Monday, December 21, 2015

Dealing with Life

I typed the following a couple of months ago, but I was not ready to post it. Now, though, I think I am.
My last post was 3 months ago. That doesn't mean that I haven't been on my fitness journey, at least for the most part. It means that life has gotten in the way, and I just haven't had or made the time to write. In my last post, I alluded to something happening that renewed my desire to be fit. That something was my mother's diagnosis of colon cancer at the end of June.
I have to be honest, I NEVER thought that I'd have to deal with cancer in my family. I'm not sure why, I realize now that it was very naive of me. But, it just wasn't anything that really had been in my family. So, when my mom's diagnosis came, it was colon cancer but it initially was found in her liver, which meant that it had spread. Which meant that it was Stage IV. We were told that eventually the cancer would be terminal, but we had hope that aggressive chemotherapy would allow her a few more years.
From July 9 until August 29, she really only got 3 chemo treatments. We thought that she was doing okay, since she was still going to work many of the days, when she felt up to it. However, on August 29, my father took her to the hospital, thinking that she was dehydrated. Her kidneys were beginning to shut down. The hospital stay led to finding out that the cancer had spread even more...the cancer in the liver had turned into its own tumor and it also had spread into her lungs. So she decided not to prolong things and opted to forego dialysis. As a result, she passed away the day after Labor Day.
Needless to say, my exercise and nutrition have been affected. I did start my Body Beast program on July 13, the day after my last post. I stayed consistent with that up until the week of my mother's passing. Since then, I have gone out to exercise, although it has been less frequent. As well, I have found my eating to be more fueled by comfort to an extent.
And I am okay with that right now. But I don't want to stay there. I CAN'T stay there. I know it's not the healthiest choices. But, I've given myself some grace during this time, because I know this is what I need, too. When I think about getting up at 4:30 in order to get my workout in, some days I've known that my body just needs the rest and I stay in bed. I've said it before, this fitness journey is a marathon. Yes, I initially lost 28 pounds and I've gained about 10-14 of those back. (However, some of that has been increased muscle with the Body Beast program.) But life happens. You aren't always going to feel like making the good choices, even 80% of the time. The key for me is to get back in it now.
Since I initially started this "Fit After 40" journey at the end of July/beginning of August 2014, I have really enjoyed seeing more strength, definition, and stamina. I don't want to lose that. And if I continue to allow myself to make those unhealthy choices, I will eventually stop making ANY healthy choices. And I don't want to do that, because then it makes it that much more difficult to start making the healthy choice again.
So now, a couple of months after writing that, we're right in the middle of the holidays, and my motivation is pretty low. Especially when I think back to how I was doing last year. Since September I generally have maintained exercising two to three days a week, until the last couple of weeks. My eating has not been that great, though, which makes more of a difference. But, I'm still determined to get myself back on my journey at some point. Of course, the new year is the time that pretty much everyone decides to get on that journey, so I guess I'll be in good company. 

I just didn't want to let my journey go, or let my blog go. I wanted to let people know where I was, although pretty much most of my readers probably knew from Facebook. But like I have said several times, and again in the above section written a couple of months ago, a fitness journey (and life) is a marathon. There will be several steps forward, and then some backward. Some victories and some defeats. I want to, I NEED to, get back to that 80% rule. Making healthy choices 80% of the time. So let this be an encouragement to anyone who is struggling to get that motivation back. I'm there. But I refuse to stay there. Sometimes it's just baby steps, but the momentum can get started. 

I hope to still keep people updated on this in the upcoming weeks.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Still on the Journey

This post has been a long time coming. I got busy at work, life got in the way; other things came up that called for my time, and I didn't use it to keep up with this blog. I've created snippets of this post in my mind for the last two months. I've stuck with my workouts, overall. The clean eating, not as much, and it really shows in my weight. But I knew I'd come back to it at some point.

First, I'll start with my P90X3 progress. I had started Round 2 on April 6. You can see my first couple of weeks' workout pictures in this post and this post. While I did stick to the schedule (for the most part), I didn't stick as well to the eating, so I don't really feel like I "went" through it. I certainly didn't want to take progress pictures like I had for my first round, because I was not making the right kind of progress. But, I did the workouts, at least 4 or 5 days each week instead of the 6 I usually did. Right at the end of the round, I had to start working 10-hour days for three weeks in the summer. And I got tired! So, I was a little more lax in my getting out there and getting it done. But, I did take a picture every day that I did work out, so it is still documented. Here are a few, for now.

Next, I'll talk about my eating. I already have said a couple of times, I did not stick to the eating like I should. I'm not quite sure where it started. I guess it kind of was a combination of stuff, including some Disney trips where we indulged a little. Also, I found myself getting away from trying to eat to fuel my body and started wanting to eat things because they taste good. I knew I needed a balance, but I was just letting myself indulge some.

So now, my weight. I still monitored my weight, pretty much daily. No, it was not where I had been back in March or even April, and it was not where I wanted it to be. I definitely yo-yo-ed a bit more. I actually was a little surprised at how quickly my weight shifted from the beginning to the end of May. Then June. This picture is from My Fitness Pal in June, showing the last 6 months of my weight progress. I basically started and ended the same, but look at that dip and then the recent spikes.

And now, the beginning of July. Although, I stepped on the scale this morning after a 4-day Disney vacation, and I have to say, I figured I'd be back in the 170s. Thankfully, no, I wasn't, but I was pretty close.

In the last couple of weeks I've been reminded of why I think that it is important to eat healthy and be active, so I have had a renewed drive to get back on target. I am almost a year out from starting this journey, and this is just proof that it is a marathon, not a sprint. There are going to be good times and bad times. Times that I'm motivated, and times that I just want to eat an Oreo doughnut. I just need to remember the 80/20 rule. I want to make the healthy choice 80% of the time.

On Monday, I will be starting Body Beast. This is another Beachbody program that focuses mostly on weightlifting. Not that I want to get into bodybuilding, but I just want to tone up. I am excited to see my progress with that. But since the majority of weight loss is going to be due to nutrition, I am getting back on track with my eating as well. At least 80% of the time.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weeks 39 and 40: Scaling Back (Or not)

(I got a little behind so I'm catching up by combining these two weeks.)

I have mentioned this before, but I pretty much get on the scale every morning, "just to see" how I'm doing, but for my official "weigh-in," I only count what I weigh on Fridays (or sometimes Saturdays). But this week, I thought I would try to go the whole week without getting on the scale. I've realized that when I get on everyday, I tend to get lax when I start to see the numbers going down. "Oh, I've got this, I'll be down this week." So when I'm feeling a little craving for a doughnut, "Well, I can afford that," and I eat it. I've also realized that I've been acting more like I'm trying to maintain my weight than trying to LOSE weight still.

So, like I said, I thought I'd go sans scale this week, but I just couldn't do it. I was making good nutrition choices, and I just felt lighter, so I wanted to see what the weight was. I couldn't resist getting on to see. But actually, a friend told me that she read something that said people who weigh everyday tend to lose more weight than people who don't. I guess it just depends on how you use the information, then. But hearing that just gave me more support to step on everyday. And I started writing all of them down in my planner, just to document it. One thing I've noticed is that how well I sleep has seemed to make a difference. I know that sleep will definitely make a difference in the long-term when trying to lose weight. And of course, sometimes just what I ate the day before can make a difference (like sodium and water-retention).

Anyway, I don't think that I can do only a weekly weight-check after all. That's okay, I'll just stick with what I have been doing.

Round 2 of P90X3 has been going great! I feel stronger, like I did the first time I went through it. I think I'm pushing myself a little bit more, particularly on things like squats and lunges. Pushing myself to go lower. Or pushing myself to keep going. Here are my pictures from the last two weeks. Oh, I did skip my day 13 workout because we were at Disney and stayed out at Magic Kingdom way too late, so I did NOT want to get up and work out. But I did get a ton of steps that day from walking! (I discovered the new iPhone operating system has a built-in pedometer. More on that in another post.)

Here is my final weight loss progress for the last two weeks. I'm holding steady right now. Well, really, my last post (week 38), I was 160. Then for week 39, I actually went up to 161, so I'm pretty pleased with the 159!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week 38: Round 2 Begins

I first went through P90X3 from September 29 to December 27. I really liked it, and I was so proud of myself for completing it, since I had never before completed P90X (or, really, any workout program).

I thought about going through it again at some point, but I wanted to try a couple of other things out. Then, I did a combination of some of my favorites. But I really like the idea of going through a program and completing it. Especially when it is formulated to get you in good shape. I also wanted to see what my results would be when I pushed myself even more than I had before. When I was starting off in even better shape than I had been when I started the first time.

So, I started my second round of P90X3 on April 6. I still love it. My first week is done, and I'm feeling the pain (good pain). I decided that for this round, I want to take and share a picture of myself working out everyday. This is something that I did a lot already during P90X3, but since at heart I am a digital scrapbooker/memory keeper, this is kind of like my own little Project 365 (or in this case, Project 90).

So one thing that I noticed this week is that I have been still acting as if I'm trying to maintain my weight, rather than still actively trying to lose. So even though I think it's okay to once in a while splurge, I'm just doing that a little more often than I should. So it shows in my results. But at the same time, my waist went down a half-inch. So maybe my 2-pound weight gain this week was really muscle. I guess we'll see... 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Weeks 36 and 37: The Real Numbers

I didn't get a chance to post last week, so I'm "combining" the last two weeks.

First of all, I'm going to take my authenticity up a level and start sharing real numbers. Yeah, it's a little embarrassing, but I'm already sharing my pictures, so I might as well, right? Second, I'm going back to sharing a weekly PROGRESS update. I've gotten to where if I don't lose any weight (or if I gain weight) in a week, then I just don't mention it. I guess in my mind, I figure I'll lose again in a week or two, and I'll mention it there. But I want to be more transparent in my weekly progress. Especially since I'm starting Round 2 of P90X3.

Okay, so when I started this weight loss venture back in July 2014, I weighed 185 pounds. I wanted to get down to 150 pounds at that time, but I later changed that to 145. So I wanted to lose 40 pounds. As of today, I have gotten as far down as 157 pounds (so a 28-pound weight loss). But, on my Friday morning weigh-in, I was 158 pounds (current loss: 27 pounds). At the beginning of 2015, I talked about setting a timeline for my goal, which was to be down to my 145-pound goal weight by April. So, after being a lot more casual with my nutrition for the last couple of months, I doubt that I will meet that goal by then. Maybe it would be more realistic at this point to shoot for July (right at a year that I've been doing this.) So, July 19 would be the date that I signed up as a coach and made the decision to start getting fit.

I've written several times before that the scale is not the ultimate measure of my progress. In fact, I looked back at my waist measurements from when I started, and I really have to say that I am excited at the progress there. In July, around my belly/abdomen area, I measured 41 inches. Yikes. This past Saturday, I measured 33.25 inches. Woohoo! So even if the numbers on the scale are fluctuating, my inches are coming off!

I am starting my second round of P90X3. I'm excited to see what my results will be this time. I'm posting my progress when I went through X3 the first time. And then my current picture, which will be my new "before" picture for Round 2 of X3.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Week 35: It's Always Something

I actually first thought about this a couple of months ago but never wrote about it, and now I'm thinking about it again, so I decided to write about it now. Throughout the year, it seems like there is always some reason to indulge with food. You know, that feeling of it only happens once a year, so I've got to have some [blank]. Or that feeling of it's tradition, it just won't feel like [blank] unless I have some [blank]. Here is a look at my personal "events" calendar by each month.

January-college bowl games and pro football play-offs. For us there is usually this desire to have pizza or wings or nachos, you know, FOOTBALL FOOD.

February-Superbowl, Florida State fair, Valentine's day, Girl Scout cookies. This is apparently a heavy month. You start off still with the football food. Then, if I go to the fair, I want to have some good fried oreos or something like that. For Valentine's, of course, I want chocolate (although I didn't really do that this year, well, except we went to Disney ON Valentine's day, so I did splurge.) Then, you know, Girl Scout cookies are only available for a limited time.

March-spring break, my birthday. Not that spring break HAS to call for food, but there is this feeling that I'm on vacation, so it's a little easier to get a little lax. And my birthday this year has been bad for my eating. I wanted some donuts or cinnamon rolls.

April-Easter. The first of several family get-togethers in the next couple of months in which we do a potluck dinner, which means tempting desserts.

May-Mother's Day, (teacher appreciation). Another family get-together event that can have tempting desserts. And now, of course, I'm a mother, so I "deserve" it. And usually teacher appreciation week brings a whole bunch of food (Panera breakfast, Chick-fil-A lunch, ice cream one afternoon, etc.), but this year I'm not at just 1 or 2 schools, so I probably won't be bombarded with it like I usually am, which is probably a good thing.

June-wedding anniversary, Father's Day. Often, Jason & I would go to Kobe's for our anniversary. Then, I usually wanted some sort of dessert (like Cold Stone.) Then Father's Day is another family get-together.

July-4th of July, vacation. Actually, other than usually wanting a hot dog, the Fourth of July is not that tempting of a holiday for me foodwise. But the last couple of years we've been doing our family vacation right around that time, so we usually splurge a little.

August-                 . Wow, I actually don't typically have anything major in August. Other than going back to work, which is not really cause to splurge. My one good month.

September-fall, daughter's birthday. So, at first I only had my daughter's birthday listed, but then I realized that September is always when I'm ready to start eating pumpkin muffins or other goodies like that. I at least usually try to make the kind where you mix the pumpkin with the spice cake mix (and we ice it with just a little bit of cream cheese icing.) Then, my daughter's birthday. Since she's only 3, she's still having birthday parties, which of course means cake.

October-hub's birthday, Halloween, and still fall. On his past birthday, we went to Kobe's. But even if we just go somewhere else, there is still the temptation to splurge just a little bit. As for Halloween, of course, it's usually just a candy thing, which sometimes I can take or leave. But it's still a possibility. And since it's still fall, there is still the pumpkin muffin temptation.

November-Thanksgiving. That doesn't really need any explanation.

December-Christmas. Neither does this.

So what is my point in saying all of this? I guess I realized that there is ALWAYS something that only comes once a year, that makes you feel like you need to indulge. But, since there is always something, I'm realizing that I need to be even more selective than I have been. Wow, it can be hard to stick with the good choices consistently. But since nutrition can really make or break your fitness progress, I know I need to make better (consistent) choices.

As for my current weight, I'm about 2 to 3 pounds above my lowest weight so far (thanks to those cinnamon rolls, I guess.) I'm still working out, but I did notice that coming off the weekend my workouts were harder, due to the kind of food I ate, I think. I just feel better when I'm eating right. It just can get so easy to get off track, so easy to give in to those cravings (that taste good for the moment, but are they really worth it?)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Week 34: Back Again

After doing the 3 Day Refresh, I realized that I probably could cut down a little bit on what I had been eating and be okay. I also realized that I needed to sort of "re-calibrate" my eating plan. And I suggest you do that, too, especially if it's been a while since you've started. I had been sticking with my P90X3 plan (in my mind), but when I pulled the P90X3 nutrition guide back out, first I realized that with the weight I've lost, I needed to go down in my calories. (The nutrition guide gives you a range of calories to eat, but it's specified more as "blocks" of macronutrients to eat. So for instance, at breakfast I should have 2 proteins, 3 carbs, and 1 fat.) So where previously I've been eating 2 egg whites and a whole egg with some veggies for breakfast around 6, then having my Shakeology (which the powder counts as 2 proteins) at 8, I realized that just having my Shakeology for my breakfast is sufficient.

It was a good week to revamp what I was eating, as I was on spring break, so I could see how it works for me without having to be at work. And it worked well. I typically ate an apple with some almond butter for my morning snack. Then for lunch, we made either salmon or chicken, brown rice, and a vegetable (green beans or asparagus are my favorites!)

I also started back on my workouts. I had gotten tired of my Pump and Combat hybrid, so I had begun just doing what I felt like doing each morning, throwing in some PiYo again. It was good to revisit some of those workouts and check out improvements in my form. But I took a little time off (about 10 days), due to being sick and just needing some rest when I did the 3 Day Refresh. So I used this workout generator website (just google it) to create a hybrid program of PiYo, P90X3, and Pump. I set it for only 4 weeks, and I started on March 9 with my current challenge/accountability group that is going on. I'm really enjoying it right now. I just think that as I'm getting fitter and losing more weight, then I find that my workouts are even better. Maybe my form wasn't exactly great on some things initially (like my squats), and maybe I didn't push myself as much as I should have all the time. So going back to them, I feel like I'm seeing (or will see) even better results.

I didn't lose any more weight this week, though, but I did maintain my previous weight. Still at 28 pounds!

I loved seeing my daughter try some exercising herself. She doesn't typically see me exercise, since I go out to our detached garage when she's usually still asleep. But since I was on spring break last week, I didn't work out as early and she came out with me for a little bit of my workout. I also loved overhearing her watching something on her Kindle where they asked if they know anyone who exercises, and she said, "Mommy and Daddy." Love it!