Gym Intimidation

One of the biggest things that people have communicated to me is that the primary reason they do not workout is because they are terrified of the gym.  Afraid that someone is going to watch or make fun of them while they workout.  I’ll admit that I was that person too in the beginning.  Who wants someone watching you while you are sweating and huffing and puffing away!  It is probably one of the worse things to imagine!  But the key word is imagine.  No one is actually watching at least not in a bad way!  

One thing to remember is that everyone is in the gym fighting their own health battle.  There may be the “skinny” (which I use loosely) woman who looks absolutely amazing but could be fighting diabetes; the supposed buff guy who is could be fighting heart disease, or the very obese husband and wife who are fighting for their health and their lives.  No one knows why someone else is at the gym or what they are aiming for.  

With that said, if you are someone who is terrified of the gym, take baby steps.  Go at a time when the gym is not as full and gradually build your confidence in working out in front of others.  As time goes on, you’ll find that you are more comfortable and while yes someone may be watching you, you may be inspiring their health journey! 

Til Next Time! 

Ro

Slacker Sundays!

What a week this has been!  Tragedy struck our family in the passing of my beloved grandmother on Monday night and this week has been a whirlwind of emotions.  Some moments I am good to go and other moments, not so much.  With that said, eating well has been such a challenge.  There is absolutely nothing in the world that brings instant joy other than a fresh out of the oven brownie with vanilla ice cream!  Oh my!  I did manage to eat healthy the greater part of the week and have gotten in 4 solid, sweat-inducing workouts that no doubt undid the bad things I partook in this week.  

One of my goals this week was to down water like a fish which I did!  For some odd reason, people LOVE to bring sodas to family gatherings!  Can I at least get some lemonade?  Maybe some unsweet tea?  ok…that’s a stretch?  How about just endless amounts of bottled water?  That would be good!  I’ve been really thirsty because of the allergens in the air messing with me but this is one goal that I mastered. 

Another of my goals was to work out 4 times this week which as of today I made it!  Yippee!  Saturday nights at the gym are the best because literally no one is there.  I assume everyone is out on dates (sans kids of course), at the club (perhaps working on a significant other to make said kids), or they are pooped for the week.  In any case I understand and use the empty gym as my time to explore the most intimidating of machines without looking like a complete idiot!  

I failed miserably at the eating out thing.  I cooked all breakfasts and lunches at home with the exception of 1 lunch and all dinners with the exception of 2.  With the running around this week it was simply impossible to cook dinner everyday.  I will say, that in this house, we have met our quota of Chickfila for the next 7 days, although they literally have the best options when eating out.  

So it’s a new week starting tomorrow and my goals will pretty much remain the same: 

  • Increase water intake by 15-20 ounces daily (right now I am averaging about 70 ounces or so) 
  • Decrease eating out to 2 lunches or dinners this week 
  • Continue with cardio work, increasing reps on weight machines. 

And on that note…..it’s time for the kiddo to prepare for bed!  We’ve got a long day ahead of us tomorrow! 

Ro 

Peace out Plateau!!!!

Yippee!  Hooray! Awesome!!!  I finally broke out of this plateau I have been in for weeks!  I should give myself a round of applause because this literally took forever to break!

Ok, Ok…save your Obama comments!  I just thought this was a cute gif!

Now on to the real stuff.  In February I had surgery on my legs due to Venous Reflux Disease….esentially the veins in my legs had become weak and diseased for reasons they can’t tell me so I had to have them fixed/closed off.  The surgery itself was nothing but I had 3 separate procedures where I had to take a total of 4 weeks off from working out.  All I could do was walk on the treadmill and that is one piece of gym equipment I care nothing about! I have hit plateaus before but came out of them quickly by increasing my workouts and reducing calories, but this one lasted forever.  Or so I thought….

I have noticed over the last couple of weeks that while the scale is moving a little I am dropping clothes sizes.  This means I am losing inches!  Ya!!!!  I have upped my weight lifting focusing on a lot of different muscle groups and have gone back to my favorite gym machine, the Arc Trainer.  I admit….I am that woman who stands in the bathroom flexing muscles I haven’t seen in years.

This morning when I weighed the scale read 219!  That means to date, I have lost 81 lbs and gained some muscles and better health overall.  Ultimately my goal was to lose 100 lbs although the closer  I get to that number the less fixated I am on it.

Since it’s Friday I have to menu plan for the week so until next time!

Ro

MFP = My Fitness Pal and other things….

When I started this journey all I read was watch your calories and workout more.  The working out part wasn’t so difficult but counting the calories was a new adjustment.  I had downloaded the MyFitnessPal App when it first came out but used it so sporadically that it really didn’t make a difference at all. I made a commitment to use it every single day, logging every piece of food that went in my mouth which held me super accountable for the food I ate.  And let me tell you this….I was shocked at how many calories I was really eating.  I literally was eating somewhere around 2100-2500 calories a day and I am pretty certain that a lot of that was the sweet tea!  

One of the great things about MFP is that it suggests calorie consumption based on the amount of weight you want to lose.  It also tailors out for your carb, fat, and protein intake so that you can see directly where you are lacking or overdoing it in an area.  Using the formula I found here I was able to figure out that my body burns about 2100 calories a day without me doing anything.  So technically as long as I worked out I could create a calorie deficit meaning my body burned more calories than I ate resulting in weight loss.  But remember that wasn’t actually my overall goal.  My goal was to get healthy.  

Initially I set my calorie intake to 1500 calories a day with a commitment to working out 4 times per week for no less than an hour.  That typically consisted of at least 45 minutes of cardio to start.  I steered away from the weights because I didn’t want to bulk up and quite frankly I was sort of intimidated as a gym newbie who weighed quite a bit.  In the beginning I used measuring spoons to measure out portions.  That in and of itself was an eye-opener.  I realized that I was easily eating 2-4 portions of seemingly small amounts of snacks that added up to a whole lot of calories.  Over the course of the last 10 months, whenever I have slacked off on using MFP, my weight has stalled.  I will freely admit that I sometimes I am not a good judge of portion sizes and may overdue it.  MFP keeps me on track….well that an my trusty measuring spoons when need be.  

My overall health goals for this week are: 

  • Down water like a guppiefish drinking no less than 70 ounces a day.  
  • Workout no less than 4 times this week – minimum 45 minutes cardio each session and various weight lifting in between. 
  • Eat out no more than 2 times the entire week (This is gonna be hard since this is a crazy time right now in our house!) 

Til the Next Time! 

Ro 

Rolling in the Deep

Now that I have given the backstory to my journey I will time travel into the present. I am 10 months into this sometimes difficult, yet rewarding journey to live a healthier life. One of the hardest things to tackle was changing out lifestyles. What was made it easier was that Mr. S jumped on board and we decided to do this together. Now while I have always know that I had a good one, I didn’t realize he was this good! :-).
Just a few pics to give a visual of where I started and my progress over the last 10 months.

Pink shirt is the day I made the change….Orange shirt is 30 lbs lost

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This is somewhere in the 70 lb lost range

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And the most recent pic taken this Mother’s Day weekend at 80ish lbs lost! Also notice the Where’s Waldo that had to interject herself into my pic!

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You will notice my progress has been slow but steady. There was no quick fix to get here. This was countless hours at Planet Fitness and some calorie counting!

Stay tuned for the next post which will get into the nitty gritty of the HOW I did it!

Ro

Salad, Sweat, and Tears….

When I initially started this journey I knew it would be hard. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when it comes to health is they are fixated on losing weight. We are literally bombarded in the media about supplements, pills, some new revolutionary exercise where you are suppose to 10 lbs in 7 days. FALSE folks! There is no such thing. When we approach health in that way, I think it is a set up for disaster. Anyone can lose weight if they create enough of a caloric deficit (more on that later), but to truly get healthier and keep it off…that is a lifestyle change. Meaning the way that you thought about and interacted with food and the way you envision healthy has to change.

The first thing we had to tackle in our home was the food. The years of sweets, artificial colors, preservative laden, calorie dense food had to go. It was nothing short of a miracle when I didn’t die from throwing all that precious food out with the trash. Having an active toddler who suffers from food allergies, we had to do our due diligence and create a healthier kitchen for us if not for her. So out went the chips, the Oreos, the ice cream, the donuts, and the one thing that hurt me to my heart….the SWEET TEA! I could have easily given up all that other stuff but the southern sweet tea that had enough sugar to send a diabetic to heaven….Lawd….take me now I just can’t take it!


Ok so I wasn’t that dramatic but pretty close. Mr. S was not feeling the fact that the tea was gone but as I said before…this had to be a lifestyle change! Off to Costco I went and stocked up on bananas, blueberries, strawberries, apples, oranges, tomatoes, hummus, and salad mix. Now this is where it gets hairy. The kid will eat just about anything that has some sweetness to it and she has always been a fruit baby! Mr. S….well not so much! So out with the junk and in with the salad and fruits!

The next morning, in the dead of the July Hell Heat, I started off on my health journey walking, albeit slowly, about 2 miles in my neighborhood. Initially, I thought how easy until all those rolling hills started kicking my ass! Needless to say for the next week my legs were a throbbing mess, I was a pool of sweat and I had to shed a few tears by body hurt so bad.

Now hold your breath because yes I am going to disclose my actual weight…yes the real number. I realize that people have reservations telling their number but I don’t. The truth is at one time or another I was that weight. The truth is that while I hate that I let myself get there, I did. The most important thing is that I chose to change it.

I started this journey at ……….300 lbs give or take a few pounds….I can not begin to tell you how embarrassed I was to be that heavy.

Here is my 300 lbs pic….

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So remember this is where I started and we’ll see where I go 🙂

Til Next Time

Ro

And so it begins…

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” 
― Carl Bard

Many, many welcomes to my newest endeavor!  After much thought, I decided that having a way to chronicle my health journey would be inspiring for myself and maybe for someone else.  The change in my health has been a long time coming.  So where to begin…..well…how about the beginning!

My entire life I have heard these dreadful magic words “Oh you have such a pretty face…”  which for those who struggle with health and weight know that is code for “You are pretty BUT you’re heavy”.  This literally was the story of my life.  I will say that I have always had a healthy dose of self esteem.  I have never in my life felt less than pretty or perfect for that matter.  And while we all struggle with some sort of body issue growing up, my mother did an amazing job of making sure her kids felt freaking amazing!

Fast Forward to the Married Life – I tell you there is some magic weight gaining powder in those diamonds!  It’s like once that ring gets slipped on your finger it’s a free for all to relax things that used to be held right and tight 🙂  Over the course of our first 3 years of marriage we ate out ALOT…I mean literally of 7 dinners, we ate out 3-4 of them for a few reasons 1.  We didn’t want to cook 2.  We had ZERO kids so we didn’t have to cook and 3.  Did I mention we didn’t want to cook?  And then I got pregnant with our first child and well…I gave birth and then I was a sleep-deprived, breastfeeding, exhausted parent for the first  year and half of our daughters life so health fell by the wayside.

The Revelation – On July 18, 2012, 12 days before my 31st birthday, I went to the doctor for an allergic reaction to a bug bite.  The doctor of course treated the allergic reaction and then she simply said “What do you plan to do about your health?  Do you want diabetes, heart disease…blah…blah…blah…”  In short she laid all my stuff bare and I left there with my confidence in my pocket and reality slapping me all in the face.  So I made a conscious decision that day that I had to get better…in order to do that I had to do better.

Ready, Set, Go!!!  – So that is where it all began!  I initially started with calorie counting and a commitment to workout no less than 4 days per week for an hour.   I’ll explain the specifics in the next few posts!

I hope that my walk into the health side is an inspiration for someone!

Til Next Time!

Ro