Attention, everyone; I have returned.

It’s always fun and slightly painful to find old diaries.  On the one hand, it’s so interesting to see a glimpse of your old self and see what sorts of idea, thoughts, goals, and mindsets have stayed the same as well as the ones that have changed.  It’s much like sitting down with an old friend you haven’t seen in awhile and sharing a cup of coffee.  On the other hand, it can also be super painful.  What did I want to do with myself?  I really thought that?  Past self, COULDNT YOU HAVE DONE SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY?

I definitely had one of those moments with this blog.  In fact, up until about 15 minutes ago, I had forgotten it existed.  Funny how the deepest recesses of the internet can be so similar to my incredibly messy closet.

Reading the blog entries from last summer was pretty amazing and a great reminder of how far I have come in my journey to create a happier, healthier self.  While I still do struggle with the occasional food binge and lack of will to get my ass moving and just do another work out, I’ve been fairly consistent with my commitment and currently have gotten myself down to 145 lbs.  Sometimes I struggle with this number, mostly because I’ve been in and around that number for awhile now, but admittedly, it becomes so much easier to swallow when I realized that a little over 14 months ago, I was at 182.

Wow.  I had no idea I had left myself get that heavy again.  Past self, even though I question some of your literary stylings in your blog posting and diary keeping, good job (on the whole!) with your food and exercise choices!

I’m also glad I found this blog again, because recently I’ve recommitted, or maybe started a brand new commitment to a brand new phase in my life.  Now that I’m so close to my goal weight (100 lbs lower than that fateful day almost 7 years ago when I stepped on the scale and saw the number 232, hence my goal weight of 132), I’m finding that I’m having to work harder than ever to lose that last 15 lbs or so.  While I did get a tad lazy over the summer with the work outs and eat out and drank a little too much, I was happy to be maintaining.  However, I’m leaving for Thailand for a year in about three weeks and want to start that journey in the healthy state of mind and body that I can.  Which leads me to my new goal–to reach my goal weight and even scarier, to maintain it (eek!)

I’m a littler nervous for a couple of reasons.  First of all, I’ve never had to think in maintenance before.  Even though I’ve been consistently dropping weight for the past 7 years or so, more or less, I’ve always had weight to loose.  So how will I deal when I don’t concentrate on smaller number but seeing the same one?  I’m hoping that the adjustments that I’ve made to my life such as making smart food choices and falling love with running and exercise (or more accurate, how they make me feel; I may never actually love the workout itself) will be permanent chances that will make staying healthy easy.

My bigger dilemma however, is that I’m leaving the country.  While I am BEYOND excited to live in Thailand for a year, I have a lot of questions about what that’ll do for my lifestyle.  Obviously, my lifestyle is going to change drastically.  I’ll be in a completely different culture doing things that are different, probably even more so than I realize.  So, what will that mean for my eating and exercising habits?

The fact of the matter is, I’m not sure, but I do know that if there’s one thing that I learned during this epic journey of finding a healthy balance, it’s that I ultimately am in control of what I do and put in my body.  I know I can carry that with me regardless of where I go or where I end up.  That in itself is reassuring.

All the same, I plan to spend the next three weeks eating as healthfully as I can, enjoying the last bit of summer produce and familiar runs, and prepare myself as much as possible for my next big adventure.

Much love y’all.

It’s all about the little things.

I’ve had a pretty exciting last two days!

Because I’ve tried to lose weight in the past and have been relatively successful sometimes and less successful other times, I decided that I should analyze my different attempts and see what works and what doesn’t.  Makes sense, right?  Does it feel like this is all just guest, test and revise some days?

Anyway, one of the biggest obstacles that I’ve found that I’ve had in the past is that if I get too focused on the numbers, it kills me.  It’s fine when I’m loosing weight, but if I have a bad week and the numbers are up, I feel defeated and begin to self destruct. 

My solution?  Focus on the NSV more than the numbers.  After all, I did committ to living a healthier lifestyle and not to become a prisoner of a scale.  With that being said, I will still be weighing myself, because it is important to know your numbers, but only much less frequently. 

So my NSVs of the past couple of days?

  1. I cooked with tofu!  I’m definitely cooking a lot more and trying to push my comfort zone.  This means trying new things!  Yesterday night I passed up an impromptu dinner out with some friends at my favorite Mexican restaurant to make a stir fry instead (Cheese, sour cream, chips, and all you can eat chips?  No thanks).  It turned out wonderfully and I still got to hang out with my friends when they got back.
  2. I ran 4 miles today!  It was super slow…but I did it!
  3. My final NSV is that this is probably the longest I’ve been able to stick to a really great exercise schedule.  I love it, and can’t imagine life without it already.  It should be interesting to see what happens when life gets crazier during the academic year.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to train myself to understand that working out is just another thing I HAVE to do, like homework or eating or breathing!

feeling…pretty good!

This morning I woke up, and even before looking in the mirror, I didn’t really know what to expect.  I did an awesome work out yesterday, 30 minutes running and then 30 minutes on the eliptical, and ate pretty well, but I did go out with my friends last night and drank a little and had some highly process, highly fried food, although I didn’t eat or drink too much.  That, plus the fact that I started my TOM, so…yeah…

Anyway, when I looked in the mirror, I was surprised.  My stomach looked smaller and I think I might have actually seen a shape that resemble closer to a womanly figure than a seamonster.  I also felt stronger, and I’m not sure, but are those muscles in my arms?!

I totally understand that all of these things could be mental, since that’s half of what I think this journey is, but all the same, I’ll take it! 

ugh.

Alright, bear with me here. 

Having kind of a rough day so far.  Last night, and yesterday in general, I just ate WAY too much, almost went on a binge (but was lucky enough to stop it before it got too bad, and then followed it up this morning with a breakfast that included absolutely no measuring and seconds. 

On top of that, when I looked in the mirror this morning I was disgusted.  My face felt fuller, my arms looked huge, my gut seemed bigger than ever, and I just felt hopeless.  I feel like I’ve been working so hard and am not even feeling better.  I hate days like this.  I just feel so frustrated. 

Rationally, I know what’s going on.  I’m probably not losing weight because I’m NOT counting calories like I should be and cheating too often with a meal out here, a beer there, and just too much snacking in general.  I also realize these things take time and I shouldn’t rush it.  Plus I’m on my period, so maybe part of this bloating look I’m rocking is just associated PMS weight? Maybe? 

The only think that I know is that I don’t want this crappy feeling to lead into me ruining what I’ve done well already.  I’m just going to stick to the good that I’ve been doing, and work a little harder on my eating.  It’s definitely achievable!

So my weekend.

We just got back Pittsburgh.  It was a really great weekend, and we got to do a lot of fun things like going to the 3 Rivers Artfest, The Andy Warhol Museum, and, of course, the local colleges and universities. 

Sticking to my healthy lifestyle was okay.  It could have been better, but it was a lOT better than what I usually would have done. I was able to run along the river yesterday (about 2.75 miles) and then we walked pretty much everywhere.  So as far as my exercising?  Fantastic!

Eating was only okay.  Friday night was decent.  I skipped on eating a roast beef sandwich from Roy Rogers on the way and ordered a nice baked salmon fillet for dinner, although I did split a delicious baklavah with my fam for dessert! 

The next days eating was not so hot.  We had a Primanti brother’s sandwich for lunch, and then a greasy, greasy pizza for dinner.  Luckily, I did skip out on too much snacking and even passed on a donut.   I still felt like crap the next day from all that fat and sodium!

I’m pretty happy with how the weekend went, although, I’d prefer to be able to keep losing instead of mantaining while away from home.  However, I definitely consider it successful in that I know I’m going to continue working out throughout this next week and found that by the end of the trip I was craving veggies and fruits.  It’s so exciting to know that even after having a rough weekend, I’ll be able to jump right back to where I want to be!

Hopefully lots of running and healthy eating to come in the next week!

weekends…

Weekends always kill me.  I could be having an amazing week exercising and eating wise, but come the weekend, and i’m back to eating too much of the wrong things and struggling to get to the gym. 

It’s not that I don’t see it coming: friends want to  go to bars, my family wants to take me out to eat, I’m travelling somewhere making exercising nearly impossible, etc.  It doesn’t like my schedule’s going to get any less crazy and sporatic over the next month either.  I’m going away or have time consuming plan every weekend until the middle of July.  It’s like the perfect storm. 

This weekend I’m going to Pittsburg from Friday until Sunday.  My little sister is visiting colleges, and I wanted to go along to be with my family and because my best friend from school lives out there.  I’ve had a great week so far (ran my first 5k length workout!) and I don’t want to loose this despite the trickiness of maybe not being able to exercise and lots of eating out.  Therefore, I’m approaching this weekend as a challenge. 

Here are my goals:

  1. Try to exercize!–I’m hoping this won’t be too hard.  Today I ran before we’re leaving.  I’m also bringing my work out clothing along in hopes of using the gym at the hotel (if they have one) or maybe even convincing my dad to run with me somewhere in the city.
  2. Be smart eating out.  This by far is going to be the hardest.  Eating out is always my down fall, because I love to eat and always tend towards high fat foods over healthy choices.  Here are the rules I’m setting for this weekend for eating in restaurants:
  • Order water.  I usually get diet soda, but I think with all of the extra sodium I’ll be eating in these meals, water is going to be my best bet.
  • Avoid the bread basket.  I could eat pounds and pounds of bread–It’s so delish! However, this time when that evil waiter comes bring out piles of warm, steaming bread, I’m going to sit on my hands and imagine how good I’m going to look and feel a month from now after sticking to these good habits!
  • Skip the side salads w/ heavy dressing and soups.  Is it neccessary? Nope.  Then why would I eat it?
  • Grilled, Steamed, Fish, Chicken, Veggies.  Let that be my mantra!

Can’t wait to see how this weekend goes!

beginnings

The title of this post is “Beginnings”.  Is it the most accurate title I could have picked for my weight loss journey blog?  Debatable, seeing as I’d consider my struggle with weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle to have started roughly around the beginning of time or for at least for as long as I can remember.  I was a big baby, a chubby toddler, a pudgy middle schooler, a plump (but a little lighter!) high school kid who eventually blossomed into a sometimes slightly bigger, sometimes slightly smaller college student. 

My weight has gone down from 232 lbs. sophomore year of high school to a pretty solid 174 lbs, but currently I’m up to around 182.  While I can easily spout off hundreds of nutrition facts, count calories like nobody’s business, and know the importance of exercise, my biggest struggle in this battle has been being disciplined enough to stick to a healthy way of living.  I feel (and look) my best when I’m running and eating well, but, despite the all of the positive results, I usually go back to my normal habits, though they are never as bad as they had been at my highest weight. 

Given my constant ups and downs, I feel like this summer is the perfect time to recommit to living the healthy lifestyle I can.  This recommitment would include:

  1. Cooking and eating more of my meals–As a college student, especially on campus over the summer with no meal plan nor abundance of places to cook, the easiest way to feed myself is to either buy it out or heat some frozen “food” up in the microwave.  Incidentally, it’s also the easiest way to gain weight.  My goal for the summer is to eat out once a week and to buy lots and lots of fruits and veggies to fuel my body. 
  2. Controling the binging–Sometimes when I’m eating, my body goes into autopilot and before I know it, I’m reaching for anything edible within reaching distance.  Peanut butter.  Crackers.  Pudding.  Snack bars.  You name it, I’ve probably shoved it in my face. 
  3. EXERCISING!–This might be the goal that will either be the easier or the hardest for me.  It’s probably too soon to tell.  When I get on a running/gym streak, I love it and start to feel sad if I miss it.  However, after about missing 4 days in a row or so, i’m back off the gym high and it’s hard to jump back on the bandwagon.  I’m hoping this summer will be different though, because I have a goal that I’m working towards–I want to be able to run a 5k by the end of the summer with my dad.  Right now, (a very slow, haha) 3.25 miles is the most I’ve run, so I know I can do it!  I just want to concentrate on uping my milage (I’m hoping to get to 15 miles/week by the end of the summer, and be able to run 5 miles in one run) and then later I’ll add uping my speed (I’d like to get my mile close to 9:00)
  4. Becoming more disciplined and resilient–A lot of times I fee like I struggle with this journey because I think that I mess up once, I’ve ruined everything.  I want to change that and teach myself that it’s a marathon, not a sprint and that set backs happen.  I also want to learn to have the discipline to maintain these lifestyle changes.
  5. Write in the blog as much as possible!

These are my goals for the summer and the steps I know I have to take to get to where I want to be.  I’m excited to start this new “beginning” and hope that this will be the start of something wonderful!

Peace out,
Gracie