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Year 2013 in Review

Recap2013 has been a great year for me overall. I started out on fire and excited, but had some downs along the way. During the first half of the year, I just wasn’t moving where I wanted to be. I knew what the problem was, but couldn’t seem to figure out a workable solution. My problem was food: not necessarily how much, but more about what I was eating. I had made changes over the last several years, but none of them would stick. I kept returning to poor choices, emotional eating, and things that just kept me hovering and not losing. I tried a lot of research, nutritional counseling, seeking an understanding of where I was going wrong. Finally, about August, I got fed up and decided to try a drastic “meal replacement” plan. I was truly at wits end and willing to try anything. Even though I hated it, I finally something that was working to lose weight. However, I felt like I was starving. I pushed through for a month and while it wasn’t ideal it taught me several things. One is that a meal doesn’t have to be big to be filling. Another is that addiction to sugar is hard to overcome.

Since I had already gone through the sugar withdrawal and had been on a low-glycemic diet for a month, which  is how I have wanted to go for a while now, I decided I would keep many of the principles associated with the meal replacement plan but move to eating real food (always better in my opinion) instead of the highly processed pre-packaged foul tasting meals found with the meal replacement plan. While I don’t claim to be fully there, I understand much better what I need to do to keep with this lifestyle. I still want to learn more about eating low-glycemic so I can add in more flexibility and variety, but for now have things that work and keep me satisfied with much smaller portions, and best of all still losing the weight.

It has been a few months since I have written much here on the blog. I have been busy and still trying to keep up with the eating well and working out regularly. In December, I did not post a monthly workout challenge only because I started weight training at the gym again. I also participated in the Mamavation #2weekchallenge and felt that doing those things would be enough without adding in another workout to keep me busy each day during an already extremely busy month filled with holidays and travel. I am including my last picture update so you can see that although I haven’t been writing about it I haven’t been idle during these months at all. I am progressing toward my ultimate goal. compare oct dec

Here is a look at my 2013 Goals and where I am on each of them.
1. Conquer my Dr. Pepper addiction – Check! I haven’t had a Dr. Pepper in months. I won’t say that the desire isn’t there. From time to time I find the craving kicks up in a major way, but I have not given in. I do have a slight fear of trying to have one and going overboard though. So for now I am just fine completely without.
2. Meal Plan Weekly and Log My Food. – I am still going back and forth with this one. I can’t seem to get into the regular habit with this. I do so much better with my eating when I have a plan and am keeping track of the food. I know it helps and I have good stretches, but I haven’t yet added this fully to my routine.
3. “Run” a 5K. – I participated in three different 5k “runs” this year (and at least 3 virtual 5k’s). However I was not able to run any of them in their entirety. I plan to move this into 2014 and keep working toward this goal.
4. Get under 200lbs. On Friday 12/27/2013 I officially weighed in at 199lbs (down 15lbs from 11/6, by way of reference to the photos above)! After the struggles I had with my food this year, I am thrilled most of all about this. I still have more to go to achieve my ultimate goal and am not ready to stop here, but it feels so good to have this hurdle cleared.

For more on my 2014 goals stay tuned, I am working on some good ones. How did you do on your goals this year? Are you setting some good ones for 2014? I’d love to hear about how things are going for each of you. Mamavation is bringing back Mamavation Monday via a weekly blogging carnival and I am going to try to keep posting regularly. I get so much encouragement from being here,  journaling my journey and getting feedback from you. Thanks for being here and for helping make this a great year!!

Sleep, or the lack thereof….

So I got this cool new tool that you wear throughout the day — even while sleeping — and it shows you the actual calories you burn through the day.One of the neatest things about it is it also shows how long you actually sleep. It can tell the difference between just lying down and actual sleep. I was eager to see what this would show. I know with an infant who doesn’t yet sleep through the night that my sleep is never as long as it should be, but I was curious how much actual sleep I was getting. Sadly it is way too little, and now I understand exactly why I am tired all the time. While I am in bed for 8hrs or more I only “sleep” from 4 1/2 to 6hrs each night and that is total time. I rarely have more than 2 hours of sleep straight.

I know that this lack of sleep is not good. I find myself throughout the day wanting more sugar and caffeine to keep me going. I also found this interesting article on WedMD. The most interesting and relevant bit is this: “Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin. More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain.”
While I do not know if the information here is perfectly accurate, it made a lot of sense. I know I need more sleep and while I do not know what to do to get it, because I have to wake up to feed the baby. Now, at least I am aware that I need more sleep to keep my appetite controlled. Also, I need to be cautious of during the day to keep myself focused and not giving in to the temptation to fill my day with sweets and things that will keep the cycle going.

I’m Back!

Well, I guess I should start with where I have been. Many of my friends will know that about 9 months after my last post I had a baby. While I had every intention of continuing to post regularly, watching what I ate, and gaining as little as possible during the pregnancy, that just didn’t happen. My only saving bit was that I continued to workout 3-5 times a week during the entire pregnancy. I did reduce my intensity but I kept going and that habit is my driving force to get back to it now. I truly miss my workouts.

My baby is now almost 4 months old and I am eager to start taking off these extra pounds and get headed toward my ultimate goal again. By posting here again, I am hoping to keep myself motivated and not give up this quest for a healthy, leaner body.

Confusion – Taking A Step Back

Well, after stalling out with weight loss for a while I find myself confused and unsure right now. I don’t know what to do anymore, as changes in my body have not been happening the way I want. So, I have decided to take a step back. I am currently working on achieving some sort of “Normal” diet instead of a weight-loss eating plan/habit. However, I am still completely unsure what that means or entails. Right now I am trying to get my daily calorie intake to around 1800 to 1900 a day and continue to workout moderately at least an hour a day five to six days a week. I did not reach this number by chance. I used the calorie calculator at the Mayo Clinic website. I hope that this is a maintainable goal that does not increase my weight at all. Doing this with healthy moderate choices that does not deprive me of foods I enjoy. I don’t want to give up and say that my current weight is “good enough.” I have come a long way in the last year and a half. I just think my body needs some type of normal for a little while. I have gone way too long not losing weight while still staying active and keeping my food intake low, so I am just unsure where to go now. I am hoping that by doing this I can later reduce my calories and begin losing weight again to reach my ultimate goal — without crash-dieting, without slipping back into old/bad eating habits (lots of sweets, snacks, soda, fried foods, etc.).

Work Out Wednesday – Squats

Squats are one of those exercises I love to hate. They do so much good, but they can bring on the pain quick. I was doing some at the gym today with a friend and realized how badly I need to make sure I am adding them into my workout regularly. I know am going to be sore tomorrow.

For a proper squat, stand with feet about shoulder width apart and then push you tush back and lower it till you are in a sitting position. Just like hovering over a chair. The lower you go the more it hurts. Can’t go too low starting out don’t worry you will work up to it.

For proper position and to make sure not to hurt yourself doing these, watch your yourself in a mirror and make sure your knees do not extend over your toes.  You should be going straight up and down not forward.

I did not get a chance to make a video for this one. So here is eHow link to show you.

http://www.ehow.com/how_4621908_do-proper-squat.html

Tis the Season….

For busy-ness…. It’s been a crazy busy few weeks. It started with computer problems and being without my computer for almost a week. Then, there has just been so much going on that it has been impossible to catch up. Well, here it is the week of Christmas and time for a bit of travel (>1400 mile round-trip to visit family, etc.) to top it all off.

I have been trying to keep myself on track and – for the most part – am doing pretty well, but holiday treats and lack of time at the gym means I have been pretty stagnant weight-wise. I have been avoiding the scale hoping it won’t tip the wrong direction. I need to go back and work on my earlier goals of logging my food, but I have been doing well staying off the Dr. Pepper during the week and only treating myself on the weekends. I just have to watch that I keep that treat limited though, as it’s my only caffeine-source, and that makes it extra tempting during long days of getting ready for the holiday.

Through the holidays, my posts will be sporadic but I hope to be updating again regularly for the new year. Lots of great goals and ideas in mind to share.

Merry Christmas to you all! May your days be filled with friends and family this season.

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