Saturday, January 05, 2013

Go out there and make a change!

If you've looked through my archives you know I love a good New Year's post. I am a little more late this year than I prefer but oh well. Better late than never, right?

2012 was pretty sweet. One of my proudest achievements last year was going form 169 pounds down to 145. One thing that really helped me was a "Biggest Loser" competition at work that was money motivated. I won a few weeks but ultimately I was not the overall winner. I still felt like a winner though because I went from a size 12 to a size 6. Buying a whole new wardrobe wasn't easy on my wallet, but it sure was nice to need to buy smaller clothes. It was also nice not to buy clothing based on hiding flaws. Wearing sleeveless shirts and dresses without the accompaniment of a cardigan to hide my flabby arms was exciting. Once I was even asked if I had been working out because of my new found triceps and biceps. That felt awesome. In the past few months (Freaking holidays!) I have gained back 7 pounds. That doesn't seem like much when you think about the number, but I have learned that the scale is really not my friend. A lot of times in my journey to lose weight I would get so mad because the numbers were not reflective of all the work I had put in. Conversely, my weight gain feels like more than 7 pounds because my body mass has changed. You know the phrase: muscle weighs more than fat. It kills me! When I weighed my self on January 2nd I wasn't as let down with myself as when I measured my chest, biceps, thighs, waist (the hardest area of my body to control) and hips. The amount of inches I had gained really sucked!

So, I started working out again. Last year the majority of my success was due to Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I hate gyms and I hate group workouts. I chose to try videos because I can't be too self concious all by my self and I wanted to have less reasons to talk my self out of working out. I also chose 30 Day Shred because I knew that I could make myself get through thirty minutes without giving up. It was really hard at first, but as the days went by I felt stronger and stronger and I was gaining confidence. For about ten years I had been in the double digit sizes, topping out at a 12 that was beginning to feel snug. For years I wanted to lose weight, I just didn't want to take action. I am so glad that I finally did. There is a real power that I felt knowing that I, and I alone, was changing my body. It reminded me of being a kid and playing with play-doh. You can make your body look however you want to with enough effort. Unfortunately I did not reach my goal last year. My goal was to either get down to 130 pounds (which is optimal for my 5'3" frame. 120 would be awesome, but I thought that was really stretching it.) or I wanted to have a flat stomach. Whichever I reached first would make me feel satisfied. I had a much smaller belly at 145, but there was still a little pooch. For the first time in ten years I felt confident enough to wear a bikini. I felt self conscious sometimes while wearing the bikini, but I had worked hard and I felt like a bikini was part of what I had seen as a goal when this all started.

Besides working out, another tool that really helped me along the way was  MyFitnessPal. I had read many times before that keeping a food journal is a great way to be accountable for what you eat. I find that this app/website takes a huge amount of guesswork out of tracking your food, nutrition, calories, fat, etc. Also, when food was broken down in numbers for me, I began to think twice about if eating  (or drinking) a certain "bad" thing was worth it. If you work out for 30 minutes and burn off 180 calories, you begin to respect the calories and the effort it takes to reduce them.

I am still going to chase the same goal as last year. While I am not happy about gaining those seven pounds, I am very grateful that that I get to have a 17 pound head start from where I began this time last year. I am proud that I was able to at least keep 17 out of the 24 pounds I lost last year off . Before I had begun my weight loss journey washing my hair was beginning to feel like a strenuous activity. That was when I knew I could not keep on the same path I was on for the rest of my life. Through working out and making better eating choices I feel so much better, not just because I look better and have more confidence. I appreciate my body more because I know it is strong and healthy and capable of so much. I have more energy and I found that working out really helped affect my mood and stress levels.

This year one thing that I am attempting, loosely, is the Paleo Diet. If you are wondering, what is the Paleo  Diet, click here.  Last year my pin boards, Fitness Goals and Healthy Eats really helped me along the way. In that respect I started a board called Paleo. I am not going in 100% on the Paleo diet at this time, but I am following it as closely as possible. I am making the changes I can live with and if I want some greek yogurt or a few chips now and then I am going to go with it. I basically don't want to geet so rigid with it that I end up going on a binge of all the things I can't have. I plan to update once a month on my weight loss stats here. I feel confident that I will be sharing some good news with you all around a month from now! If you are on quest to lose weight I hope some of what I have shared will help you. Please feel free to comment of contact me if you have questions or need encouragement. I am not an expert, but I know how frustrating being overweight is. Hell, at my lowest weight I was still considered over weight for my height. That really sucked when I felt I had come so far. If you are having a hard time being or staying motivated, I want to share with you one thing that became my mantra last year:

Happy New Year Everybody! Make 2013 a great one!


Cyxx said...

Congrats on the weight loss! It's a challenge I've recently taken on myself. I laughed at what you wrote about washing your hair feeling like an activity because I know exactly what you mean. I have gained so much weight it's gross.

Thank you for writing this post. Your motivation is contagious.

Tiffany F. Hayes said...

Cyxx, I am glad you liked the post. Taking charge and making a change is so rewarding! If you make mistakes, start over but don't give up! It takes time and practice. I know you can do it if I could. :) Good luck!