Eat Well, Move More











{July 2, 2012}   Jillian kicked my arse

Oh. My. Goodness.

I’ve spent the past few months trying to work back up my stamina. I’ve progressed from a few minutes of walking a day to nearly an hour a day, at least 5 days a week.  I’ve only had one episode of debilitating pain and fatigue that kicked me down.  I thought I was ready to step it up to the next level of exercise, so I picked out a workout DVD from my collection of DVD’s.

My choice today: Jillian Michael’s Biggest Winner series.

I chose it for its combination of large and small muscle group exercises, and for the simplicity of basic exercises. The last thing I wanted was fancy footwork or complicated combinations. I am so uncoordinated these days.

Jillian kicked my arse. I only made it half-way through the first DVD this morning.  I stopped a couple of times, pausing to catch my breath, then rejoined. I had to stop at the point that I was dizzy.

I’m not  sure if I was pushing myself too hard or if my asthma was to blame.  Nevertheless, I got more of a workout than if I had not done it at all. I will try it again this evening after work.  And I’ll continue to try, over and over.

Something to keep in mind about workout DVD’s: You can pause. You can take a bit of a break (while still moving around, walking to keep your heart rate up) and rejoin it. It is also OK to stop when it gets to be too much, cool down, stretch, and go back to it another day.  Just don’t give up easily.



{June 16, 2012}   What lurks in the closet

Super sexy summer sandles

I was getting ready to reply to a couple of comments to my last blog post The Ugly Truth…the numbers, when I realized that maybe I should just start another post.

Erin said: “I enjoy wearing cut off shorts and sweatshirts. Will that change when I finally feel good about my body?…”

Beca said: “My goal is to be able to stand up straight and put on those heels collecting dust in my closet!!”

Several years ago, when my weight was edging near 200 pounds and my self-esteem was at an all time low, I was stuck in a rut of dressing to match how I felt about myself.  I felt frumpy, sloppy, ugly, and wanted to hide from the world.  So I dressed myself in boring, uninteresting, and quite frankly ugly attire.  Jeans, t-shirts, sweat pants or pajamas were the daily uniform at home.  Dark colors, nothing that drew attention were the preference.  Not only were these outfits “comfortable”, but they were the only items that I owned that “fit” my body. I felt less self-conscience dressed like this.  No, not really. I felt like I just blended into the background dressed like this, invisible, so no one would see me as I saw myself: Fat and Frumpy.

“Dressing up” was sometimes required of me (to please others).  Dressing up consisted of wearing items that didn’t quite fit me right or didn’t feel good. This made my very uncomfortable in my own skin and very aware of how large I was. I would fidget, fuss, and tug at my clothing throughout whatever event I was attending.  I couldn’t wait to get home and get out of a pair of ill-fitting slacks, a skirt that  rode up and didn’t stay in place, or a blouse that I had to safety-pin to hold to keep from having a costume faux pas.

The thing is, I really wanted to dress nicely, fashionably. I wanted to feel good in beautiful clothing. I wanted to feel beautiful. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t do that until I lost “the weight”.  “The weight” that I wanted to lose back then was a big number and seemed so far away.  My wardrobe consisted of clothes that were either too tight and painfully uncomfortable…and clothes that were way too baggy and unflattering.  Neither helped me embrace ME…my body, myself, who I was inside.

One day, I decided that I deserved to feel better about myself and how I felt when I went out in public. I started to purge my closet of anything that was too big or too small, that didn’t fit right, or that I just didn’t like. I took the time to learn to find clothing that fit. I stopped worrying about the size, the number. I started looking for things that not only were comfortable and fit RIGHT, but were PRETTY and made me smile.  I told myself, “So what if this top is from the plus-size section?” It fit well and looked very nice on me. So what if the jeans I picked out were a size 18 with wide legs? They were much more flattering than the old, stretched out size 14 pants that I kept squeezing myself into. I chose COLOR and looked for shapes that worked with my body.

You see, I had been waiting for my body to change before I learned to appreciate myself.  That was backwards thinking, and it was hindering my ability to reach my goals. When I learned to accept the good things about my body and stop fighting against myself, my attitude changed. Having a positive attitude changed my outlook when it came to eating better and exercising. And wouldn’t you know it? The weight started coming off a little more, and my body changed in good ways. I rewarded myself with continuing to dress myself a little better.

And with shoes. 🙂  What do I love about shoes?  They are more forgiving in size than clothing.  And they come in so many fun colors & styles.

Like Beca, I have some heels, and some outfits, that lurk in my closet, waiting for me to reach my goals. I can’t wear the 4 and 5 inch heels often. The excess weight (and where it is) affects my balance and my posture as well, making wearing heels difficult. But I do pull them out every once in a while and remind myself that I will wear them again.  But instead of putting those back in the closet and forgetting about them, I pull out the things that I can wear now that make me feel good. Feeling good helps me focus on my goals, not my shortcomings.

Yes, I still have a couple of  “frumpy” outfits lurking in the closet, for those bad days.  The pretty outfits far out number those now.  And of course, there is always the shoes.



{June 15, 2012}   The ugly truth…the numbers

This is not the before photo I intended to put up, but this is me.  I am still working on my “good-bye” photos to give better views of the “shape” that I’m in, so that I can see the progress when I take new photographs in a couple of months.

Some may say, “You don’t look so bad. You don’t need to lose weight. What are you talking about?”   The package can be deceiving. Fashion can help us hide our flaws. It’s what lies underneath that holds the real story.

This is a photo taken very recently by my daughter.  What you may or may not see is my bulging belly, my oversized hips, flabby arms. And you certainly do not the see the size of my a…, ahem, behind.  You won’t see the high blood pressure or other health issues. You probably don’t see the unhappiness deep down inside, because I am so disappointed in myself for not taking better care of myself. You don’t see the frustration when I glance in a mirror or the private humiliation while trying on jeans in the dressing room.  Perhaps you can relate?

At the time of this photograph, my weight was somewhere around 168 pounds.  This would not be a bad weight if I were closer to say 5 foot 9 inches.  I am not anywhere near 5 foot 9 inches. I am actually a petite 5 foot 2 inches, who earlier in her life had a slender frame.  Carrying this excess weight (about 4o pounds excess) is not comfortable nor healthy.  My BMI is over 30, which falls into the “obese” category. How humiliating is that?

My measurements are as follows:

  • Bust  39 inches
  • Chest 33 inches
  • Waist 37 inches
  • Hips 45 inches
  • Thighs 23 1/2 inches
  • Upper Arms 13 inches

Our bodies are not perfectly symmetrical. My right leg and arm measure slightly larger than my left, so I averaged those numbers for simplicity.  I still fall into the “pear shape” category, but I do have quite the belly these days. I didn’t have a “belly” until recent years, and this concerns me.  It’s the shape of my body and amount of fat that I carry that I want to change.

This is my starting point.



{May 15, 2012}   …with a single step

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

 

Exercise, of any sort, has been a struggle for the past several months, due to pain and fatigue. “Pain and fatigue” is actually putting it mildly. I have good days, and I have not so good days.  Keeping a simple exercise plan helps me push through the pain, and work towards my health and weight loss goals.  It may take longer to reach my goals, but consistency will get me there.

It all begins with a single step, and then one foot in front of the other.  For now, I am simply walking. Not speed walking, but definitely not strolling. Every single day, I make an effort to walk. On the not so good days, I manage to walk to and from work, twice a day. This amounts to a total of 20 minutes.  On the good days, I strive to walk 30 minutes or more, and when I am able, there is a good size hill that I tackle.

Today was one of the good days…40 minutes and the hill.

 

 

 



{May 14, 2012}   Love Don’t Cost A Thing

The title is poor grammar, yes. And it’s more than a teen movie title from the early ’90’s or  a Jennifer Lopez song.

I spent a few hours this weekend sorting out all of the fitness and exercise stuff that I own.  The above picture is just a sampling of the “fitness” stuff in my house. I was trying to figure out what I need to take the next step in my plan to get healthy and fit.

I wonder how many of us do this? (C’mon, raise your hand. You know you’ve done at least one…)

  • See an infomercial for a new DVD exercise program and put it on our wish list, or even buy it.
  • Buy magazine after magazine with eye-catching headlines promising to show you how to get “flat abs” or lose 20 pounds by summer.
  • Shop yard sales or Craigslist for a weight bench or treadmill.
  • See an advertisement for this month’s special on a gym membership and look in the checkbook to see if you can budget it in
  • Make a shopping list of what gadgets or tools you need to start your fitness or weight loss program

Over the years, I have collected several “fitness guru” books, a few sets of exercise DVD’s and magazines. I’ve owned weight benches, dumbbells, elastic bands, balance balls, and other equipment. In the past, I’ve had gym memberships or exercise class punch cards that often went unused.  Up until a few weeks ago, I had a wish list for the perfect “as seen on TV” exercise program, as if it would motivate me to follow through. What I’ve come to realize is that while all of these things could help me reach my goals, they do NOTHING if I don’t use them.  Investing in more or different items would be a waste of my money.

Making a shopping list to get fit or lose weight is a stalling tactic. Procrastination. Where is that internal motivation to love myself enough to begin to DO SOMETHING?  I don’t need new gadgets or DVD’s. I need to use what I have on hand and do so consistently. In fact, it’s time to get back to basics.  Remember gym class in high school?  Running and calisthenics?  I’ve decided to start again with walking and some simple floor exercises. Yes. That seems like a good starting point to Move More. I’ll add the other items in as I go.



et cetera