How to " " in " " days!

I hate those. You know the ones. The “How to lose 10 lbs in two weeks*” or “I lost 25 lbs in 12 weeks*!”

source; plz dont click. You’ll hate yourself later.

*Results vary because we paid and photoshopped these people. But srsly, it WORKS!

They’re so… uninspiring, and yet I always think, “Well, if they can, why can’t I?”

I make up some crazy plan in my head to do the same thing. I pick a day to start and then the next thing I know, I’m eating a carton of ice cream.

Wait, what? That wasn’t in the plan!

Ads, commercials like that always make me feel so lousy about myself. Its hard to explain to people why I never watch TV (like I’m the weird one) but its because we are bombarded with these images on a minute by minute basis.

I want the easy way out of this body I’ve created for myself, but I know it took a lot of effort to get here, and its going to take a lot of effort to get out of here. I’ve finally made that commitment, a true commitment, no matter how many restarts, or setbacks, upsets, or long hauls. One day I’m going to wake up and realize I achieved what I set out to do: lose weight and get healthy. If it takes 10 days or 1000, it will happen.

My plan, the rules, my goals… they’re all the same thing ultimately. They’re going to help lead me down my path of health and weight loss.

Setting smaller goals like:

  • Drinking enough water
  • Eating salad for a week
  • Tracking my calorie intake
  • Lifting weights three days a week

These are a lesson in discipline. I can’t tell you how much I hate making salad at home. I don’t mind eating it, but making it just kills me every time. Tracking my calories sometimes is easier than others. The more I do it, the more little changes like these I make to my everyday life, the easier its going to be to make healthy decisions in the future.

The rules including:

  • Photograph everything
  • No eating in front of moving pictures
  • Be aware of serving sizes and stick to them
  • Find an exercise program and do it (in this case, c25k)

These are a lesson in accountability. I still do all of these things on some level because sometimes I need a little extra accountability. When I started this over a year ago, I had no idea what I was eating, or how much. I wasn’t exercising. I was making decisions based on whether or not I wanted to climb my stairs. That’s what incapable looked like to me, what it felt like. I never wanted to be the person who couldn’t get upstairs in her own house, but I was well on my way.

Me; Whittier, Alaska 2011

My plan is to be healthy, to be capable, and to succeed in reaching my goals, whether they’re completing c25k by August, eating salad every night for a week, or shopping in the all the other stores at the mall.

I have never declared what weight goal I’m trying to attain, nor what size clothing I’ll be happy in once I get there, for a reason. I just want to feel happy and normal in my own skin- to be able to run like the wind, to say, “hey, I want to climb that mountain over there!” and then actually be able to do it. Whether I’m 240 when that happens or 130 or anything in between, as long as I’m living my life to the fullest, then I’ve succeeded.

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MS Walk 2011

I once met a woman with MS. Her mother was my college!sister’s Godmother. During thanksgiving, we went to visit her at the hospice center where she lived. She was completely immobile, her hands looked like arthritis had played a dirty dirty trick, and her eyes wandered about the room, constantly looking for something new.

I don’t remember her name. I do remember feeling terrified. Multiple Sclerosis is a relatively terrifying disease, with many stages, symptoms, onsets, and no cure.

On Friday afternoon, I got a text from my friend, asking me if I was going to be attending this 4 mile walk, to which I responded, “There’s a walk this weekend I don’t know about?!” as we were figuring out the details, I registered for it online. There was no fee, just a suggested donation/raising of funds for $50.

Saturday arrived, and my friend picked me up half an hour earlier than originally planned, because her friend thought there was something we needed to be early for. Turns out she was incorrect, and her friend showed up about 20 minutes after we did.

We all chatted, and one who was in the army offered me some unsolicited advice on how to lose weight. It involved interval running, and building up to a set amount of miles. “When you let your heart rate go back to normal, and then raise it, and repeat that cycle, the weight just drops off like that!” she explained to me with a snap of her fingers.

I was quite happy to explain to her that I was already doing something similar, though, as with everything, when I start talking to strangers I tend to start stuttering, and lose my confidence, therefore trying to end the conversation as quickly as possible. Unfortunately for me, ( I don’t remember her name) she had a 5hour Energy, two red bulls and a handful of other ridiculous energy boosters that may or may not have been laden with sugar as well. She continued talking to me, telling stories and eventually drowning out the speakers as the “race” was beginning with her chatter.

The countdown began, runners were called to the front. I was right at the imaginary starting line, and decided, “What the hell! I’ll start off jogging.” And so I did. For about… 25 seconds. And then my legs started hurting real bad.

The last time I got any real mileage outside was probably the end of September when it became to cold and rainy and dark to continue walking home from work. Since then, I’ve used the treadmill and elliptical machine, and the difference was stunning. My first shinsplints set in, and my legs felt like lead. My music was bumping, and I tried to get into it, but singing while walking always leaves me a little breathless. So I started to really focus in on my breathing, the “left-right-left inhale right-left exhale”.

At the end of the first mile, there was a station with port-a-potties and volunteers handing out water and orange slices. I grabbed an orange slice gratefully, bit down and sucked out as much juice and pulp as I could in one bite, then threw the masticated carcass in the trash, about two yards head. I kept going. At that point, I noticed the pain in my legs had gone away, my breathing had evened out, and I wanted to finish as quickly as possible, so I picked a place to start jogging, and went to a predetermined place to start walking again.

I did this again and again. Of course I forgot to count how many times this happened, but I would say no less than 7 times. Each jog wasn’t long, maybe 10 or 15 seconds, but it was more jogging outside than I had done all year (which is to say, I haven’t jogged outside at all this year) and I was pretty happy to do it. At one point I really hoped we were already on mile three. I was ready for it to be over. Just as I was wondering how far left there was to go, there was a sign posted that said, “Congratulations! You are half way done!” Instead I pulled my shoulders back and marched onward. (I think I used that sign as a starting place for a jog, actually.)

The MS Walk took place at Lake Hood, which is right next to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. It is the busiest float plane lake in the entire country, however it was still frozen over while we were out there. We saw a handful of planes take off, and one even held up a hoard of walkers just in front of me.

Finally I could see where the walkers were turning off into the parking lot where the race started. I considered jogging the last bit of it, I felt I had it in me, but when I saw that the walk truly wasn’t timed, I decided to just walk instead. As I was turning the last and final corner into the parking lot, I saw a car full of my new friends, waiting for me to finish! It was nice to see them cheer me on. I finished the four miles in approximately 1:08, according to my friend’s timer. 17 minute mile average. Pretty slow, I think, but I’ll take it. Its better than not finishing at all!

Afterward, I grabbed a hot dog and some water. We ate them in her car, and I got ketchup on my face. She drove me home, and then I took a long bath, and a 4 hour nap. It was a good day. Perhaps next year I’ll actually try to raise some money. I sure would like a teeshirt!

My Blog

I changed the header and color scheme of my blog tonight, and I must say I think it looks quite pretty. I love the brown and pink and cream color scheme. Its my favorite. My room is that scheme too.

I also updated my “about me page” (the link  can be found just below my header) with links that update new readers about my varied journey thus far. It was very interesting to me to see how many times I “started over” this last year. I think I never counted it as starting over before that implies giving up. I never gave up, I just gave in. Or maybe I didn’t report as much progress as I should have. But mostly I think I just had a really hard year, and every step backward taught me something new about myself. Lessons I am now taking with me and truly learning from. I went to the gym 5 days this week. It was all I could do to keep myself from working out today,. I’m addicted to the endorphin rush.Though I will be honest, I haven’t weighed myself the last couple of days. I’m just so happy to be out of the 300’s!

I also think a lack of some blogging is due to twittering. its a lot easier to write about small successes as they happen then sit down and write a whole post about it.

Today I made banana bread and chili. Its actually chilling’ in my crock pot because I haven’t had time to let it do anything other than cook. I was going to share my pictures of making chili with you, but my phone hasn’t uploaded the picture yet.

I think I found some good pointers for controlling my breathing while running, so I’m going to put those into effect this week repeating w2 of c25k, and see if I will be ready to run 3 minutes next week. Cross your fingers!

Letter to my 14 year old Self

Dear Lily,

You have not yet adopted the name Lily. That will come nearly eight years later at a dead beat job, where someone with your same name steals your identity and logins for work. But more on that later.

You’ve spent the last two years, and will spend the next five or so years, treating yourself like crap. I really wish you would stop. I wish you would listen to your mother when she says you’re beautiful and smart and capable of anything you put your mind to. I wish you’d stop being afraid all the time- there’s really nothing to be afraid of. I wish you could see how awesome you are, not how much you stand out in crowds. Its okay to stand out. You’re not going to fall off a cliff. Even if you do, you’ll land safely enough, that I can promise you.

See, I remember how it felt, sliding that razor across your thigh, crying in the shower, and wishing for something, anything to change, or to just stop feeling all together. Coming up with self destructive plans to make yourself beautiful, only to fail because, well, nobody gets skinny overnight, and you were already beautiful. Truly. And then hated yourself some more. You realized quite early that only you could change you, but it took you a long time to really understand what that meant, and how to make it happen.

If there is something I could do or say to comfort you, I would, but right now you are inconsolable, and that’s not your fault. It really truly is no one’s fault. You have a swarm of hormones rushing through your body and you live in a community where no one else looks like you. I will say, you’re not alone in feeling like a freak. It gets better. Oh boy, does it get better.

In four more years, you’re going to take a train to Virginia, for college. Yes, college. You’re going to finally be surrounded by people that look just like you, and who are willing to be your friend. Not gonna lie, you only stay there for a year, and you begin to think the end of the world is nigh when you leave, but really, its just getting started.

I could tell you about your re-return to Oregon, or how you ended up in Alaska, but you might again look at those events as something negative. You really must know that it is not. Life changes. People change. You’ll figure it out eventually, but you’ve got to give yourself that chance.

Lily, you didn’t lose weight immediately. You continued gaining weight until you were twenty-four. You used food as a shelter, something to hide behind and calm you down when things got tough, or as a reward for surviving impossible odds. But you remained capable. You were still able to do exactly what you needed to do to get where I am today.  Eventually you started to take care of your outer-self in addition to your inner-self, and its made all the difference. You never thought you would weigh 300 lbs, and be proud of yourself. I am here to tell you that you are, and you are.

Don’t forget to be awesome,

Lily

When it rains, it pours… awesomeness

I feel awesome today. I am excreting awesomeness, in fact. Today, I went to the gym, and with no hesitation hopped on the eliptical. I kept my heart at its target rate, rarely going above it (it was nice to be in control of how hard my heart beats) and burned 485 calories in 35 minutes. Then I hopped on the treadmill for 20 minutes. 5 of those minutes, I ran. I ran. I runned. It. Was. Beautiful. I am so proud of my self. I called my mom just after I left to tell her the awesome news. Hey mom, hey. Hey mommy hey. Mommy, hey mom, hey. Hey. Hey, hey mom hey! Guess what I did! You’ll never guess what I did. Guess what I did! I ran. I RAN. I. Feel Awesome. Its like crack. (I don’t know what crack is like.)

Now, I didn’t run all five of those minutes together. I sparsed it out over the 20 minutes, but I’m new at this. I haven’t attempted to run since some killer shinsplints, and some guys watching me out their window from last summer.


Did I mention how awesome I feel? I will probably not feel so awesome tomorrow, I can feel my knee tighening up right now, as a matter of fact, but I’m feeling pretty awesome right now, so I don’t really care. Tuesday. Either in the morning, or in the evening, but I can’t wait to try this again.

Current weight: 302.7

*I was going to make this a post about how awesome I am, and how terrible my new roommate is, and the fact that she’s leaving in a handful of days, but then decided to just focus on how I am currently feeling. I think I’ve fully established how I feel, but in case you missed it, I feel AWESOME.

I better be able to walk 13.1 miles…

…Because come Sept. 18th, I will be in Maui, walking a half marathon. I am really doing this. Its bought and paid for, so I’d better go! I’m super excited. The whole thing just kind of fell into place. And now, I just need to get in shape.

Me and my mom, taken oct. 2010

My mom and I are flying out on the 14th, we’ll be staying for an entire week and she will be walking a 5k. Currently my mom is suffering from really bad arthiris in her knees, mostly due to being overweight. I hope this turns into an opportunity to rediscover her awesomeness.

The most amazing part of this trip is, I had originally planned to do something similar over my birthday this year. However, when I saw that this marathon would be happening in September, I knew it was fate. You see, it is happening a year from the day my aunt died. My mom was very very close to her, as was I, and I know it’ll be a great way to let go, honor her and move forward.

The Reason In A Nut Shell

The reason in a nut shell, that I  chose right now to start losing weight, is simple. Yes, there have been many warning signs, letting me know that I was heading my body down the path of unforgivable, unfixable destruction. But the main reason I did, was I decided to check my BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate. At my starting weight of 323 pounds, I needed approximately 3000 calories to maintain my weight. As we all know, 3500 calories equals 1 pound of fat.

This means, that even though my body might have been burning up to a pound of fat a day, I was eating well over a pound of fat worth of calories a day. And I was doing it without realizing, without caring, and without stopping. This has been my behavior for basically the last year. How could I possibly be surprised that I’ve gained at least 30 pounds in the last 12 months, let alone 15 in the last 6?

Its time for it to stop. First, I fix the mindless eating thing. Maybe work some more purposeful exercise in. Once I feel like I’ve got the hang of that, I’ll start focusing on calorie counting, and all that other stuff.

But right now, its about getting my mind right. Understanding my food choices, and starting to make better ones.

Shifting focus of this blog a little….

This blog has in the past served as a place for me to rant about local and national politics, life, and whatever I fancy. I could, I suppose, start an entirely new blog. I thought and considered it. But I’ve decided that I like the name, the space this blog has niched for its self (which isn’t much of any kind, truth be told) and will be keeping this one from here on out to be about my weight loss journey.

Its been a very long time since I’ve tried to lose weight. Its been even longer since I have. My current weight is 323 pounds and I have no idea how I got there. I realize it was of course, all me. I’ve thought long and hard, trying to pinpoint the moment in my life when I decided that it was acceptable. That gaining weight was an allowable crutch to not participate in life.

What I’ve come to realize is, How I got to this point isn’t whats important. How I get out of this fat is. And so, from here on out, the main focus of this blog will be about my weight loss journey. I am making a concerted effort this time around.

I can’t wait to explain why, along with my first post about the new rules!