Life is messy.  Living a healthy lifestyle is not 100%.  No one is perfect and everyone has struggles.  BUT, we have to reflect on the strength that we have inside to push through the walls.  Push through the barriers that we have put up in our minds and trust that we will carry that strength with us to face the next challenge head on whether we fail or succeed.

Here’s the rest of that pic above from Disney with the family.  It was an amazing vacation!

16430414851_934c10f92b_o