Monday, July 14, 2014

Down 97 pounds and counting

As you may know, I've been very frustrated by an apparent lack of progress on the scale of late. It hasn't been completely stagnant - just painfully, horribly slow! I did see a loss this week, weighing in at 86.2 kg (190.04 lb), which is down 1.2 kg (2.65 lb) from last week. That brings my total loss to 44.1 kg (97.22 lb) so I am slowly inching towards the 100 pound milestone.  Not in a straight line, mind you - in fact I didn't even let myself get excited by the 86.2 kilo weigh-in because I ended June at 86.6 and then went back up in the start of July. I figured today the scale would taunt me again and I'd see 87 or 88 again. That's been the pattern lately, the scale givith and the scale taketh away.  But thankfully this morning I'm still at 86.2 kg.  Given I'm at that stage in my cycle where I usually start gaining water weight, it's anyone's guess what the week will bring.  But at this moment I am down 97.22 pounds and I'll take it!

Success isn't a straight line, I know that. Those solid drops week after week for 10 months straight were really nice, and brought me quickly to a 95 pound loss. In June I got over 96 pounds and now mid-way through July I'm at 97.22 pounds gone. Slow as a tortoise BUT ... moving downward overall, despite the fluctuations.  THAT is what I choose to focus on, THAT is what will keep me going. I will not throw in the towel, despite my frustration. I've said this before but it's true - every other weight loss attempt I have given up when I hit a plateau. It's SO frustrating to do everything right and see no progress week after week after week.  According to Dr Poon there are no plateaus on this plan, yet most people on the support groups have had them. So now it's my turn, and it's not even a plateau really, it's constant fluctuations.  This will NOT be the reason I throw in the towel this time.  I WILL reach my goal this time, of that I'm sure.  Because the real challenge will be staying there and maintaining once I get there. If I let things like plateaus, fluctuations and frustration get to me now, how will I ever maintain once I actually reach my goal?  This is practice, that's what it is. This is a lesson to prepare me for what's to come.  So bring it on, I'm a good student. :)

I'm still doing Turbo Jam twice a week and taking two big walks on the weekends. It was really cold and windy this weekend but I got out there anyway and got the walk in.  I've even added a couple of intermittent fasting days during the week just because I'm rarely hungry in the morning.  l only eat two meals a day on weekends anyway, but last week I did that twice during the week as well.  I don't see the point in eating if I'm not hungry, and I've read a lot about intermittent fasting lately, and I think it's a good idea.  When did this three-meals-a-day tradition start anyway?  It doesn't seem natural to be in a constantly 'fed' state, and occasional 'fasting' states are natural for most beings on the planet.  In any case, if I were truly hungry I'd eat something, but I rarely am so I'm going to listen to my body and let it tell me what it needs.

That's all for now, hope you're all having a great week! :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Screw the number on the scale, I'm shrinking!

I held steady this week and didn't lose anything, so it would have been easy to let myself dwell on that and get bummed out. June was really a crappy month, and I'd hoped July would start off with better news, but it is what it is. In the scheme of things, the number on the scale really is not the most important thing and I refuse to let it rule my emotions. Seeing lower numbers week after week for so many months was really nice, but things will start moving downward again when my body is ready. I know the scale does not tell the whole story, and that was confirmed when I received some really lovely compliments - both yesterday from family members, and again this morning from a coworker.

They insisted I've lost more in the last week, but I know I haven't! Then my coworker pointed out that the slacks I'm wearing today were tighter only a couple of weeks ago. I looked down and she's right - they are looser now, particularly in the 'saddlebag' region - an area that I have really hoped would start shrinking soon. Could it be because I'm mixing my workouts up? I still get in a couple of big walks each week and the last one had some really steep climbs in it. I've recently swapped running for doing Turbo Jam indoors, due to the cold weather - Turbo Jam has lots of kicking and punching in all different directions, and some really good waist trimming moves. Could that really make a difference already? I don't know, but whatever the reason I am shrinking even if the scale doesn't know it yet.  Hooray!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Learning to Grieve

So the next chapter of "A Life Complete" by Sallirae Henderson deals with Learning to Grieve. This chapter resonated with me on a few levels. Firstly, she discussed grieving the loss of the familiar. I went through that when I first moved to Australia, and the first couple years were difficult for me. In all the big ways, life here isn't all that different than it was in America. I still have a home, a car, a job, friends and family, etc. But in a thousand small ways it's really different and there was an adjustment period. I missed finding my favourite products in the stores, or celebrating holidays they don't have here. Christmas is in summer, my birthday is now in winter, we drive on the left, and in some ways I even had to learn a new language. Australian English really can be quite unique, with a whole new set of slang words and expressions! There are so many little differences that initially I went through a bit of mourning for the familiar.  I've been here ten years and for the most part I've adjusted fine. I've learned to substitute or do without some things, and for other things there are now import shops and/or online shopping.

Nowadays what I miss most is people with whom I spent my youth and years of shared memories and traditions. I have friends here, but no one who has known me all my life -- no one who remembers all the crazy things we did when we were young. I can share stories with people, but it's not the same as having lived through it with me. I imagine that's kind of what it's like when you get older and most of your friends and family have passed before you. I stay in touch with people from home via phone when I can, but most are not online so that's all I can do, really. I definitely grieve for those I can no longer call, having lost both parents and all grandparents.

Next she discusses how we might grieve our lost youth. We may feel bad about ourselves as we age due to all the advertisements on TV, radio, billboards and magazines featuring products to make us look younger and sexier, with 24-hour 800 numbers so you can buy their products right now (suggesting you don't want to spend another minute succumbing to the effects of age). "How can we feel good about our ageing selves when we're made to feel we must nip in the bud immediately?" The models in those ads seem younger every year and it can be hard to relate.  Suffering from PCOS brings enough symptoms that make me feel unfeminine, so adding loose skin and an ageing appearance as I lose weight can really do a number on my self esteem if I let it. I try not to - I don't spend a lot of time focusing on the negative things, but neither do I feel happy and positive with what I see in the mirror most days. It's not how I expected to feel having lost nearly 100 pounds, so I truly wish I had done it sooner.

Sallirae says that periods of 'time out' to allow the processing of small losses may be necessary, or it may take a year or longer to recover from a major loss of the loved and familiar. Allowing ourselves this time to grieve may save us from the awful devastation of having it all crash down on us in our last years. I do try to find ways to stay in a good headspace most days and I don't really want to spend time grieving a youth I can never revisit. I continue to focus on facing fears, trying new things, and learning new skills to keep my mind sharp (I'm learning to write code). Hopefully I'll start singing again as that's always brought me joy. I've got strong spiritual beliefs. I meditate, but not as often as I'd like - I would like to find time to do more of that, as it helps me find peace within myself.

As far as friends and family, I am planning a trip home to the States next year. By then I should be at a healthy weight and hopefully far enough into maintenance that the familiar foods from home aren't a major temptation. There are a few people I can't wait to see again, as I haven't been home since 2006. And if I've reached my goal and am looking and feeling my best, that would be nice.

How about you? Those of you who are at or approaching middle age, do you find yourself missing who you once were or things you once did that maybe you don't or can't do anymore? If you got to your goal weight later in life, did you find it wasn't all you hoped it would be? What things do you grieve?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Did a Double Workout

So last night I did Turbo Jam Cardio Party and it felt good to work different muscles again. I have rather missed this workout and definitely found some of the moves much easier to do yet I worked harder, if that makes any sense. Some moves that were difficult before I might have modified for example,  whereas now it was easier to do them properly but that meant I actually worked harder. When the 40+ minutes were up I wanted to do a bit more, but something stress-relieving. Things have been hectic at work lately and I just wanted to blow off steam so I threw in a Misty Tripoli's Body Groove workout.

I love her routines ... they are really cool, funky workouts that really let you get your groove on. They are not intense so you won't feel like you're working out, but rather doing fun, creative, freestyle dance ... great for stress relief.  Check out Body Groove here.

I also love Misty Tripoli's attitude in this clip where she discusses body image, definitely worth watching.

I can feel it today in muscles I haven't used in awhile, so I'm going to do this combination three times this week and see how I feel.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weigh-in ... it's been a slow month.

I know hubby would say to focus on the fact that I weigh less at the end of the month than I did at the start. It's true, I have lost weight this month but it's still the worst month since the start of my weight-loss on 19th August 2013. You get used to nice big drops in the first half of the journey and while I knew that couldn't continue indefinitely it still came as a shock how many ups and downs June would bring.

So where am I at today?  I weighed in at 86.6 kg (190.92 lb) which is down just 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) from last week, and 43.7 kg (96.34 lb) overall. Not bad for 10.5 months. But June was a horrible month with pre-menstrual weight gain starting early, then a drop when I started followed by another gain during ... it nearly drove me crazy.

88.1 kg (194.23 lb) on 31st May
86.6 kg (190.82 lb) on 30th June
-1.5 kg ( -  3.31 lb) for the month.

That's a lousy month to be sure. But I am not changing diet-wise.  This works and I gotta remain focused. I am, however, changing up my activity. This week I am going back to Turbo Jam and adding Callanetics. My heart has not been in the running in this cold weather and I have struggled to run 30 minutes for a couple of weeks now. I am not giving up as I don't want to lose the progress I have made. I ran some intervals on the weekend and beat my pace record getting 6:57 ... I think my lowest was 7:21 before. I just need to do something different for a while. I will come back to it.

So that's where I'm at. Here's to July being a much better month!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

To disable Anonymous comments or use Word Verification?

I have always had spam commenters and that's why I moderate comments before they appear on my blog posts. The amount of spam comments I get has increased recently and it's really annoying. Of course I delete them, but I'm looking to reduce them without making it a pain for people to post actual comments. I don't get a lot of commenters, unfortunately, so I really don't want to inconvenience the ones I do get. So I'm after your opinions.

On occasion I do get real, non-spam comments from anonymous posters. But the vast majority of anonymous comments are spam. So disallowing anonymous comments is probably the easiest way to catch most spam and inconvenience the least number of people. The alternative is to use Word Verification which I personally dislike because I so often get them wrong. Sometimes I've tried three or four times to post comments with those and end up giving up because every time it tells me I was not typing the Captcha right. It's harder on mobile devices. Plus it inconveniences legitimate commenters each time they comment. I don't like that.

So what do you guys prefer? Would any of you be put off if I stopped allowing anonymous comments? I'll never catch all spam but if it reduces it a bit I'll be much happier. Thanks!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Down 95 pounds in ten months. :)

This monthly roller coaster ride called weight loss is definitely not fun, but thankfully I'm back down this weekend weighing in at 87.1 kg (192.02 lb). That's down 1.3 kg (2.87 lb) from last week and 43.2 kg (95.24 lb) total in just ten months. Not bad. Sure, it's disappointing I only lost five pounds since this time last month, but it is still moving in the right direction overall, so I will just keep plugging away.

I am considering going back to morning runs just because it's dark so early now after work and I find it hard to get time to cook some nights after a run. I don't like eating dinner too late at night. I didn't like the car exhaust running the main road near home, but I have been considering running around the circle in my neighbourhood. There are some inclines and one is pretty steep, so considering I tend to have less energy in the morning that might make it too challenging, but it's worth a thought. I could walk half a circle, then run maybe 3-4 times around and walk the last half again. We'll see.

I'm also considering adding dancing ... I had some great tunes playing this weekend and enjoyed dancing to them for awhile before I realised I was getting a good workout in! Any workout that's fun to do is a great one in my book. :) I still want to add Callanetics as well, as soon as I figure out how I'm going to juggle everything. It can be harder to lose weight in winter when the tendency is to want to stay snuggled up warm under your blankets as much as possible. So I really want to stay active as much as I can. At the same time, the days are shorter as it is, and it can feel like my whole day is work, workout, bed ... know what I mean?

Anyway, I just wanted to check in quick, but I'll be back soon to talk about the next chapter in "A Life Complete - Emotional and Spiritual Growth for Midlife and Beyond" by Sallirae Henderson. You may recall I've discussed that book twice previously, and the next chapter is one that really resonated with me. It's about Learning to Grieve. Until then ...