Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Fitness Levels

There was a time that I was in super fit!  Sure I was still overweight but I was a machine!  I have deluded myself into thinking that I am still there!  Boy was I wrong!

Being Fit

6 years ago I was in super fit!  I was about 30 (give or take) pounds above my goal weight but that didn’t stop me!  I was doing Zumba, sometimes up to five or six hour long classes  a week.  I was running anywhere between fifteen to twenty miles a week.   I hiked….a lot!   I was active and felt amazing!  There was one time where Jason and I were talking about doing planks and I dropped to the floor and did a plank…and held it didn’t a few minutes with no issue.   The same thing with lunges…I could knock out scads of them without breaking a sweat. I am telling you, I was in shape!   

I called myself the fittest fat woman in a joking manner. But I didn’t realize how true that was!   And I didn’t put a value on it.  I didn’t protect that status.  I didn’t realize it until just recently when I tried to do my new fitness routine just how badly I have fallen!

The Fitness Awakening

I started my 12 week plan a few days ago. (You can read about it here.). I dove right into the strength training.   I was even cocky!   Boy was I in for a rude awakening!

Day one rolled around and I eagerly started my basic strength training moves.   I scoffed a bit at the ease that this was going to be.  20 squats?   Child’s play!   15 seconds to hold a plank, I could do that blindfolded with my hands tied around my back (figuratively speaking).   I had this in the bag!   I was actually feeling proud and cocky.  I vowed that I would be doing multiple sets within a week if not that first week because I wanted to give myself a great strength training workout!   It all came crashing down around me, and it didn’t take long!

That first day, I could barely make it those 15 seconds for that plank. (Today I’m scheduled for 40 seconds…dear heavens help me!)  Crunches, lunges,  jumping jacks, butt kicks , push-ups and wall sits.  It just spiraled out of control!  One set and I was panting and glad to be done!   Yikes what happened to my fitness?

What happened?  I didn’t value it and it slipped from my grasp!   I lost my fitness level.  I was so disheartened! But,  I didn’t let my revelation drive me away!   I did my ‘simple’ strength routine the next day too. (Although I now knew that it was not simple!)  And that my friends is when the abs started to scream!   Oh yes.  My abs are so sore!    But I’m weirdly proud of that.  You see, sore abs are the first step to bringing back my fitness levels.

Fitness Going Forward

I am not letting up.   I will be doing my strength training routine today also.  I am scheduled and plan for  5 days a week.  And let me tell you, I’ll be so ready for my two rest days over the weekend!   I am only doing one set of my exercises at the moment.   I know I was bold and vowed to do two sets to start and then up it as the twelve weeks progressed.  But one set is enough to do me in right now!  I admittedly looked at my schedule for today and groaned when I saw the reps that I need to do for my crunches…and the seconds for my plank.  Yikes!  These muscle aches aren’t going away anytime soon!   But it will all be worth it in the end!   I will settle for the title of fittest fat person!  But this time I’m really focusing on my eating also…because I plan on being a fit thin person!!!

Monday, June 28, 2021

12 week plan

Here we are…it’s Monday and I’m not exactly raring to go, but I’m ready to get started.   Yes…I have totally conflicting emotions this morning!  On one hand I’m ready and on the other hand…NOOOOOO!!!

In case you hadn’t guessed. I am writing this on a Monday morning!   So I think it may be totally obvious as to why I’m not raring to go!  Yes, the weekend is over, and I’m not feeling the start of this week….AT ALL!   But oh well, the rent needs paid and the pets need food!

So if it’s a Monday, why am I ready to get rolling?  Well, I have a plan and I’m ready to get started.   What plan doth I speak of?  Why, my 12 week get healthy plan of course!!!  I know, I know, I know!   I have written about so many plans and so many starts!  But we shall see.  I’m motivated!

The plan is a 12 week plan.  I chose 12 weeks simply because I had been looking at purchasing a  12 week exercise/get fit plan.  I kept hesitating though about spending the $100. I wasn’t sure the plan was for me.  It was a cross training plan for mountain biking, so it did hold some interest. But….well, I haven’t exactly been a mountain biker of late!  Sure, maybe the program would have pushed me back in that direction, but doesn’t that sound like a little bit of a stretch?  

So I hesitated.  But I kept going back to the 12 week thing. I started to think about doing my own thing…but it was all thoughts and no action.  That is until I was in the shower on Sunday morning.  I was thinking about how much I can’t wait until vacation. We have time planned at the beginning of October and we had started to talk about finalizing our plans.  And of course we will be active with biking and hiking on vacation (at least that’s the plan)  so I  was thinking about losing weight  and working on my fitness before vacation.  So I was in the shower thinking about that and then I realized that vacation was 14 weeks away!  Really?  That would allow me the perfect opportunity to slip in a 12 week program into that time slot before vacation!   How perfect!

I did some research and found a very basic plan that I tweaked to make it my own.  I created spreadsheets and documents to track my progress.  And decided to start on Monday morning.   It’s Monday morning and I’m ready!!

This  plan is very simple.

1.  Strength training (there are about 10 different strength training moves…lunges, crunches, planks, etc)  to do 5 days a week.  The amount that I do each day changes daily.  Some days I may only do 10 reps/seconds of something but the next day I might do 60.   The reps and actual exercises are what I found online at multiple sites..a preset plan.

2. Calories calories calories!   I KNOW where my calories need to be for me to lose weight.  That is where I need to eat…no if’s ands or buts!  1200-1300.  That’s it.  It’s a budget.  When I reach that number I’m out of calories.  This is a budget and there is no credit extended!  One higher day is ok.  One dessert a week is ok.  ONE!  

3.  Cardio-  I get my cardio through my exercise bike already.  But I will be incorporating more interval training during it to up the intensity.  5 days a week.  Not just when we I feel it.   I will build up my intervals in length and intensity as the 12 weeks progress.

4. Water- 64 ounces.  It just has to be so.  It’s healthy and honestly should be non negotiable!

5.  I will still strive for my 6 miles a day for the 2021 challenge. This challenge is still going strong and I am not giving it up!  6 miles a day will keep me on target to be done with my miles by the end of the year (with time to spare)   I am good with that.  But if I am honest with myself, I would admit that I would LOVE to be able to say that I am done by vacation!  I could then wear my 2021 challenge tee shirt with pride because I would have earned it.  And since we are vacationing in October it COULD be cool.   Ok, last year’s vacation was perfect temps.  Comfortable in teeshirts and not sweating crazy!  The year before that was terribly hot and I ended up with Sun poisoning.   The year before that?  We wore Long pants and long sleeve sheets/hoodies!  Each year our vacation was at the same time…the first week of October!  So the weather is totally a guesstimate!

So there you have my plans for this 12 week challenge!   Pretty simple right?   I am motivated because I feel miserable at my current weight.  I ache and hurt!  I know that getting off some pounds will make a huge difference!!!  So here we go!  Let’s see how much I can get off in 12 (14 before vacation) weeks!!!!

Weekend Fun

We had a great weekend. On Saturday we ran our errands (groceries and whatnot).  That took up a huge part of the day!  But the fun part was that we celebrated Mertz’s 12th birthday!

On Sunday it was so stink in’ hot!  But we braved it and went to the zoo.   We didn’t stay long, but we enjoyed the time.  We left the zoo hot and sweaty and headed to an antique mall…one that had air conditioning.  And we just strolled!

So a good weekend and a great plan!!!  I’ve got this!!

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Back to Normal

Back to normal…but what is normal?  

As masks become a thing of the past and life goes back to normal, or rather the new normal I sit back and watch.  I wish the 6 foot edict would remain.  I find myself walking through crowded places and cringing when people get close and jostle me in their closeness!  Why can’t the new normal include social distancing!

But that is not the normal of which I speak. I wrote about the normal of every day life.   For the first time since life went crazy..horrible…off kilter two weeks ago, Jason and I both went to work.  I started off these two weeks strong and maintained my calorie goals.  I was not going to let life throw me off track.   I did really good for the first 4-5 days.  And then I went up in flames.  Spectacularly!   

I grew up in the old ‘food brings comfort’ mentality.  You feed people …it’s part of the love language for my family.  So I fed myself and in particular, I fed Jason. I fired up the mixer and turned on the oven and baked…a few times!

I had donuts, edible cookie dough (chocolate chip cookie dough) , potato chips, fresh made cookie dough and of course the baked cookies  (snickerdoodle), brownies (salted caramel brownies).   It was ugly. 
Luckily my weight is in the same 2-3 pound weight range.  But with going back to ‘normal’ I plan on returning to a more normal routine with eating.  I don’t need sweet treats every night.  I may want them.  But I don’t need them.   I don’t need to bake some delicious dessert/snack. I may want to…but it’s not necessary.   

So I am returning back to the original plan from two weeks ago.
I will be tracking my food. Getting my exercise.  Keeping my calories closer to 1200-1300 each day.  I will be adopting the attitude that this is only for 4 weeks. (I’m only committing to four weeks…I’ll reevaluate my plans at the end of four weeks….or more likely forget that it was only for four weeks and keep going.).   This can not be a maybe…life is returning to ‘normal’ and it’s time to focus on my health.

The new normal…healthy living has commenced!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Eye Opening

 During work one day this week I was talking with a coworker and as normal, the talk turned to our mutual dissatisfaction with our work.   This coworker made the comment ‘I return to the ideas and concepts of this one book almost every day in order to get through the days’.   She highly recommended that I read the book.  Read?  A book?   Sign me up!

The book that she recommended was The Game of Life and How to Play It, by Florence Scovil Schinn.   I picked it up on Amazon. (Amazon affiliate link) I didn’t research it.  I didn’t look at the background, I just grabbed it on that recommendation.  It wasn’t long before I finished up the book I was currently reading and I was able to dive right into this new book.  This book opened my eyes to some things!  It made me realize some of my errors. 

But first let me say that honestly, this book made my soul hurt.   I have strong religious roots.  I believe in God.  I believe in the power of prayer.  And this book while quoting scripture was also talking about ‘treatments’ that people came to her for.  I was also talking about divine beings.   Prayer I wanted to shout constantly while I was reading.   It is not a treatment…it’s a prayer!  Divine beings?  Its God!  Irregardless, I finished the whole book.  But I was only able to read the whole thing by reading the book in terms of prayer and God, subconsciously (or maybe consciously) transposing the words that made this book emotionally palatable for my soul. 

So why did I continue reading if it made my soul hurt?  

I continued reading this book for two reasons.   The first reason was simply because it was recommended, I gave my word that I was reading it and I knew that my coworker and I would be discussing it during one of our chats this upcoming work week. (The word chat being used lightly as we communicate via various instant message type programs as she lives in California and I live in Maryland!)   The second reason?  The book was making a lot of sense for me!

You see, I ask God through my prayers for help with various things.  To lose weight. For a job that I enjoy.  For the opportunity to travel our gorgeous country…and even further our amazing world.  So many things.  Yet I flounder.   Now don’t get me wrong.  I have seen some amazing answers to prayers.  (Seriously.  I met Jason…and he actually loves me back!   Finding him and falling in love was an amazing answer to prayer!) but I flounder.  I beseech in prayer and then wait and flounder.  It becomes more of a dream that I playfully ask for. But nothing else.  

I have been doing two things wrong! 

The first is a simple one.  It is simply belief.  I have not believed.  I pray and I believe that it ‘can’ happen because of my prayers but I have lacked the deep rooted faith that my prayers will be answered. I need to put the faith behind my prayers. (And Dreams).

The second thing that I got from this book…and the thing I’ve been doing wrong goes hand in hand with the belief.  If you believe it so deeply, you will take the steps to prepare for the answer.  You have to think and believe the outcome.    The actions may be subconscious, something like standing straighter and more confident during a job interview.  Or they may be actual actions that we chose to take in order to get closer to the goal such as actually applying for a new position.   The important thing is to put the positive belief into your mind…your subconscious. Because once it’s there we will automatically start to live a life and make decisions based on those beliefs.  Prayer goes hand in hand with the actions in our lives.  Let’s look at the example of losing weight. 

I say I want to lose weight but what am I really doing?    Do I pray for it?  Sure.  Do I believe it?  Honestly,  of late I struggle with that, thinking instead that I will be fat forever.   Do I fill my mind with positive thin thoughts??  No. 

Years ago,  I used to use the phrase ‘Think Thin’.  Looking back at old posts I first used it in 2007!!!   I used it all the time.   But then I became thin and I stopped saying it…probably because I was thin.  Since I was thin, I thought I didn’t have to think it. (I was wrong…I will always have to THINK thin).  I was totally on the right track though when I started to say it!  Think thin.   Fill our minds with healthy and thin dreams and thoughts so that when those oh so difficult choices come along we will be so filled with thoughts of thin that choosing the carrot stick over a donut will be easy.  (Ok maybe that was a bad example but it still works!)  I explain it much more clearly in this post from 2018.

So how does this segue into my future…and specifically in the weight loss arena since this is a weight loss site?   I am going to be praying more fully for thinness to come back to my life and I am going to believe.  I am going to think thin since I know that my prayers can and will be answered in the most fabulous way for my life.

I leave with a picture of a bee….I’m not even going to come up with some witty comment about the bee and his faith….I’m putting it here just because I want to!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

A thread

 I am holding on by a thread.  

Last week was rough.  I was also determined to make it through the week without overindulging with my food.  I was determined to keep my calories in check.  I was not going to let anything stop me!   I was super amazed with myself.  I managed to navigate a week off of work just fine.  My calories were in check each and every day!  I did it!  This was super exciting because I'm a stress eater.   But I did it!

And then came the weekend.  I did pretty good.....kinda.  UNTIL I made the edible cookie dough!  

I KNOW how many calories I have to eat (or not eat as the case may be) for me to post losses on the scale.  So why is it so darn difficult!  By the time the weekend was over I was eating....healthy but about 300-400 calories over my goal each day.  And while you may say "300 calories Maryfran, that's not a big deal"   For me and my body it is.  That is the difference between maintaining and losing.  That is sometimes even the difference between gaining and losing!  Insane?  Well yeah, sure.  But it is what it is!

The good thing?  I ate healthy foods.  I loved the Veggie pizza that Jason's mom sent home with us one day.  It was so full of veggies....nice and healthy!  I still had my fruit (that I share with Kiwi) and my veggies.  My calories were just a bit higher that they needed to be. (seriously, 1200 is hard to maintain daily!)

My exercise.....mostly non-existent. I went back to work this week. Jason is still at home as his boss gave him an extra week off for bereavement (and he needed the extra time).  That means that on my breaks instead of hopping on my exercise/spin bike, I went out to the living room to hang out with him.  He is more important at the moment!  

But.....dare I say that I am excited and looking forward to hopping on and getting some miles in again????????

I'm not setting the world on fire....but I AM present and I am not giving up!

Friday, June 11, 2021

I need to stop it!

You know the saying ‘best laid plans’?   Yeah,  I know it well!   I’ve remarked on it over and over on this website.  I make plans and vows and then something happens to throw a monkey wrench in the works.  It’s like clockwork!  And I need to stop more monkey wrenches!

On Monday I wrote a post about where I was in this journey and I made my vow to turn things around…I made a strong vow!   I was ready to rock this journey and get it back on the right path.  Calorie counting, more religious and strict about my intake of food.  Everything.   I rocked out Monday!   I was on fire!  Nothing could stop me!

And then Tuesday morning Jason’s phone rang at 4AM.   We all know that nothing good comes from a phone call in the middle of the night.   And thus began a week of heartache and grieving.  I will not go into anything…it’s not my story to share.  (I’m an open book, he is not).  But I will say this…if you have kids…hug them just a bit tighter and tell them you love them, you never know when you will never have the chance again.

I made a decision on Tuesday while we were trying to get our feet under us.  I would NOT let the stress eating and the wild emotions in our house turn me away from my vow.

My calorie count has been below 1300 each day this week!  I have remained very conscious about the  decisions I have made.  Did I have a donut. When Jason wanted them?  Yes!  But I had one! I only bought one for myself.  And yes I enjoyed it.  But I kept it at one…even though that box that held a half dozen had empty slots for more donuts I bought ONE!  I knew if I purchased more for myself (flavors that I wanted) that I would eat them!   I’m heading into the weekend and I know that’s my difficult time.  But I’m determined.   Will there be more cake or donuts as we get through this time period?  I’m sure.  But I am confident that I CAN handle it and restrict myself to a healthier sized portion.

My mileage for my 2021, the one where I vowed to propel myself 2021 miles in 2021.   I have been slowly working on that…slow but consistent.  I get around 8-10 miles a day.  Steady and consistent.  This week….well not so much.   But that is ok.  Jason needed me more and I’ll get my miles completed.  (I was almost two months ahead so I’m on no danger of falling behind.) 

I’m determined…my vow to fix my weight issues is NOT getting sidetracked!

And now a picture of our pets.   Because…well it makes me smile!

Monday, June 07, 2021

I know.....

I know, I know, I know!   Last week I was all into grabbing the reins and rocking the week.  I was going to lose weight.  I was going to be amazing.  I was going to slay the weight!     But, it didn’t happen!  There is no excuse.  It was my choice.  (Darn food addiction and stress eating!)

It was a short work week.  It should have felt short, right?  But let me tell you, those three work days felt like a month of Sundays!  I kid you not!  What is worse,  Returning  to work brought back the stress and angst.  It also brought back the stress eating.  It brought back the loss of self control.  How does that translate into weight loss?  It doesn’t!  I didn’t lose weight...and I hovered at a high weight on the scales.    

Every day I woke up determined to “make good choices” and “stay strong” today.  And each day was yet one more failure.  Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t shovel in food like crazy.  I didn’t eat a full bag of potato chips in one sitting (no it took me three days...and in fairness it was a brand from Lancaster County,PA that I don’t get often!).    So no, in the grand scheme of things,  I didn’t do too bad. But... My portions were out of control.  I indulged in chocolate. I didn’t choose the healthiest options.  I wager a bet that if I would have tracked my food that I would have been roughly 1500-1700 calories...which sadly for me is NOT weight loss zone.  And in case you didn’t catch that, I didn’t track anything. 

By the weekend, I was feeling it.  I was sitting here feeling horrible about my current state.   I’m tired of hurting.   My legs hurt to walk on our evening walk.  A simple 1.5 mile walk and my legs were aching!   Finding clothes to wear over the weekend (something other than my normal weekday lounging clothes) that fit comfortably was a chore.  I just feel miserable and fat.  I won’t even try to sugar coat it.  In fact, I cried this weekend about where I’m at in terms of my weight loss.

Yes, I cried this weekend. I cried at the helpless feeling that courses through my veins.  I cried at the girl that had gotten the weight under control and was super active.  I cried for the fat woman I have once again have become.  I cried from the fear and worry that the damage that I have done to my body with this excess weight could be permanent.  My tears were a mixture of regret and fear.

But ultimately I know that to wallow in my tears is not the solution to my issues.  Yes, the damage I’ve done COULD be permanent.  But I don’t know that.  These aches and pains could all go away as I lose weight.  They did before!  I may be lucky a second time!   All I know is that I have to make some changes.

So what am I doing to move forward?

**  I don’t have any grand plan.   I am toying with buying a mountain bike 12 week program.  It is designed to better biking skills and there are testimonials about people losing mad weight whilst doing it.  (And they better their bike handling and skills at the same time due to better core strength from the cross training program.) 

**  I am going to be tracking my food.  No if’s ands or buts!

** There will be  consistency with my accountability...which means I’m back to checking in more frequently on this site...and yes, on my YouTube Channel also. 

** I will be adopting an attitude.....this straight and narrow is only for 4 weeks (12 if I follow that mountain bike program).  It’s only 4 weeks...who can’t do something short term.  I can deny myself a donut, a piece of cake, anything really because it’s ONLY 4 weeks that I’m asking for!  (I will reevaluate after the four weeks and re-up for another 4 if it was working!)

**  I plan on aiming for 1200 calories. That is what works for my body.   Now,  before people start screaming...I also don’t weigh my food.  I don’t measure my food.  I very well could be under tracking.  And that is ok.   I will just aim for lower calories...because it will give me the freedom to continue NOT measuring and weighing!   It’s a trade off...a bit of freedom in one area but a tightening of the restrictions in another!

**  I simply need to constantly remind myself of my goals, my currently aching body, the future that I want!

it’s not a really strong plan....but is is what I got right now!!!   It’s Monday...and it’s a new start!

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Back to Work

I just had a glorious five days off of work!  The normal Memorial Day three day weekend occurred,  it I sandwiched that with a Friday and Tuesday off of work! Ahhh it was good!

the First two nights I still slept very poorly and woke from dreams about work and thoughts about work swirling through my head.  Not pleasant!  But after those two nights my body had let go of some of the stress and I started sleeping like a log!

As I mentioned in my Last post, I had a great Visit with my friends.  I also spent time running errands and doing the grocery shopping!  I wanted to have as many of those mundane things done so as to allow more time for flat out fun activities with Jason as he only had a three day weekend!

Saturday dawned and it was rainy and cold!  We relaxed at home.  We watched tv and just enjoyed our time at home!  We did get out of the house for a bit...but it was a very low key day!!  The animals enjoyed having us home for longer stretches!

Mertz loved curling up next to me...and of course our crazy conure, Kiwi had to be involved in everything also!

On Sunday we decided to go exploring a bit.  We went up to Gettysburg and walked all around town.  We did some geocaching while we were out and about and ended up in some interesting and neat places! The Round Barn Farmers Market was quite neat!

We enjoyed the dog jump competition that we stumbled upon also!!

We were tired but happy after our day of fun!

Monday rolled around and we decided to do more geocaching.  So that is Alexa fly what we did...went from geocache to geocache and learned more about the area!

At our very last geocache we saw an old abandoned school!
We circled the school and the back doors were open.  Of course we went in!!

We went home tired, sunburnt and happy.

Tuesday meant back to work for Jason and a dentist appointment for me.  (No cavities!). I then spent some time with mom.  And that rounded put my long glorious weekend!

I am ready to get back to being serious about my weight loss efforts. Not totally strict and unbending, but just a lot more cognizant.  I have maintained and now it’s time to tighten the reigns and lose.  I realized on Friday that this had to be done....but I knew with my commitments that this weekend was going to be just more of hanging on.  But since it is back to the routing as of tomorrow, it’s time to get serious!

it’s not easy...but it will be worth it!