Thursday, January 31, 2013

STRESS and the importance of finding something to ground me

Stress is such a trigger for me to want to over eat. There are several factors in my life right now causing more negative stress than usual, and I just keep thinking about wanting to go and eat some comfort food. Luckily, I have an excellent support system and a wonderful husband that is reminding me of my goals. I think by writing this post, I am actually talking myself off that ledge--you know the one that keeps calling me to the kitchen for a snack.

As a counselor, I practice de-escalation techniques with students most days of the week. One of the things I encourage my students to do is to focus on something that will keep them calm. In practicing what I preach, I want to share a new moment in my life that is helping keep me grounded.  Rachel of the Hands Free Mama blog, shared something she does call the Heart Beat Check. I LOVE THIS--and have started doing Heart Beat Checks with my girls every night. Tonight, Abbi was squiggly and wiggly and I did not get a good listen. Emma told me that her heart was a little grumpy and that's why she wasn't a good listener tonight. When I leaned my ear in and listened to her heart, I told her I heard a happy heart that was just a little too tired. It was a sweet moment that brought me to tears.

This journey to get healthy is not just about physical health; its holistic health. There are things working in my life right now that are beyond my control, turning to food won't solve those problems. However, a little heart beat check can put me back on the right track to having the mental stability to deny those food cravings and handle those stressors one at a time.

How do you handle stressors? What keeps you grounded?

Working my way to fit,

Monday, January 28, 2013

Finding Peace in Chaos

Roid Rage in Planet Fitness today really put a damper on my work out. There were two people that were just insanely confrontational and trying to start a fight with intimidation tactics which included blocking some of the machines in the circuit training. The directions are clearly posted and it was a super busy night at PF, so there were several people in the circuit. One of the members made a comment about people not following the directions; unfortunately, that member tapped me on the shoulder and made the comment specifically to me. While I was annoyed by the two not following the workout correctly, I was just minding my own business trying to push myself for my own workout. Well, the confrontational people continued to make comments, blocking the machine to where I couldn't get to my phone and water bottle, and then followed me to the locker room and to the door. If they would have followed me outside, I would have had to say something to the manager. If they are there again, and continuing to get in the way of my workout, I will say something to the manager. I was so frustrated that I was fuming by the time I got home. I explain the situation to Jon, who agrees the people were ridiculous. Really, I just wish the other member would not have made her comment to me because it looked like I was part of the conversation.
Regardless, there is a lesson to learn here:
PF is my place of solace; I feel great when I am there and I feel proud after my workouts. I belong there; I need to be there. No one, including myself, will get in the way of my workout. I let myself get worked up over people who don't know me. People who don't know my journey. My focus is on my journey. I will not be intimidated about going back; perhaps, if confrontational couple is there I can talk to them about the circuit and how it works in a friendly way. The goal is for a healthier life-style for all of us. Maybe they were intimidated by how things work. It doesn't really matter why they acted like they acted. I can not control their actions, I can only control my own. I earned my 16 exercise points for 64 minutes of exercise. I accomplished a longer run, a higher incline, and heavier weights. Breathe in, breathe out, and keep at it. There's much to be grateful for, and there is peace in my heart knowing that my hard work is paying off...

Working my way to fit,

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weigh-In day

I find it odd that I am excited to go to Weight Watchers for weigh-in days and my weekly meetings. Interestingly enough, the topic of the meeting was sharing the excitement that we have for getting healthy with others around us. Similarly, we can gain inspiration from other's excitment. This week's meeting hit home,

Two times at the gym this week, someone told me I was motivating them to work harder! I'm loving this!!! Saturday night, I hit 2.5 miles in 30 minutes and burned 502 calories on the treadmill. From the treadmill I hit the circuit training section. Nikki and Tiffany (new members) were in there and unsure how to use some of the machines. I showed them a few things and then continued my workout. Nikki told me she was watching me to see what to do--she said "oooh girl, you are inspiring me to work harder." Of course, I was then inspired to work harder! At the end of the night, I had 65 minutes of a workout, more than 500 calories burned and 15 exercise points earned. I am a former athlete, and I am having fun finding my athletic self again.

My goal this week was to lose 2.8 because I would then be in a new "10". I know its a lofty goal, and 2.8 is a lot to lose in one week after being on program for 10 weeks. Still, I like a challenge and I like to have something difficult to shoot for. Anyway, I fell a little short of my goal with a 2.6 lb weight loss. I am not disappointed at all! I am super excited that I hit 2.6! For this week, my goal will be 2.8 again. For no other reason than the fact that I want to hit that number!

This week, we are supposed to hit 70 degrees one day. I look forward to being able to take my kids out to play. I am noticing that my "trouble" time is immediately when I get home from school. I find the need to snack, so I am hoping by immediately going outside, or involving myself in some other activity I can replace the after school snack. Anyone have any suggestions for those trouble times during the day?

Looking forward to another great week! Hope yours is wonderful.

Working my way to fit,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fiscally Fit and Physically Fit: The journey is the same

Last night, I got home from work and felt AWFUL. I had a low grade fever, and just felt achy. Jon was working late, and even though we had meal planned for the week and had taken chicken out to grill. I DID NOT want to cook. I gave in and ordered pizza.  This morning, as I was driving to work, I realized that not only did I go over in points plus yesterday (thank you 49 weekly allowable), but I also created a dent in our budget. This when I realized that so many of the behavior changes I have made for getting physically fit also apply to our Gazelle Intense journey in getting fiscally fit.

1. On paper on purpose. Every month we write our budget and spend every dollar on paper first. This was one of our greatest take aways from Financial Peace University, and it has really helped get our spending under-control. Tracking points plus is the same way. I track everything I eat, and if I know an event is coming up, I also plan my points.

2. Sacrifices now for a better life later...or as DR says "Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else." There are many things we have given up in our journey to be debt free. We rarely eat out, we limit our excess spending (eliminated cable at one point, no birthday gift and Christmas gifts for each other, etc.): we choose whats most important and that is where our money goes. Same thing with losing weight--I am making better choices now so that I am healthier later. I am choosing whats most point friendly, versus whats most "taste" friendly.

3. Hit a bump, adjust, and keep working towards the goal. And this applies to last night most specifically. In the past, I would have ordered the pizza on a credit card and ate as much as I wanted. Last night, I ordered the pizza with our food budget. What this means is I did not "blow" our budget, but when we grocery shop this weekend, I have to make and adjustment for the $25.00 I spent. Eating pizza one night did not "blow" my diet. I tracked my points, I still have several weekly allowable points, and I am right back on track today.

Anyway, I just thought it was interesting that the behavior changes needed for getting out of debt and getting healthy were so similar. Looking forward to reading any of your comments...what are you doing that require behavior changes?

Have a great Friday (stay safe for all of you experiencing snow and ice!).
Working my way to fit,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Motivation to change?

So, I received several emails in response to sharing my blog with a few select family members and friends. I appreciate the support more than you can ever know! I received a couple particularly moving emails, one person wrote that she noticed a difference in my mentality this time. She asked if I had thought about what was motivating me this time versus all the other attempts at weight loss. I thought about this a lot today, and I have come up with a couple different answers.

First of all, I have not lost any more weight this time than I have any other time that I have joined weight watchers. I typically hit the 25lb mark before I flake out. Knowing this about myself, I am going to be very aware and purposeful in maintaing motivation when I get to my 25lbs lost (and I will get to 25lbs lost).
So, what is my motivation? Why do I seem more determined this time than in times past?

1. First of all, every time that I have joined Weight Watchers or any other weight loss program, I have joined to lose weight for a special occasion or circumstance. I wanted to lose weight to help me in pregnancy and having a healthy baby (it worked!, but then I didn't relose!). I wanted to lose weight for Jess's wedding (lost almost 30lbs and gained 15 of it back before the wedding...). This time, I want to lose weight so I can be a more healthy mom, wife, and person in general. I don't have a "time line" for my goals, nor do I have an "event" that I am shooting for. I am taking this one week at a time, one weigh-in at a time, one moment at a time.

2. Joining Weight Watchers (again) was not a rash decision. In times past, I would just wake up one morning and want to make huge dynamic changes. There were unmaintable, and sporadic. This time, I had been following the Weight Watcher program at home, weighing in on my own when I came to a stalling point. Jon and I talked about me joining weight watchers, we both agreed it was needed, we worked it in to our budget and I joined. There was no--jump in for a quick-fix mentality.

3. I was in the mindest to get healthy and fit prior to joining as opposed to joinging because of a dislike for myself. I actually began the C25K program in June. Read several blogs and running articles about how starting a running program can slow weight loss because of gaining muscle and changes in the body. In several articles, 12 weeks was the magic number for our bodies to get accustomed to running. When I joined weight watchers, I had already made a lot of progress in excercise and regulating my diet just made since.

4. Changes in behavior. This just goes back to a more focused mentality. A friend of mine, who has been succesful in her weight loss and maintenance goals, opened my eyes to my own behaviors. She shares her stories and her philosophies of weight loss, and she makes me think about my own behaviors. I had to clean up several of my behaviors (like eating junk as soon as I walk in the door after school). However, instead of getting rid of my afternoon snack, like I would have done in the years past, I have just replaced it with a healthy snack. Coming up with replacement behaviors has been instrumental in helping me maintain my focus.

5. Realist goals. In the past, my goals would be ridiculous and unattainable, then I would give up. This time, I am following the advice of my weight watcher leader and several successful people who have lost weight: make small goals, reward myself for hitting it (non-food rewards), then move to the next small goal. My first goal was 5% of my weight. I hit that a few weeks ago, so now I am working on 10%. Each step will be a step closer to my ultimate goal weight, but right now, I am just focusing on the little victories.

6. The final piece to my make a change puzzle is the accountability piece. Between this blog, my friends and family members who expect my weigh-in report on Sunday, my weight record and my kids and husband, I find myself more focused.

Thank you all again for the support, and thank you for joining me on this journey.

Working my way to fit,

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rockin' it at the gym today.

Today, I took my kids to pre-school, even though I had the day off, so I could go to Planet Fitness and work out before coming home to finish a school project. I love PF, but had not been there in weeks. My first week that I missed was because we were traveling. When we came home, I used our treadmill while the kids napped. Last, week, Jon was recovering from surgery, so I stayed home and worked out. These are not excuses; I still met my cardio goals each week. I just realized that I don't enjoy working out at home like I enjoy working out at PF. I think its the change in atmosphere, the attitude that I am there to get a job done, being surrounded by people working out, and just the "me" time that makes working out at PF so much more energizing than working out at home. Looking forward to getting back in the routine of working out at PF while Jon works out at home.

As someone who has yo-yo'd more times than I would like to admit, I think the key to getting healthy is finding something you enjoy. Infact, my WW leader (WHO IS FANTASTIC) discussed this during our meeting this week. He said, "if you are not doing an excercise you enjoy, FIND SOMETHING ELSE." This prompted my trip back to PF today, and he's right!!! I enjoyed my workout today! I also decided that if the treadmill at home is available because Jon is not working out, I am still going to PF.

This is by no means an advertisement for Planet Fitness, this is an advertisemt for YOU to dig down deep and find something you enjoy...and GO DO IT! I was telling my mom about my experience at the gym today, and she said "walking from the parking lot to the gym" would be my excercise. She caught herself and remembered that she could shop with the best athlete in the world on Black Friday, and outshop them. I think about her walking at the zoo--the woman could walk a zoo everyday during the spring and summer months and be happy. She may not be a gym member, but if she has a purpose she will walk to the ends of the earth. I encourage you to find your excercise that moves and motivates you.

A change in behavior is the only way to get our goals. Find a way to make excercise a normal routine, a part of your behavior that you depend on and make it something you enjoy.

Finding my way to Fit,