Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Weigh-in Drama, Changes and Challenges

Weigh-in. It never ceases to be a source of anxiety and drama. This weeks weigh-in was far from what anyone expected. Everyone had a GAIN in the double digits. Yours truly posted a gain of 19 pounds putting me up to 279. What happened? We think our scale got "fixed" and it had been broken and we didn't realize it. How so? Well here's what I know.

All but three of us were weighed in on the scale out of the men's locker room that was brought to the conference room for our initial weigh-in. This is the same scale that we have been using for weigh-ins every week. The other three women were weighed in on the scale in the women's locker room. I have thought the scale in the women's locker room is possessed because I would weigh in on it during the week and it would show me anywhere from 8-12 pounds heavier than what I weighed in at on Monday. My home scale is no help because I need to replace the battery. It has been reading the same 0.6lb. weight range for 3 1/2 weeks now, and I KNOW that isn't right. We have commented during weigh in that we think the scales are possessed. Even the guys have said that when they step on the scale when it is in the men's locker room showed them 10 pounds higher than what they weighed in at on Monday. Most everyone else (except me) had been weighing in on their home scales too and the weights were drastically different. We thought our home scales were wrong because the gym's has to be more accurate right? It is one of the fancy balance scales that you see in the doctor's office. And who doesn't want to believe the scale that says you weigh less?

So what accounts for the weight difference? Well first the scales we are using are intended to be put on a hard level surface and left alone. Moving them around is bad. They go out of calibration being jostled around and all that. Also the flooring in the conference room is carpet. Not good to have it on a squishy floor, no matter how thin that carpet might be. As to what finally triggered it to weigh right last night? No clue.

What does this mean for the contest? I don't know. Next week we are weighing in on the same scale as well as a digital one placed on the tile floor out in the hall. We will go from there. I don't think it is fair to go off our original weights where 3 of the contests have a "correct" starting weight, and the rest of us have a starting weight that is off by 8-10 pounds or more. I really don't like thinking about that, because that means I was MUCH closer to 300 pounds than I realized. I might have even been over. And I know I am on the right track now, but the thought of that still makes me sad. Anyways, since we don't know if the scale was universally off for everyone we can't add 8 pounds to everyone's starting weight. I don't know how they are going to determine a winner in this thing at all. But as one of the gals said Monday night, we aren't gaining the weight back to start over!!

Oh and I am also dead last again. I am behind around 2.5% or something like that from the next person. This is so frustrating! I know it's just a number, but damn it its an important one. Especially when you are involved in a contest! Could you imagine the news hype if something like this happened on Biggest Loser?? But I know there have been changes in my body and I would like to know how much I have truly lost to just have a gauge. My initial weigh in seemed right to me. I had put my weight around 290 in my entry and I started at 286. I didn't think a thing of it. But if I had been higher, that means my percentage loss is higher than it is. And damn it, I was pretty damn proud to say that I had lost 10% of my body weight so far in this thing. Now I have to work to get to 10% again. ARGH.

After weigh in I got to thinking about it, and I know my weight wasn't right. I know how my body was several years ago when I was at 260. I was well into my 22's and almost into my size 20 jeans. Right now I am just starting to fit into my 22's. Some of them fit and some don't, but my 24's are baggy. It frustrating, in a good way. I have noticed other changes too this week and I will list them below. I am sorry if some of these are a little bit personal, but I count them as successes.

1) I am definitely stronger. I am up to 132 pounds on the leg press from a start of 88 pounds. On the chest press I started at 20 pounds and yesterday I was pressing 60 on my last set. There are others too, but these are the ones I remember.

2) My clothes are more loose. I am almost down a full pant size. I am already down a shirt size. I am almost down a bra size depending on the style of bra.

3) My butt looks better.

4) I don't have to lift skin to touch my belly button, and there is less of my belly in general

5) I can do the elliptical again for 30 minutes.

6) I can do oblique crunches for 2 minutes straight

7) Laying in bed the other day I realized the most important one. My back doesn't hurt!!! I still have muscle soreness, but the skeletal issues aren't hurting like they used to!

There 7 changes for 7 official pounds lost. Oh, and for inches lost this week. 1" off my neck and 2" off my belly!!

I do not believe that 19 pound gain! It is not all muscle in one weeks time. I am not training that hard. But I am working hard and doing a lot of things right. I am feeling good again. Physically and mentally.

Sorry for the length of the post, but there was a lot to talk about. With that I am off to sleep before having to head up to Wyoming for the weekend tomorrow. And here are some updated pics of me that I took at the gym yesterday. Sorry they are so blurry. I think I need to clean the lens on my phone.

279 pounds. Feb. 2012

And the side view.
 Quote of the day: "It's the little things done consistently over time, straight from your heart, that actually have the greatest impact." ~Unknown

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Feeling it

I plateaued this week at weigh in and stayed the same. Everyone did this week in fact. To be honest, it didn't come as a surprise to me. With the major losses we have had so far (which a lot was water weight I am sure) it was bound to happen. And just knowing how my body is when I have worked out before, I was fully expecting to plateau either this week or next.

I had my weekly training yesterday evening. I went into it knowing it was going to be a rough workout since I had told Sandy I had plateaued, but it was rougher than I thought it would be. Part of the problem was I woke up later than I planned to get to the gym. I wanted to be to the gym by 5pm so I could get a 30 minute warm up in, and I woke up at 4:50. So I was groggy, moving in a panic because I was late, and didn't stop to eat anything before I worked out. Not eating was a mistake, at one point I started feeling a little sick but it passed quickly. Still it isn't a feeling I like. There was also a moment during the workout where I about just broke down in tears. It has happened to me before where I have pushed myself so hard it just pushes me over the edge emotionally and I just stop and breakdown and cry. It is an emotional reaction, but it is hard to describe the emotions that are brought up in that moment and why it happens for me. Luckily it too passed and things were good for the rest of the workout.

I felt kind of bad during my workout yesterday because I knew I wasn't my normal self. My trainer noticed it as well and kept asking if I was ok or if I was hurting. I really appreciated her concern, but most of it was I just wasn't fully awake yet. That and I would most definitely say if I was in pain. It wouldn't do either of us any good if I wasn't honest with Sandy about that.

 After my workout I started feeling A LOT better in so many ways. Of course there was the endorphin rush, and the general good feeling after a hard workout, but it was more than that. It took me a while to figure out what I was feeling and I finally figured it out after I had been at work several hours last night. I am starting to feel like I did even just 3 years ago, but more around 5 years ago when I had lost 30 pounds. I am feeling better physically and mentally. I am feeling stronger. I feel the strength building in my body and that I am moving better. I don't hurt as much as I used to. Even more importantly, I am starting to feel better in my own skin again. I feel  more like "me" and happy again. Not that I am just in a flabby shell. I am starting to feel beautiful and pretty again. I'm even feeling sexy *gasp*! I know I have always been these things, but it has been a long time since I have truly felt that way. I also feel like I am finally starting to lose weight and inches. We were all commenting at weigh in Monday night that none of us really felt like we had lost the weight that we have. I still really don't feel like I have lost 20 pounds even though I have. I don't know if it is because I haven't dropped a pant size yet even though I am down a shirt size or what it is, but I haven't felt like I have lost weight. I am starting to feel it now a little bit. Maybe I just shocked my body so much that it is just taking time to catch up and realize what the heck I have done to it!

As my Uncle told me the other night, I am at war with my body and right now it is fighting back. So just one day at a time and one step at a time. I'm not stopping now!

Quote for the day:
"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it, Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is life, fight for it!"  -Mother Teresa

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Long week

I really had meant to post this earlier this week, but to say that this week was a long one is putting it mildly. I had several very long and trying days at work which always makes things...interesting. Add in the fact that for whatever reasons I didn't sleep well made it even worse. Towards the end of the week I wasn't even really talking to coworkers because I was so grumpy.

Weigh-in went EXCEPTIONALLY well this week considering I did not want to step on the scale this week. It felt like I had worked my butt off and hadn't anything to show for it. It seriously did not help that any scale I stepped on was broken or "possessed". I know any woman (on a diet or not) will say that if the scale gives her a number she doesn't like, but in my case it is true! My scale here at home was reading 280 (a 2 pound gain from last week) and the scale in the ladies locker room at the gym was saying a 6 pound gain!!! I was not happy. But I came in with a 12 pound loss!!! Whoo hoo! That's 20 pounds in two weeks!

As it turns out, I wasn't the only one having scale issues this week. Several of the gals in the competition had used the one in the ladies locker room with varying results. For one it looked like she had stayed the same and several others showed gains. I have also decided to throw out my scale here at home. When I got home Monday night I stepped on it to see what it said because I wanted to know how broken it was. It was saying I still weighed 280! I don't know if the battery needs replaced or if it just needs to be thrown out, but I am thinking of just throwing it out. It was a cheapy scale anyways.


This week has been rough on me in so many ways it feels like. For whatever reason work was much more stressful than normal. We were busier than normal, but not by much. I had a couple of late days, but no worse than it usually is. I think part of it might have been that I haven't slept well this past week. Between getting up early and attempting to go back to sleep, and body aches the quality of the sleep I am getting has suffered. My low back and hips are still sore and hurting, even with lots of stretching and some light yoga. I think I might try the foam rollers at the gym to see if that helps release some of the tension.

So with all this going on I just haven't been "feeling it" this week in regards to my fitness. Aside from yesterday (Saturday) I have been doing well with my eating and staying on track there, but I cannot convince myself to get to the gym. I did go swimming last night for about 30 minutes, but I was wanting to go for at least 45. At one point I stopped to rest at the end of a length, and the pool was over-run with kids and families. I thought it would be ok, but after getting hit with a noodle, a racquetball, and people letting their kick-boards float into my lane so that I run into them I was just kind of done. It was made worse by the fact I couldn't sit in the hot tub afterwards and relax. There were 10 or so people crowded into the thing. So I just said screw it, showered and went home.

All I have really wanted to do this week is hide from the world, which is my normal reaction when I get too stressed. I just want to curl up with a book or get lost in some stupid game and not have to think or deal with anything for a while. I don't really see when I will get the opportunity to either. Oh well, such is life right?

And with that I am going to go get dressed and drag my sorry rear to the gym. I do have a weigh-in tomorrow that I am worrying about. Same as last week I don't want to do it, and I am worried I will have a gain, and I could go on and on. I figure as long as I have a loss it is a good week.

I will hopefully post something more upbeat soon. Like I said, just not feeling it this week.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Minor set back and support

So it is about time I updated this thing with the results from the first weigh-in! I should say up front that I was extremely nervous about this weigh-in and truly did not want to step on the scale. Last week was that time of the month for me (and it is normal for me to gain around 5+ pounds of water weight) and my scale here at home was saying I had gained three pounds! Not what I wanted to think about when going in to get weighed for this contest. For those who have seen my Facebook post, there was no need to worry about it. I came in with an awesome loss of 8 pounds and 5.5 inches!! I am ecstatic. My trainer is too apparently. Since I did such a good job of blowing last weeks goal out of the water my weight loss goal for this week of 8 pounds. We shall see how I do with everything that has been going on.


So I think I may have mentioned in my previous blogs that my back has been sore and hurting from overdoing it, even with trying to go easy by doing water aerobics and all. Tuesday night when I woke up to try and get ready for work, I couldn't get up. I was so sore in my low back I could not move. And I had slept so late that it was too late to go to Urgent Care and I didn't really want to pay the $200 copay to go to the ER. I had no idea what was wrong either, and to be honest it scared the hell out of me. I have had flare ups with my back problems before, but I had not been in pain like this since I first injured my back 7 years ago. I ended up not going in to work last night because I was in so much pain. It took me 10 minutes to walk to 15' or so to the bathroom. Not a good sign.

So this morning I went to Urgent Care. I went there initially when my vertigo started up and I really like the staff there. Everyone was friendly, caring, and sympathetic. I explained everything to the doctor seeing me and through the usual question and answer session (where he has to think all the bad thoughts) I do not have any pinched or damaged nerves causing my back pain. And even more to my relief it wasn't my back problems causing me issues either, I had just pulled a ton of muscles in my low back and hips so everything was extremely tight and tense. So I got some prescriptions for some amazing meds. A painkiller, a muscle relaxant, and ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory. After Marshall and I got home from the doc I took my pills and crashed. Hard. I haven't slept that hard in a while, but it felt so good to not hurt! I decided to stay home from work tonight even though I was feeling a bit better. Since I crashed after taking my meds I didn't know how I would be on them. Would I just be loopy and a bit uncoordinated? Or would I have a lot of balance issues which can sometimes happen with muscle relaxants? The last thing I needed is to injure myself in the lab at work while trying to work with chemicals. Turns out I am kinda sleepy and giddy (mostly from the pain med I think). So all in all I am just relieved. My back is feeling loads better, I will be able to go back to work tomorrow night, and I can still go to the gym tomorrow.

For those wondering about the wisdom of going to the gym with this, I asked my doc about it when I was there earlier today. I explained how I thought I had triggered all of this mess (seated leg press machine) and that I was part of this contest. He thought the contest was cool and was very encouraging of my efforts. He said this was just a minor setback and we would have me up and working out properly again in no time. I just need to take it easy for while. Walking is ok, and he loved the fact that I like to do water aerobics and highly encouraged that. I am still ok to work out with Sandy as long as she knows my limitations and we work together so I don't overdo it. He didn't want to put me on restrictions because right now moving is better for me than sitting still. Over the next couple weeks I will be making sure to do a LOT more stretching at the end of my workouts, and I will definitely be checking out the yoga classes available through my gym.


There have been a lot of things with this contest that have been pleasant surprises for me, but none more so than the support I have been getting from all over. Of course I am getting a ton of support from my parents, Marshall, his family, and my extended family. For my family that reads this, you don't know just how much all your love and support means to me. It is mind-blowing to me, and it shouldn't be.

I am also getting a lot of support from all my friends near and far. Whether it is through phone calls, email, or facebook. The encouragement and congratulations on my efforts so far has overwhelmed me. And again, it shouldn't!!

But the biggest surprise is the support from complete strangers. People coming up to me in the gym when they see me wearing my t-shirt for the challenge and telling me to keep up the good work or ask how I am doing. The folks at Chick-fil-a who have taken a bigger interest in this contest than I would have dreamed. My coworkers (ok, not complete strangers, but not my closest friends either). The doc and nurses at Urgent Care.

A lot of this would not have come about if I hadn't started writing this blog and putting it all out there for the world to read. It takes me a lot some days to tell what's going on because I don't like to always share with a lot of people what's going on. But this has helped to keep me accountable for what I am doing and gets me excited to share with people. It helps me keep my motivation up and my determination strong.

To everyone who supports me in this, thank you! This is just the start of the road still and a long way to go, but you all are amazing!