Friday, December 30, 2011

Either this dress is growing...

Oh, wait. No. I'm shrinking.

At the beginning of December I was pretty upset over a guy. Instead of destroying all my progress and turning to the usual comfort of food, I went to my storage unit and got out THE DRESS. There's something totally therapeutic about wearing a beautiful dress. Especially when, the first time I wore that dress I looked like a giant disgusting lobster, but then I had it altered to wear later that year, and that time I looked like slightly less of a giant disgusting lobster, and now, I have to pull it as tightly as possible in the back and it's still big, and I pretty much just look awesome. I want to wear this dress every day. I'm not even kidding. Obviously not when I go out, but while I'm just hanging out around the house. While I wear it, I'm going to sing some songs from Enchanted and Snow White. I may even open the windows and beckon to the birds. If I had money, I would get it altered again, and again in another fifty pounds.

I love this dress so much! I think it has magical powers. It has always made me feel beautiful, even when I looked like this:


I felt even more beautiful this time:


And when I put it on at the beginning of the month, my biggest fear (being alone for the rest of my life) suddenly dissolved because I looked like this:


And I'm just getting smaller! Pretty soon the dress won't fit me at all! Does anybody need a bridesmaid? I need a new dress...

Friday, December 23, 2011

A HUGE milestone

So it's been a while since I've written, and truthfully, it's been a while since I've been to the gym. The last time I went was on the 12th, after my finals for this semester, but before my final to finish the incomplete I had in a class from last year. It was great to be back that one day, and I am still missing it, but this season is so crazy and it's making it impossible to go. After finals were over, I had less than a week and a half to get ready for Christmas, and I'm still scrambling. And on top of that, I've had a cold and a cough for the past several days. So I've just decided to not worry about it, and return to the gym on Monday: the day after Christmas.

I know some people are worried that I have gotten out of my routine and won't go back, but I can assure you that I will. I've lost enough weight recently to make me dead set on not gaining any back. I feel amazing (other than that stupid cold), and I love watching my body get smaller. People are noticing left and right, and I want that to continue. Plus, I have inspired my mom to join a gym, and if I stop going right when she needs the motivation, she'll give me all kinds of crap! But that's not even a possibility. I can't wait to get back in there and continue to kick my newly shapely butt!

I weighed myself this morning, and I was slightly worried that I had gained a few pounds back since I haven't been at the gym for a few weeks. I haven't been eating poorly, but I was still worried. Apparently, though, the worry was unnecessary, as I have lost even more weight! And although my heaviest weight is just a guess because I refused to weigh myself until I had lost what I believe to be thirty pounds, here's my huge milestone:


So how's that for motivation? I almost don't believe it. It's surreal. I still want to lose at least another sixty, but for now my focus is on the next thirty pounds, and I want that gone by my birthday: March 10.

Gym, I will see you on Monday!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not an excuse

Sometimes there is a legitimate need to take a break from the gym. It's called finals. They happen next week, and until then, I am going to be studying like crazy. I'm still going to Zumba tomorrow night with Liz, and on Friday I will be working out by walking around all day at Disneyland (it's the last day my pass won't be blocked out for Christmas), and Monday and today I did the stairs at school, but other than that, working out is being placed on hold temporarily. Don't freak out in concern, this will DEFINITELY not put me off track. I'm sort of dying right now because of all the energy I need to burn. I want to go work out, but I just don't have time until finals are over. But I'm feeling the need to run.

You know what's awesome? When I started this workout kick, the stairs at school and Zumba were the entire routine, and now when I can only do those things, it doesn't feel like nearly enough! I love the changes in my energy levels, my body, and my lifestyle! Finals are so mean for taking me away from the gym!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Let's talk about my butt

I hope this isn't awkward for anyone... I mean, everybody has one. My family may be a little too free on the subject, which means I grew up with constant and comments about someone else's butt being my face and vice versa, but it's just who we are, and I love us.

My butt has always been very flat. It has also consistently through my lifetime been hard as a rock, as my cousin Alex likes to tell strangers and guys that I think are cute, so that's nice and embarrassing, but it's also true. Even when I got fat, sure my hips got wider, but the flatness of my buttox was a constant.

Until recently.

I think the elliptical machine has magical butt-shaping powers, because lately I've been noticing a new lifted curvy aspect to mine. I've caught myself feeling my new and improved gluteus maximus more than once in public, and I wonder how many people have been a witness to that seemingly odd phenomenon. I don't really care though. I'm too excited about my new derier! <-- I totally don't know how to spell anything in French but you all know what I'm saying there. Don't be a French spelling snob.

On Monday I was on the phone with my best friend Kelli, who lives in Nebraska now, and knows the former shape of my tush all too well. So I told her about the changes, and she wanted to see a picture so she could tell me if I was correct, or if I was delusional. The thing is, I was on my way to school, so it's not like I could find a place with any privacy in which to take this picture. So I told her I'd try. During my first class break of the evening, I went to the bathroom and waited until it was all clear, dropped trou (the underwear stayed on), turned sideways and snapped a shot of the curves in the mirror. Then I re-clothed myself just in time for the door to open. I felt a little like I was walking on the wild side. Maybe that seems too tame to be the wild side, but for me it was. So I sent the wild heiny picture to Kelli for assessment. Sure enough, she also saw the changes! So I sent it to my sister. Then I showed it to my aunt when I got home, sent it to my cousin Meredith later on, my mom's cousin Amy early this morning, and showed it to Alex today! All of those people backed up my claim of a more shapely rear, and left me wondering if THAT many people being familiar with my butt is really a good thing.

I almost want to post the picture here, but I don't approve of inappropriate content on my blog. Besides, I don't want to make anyone jealous. Haha!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving didn't kill me: A post from the gym

I was a little worried about Thanksgiving. All that delicious food taunting me all weekend certainly held the potential to completely derail me and all the progress I've made, and I wasn't taking the threat lightly. I am not willing to let food overpower me any longer.

You should have seen my turkey plate: I was pretty proud of my self control. I didn't leave anything out (besides the green beans, which you couldn't pay me to eat), but took small servings of everything. So small were the servings that I could see plate in between each item. I actually didn't think it would be enough food, but my stomach is considerably smaller than it used to be, and I have to get used to eating a lot less. I keep taking too much food these days because I can't eat as much as I used to! I don't finish the excess either, which is hard for me. But on Thursday, the small amount of food I took was the perfect amount! The rest of the weekend wasn't bad foodwise... I didn't eat as much salad as I would have liked, and I ate more bread than I usually do, but I kept the servings small and included exercise in each day.

Most importantly, a weekend away from my usual routine didn't ruin my mindset. In the past, I have been on track for a time until something throws me off and gets me back into the comfort of the old lifestyle... You know, the lifestyle that makes me miserable. But this time was different. I came home today with a need to go to the gym. I could feel the call of the elliptical echoing in my very soul. And my desire to eat healthfully is off the charts!

It was great seeing friends in Tucson this weekend and being encouraged by the comments on my progress! Next time I visit, there will be even less of me!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Did I really look like that?

I hate seeing pictures of myself looking like a post-gum Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but since that is exactly what I looked like for many years, there are a lot of pictures depicting that fact. It honestly makes me cringe, and I'm so embarrassed to have let myself get so far out of control.

Once, in that time of ultimate fatness, I ran into a guy that I had grown up with, but whom I had not seen in many years. It was obvious that he didn't recognize me, and I was too embarrassed to say, "Hey, remember me? Katie Noah. We grew up together." I didn't want him to know I had gotten that fat. It was better that he didn't realize that I was his childhood friend. I was so embarrassed.

I wish I knew when I was younger what I know now. I would have kept playing soccer, and I would have refrained from eating enough food to satisfy a small village on a daily basis. But I can't change the past, so I'll go ahead and let my experiences and struggles be motivation for both myself and others. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can! I have been getting some really spectacular emails from friends who are inspired to get healthy and lose weight or start exercising because I have been willing to share what I'm going through. I LOVE hearing those stories and knowing that the hardest struggle of my life isn't turning out to be entirely negative. I would almost go so far as to say that I'm glad I went through what I did so that I can help others. But I don't know if I can be thankful for such folly. I am, however, thankful for the things God can turn that folly into.

Because I am being completely honest here, I am going to post pictures from the fattest points of my life, so people can see just how far I've come. It's incredibly embarrassing, and what I really want to do is burn all those pictures, but I think it's important to, a)remember how horrible I felt so that I never let myself get that way again, and b)show what can be done with hard work.

This was me in eighth grade. Normal, right? I thought I was fat.

I was twenty-one here. Always uncomfortable, I hid beneath pillows.

I don't even think it looks like me.

Sooo uncomfortable for sibling pictures.

This was in 2006, at the height of a stressful time.

SO gross at my sister's wedding in 2007. Right after this I started losing weight.

I know I just posted this picture in my blog about collar bones last week, but it's the most recent one where you can see how much weight I've lost.

I wore this dress to my Junior and Senior proms and my goal is to fit nicely into it again. I will achieve that goal!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

I never thought I'd say this: but I love the gym!!

A miracle has occurred: I have actually been enjoying the gym and looking forward to going! I've been using the elliptical machine for the last several days in a row, and I really love it. The first time I tried the elliptical, several years ago, I was sore for a solid week, so I thought that would also be the case this time around. I was wrong, though, proving that I am in better shape now than I was back then. That is an obvious fact, but I never get tired of realizing it. Sometimes I'm just going about my daily activities, and something will be physically easier to do, or I won't be as smooshed when trying to fit into a space that was previously tight, and I will be excited once again at the reminder that this problem that has been such a huge issue for so much of my life is decreasing. Maybe soon it will be gone altogether!

A surprise about the elliptical is how sore my chest muscles are! I know my arms participate while I'm on this machine, but it doesn't seem like holding the handle bars as they swing forward and back would do anything productive. My aching upper body muscles would have me believe otherwise, however. And hey, I'm not gonna complain that I'm working out more of my body without even realizing it. It's not painful while I'm doing it, just after. What's weird, though, is that my thighs aren't sore after, but during the workout they burn with the fire of a thousand suns. Not really. I just wanted to be dramatic there. They do burn, but it's more like a small campfire, or even a trash can fire, if you like a little danger. Which I don't.

Something that helps distract from the fire in my muscles is that I've been using my workout times as an opportunity to pray. It's amazing what prayer can do to take my focus off of my body: while praying, I honestly don't feel the pain. The sweat dripping into my eyes is a different story, but given a choice between sweat and torture, I'd take sweat any day! I go through prayer requests like a champion prayer warrior, so if you've got any, shoot 'em my way and I'll be happy to add you to the list.

Tonight I took some goofy pictures of myself in a state of blood, sweat and tears. Wait, no. Only sweat. And also, a "before the sweat" shot. The contrast is sort of funny. I like how different I can look at different times throughout a day. It's like I'm a whole other person! Word! Anyway, here they are:

Before the sweat.

It's blurry, but it's an action shot, so it works.

I have an amazing gift for making faces. I get it from my mother. She rules.

Can you see my sweat? That's attractive.

How do I have friends?? Honestly.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Welcome back, collar bones!

Something fantastic about losing weight is getting body parts back that I had forgotten about. I remember the day my waist came back. I had truly taken on the shape of the earth with a head, legs, and arms for several years, and then one day there was a little indent around my equator. It wasn't much of an indent, but it was there, and I was ecstatic!

The other day I was checking out my waist in the bathroom mirror when I noticed something else new about myself. Collar bones!!! I wasn't even sucking in! They were just hanging out on my neck/shoulder area! How fantastic is that??


I'm gonna enjoy these beautiful clavicles as they embark on their journey of becoming more defined, and help them along with all this hard work I'm undertaking. The more little rewards I get, the easier it becomes. And I am three pounds down toward my next goal. Thirty-seven to go!

I wonder what other pleasant surprises await me!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I've never been a runner, but that's about to change.

I used to be in shape. Like, really great soccer-playing shape. Not like "round", which is my current shape. But even during my soccer-playing years, I was never much of a runner. Short distances? Sure. I was pretty speedy. But I've never enjoyed running any type of distance, and have only ever tried it a few times, mostly with my friend Joy, who unfortunately lives on the other side of the country. So you know what's weird? Over the years, I've had periods where I've had these crazy urges to go running in the middle of the night. Never during normal people hours, but at 3am. I realize I may be a little bit crazy. I AM incredibly nocturnal, but still. I never followed these urges, because 3am isn't exactly the safest time to go running by myself, and the desire never comes in the prime hours of daylight. So I have maintained my status as a non-runner.

However, these days, with my current level of motivation, I've been feeling the need to join the ranks of those crazy people who put foot to pavement in rapid succession. Coincidentally (eh... I don't actually believe in coincidence... we'll call it a God thing), the day after I was telling my cousin Gillian about my desire to run, I was at lunch with a couple friends and the exercise topic came up, and one of them told me that I should start running with him. I agreed to the challenge, and he gave me two months to prepare. I posted a status about that fact on facebook, and a friend told me about a schedule that she followed to get her running. It's called "Couch to 5K", and it starts you out slowly and builds up your running time by alternating walking and running, and increasing the running duration each week. It slowly gets your body used to running, so that you don't die a horrible death while pursuing health. I may have added the part about dying the horrible death.

I decided to follow the schedule last week, and while I have been going to the gym and walking, I have been putting off the running part... until this morning. It was time. How will I be ready to run in two months if I'm not doing anything for running readiness? So I asked my running friend to check up on me, for the necessary accountability, and this morning at 10 I graced the neighborhood with much panting and many cries of pain. Okay, not really. It was actually not that bad! The first sixty seconds of running was even easy, and I could have run for longer! The schedule did warn against that though, demanding that I stick to the schedule, which I was glad to do. So I did sixty seconds of running, ninety seconds of walking, and so on, for twenty minutes, with a five minute warm up and cool down. By the end, I had gotten a great cardio workout, I was proud that I had gotten through my first official time of running preparation, and I met a nice down-the-street neighbor named Tiger, who has lived on the same street as my aunt and uncle since they moved in. He offered me a water bottle, which I politely refused, though I was grateful for the offer. Maybe saying hi to Tiger will be part of my new running routine! Unless it's raining... then I'll be saying hi to the employees at 24-Hour Fitness.

On another note, I'm slightly worried about the upcoming Holidays. You know: that wonderful time of year spent with family and friends and way too much food. But I have some great accountability in place, and I am praying for the self-control I need.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mixed Emotions

I have this fantastic green jacket. I love it so much, and take advantage of any chance I get to wear it. Which means that today, when it was rainy and gloomy outside, I busted it out after looking at it longingly all summer. It is a beautiful color, a cute style and length, and when I wear it, I know that it loves me. I get compliments by the boat load when I wear it (good thing I'm a Noah... I'll store those compliments in my ark), and it just plain makes me happy. My sister always threatens to steal it. I threaten to steal her son. I figure it would be an even trade.

So you can imagine the inner turmoil I am feeling today. Today I put on my jacket, and rejoiced in the wonderful fact that it is much looser than it was when I wore it last. The 30 pounds I lost in the last few months gives me room to wear a thin pillow under the jacket if I so desire. I won't, because that's sorta weird, but I'm just saying that I could. So the weight-losey part of me is ecstatic right now, but the part that loves that jacket so much is not so thrilled. I can get it altered, or alter it myself and save some money (I do have some mad skillz in the sewing department), but I'm just gonna keep losing weight, and then what? Either I take the entire jacket apart and remake it in a much smaller size at the end of this shrinking journey upon which I have embarked, or I say goodbye to the jacket. The same goes for all my clothes, but other clothes are easy to replace. My emotions aren't so tied to them. I know there are a lot of cute jackets out there, but this one (and also the peacoat my mom gave me for Christmas a few years ago) feels like part of me. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. But I really love it.

Let me help you experience the love of this jacket vicariously through these pictures:


Despite my chunktastic face, this is one of my favorite pictures of myself. The jacket is part of the magic.


The jacket accompanied me to the Rose Parade, along with many people that I love. It wouldn't have been as much fun without the jacket.


The jacket provided companionship to my fantastic Aunt Jo and me when we sat in line to see the Ellen DeGeneres show for hours and hours and hours and hours, and it never complained. Not even once.


Here, it is helping me enjoy a pfeffernusse cookie at my parents house. My jacket loves to visit my parents house!


And here we are today, that lovely green jacket and me: happy together, though no longer a perfect fit.

You know what, though? It's totally worth it. It's worth losing a few pieces of well-loved clothing to feel like I do. It's worth the cost of a new wardrobe to be healthy and have energy, and not feel fat in a wedding dress, whenever that day comes. It's worth it to be healthy for my future pregnancies and the children that I will raise. And yes, sometimes I get overly attached to things that don't really matter, like a jacket, but I'm sure there will be jackets in my future that I will love just as much. And as I'm working out the issues that led to all the extra weight in the the beginning, I'm letting go of this tendency to form emotional attachments to material things. Things are not important. The important things are intangible. God. Relationships. Health. Joy. Love.

Bring it on.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hmmm! It DOES get easier!

It's been a really long time since I've had a soda. Sometimes I see a can of coke, and I really want to drink it, but I just don't. I feel super self controlly!

I'm also pretty sure that my stomach has shrunk. I've been so busy and distracted lately that I haven't been spending a lot of time around food, and even when I've gone out for meals, I've been splitting them with friends, so I haven't been eating as much. Today I had lunch (which I shared) after church, and then had nothing all day until about 9pm, when I had a pretty small bowl of spaghetti, and now it's one in the morning and I'm still full! That is so exciting to me! I can't wait to weigh myself in the morning and see how close I am to this goal that is so quickly approaching! This morning when I weighed myself, I was only 2.5 pounds away! It has been a goal for so long that I almost don't believe I'm so close! Part of that might be because I know I still have so much to lose, so it's not like I reach this goal and then I'm suddenly skinny and beautiful. Oh how I wish it worked like that! But I will be content in the way I feel, the way my clothes are fitting, and the fact that two of the people who see me most often have noticed that I look thinner.

So things are good. My next post will hopefully be very soon and will declare that I have met my goal! I hope I don't have some crazy setback...

I'm thankful for all the accountability I've had from great friends and fellow health-pursuers! It helps so much!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Zumba time again!

Although I haven't gone to bed yet so I'm still considering it Wednesday, technically it is Thursday, which means Zumba with Liz! Once again, Liz has been so encouraging, and has convinced me to pick up more Zumba classes throughout the week to intensify my work-out routine and speed up my weight loss. Encouragement and accountability is really amazing motivation! I was all set to start new classes at the gym closest to where I live, but then I remembered that I am house sitting this week, and there are no gyms near this house. At least none that I can go to, since my membership is limited to "Active" gyms only, when a majority of 24 Hour Fitnesses are Sport of Super Sport clubs. I honestly can't complain though, as I only pay $3.83/month for my membership. There is an exercise bike here at this house, though, which I have yet to ride, but I'll be here for three more days, so I'll make sure to take advantage of it. Monday and Wednesday, I climbed the stairs as usual at school, and it really is getting easier. My thighs and gluts don't burn nearly as much at the top as they did at the beginning of the semester.

All this exercise and mindful eating lately has really been paying off, and I am only five pounds away from my first goal that I set years ago. When I lose five more pounds, my driver's license will no longer be lying about my weight! Once I accomplish that, my next goal is to make that license be a lie again, but in the opposite direction. Goal number two will be to lose forty pounds, and I want to be there by my birthday in March, if not before. But I'm not gonna focus on that just yet... let's just lose that last five and have a major celebration that my sixty-pound first goal is complete! I should throw a party!

Liz and me after Zumba last week.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Some unexpected Sunday hiking

I have been trying to be more active in everyday activities lately. I park further away than necessary pretty much everywhere. I take stairs instead of elevators when possible. You all know about the stairs at school (which, by the way, are getting easier. By the end of the semester, I expect to sprint to the top and bounce around with my hands in the air, in a Rocky-esque victory dance.), and then there's the endless chasing of my little nephew Eli. Taking tiny steps so as not to outrun him is actually quite a decent workout for my thighs. Try it, I'm not kidding. Anyway, all of that really adds up, and I'm always happy when an exercisey (yes, exercisey. It is now a word. Use it.) activity presents itself, as it did this Sunday. I had planned to meet with a friend to practice worship songs for our Wednesday night Bible study, and instead of the usual practice at church, he planned a fun afternoon. We hiked to this great spot on the church property (the church owns 110 acres!), and played guitar and sang for a couple hours in a field with a spectacular view. It was a gorgeous afternoon, with a cool breeze and even some wildlife. We saw a deer! I tried to get a picture but it ran away and I only had my phone, so my zooming ability was limited. The hike wasn't very strenuous or long, but it was a nice way to add some natural exercise to a day. I think, weather permitting, worship practice should always include a hike to and from a secluded field with a beautiful view!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

It was the rain's fault

For the first time all semester, I didn't take the stairs yesterday. I really wanted to, so I wasn't trying to get out of it. There were actually very good reasons not to, and here they are:

It was raining. For those of you unfamiliar with the Los Angeles area, something you must know is that LA drivers turn into giant morons when it's raining. Traffic becomes ridiculous and it takes at least twice the time it should take to get anywhere. Such was the case on my way to school, and I was way late. I have a friend in class, and I sent her a text asking her to let me know when they started the test. This teacher likes to give her tests in the second half of class, so I was hoping to get there in time. The parking lot at the top of the stairs is not the closest one, so my biggest reason was that I was trying to beat the clock and get to class. Another reason was that the parking lot at the top of the stairs is a dirt parking lot, and dirt+rain=mud, which I try to avoid at all costs. The third and final reason was that IT WAS RAINING!!! Stairs in the rain are dangerous, and I am a magnet for hurting my ankles. If there's a way, I'll find it. So I stay away from things like slippery stairs and uneven terrain in the dark.

So I missed doing the stairs yesterday, but in just a few hours I'll be shaking my bootie off in Zumba!

Stupid rain.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Why are gyms filled with mirrors?

I went to Zumba again yesterday with Liz, and had a blast! A sweaty, muscle-burning, high-heart-rate-maintaining blast. The best part is truly when there's some goofy move we're supposed to do and we look at each other and make ridiculous faces and do the moves with great exaggeration, and then totally crack up instead of feeling stupid, which is always preferable. The worst part, to me at least, is the fact that there are giant mirrors that force me to watch myself as I bust out with these crazy moves that make me look stupid. I don't feel stupid until I can see myself. I think I wouldn't look stupid if I was thin, which is the point of this whole thing, so I guess I'll just have to use it as motivation. Still though, I'm already at the gym... I need the motivation to GET me to the gym. I prefer no mirrors.
Along the lines of being thinner, something that frustrates me is the fact that it's gonna take SO LONG to actually look decent. When I gained all the weight in the first place, it happened so quickly. It seems unfair that losing weight is so much harder. I've lost about eighty pounds from my heaviest weight, but it's taken me about seven years to do so. I definitely haven't been consistent in trying during that time, though, but when I wasn't losing, it was easy enough to maintain my weight, so I guess that's a good sign. Now that I'm on track, motivated, and have some good accountability, I just have to stick to it, and before I know it (haha yeah right... more like: MAYBE in a year or so of consistent progress), I won't look giant and gross in those mirrors at the gym.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why do I want to eat crap?

Not literal crap. No thank you. But soda, and candy. And too much food in general. Why do I crave that stuff?

Today I'm wearing a skirt I usually wear a lot, but I just happened to have left it in a bag of clothes that I haven't really looked through since I moved out of my apartment, so I haven't worn it since April. It's noticeably looser, which makes me really happy and gives me more motivation. And yet, even with this extra motivation, I just want to drink soda or a frappucino or something. The way I usually combat this dumb urge is to drink a giant amount of water, but today I rushed out of the house with all my stuff for the day and forgot my water bottle, which is dangerous.

It's even harder to fight the battle of overeating. To stop not when you are full, but when you're no longer hungry. Why do I feel the need to keep eating, like if I don't finish every last bite, I'll never get to eat again? I have a problem. I don't understand the compulsion to eat something if it's there, regardless of my level of hunger or even the tastiness of the food. For example, I'm not really a fan of pretzels, but if there's a bowl of pretzels sitting out at a party or someone's house, I will eat them, just because they're there. It's automatic. I don't even think about it! When I do think about it, I know that I don't want pretzels, and I don't eat them. I need to constantly be aware of the food around me and make a conscious decision not to eat it. But I don't want to think about it! I want to automatically NOT eat everything I see.

It's funny to me that this culture is so obsessed with skinniness, and yet, every restaurant has huge portions. So it turns into a show of self control, of which I have very little in the food department. I hate that this is an issue for me. And I hate being fat, so you'd think it would be easy for me to refrain from eating more than I need, but it's not. It is a battle I face daily, and some days are easier than others, but it's always there.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Zumba, followed by deliciousness

On Thursday I went to Disneyland and did lots of walking, but that was only the precursor to the workout of the day. I left the happiest place on Earth at 4:00 in order to get the the Zumba class at 6:00, but traffic in L.A. is pretty atrocious, so of course I ran a little late. I was pulling into the gym parking lot at about 5 after, when I got a text from Liz telling me to see if I could just walk into the class anyway, even though I was late and wouldn't have a pass. That's not normally something I would even try to do (just call me a rule follower... it's not a bad thing), but I did, and it worked out fine. After changing my clothes, I was only fifteen minutes late to the class, and I was so happy about not only getting to experience zumba, but also about not leaving Liz hanging.

It would be easy to feel stupid going into a class like zumba when you've never been before and you don't know the steps and when you're as fat as I am and feel self conscious in workout clothes (or in any clothes, for that matter). Surprisingly though, I was only excited. Excited to have a workout partner that I really love, excited to finally be doing this form of exercise that I know I'll enjoy and be able to stick to, and excited that sweating was about to get FUN! I catch on pretty quickly with dancey stuff, and I didn't feel too self conscious because I'm pretty sure every woman (and the one guy who was making me laugh pretty hard) was only focused on herself and whether or not SHE looked stupid! Also, I think I may be caring less and less about what people think as I get older. Oh goodness, I sound like an old woman. Whatever, I've already been knitting for 22 years, it's not like I'm opposed to seeming old-womanly.

After 45 minutes of extreme sweating, laughing, and trying not to fall over during the end stretching period (maybe I should look into some yoga classes), Liz invited me to her house to taste a green smoothie that she has discovered and really enjoys. It's very healthful and delicious, which is a favorable combination, and I will be purchasing the ingredients soon and drinking them daily. For the curious and the brave (not really... it just looks a little bit like algae), here is the recipe:

Green Monster

1 cup almond milk, or milk of choice
1 ripe banana
2 handfuls of spinach
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp almond butter
1-3 Ice cubes

Directions: Starting with the liquid, add in 1 cup of milk of your choice. Now add in the flax and nut butter. Next, add in the spinach followed by the banana on top. Blend until smooth. Add in your ice cubes and blend some more. Serves 1 (about 2 cups). Top with cinnamon.

I am looking forward to next Thursday, but in the meantime, I expect those ginormostairs to be easier when I face them again on Monday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A workout date!!

My friends Liz and Lidia are awesome! They are twins, and they are fabulous! Both fun, supportive and full of laughter, I'm lucky to have them in my life.

Today I got a text from Lidia, asking me about the stairs! (My second cousin Stephanie also checked in with me about that on facebook! Thanks for the accountability, girls!) That conversation turned to one about the gym, and she mentioned that Liz has been going to 24 hour fitness, which I knew but I hadn't made plans with her, and she suggested that we go together since going with a buddy is always more fun. Not only is it more fun, it's really the only way I'll go! So I text messaged Liz and asked what her gym schedule was like.

We agreed on a permanent workout date in the zumba class (which I've been wanting to try, and I know I'll love it!) at 6 on Thursdays! I'm completely excited! AND I'm glad I'll have an excuse to see Liz weekly! We used to carpool to work and I miss her!

All this new motivation and support is exactly what I need! I feel really good already, and I know that the more weight I lose, the better I'll feel. I'm ready to be done having this label of "overweight". It brings me down and I hate it! Bring on the "Fitness Kate!" Haha that's what my brother-in-law called me last time I was going to the gym regularly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A milestone

Today I looked through a photo album that a friend posted on Facebook from a party a few weeks ago. I hate pictures of me, and I'm always worried that I'm gonna look even worse than usual... that I have a picture in my head of what I look like, but then I'll see a picture of how I actually look and it will be horrible. Especially when it comes to full body shots. I mean, at the right angle, from the shoulders up, I think I look fine, but for a LOOOONG time, I have shuddered every time I've seen a picture of anything more. But for the first time in probably ten years, I saw these pictures of myself today, and while they are still in no way ideal, I didn't want to hide from the world and give up on any weight-loss and fitness goals. I thought, "Hmmm... it's not actually that bad." And now my motivation is just more intense than it was yesterday. I did the stairs at school twice today, and then I decided to ride the exercise bike at the house I'm watching for some vacationing friends.
I may actually soon hit that first goal of weighing what I lied about my weight being on my license 7 years ago! I'm very close, and when I got it, it was a lie of SIXTY pounds!!!


Monday, September 12, 2011

A new motivation and plan to go with it.

It's funny how I can hit a plateau and stay there for a long time. Of course, I would rather just consistently lose weight, but it's probably good because it lets me know I can maintain what I've lost. But I've cracked the most recent long-time plateau and my weight is on it's way down!
The motivation was a boy. My motivation almost always starts that way, and it's unintentional. I just get too distracted to eat much, and end up losing a few pounds, and then those twitterpations make me feel so light that I go skipping around as if I'm prancing among the clouds, and before I know what is happening, I've lost twenty pounds. If only it always happened that easily, right? But a good jump-start is all I need to motivate me to lose more, although usually it ends after too short a time. But I think it's usually because I don't have a plan to keep it going. This time is different.
The boy decided not to stick around (with no explanation either, the coward), but instead of mourning the possibility of something good and turning to the much-loved comfort food that seems to enfold me in unconditional love (AKA fat), I've chosen to be grateful for the situation and the way it played out. The height of the twitterpation landed on the first two days of school, when I was simultaneously forced to park at the top of a giant set of stairs. The light feeling of excitement transformed the mountain of stairs in 100+ evil degree heat to an ant hill, up which I bounded like a gazelle. Okay, that may be a lie. I had to take a break near the top and drink some water to replace the fluids in my body that were rapidly vacating through the pores in my forehead. But when, on the second day of school, I once more parked in that hilltop lot out of necessity, I was sort of excited at the prospect of a natural work-out. I mean seriously... the gym is boring and I never go by myself, which means I never go at all. I would much rather incorporate exercise into my daily life, and these 138 stairs seemed like a perfect way to do it. I am at school three times a week, and no matter which parking lot I choose, I have to walk sorta far to class. Adding the stairs just boosts the walk and makes it more of a challenge. And I feel better after doing it! I've lost fifteen pounds in the last month, and although the original motivation is gone, there is a new motivation and a plan to keep it in place!
If you care at all, please ask me throughout this semester if I am still taking the stairs. I need the accountability. And I'm sure I'll be excited to brag about my gluts of steel!
And let me encourage those of you needing it... find a way to incorporate some natural exercise into your daily life! It's so much easier than carving out time for the gym.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Slacker Indeed!

I haven't lost any weight. I haven't gained any either, but I'm just sitting on the same number I've been sitting on for far too long.
I haven't been following my own rules very well. I started off well, and then just lost control. Why is it so hard to do what I know will make me feel better and become healthy?
I also need better time management and discipline when it comes to cleaning my house. I just need an entire life overhaul.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Last Night Was Difficult

Probably harder than portion control: not eating four hours before I go to bed. I am truly surprised I didn't crack last night.
I got up at 2pm (again, I went to bed at 5 in the morning. I need to readjust my schedule to include some normalcy of some sort) and ate a breakfast of yogurt and muesli. I meant to bring some almonds to work for a snack, but I forgot, and when I left work at 7pm, I went straight to the movie theater to meet my cousins for Megamind (Really really funny! I completely recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor!), and I got a hot dog, which was the best choice there. I had some of somebody else's popcorn too. What a lunch. After the movie I went back to my cousin's house and we ended up hanging out until 1:30am, and I didn't get home until 2. I was incredibly hungry, but I didn't want to stay up another four hours, so I didn't eat anything. I drank water, but that didn't work. So I drank more water. And then I read an article in Ladies Home Journal about cholesterol, and went to bed still hungry. It's not like I wanted to eat crap, but eating anything would have gone against my rules, and if I start making excuses and breaking rules now, I will never last. Instead, I need to be more prepared and carry food around with me all the time. This is turning into an all-out discipline overhaul! I do need some major discipline in my life. In just under a month, the spring semester starts and I have five classes. I also need to get another job so that I can pay my rent. I think this will be a very interesting few months to come, but I hope to come out of them disciplined and healthy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Day One Progress

Yesterday was day one, and I am finding this breezy so far. But I have yet to be confronted with portion control, so I'm not getting too comfortable. Erin and I have been texting and discussing our meals and the things that are difficult for us. She is having a hard time, but doing an amazing job at not snacking! Her husband even called her from work to encourage her, which is great to hear!

I went to Trader Joe's last night and bought some yogurt, muesli, milk and almonds. I like to eat a light breakfast, and a small portion of muesli enhanced yogurt is always a good choice. I had that this morning (okay, I'm not gonna lie... this afternoon. I got up at 1pm, but I was at my cousin Gillian's until about 4 in the morning, so I got to bed really late.) for breakfast. Scrambled eggs is another good breakfast for me, but I had some of those last night as part of my dinner. I don't get sick of food quickly at all, and could eat the same meal repeatedly without coming to despise it, but I suppose I shouldn't eat the same thing for every meal. I do eat a lot of eggs, though, and buy them in bulk (5 dozen!!) at Costco.

I forgot to bring almonds to work with me for a snack, but I'm about to head over to my Aunt Jo's house, where I can eat dinner. I am sure to be faced with a portion control challenge there, as Aunt Jo always provides fantastic meals. My strategy will be to use a small plate. I will have salad first (as I always do. If you eat salad before your meal, it aids in digestion! Thanks to Gillian for finding excellent eating tips while she was pregnant!), and then eat only what fits on the small plate comfortably.

In talking to people about starting this way of healthful eating, I have come across a few people who would like to join, and I have begun to hatch a plan! Everyone who participates will support and encourage each other, but I want people to have a team member. Your team member will be your accountability partner, and also the person you enter challenges with! We can have a weekly or monthly challenge, which I will set each Sunday for the following week. Each person that joins should state what their goal for the year is, and their particular rules for eating and exercise. I have the option of adding bloggers, so if anyone would like to blog about their own progress or that of their team, let me know. If you just want to comment every once in a while with your progress, that's fine too.

I'm getting excited about this! The more support we all have, the better we will do!

Oh, and this morning I was down by a pound. :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Story Behind the Fat/ New Goals!

So I'm fat. And I hate it. I feel horrible about myself, and every time I look at a picture of me, all I can see is double chins and fat arms and belly. I wonder how people don't run screaming from the blubbery monster whenever I walk into a room, and I am truly amazed at how often I get hit on, although for the most part it's by guys in cars next to me on the road, or creepy guys at gas stations. Although that may smell strongly of compliment fishing, it is nothing more than the truth. Without exception, people are always shocked to find out this fact about me, because I do an amazing job of projecting confidence. It's not totally false: I know I'm funny and caring and a great friend, I'm smart and talented and good at absolutely everything. I am aware of and thankful for the characteristics that God gave me. But somehow, I have let me weight come to define my worth. While I know that I will make an amazing wife someday, I feel unworthy of the kind of man that I want because “why would he like me when I'm so fat?” My weight has also become a defense mechanism: I can blame guys not liking me on the fact that I'm fat instead of looking deeper and finding out what parts of myself I need to work on.

I wasn't always this way. I was never a fat kid, and my mom did a really great job of making healthful meals and teaching us good eating habits. We never had dessert. We exercised regularly, and I played on softball and soccer teams, which kept me in great shape until the dreaded move to Tucson/hell. The first year there, I rode my bike all over the place and played on a soccer team. But the team was a joke and I didn't have to try very hard, and by the end of the second summer, when I went out for the high school soccer team, I was already out of shape and thought I would die from the 115 degree heat. So I quit. Things only worsened because I was away from my mother's watchful eye at school, and started buying candy bars every day. I babysat a lot, so I had some money. It was also during this first year of high school that I quit eating breakfast, which is a terrible habit. It's too hard for me to get up early, and this is something I still struggle with, even though I know how important breakfast is. Though I never weighed myself a single time in high school, my guess is that I gained about 10 pounds per year. And then I went to Germany, where my mom couldn't tell me not to eat anything. I weighed 220 when I came home. Then I started noticing that guys weren't interested in me anymore, and I was outraged! Why do guys...even fat guys... always expect to be with the skinny attractive girls (many of whom have no personalities, might I add)? I didn't want to lose weight and then have a guy like me just because of my looks. So I ate more.

Food was my way of rebelling. I didn't do anything else: no drinking, drugs or ho-bagging. Just food. I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to. I hit my heaviest weight at 22/23, and though I refused to weigh myself, I know it was over 300. Holy crap. How had I let it get that bad?

I knew I needed to lose weight for my health, but I also realized that God made men the way they are... very visual. Not that being visual by nature gives them an excuse to be shallow, but it is an obstacle they have. Besides, when God does bring me a husband, I do want to be attractive to him, and I want him to be able to be proud of how hot his wife is. And I want to be healthy.

When I moved back to California in 2004, I started to lose weight for the first time. I went through times when it was easy, and then hit a rough patch in my life that lasted for several years and stressed me out, and I found out that I deal with stress by eating. So I regained some, but later lost some more. Today, I am down about 70 pounds from what I think was my top weight. I don't even want to write that number. I still need to lose a staggering 120. Earlier today, I was talking to my friend Erin about needing to lose weight, and she has the same desire, although her goal is slightly smaller at 100 pounds.

Erin's weight comes from a mixture of rotten self esteem and bad eating habits developed at a young age. I think Erin is an amazing person. She makes me laugh so much, and she does so much for me. She has great insight and wisdom, and so much compassion. However, she always felt that she wasn't worth anything, and she wouldn't want things because she felt she didn't deserve them. Instead, she indulged in fast food. Her dad was always working a lot and couldn't prepare healthful meals, so he would leave microwaveable food. Often she would forget to take a lunch to school, so she pretty much grew up eating only a late lunch and dinner each day.

Today we made an agreement. Together, we will lose this weight that has us hating ourselves and causing so much pain. We want to do it in a year. That makes my goal 10 pounds a month, and Erin's a mere 8.3. Very achievable. We talked about diets, and agreed that they don't work, so we will simply be eating healthfully and really focusing on portion control. This is something that both of us really struggle with. We won't be adding exercise right away, because a change in eating habits is enough for now, and we're both really busy... I with school and she with a 3 month old baby. In a few months, however, we will be adding something physical.

We have a few rules that we are putting into play immediately, and there will probably be more as time goes on. Nothing is totally set in stone, and as I already stated: this is not a diet. I refuse to cut anything out that I'm gonna miss, but those things will become treats, not staples.

We're both giving up soda completely, starting now, but only until we're not addicted anymore, and then we will be allowed to have them only as dessert.
We will be eating a healthful breakfast each morning.
We will drink an insane amount of water each day.
We will stop eating four hours before going to bed.
We are allowed one treat per day.
I will blog our progress.

So it begins. Tomorrow is a lighter day.