Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Missions

I am starting a new weekly meme, called Monday Missions. It's basically a list of what I am up to and my goals for the week. I like setting goals for myself, and this seems like a good way to stay accountable. I saw something similar on another blog and decided to make my own version.

I'm also doing a reading/writing version on my author blog.

This week’s weather in Indy is: Cool for July. It's supposed to be in the 70's all week, which means I should get to walk outside a lot. Good news! I find the treadmill boring.

I am traveling: Nowhere. We're home for the week.

Creative projects for the week: Nothing at the moment as far as crafts go. Unless you count me working on my novel writing as making something. I'm making a book I guess.

I am thinking: About joining the new Zumba class our work is sponsoring. It's only $15 for a whole month of classes. We don't have much money, but I can afford $15. This could be something new for my exercise plan.

I am hoping: For some news about the position at work I just applied to. I will be nervous until I get a phone call - good or bad news.

I am looking forward to: Reading the book I started this morning. N.J. Walters is one of my new favorite authors. She writes romance, so you may not like her if that isn't your thing.

I am worried about: Money. Bills are stressing me out.

What I am praying for: An answer on what to do with my career. I'm not sure where God wants me to go, so I am praying for help. More about this later.

I am learning: To be more inventive with the food I cook. With money being tight, the only meat we could afford last week was chicken and hamburger (lean, of course). I am having to get inventive and make up some new meals. I've been searching for cheap and easy recipes lately.

The rest of my week will be: Busy at work, but slow at home. I can deal with that.

Something I would like to do this week: I want to walk the canal downtown at some point. Dad wants to go to, but then it ends up me pushing Dad down the canal. Very tiring, but it could be good exercise I suppose.

Source of inspiration for the week: My Momma. I'm missing her this week, but I am keeping her picture near me at work and at home. I promised her to lose weight, and right now I am breaking that promise.

Household Goal: I would like to start cleaning out the storage room and garage. We'll see. This could be my weekend project. 

Fitness Goal: Exercise at least three times this week. I did 5 days last week and was so sore I couldn't move. My knees are still recovering. I think I need to slow down and build up how much I do as I go.

How I am handling stress: Evening walks and reading before bed. Both things clear my head and make me feel better.

Monday, July 21, 2014

5AM Workouts

I hate getting up early in the morning. This is something I have never gotten used to as an adult. Every adult job I've had has required me getting up early, so you think I would be adjusted to it by now.

Not so much.

A few months back, I started getting up early to exercise. It was working well, but then Dad got sick and I fell out of the habit.

I fell out of A LOT of habits during that time.

I always complain that there is never enough time to exercise. There really isn't. At least not during my regular day time hours. By the time I get off work, I am exhausted. Then I still have to cook dinner, clean up the house, sometimes do laundry, take Dad to church or other evening activities. There is something to do every night. Exercise gets put on the back burner.

It took a bit of convincing myself, but for the last week I have been waking up at 5am to exercise. I usually wake up for work at 6:30 (I used to take a shower the night before.). By waking up at 5, this gives me an hour to exercise, 30 minutes to shower and blow dry my hair, and then I continue getting ready for work like normal from 6:30 on.

The result so far? I lost 4 lbs. last week. The scale finally took a good jump in the right direction.

I don't look very pretty at 5 in the morning. This was me this morning.

I swear my lips didn't look like this!!! I think it's my chapstick reflecting or something. LOL!

I decided to try something new today. There is this setting on the elliptical called Mix 3. It does a full body workout. It starts you off doing regular forward strides. About every minute and a half, it switches. You stride forward, then backward, then you stand on the side and do your arms. Then it switches it up more - you stride forward and lift your heels. You stride backward and lift your toes. You pull your arms; then push them. I did 15 minutes and was completely pooped! I had to stop and sit for a minute. Then I did 10 minutes on the recumbent bicycle and situps/pushups.

By 6AM, I am usually done. I do about 30-45 minutes of exercise. I only did 30 minutes today. It was a bit of a rough start.

All finished!

I've found that 90% of my weight loss battle is not wanting to do something, but forcing myself to do it anyway. This appears to be working well for me. I just make sure I am in bed by 10 or 10:30 and getting up at 5 isn't so terrible.

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Opinion of Other Overweight People

I had an interesting discussion with a friend last weekend. She asked me if my opinion of overweight people changed as I lost weight. Do I judge them more or feel angry that they are making bad choices? I was kind of taken off guard by the question. I have never been out of the overweight category. Even at my lowest (81 lbs. lost), I was still significantly overweight. My immediate response was "No. Of course not." Then I really thought about it.

At my highest weight I didn't seem to have an opinion at all. At least not one that I was aware of. These days my opinion has changed some. Not in a bad way though. I think this is because I have learned so much in the last year or so.

I try my best not to judge anyone who is overweight, since I too am judged. Even though I was never officially a normal weight, I did see how people treated differently just by losing the little bit I did. Trust me - I was treated very differently!

Everyday on my way to and from work, I pass this lovely woman who is severely  overweight. She is so overweight that her walk to or from her parking spot is absolutely brutal on her. She barely is able to walk. You can tell that her knees are killing her. She has to stop along the way several times. I often see her leaning against the the side of the buildings. She is sweating and looks exhausted.

I also recognize that she wears dresses and skirts/shirts from Woman Within or Romans catalogs. I know this because at one point I had to order from them as well. I couldn't go into a store and buy things that fit correctly. Those catalogs, as horrible as the styles are, were the only clothes I could wear.

I also see that many of the other people we pass on the street are making fun of her. It's summer time. Kids are out of school. Many of those kids are hanging out downtown. Unfortunately for her, it means she now has to deal with mean children.

I smile at her every day. I tell her good morning/afternoon and wish her a great day. I started this a few months back. At first she was a little shocked. I could tell by her expression. Now she smiles back and wishes me the same.

I don't know her name. She doesn't know mine.

I smile at her because I remember when this was me. The first month or two that I worked at my current workplace was horrible. I was at my highest - 346. All of my previous jobs never required walking to work. This was my first downtown city job. The three block walk from the parking garage to the hotel was absolutely miserable. I was out of breath. My legs and back hurt. I was sweating. It would take me almost 15-20 minutes to walk three blocks. By the time I made it to the building, I had to head straight for the bathroom because I would need to mop up.

Three years later, even though I am still very large, I have trained my body to walk more. I can now make my three block walk in 5-7 minutes. I'm not sweating, and I am certainly not tired by it.

But I remember what it felt like at first.

I do not judge and do not become angry about overweight people. Instead I try to be more empathetic. We are all fighting a similar battle in the end. If no one else will show support, at least I can.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Cult

I hate that one thing in your life can forever change you.

Very rarely do I ever talk religion, but today I felt the need to get something off my chest.

Many people on my weight loss blog don't know this, but I grew up in a cult. I was about 11 years old at the time we joined, and I was around 17 years old when we left. My very first blog, which no longer exists, was actually religion based. It was called "Footsteps to God" and spoke about me dealing with my emotions about this as an adult.

What I was involved in wasn't like the cults you see on TV. In fact, the organization I was involved with is considered a church by most people, but is listed as a cult with the government. It all started off very simple – we visited a church with a friend. It was a good service, so we went back a few times. My Dad decided to sign the family up for six weeks of Bible study, and that’s when the sucking in officially began.

The first thing they did was change our beliefs. My family was always Baptist. Our beliefs centered around the fundamental basics of Christianity. Suddenly, these Bible studies were telling us our beliefs were wrong. They constantly bashed the teachings of other mainstream Christian churches and explained why their church was right and the others were wrong.

After we understood their beliefs, the rules starting coming in to play. Women can’t wear pants; only dresses. Your dresses must go past your knees, your shirts must always reach four fingers from your collar bone, and your sleeves must reach your elbows. Girls must never wear jewelry, cut their hair, or wear makeup of any kind – not even chapstick. No movie theaters, no televisions, no dancing. You must only listen to Christian radio and read Christian books. A woman must not go to college, unless she is learning about ministering with music or homemaking skills. You must give an offering at every service or you are a sinner. One by one, my life changed to fit these rules, and I honestly thought it was right. I didn't even question it.

My entire life revolved around the church. My friends that were not church members were no longer looked at as friends. They were sinners, and it was my job to bring them into the church. I would go to school every day armed with my Bible and a pack of pamphlets, ready to save the lost and wicked.

I can’t really pinpoint a specific reason I left the church. All I know is that one day I started to question what I was doing. I began researching other Christian churches, and I quickly realized that no one else believed as we did. Slowly, I broke away. The rest of my family followed a little later.

The entire experience completely altered my life. I think that’s the hardest part of moving on. Leaving the church was almost like losing my identity. Your so-called friends from church, completely cut you off. All of the sudden, I had to figure out who I was and what I believed. No one was telling me. It was terrifying.

What people don’t realize is that even after you leave a cult, the cult never really leaves you. To this day, church makes my skin crawl. The hardest part is the no one understands - even my Dad. He didn't get hurt as much as I did. I was a woman, who was underage, and was looked at as no one of importance. My Dad was an adult male - the head of his household. He was the decision maker. He has NO idea what it was like for my sister and I. I try to be nice, but it really ticks me off when he asks me to go to church with him. I will never set foot in a church unless it is for a wedding or a funeral.

I believe in God, and I am very strong in my faith. It's religion that bothers me.

I seriously rebel against authority, which I think stems from being told what to do, wear, say, and act for so long. I also think this may be the cause of some of my weight issues. I was never good enough in the church. I was always told I had to be better. One way I dealt with that was by eating. I developed my eating disorder around the same time I left the church. It was almost as if I was trying to gain control by controlling what I ate.

I've been working on myself lately. I've been reading books and listening to self-help exercises. My most recent book said to try and pinpoint the one moment in your life that caused the most emotional trauma. I look back, really look back, and realize the cult was it. I have never learned to deal with stress, sadness, rejection, and all the other stuff that came up from this experience.

And when the emotions get too strong - about anything - I eat.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

30 Day Challenge

I did a quick vlog on a 30 day challenge I am doing.

Just in case you guys are interested.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekly Weigh In

I lost 3 lbs. this week, which totally made my day.

I also did my measurements:
Neck - down 1/2 inch
Waist - down 1 and 1/2 inch
Hips - down 1 inch
Upper Arm - up 1/2 inch
Bust - down 1 inch
Upper Thigh - up 1/2 inch
Calf - up 1/2 inch

My measurements went up in a few places, but I found early on in my weight loss journey that this is common. It's like the fat shifts around or something. I know I measure a lot of areas, but I like to get a full body picture. Some people think it's odd that I measure my neck, but I did lose weight there before. I could wear smaller necklaces.

Something I did different this week is I paid close attention to the "add-ons" throughout the day. I tracked everything from how much creamer I put in coffee to how much margarine went on a piece of toast. It sounds a little excessive, but I found that I add a lot of calories during the day by these little things. Something as simple as throwing butter in the pan to scramble my egg adds on calories. I didn't realize it, but I can easily add 100 calories to my day with these small little add-on foods.

I also took a salad for lunch everyday last week. Sounds boring, doesn't it? Turns out it's not. I switched things up by adding apples and nuts one day. I added blueberries another day. One day I did avocado with chicken breast. I made sure to add a new fruit or veggie to it every day and mixed up the salad dressings I used.

I am obsessed with avocado lately. I know that eating it in huge quantities is not healthy, so I am careful about watching my serving size and making sure I only eat one serving of it per day. I notice that with avocado in my salad, I don't need dressing. I also like to use it on sandwiches in place of mayo. It's excellent.

Really my big difference this week was eating more fruits and veggies. I cut back on carbs, although I did allow myself wheat toast as a snack in the morning. I love my wheat toast.

This week my goal is to keep doing the same, but I want to up my exercise. I slacked off last week big time, so this week I need to make sure I'm moving some each day.

How was your week?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Trigger Foods

The other day, I read a discussion on the MyFitnessPal message boards about trigger foods. I have seen the discussion on weight loss blogs many times, so I have decided to share my list with you.

Trigger foods are ones that incite my need to overeat. They are things that I know will cause me to go off plan. It sounds stupid. Everyone says it's "mind over matter." This may be true, but I know my mind will win out around these foods. It kind of reminds me of someone putting crack in front of a crack addict. Why put yourself in that situation?

I have found not keeping these foods in the pantry make it easier for me to eat right. I have to buy some of them because my Dad still eats them. However, I have learned to buy them in small amounts. It helps keep the temptation down.

Each person has their own list of foods that cause problems, but I have found not everyone has the same list. 

For example I have found the following foods trigger most people, but don't trigger me:
  • Salty foods - They don't do anything for me. I don't like chips or really anything salty. Even popcorn can't have a lot of salt. It's not my thing. I rarely buy chips. When I do, they are bought for my Dad. 99% of the time, we end up throwing more than half the bag away. They go stale before we can eat them.
  • Chocolate - I know tons of people who cannot have chocolate in their house without eating it. In college, this was a huge problem for me. The older I get the less it is an issue. Most chocolate tastes too sweet. I can take it or leave it. 
  • Sweets in general - Cakes, cookies, and pies aren't my thing. At one point they were. Not anymore.

The foods below are the ones I have to be careful around:
  • Ice Cream - I love ice cream. If it is in the house, I can't resist. This is something I'm working on. My Dad has been instructed by doctors to eat ice cream every day.  He needs the high calories and the protein from the milk. I have been good about staying out of it. Normally I will get flavors only Dad is crazy about - vanilla, sherbert, strawberry. I don't like those as much, so I won't eat it. If it was mint chocolate chip or something, forget it. The whole thing would be gone.
  • Doughnuts - I can be surrounded by sweets. They don't bother me. You put a doughnut in my face, and I will eat it. When my eating disorder was at it's worst, doughnuts became a big factor in my binges. Almost every grocery store has the doughnut case. You can go in any time of day and buy a few. Each time I stopped to get something for Mom - milk, bread, eggs, whatever - I would snag a few doughnuts and eat them on the way home. I can't keep them in the apartment. Even for my Dad. If he wants some, I buy the smallest amount possible.
  • Pasta - This is a big red flag for me. Dad and I tend to eat some kind of pasta/noodles at least once a week. I have learned to make just enough for one meal and one serving. If I make more, I will eat it. I don't mean regular eat. I mean I will SHOVEL the pasta into my mouth. Like non-stop shoveling until I am sick.We used to eat  a lot of pasta, but this has drastically cut down. I also only buy pasta that is dry. The pre-cooked packages are too easy to unthaw and have ready in a few minutes. 
  • Cheese - I don't know what it is, but I can seriously eat an entire block of cheese by myself. This is why I don't use those little "Laughing Cow" wedges as a snack or the mozzarella sticks in the little plastic packages. They don't work as a snack when you eat 5 of them.
  • Milk - I love drinking milk. The problem is that it contains a lot of calories in a small amount of product. I can dink 2% or 1% milk, but I cannot stand skim. I allow myself one glass of milk a day - two if I didn't have any other kind of dairy that day.

What foods do you have trouble with?