Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A whole new world...one without sugar :(

So this is officially my first ever post about health/fitness.  I am the LAST person anyone would look to for fitness advice mainly b/c "frankly my Dear, I just don't give a damn".  Or at least I didn't until now.  I have yo-yo'ed with my weight since middle school.  I have always been VERY active as a young adult and even into my early 20's, but lately I have just become very lazy.  I tell ya... kids just take it out of you and being a working mom married to a military man doesn't help matters any since Michael is gone quite a lot. Since we have a new baby, instead of going for a walk around the neighborhood with the kids I would bake cupcakes or try out a new recipe I found on Pinterest. 
I am soooo not that girl who actually pays attention to what she eats or drinks and I have made it a point to avoid the scale for at least 2 years now.  Even when I go to the doctor I tell the nurse, "don't tell me what it says."  BIG NO NO! 
I actually think I suffer from some reverse body dysmorphia or something b/c when I would look in the mirror I thought, okay I'm obviously heavier but I still look cute.  Or, "man I can't believe these are a size X, I don't think I'm THAT big."  Then I'd see pictures of myself and think, "Dear God woman... what are you doing to yourself."  I started avoiding cameras all together and have very few photos of myself with Ezra from the past few years.  Even then it wasn't enough for me to actually DO something about it. 
Not until about 2 months ago that is.  I have finally gotten big enough to where I actually feel uncomfortable in my own skin.  Even crossing my legs feels annoying.  And there was the incident where one of my clients starting talking to me about gastic bypass surgery and how awesome it was for him and how I should really look into it.  Yeah... that happened... so I was like, okay Becky Lee,seriously... lets get your butt in gear.
So we bought an elliptical machine so I'd have something at home to use to work out on and not have to worry about getting to a gym or finding someone to watch the kids while I went for a run.  It is AMAZING!  One of the best investments I think we've ever made.  I can now work out at 5:30am before work and I usually try to get a second work out in in the evenings after I get home.  Since I'm trying to work toward building up my stamina it's great to be able to do 20-30 minute sessions which is usually how much time Libby gives me before she starts crying to be held or fed.  
So since I've started dieting and exercising (no pills or plans involved) 23 days ago I've lost 17 pounds
My goal is to lose about 85 pounds so I have a LONG way to go, but I have found some great tools to get me there and that's what I wanted to share with you guys and was the purpose of this post.

I am 31 years old and honestly I'm the biggest of my friends my age so I don't know if anyone out there will benefit from this post since it seems like most people are doing a heck of a lot better job then me at staying fit but for the other ladies/men like myself who just never really paid attention to fitness here's what I've learned so far:

1.  DON'T AVOID THE SCALE.  Probably the biggest mistake I could have made.  Of course I knew I was getting to be a "big girl" and had to start shopping in big girl stores, but that still wasn't enough to make me be proactive and get healthy.  Once I saw how much I weighed I was SHOCKED!

2.  Know where you fit on the healthy/overweight/obese scale.   I have NEVER looked at my weight and height and compared it to where I should be weight wise.  You can click HERE to be redirected to weight watchers and do a free assessment to see where you are and where you need to be to be considered a healthy weight.  For example, for my height "healthy" is b/w 125-155#'s, overweight is 156-186 and obese is >186 pounds.  Once I saw how many pounds I'd need to lose just to be at the high end of "overweight" I was floored!  Again, if I had known how far off the chart from "healthy" I have become I likely would have taken hold of my weight much earlier. 

3.  KNOW WHAT YOU ARE PUTTING INTO YOUR BODY!  I had NO idea how many calories I was consuming every day.   I'd drink a few Coke's a day and not think twice about how many empty calories those are when I could have had a flavored calorie free water instead.  Just knowing the difference b/w ground beef vs. ground turkey or beef fajita meat vs. chicken.  We're talking like 1000 calories differences here!
I have been able to not only look up how many calories are in what I'm eating but also log them with this FANTASTIC iphone app called "Tap and Track".  I think it was $4.99 and it's been an amazing "partner" to me in this journey.  Once you enter your profile into the app it will ask you how many pounds you want to loose a week and then it will tell you how many calories you can consume a day and it keeps a running log of how many calories you have remaining for the day.  I have commited to logging everything I eat, whether it's one cucumber slice or 1 raspberry.  Snacking can really add up so I have disciplined myself to log everything I put into my gullet.  The app not only allows you to search a ton of restaurants for nutritional info, but you can also search grocery store items, etc.  Pretty much everything you can think of is on there in some form or another and if I can't find it, I don't eat it.  The app allows you to keep a daily log of your weight, calories eaten, and calories burned.  You can either just input your calories burned or do a search for all sorts of activities, then you type in the time you spent doing them and it tells you how many calories your burned once you've entered your profile information. 
For example for me one hour of sweeping/mopping is like 495 calories!  Who knew! 
I really credit this simple app with most of my success b/c it keeps me accountable and if I'm not losing as fast as I'd like or too fast I can look back and see what I may need to do differently to get the outcomes I desire. 

4.  SET REACHABLE GOALS.  Right now, my goal is just to not be considered obese.  My goal then will be to not be considered overweight.  And lastly to reach my goal weight.  Another of my mid-term goals is to be able to wear an amazing BCBG dress I bought years before we had Ezra (never been worn) in this years' Christmas family photo.  I say "mid-term" because I know realistically it will likely be almost a year before I reach my goal weight.  I just keep the dress hanging in my closet right where I can see it everyday as a subtle reminder or why I need to get my butt in gear and get in some cardio. 

5.  It takes 3,500 calories to burn one pound of fat!!!!!! When I see how little calories I burn after I'm dripping with sweat after an elliptical machine work out, I'm floored by how hard it is to burn one pound.  Again if I knew before how hard it is to burn just 200 calories I would likely have been less likely to eat and drink so indiscriminately. 

6.  Avoid situations where you don't know when or what you'll be able to eat.  If you don't know what someone is serving for dinner don't be ashamed to bring something along.  My mom invites us over often and I usually don't know what they'll be serving.  I have been known to bring along my own food often times just in case they aren't having something I can eat.  Something that is really quick and healthy is sushi.  I just pop into our local Brookshire's if we're on the way somewhere and buy one of their brown rice California rolls (only 200 calories) and take that with me.  Or if they are having potatoes, I'll just bring along a sweet potato and some 0 calorie spray butter and Splenda. 
For me personally eating something not on the diet is a slippery slope.  I'm a horrible back-slider so I have to be EXTREMELY vigilant with myself.  I am not someone who can be allowed a cheat day or it will turn into a cheat week. 
Knowing what time people expect to eat is also important b/c we all know that once you get hungry enough you're likely to give in to your growling gut and eat something you shouldn't, so if you don't know when you'll eat bring along a snack to get you through till dinner. 

7.  Be accountable to someone.  For me it's my hubby and my co-worker Shanna.  Michael has always been in shape and he's my cheerleader through this.  He's always positive and listens to me moan and complain when I'm not happy with my results.  Shanna is also dieting so it's nice to have someone at work who I can "partner" up with to put up a fight against the ever present donuts/cookies, etc. 

8.  Don't put off working out just because your tired.  I remember when I first started working out, Micheal didn't want me to do it every day b/c he didn't want me to get "burnt out". I told him that I needed to work out everyday b/c I knew there would be days that would come up where I would be sick or something would come up and I wouldn't be able to and then I'd feel guilty for not working out when I could.  Within a week of this conversation I got really sick and had to take off 4 days from working out.  I was still able to keep my weight loss trend going though and I'm glad that I had been working out steadily until that point so I didn't feel too guilty about taking the time off.

9.  GET OUTSIDE.  Sometimes when I start getting a craving for sweets or something I shouldn't eat I just go outside.  I'll start pulling weeds, or pruning my flowers.  Just something to get me out of the house where I'm less likely to mindlessly eat something I shouldn't.  Plus you get the added bonus of calories burned while gardening.

Since this post is turning into a novel I'm going to end here.  I know this probably seems like complete common sense to most people but if there's anyone out there like myself I hope it will help you to make some lifestyle changes sooner then I did.  I want to want to be in photos with my kids.  I want to not always be the one hiding behind the camera.  So far I'm proud of what I've accomplished but knowing how far I have to go can become really daunting. 
It has to be said that you are NOT supposed to lose more then 2 pounds a week to be considered safe weight loss.  I have set a certain number of calories that I try not to eat more then a day and that's worked for me.  Ultimately I think you just have to do what works best for you.  I don't use any supplements or diet plans.  I just focus on "calories in/calories out". 

Hopefully I didn't bore too many of you and for my readers who are more interested in fun party printables, etc. no worries I have some things in the works for you too. 

2 comments:

Deena said...

Great job Becky! It sounds like you are doing an awesome job of sticking to it. I am very impressed...I too have been pretty shocked by some recent photos of myself. Ugh. I am curious, are you off sugar? That is my weakness and I don't quite know if I am ready to cut it out of my diet.
Good luck with your goal!

Robbi said...

Congratulations on your weightloss thus far. Your post was very encouraging to me. I HAVE to do something. I started Vi shakes but got sick soon after and once i fell off the wagon, i have get to get back on. Keep up the good work!