Monday, January 30, 2012

Week 5 - See the glass as half full (1-30-12)

To recap:
Week 1: Drink 14 cups of water a day - I did much better this past weekend and get my 14 cups every weekday
Week 2: Get 8 hours of sleep per night - Still struggling with waking up in the middle of the night.
Week 3: Keep off the couch - I have been keeping busy in the evenings and getting up from my desk to walk and stretch every chance I get.
Week 4: Keep a food journal - Doing great with MyFitnessPal.  I've now logged my food every day for the past 30 days.

This week's challenge is going to be a tough one for me.  While I'm not naturally a pessimistic person, I have been finding it harder to find the lighter side of things lately.  Trying to find the right mix of ADHD meds for Liam that can get us through the evenings, and the dreaded HOMEWORK is tough.  I'm not at my best parenting patience level after work, so too many evenings end in tears (both his and mine).  I'm really going to focus this week on letting go of the things I can't control, enjoying my life, laughing and believing in me.  Here are 10 tips from The Shrinking Jeans group for this week's challenge:

1. Shift self-talk. We are harder on ourselves than anyone else, and negative self talk is the very core of pessimism. This week, and going forward, let's work on avoiding self-criticism and instead practice self-acceptance.

2. Use affirmations. Yes they are hokey sometimes, but speaking positively about yourself and you situation is a great way to push out the pessimism. Make a list of positive things about yourself. Even if you don't believe them just yet. Start with: I am.......and read them every day.

3. Have a sense of humor! believe it or not (because I'm damn funny!), I really, really struggle with this. Daily. Just this morning as we were getting ready to walk out the door, my daughter dropped a full cup of milk all over the floor. I flew off the handle, and I'm not proud of how I reacted. This was AFTER I knew what our assignment for this week would be. This is common for me. I need to work on seeing the humor and try not to take myself and the tough situations I'm in so seriously. You, too!

4. Take care of yourself. It helps you have a more positive self image. Exercise also boosts feel good hormones.

5. Develop healthy relationships. Surround yourself with people who are happy and make you feel happy.

6. Practice gratefulness. Take time everyday to appreciate all that you have.

7. Let go of things you can't control. If you find yourself stressing over something you can't control, step back and ask yourself if it's really worth spending your time worrying and stressing.

8. Celebrate your strengths and accomplishments. List the things you're good at and the accomplishments you've achieved. Make a list!

9. Forget your fears. Push the fear of the unknown out of your mind because it only causes you to stress more.

10. Harness the law of attraction. Focus on what you want and what you want to attract to your life instead of focusing on the negative. Focusing on what we want helps us visualize positive outcomes, mobilizing you to make them a reality.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shrink 'Yo Self - Week 4

Starting Weight - 230 235
Current Weight - 225 230
Goal Weight - 220
Weight lost so far- 5 lbs

So you might notice that there has been a change in my starting and current weight.  While I'm not happy to be higher, it's a more accurate measurement.  The bathroom scale that I've been using is very old and has been bashed about a lot.  Any time I weighed myself at the doctor's office, it was always higher than at home.  Now that I have the Wii Fit and can track my weight there (albeit it in kg's, which is a bit of a pain even if I am Canadian) I'm using it for my weigh ins.

My original goal was to lose 10 pounds during this challenge, getting down to 220.  With the change in scale a goal of 220 would be a lose of 15 pounds instead. I'm not going to change my goal, I'm just going to work that much harder!

Over all this week I have done really well.  Only 1 day over my calorie goal and 5 days of exercise. I'm not denying myself the occasional treat, but I do make sure that it fits into my calories for they day.  I'm backing to eating my big bag of raw veggies for breakfast every morning, even though my office mates think it's weird.  Especially when I get loud, obnoxious hiccups from the raw carrots. What can I say... I'm odd!  I've also been eating a lot of salads, weighing my food and watching my portions.  The best part is that I very rarely feel hungry.  I still find myself wanting to eat out of boredom, but instead of reaching for a snack I'm having a big glass of water and playing a Wii Fit game instead.

I love seeing the graph on the Wii Fit drop bit by bit every day.  The positive reinforcement from seeing that number drop is great for me.  And I don't bemoan the slight increases that happen, since overall things are going in the right direction.  I just need to step things up a notch so that I can start losing more then just 1 pound a week.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 4 - Keep a food journal (1-23-12)

To recap:
Week 1: Drink 14 cups of water a day - Still going strong and still struggling on the weekends.
Week 2: Get 8 hours of sleep per night - Still struggling with waking up in the middle of the night.
Week 3: Keep off the couch - ROCKING this one now that I found the step game on the Wii Fit that lets me count my steps while I watch TV.

This week's small change is to keep a food journal.
Write done everything you eat and drink - every bite, lick, and taste.
Not only is this good for controlling your calories in for weight loss, but it's a great way to gauge how certain foods at certain times make you feel. Keep track of how you feel before and after your meals, too.
Since this has been pretty much my only weight loss plan for the past 2 years, I should nail this one!  I track my food - every bite most days - at MyFitnessPal (member name echaos if you would like to add me as a friend).

If I don't track every morsel and watch the calories climb during the day, I have no self control over either portions or choices.  But as soon as I know that I will be holding myself accountable to a number the minute I put that cookie in my mouth, I am (more) able to walk away.  It's also a great place to track my water (when I remember)

The one thing I don't do, but should, is to keep track of how I feel with different foods.  I have only recently accepted the fact that I am somewhat lactose intolerant.  I haven't cut all dairy out of my diet completely, but if I don't get my Starbucks Chai Tea Latté made with Lacteeze, I pay for it later.   I was never a milk drinker and the bit in my 1 cup of coffee per day doesn't seem to affect me.  But if I were to better keep track of how I feel before and after eating, I might get a better handle on how food affects me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shrink 'Yo Self - Week 3

Starting Weight - 230
Current Weight - 226
Weight lost - 4

Woo Hoo!  I'm feeling great and the numbers show it.  I've been getting 3x30 minutes of vigorous exercise and  lots of moderate exercise all week.

The biggest help for me has been the Wii Fit Plus.  I'm enjoying the games and having fun, so I don't even feel like I'm working out.  I even jogged (on the spot) for 10 minutes!  I have never been able to run for that length of time, but was able to do it this week.

I also bought myself a pedometer, and I'm aiming for 10,000 steps a day.  Yesterday was my first day and I only got to 6000 but I'm looking more on track so far today.

I've done well at keeping my calories under 1690 (my current goal) for most days.  And the best thing?  I'm not hungry!  I still crave sweets or chips, and I'll allow myself a little treat so I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.

If I can keep things up for the rest of this challenge I am confident that I will hit my goal of 10 pounds lost by the end of February.  Maybe I'll even exceed that goal!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week 3 - Keep of the couch (1-16-12)

So these 52 challenges are cumulative!

To recap:
Week 1: drink 14 cups of water a day
Week 2: get 8 hours of sleep per night

Water: CHECK; Sleep: Not so much.

I'm still struggling with waking up during the night and not being able to fall asleep again.  But I'm going to keep trying to conquer this one!

Week 3: Apart from exercise, incorporate regular and routine activity into your lifestyle.

I'm all over this one!

  • One thing I do at home that drives Hilary CRAZY is my method of tidying is to pick up one thing from room A and walk it over to it's home in room B - walk back to room A and get the next thing to be put away.  I just bought a pedometer so I will be very interested to see how many steps this gets me in a day.
  • If I really want to burn some extra calories I will put on ankle weights while I tidy.
  • Last week I came across a list of 8 stretches that you can do at your desk from the Mayo Clinic.  Today I sent a meeting invite to the 15 folks in my department so that we can all do these together twice a day!  
  • Since we don't have a car, we already walk everywhere.  So I'm making more of an effort to take the stairs instead of the escalator or use the furthest away bathroom. 

Every little bit counts!  What are you doing to get moving?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shrink 'Yo Self - Week 2

Starting Weight - 230
Current Weight - 229
Weight lost - 1

I feel great this week!  While my weight loss may not be huge, I'm happy with any loss.  I've been really motivated this week to get exercising, so motivated in fact that I went out and bought myself a Wii balance board and Wii Fit Plus!

Between the Wii Fit Plus and the Just Dance games I've been able to get 30 minutes of vigorous exercise 2 days this week and 30 minutes of  moderate exercise on 4 days.  I even managed to get in 2 workouts yesterday.

Yeah me!

Any other time that I've tried to lose weight I've only ever approached it from the calorie reduction side.  And as can be expected, I didn't make very much progress.  Sure I would lose some weight initially, but I would plateau very quickly and then lose focus.

I am truly amazed at how much more energized I feel after working out.  I've cut down my coffee intake to 1 a day and am drinking nearly 14 cups of water every day.  And suddenly I feel healthier!  Which has the lovely effect of making me feel like working out more and being really careful with what I eat.

This may finally be the attempt that works!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week 2 - Aim for 8 (1-9-12)

I've done fairly well at the first week's challenge of drinking 14 cups of water a day!  I don't think I've hit my goal every day, but I've been pretty close.

The challenge for week 2 is to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.  The benefits of being well rested are many:

According to a Harvard Medical School report, here are just a few of the things that getting adequate sleep will benefit:
  • Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  • Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  • Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  • Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  • Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  • Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.
I'm usually asleep by 10:30 and up by 6:30, which, in theory, gives me 8 hours of sleep.  The problem I've been having of late is staying asleep.  I wake up between 2:00-3:00 and then find myself tossing and turning and not able to fall back to sleep until close to 5:00.  I'm not sure what I can do to change this.  I've tried warmer, cooler, nothing to drink after 4:00 in the afternoon, not eating late at night, eating a snack before bed, even alcohol!

So for this week's challenge I will try to go to bed a bit earlier, let myself sleep in when I can and try some middle of the night relaxation techniques to try and overcome my wakefulness.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shrink Yo Self - Week 1

While this challenge has only been up and running for 3 days, Wednesdays are the regular check in day.

Starting Weight - 230
Current Weight - 230
Weight lost - 0

So far this week I've been off to a great start!  I've managed to do 30 minutes of vigorous exercise on all 3 days and fully plan to keep that up! 

I've also done well with my calorie intake.  I've been under my goal for 2 of the 3 days, and only slightly over on the other day.  Today is gearing up to be under!!

Overall I'm feeling good.  I start to feel hungry around 4:00 and have given in to having a not-so-good-for-me snack.  Today I'm going to try and just stick with a cup of tea after work.  Being back at the office today will help since I won't get home till after 5:00 and it will be that much closer to diner time.

My current fear is for the weekend.  I'm off work on Friday, so it's one more day without the structure of a schedule and a packed lunch.  I'm hoping that my current commitment and desire to succeed will carry me through and help me make good choices.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Week 1 - Drink Up! (01-02-12)

The sisterhood' is having 52 weekly challenges this year that I'm going to try and follow along with.  The first one should be nice and easy!
This week our small change is to simply drink water.
A goal I can achieve!  I love water.  I drink it all day the office.  So my personal goal is to make sure that I drink my 8+ glasses of water every day, no matter where I am.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Before Pictures

This shot really shows off how bad my breast reduction surgery was.  I *knew* that I was lopsided, but I don't think I've seen it straight on like that.

If I'm going to be serious about losing weight and getting into shape, I need to know what I look like to start with.  Please ignore the frown/mean look on my face!  I HATE having my picture taken.

Shrink Yo' Self in 2012

10KaDay Challenge

I've recently discovered a great online support group, The Sisterhood of Shrinking Jeans.  It's a support site that offers forums, chats and challenges.  Like their "Shrink Yo' Self in 2012"

The Assignment

What’s a challenge {and a new year!} without goals? We want you to think long and hard about this one. What do you hope to accomplish during the next 8 weeks? What do you hope to accomplish during 2012? List your goals out. Think of ways that you will make these goals reality. Don’t just say you hope to lose 20 pounds or that you want to run a marathon. HOW will you lose those 20 pounds? WHAT steps will you take? Will you follow a specific eating plan? Will you attend meetings? Details, people, DETAILS.

What do I want to accomplish?

My primary goal is to lose my next 10 pounds, getting me to 220.

How will I accomplish that?

I need to write down EVERY. SINGLE. THING. that I eat.  Because if I don't, it's too easy to slip, nibble on this, snack on that and the next thing I know I've just consumed twice my daily calorie intake.

By writing down everything I eat, I also count my calories on the My Fitness Pal website. So my plan for these next 8 weeks is to ensure that I stay at or below my goal of 1690 calories a day.  And no, this doesn't mean eating 7 chocolate bars and calling it a day.

I will not however, deny myself treats.  The fastest way for me to fail is to cut out all snacks and deserts completely.  I fully believe that they can still have a place in my diet, as long as it's in moderation.

I will not allow myself to have money for the vending machine at work.  I know that I have no self control when it comes to this.  I take a healthy packed lunch everyday.  I have no need for cash while I'm sitting at the office.

I really struggle with snacking on the days that I work from home.  It's too easy and too tempting to have unlimited access to a cupboard full of food.  So I will still pack my lunch for those days.  This is going to be a tough one.  I may have to put up signs in the cupboard and fridge to remind me why I don't want to graze all day long.

I am not an in-real-life meeting person.  My Mom has attended T.O.P.S. meetings for more then 30 years.  I've gone with her a few times and I just can't handle everyone standing in a circle saying their pledge together.  But the invention of the internet has been great for me!  I LOVE forums, chat groups, blogs.  These are my "meetings".  When I need to reach out to someone, there is always someone on line.  I love to read other peoples success stories and their trials.  If they can do it, maybe I can too.

I MUST focus on my goals every day.  All day.  As soon as I stop thinking about what I'm doing, and why, I will stray.

No amount of dieting, calorie counting or wishful thinking is going to make my goals happen if I don't find a way to get active.  I suck at this.  It's January on the Canadian East coast, which means getting outside requires 20 pounds of extra clothing and then you have to creep along the ice and try not to break any bones.  We own an exercise bike, but it makes odd clunky noises with every peddle that just gets annoying. I have a yoga mat.  No idea what to do with it.  I like the Wii Dance games but never seem to do them. .  The problem is MOTIVATION.  I don't seem to have any.  Intellectually I do.  I know that I need to get moving, pump up my heart rate, get sweating.   I just can't seem to get going.  It's hard; it takes time away from other things I want to do; I would have to change clothes; it hurts; I'm too out of shape to get into shape.   I can make excuses all day long.  So this is going to be the one area that I really need to work on. If I could just get out of the chair and go start working on it!