Sunday, October 20, 2013

Numbers: They Don't Tell the WHOLE Story!

Happy Sunday, peeps! Another weekend that went as fast as it came. Something needs to be done about this. Any ideas? ;-)

Anyway, last weekend I had some struggles with switching from a "loss" mindset to a "maintenance" mindset. I gained back three pounds in two weeks, and honestly, I felt like a failure. I couldn't even maintain the lowest number I hit for a week, so how was I supposed to go about this for LIFE?

After about a day and a half of this, I decided I had enough of my pity party and grabbed my size 8 skinny jeans (same ones as in the "After" pics). Yup, still fit me perfectly. It was that moment that I realized that how my clothes fit and how I feel OVERALL are worth so much more than a number on the scale. I went back to feeling amazing.

Maintenance may have gotten off to a rocky start, but I feel confident that I'm going in the right direction. I realized that just because you hit a "low" of goal (or in my case, a few pounds less), you won't necessarily stay at a SINGLE number forever. Fluid retention happens (hormones or treat meals, as was the case for me a week or two ago), plus fat might be going away while muscle is being built. It's more like a range to stay in. I decided that if I happen to hit the 142 again, great. If I go a few (1-3) pounds above, great. I don't feel any pressure to get to ONE number any more.

Besides, one number doesn't tell a whole story.

For example, in four years, I...
...went from being borderline MORBIDLY obese to a healthy weight!
...was only able to shop in a few stores, but can shop anywhere now!
...used to hate running, now have completed five 5K's! (Hey, it's a start!)
...hated working out in general, but love it now!
...drank A LOT of soda every day, but now can't stand the stuff.
...hated my body but now LOVE how I look and more importantly how I FEEL!

You get the idea. =)

So, after looking at all this, do you see a single number telling my story? Yeah, I don't either. Numbers are part of the picture, but at the end of the day, they should be taken with a grain of salt. In other words, they're not worth as much as we think they are!

Now that I think about it, I believe that this was the mindset I needed in order to truly get into a maintenance mode. Yeah, I knew about all the numbers and stats, but mentally and emotionally, the light didn't come on for me until last week.

Yes, I did have a number I wanted to hit when I was in the process of losing weight. For me, like a lot of other people, that was the "all or nothing" of this journey. However, with enough time, I learned that how my clothes fit, how my body was getting toned, and just how I felt with myself were worth more than that number. Now, I learned that a measly two or three pounds aren't the end of the world. It's more about what my body wants to maintain while loving myself no matter what the number on the scale says.

Besides, don't numbers make us crazy enough in life? ;-)

Have you let a number define your journey at any point? If so, did you let go of the single number and focused on the big picture?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Feeling Frustrated Over Maintenance

Subtitle for this post: Tracy Beating Herself Up Then Learning a Lesson

Hello, friends! I can't believe it's Sunday already! As fast as the weekend comes, it goes that much faster! =P

As you may remember, I hit goal two weeks ago. I actually came four pounds below that number. I was on top of the world, but I admit I kind of felt a feeling of relief too.

Little did I know that major frustration would set in soon after.

In two weeks, I gained three pounds.

I saw a gain of two last week. I just shook it off as hormones (TTOM was about a week and a half ago), and thought I would be back to that awesome number this week.

Nope. In fact, I saw another pound come back. At this point, I wanted to cry. In fact, I admit that I have for the better chunk of the last day and a half. I also felt so angry for letting this happen.

So, now I'm two weeks past hitting goal, and I'm only down 101 pounds. Don't get me wrong, that's still an awesome number, and I still feel amazing, but there was just something...magical (I guess?) about saying I lost 104. Now, I just don't feel like as much of a rockstar. I feel...empty and lost.

Honestly, I should have seen this coming, since I lost so much so fast (six in two weeks, nine in a month), but honestly, I feel like an epic failure. I hit a number two weeks ago and I couldn't even maintain it for that long. Yeah, I guess I'm a loser for that too.

Yes, I know I sound so crazy and ridiculous for making a loss of 101 pounds seem like it's nothing, but I am human, and do let a number on the scale mess with my head. No matter what anyone says, I still let that number mess with my head every so often.

I've been in a funk since yesterday morning, and have cried more than I would like to admit I did. However, I still remind myself (as do others) that I am still pretty amazing.

I must be pretty amazing, because otherwise, would I have done this yesterday?

Nope! In fact, if I wasn't in as good of shape as I am, I wouldn't have the stamina for this! I burned 1023 calories in about two and a half hours. I felt strong and amazing!

Honestly, at the end of the day, that strong and amazing feeling is worth so much more than a measly three pounds, right? Now that I think about it, it is!

Besides, my size 8 skinny jeans from Old Navy still fit. That alone makes me feel pretty great. ;-)

I know that in time, my body will work itself out and I will eventually find a number that is realistic to maintain. Maybe I will get back to the 142. Maybe I'll stay at 145. Maybe it'll be something in between. My body knows best, and fighting it will just make me crazy, like it has for the last two days. Not worth it. It just makes me miserable to be around.

I admit that life at 145 isn't different at all from life at 142. I still feel just as confident in my own skin and am proud of how far I've come.

I realize that maintenance will be hard, and there will be times that I get frustrated, but the goal is to work through it and find what works for me in the long run. Besides, if this was easy, they would call it something else, right?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Back to Basics Recap

Yes, I know Back to Basics has been over for almost a week and a half, but, you know, some awesome stuff (and life) happened, and so this recap got delayed. So, finally, here's my challenge summary!

Below are the links to my recap for each individual week of the challenge:

Week 1: Improving Spaces for Success

Week 2: Tracking

Week 3: Good Health Guidelines

Week 4: Exercise

I had three goals for this challenge:

1) Track, track, TRACK!
2) No sweets Monday-Friday
3) Lose five pounds and finally hit my 100 pound weight loss goal!

I rocked all three goals and am still going strong!

I tracked for the whole month of September and am still tracking. I am now in maintenance mode, but still want to monitor everything. I do best when I see something, so I need to track.

At first, the no-sweets Monday-Friday was killing me, but after the first week, it felt natural. In fact, I think "Treat-End" is going to be sticking around! This girl finally got her sweet tooth under control! =D

Finally...I hit my 100 pound goal! I was actually FOUR pounds under the weight I wanted to hit! I did gain two back last week (stupid hormones), but I'm still under goal. After four long years, I finally became an after!

I seriously can't thank Brooke enough for this challenge! It came along at the right time for me. I was struggling to lose the last five pounds I wanted to hit goal, and just felt kind of stuck. So, I signed up for Back to Basics, set some goals and rocked it in September! Totally awesome feeling!

Well, I couldn't just go into October without wanting to accomplish something, right? So, I set up some new goals for myself.

1) Keep tracking!
2) Stay in goal range. My original goal was 146 pounds, but I went down to 142. I would like to stay in the range of 141-145. Simple enough.
3) Plank-A-Day! I was going strong until the middle of August. I want to get back to it in October! I'm 8-for-8 so far this month!

There you have it. The summary of the challenge that helped me get back to basics and finally become an after. Here's to a rocking October!

Friday, October 4, 2013

I'm an After!

Note: This post is LONG and has several pics. You've all been warned. ;-)

Four years, one month, and three weeks.

That was how long it took me to go from a "Before" to an "After."

My weigh-in day is on Saturday. I did weigh myself the week before, but didn't count it because I was sick. If I hit goal that week, I knew it would be on a fluke, and that the weight would come back.

Boy, was I wrong.

When I weighed in last Saturday, I was at 142. Not only did I hit goal, I blew it out of the water by four pounds. Awesome moment.

Of course, I posted it to Facebook and Twitter right away, and my timelines went a little bonkers in the best way possible. I also shot a text to Meredith, my spin instructor who's become such an awesome friend this last year too. Her response: "Way to go girl!!"

I celebrated by going to the gym for weights and Centergy. Typical While I was setting up my Polar, another member came up to me and apparently noticed that I was losing and said how good I looked. Awkwardly awesome, I guess? ;-)

Anyway, my workout was impossible to get through because I wasn't mentally there. Still, I got through and felt awesome after!

One of my rewards for hitting goal was to get my hair cut and re-highlighted. I went that afternoon to get it done. About two hours later, I had three inches less of hair, some new color, and felt even more amazing!

Later that night, I went out to dinner with my dad. I ate chicken fingers and sweet potato fries as my treat meal for the week. After dinner, I went and got fro-yo as my weekly sweet (I cut out sweets Monday-Friday and find that I want less on the weekends). I know you're not supposed to celebrate with food, but I do allow myself one higher calorie meal a week, and enjoyed that meal on Saturday.

Sunday was when I actually took my "After" pictures. As I was getting closer to goal, I decided that I wanted to go to the beach by my house for pictures. What better way to capture that amazingness than with the wind in my hair, sand on my feet, and the water in the background? Plus, I am a Jersey girl, after all! ;-)

It was a beautiful afternoon and my dad got some awesome pics of me! I consider this one to be my "official" after pic:

I also had my dad snap one of me jumping off the sand, mostly to show how excited I was about hitting goal. ;-)
Later that day, I put together a before and after pic and still couldn't believe that I was ever 246 pounds. I don't even know if I could put my feelings into words. I'll just let the pic speak for itself:

Pictures went up, timelines went crazy again. I admit all the love was overwhelming, but so awesome. I went to bed on Sunday night with a warm and fuzzy feeling, as much as I didn't want to go to bed because I didn't want all the excitement to end.

Turns out that wasn't the case.

On Monday night, I went to my usual kickboxing class. When I was getting close to goal, Cassie (my instructor who's also become an awesome friend) asked me if I would be okay with her saying something about me hitting goal. I told her to go for it. Well, she did and made me feel like a rockstar that night. A few other people in class actually came up to me after and said congratulations too. Best feeling ever.

The next night in my spin class, Meredith also said something. Except she didn't tell me she was going to. She just said it in the middle of class, so it came as a nice surprise. So in two nights, two incredible people made me feel like a rockstar. Yeah, I would say that's awesome. =)

I would be lying if I said hitting goal has FULLY sunk in yet. I've told this to a few people and they said that it will in time. Something this big and incredible, no matter how long it took, will take awhile to sink in. Still, no matter what, this will forever be an awesome moment.

I just want to thank you all for your love and support not just this last week but over the last four years! You've been a huge part of this journey, not just for your love and support, but just for letting me share it all with you! You've cheered me on when times were good, let me vent and encouraged me when it got rough. If it wasn't for all of you, I don't know where I would be now. I seriously can't thank you guys enough! If I could hug all of you, I would! You guys are the best!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Back to Basics: Exercise

It's been a very crazy, yet awesome past few days here! If you follow me on any of my social media pages, you probably know that I hit goal on Saturday (and then some)! My total loss is 104 pounds overall. I'll have a post on that soon (still trying to wrap my head around it), but I do have the recap of the final week of the Back to Basics challenge!

The theme for the final week was exercise! I knew I would rock this week because I am almost always on the move!

While getting the week in motion (no pun intended...hehe), Brooke listed the five benefits of exercise to us:

1) Helps lose/maintain weight
2) Reduces stress
3) Strengthens bones and muscles
4) Make a healthy heart and body
5) Boosts energy

Seriously, this list is a huge motivator for wanting to move more! Whenever I have a stressful day at work, nothing cures it like a good kickboxing or spin class! I also know that after my Centergy class I have more energy (not to mention a little more flexibility).

Anyway, this week was aimed not only on traditional exercising (running, workout DVD's, going to the gym, etc), but also getting in more activity in small ways (taking the stairs, walking in place while watching TV, and making a few trips to bring in groceries).

These were Brooke's challenges to us last week:

1) Write out your exercise plan for the week.
2) Find a way to move 10 extra minutes in your day.
3) Set a goal to exercise three times this week.
4) Try a new exercise.

I (mostly) wrote down my exercise plan for the week. I do a lot of classes, so the workouts were mostly set for me. I could have done better with writing down specific plans for when I did weights on my own. Well, nobody's perfect. I have an active job where I'm on my feet most of the day and constantly moving. So, I nailed that one! I worked out five days this week, which is what I usually do, so I rocked that one as well! Unfortunately, I never got to try a new exercise. Cue the sad face.

I knew I would do awesome last week and I did! Was there room for improvement? Absolutely. Did I let the one bad thing outshine all the good I did? No. I spent way too much time doing that on my journey, and it drove me crazy. I let myself look at what I was weak on, how I could fix it, and move on. In this case, it's having a plan for my solo weight training days before I go into the gym.

Now that the challege is over, I have to write a recap now, don't I? ;-) Don't worry, that's coming up! =)