I Did It!

Yes, I did it. I made it  to my goal of being under 200 lbs. before New Year’s.

What a great feeling! This is the first time that I have seen a one at the beginning of my weight since I was pregnant with my second child six years ago. So I am definitely celebrating today!

But while I am celebrating, and since it is almost New Year’s, I think that it is time to reflect on some of the things that I have learned these past six months. Learning is all about reflection, after all, and this process has definitely been a learning process. So here are some of the things I have learned:

1. Eat.

I recently wrote about my weight loss slowing down, and how aggravated I was about it. After I wrote that post, I  began counting my calories so that I could figure out what was going on. On the first day that I counted, I only ate a little over 1400 calories – a number that seems almost impossible to me! I don’t think I have eaten that few amount of calories voluntarily…ever! Then I started looking at my habits. I had begun to skip breakfast because my mornings are so busy. I would make breakfast, but then I wouldn’t eat it until lunch because of all the running around I was doing. You would think that I know better than that! I believe that was what has accounted for the majority of my issues when it comes to consuming too little food. I have had a little down time this past week, so I have begun trying to come up with a new plan for when school starts next week!

2. Eat Your Vegetables.

Especially when doing Paleo! I got sick a few days before Thanksgiving – nausea, diarrhea, no energy. When my daughter got sick with salmonella a few days later, I thought that was what I had experienced. But a few weeks later, I got sick again in the exact same way! So I pulled out my Paleo Diet Book to try to find some answers – and find answers I did! Apparently, if you eat too much protein without vegetables or fats to go with it, you will get sick – with diarrhea, nausea, and no energy. My days of skipping to the grocery store for a rotisserie chicken and nothing else have been over ever since, and I have been trying to find some new, yummy things to put on my salad to add more flavor. My current favorites are a basil-infused olive oil that I found, and red wine vinegar. I have also added more avocados to my diet – I can’t get enough of those, anyway! Last night I made up a double batch of Garden Fresh Meatballs so that I will have something to fall back on when I get tired of the salads. I will let you know how well they come out after being frozen!

3. Listen to your body.

I have been repeatedly laughed at and made fun of for some of the things that I have become very hard-core about since starting this diet. Like, I won’t eat anything if it has any type of sugar in it. I have found out from experience that even the smallest amount of sugar will give me GI problems that cause a lot of pain and heartache (or stomachache, actually). It isn’t worth it. I read the hell out of labels to make sure that there are no hidden starches or sugars in anything. The bloating, pain, and other things aren’t worth it to me, either. Sometimes I eat something that causes the scale to tick up slightly, but as long as I think that the splurge is worth it in the long run, it is okay. I definitely stay away from wheat and bread products. I inadvertently ate a cracker one day at the farmer’s market and I was so sleepy and run-down for two days! That is definitely not worth it! I have found out that my body can handle sweet potatoes pretty well, so I have added them to my diet – not an every day thing, but I will eat one every now and then.

4. Variety is the Spice of Life

I have been on the lookout for some new recipes, because we all get tired of the same old thing over and over again. I have found that I can take a lot of recipes, use different spices in them, and have a totally cool new eating experience. I did this last night with my Garden Fresh Meatballs. I have found that altering recipes just slightly to please my taste buds goes a long way in determining whether or not I am satisfied – as in, I don’t desire anything else to eat when I am done eating. I have modified so many recipes in this way, from the Crusty Chicken recipe (which is actually a fusion of two other, different recipes), to the Best Chili Ever recipe, which I have to modify because it didn’t agree with my stomach at all (it sure did taste good, though)! I am also trying to figure out a way to modify my salmon, because I eat that a lot for breakfast, but it really is getting old.

5. Lift weights.

One thing that has amazed me since I started this is how much stronger I am. I haven’t been doing any cardio since I read the “Body by Science” book, and I have enjoyed my workouts so much more because of it! It really is fun to go and lift, and when you realize that it is time to add more weight, it is super exciting! I wish that I had written down what weights I started with when I started lifting, but all I know now is that I love going to the gym, and I love that my workout is so short – just 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how motivated I am. When someone mentions doing cardio when they are with me at the gym now, I cringe and try to get out of it any way that I can. I did get on the elliptical machine a few weeks ago, and I was amazed at how much better I did on that machine than I did before I started lifting. I can definitely tell that I am stronger! I have no idea how much muscle I have gained, but it doesn’t matter – all that matters is that I fit into my clothes better!

6. Sometimes the “Experts” Have It Right – They Just Have the Wrong Starting Point

I have seen or heard many things that have come out of expert’s mouths that have actually sounded common-sense to me lately, but only if you think about it in the context of a Paleo diet. When I think about them in terms of SAD (Standard American Diet), they make no sense at all. I’m talking about the studies that say “Eating this or that can help prevent this or that disease” or things like that. I am going to have to start keeping up with these things that I hear, because I can’t think of a single specific one now that I am trying to write about it, and it would be fun to put them in their own blog post.

I am so excited looking forward into the New Year – excited about all of the things that I can accomplish now that I have accomplished this. This is so huge to me, because I have been trying to accomplish it for about two years now! And with this new lifestyle, I accomplished it in three months! I went through all of my “skinny” clothes yesterday – I haven’t done that in a LONG time, and there were clothes in there that I had forgotten about! It was so much fun going through those clothes and knowing that it really is possible to be wearing them again! And that is my next goal, to be able to fit into those clothes again! It will happen in this coming year, and I am excited about sharing the journey to get there!

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The Holidays

Well, we are right smack in the middle of the holidays, and I bet you are thinking, “Gee, she hasn’t posted in a while.  I bet she fell off the wagon HARD!” Well, you would be wrong – I have made it through so far with my new-found lifestyle intact. It made for an interesting Thanksgiving, but I plan on trying some new recipes that I found to spice up Christmas a little bit. I am really enjoying the winter squash that is in season now, although I miss all of the summer vegetables tremendously. I’m not sure that I’ve eaten this many navel oranges….ever, but they sure are delicious.

Lately my weight loss has slowed, but I have had a busy few weeks. My oldest daughter got really, really sick and I had to take her to the hospital twice in one weekend. My other daughter has gotten sick twice. The end of the semester was crazy. Through it all I stayed on my Paleo diet, although I think that my meat to vegetable ratio has suffered. I think that I’m eating WAY too much meat now and not enough vegetables, but I haven’t gotten off the wagon by any means. I am trying to figure out how to tweak what I am doing so that I am back where I need to be. I ate a huge salad today and I hope to be able to do that every day. I found out today that my garlic-infused olive oil tastes really good with red wine vinegar. I have been craving some Garden Fresh Meatballs in the last twenty-four hours, so I will probably make some of those this weekend. I know that I’m still losing inches, but it has definitely slowed down. It isn’t a bad thing, but since I’m in the middle of a month-long break from school this is the perfect time for me to get things back going. I haven’t been to the gym since my daughter got sick, so I’m going to get started going back tomorrow night. I may try to sneak in some Power 90 workouts too. I’ve really started missing those workouts for some reason. I think that part of me knows that I can do much better at those workouts now, and wants to see just how much better I can do. But maybe sometime. Not now.

Well, this has been a very rambly post, and it is definitely time for me to end it here. I hope to check back in after the beginning of the year, if not sooner!

Another Weigh-In

I lost another pound. I have now lost all of the weight that I gained over the holidays. A very good thought, but now my new goal is to lose all of the weight that I have gained since I met my boyfriend.

I didn’t feel much like doing my workout today. I did some – some yoga poses for toning and lengthening. It went pretty well. I think I’m coming down with a cold, so my energy level is kind of low. I looked online about if you should exercise with a cold, and it said that it was okay. I do think that lack of proper sleep is what is causing my symptoms, though, so I am trying to take it easy today without doing away with my workout. I will also probably get a nap this afternoon. I pushed up my workout intensity from beginner to intermediate this week, so I’m sure that is one factor of how I am feeling. So begins a new week. I am excited! I feel like I have accomplished so much, and I am trying to listen to my body through all of this, too, so that I don’t over-do it. So far, this has been a great experience.

Frustrated?

Well, I’m almost done with my fourth week on weight watchers, and I’ve been exercising now for three. It has been going well, especially the exercising. I’m really enjoying that. My weight loss has actually slowed, but I keep reminding myself that is to be expected since I’m doing twenty minute workouts every day. I’m only losing about a pound, if that, a week. Still, I keep telling myself that it is a loss, and the exercise will help me see results actually faster than otherwise. I can actually tell that I’m getting stronger, which is a plus. I am doing intermediate workouts now, but I still have my beginner goal up so that if I run into an intermediate workout that is too hard for me, I can do the beginner one. I’ve added some moves to specifically target my waistline, and I need to add some moves to specifically target my butt. Last time I lost weight, I targeted my waistline but not my butt, and my butt never went anywhere. I would have been able to wear much smaller sizes if I had targeted that area. But things are going well, and I can tell I’m stronger, and I’m looking toward the final end result and trying not to get frustrated that I’m only losing about a pound a week. With the muscle I’m gaining from my workouts, I will be burning calories faster, but muscle weighs more than fat, so I’m trying to remember that. I will see the benefits in my better-fitting clothes before long, I’m sure.

Another video for inspiration:

Britney Spears’ Stronger

Since I’m getting stronger and everything…

Weigh In Again

I weighed myself this morning, because I’m not going to work today. As far as I can tell, I’ve only lost 1 pound, but I’m going to reserve judgment until next week, when the health nurse comes to weigh me again. Anyway, I’m not going to be too upset about it – its still a loss. And I’ve done really good this week keeping track of my points and drinking my water. I’m going to do my workout today, even though I am feeling a little under the weather. I didn’t work out yesterday because I didn’t feel good either, but I don’t want to get too far behind on my workouts. And I looked online about working out while you have a cold (mine is pretty minor, anyway) and everything seems to say that it is okay. So I’m going to give it a shot. I’ve been getting hungrier lately between meals, so I may have to balance my points more between my meals and my snacks so that I’m not getting so hungry. But things are going well, and I THINK I may be noticing some difference in the way my clothes are fitting already. If I really am, then that is really awesome!

Awesome Workout

Even though I did not want to get out of bed this morning, I had an AWESOME workout! I really can’t believe I pulled it off, especially as bad as I didn’t want to get up, but I guess it came out of somewhere. Plus, I can see that my persistence is paying off. I’ve lost two pounds this week, and I can already tell my clothes are fitting better. I can’t wait to see what happens after January 1, when I start weight watchers AND exercise! Haven’t taken my pictures yet – maybe tonight.