Jan 162012

In response to a post written on Jem’s blog – it has really had me thinking the last few days about what I really want in life.

I’d like to lose more weight. Probably about 70 more pounds – I don’t know for sure. I haven’t weighed myself the last few weeks. In the winter months, I tend to become quite sedentary. I don’t know exactly what it is about this time of the year (although I’ve speculated about Seasonal Affective Disorder), but I just don’t want to move. I’m hoping to be a good bit closer to my goal by this summer. In turn, I’m also hoping to overcome my asthma. Asthma has been an issue for me for as long as I can remember. However, my mother was a heavy smoker, and then I gained a ton of weight. I know my breathing is better since I no longer live with my mother, but I’m still overweight. I’m hoping once I lose the weight, the asthma will disappear. I don’t know that losing the weight will help improve my self-confidence, but it’s a step in the right direction to being healthier.

I’d also like to become a better housekeeper and cook. This also goes back to living with my mother. When I was younger, she did not want me to do anything in the house. If I ran the vacuum, it was the wrong way. If I emptied the dishwasher, it was the wrong way. So I just got used to not doing much around the house. I wasn’t allowed to do laundry, for fear I might do it wrong and ruin clothes. I wasn’t allowed to cook, for fear I might burn the house down or waste food by cooking it wrong. Therefore, my housekeeping and cooking skills are not the greatest. I get frustrated very easily when a room is messy. Often, I just don’t know where to start and I feel very overwhelmed, and I just give up. This goes for cooking also. I most likely have a bit of OCD about cleaning and cooking, and everything I do in those two areas has to follow a very specific pattern. I know I need to work harder in those two areas.

Someday, I’d like to foster cats for the local animal rescue. My husband always teases me that I’m the cat whisperer. Sometimes I think he’s right. I’m very comfortable around animals, and very patient with scared animals. I can’t stand hearing about all the mistreated and abandoned animals. I’d like to do something to help. If (hopefully when) we move/renovate/build a new house, our current plan is to build a set of rooms to foster animals. Believe me, I have a plan for it. I already know how this room/set of rooms would be set up and flow with the rest of the house.

I’d like to have a child or two. This may not be possible, I don’t exactly know yet. This is where losing weight comes into play. I have explained infertility (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – PCOS), but yet, it is still somewhat unexplained. At this point, there is no reason other than my weight to explain why my ovaries do not respond to some of the most common drugs. Hence why my weight loss is so important to me. However, I’m also prepared to travel down the road to adoption if I lose weight and my body still does not respond.

In order to potentially proceed with adoption, I’d like to be more financially secure. Easier said than done. It seems like it should be easy – two working adults, with somewhat decent paying jobs. Then take into account that it took me six years worth of schooling and four years worth of searching to land the job that I have today. Four years of not having steady work, but still having to pay bills. My parents were poor, and almost everything I needed during college had to go on a credit card – books, clothes for student teaching, car repairs, and the hundreds of dollars in materials I had to buy for various educational lessons and demonstrations for my classes. We paid for our own wedding, minus a few thousand dollars that Jack’s parents were able to chip in. The year after Jack and I got married, he lost his job due to the company downsizing. He was able to find a job quickly, but it was a huge pay cut – and it was also during the four years when I wasn’t working steadily. Now he has a better job (and has had this job for just about a year), but it still feels like we’re catching up. It feels like a constant stream of catching up, and just when we think we’re fine, something “catastrophic” happens. Think cars dying, needing a new roof on the house, furnace having issues type of catastrophic. When it rains, it pours, and it always has for us. We’re working on the money situation. It hasn’t been easy. It’s meant a lot of cutting back, cutting out, and going without. There have been times we’ve had to pick and choose which bills to pay so we could pay for car repairs – hopefully those days are over. We are taking a rather nice vacation this summer, and it’s one we’ve planned meticulously. Even though we both know it’s expensive, we feel we owe it to ourselves after not having much of a honeymoon and not really having a fun vacation since we’ve been married. We’ve weighed the costs, and budgeted so that we can afford it without credit cards.

I’m hoping between taking care of our finances and losing weight, some of the other things I’d like to do in life will fall into place. I know there are a ton of smaller things I’d like to do but those are a few of the major things I hope Jack and I can accomplish together.

Dec 042011

I know I’ve said it before, but once the school year starts, work takes over. It feels like it’s been a few days since I’ve blogged, but it’s been three months. I can assure you, I did not fall off the face of the earth. Between balancing work, training, and my personal life, things get very hectic. Many people are under the impression that teachers have it easy, with a shorter work day than some professions and three months off in the summer. Those teachers that don’t truly care may have it easy, but for me, from September to June, teaching is a 24/7 job. When I’m not physically at work, I’m trying to come up with ways to help my students. Trying to design new lessons, and new ways to help them understand concepts that they don’t grasp. Or I’m doing paperwork. Even during the summer, I’m trying to come up with ways to improve last year’s lessons. My primary goal always has been (and always will be) to help my students as much as I possibly can in the amount of time I have them.

Anyway. It’s been awhile. Some stats:

Starting Weight: 237.2 lbs
Current Weight: 216.2 lbs
Difference: -21.0 lbs
Difference from last entry: -15.0 lbs

I know those of you that know me in real life saw I had a 30 lb weight loss. That’s from the weight I started at, right around 245 lbs. The starting weight I’ve been recording on here is the weight I was at when I started with my trainer. I never thought I’d lose 10 lbs, let alone 30 lbs, so to see the numbers written out is astounding for me. The problem is I don’t see it. I can tell that my clothes are looser, and I’ve dropped down to 18/20 in pants and L/XL in shirts. If I could just lose a few inches off of my waist, my pants size would probably drop again. But when I look in the mirror, I still see me at 245 lbs. I don’t truthfully know if I’ll ever see myself differently. This is something I’ve dealt with all my life. Looking back to pictures from high school and junior high, there are some pictures where I look painfully skinny. Collarbone sticking out, bony face…but at the time, I was still convinced that I was grossly overweight. My image of myself just isn’t good. I don’t have confidence in myself. I’m convinced that everyone around me is making fun of my weight. And I know part of that is from being bullied about my appearance in school. Working with a trainer who has confidence in me (and the support of my friends and family) has helped. I got my hair cut last Friday. For the first time in a LONG time, I was impressed by the hair cut and what it did for the shape of my face. Aside from a double chin, my face looks slimmer. I don’t know if I’ll ever lose the double chin – my chin is a weird shape to begin with, and I’m not sure how to go about getting rid of the fat around my chin. Maybe it’s one of the last things to go, I don’t know. I did feel some confidence in packing up 8 garbage bags full of clothing to send elsewhere. Until I realized how much money in clothing I was just giving away – then I cried. But…in time, I’ll get over it. Hopefully I’ll have new clothes – clothes that are not plus-sized, clothes that are actually fashionable, and clothes that I’ll feel comfortable in. And with that, I hope I can finally find my confidence.

I know most of the last paragraph was rambling. But sometimes it just feels good to get it out.

Sep 132011

Tonight was my second weigh-in with my trainer. I feared that I might have slipped some this week, despite trying to stick to the diet and giving it my all with the running. Usually, I’m the person that any weight gain (and sometimes even keeping it steady) severely affects my self-confidence. I realize that I need to get over my fears and accept that sometimes plateaus will happen, and I need to understand that if I’m doing everything right, I’m not likely to see a gain.

Starting Weight: 237.2 lbs
Current Weight: 231.2 lbs
Difference: -6.0 lbs
Difference from last week: -3.0 lbs

This week I lost another 3 lbs. As much as I’d love to see the weight melt off, I’m happy to have found a somewhat steady rate of weight loss. This is a healthy rate for weight loss. I know that if I lose too much at once, I’m more likely to gain it back. There are some things I could definitely change as far as the diet, but overall, I’m happy with my progress. Over the next few weeks I’m going to start looking for smaller things that I can change. Those small things will probably help me lose even more weight.

As for inches, I lost .5 of an inch from my neck, .25 of an inch from my bicep, .5 of an inch from my forearm, 1.5 inches from my chest, 2 inches from my waist, 3 inches from my lower waist, and 1 inch from my butt. The grand total for the week is 8.75 inches. While that is still a great loss, it’s kind of a letdown after the 13 inches last week, but I realize that 13 inch loss probably isn’t going to be typical for me.

This week will be challenging. I’ll be doing strength training three days this week (on my own). I’ll also have three runs with my trainer this week, as well as two solo runs. The weather has been beautiful – warm with low humidity – so I know that now is the time for me to push myself a little bit harder.

Sep 062011

Tonight was my first weigh-in with my trainer. Of course my biggest fear is always that I’ve gained weight, or didn’t lose any at all. I was pleased to see that I’ve lost this week.

Starting Weight: 237.2 lbs
Current Weight: 234.2 lbs
Difference: -3.0 lbs

My trainer also measures inches from different body parts. I lost .5 of an inch from my neck, 1 inch from my bicep. .5 of an inch from my forearm, 2.5 inches from my chest, 3.5 inches from my waist, 3 inches from my lower waist, and 2 inches from my thigh. That’s a grand total of 13 inches!

As for my diet, I need to cut some of the grains. That food group is definitely my weakness. I’m going to try eating something other than cereal for breakfast, and to limit eating crackers as a snack if I’m having a grain for dinner.

The running is going better than I ever thought it would. I’m not sure how much I ran my first day. My second run was on Saturday, and it was very hot and humid. I wasn’t able to run much because I couldn’t take a deep breath. I tried using my inhaler but that didn’t really help – it was just the weather. My third run was Monday, and it was cool and rainy. I was able to run close to a mile (in 1/8 mile increments – walk 1/8, run 1/8), and walked at least another mile. Another one of my goals for next week is to work on my breathing when I’m running, and to set a good rhythm and pace for myself. I need to learn to not immediately panic if I can’t take a nice deep breath, because then I start breathing faster, which brings on hyperventilating and asthma attacks.

So, that’s my first week wrap-up. I hope I can continue to lose for the next weigh-in.

Sep 022011

I completely skipped last week’s post, but in my defense, I was so busy preparing for the first week back at work that it completely slipped my mind.

One of the most interesting things has come about because of me being back at work, however. I’ve found a personal trainer. A very reasonably priced, very helpful, very passionate personal trainer. I’ve considered using a personal trainer before. Most of the trainers I could find were through the local YMCAs and not only was it expensive (most often $75 per half-hour session), but in order to get those expensive rates, you also had to pay for a YMCA membership. At the time, it was too much and out of the question. So, back to the story. A couple of my co-workers lost weight over the summer, and upon inquiring, I found out that another co-worker is also a licensed personal trainer. I was immediately interested, but figured the cost would be too much. I was wrong, it’s an awesome deal, and her goal is not to make money, but to help people get (and stay) in shape.

Tuesday night was my initial consult and weigh-in. I weighed in at 237 lbs (my scale said 234, but as of right now, I’m more inclined to believe hers is closer to actuality). I have all of my measurements written down, and I’ll weigh in and get measured every Tuesday. Because of this, my progress reports will probably change to Tuesday or Wednesday.

I knew this was something I wanted to do, and because the opportunity was there, I decided to go for it. The biggest part of the exercise portion is learning how to run correctly. I knew there was running involved, and I was terrified that I’d make a complete ass of myself (or worse, have an asthma attack, faint, or vomit…or some combination of those three). I got my schedule, and I was scheduled for my first run on Wednesday.

Wednesday after work, I started to get nervous. Running is one thing I have always loathed. Probably because in high school, I was always the last person (by a long shot) during the timed mile run in gym class. I was made fun of because of it. But I had no choice at this point, and I made myself go – water bottle in hand and inhaler in my pocket. And believe it or not, I made it the whole 45 minute session (not running the entire time, but brisk walking when I wasn’t running) without an asthma attack, fainting, or vomiting. I felt a little sore yesterday, and still a little sore today, so I know my next run (tomorrow morning) will probably be tough. But if I can make it through the first two weeks, I think I’ll be alright.

Now, the other portion is tracking what you eat, staying within certain calorie range, and staying away from certain ingredients. I’ve been trying to eat better for some time now, and I figured I’d be okay on that end. What I wasn’t prepared to find out was that I’ve been way UNDER the amount of calories I should have in a day. I added a few things to my meals today to try to increase my caloric intake in a healthy way, so I’m hoping it pays off. That could be one of the reasons why I’ve been struggling. So, I guess I’ll try to update tomorrow about how I did today and how my second run goes. I didn’t intend for this site to be solely about my weight loss, but it’s probably the most interesting thing going in on my life at the moment, so why not?

Aug 192011

I know Melissa is posting about her weight loss, so for some sense of accountability I decided to post on my weight loss.

I’m embarrassed by my weight, so I feel somewhat of a need to preface this entry with a statement. Weight loss is something that I’ve always struggled with. I’ve always had a complex about being too fat – even when I was 120 lbs in high school. I think my body image will always be skewed. That being said, I have PCOS. One of the symptoms is weight gain/trouble losing weight. I’m kind of stuck in a loop, because if I could lose the weight, some of the symptoms might ease up. But losing the weight is so damned hard. If I am not (for lack of a better word) obsessed with what I eat, I will not lose weight, and if I’m not careful, I will gain weight.

Now, about my weight gain. I had already gained weight prior to my junior year of college. Between my junior and senior years in college, I decided to use Slim Fast. I lost a good 30 lbs. Of course, once college started back up again, I stopped the diet. Around the same time, I started dating Jack. I love Jack and his family dearly, but they cook very heavy, rich (carb-laden) foods for almost every meal. Between the heavy foods, being back at college (and not liking much of the food), and the PCOS, I managed to gain that 30 lbs back, plus some. So to sum it up, between crash dieting, not watching carefully, and PCOS (which I didn’t know about at the time), I gained a lot of weight.

I won’t be posting pictures of my weight loss. At least not yet. To me, the numbers are embarrassing enough. Maybe after the fact I’ll be able to look back and get past my body image issues, but right now I just can’t. My ultimate goal is to lose about 100 lbs, but I’d take about 70 lbs, which would put me at about 170 lbs (what I weighed when I met Jack).

So, here goes.

Starting weight: 241 lbs
Current weight: 233.2 lbs
Goal weight: 140 lbs

I also set mini goals for myself, and my first mini goal is to reach 220 lbs. The 7.8 lbs I’ve lost so far is due to diet change and drinking more water. I had been down closer to 231 lbs, but apparently carbs are my enemy and cause drastic weight gain for me. I’m not eliminating carbs completely, but I’m being very selective about how many carbs I eat. I’m also following Weight Watchers. I’ve found some awesome healthy recipes.

My goals for this coming week: Work starts up again for me this week. We’ve bought an exercise bike, now I need to use it. I want to start exercising in the mornings before I go to work. I also want to up my water intake – I’ve been slacking on that the last few weeks.