Weight Loss Denial

I wrote a couple of months ago how I was able to lose the pregnancy weight after two babies back to back and how I was so happy to be at my pre pre-pregnancy size.

I love clothes and nothing made me happier than finally fitting in to them 🙂

Since that time though, I’ve lost a few more pounds and while some might ask, “Wait, isn’t that a good thing?” it is, but I’m having some trouble accepting it.

I’ve never been below my pre-pregnancy size. High school and earlier not counting, I’ve always been the same size and I worked  out to maintain that comfortable, healthy-for-me number.

But as I’ve been shopping, and I do that a lot, I’ve been noticing that size not fitting like it used to. I’ve chalk it up to design and cut and still buy it because I like it.

On one shopping excursion, my husband was with me. I chose a few things to try and on and he waited for me to come out and model for him. I love getting his opinions and he actually likes going shopping with me (I have a winner!).

He took one look at me and said what I couldn’t for some reason let myself say out loud, “I think you need to try a size smaller.”

“It’s not going to fit.”

“Just try it.”

I’ve never had any major body issues (thankfully) but I also don’t like not fitting into things and I was scared of the possibility of sardine-ing my way into a pair of pants I knew wouldn’t fit me.

Except they did.

I’m not a big scale person but I do weigh myself from time to time and I’m actually a few pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. So while I’m in my normal size of clothing, the number isn’t what it used to be. (Further proof that you shouldn’t live by the scale.)

I bought the new size pants but with the bag of new jeans I carried away a feeling that they would most likely collect dust in my closet.

But why? I know that my fitness plans are not changing. My diet has changed a bit as I’m no longer consuming insane amounts of McDonald’s but that’s not changing either. There’s nothing to say that I won’t continue to maintain my body the way it is now. In fact, with MCM in the fall and Phoenix Marathon early next year, I might even lose a few more pounds and/or tone up a bit more as my training increases.

So why am I in a weight loss denial?

I brought this topic up to my Healthy Moms online board where several moms have also lost weight. A few of them agreed with me that there’s something scary new about losing weight. Will I stay at that weight? Should I invest in new clothing? Will I eventually go back to my old size? The pounds will surely come back, right?

Why is hard for us to accept accomplishment and trust in ourselves to continue and embrace our new lifestyle? Because for me it was never about about dieting. It was is most certainly about changing the way I approach working out and eating right. I wasn’t looking for a number to reach and stopping when I reached it. I started taking running seriously because I wanted to challenge myself with goals I hoped to reach–and then challenging myself by setting new goals. I don’t think any of that is going to change soon.

While I’m learning to accept this new body and embrace, I made  a pretty significant breakthrough yesterday.

I was at a small hotel gym getting some treadmill miles in. It was really hot in there but I figured it had something to do with our 98 degree weather outside. About a mile in, I was sweating profusely and decided heck, no need to suffer, I’m taking my shirt off.

I’ve NEVER ran in just a sports bra. Not even pre pre-pregnancy, not in high school, not because of our scorching summers. Never. But somewhere long the way of losing weight, I’ve gained self-confidence. I could see my body in the multitude of mirrors in the gym and I was perfectly fine with what I saw. No nit-picking, no self-judging, just me running.

In fact, I looked at my two baby body with pride. I’ve worked hard.

I’m working hard.

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–Have you lost weight and felt uncomfortable with the newness?

–What are your thoughts on weight loss denial? Why do you think it’s hard for people to accept weight loss?

Thanks for listening friends. This was a personal piece for me.

Losing Weight, Gaining Perspective {a guest post}

So I mentioned yesterday that my good friend Amy would be guest blogging today. (She’s a part of that healthy moms group I’ve mentioned a few times.) Amy is in the midst of a lifestyle change and….
Well, I’m just going to let her share her story with you
:  )

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Hi, friends of Helly! I am so honored to be here sharing my story with you. Helly and I are internet-turned-real-life friends. Our daughters are about a week apart in age and she inspires me daily with her infectious positive attitude and her commitment to her health and her family. It’s great to “meet” you all! This is a little slice of my life, and the journey I’ve been on the past couple months to lose weight and reclaim my confidence and self-worth.

Helly and my daugher M, October 2013

Helly and my daugher M, October 2013

First, a little background. Unlike most of you, my default state is sedentary. While I like endorphins (who doesn’t?!), I can’t stand to exercise. I’ve searched high and low and I haven’t found one type that I truly enjoy. It takes a huge extrinsic motivation for me to get up off the couch and move. At the same time, I love food. Cooking and baking (especially baking!) are my passions, but most of all I love to eat. A lot. It’s so extreme that I’ve sometimes wondered if I have a food addiction. I have gone very long stretches of time where I have absolutely no regulation over what and how much I’m eating. Plus the whiter the carb, the better.

The most recent post from my currently dormant food blog of 6 years

The most recent post from my currently dormant food blog of 6 years

Because of all this couch-sitting and food-over-enjoying, I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my adult life. Along with that has come a lot of depression and shame. In 2010, after recovering from a herniated disc, I finally decided to do something about it. Together with my husband, I trained for and ran the 1st Annual Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Disney World—very fitting for my foodie self! I still consider that one of my proudest moments ever.

At Epcot after our race

At Epcot after our race

My healthy momentum from the race carried me for a while, but over the past few years I have slowly slipped back into my mega-eating, non-exercising ways. Since then, I’ve been yo-yo-ing, and have been up and down within a 25 pound range.

A couple months ago, I found myself at my highest weight ever.  Despite adding in a bike commute to work (something I’m so proud of!), I hated how my clothes fit and I hated looking in the mirror.  I hated my obese BMI and I hated looking like I was 5 months pregnant. It was time to make a real, permanent change. I wanted to hold my head up high, have more energy, and set an example of good health for my daughter.

This is one of my favorite pictures ever but I will always regret how heavy I look; Halloween 2013

This is one of my favorite pictures ever but I will always regret how heavy I look; Halloween 2013

This change needed to be sustainable, given my yo-yo tendencies. This time I’m committed to setting myself up for success instead of expecting that I’ll fail. There are a million diets and methods and clubs out there to lose weight, but I started out simple. In early January of this year, I started a Dietbet (something that’s helped motivate me in the past). I bet $25 that I could lose 4% of my body weight in 4 weeks. My husband and about 75 friends and friends of friends joined us, and those of us who reached their goal (spoiler alert: including me and my husband!) split the pot.

To reach my Dietbet goal, I started logging every single thing I ate with My Fitness Pal. This has been so key to my success. There have been days when I’ve overeaten or slipped up, but logging it has helped me realize that I’m so very hard on myself. I’m allowed to mess up, and messing up doesn’t mean that I’m a total failure. AT ALL. It’s also helped with this sustainability thing. I can have a cookie for an afternoon snack once in a while or my beloved Chinese food in small doses and I can still stay on a downward trend of weight loss.

Now, about that pesky exercise. I’m about to share my dirty little secret with you, are you ready? Promise not to laugh at me. A friend gave me a series of workout videos by trainer Leslie Sansone. Her thing is “Walk at Home.” Yes, I said walk.  At home. I know it sounds ridiculously low-impact and I’m mildly embarrassed to share this on a running blog. But as out of shape as I was, it started out hard! She has a wide variety of workouts and I was quickly able to increase difficulty. I still find the harder ones extremely challenging, and I’m in much better shape now. I took her 30-day challenge to work out 6 days a week, alternating days of cardio and strength. I successfully finished that challenge a few weeks ago and have continued with her videos since. I couldn’t have done this without Leslie!

My favorite 4-mile "walk"

My favorite 4-mile “walk”

 I also got a Fitbit since I walk a lot at work, and these Leslie workouts have helped catapult me past my 10k step goal every day. I picked the Flex model; the fun interchangeable colored bands was a must for me! Orange and Teal are my favorites. Fitbit’s “gamification” of working out has definitely won me over.

I have started plateauing a bit with my weight in the past couple of weeks and have been ready for a new challenge, so I just started the Focus T25 program. I’m only 1 day in but WOW, that is a workout. I can’t believe I did that voluntarily. I’m really excited to see what kind of new results this adventure brings.

Now, for the punchline: Since I started in early January, I’ve lost 7.3% of my body weight and one pant size, and am no longer in the Obese BMI category!

Before and after my 4-week Dietbet. I've lost another 5 more pounds since then

Before and after my 4-week Dietbet. I’ve lost another 5 more pounds since then

That brings me to why Helly asked me to write this post. It’s been SO satisfying checking off my daily exercise and watching the scale tick down. But I have a lot of work to do on my mind and spirit. I still feel like the fat kid. When I look in the mirror, it’s hard for me to see what I’ve accomplished. I have some hard-wired patterns of self-doubt that are going to take a lot of hard work to undo. What I’m starting to realize is that this part is going to be as hard, if not harder, than exercising or counting calories.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m so proud of my progress, and I know the numbers don’t lie. I have accomplished so much. I can do more reps with more weight now, my endurance is so much better, and I really am holding my head up higher just like I had hoped. But this is just the beginning of the journey for me. As I continue to creep down towards my goal weight, my biggest challenge will be treating myself kindly. Yes, that means treating my body with respect, but also allowing forgiveness when I mess up, and knowing that I am strong and I am capable and I can do this.

Thanks so much to Helly and all of you for letting me be vulnerable for a few minutes. Writing out my story really helped me gain some insight, and I hope maybe you got something out of it too. If you’d like to stay connected and follow my progress (and see lots of pictures of my kid!), I’m amy_i on Instagram.

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Isn’t she awesome?? I’m so proud and honored that Amy shared her story on my blog. She’s been such an inspiration to me and I know that many of us can relate to the struggle that is weight loss and being good to ourselves. Thank you for visiting my page today and I’ll try my best to get Amy back here for a follow-up post soon :  )

Have you struggled with weight loss before?

Why do you think that even after losing weight we are still hard on ourselves?

12 Days of Fitmas-Day 11: Eating Healthy

On the 11th Day of Fitmas….

::crickets::

I know I should have at least one day about how important eating healthy is to staying fit but….I can’t write about something I’m not personally doing.

I’ve written about my food struggles before; I just can’t eat healthy. This is such a weak spot for me, I mean, I can workout forever and ever and ever but when it comes to eating right, I can’t.

I’ve come a long way by curbing my fast food intake. This was a huge step for me. However, this continues to be a struggle:

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I have cut it down to about 2 cans a day but as far as eliminating it completely, I don’t know if that will ever happen.

It’s hard for me to say I’m dedicated and committed to my training when I know I’m not  doing EVERYTHING possible to make sure I meet my goal.

I can make excuses like everything in moderation, it’s not like I do it everyday (I do), or I balance it out by drinking tons of water. There’s nothing good about soda. I know this and still drink it.

I also just love bad food.

Most of what I eat is processed, quick and easy to make, and yummy. This part of my life is where I need help.

–What advice would you give a bad food eater?

–Do you struggle with eating healthy?

P.S. These sound amazing…