Friday, November 22, 2013
Like most people, I've bought clothes for my 'estimated' goal weight. Over the years, I've accumulated a few, especially pants. And every once in a while I go through them and try everything on. Today, I did the rounds again and tried it all on.
I'm happy to report that I no longer own anything that is too small!!! Everything fit or was too big! What a weird feeling to not own any clothing that I'm working towards fitting into! WOW! What a feeling accomplishment.
This really highlighted for me the importance of strength training. In 2011, I weighed about 5 lbs less than I do now but couldn't fit into a certain pair of non-stretch pants (size 6). And yet, even with the extra weight, I can now. Just goes to show that sometimes the scale gives you grief, but it doesn't mean there aren't any changes!
On other fronts, still sick. It's really affecting my breathing which is made worse by living at high altitude. Still not exercising, trying to save my strength. My family arrives on Sunday and Monday. My parents, my grandparents, my brother and sister in law and my great aunt. I haven't seen any of my family in at least 1 year some almost 2 years. So this is a big reunion. We rented a beach house for the week. I'm getting all the groceries bought and organized before they come since there's no grocery stores near the house. Also, I made cabbage rolls today, my Ukranian great grand-mother's recipe. We might be making pierogies also while they're here. So food galore! But I plan on enjoying myself without going crazy. I see some pool exercises will be in order :)
Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend! Rock on!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
After completing my dietbet in October, I had decided to do a 5 week strength training and squat challenge. I have 3 days left to it and I wanted to share what I've learnt.
First, I've realized that I really need to work on my upper body strength. Don't get me wrong, I can lift heavy things. In fact, I lift 10 pails of 20 liters of water for every load of laundry I do. But I really struggled with the military push-ups. My elbows hurt afterwards. But I like the way it started to define my shoulders. So I really need to keep Upper Body exercises on my list.
The challenge I set for myself was 6 days a week of strength training, 6 days a week of squats (up to 250) and push-ups, on top of my regular 45-60 mins of cardio daily. I've realized that this is a bit much for me. I end up working out around 2 hrs a day, every day. Moving forward, I think that I will reduce my strength training to 3 times a week. Much easier to maintain long term.
I've seen a big difference in the month. I feel stronger and leaner. It has slowed down my weight loss but I've lost an inch each on my waist, hips and thighs. I'm now 1.4 lbs away from goal. It has shown me that losing weight isn't everything. You can stay at the same weight but lose inches and look a lot better, stronger and much more toned. I'm glad that I decided to up my weight goal. I won't feel pressured by the scale and can just focus on getting toned. Any other weight loss will be bonus.
Funny story: last night I wore a dress that was tight in August and fit fine in September. Its a tailored dress, no stretch. I had it made so it basically fit me like glove. Anyways, I asked my husband to zip me up and he says: the dress is kinda loose on you, honey. Actually, looks like you're wearing a paper bag. Haha! It now has about 6 inches of extra fabric. Anyways, others made comments last night about it too which is the first time anyone has said something. A great feeling! Perseverance pays off!
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
I don't want to bore you with what's been going on lately but I've been feeling really down for over a month. Struggling to get out of bed, get out of the door, have human interactions. Even seeing the weight going down doesn't even make me smile. I don't want to be a debbie downer so I won't dwell on why, just that I've having a hard time seeing myself as a valuable person. Anyways, despite these negative feelings, I have still persevered with my 5 week challenge, daily cardio and healthy eating habits.
Its really easy to drown your 'sorrows' in wine and chocolate. But part of this process and making better choices is learning how to process your feelings in a less self-destructive way. I am working on finding ways to deal with the negativity in a positive way. Because isn't this the vicious circle? You're faced with something that drags you down and then you try to make yourself feel better with poor food choices, which ends up making you feel even worse... Its so hard to break that destructive cycle. I think that that's half the battle.
I was reading something the other day about learning to love yourself. Self-love shouldn't be conditional on how much you weigh or what size clothing you wear. If you hate yourself when you're fat, then you still won't love yourself skinny. I need to love me for what I am and not what I'm not.
Take a moment to love yourself for what you are, what you've done, where you've been and where you're going. Its what makes you beautiful!
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I've had my Fitbit Flex for 24 days now. When I got it, I used the small bracelet. I like to wear it loose, but yesterday, I noticed that it was completely spinning around while I was doing Zumba. So I'm now up one hole tighter! Just goes to show that your body may be changing without you knowing!
Last night, while trying to fall asleep, I had a sudden inspiration that I put into action today. As you know, I will be hiking up the highest peak in Central America at the beginning of December. I've been focusing a lot more on strength training to prepare for it. However, it occurred to me that I need to train with weight on my back. So today, I've been walking around the house, doing my normal chores with an 11 lbs backpack on. (I look kind of weird but you know... you do what you gotta do). I plan to build up to 25 lbs as I'll be hiking with overnight gear. Anyways, this is a great way to build back strength plus it sure makes every step a bigger burn, right?
Well, if you think about it, those 11 lbs that I'm carrying in the backpack is what I walked around with every day about 1 month ago! It sure puts everything into perspective. It reminds me of a Biggest Loser challenge where they have carry all the weight that they've lost. What a great reminder of how far we've come! I strongly recommend that you try it. Fill a bag with the weight that you've lost and walk around with it for a few hours! We've come a long way! Be proud of your accomplishment!
Monday, October 21, 2013
Had a rocky start to the 4 week DietBet challenge with the scale bouncing around, but I finished strong. Tomorrow is the official weigh-out, but I've so far lost 8lbs, exceeding my goal by 1.4lbs.
This puts me within 6lbs of my end goal! Last month, I decided to up my end goal to a more manageable goal because I want to focus more on building strength and trimming down. At my height, its not reasonable to aim for 140lbs unless I want to spend the rest of my life micromanaging every bite that I eat and doing 120 mins of intense exercise every day. And I don't. I'm not looking to have the body of a size 0 model. I want to be fit but also enjoy my treats. I imagine that if I keep at it with consistency, I'll get below my goal of 150lbs and that's fine. But it won't be my focus. So, in working towards this fitness goal, I've made myself a 5 week challenge. I have scheduled a rotation of strength training and a squat + military push-up challenge. It also concludes the day before my family arrives for a visit, which is perfect timing. Here is my calendar:
You are welcome to join. I'd love some company! If the calendar is not clear, let me know and I can write it for you. I've been pinning a variety of strength exercises so that I can switch it up and avoid boredom.
I really struggled at first. I would lose then gain, lose then gain. It was getting really frustrating. But I think I have something to break through the plateau. I have a very sedentary job, I teach English online. So I'm literally tied to my computer by a headset. I can't walk around or in any way sound out of breath. However, I have a few minutes in between classes. I have noticed a huge difference when I started taking the few minutes between classes to do something active like strength training or youtube aerobics video. Fitting in a few minutes of fitness every hour or two really help me lose consistently. I used to do all my fitness at the same and spend the rest of the day quite sedentary. But adding 5-10 minutes throughout the day made a HUGE difference. It has helped me lose consistently for the past 3 weeks.
Apart from the fact that I will be seeing family for the first in over a year, I also have another incentive to keep working hard. We are planning a hike of the highest peak in Central America, the Tajamulco volcano (14,000 ft), at the beginning of December. Its an overnight hike so it involves a somewhat heavy backpack and some difficulty breathing due to the altitude. We currently live at 5000 ft so I am acclimatized but you still get out breath quicker. So training to increase breathing capacity, building back strength and endurance will be very important. This will be the biggest physical achievement of my life, so far! I'm really pumped.
My goals for the next 5 weeks:
- meet goal weight (lose 6lbs)
- complete squat and military push-up challenge
- strength train 6X a week
- 10,000 steps a day
- hiking up a nearby mountain 3X a week, building stamina with weighed down backpack
I'm dedicating these next 5 weeks to becoming the strongest version of me!
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