If you didn't read about Goal #1, look at my last post.
Here is Goal #2: Lose weight and get in shape. I want to lose 40 pounds. I want to get back to a healthy BMI (I'm currently at 28.7 and anything over a 25 is considered "overweight"). And a healthy body fat percentage (I'm currently at 37.8% and I need to be no higher than 25%). I'd like to maybe enter a 5k. I want to be able to fit into everything in my closet, even the fantastic and expensive black cocktail dress I have, which I believe is a size 8. I want to look good in photos again. I am hoping to reach this one by the end of the year, too. Like the other goal, it is a lifestyle change. I need to stop looking at food and exercise the way I have been all my life.
Unlike Goal #1, which is a new concept to me, I already know how to reach Goal #2. I am really good at losing weight and getting in shape--I have already lost and re-gained this SAME 40 pounds twice already. :P
My problem isn't the knowledge, it's the motivation. That means I have to stop making excuses and stop the negative thoughts. I have to change the way I view food and exercise and their roles in my life. Instead of thinking, "I really want to eat chocolate cake! This sucks!" I have to think, "Chocolate cake tastes good, but it is empty calories and basically counter-acts all the hard work I did at the gym this week."
Like Goal #1, a lot of the same lessons apply here:
* Know your weakness and avoid it. Mine are brownies, Oreos, Doritos, candy, Cheez-its and fried chicken.
* Plan ahead and prioritize. This means not waiting too long in-between meals and building time into my schedule for exercise.
* Little things can add up. So every calorie, every trip to the gym counts. The good AND the bad.
*Knowledge is power. I recently had my body fat, BMI, BMR, blood pressure and weight calculated. Now I know where I stand, at least. And talk about a wake-up call!!!
* Don't be stupid. The gym charges me $44.50 per month, whether I go twice or 200 times. It is stupid not to make the best use of my membership.
* If you act like a child, you have to treat yourself like one. I am not good at putting the bag of food DOWN. So I just try to make sure the bag-o-goodies doesn't even get past my front door in the first place. And since I am not very good at behaving responsibly in all of this, I have hired a baby-sitter. (More on that later.)
* Try new ways to hold yourself accountable. I just signed up for a "Biggest Loser"-type contest here at work. I don't know if it will help motivate me, but I can try at least.
* Make time to learn how to better achieve your goal. I made an appointment with a personal trainer last Friday. Luckily, it was a FREE (my new favorite word!) service from my gym. I figured, it can't hurt. This guy knows a helluva lot more than I do when it comes to being in shape. And CN was right: Watching "The Biggest Loser" really does motivate and educate you!
* Find what works for you. I love this one weight-lifting class at my gym. And I love going for a run. Sometimes, getting excited about these activities is the only motivation I can muster. So I cling to them desperately as staples in my workout regimen.
So how is it going so far? Well, to be honest, I'm pretty discouraged at this point. I feel like I have been better about what I eat and how often I exercise, ever since January 1. But I have yet to lose a single pound.
Yeah. You read that correctly. I did have one day where it looked like I had lost 3, but that must have been water weight. I weighed myself yesterday -- no dice. I'm back to my original weight. Although, my pants are fitting a tiny bit better. And my stomach feels flatter. And I'm starting to get some muscle definition in my arms and legs. But these are all small differences, visible only to me. I haven't made any real progress yet. So I've been kind of bummed about it. I have moments where I honestly don't know if I can do this or not. Like, maybe I should just try to not gain any more weight, and leave it at that. My goals seem totally overwhelming most of the time. (Yes, I know I should not look at it like that, and that I should take it one day at a time, break my goals down into smaller ones and blah blah blah. But try telling me that when I'm on the scale and it reads the same weight AGAIN.)
What's really frustrating is that my body is adapting to the increase in exercise really well -- in just a month, I am back to being able to run 2 miles straight. I am lifting the same amount of weight (sometimes more) I was back when I was more in-shape. But that number on the scale just won't budge!! I'm having a pudge budge problem! LOL
CN has noticed that my motivation and excitement has waned lately. So we talked about it, because he is being super-supportive. He's like my conscience. Or my own personal trainer-coach.
CN pointed out that we do not eat healthily when we go to restaurants. Oops. He's right. I hadn't really thought about how one bad meal a week could derail all my hard work. And I admit, there are weeks when I only hit the gym twice. That doesn't do much good. So there is lots of room for improvement here. CN has been trying to encourage me and support me, and he's doing great. He's not making me feel fat or unattractive. He's not making me feel like my weight is important to him at all-- just my happiness and my health. He's just being super-supportive and reminds me of my long-term goals. He gives me tips and ideas all the time, without nagging me. He's also being a really good role model -- he's really good about what he eats. I could not ask for a better support system.
So this past week, I have been more motivated than usual. How am I doing?
Since February 3rd, I have worked out 6 times, including a rocked-out cardio workout on Tuesday (I ran 2 miles and walked 4!). I had that appointment with a personal trainer at my gym. And I joined the "Biggest Loser" contest here at work. I have 6 weeks to lose the most body fat percentage.
I even ate a *gasp* SALAD for lunch the other day! (Context: In the rankings of Unpleasant Things that VB Dreads, "salad" falls somewhere between "being mugged" and "pap smear".)
When I met up with the personal trainer (I will call him "Biff", because he is quite the stereotypical meathead!) last Friday, it felt really good to sort of take control of the situation. I was honest with him, I learned a lot, and Biff told me where I could be and how I can get there. Although it sounds like a TON of hard work and dedication, both in and out of the gym, I think I am up for it. I am obviously not good at doing this on my own. I need a baby-sitter. Someone who expects a lot of work from me. Someone who will hold me accountable. I'm tired of yo-yo-ing and I need to start thinking about my health. I need to make this a permanent lifestyle change. So when he offered to sign me up for a year's worth of personal training, I said without thinking, "Ok. Sign me up."
Me and my big fat mouth. Biff charges $40 an hour. And I signed up for twice-monthly sessions.
I'm trying not to think about it. I am having a very hard time justifying this to the Budget-Conscious VB. She is pretty upset with me for not taking some time to think about this before signing on the dotted line. Especially since Biff needed first and last month's fees up front.
Readers, please tell me this is worth it. Because all I am thinking about is how this has totally effed up this month's budget. Argh.
But there is a silver lining: the cruise we are taking in April motivates me to work on BOTH goals. I want to have plenty of spending money in the Bahamas. I also want to look good in my bikini on the cruise ship. So I have been having thoughts like this:
"Do I want to buy these shoes, or do I want to go snorkeling in The Bahamas?"
"Yes, this push-up sucks, but it will all be worth it when that Caribbean breeze is blowing through your hair!"
I heard a mantra the other day: Progress, not perfection. I really like it, because it takes into account that we are not perfect. We are human. We aren't robots or machines. But that doesn't give us permission to screw around, either. So I think I can work with this.
Wish me luck.