Thursday, October 4, 2012

They see me rollin… foam rollin that is

So I decided the other day to purchase a foam roller. I felt as though it was following me. Seriously, you know when you’ve hear about something new and then you hear about it everywhere? That’s what happened.

First my best friend was talking about the physical therapy she was getting on her knee and mentioned foam rollers. So after dinner that night I googled it, so I knew what she was talking about.

Then, while browsing my Flipboard, a Women’s Health article on foam rollers popped up, so I read it. And then one of my favorite bloggers/youtube health gurus, Sarahfit had a video on foam rollers on my recommended videos on youtube.

And from my initial googling a lot of sources said it was really helpful for lower back pain, and I have plenty of that. Being as overweight as I have been I’ve fared pretty well, but about 2.5 years ago I did something which seems to have resulted in something mimicking Sciatica. Well I’m pretty sure it is Sciatica (or so google has told me) but my doc didn’t seem terribly bothered and gave me a xerox of back exercises. Then again she didn’t say anything when I’d lost 75 pounds in less than a year, so whatevs.

So I bought one.

And it came in a massive box, from Amazon. As soon as I got it I wanted to figure out exactly what to do with it. So I watched some more videos and read some more articles and tried it out.

It’s pretty awesome/ feels like what I assume a massage would feel like (because I’ve never actually had one…). I only tried a few moves with it (mostly legs and back) but you can totally feel the stretching pretty deeply. I want to try some of the ab moves the article article from Women's Health I mentioned earlier. The only catch is my floor space is rather limited, so I have to be careful not to roll too far otherwise my head may intersect with a piece of furniture.

So if you’re looking for a new piece of quirky workout stuff, the foam roller definitely fits the bill.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I got 99 problems, but being skinny isn't one.

When I was thinking about writing this entry, and contemplating the number 99, this song (and I wouldn't blast it in your work cubicle) kept running through my head.

Since the beginning/middle of last summer (2011) I have lost 99 pounds. I'm one pound away from a pretty big milestone, and I'm excited, but also a bit scared. the first half of my journey seemed somewhat effortless at times. I won't lie and say there weren't hard days, but I was focused and driven 24/7. This summer made me struggle. A lot. And I know my weight loss struggled because of it.

The biggest thing I had to adjust to was loosing constant contact with my best friend. She is the one person that truly keeps me grounded and focused. This summer, I realized rather quickly that I was rather reliant on the immediate feedback and support I had from her. Sending photos of my exciting breakfast creations made me motivated to eat breakfast every day- and make it something worthwhile. But with her spending her summer in the midst of a military academy Boot Camp, I had to muster up a whole boatload of internal motivation. And that's not always easy. But I managed. And she has her phone back, and while some things have had to change, out of situational necessity, knowing she's more readily accessible has helped get me back on track.

Also, being in an environment where everyone makes poor food choices is NOT the best environment to work and live in. Seriously. I know what helps me is control. I need control and planning to function in a healthy way. If not things go rather poorly. And I end up in the situation I started in. So it's hard to go out with people when time off always revolves around food and a night off is a trip to Dunkin Donuts or the local ice cream place. It's rough. And while I know I did fairly well considering, I did so much better last year, so I know I'm capable of better. And not being able to make my own food and use my food scale (in grams) and measuring spoons led to some questionable guesstimating. But it made me realize what works for me and what I need to be successful.

So part of this all is why I think coming back to blogging is the part of the support I need. I know that feedback helps me be successful, because while doing it for yourself is important I like sharing the process. So there we go.

As much as this entry is focused on numbers, this journey's been so much more to me. I look at the motivational stories on Sparkpeople and realize I've lost more than some of them. That's such a strange thought because that always seemed like such an unattainable concept. I'm healthier than I've probably ever been since elementary school.

And it's only going to keep getting better :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Some Weeks Are Tough... But You Get Through Them: The Good

Sometimes, you have to remember where you were to appreciate where you are. I'm not at my goal weight yet. I'm still 2 pesky pounds away from even being halfway. But I can do it.

I was listening to someone speak about addiction recovery the other night and it really got me thinking about this. He keeps a photo of what he looked like at his worst on his cell phone, so he never forgets where he started out.

I take a ton of unflattering progress photos. Except strangely, I can't really see the weight loss, unless I'm wearing the same outfit and I see how it hangs differently, or how much I have to tie back the waistline of a dress (dresses with tieback waists are the only thing saving my previous summer wardrobe right now). I had to get rid of almost all my skirts. Things like that make the crappy days manageable. Because I know I will never feel as bad as that again.

Last night I wore a pair of size 12 jeans. Now admittedly, they're stretchy and a bit too tight around the waist, but that is half the size I wore this time last year. I actually owned a few 26s. So when I make a mistake or manage to rediscover a pound I've lost, I have to look at these things to remember it's not the end of the world. In fact, it's only the beginning.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Some Weeks Will be Tough: The Bad

This week has been very up and down. Literally and figuratively.

My best friend/ motivator is on vacation this week and it's been hard not checking in with her all day. I knew it was going to be hard, but I thought I was stronger. The first few days were good- my weight's been up and down for the last few weeks, hovering around 240 +/-1, so I was trying not to focus on the numbers. I did a  4 mile walk on both Wednesday and Thursday. And I've been kinda stressed out with school/work so I forgot how much that helps me zone out and focus on myself for a bit.

The low point would probably be yesterday around 3pm. I was early for an appointment and I was sitting in my car, and I had a brownie sitting next to me. At least let me say I did not buy the brownie. It was a gift from a friend (who hasn't spent much time around me lately cause then she'd know that's not exactly on my food wish list. But she gave it to me. I left it in my car. It was individually wrapped, purchased off of QVC. It sat in my car for 18 days. I just realized how long that is. That kind of makes it more gross. But I ate it. All of it. And I wasn't hungry. I tried to stop halfway through, but I kept eating. I hate feeling out of control with food, and I haven't felt like that in a very long time. The last time I binged was around July of last year. And although I realize one coconut topped brownie baked by Satan isn't a binge, I just recognized that out of control feeling and couldn't handle it. It's been awhile since I've had to "write off a day" but that was yesterday. And I went home and ate dinner, 1 cup of ww pasta and 1 cup roasted vegetables, which isn't terrible, but if I could have skipped dinner without people questioning me, I would have. I ended up about 1700 for the day which isn't terrible, but I try to stick at 1200-1300 everyday. And when I looked at the scale today, I saw the consequences. 239.5, whereas I was 238.3 yesterday. And I know weight fluctuates daily, but I also know that fluctuation is all on me.

The worst part about it? After my walk I weighed myself. 237.5. That's my official halfway point. Halfway to goal. I guess I have to deal with some latent self-sabotage issues.

I also had some good things happen this week- I'll post about them later, because there's been good things, and I can't forget those either.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I want to weigh as much as a 5th grader.

Well at least this fifth grader. Now for some people, that may be unrealistically unhealthy. For someone with my weight history, that's the top of the healthy range for a 5'7 female. It's frustrating to think that I've always been overweight, minus the first 5 or so years of my life. So I mean I do have skinny photos...but I'm 3.

And because of this, I realize that with every pound I lose, I'm literally turning back time. Right now, I can't say I ever remember weighing as much (or as little) as I do now. I have vague recollections of the numbers 206 and 236, but that's probably beginning of high school or even possibly the end of middle school. I was 274 pounds when I started Weight Watchers my junior year. So this is truly uncharted territory. My first pair of jeans was a size 16 (much of my youth was spent in leggings and oversize t-shirts... it was the 90s). I now own a pair of pants that are a size 14. 1-4. Now in all fairness, I will admit- they run big, but the last time I saw a 4 on a tag, it was preceded by a 2. 

The last recorded weight I've discovered pre-Weight Watchers was on a 4th grade medical summary I dug out last summer. I weighed 140 pounds. As a 9 year old. So by setting a weight goal of 159, I'm pushing 5th grade right there. For the first time, it feels attainable.

 I have less than 100 pounds to lose. Right now it is 86.2.

That number is strangely ironic, because that is the first weight I remember- in kindergarten. I remember sneaking into my parents' bedroom to weigh myself before a shower, cause there was a scale there and well when you stepped on it, the dial moved and told you a number which was really awesome. My number was 86. I was about 5 years old.

So here I am, twenty years later, and I'm trying to lose that kindergarten me. And the layers of myself that I've accumulated since then. Cause for me, that's what my weight and food did for me- protected me. And somehow it took me 25 years to get to the point where I realized I didn't need that anymore.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sunny Days are meant for long walks

So yesterday I laced up my new kicks and since it was a balmy 74 degrees on the last day of winter, I went for a walk. The night before I downloaded Zombies Run! Now let me preface this entry by saying I love gimicky stuff. I wish I could say, at this point, I love to run and I wouldn't stop unless someone told me to. But that's not me. That's mainly the reason I have about a dozen health and fitness related apps downloaded on my iPhone.

I discovered Zombies Run! on a Sparkpeople message board about motivation to exercise. Well it works. I was skeptical cause I checked and have spent less than $15 on iTunes since my first iPod in 2005, so saying I hate spending money on apps is somewhat of an understatement. And Zombies Run! is $7.99, so it was a big plunge. But like I said, I like gimmicky things (and I have a secret obsession for audio books), so this seemed to have potential.

But it's catchy. Basically, you're a runner in a Zombie Infestation (just go with me) and you have to run and collect stuff to help out Abel Township. Your music plays along at times, so you don't have to sacrifice that, but there's some comedy via the radio hosts in the app. There's 30 missions (I can only currently see 13), but you have to do things, like assign the objects you "find" along the way to various locations, to unlock the missions. Each mission takes about 30 minutes to complete. I don't know if it was the sunny weather, the new sneakers, or Zombies Run!, but my walk turned into a 4 mile adventure with a 16:10 pace. So I'm only 1 "mission" in, but it motivated me to more than double my average distance.

It's currently only available in the Apple store, but will be coming to Android this spring.

Monday, March 19, 2012

As Simple as (Apple) Pie!

I'll admit it. I like dessert. So in trying to eat and live healthier, I've had to find ways to integrate the flavors I like into my lifestyle.  I like pie. At a not so distant point in my life, I could probably make an alarmingly large dent into a pie.

So the other night, I was in the mood for something sweet, but wasn't in a chocolate mood. So I brainstormed and came up with this super simple apple pie-esque dessert.

As an ingredient note, I love the Trader Joes Big & Chunky Appleauce. It almost has the consistency of pie filling, but without being that intensely sweet.

Apple Pie in a Bowl
1/2 cup applesauce (the chunkier the better)
1/8 cup granola (I like the Bear Naked Peak Protein cause it's an extra way to sneak in protein!)

1. Applesauce goes into a bowl and microwave for 1-2 minutes. You want it to be nice and bubbly.

2. Top with granola.

You could even add some low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt if you wanted to go all crazy and have it a la mode.

All this can be yours for...
150 cal/ 3.5g fat/ 5 fiber/ 3 protein

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pumped up Kicks: Asics Gel Noosa Tri-7

I was in need of some new sneakers. My last pair of sneakers was a Fullscreen capture 3182012 70856 PM.bmpNike Shox that I received as a gift last Christmas that are really nice shoes- but not for me. I wore them to run, but my feet just hurt after wearing them for more than 10 minutes. At nearly 250 pounds, I’m not exactly light on my feet, but it got to the point where I realized it was the shoes, not the running, that was the issue.
My feet are technically flat, but I’m fairly sure I under-pronate because the outer edge of my shoes are noticeably worn down. Go figure. But after only owning these shoes for 2 days, I can tell the difference. The Nike Shox were clunky and heavy in comparison. I’ll be completely honest though, I’ve been lusting over the Asics Gel Noosa Tri-6’s for awhile. I pinned them ages ago, but I really didn’t love the color combo. I actually much preferred the men’s color better, but I figured I’d just look longingly at them on my pinboard. Until I saw the Noosa 7s. Now these bad boys are popular. I ordered them on Zappos last Monday and today, they’re nowhere to be found on the site. So snag them if you can!
They’re really lightweight and the pink bit is actually all breathable mesh. Oh yeah, and they glow in the dark. Such a great feature for night running. I will warn you, these are flashy shoes. They are BRIGHT like 1980s neon. But I find that motivating. The fit was true to size, and they felt fine with even thicker socks on.
I’ve yet to go for a run in them and truly break them in, but after wearing them to run just a few errands, I can feel the difference.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Random Post: The Color Run

So I'm facebook friends with a lot of serious athletes. I see all the ridiculous Warrior Dashes and Tough Mudders they run. In theory they sound like a whole lot of fun. And then I see the photos of people, much more fit than I, struggling to climb over very tall walls. So I've come to the realization that at 248.9 pounds, that is probably not realistic adventure I wish to undertake. But as I mentioned in my initial entry about running, the thought of a 5k is something I'd like to take on at some point.

This morning, one of my friends today posted The Color Run on facebook. This thing looks freakin awesome. You run and they throw colored cornstarch on you at each kilometer. It's a 5k, and they run it in 13 different cities in the US.

My local one is in New York City on August 25th, 2012.  And the registration "opens soon". I'm so conflicted. I still run mostly at night or when people aren't home. It sounds strange, but I don't want people to really know what I'm doing, possibly out of fear of failure, but also cause the praise is kind of uncomfortable sometimes. But that's just me being self-conscious. I don't know if I can make the date which is the other thing. But this was too awesome of a thing not to share!

Anyone ever done a crazy 5k/half/marathon?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How to Deal with Binge Eating

If you read my first entry, you know that my relationship with food hasn't always been a healthy one. And it's taken awhile to get to a point where I do have a healthier outlook in regards to my eating. For a really long time I'd eat unhealthy junk, and I'd know exactly why I was eating it, but I just kept cycling and let's just say my coping skills were called "Eat and Repeat".

And I had my skills. I'd rationalize it to myself in my head, like "Oh, you're buying a dozen donuts to bring to work, right?". Well, that's what I was hoping the cashier was thinking. And I'd only buy junk food at stores with self-checkouts. I've never admitted any of this until now, actually, but I think it's important. Because if you do this kind of stuff, you're not alone. And that's really how I felt for a long time. I knew exactly what I was doing to myself, and how terrible I'd feel afterwards, but I'd still do it. And I felt like I was the only one.

I know this was the one big thing that kept me from being successful every time before. And before I could get healthier, I knew this was something I'd have to confront. So I did. And I did it on my own. But I don't recommend it.  If I were to do it again, I would have sought counseling. Because as much as this is about food, it's about what's going on emotionally. And I know I could have gotten to this point a lot sooner had I taken that step.

If you're not sure if you're ready to take the step of going to see someone or maybe you're not sure it's a problem. I have a few first steps that worked for me. And if anything about my story sounds familiar, I can only hope they may help you.

  • Start to take a look at your eating patterns. If you're not doing it already, write down what/how much you're eating. Everything. When you have to write down that you ate 21 cookies, that's hard. 
  • Buy a scale. Use it. Even now, I still try and think about cheating myself. But if I'm weighing what I'm eating, I have a harder time rationalizing it to myself. It's a lot easier to lie to yourself when something "looks" like a cup. It's really not a cup. 
  • Look at why you're eating. My suggestion is to put another little column next to your meals. Maybe it's "lunchtime" and that's your motivation. Maybe you're hungry. Or maybe it's because you're feeling anxious or stressed. Try to figure out the reason. 
  • Be honest with yourself. This is probably one of the hardest, but if you read the first three, it's something they all have in common. You probably will not like what you're thinking. That's okay. Don't beat yourself up over it. You're working to change it. 
  • Work on changing those thoughts. This was the hardest part for me. Changing the "you're a failure" and "you really can't do this" into something else. Every time I'd finish a package or container of something, there'd be such immense guilt. And these were the thoughts that would run through my head. You can rewrite these thoughts. And I know I'm getting close to motivational speaker territory, here, but go with it. There's a whole lot of grey area between success and failure. For me, failure was to keep doing what I was doing. Anything other than that was closer to success . So sometimes it's making just one small decision to do something different. 
Below is a chart, as a starter. There's tons of great resources online for food tracking too like Sparkpeople or MyFitnessPal. Don't stress about calories and all the specifics, yet. That is important, but one step at a time. I counted calories for a long time before I was honest with myself about what I was actually counting and what I couldn't even admit to myself that I was eating. So try it. Just for 3 days. See how it goes. I'm not a nutritionist, or a psychologist, or an expert on anything- but I am someone that would eat a box of donuts in a sitting. 

How much?
What you’re eating




Do you have any tips or ideas that work for you?