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.