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Doing the Best I Can, Every Day

26 Jun

Motivation.

What a tricky word.  I think a lot of people wait until they have the right “motivation” before they start to change their lives and their habits.  It’s been my experience that I get to a place where I am unhappy, in emotional pain, and I know I need to change.  Once I get to that place, my motivation for changing ebbs and flows.  Within the last 11 months on Weight Watchers, I’ve lost a lot and felt really great and happy, and I’ve plateaued and done basically nothing, feeling totally unmotivated and content with what I have accomplished. 

I guess what I’m saying is that for me, there is no magic amount of motivation that I need.  If I waited to be consistently motivated, nothing would ever change for me. 

What I try to do is ride whatever motivation I have, whenever I have it (case in point: the first few days of doing ANY sort of diet for me, I’m always super gung-ho!).  Then, when that motivation and enthusiasm starts to fade, I try to rely on a few things:

  • Remembering the end goal.
  • Remembering that habits form after several weeks of repeated activity, and striving to create new habits (ie: now abstaining from drinking/eating artificial sweeteners is a habit, and not something I ever struggle with).
  • Telling myself to just get through this ONE DAY of eating well/doing the right things. Breaking it up day by day and only focusing on today is super helpful for me.
  • Trying not to hold myself to too high of standards (this can be very difficult for me).  If my week is truly crazy and I can only get to the gym once or twice, then I let it go and I don’t beat myself up or use it as ammunition to de-motivate myself.
  • I also pray for God to help me be loving and kind to my body today and to act in good health.

For me, it’s not about doing the work when I’m motivated.  The real struggle comes with doing the work when I’m not motivated, and I’d rather eat ice cream and watch movies and go on dates to fancy dinners than cook one more vegetable in the kitchen.  I cannot wait for a magical motivation fairy to sprinkle me with pixie dust — I have to do what I need to, even when I don’t want to.  After all, isn’t that one of the greatest lessons you learn as an adult?  Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do it.

(That being said, tonight I will make it to the gym for the first time in over a week — motivation or not, you will see me there by 6pm.)

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Getting Through the First Week

25 Jun

The first week of anything is hard. Everyone says it takes several weeks until something becomes a habit.

Until then, with my no sugar/flour/grain revamp, I will alternate between being famished one day and feeling totally content and in control the next.

I made it through my best friend’s wedding, an Italian dinner in DC serving only pasta dishes for entrees, various restaurants, and plenty of opportunities to quit or cheat, and I met them head on. I stuck to it, and I’ve started to lose. Little by little, hopefully this will work for me.

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Hopefully I’ll see more results this week.

On to week 2 of no white stuff, tracking on weight watchers, and eating mindfully!

New Plans

18 Jun

So, last week I came to a decision. Yes, I’ve been losing weight, but recently it’s been slow and stalled. Losing 1/2 Ib is great, but not when I’m trying to fit in a wedding dress in less than 3 months. My goal is to make it to goal (140) in two and a half months… That’s about 12 Ibs. I think it’s doable. It will be hard, but worth it. I’m going to stick to weight watchers and I am going to keep tracking and going to the gym, but I will also cut out the white stuff for a few weeks to rev up my metabolism — no breads, pastas, flours, rice, potatoes, grains, sugars, desserts. I’ve done this before, and I know it isn’t sustainable long-term, but I think it will shake things up enough so that my metabolism can maybe lose at 1 lb a week again.

So, plenty of vegetables, proteins, dairy and exercise!

I also went wedding dress shopping on Saturday and found a dress — talk about motivation! The fact that I’m getting married soon is just now hitting me.

I got a new app to help keep me motivated on the elliptical — the elliptical app by Lolo… So good! Makes me sweat in no time!

And finally, a non-scale victory: I fit into a pair of size 8 capris at New York & Company. Now, granted their sizes are always a little big, but I will take what I can get!!!

I’m excited to be active and healthy this summer, and I cannot wait to see what this summer holds for me!

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Getting my gym on!

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And happily getting my O’s on! (look at that thin face! Almost there! 12 more lbs!)

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One last picture 😉

Weekly Wrap Up

6 May

Well, some positives about this week.  I had some non-negotiable dinner plans for a few nights — Thursday, Friday — and I had some other commitments on Wednesday and Saturday.  I managed to stay on point!  Very exciting.  I also worked out:

Sunday – hiked up a mountain.  Was sore for two days afterwards… too sore to workout on Monday.

Tuesday – tried zumba at the gym and really liked it!  I worked out a lot harder than I did at the other zumba classes I used to go to.

Saturday – elliptical hills training for 30 minutes, high intensity.  Let me tell you, this worked up a SWEAT.  So tired afterwards.

Sunday (today! will count this towards next week’s fitness though) – did a zumba toning class for an hour.  Zumba toning is zumba with weights.  Our instructor was this woman in her late 60s… she killed it.  My arms felt like rubber bands afterwards.

I joined a challenge on WW online — On Point for May!  Very excited to check in and stay on track every day this month.  This is the type of jumpstart I need to get back on track.

Goals for next week:

  • cook more.  We ate out a lot last week due to laziness and not planning ahead enough
  • work out 3 -4 times
  • drink more water!!! felt dehydrated this week

 

about to work out… I hope to be able to see the difference in how my body looks in workout clothes in the next few months!

Weight Loss Journey… Update

30 Apr

A few things. I haven’t been in it to win it. I’ve grown complacent. I am okay with my weight (hovering between 156-158). When I try clothes on, I’m a size 10-12. Some shirts I have to get in a medium because the large is too big.

But.

But this isn’t where I want to be. But I’m tired of feeling disappointed in myself. I’m tired of next Monday being the day I start over. I’m freaking tired of starting over.

I’ve started exercising. I signed up to go to the gym and then I went. I did a hike with my sweetie yesterday that kicked my ass. But we ate out most of last week, and I binged after my hike. Burning 1400 calories doesn’t count when you’re eating way more calories than that.

And I know that exercise is only part of it. I need to plan my meals better, and I need to be more accountable. My wedding is in September, and I want to feel beautiful. I want to drop some weight by then. I’m tired of starting over. Today is the day.

And I need to blog more, to be more accountable and to track my progress.

New goals:
Track every day
Work out three times each week
Start couch to 5k program
Eat out 1-2 times a week only (except when work forces me to eat out more frequently)
Blog more

I can do it.
I need to remember how accomplished I feel when I reach goals. It looks a little like this (halfway point on yesterday’s height… Only had to hike downhill from here):

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Please excuse the belly. Actually, don’t. It’s there because I haven’t been trying.

I’m going to try hard, one day at a time. Let’s do this.

(new weigh in day is Mondays to try to combat binge eating on weekends.
Gained 4.2 pounds this week…. Let’s lose it this week!)

Savoring

13 Jan

savor (verb): to perceive by taste or smell, especially with relish; to give oneself to the enjoyement of

Me, circa Summer 2010, with the turkey burger that nearly ate me.

Tonight, I was cooking a few things, and I had to chop up red bell peppers (among many other things). 

(There is something so relaxing about dicing things and getting them precisely right.)

I get in a zone when I’m cutting fruits&veggies — I think part of it is relaxing, but part of it is definitely intense concentration because I have pretty awful kitchen knives and I’d like to keep all of my fingers. 

As I was chopping, I took a piece of the raw pepper. It was sweeter than I expected, and I remembered how I used to bring raw red peppers and goat cheese to lunch in high school every single day.  And I remembered why I loved the pairing of raw peppers — a light crunch, a beautiful texture that looks like pebbled leather, a lingering sweetness — with creamy dips and cheeses.  I remembered why I like to eat vegetables raw, as opposed to roasted, broiled, steamed, sauteed, and otherwise cooked (which are also delicious!). 

I’ve been trying to savor all of the food I’m eating.  I love food — I really do! — but some days, I’m rushing through lunch and neglecting to eat breakfast and scarfing my dinner at 10pm. Okay, who am I kidding?  That’s most days. 

And then, when I eat something decadent and highly caloric, I try to savor the flavors, unless I’m on a binge.  When I’m bingeing, I’m eating everything in sight with no thought about flavor.  And sometimes, when I am busy and eating a healthy lunch as I type away at the computer, I also am not savoring.  Whether I am bingeing or eating healthfully but robotically… same end result.

My goal is to consciously eat.  Whether I am eating a salad or a souffle, I need to slow down and really taste the food.  Revel in it. Delight in the flavors.   And I love fruits, I love vegetables, I love healthy food, just as much as those bad-for-you-yet-soooo-delicious foods.  The trick is to understand what I’m eating, really think about what I am eating, and then relish the flavors. 

I think that savoring my food is one of the keys to continual weight loss.  Not feeling deprived because I’ve fully appreciated and tasted my meal.  I want to remember tasting that red pepper today… and try not to hurry through my foods again, whether I’m splurging on something buttery and delightful, or eating some fruit at work.

Clementine carnage… my new mid-afternoon treat at the office. They didn’t stand a chance.

New Year’s Resolutions

6 Jan

I generally procrastinate… a lot.

For example, starting this blog has been maybe 6 months of contemplation, followed by one late night of signing up for this website name, finished by (after several days of lack of attention) finally publishing something.  Typically, I enjoy the pressure of tight deadlines and the feeling in my gut that tells me that I’m about to fail — right before I barely succeed.  It’s like a superhero waiting until the last possible moment to swoop down and save the damsel. Or something.

Anyway, I was pretty convinced that I wouldn’t set New Year’s Resolutions until at least February.  Historically, I put it off until I settle on the old standby of trying to get healthy and lose weight (as do 90% of Americans). 

This year, I surprisingly have a few new resolutions that aided in the creation of this blog.  They are, as follows:

  • Eat less processed foods — including no artificial sweeteners (farewell, Diet Coke in the staff fridge that I can see from my office! We shared many lovely 2pm crashes together…).
  • Travel extensively on the best trip of my life to date (See? I’m cheating here! Procrastinator and Lazybones… I am in the midst of honeymoon planning, so this is basically on my list so that I can feel good about accomplishing something, even if I do absolutely nothing else.).
  • End the year with no credit card debt (I don’t have any now, and post-wedding and honeymoon, I’d like to not have any).
  • Try to cook a new recipe once a week. And maybe take some nifty pictures to post on this blog.
  • Stick with WeightWatchers and drop some weight!
  • Try new things that take me out of my comfort zone, ideally once a month.

 

I’ve been told that I talk about food differently than most of my friends.  I think I’m sort of obsessed (which is probably why most of my goals in life are always somehow connected to food).  I hope that this blog can be a good way to think primarily about food — my love of it, my struggles with it, my cooking of it, my eating of it —  but also maybe about some other tidbits of life.  Like planning a cheap-o wedding and a glorious carb-loaded honeymoon in Italy and Paris.  And maybe this blog can be about becoming a fabulous vixen — because at the heart of it all, I think I picture a vixen as being able to do things effortlessly.  To me, this means that a vixen probably procrastinates.  And I’m extraordinarily fabulous when it comes to that particular skill.