Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pleasantly surprised

Until this contest I had never eaten at Chick-fil-a. There was one in the mall in Casper when I was growing up and it closed in the mid-90's. I never ate there then because as a little kid I wanted a corn dog, not a chicken sandwich. I must say after a week of meals at Chick-fil-a I am pleasantly surprised. The food there is actually very good. I have fallen in love with their multi grain oatmeal. I love it to the point I really don't want to try my other breakfast options (1/2 of a wheat bagel, or 2 scrambled eggs). I have also had their regular Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich, Grilled Chicken and Fruit Salad, and Grilled chicken nuggets. I also have a choice of two sides: fresh fruit cup or side salad. The salads I have had are fresh, good quality lettuce and other veggies, and large. But sadly a salad doesn't fill me up and keep me full for very long (even with a chicken breast on there). The chicken they use in their sandwiches is high quality and it isn't dried out. So all in all, I am very happy with my meals there.

Multi grain oatmeal with toppings - cinnamon brown sugar, nuts and dried fruit. YUM!!  
And just to show off, there is a picture of my oatmeal. It doesn't look like it, but there's actually quite a lot there.

As for the workouts this week I pushed myself pretty good. To the point I did something to my hips and low back and have been trying to get my back to stop hurting. I don't know if I have done too much too soon, or I did something else incredibly stupid to it (I don't know what, it could be anything knowing how I am on my poor body). But I have had good workouts. On Thursday Sandy was really awesome and worked around my low back pain. Since we couldn't do lower body and were somewhat limited on cardio she made up for it by working my core and upper body. I am still feeling it in my arms and abs!! I went and swam today since my back was still hurting. I did 30 minutes of water aerobics and 30 minutes of lap swimming. I figured a low impact workout would be best. Of course as my "reward" for finishing my workout I sat in the hot tub for about 20 minutes. That was my own little piece of heaven I think.

My first weigh-in is Monday. I am excited and nervous to see how I have done. I have worked really hard this last week and I hope it shows. I am going to go in Monday morning to give it one last really good workout before weigh-in Monday night. I will keep you all posted as to how it goes!

And with that I am off to read my new yoga magazine that I found while curled up at Barnes & Noble today.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Slimdown Challenge - Facebook links

So it looks like Raintree Athletic Club has our videos up from when we started. Here are the links if you want to take a look and cheer me on. Chick-fil-a doesn't have theirs up yet, but it is only a matter of time!

Slimdown Challenge - Here we go!

So the Slimdown Challenge has officially started! We had our first meeting last night (we did our weigh-ins when we signed our paperwork). We got a chance to know each other, meet some of the trainers that we would be working with, and tour the gym (for those who hadn't been in before). So far everyone seems really nice, but we will see how this contest goes! The trainers were definitely excited to meet everybody. There are 6 women and 4 men participating. The winner will be chosen based on the biggest percentage of bodyweight lost (just like Biggest Loser).

After the meeting I stayed to workout on the treadmill for an hour, but only made it 30 minutes. I not only pushed myself too hard too fast on the program I was doing, but my d@mn vertigo had to flare up. I was not too happy about that. That's ok, I am sure I will make it up later in the week. I have been emailing with Sandy about my training appointment on Thursday. She is going to kick my butt! I am to do 1 hour workouts on my own and do a 30 minute cardio warm up before I have my training session with her. We are going to be doing combos of strength training and cardio. I swear she is plotting gleefully away at the things she gets to put me through! But I am excited to see what we can do.

I guess I should mention my goals for this contest. Obviously I want to lose weight, but I have no idea on a number. I told Sandy that I figure 2 pounds a week is a good safe number but probably far too conservative given that I am going to be at the gym at least 4 hours a week. Sandy agreed and she wants to shoot for a 4 pound loss this week. I figure lets go for it!


Last night after I left the gym it finally sank in how big of a deal this really is. I hadn't quite realized it. I got my first dinner from Chick-fil-a and it kind of hit me. My dinner was around $8 before I got my contest discount of free. Doing some quick math, over the course of 9 weeks and eating at Chick-fil-a for 6 days a week it is around $500 per contestant that they are spending on food. Gym dues are $55/mo. So about 2 1/2 months of free gym membership so another $135 per contestant. And then there are the training sessions at $35 per 30 minute session. Plus the grand prize of free food for a year and a gym membership. Not to mention the advertisement signs with our pictures at the gym and Chick-fil-a. And the Facebook pages they are updating with the contest. In all the weight loss contests I have done through my jobs over the years and TOPS, it was up to me. If I screwed up, it didn't matter to anyone but me. But this one....this one matters. I have a lot of people that care about me rooting me on for this. And not just my family and friends. I have coworkers cheering me on. I have Sandy really gunning for me.

And it overwhelmed me. And I was seriously wondering what the hell I had done (although I am still thinking that!).

All I could think for a while last night is that I am going to screw this up. That I can't do this. I am not strong enough for this. I am not ready for this. I came home after getting my food to talk to Marshall and just let it all out. He reminded me that I am strong enough and that I am ready. I wouldn't have taken a blurry picture of the sign and entered before I really had a chance to tell him about it if I wasn't ready.

I don't know what caused it. I don't know if I am just scared of the changes or what. Its going to be a long hard journey and an exciting one. I just need to go do it.

So I worked last night and thought about things and pretty much told myself I am being silly and a worrywart. I started feeling better about it all. The big change in my mindset came when I stopped at Chick-fil-a this morning to get breakfast. I walked in and aside from the employees I was the only one there. A very friendly gal named Carley took my order and when I showed my nifty badge for the contest she got so excited. She pointed to the sign showing all the contestants which one I was. She had just been looking at it a few minutes before. She told me she was so excited that they had finally chosen the contestants and that she can't wait to see how we all do. Her enthusiasm made me smile.

As I was waiting for my order she walked back over to the table where the manager was sitting and told her that I was one of the contestants. After I got my food the manager came up and shook my hand and introduced herself, and proceeded to gush about how excited she was for the contest. She talked to me for  while and wanted to know a bit of my story and all. As other people started coming in for work she would pull them aside and introduce me. It was amazing, overwhelming, and so much more than I expected. Everyone was so enthusiastic and excited. It got me excited again!

And with that I am off to finish my multigrain oatmeal (with toppings!) and go to bed. Have a great day all!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Slimdown Challenge - The beginning

So a couple weeks ago I had mentioned that I entered a competition that my gym is sponsoring with Chick-fil-A. I got a call yesterday afternoon and I am one of the ten contestants chosen to particpate!!! I am so excited! After I got off work this morning I went by the gym to talk to Bridget and Melanie about all the details and sign some paperwork. I am excited and kind of nervous about it. I really want to do well. They took my picture for my badge and the Facebook page (!!!), a couple more beginning pictures, a short video introducing myself, my initial weight and body measurements, and explained all the details and requirements.

So here are the details:
  • I have to work out at least 3 times per week for 30-60 minutes
  • I have to meet my trainer once a week for training session (separate from my other 3 workouts)
  • I have to eat one meal per day (excluding Sundays) at Chick-fil-a from their Fit and Healthy menu
  • I have to maintain a food and exercise log
  • Weekly weigh-ins are Mondays from 6-7pm. 
I was VERY happy to hear that I get to keep Sandy as my trainer. They were rather amused. I guess Sandy kept going by the offices yesterday asking if they had picked everyone yet. I did leave Sandy a message yesterday after I got the news because I knew she would want to know. She called me back and I swear she is more excited than I am!! So I will be talking to her later in the week to get things set up for my first training with her next week.

I need to think of what goals I want to achieve during this contest. Weight loss is one of them (I have no idea what amount I want to try and lose), but I want something else too. I don't know what though. I have some that I had talked about with Sandy, but those are longer term goals than this contest. I am thinking something along the lines of building more upper body strength since I am such a wimp. If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

I guess they are making a Facebook page for the competition. So people can see who the contestants are and urge us on and so we can encourage each other. There is going to be pictures and videos (yuck!) and all that. I really don't like videos of myself. I don't like how I look and I think I look like a dork. But I will be a good sport about it. I will update when I know more about the Facebook page.

Until then I need to just keep working out this week and doing well. I had a good weekend overall, but I didn't eat well. However I was happy to see that I had lost when I got on the scale yesterday morning! Down another 1.5 pounds! Whoo hoo! That brings me down 7 pounds so far this year.

Other than that life is life. I go to work, workout some days, sleep, and spend time with my boyfriend. Luckily my vertigo seems to be clearing up after my visit to the physical therapist yesterday. I will be so glad when that is done and over with!

And I am starting to ramble. So with that I am off to bed!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Adrenalin high

Just a quick post before I head back to bed and then work tonight.

I just got home from my second session with my trainer Sandy. She is awesome, I love her attitude, but she kicked my butt today. I feel awesome for it, but I KNOW I will feel it tomorrow!!

Sandy did give me a bit of an update on the contest I entered. She said it looks like I stand a good chance of being one of the chosen contestants. They have only had 30-40 entrants so far! She also said that another trainer was pointing out my name and she wanted to tell him that I was taken! It made me smile. I am happy Sandy wants to work with me as much as I want to work with her. I will find out on Monday if I get it or not!! I would love it! Oh! And the contest runs 9 weeks and not 6 weeks. So that's 3 more sessions with a trainer for free. Bonus!

Also a quick weigh in note. When I weighed myself before starting with Sandy I was at 285.3, this afternoon's weigh-in when I got up to go to the gym....282.8! 2.5 down!! Oh yeah! It's a good day.

And yes I have an adrenalin high right now.

And I am off to sleep some more before work.

Motivational quote of the day: "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." -Lau Tzu

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Muddling through the week

I really don't have a whole lot to talk about tonight, but I wanted to update anyhow.

I made it to the gym this morning after I got off work. I walked on the treadmill for about 30 minutes and did about 1.2 miles. It doesn't seem like a whole lot to me, but I have to remind myself that I did one of the pre-programmed weight loss workouts. So I was alternating speeds and inclines and it generally kicked my butt. I will say it was kind of a cool treadmill. It is an iFit and uses the android interface. You can log in, track your workouts, set goals, and all that. Another thing that I find equal parts cool and annoying is that it is sponsored by Jillian Michaels and at random points in the workout (if you have headphones in) you hear her saying motivational things. Towards the end I wanted to reach in and strangle that little voice. Doesn't that voice know I would rather listen to Law and Order: SVU uninterrupted than have encouraging words in my ear???

I am hoping tonight is an easy night at work. I woke up after about 6 hours of sleep and wasn't able to get back to sleep. I have tried very hard to cut back on the soda during the week, and especially when I am at work. I have been drinking lots of tea (Xing tea is my current favorite) and black coffee with cinnamon in it for my caffeine boosts. I have already had one Mountain Dew tonight. :( Tonight is going to be a looooooong night. I love the third shift because there is only 7 or 8 of us there and we aren't fighting for bench space in the lab or getting each other's way. And we work 4 10hr. shifts so we have three day weekends. Granted one day of that is spent sleeping and recovering from the week. But it is still third shift, and third shift is not that fun to me. And any of my friends know I am really not a night owl. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

I am hoping this weekend to look at my calorie intake and work on a meal plan for the week. I rarely follow it to the letter, but having something of a plan helps me stay on track.

I think I might go try and take an hour nap anyhow. 'Nite

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rough day

I had a rough morning this morning. We had contest at work through the holidays called "Maintain don't gain" and you couldn't gain more than two pounds. This morning was weigh in and it didn't go well. As it looks to them I gained 2.5 pounds during the contest. I was bummed and irritated because out of all the times I could weigh in today was towards the end of my shift at 7am (I currently work third shift). So I had been up, working, eaten, and of course you weigh heavier later in the day than when you first get up. At the start of this contest I was kind of keeping track through it. I weighed myself the next day when I got up after our first weigh in and again today when I got up a little bit ago. I have actually lost around 3 pounds....and it was an 8 pound difference from this morning. I'm not happy right now about it.

I keep telling myself that I should have done more and moved more, but there isn't a whole lot you can do when anything you do makes you dizzier than all get out. The Tuesday before Christmas I got off work, came home, went to bed, and woke up several hours later extremely dizzy. I went to urgent care and they said I had vertigo caused by either an inner ear infection or Benign Positional Vertigo. So I went to the Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist last week and I have the Benign Positional Vertigo. Basically a piece has broken off the bits in your ear that tell you your balance is ok and is rattling around in my inner ear. And when I turn my head wrong or just move wrong I have my own tilt-a-whirl. To put it simply, I haven't needed to buy a ticket to 6 flags to have an amusement park ride. Bleh. It has gotten better, but I am restricted on things I can do. It happens to be the things I like. Yoga, stretches, and worst of all swimming. I really don't think having dizzy spells while swimming would be a good thing, but that's just me.

It is irritating to because Marshall got me a Christmas gift that I have been wanting to use but can't. It is called a SwiMP3. It is an MP3 player that attaches to your goggles and rests on your temple and jaw bones and transmits music through your bones instead of using headphones. Very techy and geeky and I have wanted one for a while. And I can't use it yet!!! *cue grumpy face*

So to fight the irritation and grumpiness I was feeling after work I went and did something about it. I went to the gym and rode a bike for about 20 minutes! Take that stupid work weight loss contests! So now I am off to work again and tonight is my Friday. Wheee

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My weight gain story

So yesterday when I was at the gym I saw a notice on the board for a Slimdown Challenge they are doing. You have to send in your weight gain story, height, weight, etc. They then go through the entries and choose 10 winners. The winners are then entered for a challenge running from Jan 23-March 26. They get one free meal a day from the healthy menu at Chick-Fil-A, a free memdership to the Raintree Athletic Club (where I work out), and their own personal trainer! Cool! I asked Sandy yesterday if she knew if we could pick our trainers and she said yes. I asked simply because I would like to keep working with her. Anyways, I just emailed off my entry and I thought I would share my weight gain story here too. I think we need to always remember where we have come from so we can appreciate where we are today.

So here is my story:

My story starts like many peoples. I didn't fit in in school growing up and starting around the 4th grade I started getting teased for my weight. Looking back at the person who did this, I think I know the reasons why they did this, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. Throughout the rest of grade school and junior high in particular I was teased a lot about my weight. It wasn't just by my classmates either. I remember one day in particular walking home from school and a car full of high school students drove by. The slowed down, made some snide comments and then made a point of driving around the block so they could make more. The one I remember most is this: "Hey! We better call Sea World! Shamu got loose!". I heard it all in those years.

"You're so fat even Jenny Craig doesn't want you."
"You should join Weight Watchers so you can get your belly out where you can see it."
"Your belly is so big! When's the baby due?"

These are the worst I remember, but there were others. I wish I could say I was making these up, but I can't make up these cruel things. Thinking on them they still hurt, and yes I still have some bitterness over them. Who wouldn't? All of this turned me into a very shy teenager who was very comfortable to sit in the shadows and not make waves in school. The less attention I brought to myself, the better. Like everyone else, I made it through the hell that was high school and went off to college. I hated most of my classmates so much that I didn't want to stay in Wyoming, where I grew up, to go to college at UW. So I went 700 miles away to South Dakota for college and it was the best decision I could have made for myself.

I am proud to say that during my freshman year I lost 15 pounds, and not gained. That fell apart my sophomore year. I am only child and as a result was very close to a dear friend who I had met when we were 5 years old and in the same day care and grade school. She is one of the two women in this world I call the sister I never had. During my sophomore year of college she passed away in her sleep. She had a heart attack at the tender age of 19. Diabetes and unknown heart conditions don't tend to mix real well. My world turned upside down that day. One of my first thoughts the morning after was that I couldn't let myself start emotionally eating to hide the pain. I didn't want to gain the weight. But several of the residence advisers in my dorm along with women on my floor were determined to look out for me. They brought me food, took me to the dining halls, and made sure I ate. They didn't want me to go the opposite way where I didn't eat at all. I couldn't say no, because I appreciated their concern, but they didn't believe me when I wasn't genuinely hungry either. I want to say starting at this point and going through the next couple years I gained around 50 pounds. I really don't know my weight at the time, but I do know I went from a size 18/20 pant to a 24.

Over the next couple years I met and made some more friends and got my life back in order. I retook a year of classes and graduated with a BS in Biological Sciences. Most of the papers I wrote at that time were based on diabetes research. Along with Renae having had it, my grandmother lived with it for years, and now my Dad lives with it too. Diabetes has touched my life in many ways, and it is my greatest fear to be diagnosed with it. This is one my number one reason for wanting to lose weight.

I went through periods of gaining and losing, but never with great intention or thought. Through more life issues I ended up gaining another 30 pounds or so and battling quite severe depression for several years. I had wanted to be a teacher, and to put it simply it didn't work out. After the first attempt at student teaching was when I gained the weight. I moved back to Wyoming against my choice and took a semester off. I worked at a call center on the third shift, ate, moped, and gained weight. I was generally unhappy and I didn't know how to fix it. I went back for the Spring 2006 semester to redo my student teaching. I knew at this point I had to finish it because I hated feeling like I walked away and was a quiter. I couldn't stand it. Before I moved back to South Dakota I started working out at Curves. I loved it and started losing weight.

After I moved back to South Dakota, I kept working out at Curves. I was staying with the parents of a friend of mine while I student taught, and my friend's mom worked at the local Curves. It helped having someone to talk to while I went. Through her encouragement I joined TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). From my starting weight there I lost about 25 pounds and I had lost around 10 on my own before joining. I finished my student teaching and stayed back in SD to work and try to find a job where I could use my degree. When, after a year, I couldn't find anything in the area I moved back to Wyoming. I kept working out and staying around 250 pounds. I couldn't seem to get under and stay under that magic number. It was frustrating to say the least.

Since I moved back to Wyoming in 2007, life has happened. I met my wonderful boyfriend in 2008 and we started dating. He has struggled to find work, I have changed jobs twice in the last 2 years that included moving to Northwestern Wyoming from Central Wyoming, and now to the Front Range of Colorado. Battles with money, family issues, and losses of loved ones. It has been hard at times, but good. But I have let things slide. When money got tight the first thing I did was to stop my gym membership, because that was more of an "extra" than cable was. I am now currently weigh 290 pounds. I DO NOT want to go any higher. I need to do something, and I need to do it now. I don't sleep well, I have back problems, my knees are starting to get arthritis, and so far I have been lucky that my blood sugars are still in the normal range. But I don't know how long that will last.


If you made it this far into my ramblings, thanks so much reading. Good luck to you all out there!

Motivational quote of the day: "The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves." Anonymous

Starting Over...again

A new year, a new start and I am feeling better about staying on track right now. Or at least being able to get back on after falling off. In October I joined a gym here and I absolutely love it. The facilities are awesome (yay for pools, hot tubs, and saunas!), and best of all the staff and the other patrons are super friendly. I love walking into a gym where everyone greets you with a smile. Too often as an overweight woman I have gotten dirty looks, heard snide comments, and a general sense of intimidation. It is nice to walk into a gym and not worry about those silly things. I just wish I have had more time (and made more time) over the past couple months to fully use it!

When I signed my membership one of the perks is 2 free one-hour training sessions with a personal trainer. Today I had my first session with Sandy and she was awesome! She was very enthusiastic, encouraging, and has such a bright personality you can't help but smile when you are with her. She seemed surprised at times about some of my fitness interests, but was impressed I think. The one that seemed to surprise her the most is that I love swimming. She thought I was meaning water aerobics, but was genuinely surprised when I said I love doing laps. Anyways, she got me started riding a bike for a warm up while we went over health history, physical issues, and my goals.

Here are my personal goals:
  • Lose 35-40 pounds (a good goal to start as that will put me where I was 3 years ago)
  • Learn the butterfly stroke (the one stroke I can't seem to body doesn't like trying to swim like a mermaid. Who knew?)
  • Working on strength training - pretty much my entire body, but especially my core
  • Make it to the gym 3 times per week for 30 minutes of cardio, and if I get strength training in it is a bonus. This was one of Sandy's goals for me.

After I got home I got on SparkPeople for the first time in a while and restarted everything. While it is nice resetting goals and timelines, I forgot what a pain it is too. It resets the workout program I had had setup in there which I had liked, and it just takes a while to redo it. Oh well, at least it is easy enough to do, just time consuming. I also set some mini goals through SparkPeople to help get me started. It is to see how many days in a row I can do these. Lets hope I can keep it up this time. Here they are:

  • Track calories eaten each day
  • Go to the gym at least 3 times per week
  • Read an inspirational quote each day

Right now I am just looking at starting small. I want to get into the habit of recording my food intake regularly before I start to panic over what I am eating. One step and one day at a time. I can do this!

Thanks Sandy for the awesome kick start today!

Thanks Marshall for your love and support.

Motivational quote of the day: "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom" George S. Patton