Sophmore Slump and Rebounding

This month has definitely had it’s ups and downs.

Posted a whinny sentiment on 3fatchicks a few weeks ago saying I was just dang sick and tired of this whole dieting process! Not that I would do anything differently but that I was just tired of thinking about it. And a wonderful, insightful woman said, “Oh yes, I remember that, it’s like a sophomore slump”. YES! That’s exactly what it’s like! Far enough in that you’re really IN it but far enough from the goal that it still feels like a long journey. It’s funny too, I am amazed at how just putting frustration or negative feels out there helps eradicate them from my being. Now perhaps this is process that everyone else has figured out, and I am the absolute queen of ‘venting’ but I think having a group of folks who have been there or are going there and normalize the situation and sympathize has really helped me to regroup and move on.

Another wonderful woman on 3fatchicks who has similar stats (starting/end weight, height etc) said that she remembers her corresponding point in my journey and that each additional 10 lbs from this point on would be notable. Yay! Ten pound increments I can live with!

Ah, and my old friend sabotage paid me a visit. I was really blowing off workouts. I was doing some riding but not like I should be. The countdown to the beach seems to be more rapidly approaching as we’ve crossed over the half way time mark and I am the queen of having an out, an excuse, a reason I didn’t hit my goal. So my cycling buddy and I decided I’d email him my workout schedule on Sundays. I check in on Facebook whenever I’m at the gym and my cycling program will email a status with a map, stats etc for every ride. This has helped tremendously! And let me tell you, he’s checking up on me 😉

The good news comes in the clothing department. New clothes are great but getting into OLD clothes can’t be beat! I was fussing at my husband that I didn’t want to purchase new workout wear since my XLs were entirely too big (to the point of almost falling off!) so on a shear whim, I went into my closet and pulled out my old size small workout gear…SUCCESS! A few of my size 6 jackets are fitting too as is my old winter jacket. Some a bit tight but more than passable. I’m amazed that these things are fitting but evidently this has to do with the changes in body composition. I do get anticipatory pangs because I know my body/musculature is changing more rapidly than I can see through the existing layers of fat, and I am certainly excited and curious to see what lies beneath.

I also it the 60% mark today, which means 40 more lbs. In a pound, that becomes 39. Psychological distinction, I know but having to lose 30-something is a vastly different game than 70 or 80 or even 60… all places I’ve been. It feels more ‘human’, more attainable.

With my husband on the journey, I’m also trying to expand my knowledge of healthy cooking and making good food more favorable. Thanks Angela for this cookbook! Seriously, check it out!

Until next time.

Posted by fyreflie24 on February 16th, 2012 under Uncategorized | Comment now »

My First 50K Cycle Ride

Hosted by the Rocky River Road Club, my husband and I participated and completed their 50k Polar Bear Ride this past Saturday. Now 50k (or about 31.4 miles) in cycling isn’t a huge accomplishment (our marathon equivalent is 100 miles) but this was a real course, created for real cyclists, and though we crossed the finish line with our counterparts who were cycling a 100k, we were both excited to have one official event under our belts. The first 12 mile segment (before the rest stop) was a lot of large climbs and I have to admit, I got nervous; I didn’t think I had 30+ miles of those conditions in me! The second segment was long, gradual climbs (don’t let that fool you, they were rough! One climb was 1.1 miles) and I frankly don’t remember much of the last portion lol! I think I was just anxious to see the finish line.

Oh, crossing the finish line. I have to say, that was pretty fun 🙂

The ride did help me focus on where I need to focus in terms of strength and endurance. I’m grateful to cycling for giving my workouts a purpose and something to focus on other than numbers on a scale. But it’s given more of a purpose to the weight loss too, because now, each pound that comes off is one less pound of load on my bike, and one less pound I need to propel. I’m very curious if and how my times will be affected by losing weight. Oh you know what else is motivating? Cyclists! Man that’s a lean group of folk.

It was also our first attempt at real sports nutrition, a complicated subject I’m finding! But now with a baseline, we can start to fine tune.

I know it’s not a herculean feat, but I got a sense of real accomplishment during the last leg, because I know there is no way on this earth I could have completed that ride six months ago.

So this week is for regrouping, recovering and moving on with a renewed sense of purpose, and accomplishment.

Now if I can just get used to those dang clipless pedals, we’ll be all set!

Posted by fyreflie24 on January 18th, 2012 under Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Holidays Recap

Well, I’d love to say that I was completely on plan during the holidays, but that was simply not the case.

We traveled home and so many lovely friends made our favorites, bought our favorites… well what’s a girl to do? Eat in moderation, that’s what 🙂 All in all I fluctuated a bit, and was down very little as of Jan 1 (from December 1). But on January 7th, I’m happy to report I’m at a new low and happily back on track. So nah nah holidays, I win 🙂

I really challenged myself to make decent food choices. So I went out to a bar/restaurant which was a favorite haunt with my theatre friends. Though I shared some of the more high calorie stuff and had a few black and tans, I also chose old bay shrimp as my main course. The other stuff simply didn’t leave me with much of an appetite but I figured I should get something somewhat healthy to balance it out. The time away really made me very optimistic about my ability to maintain my ultimate goal weight. I didn’t get any workouts in and that’s what I’m striving to get back on track with a good routine this week.

The good news is that I hit the 50% to goal mark right before Christmas! So from here in, it’s a downhill slope!

I’m also very excited that my husband and I will be working with a nutritionist for the next 6 months. She seems lovely and has a background in sports nutrition, which will be exceedingly helpful as I start pushing my training efforts over the next few months.

So happy 2012!

Posted by fyreflie24 on January 7th, 2012 under Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The First 100 Days

When I updated my forum ticker this morning, I noticed it said today was my 100th day of my new lifestyle.

Wow, 100 days.

So I thought it might be a good time to reflect.

The one element of this journey I’ve been the most silent about is the emotional path. I’ve become a total Biggest Loser, Extreme Weight loss and other reality weight loss shows junkie because I’m amazed at the psychological journey we all take while losing weight; how we’re alike and how we’re different. One very common theme is that we have to learn to feel again. Wow, that hit home. I’ve used food as an emotion damper for so long that feeling again does get a bit scary. Ok, more than a bit; down right terrifying! I know for me, my weight has also been a crutch and a padding between myself and the outside world. I’m a very outgoing, extroverted type, but I get freaked by expectations and no matter what it is, I can usually attribute some percentage of not achieving, or worse, self sabotaging myself back to my weight. It’s a vicious cycle.

Confidence. This is another common thread. We overweight folk largely lack confidence. We don’t know what we’re made of, or we’ve forgotten (the later is certainly true in my case). A friend has convinced me to cycle in the MS150 Breakout to the Beach ride next September. Seventy-five miles the first day, fifty the second day. Yeouch. My sister has MS so the cause is near and dear to my heart. But as I was training yesterday (as Santa came early with a new roadbike!) I thought, nothing I feel can compare to living with MS. And that’s what I tell myself every time it gets rough… I will continue to do so until my sister meets me at the finish line in September. The prospect of doing this run scares me to death, and that’s the other reason I’m doing it. I need to rediscover what I’m made of. I took the road bike out today and I have to say, it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed any kind of physical activity as much as I enjoyed that ride. It was addictive! Something about a road bike just feels so natural to me, well, all except the seat 🙂

I also noticed, though I still have a bit more than 50% of the way to go, I felt lighter today. Just, lighter. I was running in and out of places this afternoon with my seven-year-old because it was raining and it was kinda…well… FUN! Gasp! Who am I?!

I’ve struggled with my weight since I was an early teen and funny, all the times I’ve yoyoed over the years, the thought of saying ‘this is the last time it will come off’ didn’t truly resonate as it does now. I think I’ve mentioned that this last weight gain came as I struggled to deal with the sudden death of a beloved family member. I feel like, this time, I’m building the skills to not turn to food when life gets hard, and remain in that path long term.

The timing is perfect! I will be close to goal in early May where first, I attend my 25th high school reunion (gasp!) and am in a wedding the following week. A little less than a month later, we head to the beach.

OH, non sequetar, did I mention that I dropped over 3 lbs during Thanksgiving week?!! Yah, I was feeling like a rockstar. In fact, interestingly, I mentioned on a forum thread that I was the Queen of Self Sabotage. A friend there said, “perhaps you should start considering yourself the FORMER Queen of Self Sabotage. I like it 🙂

So 100 days lighter, 100 days stronger, 100 days wiser.

Now onto the next 100.

Posted by fyreflie24 on November 29th, 2011 under Uncategorized | Comment now »

First Big Milestone… Check.

So let’s catch up, shall we?

Last week, the scale started moving at a rapid pace… 4.6lbs total in that 7 day period. Not bad. But the scale rested on… 200.2.

Remember when Charlie Brown would go running with AAHHHHHH in the balloon over his head? Yea, that’s how I’ve began feeling. But then again, this was a huge milestone, one that evaded me a year or so ago when I embarked on this journey and allowed myself to be derailed.

Crossing the line into, as we affectionately call it in weight loss circles, onederland, has actually been pretty emotional. Lots of mixed emotions, and I was happy to have a few days to grapple with them all before actually crossing the line. First I had to make a firm commitment to myself that the 200s were gone forever. As much as I never want to see a 2 in front of my name again, it’s become familiar turf and something about crossing over made this journey feel more real and immediate. Like now, I need to pay attention and take control. I’m approaching the half way point, time to get serious.

Diet has been the easier part; making the time for exercise has proven harder. If I’m completely honest with myself, I think part of the struggle is having to be face with the hard reality that my body is really out of shape. I hate that feeling. The other piece is I’m the queen of self sabotage. Not trying and failing is ok, but putting my everything into something and failing, well that’s just unacceptable. This is a very aggressive goal; doable, but aggressive. I don’t think in my heart I believe I can do it, or that all my efforts will yield my desired result. On Biggest Loser, they talk a lot about confidence. Never been one of my strong points. And I know I use the weight as a bit of a crutch, a padding, a buffer. Being out there in the world ‘exposed’ again is scary. That said, I remember how happy I was when I was thin, about 5 years ago.

So for now, it’s about controlling the fleeting thoughts, talking myself into the right decisions and tenacity.

Today, I get to look down at the beautiful, very extravagant bead my husband purchased for me for this very occasion. It all seems a bit surreal.

Next milestone: half way by Jan 1, 2012, or 14.8 lbs.

Posted by fyreflie24 on November 10th, 2011 under Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Trick or Treat!

Let’s start with the trick, shall we?

The scale has barely moved in two weeks. What on earth is going on?! I started training with the lovely Mistress H, but would that do it?

I have two theories. First, I’ve become something of a Biggest Loser addict, not because I aspire to those weight loss numbers (they’re working out 6 hours a day, not practical), but because so many of the psychological aspects of this journey are addressed on the show and, even they have slow weight loss weeks. If someone can eat right, exercise like a mad person and only drop a pound, then hey, that’s enough proof for me that this is just part of the process (a painful part, but nonetheless, par for the course).

Theory two has to do with an apparent correlation between exercise and water retention, which my particular physiologically seems prone to do. Getting the required copious amount of water to counteract this effect is challenging sometimes but I’m trying to keep it in the forefront of my consciousness. Easier said than done. If I drink a lot later at night, I’m up all night. And I frankly get wrapped up in things and just plain forget… so that’s one I can control. I took a few days off after 8 straight days of workouts and saw what I suspect were water retention-related gains disappear so we’ll see how this week goes.

If I look at things from the Beck Diet Solution perspective, I must give myself credit. I’m watching what I eat and feel I have a very healthy perspective on that aspect. The scale? I admit it here and now, not such a healthy perspective. So in the spirit of learning from the process, the take away here is: I have to find ways to feel accomplishment even if the scale isn’t moving. Oh, ouch. That one is tough.

On that note, let’s talk about the treats!!

Treat one. I’m starting to redefine my life, and specifically my enjoyment of spending time with family and friends, in nonfood terms. I spent a lovely evening with a friend on Saturday. Museum, dinner, show… and didn’t stress about food. Now I was prepared, I’d adjusted my calories accordingly for the dinner. But I was so proud that I ate things I love, just in moderation, made some good food choices and was not up at all the following day. Yay me. That was a huge treat!

Treat two. Today is the 20th anniversary of meeting my husband. Yes, it was at a Halloween party. We’ll be delaying the real celebration but it’s just motivating me even more to stay out of the candy.

So Happy Halloween! I’m looking forward to the excitement of trick-or-treating ghosts, goblins and princesses…  and maybe some quiet time later on with the caveman that danced his way into my life 20-years ago today.

Posted by fyreflie24 on October 31st, 2011 under Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Come on Ride the Train, Here I Am…

Cardio machines really aren’t my thing. I try to go for the biggest calorie bang for my buck, was up to 90 mins on cardio machines, and slowly going nuts. Mistress H takes cycle class on occasion and I thought, why not? I used to do it when the phenomenon, then known as ‘spin’, started and really enjoyed it. So Sunday afternoon I show up for cycle class a few mins early. The bikes are there, and an instructor stood speaking with a student near the stereo. Thought nothing of it. A few minutes later, another woman walked in and asked if this was, in fact, cycle class. “Zumba”, replied the instructor. OMG…

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious, and that I hadn’t thought of trying it. But as a former dancer, I was concerned. I kinda like living in the memory of the glory years. I love the memory of what my body used to do, and it’s frustrating as hell that I can’t do it any more or that it looks so different (not in a good way) but hell, I was there, so I decided to stay.

You can take a girl out of the studio but you can’t take the dancer at of the girl.

I certainly wasn’t the worst and I certainly wasn’t the best but it felt so good to move, or try to at least, like I used to. My spine thanked me; it felt looser than it had in years. I hadn’t even noticed how much my body was asking for this. And let’s face it, I wasn’t listening anyway.

A Zumba class burns about 500 calories in an hour. It doesn’t take much more to burn 2-300 calories for a pretty good day. I’m not the most competitive person, but I’m programmed to keep up with a class, so it forces me to work hard to keep up. I can’t wait til the day comes when I’m not watching the clock.

At yesterday’s class, my second, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You’re amazing at this”. I looked behind me.. but she was talking to me! Her next statement got me thinking, “You should be teaching this.” Hum…

My sister, who has been an incredible coach and resource through this process, threw out the idea of teaching or training or some how becoming part of the other side of this process and this is looking like a great option.

Once I can get through a class!

Posted by fyreflie24 on October 27th, 2011 under Uncategorized | Comment now »

Screeching Brakes

I know, I know, ebbs and flows in the weight loss journey are all part of the process. That doesn’t mean I have to like it! And trust me, I don’t. This process seriously brings out my inner, tantrum-wielding, whining four-year old. I was on a roll for a few weeks dropping 3-4 lbs totaling 10 this month to date. Not bad, I know but damn it, I WANT MORE!

Regardless, here are the fairy stories I keep telling myself.

1) This is a good growth opportunity;

2) I didn’t put  it on overnight (yea, this doesn’t work but everyone keeps reminding that so I’m gratuitously putting it on the list);

3) Carrying this additional weight is making my body work harder so I’ll get stronger faster;

4) The harder the process, the less likely I’ll want to do a command performance;

5) The final celebration will be that much sweeter.

Finally, this is a test of my tenacity. It’s going to make me *really* want it and *really* focus and *really REALLY* want it. I’d be lying to us all if I didn’t say that keeping this level of intensity until June wasn’t a daunting thought. It’s incredibly daunting. And I’m trying my damnedest to not make everyone around me nuts too.

A friend of mine expressed concern about working on such a tight time table. I MUST lose 2lbs a week, every single week, to meet my goal (it was 2.5, but I’ve made up a little time for which I am amazingly grateful). I’m find though, it’s a blessing. I have zero margin of error. I know me too, I could be 1lb from my goal when we leave on June 23rd, 2012, and I would be pissed. Flat out pissed. I’m not worried really about Halloween or the holidays because it’s just for this year. This process won’t go on forever, but it does need my absolute dedication for the next 8 months.

In the words of Elphaba from Wicked, “Too late for second guessing/too late to go back to sleep./It’s time to trust my instincts,/close my eyes and leap…/ It’s time to try defying gravity “. I feel like I’m doing defying gravity every day right now…

Posted by fyreflie24 on October 23rd, 2011 under Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Opened Pandora’s Box and I’m Hooked

Subtitle, why my life evolves around beads…

I have a fabulous book by Judith Beck, The Beck Weight Loss Solution and in it, she talks about one of her clients who purchased a charm bracelet at the beginning of her journey. The idea is she purchased a new bead for every 5lbs lost. So I got to thinking, I’d been admiring the Pandora bracelets, so I purchased the actual bracelet and the ‘journey’ bead, finding that an appropriate selection to begin my collection as I started on my own path. Well I purchase the beads one or two in advance so I can look at them, longingly, as I chisel away at each 5lb increment. I wear my bracelet almost all the time and friends who are in on my little plan will occasionally look and comment on new beads. Sounds great right?

In the spirit of the Halloween season, I’ll make a confession here and now. Those damn beads talk to me. They do! I hear them, from the box on my dress… “D… you know you want me… won’t I just look beautiful!”. When I’m in that last pound or, worse FRACTION of a pound to that new bead, I admit, I get a little, um, nuts. No other word, nuts. I’ve been overheard saying things like, “No thank you, I can’t have that glass of wine, I’m almost to my next bead”.

I love my bracelet. I love the weight of it, it makes the progress I’ve made feel significant. I count them often, reminding myself how far I have come. I look at the negative space and strategize how I’m going to fill the empty space. I have selected a bead that will appear four times, for the 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% markers. I have another significant mini goal (what those of us on this journey often call ‘onederland’) for which my husband will surprise me with his selection. I’ve been debating on getting the ghost for the marker closest to Halloween as extra incentive to not delve into the candy bags.

I’ve been struggling with the same .4 lbs for days now, while the blue merano glass bead taunts me with hopes of ‘tomorrow’. Today I’m bound and determined to conquer that last bit and so that I may add one more proverbial notch to my belt or in this case, bead to my bracelet. That will make seven beads or 30 lbs (one for starting then one for each 5lbs after that). Lucky seven… soon!

Posted by fyreflie24 on October 23rd, 2011 under Uncategorized | Comment now »

Agrrr… foiled by a salad

So I ended up going out to an impromptu lunch and ordered a spinach salad, dressing on the side which I didn’t use. When I got home, I looked up the salad’s nutritional info…  835 calories! Yes take some of that out for dressing but YIKES! I consider myself pretty savvy at ordering but that completely floored me! So a reminder, research before you order. Oh how I love smartphones!

This is an exciting time in the journey as I have a big mini goal attainable in the next few weeks, and then I set sights on my half way mark which I will achieve, hopefully, by Jan 1. Where I feel like time stands still sometimes, I sit here on Oct 18th thinking that time is flying. Funny how time can both stand still and fly at the same time!

In other news, I started with my personal trainer yesterday, a woman who shall be known solely as Mistress H. You have to be somewhat sadistic to choose this job, so I find it appropriate. 🙂 I definitely feel like I did something but can still move so, so far, so good ( but ask me after my next lifting session! ).

Posted by fyreflie24 on October 18th, 2011 under Uncategorized | Comment now »

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