Taking the bad weeks in stride, and staying on target.

Lately, things have been rough in my fitness regime.  7 of the last 10 days I’ve been over my calorie goal (1000 cal. deficit), many of those days by a lot of calories, the worst being 1300 over.

Unsurprisingly, I have not lost any more weight.  I have not enjoyed any new “added bonuses”.  My workouts have been fewer and less intense.  And in general my life feels more and more out of control.

My workouts have dwindled – I skipped Monday and Wednesday despite having time to exercise.  I told myself I would get ahead on the school work that I’ve been neglecting. That didn’t even happen.

My nutrition has been terrible.  In my “effort” to work on my school work I’ve been mindlessly snacking.  This week we had chips and candy in the house.  After yesterday we did not have chips and candy in the house anymore. I wish I could say they went in the trash.  But I’m going to avoid buying junk food moving forward.  For some reason I don’t always realize it that when I buy junk food it means I’m going to eat it.

I feel like I hit rock bottom yesterday, eating way too much junk and not exercising, but I had an epiphany moment in the evening.  I had a rehearsal for my choir concert coming up this Friday and we practiced with the University Orchestra for the first time. The sound of the strings overcame my mind and the noise and just put me at peace.

Leaving rehearsal I thought about how frustrated I am with the last two weeks health wise and realized that it’s okay.  I’m not going to be able to be perfect all the time.  But I can catch myself when I stumble, and that’s all it is – these last two weeks were a stumble.

I can make today better than yesterday, and make tomorrow better than today.

Traditionally I’ve found setbacks to be extremely difficult – in 2010, the first time I tried calorie counting, I weighed in at 240, lost about 6 lbs, plateaued for a while, and then gave  up. I’ve repeated that same cycle many times in the last 3 years.

This time I’m taking my little failure with a grain of salt, and I’m going to get right back on track.  This morning I swam 4km and I think I’m poised for a good nutritious food day.

How do you stay motivated after a disappointing week or two?

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The bonuses of weight loss. More than just the number on the scale.

When people talk about weight loss, there’s a divide in opinion.  So many people say to disregard what the scale says and focus on other factors that have more of an impact on your happiness.  I personally find the numbers on the scale highly motivating.   It scares me that I may in fact be  a “numbers person”.  I’m still never going into accounting.

But as of late, I’m finding that many non-number benefits are stacking up, and honestly, it feels pretty great.

The scale tells me I’ve lost 25 lbs.  My weigh-in history tells me that I’m lighter than I’ve been since 2010 – a fact that surprises me, but shouldn’t.  I’m really happy with this progress, and the speed that it is occurring.  It’s a relatively moderate pace but I think it’s maintainable and I just keep telling myself that I just have to keep going.  My goal is to get to 188 lbs which is another 46 lbs away.  A long way to go, but I’m more than a third of the way there!

The non-scale variables have been adding up as of late!  Here’s a quick summary:

  • People are commenting on my weight loss!  A good family friend says I’m looking fit, one of my fiancee’s dancer friends says she doesn’t recognize me, and my future mother in law is telling random strangers that I’ve lost “a tonne of weight”.
  • My jeans are too big for me – I had to go shopping and buy some jeans that fit my new smaller waist-line
  • I fit into my High School graduation suit.  I can’t believe I’ve come that far, in fact I had thought that I would never fit that suit again.  But it fits and looks and feels great.
  • I fit into clothes at Lulu Lemon and the Gap.  I used to hate shopping and avoid trying on clothes at any store especially trendy ones because I knew nothing would fit with fewer than three X’s.  I found the experience demoralizing and uncomfortable.  But now my fiancee is encouraging me to try new clothes, and I love them.  They make me look and feel great.
  • I can tie the gym towels around my waist. I always hated the gym towels – I made fun of them for being ridiculously small, and when I walked to the shower I would have to hold both ends of the towel in one hand to keep it on.  Now I can tie the towel around my waist and comfortably walk to the showers, hands free!
  • I feel happier.  I saw a counselor six months ago for depression and to work on my binge eating.  He simply told me that exercise 3 times a week is as effective as most pharmaceutical anti-depressants.  I’m feeling happier, healthier, and way less bingier.

All in all, my life is improving from this weight loss journey.  I’m enjoying the process, and it’s amazing that I’m starting to enjoy the results of it, too.  I hope that the next time I feel discouraged or I fall out of my healthy-living routine that I can look back and remember all the benefits of committing to a lifestyle change and be motivated by this feeling.

What are some of the things that you notice when you get healthier?  Are you more motivated by the numbers on the scale or the other factors?

Lethargy. How do you stay motivated?

My last few workouts have felt rather uninspiring. Add to the fact that I’m not dropping lbs as I had hoped, I’m starting to feel lost, overwhelmed, and lethargic.

When I get to my workout I can’t seem to get in the zone. I love the feeling where your brain just kind of relaxes and your body takes over, your mind almost meditating. That’s the best workout feeling ever. I can’t seem to get in that zone which is frustrating in itself.

I don’t know what the cause is. Maybe I’m not getting enough sleep. Maybe I need to eat more nutritious food instead of simply calorie counting. If I figure it out I will post about it.

How do you get in the zone? How do you snap out of a spell of de-motivation?

Exercise away the bad feels!

I was having a difficult time today.

I had a rough weekend for calories. Our social interactions so often revolve around food, and I had a particularly social weekend! From Friday through Sunday I had four meals in restaurants. Not great for the pocketbook or the waistline. Before I know it I’ll need bigger pants but won’t be able to afford them!

While I very much enjoyed the food and the company, I was having a difficult time today because I knew I went so far over my calories yesterday that today would have to be very disciplined to offset my calorie surplus for this week. I ate my breakfast in the car as I knew I would be out for lunch again later.

I had a meeting in the afternoon and I got home drained and tired, knowing I would have to work out if I wanted to have a good weight loss week. I put off working out for two hours before finally dragging my sorry butt up to the treadmill in my building’s communal workout room closet.

Not only did the run help me to curb my cravings but I feel amazing. It really boosted my mental health.

Why is it so hard to think ahead to how good exercise will make you feel? Instead so often I feel the weight if my limbs and laziness and I can’t get off my sorry ars just to burn a few hundred calories.

All in all though goodness prevailed and I only went over my weekly calorie goal by 69 calories. And it just would not be fair to my manhood or middle school sense of humor to do anything to change that number.

Happy weight loss!

Asthma

This weekend I had the worst asthma attack of my life.  Nothing too dramatic, I did not end up in the Hospital but I did get 2 rounds with a nebulizer and a prednisone prescription.

I find physical/health setbacks to be the most frustrating.  My motivation is strong, but my body is telling me to back down.  I was able to keep my caloric intake in check this weekend, and I even did some light cardio last night.

I won’t let my asthma become an excuse for turning a minor setback into a major one.

Here’s hoping for good health in the near future!

Motivation

I fell off the wagon… For a long time… Again.
But I’m back on, and I’ve found new motivation.

In the past I’ve set unrealistic goals, I broke the Fitness tip #3. I would expect to be able to go from sedentary to athlete, with the idea of working out for hours a day, every day. I would expect that I’d be able to get under my calorie target by 300 or 400 calories.
It’s great to think big, but in my case it hurt my success. Every time I missed a workout, I felt like throwing my arms up in the air and saying “FAILURE”. Every time I went over my calorie goal by 100 or 200 calories, I gave up and stopped journalling.
I went on for months gaining weight. I got pretty close to my lifetime max (brief history when I was 17 I was 285 lbs and was able to lose 90 lbs in a year). I got depressed.
I went to a counselor, and he said “you’re depressed.” Thanks. Then he said “you know, 30 minutes of exercise, 3 times a week is as effective as pharmaceutical anti depressants.”
It didn’t hit me right away, but I started exercising, and I noticed that it was true. When I exercised I would feel happy for days.
That wasn’t enough to get me back on the wagon, but being armed with the knowledge that working out makes me happy, and more importantly staves off the depression, stayed in the back of my mind.

I know weight loss is day to day. I can’t be sure that I will go all the way this time. But I am being realistic and I’m feeling very good.

Let’s hope I can get there. So far I’m down 11 lbs and I’ve got 50 to go.

Hang in there party people. We can do this.