Weight Loss Wednesdays: Rewards

Week one has been….well, a struggle. I went to the dentist last week, and found out that three cavities ended up needing root canals (I have the worst excuse for tooth enamel ever…). After 8 hours of sitting in a dentist chair, I barely could chew. I probably could have made healthier choices, but there was a good bit of ice cream and cream-based soups involved in the healing process. I also didn’t work out…at all. :( I’m finally getting to a point where I can chew, but my jaw is still sore if I have a meal that involves some serious chewing. :(

Anyway, this week will be better. I won’t have an excuse, and with the weather as gorgeous as it is right now, I think I’m going to try to run again this week! I know Friday (food-wise) will be a challenge, between an office party and of course, the temptations of the Trick-or-Treat candy bowl, but this will be my first big test of the holiday season. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I’m going to have to get my willpower going. :-)

As you guys probably remember, I’m a big fan of weight loss rewards (that have nothing to do with food).

Weight Loss Rewards

I broke it up into 5% rewards this time, and to explain the first two rewards, I made a couple of purchases earlier this month. One of my favorite times of the year to purchase make-up is during the holiday season, so I purchased this blush set and this eyeshadow palette. Yeah, I’m a sucker for make-up…haha! They are both sitting pretty in their boxes on my bathroom counter right now, and I’ll open one of them for my 5% reward and the other for my 10% reward. :-)

There’s not many clothing rewards on here, because when I was on a roll with weight loss, I had plenty of smaller sized clothes (between family and friends) that are sitting pretty in my closet. :-)

Do y’all reward yourself when it comes to weight loss?

 

June Weight Loss Goals

My husband and I will be going on a cruise again this winter, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! While I can usually avoid swimsuit season in the summer (yep, I do it pretty much every year…), I can’t avoid swimsuits on a cruise.

Last year, I won a giveaway on a blog for a gift card to Albion Fit. At the time, I was kicking booty and taking names at the whole weight loss thing, so I purchased their Icon Swimsuit in an XL (12-14). I have to be honest…I was afraid it was going to be too big by the time last year’s cruise came around. Well…I got a nice slice of humble pie when I didn’t lose a single pound last year, and because of that, my fun, new swimsuit sadly stayed home, while I wore an old swimsuit in the Caribbean.

This year, I’m not letting that happen. My goal is to fit in that swimsuit for the cruise and rock the heck out of it. I’m going to go back to the basics…baby steps. Every month, I’m going to make goals and Instagram my workouts like crazy, if y’all want to follow along. :-)

Here’s my goals for the month of June…

JuneGoals

I ended up purchasing a Polar HRM, which was meant to be my 230 lb. reward (oops!). I was hoping it would be a motivation tool, and so far, it has been. So my goal this month is to burn 300 calories in my workouts 5x/week. I want to get back into a routine, and this goal should be attainable for me.

I’m also including a cheat day per week. It gives me something to look forward to, but I will still log it in MyFitnessPal. That goes hand in hand with my third goal, which is to log my meals/exercise in MyFitnessPal every day.

Lastly, I will be completing Fitfluential’s Squat challenge. Basically, the goal is to squat as many times as you can per day. I’m a weirdo, because I LOVE squats. If you want to join in on the challenge, here’s the details on Fitfluential’s blog. You can also enter for a change to win a Polar HRM on their page!

I’ll let you guys know how everything goes next month. What type of goals are you setting lately in your weight loss/fitness journeys?

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or any type of fitness/weight loss expert. Please consult with your doctor before starting any type of weight loss or fitness program. 

Goal Setting

Weight loss this time around has been a lot tougher. I don’t know where my motivation went, but I’m having so much trouble getting back in the swing of things this year. I look back at my 70 lbs. lost pictures, and I can’t believe I thought I was FAT in those. I was on top of the world last April. Like Jack on Titanic hands in the air…ON.TOP.OF.THE.WORLD.

Randoms

Picture collage made by Fit For a Bride

Now, I feel like I’m fighting for every pound. Every single last pound. It’s hard…crazy hard, and that’s why I haven’t been writing much about it. I’m sort of ashamed, and I feel like I’m letting myself down every single day.

I also feel a small tinge of guilt on this blog. I feel like the weight gain lately is sort of letting you guys down. Every single one of you who wrote emails, comments, tweets…the encouragement was/is amazing, and I’m only 40 lbs. down now. It’s a bummer.

Untitled

Also, the 30 Day Shred thing? Sadly, today is day 1, instead of day 16.

However, it’s time for positive thinking…at least I’m on day 1, right? It’s something. And more positively, at least I’m catching myself 30 lbs. up, instead of gaining back all 70 lbs. That would have been a really tough pill for me to swallow.

So, here I am. It’s taking me a lot longer to get back to where I was, but I’m going to slowly chip away at it.

I decided to redo my rewards. I pretty much LOVED my rewards and looked forward to them like crazy. Since I took some steps back, I’m redoing them. Fresh start.

Weight Loss Rewards

So, here we go again. I have to admit that my first reward is already purchased. I bought this palette when it was on crazy sale at HSN, but when I got it, I thought that it would be fun to break this open when I saw a new weight decade for the first time in months. :-)

How is everyone else’s weight loss journeys going? Are any of y’all also facing the fact that this is, indeed, a journey?

The 30 Day Shred

A while back, I made this list of goals. If you’ve been reading a while, you’re probably familiar with my 101 goals in 1001 days list. I was recently checking off some items, and noticed my 30 Day Shred goal. I’ve had this DVD since the wedding days, but I never actually did the full 30 days. I actually never moved on from level 1. Whoops!

So, no better time than the present, right? Yesterday was day 1.

I took my measurements and my body fat percentage yesterday as well, so hopefully I’ll see some great results from this. :-)

Shred Challenge

Has anyone looked at her face on this DVD, and thought that she’s saying “BRING IT!” with that expression?? Maybe that’s just me….

In case you’re wondering, I will be doing this in addition to my regular work-out routine. My strength training is going really well right now, and I also don’t want to slack off when it comes to running since my next 5K is a couple of months away. Hopefully this isn’t overkill, but I figured since this is a quick 20 minute work-out, it really couldn’t hurt, right?

Has anyone done the full 30 Day Shred? How were the results for you?

 

 

20% (60 lbs.)

It’s been three months since I posted about a weight loss milestone. I have to admit, these past 10 lbs. were hard to lose. I was chugging along with my calorie counting, and then Thanksgiving hit. Then, my husband and I went on a cruise (with unlimited fabulous food). And THEN, there was Christmas. While the fudge, cookies & comfort food were worth it, I had to get right back on track! I’m so thrilled to see results again!

The weird thing about losing weight is I always feel like I look like my “before”. I can still stand in front of a mirror, and I still have those fat feelings. I feel like eh, 60 lbs. isn’t THAT much. I still look fat. And really, I’m just about halfway done with my weight loss journey. I know I still have a long way to go.

I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but you are your worst critic, right?

So, on Saturday, I decided to try a regular clothing store for the first time since…um…high school. My measurements were getting close to a size 20 on the chart at Old Navy, so I thought…why not try? I pulled up the jeans, buttoned them, said a little prayer as I pulled the zipper and….THEY FIT! Holy cow! My first regular size jeans in a LONG time!

My progress pictures are a little bit different this time around since I was SO stoked in these pictures (taken in the fitting room at Old Navy), and really felt I should share them. When I made the progress collage this morning, I totally freaked out a little bit. Like I said, I usually still feel like my “before” self, but after looking at these pictures, I truly see progress!

20% (60 lbs. down) collage

Some NSVs (non-scale victories):

  • I’m able to grab my feet when I stretch after a workout. I totally Instagrammed that picture too…my belly always got in the way during my stretches…until now. :-)
  • I fit in size 18 pants (womens) and size 20 pants (misses).
  • Ok, this is a scale victory. I weigh less than I did on my wedding day!
  • My coworkers are constantly pointing out my droopy pants. :-) I don’t mind at all (It actually makes my day!), but I did buy some new work pants and jeans this weekend (I purchase new pants every other size, and only if they’re on clearance…like less than $20/pair).

I still can’t believe how far I’ve come. I mean….my next mini-goal is 75 lbs. I’m 15 lbs. away from that. CRAZY!

Health/Fitness Goals for 2013

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror, and I have to stare for a second. My body is changing every day, and it blows my mind how much has happened over the past year.

2012 Weight Loss

Last year at this time, life was completely different. Walking fast made me breathe heavy, I woke up in the morning with back aches that would last ALL DAY, and well, my clothes in my closet really weren’t fitting well at all. It was embarrassing, but I had no idea how to start. Losing 120 lbs. blew.my.mind.

Now, I’m not the most efficient when it comes to weight loss, but I’m only human. I’ll admit that there were some months ::cough March November December cough:: where I lost way less than usual per month. However, in the end, I averaged 1 lb. each week, and heck, that works for me. :-)

Since we’re well into the new year, I figured I’d share on here my health/fitness goals for 2013.

  1. Reach “Onederland” (199 lbs.). I don’t think I’ve seen this weight since middle school. That was 15-16 years ago, y’all. For fun, I actually asked my Mom not to give away my middle school cheerleading uniform so when I reach this weight, I can put that outfit on (probably with another shirt and shorts underneath, of course) and feel pretty darn awesome. Wouldn’t that be the coolest? (or weird…I don’t care..I’m still doing it)
  2. Run a 5K with no walking breaks.
  3. Attend a spinning class.
  4. Do 10 REAL push-ups.
  5. Run 250 miles total this year.
  6. Finish a 10K.
  7. Finish Jillian’s 30 Day Shred program (doing it for 30 days non-stop).

I’m so excited about what this year could bring. I feel SO motivated to reach those goals, and can’t wait to share more of my weight loss journey with y’all.

Also, I seriously cannot say this enough. Thanks so much for your constant support. I’m not sure I could have done this without the support of family, friends and you guys!

 

 

 

 

Couch to 5K Graduate!

It was a hot, humid day in the middle of Louisiana’s summer where this crazy gal thought, “Hey, maybe I should try to run.” My husband probably thought I was nuts, and I’m sure my neighbors had 911 on speed dial, but I did it. I thought that those one minute jogs were the hardest jogs of my life, and I had no idea how in the heck I was going to be able to run for 30 minutes in less than 3 months.

I told myself to take it a day at a time. There were MANY days where the heat index was well over 100 degrees, and it took everything in me to just get out there. I’m not exaggerating, y’all. Couch to 5K was probably one of the hardest things I’ve put my body through. I’m still very overweight, but I was so glad to see that my body was able to adapt to running.

Now, I’m sure there are a few of y’all reading this, thinking that you could never do this. I was sitting on the couch right there with you. If you think you’re too heavy to run, I started Couch to 5K in the 270s. If you think your body isn’t capable, you will be so shocked at how quickly your body adapts. One week you’re running in one minute increments, and the next? You’re running 20 minutes straight. 25 minutes straight. 30 MINUTES STRAIGHT.

DISCLAIMER: Now, of course before you start any type of workout program, it’s best to check with your doctor. I’m not a doctor…just some random blogger. Seriously, check with your doctor before taking on a workout program, especially if you have had injuries or you’re overweight. Running can be hard on your body, so you want to make sure you don’t make anything worse or hurt yourself…period!

Ok, now that that’s out of the way….running. It’s not easy. While it can take a toll on your body, I want to let you know that your mind is your biggest enemy. Your mind will start telling you some crazy things… It will tell you to stop; it will tell you you’ve done enough; it will tell you that your house with an A/C is AMAZING.

But, keep it up. Unless of course, you get injured…stop running if you get injured. If you aren’t injured though, turn up your favorite Pandora station and tell your mind to shut up. I really felt like during most of my runs, the minute I ignored what I was doing (as in, get your mind off the running and think about something else), the time during my run would fly by.

I’m sure if you follow me on Instagram (username is niftyfoodie), you probably recognize these pictures. I really wanted to remember my C25K journey, and it’s really cool to look back on these.

C25K(1)

C25K(2)

C25K(3)

Sometimes, I can’t believe that I’m able to run 30 minutes non-stop. It completely blows my mind. I keep thinking I’m going to try to run, and my body is going to act like my Week 1 body. But it doesn’t….in a couple of short months, I became a runner. There…I said it.

I’M A RUNNER.

Take that, PE teacher.

If you’re wondering what’s next for me, I have another 5K next month, as well as another in January. I’m hoping that for this coming 5K, I will be able to run the whole 3.1, and reach my goal of a 45:00 finish time. :-)

 

 

40 lbs.

Two days ago, I looked at the scale and saw that I’ve lost 40 lbs. since my weight loss journey started. It’s been a wonderful 9 months (ha, that sounds like I’m talking about a pregnancy, doesn’t it?), because so many great things have happened since my last weight loss update (which was at 10%).

Here’s my progress (I had to include a certain photo-bomber for one of these pics). I’m wearing a different gray shirt for these, so I think it’s a little harder to see the progress, but eh…no big deal. :-)

40 pounds collage

  • I’m running 30 minutes non-stop, and have signed up for my 2nd 5K (with a 3rd 5K in mind as well)
  • My size 24 jeans are crazy loose and my size 20 shorts from my honeymoon are still a little snug, but they fit!
  • I tried on a size 9 pair of shoes this past Sunday and they fit! I’m usually a size 10. It could be a brand difference, but heck, I’m still happy about it. :-)
  • I’m starting to feel a little definition in my legs, especially my thighs.
  • I’m trying on some tops from 3 years ago (wedding time) and they are almost to the point to where I can wear them in public (without looking too snug).

I can’t believe that I’m 10 lbs. away from losing FIFTY pounds (time for some fun shoes soon!), and 18 lbs. away from my wedding weight. I really truly never thought this would happen, since my starting weight was really out of control, but I’m learning that if you REALLY want to lose weight…you CAN do it!

I have no idea how to thank you guys, but every time I write about weight loss or a work-out, I get so much support from y’all. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I have a long way to go, but gosh, with the support/sweet comments/virtual high fives that I’m getting, I don’t see my weight loss journey ending anytime soon! THANK YOU!

If you’re interested, here’s my previous weight loss updates:

5%

20 lbs.

10%

A weight loss tool that works for me

As y’all know, I’m currently calorie counting to lose this weight/lead a healthier lifestyle. As much as I love MyFitnessPal, I also use the BodyMedia Fit Link armband. This tool has really motivated me to just keep on, keeping on.

I wrote a very basic review about the armband in March, and now that I’ve been using it for a few more months (and 20 lbs. later), I’ve found some other features that have made it even more awesome.

Here’s a typical day for me. This was obviously a rest day for me, as you can see in the physical activity. My goal is to always have a 1000 calorie deficit, at the very least, which (theoretically) results in a 2 lbs. loss/week. It doesn’t always work out that way, but it’s a goal that I have.

Another cool feature I’ve noticed after using it for a few months is the “personal bests” tab. I haven’t added comments yet, but I do remember that most of the late July personal bests were from my trip to San Diego. I did TONS of walking there, since my hotel was 1.5 miles from where my conference was held!

Another cool feature on the site is that you can customize your daily goals. My goal weight of 175 is a little on the high side, BMI wise, but I would be thrilled at that weight. If I happen to lose more, great…if not, I know 175 is a pretty good number for my height (5’9″-5’10″ish). I also love being able to see when I will ideally reach my goal weight. At my weight loss rate so far, I should be at my goal weight next summer or fall. Crazy to think about! Just CRAZY!

What kind of tools are you using to motivate you in weight loss?

Disclosure: I was sent this product at no cost to me, as well as free membership for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed about this product are my own.

10%

Do you ever look at pictures of people losing weight and think their before looks like they were inflated with extra air or something? I’m not trying to insult myself, but when I stare at my nearly 300 lb. self from January squeezing into an XL shirt, I think that. I went out in public like that regularly. I’m really embarrassed thinking back on it, but I always told myself that I was not a size 2XL shirt gal. Clearly, I should have been.

It’s been a little over seven months, three of those being a lull for me (I sort of gave up in the spring…woops!), but I finally reached the 260s this morning! That’s 10%, yall!

I took these pictures tonight, and while I don’t see much of a body shape difference, I definitely see that the XL shirt is a LOT looser. And yes, that’s the exact same shirt and capris I’m wearing in the pic to keep things uniform for progress pics. I also see it in my face…my double chin is slowly going away. :-)

And yeah….I realize that after taking these pics that I was totally wearing a standard bra and in my current pic I was wearing my sports bra. So, things do look a lot different in the ladies department in these pics, but the difference isn’t that drastic. :-P

10% lost before/now

10% is a big step on this weight loss journey for me. While I still have about 85 lbs. to lose, I think this may have been the biggest hurdle for me to cross.

I feel like I’ve found a good balance, food and exercise wise. I’m on my weight loss plan every day. There are no “cheat days” for me, because I do not want to fall off the wagon like I have in the past. I log every single bite, but I still enjoy a weekly treat and/or meal. I just don’t binge anymore. In fact, you may notice I’m still baking like crazy (if you read my food blog). I’m happy that I get to enjoy every dish that I write about but now, I’m no longer eating 3-4 brownies in one sitting or a heaping bowl of homemade ice cream. It’s much smaller servings this time around, and I’m completely fine with that. As long as I have the calories (or since I’m giving Weight Watchers a try for a month right now, points), I don’t feel an ounce of guilt enjoying a treat.

Weight loss for me isn’t happening quickly. I’m not losing 5 lbs./week. I’m averaging about 2 lbs./week lately, and I’m completely stoked about that. In fact, I haven’t gained any weight the past 7 weeks that I’ve been back in the weight loss groove. :-D So, while it’s slow, I know I’m still losing, and to me, that’s all that matters. At this rate, if I keep losing 2 lbs./week, I’ll be at my goal by spring of next year! That’s a really exciting thought, y’all!

Here’s some NSVs (non scale victories) that I’ve noticed since starting my weight loss journey:

  • Pants size before: 26 —– Pants size now: 22 or 24 depending on the jeans
  • Work shirt size before: 22/24 or 3x —– Work shirt size now: 18/20 or 2x (although I tried on a 1x shirt at Macy’s last week and that fit perfectly!)
  • I have to hook my bra on one notch in instead of pulling hoping that it hooks on the last notches.
  • I had terrible lower back pain this past winter. That’s not an issue anymore.
  • I ran for 5 minutes in a row TWICE this week (Thank you Couch to 5k!).
  • My BodyMedia Fit armband is no longer squeezing on my arm. It fits, but it doesn’t leave a red mark where the band was when I take it off.
  • My wedding rings are starting to feel loose again.

I know this post may come across as braggy, but I can’t help it. I’m VERY proud of myself for reaching this step. Look at what losing 10% can do! I even get a little reward for losing 10%. :-) Just all sorts of great things, y’all!

So, here we go to the next milestone! 50 lbs., here I come!