Thursday, February 07, 2008

Goal #2

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.

Double ouch.

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.


lenfercestlesautres said...

Are you sure you're not just gaining muscles? That can make it seem like you're not losing weight while you're actually losing some fat but gaining muscles, which makes up for the weight.

Christina said...

Every little bit counts. It sounds like you are off to a great start. With every new change, adjust is hardest. I have a personal trainer and although expensive it is worth it. They teach you the fundamentals and how to reach them more. I find going to the gym in the morning really helps. Good luck with your goals and when you get discouraged, think of the outcomes! :)

Stuck said...

One thing to keep in mind when you order a "salad" is that most restaurant salads have just as many calories as a normal meal. (In the case of the California Dreaming salad, it even has more calories than the fried chicken strips.)

I've recently started taking a nutrition class, and it's opened my eyes to a world of false-thinking in regards to what's healthy and what's not. Once it's done, I'll share my notebook with you if you like.

Becky said...

i totally needed this inspiration :)

Amber said...

Good luck. Just remember that your trainer is an investment in your health. There's nothing more important than that.

Also, here's a mantra I've been using when I work out/think about not eating fattening foods/get discouraged: Choose the good, not the easy. I heard Dr. Oz say it on Oprah the other day while I was running at the gym.

Smug said...

I am right there with you. Good luck with all your goals and if you can afford the trainer, he can be great motivation. You can easily let something get in the way of working out, but you are less likely to cancel an appointment with someone, or show up for an appointment without having done the work he asked of you. It's that whole accountability thing!! Good luck!!

SSB said...

Hey VB,

I think you're doing a great job with your goals! It takes awhile for the number to change - pay more attention to how your clothes fit, etc. The cruise should be great motivation - or just summer in general! I've been trying (and failing) at the whole get in shape game lately too, so this post motivated me. And Biff will be a great investment if you make it work, so don't worry about the added cost. Your readers are additional baby-sitters/motivaters too!

Phantom Hater said...

Definitely stop eating out so much. That'll wreck you.

Stop weighing yourself all the time. You'll get discouraged. Weight isn't really what you should be concerned with, anyway, as you know. It's waist size and body fat percentage. If you're running and walking several miles, you're doing fine.

I don't know about the personal trainer thing. 80/mo plus gym fees is a lot if you're on a tight budget. If you could get all the tips and learn how to do the weekly workouts from Biff in a few sessions and then just do them on your own, that'd save some money. There are tons of complete work-out plans available for free online. If motivation is the problem, you just need a regular gym buddy.

Jonathan Zero said...

good luck but you can do it. You have a plan in place.

A close friend has the same issue. The weight does not seem to be coming off, but she can fit in pants she has not worn in awhile and her shirts are looser.

sassafras said...

I know that you're discouraged right now but you are still thinking about being healthy and that is important. It can't and it won't be easy all the time and the little things really do make a difference. Perhaps focusing on smaller goals will be less overwhelming?

One last thought - just because the number on the scale isn't budging (and I know that is super frustrating when you've been trying to be "good") look at it as something more - you are getting HEALTHY and that is more important than a number on the scale.

Hang in there VB!

RWA said...

Those are some great goals. I wish you the best of luck.

don said...

I was a gymnast. As a result, I hate working out in a gym, and I really hate lifting weights. I do like riding a bike now however. You have to find something that you like to do and can find a place for it in your life. That's the only way exercise can work in the long run. It can't be this thing that you hate to do or costs you extra money.

don said...

I forgot to mention that one of the main things people do on a cruise is eat. Of course they have lots of gyms.

teahouse said...

Good luck!!

I read somewhere that simply trying to walk a little bit each day is a great way to trim off pounds. Like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, deliberately parking far from the entrance to the store, etc.

The Dummy said...

I love your goals! Just so you know there are other people who would love to do this with you, if you start a blog-wide workout, I'll do it with you.

Stella said...

Actually $40 a session is pretty cheap. Or I should say cheaper than anything I have heard of (and I've worked in two different health clubs). I also think the trainer will help. I don't know why or how but also from working at those clubs I saw people who used trainers get benefits.

* meish * said...

I think the personal trainer is totally worth it. Rework that budget and make it work!

I feel like it's all about a lifestyle change, too. Walking to places more, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, eating out less. Change small habits step by step, and every little bit helps.

This new book about food and nutrition is awesome, too - In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.

Good luck!!!

Lady Wanderlust said...

How did you lose the 40 pounds the previous times? How long did it take and what did you do? I ask because I'm starting my own weight loss mission now.