Thursday, May 3, 2012

Naa, I'm Good

I think a lot of people on weight loss journeys think in terms of “being good” or “being bad”.  “I was so bad, I ate _____”.  I wonder what this kind of talk does to our psyche.  Maybe nothing.  Maybe it’s just semantics.  But, even so, I am trying to stop myself from saying that I was good or bad.  Maybe I’ve made choices that made me feel guilty, but that doesn’t make me a bad person, or a failure.  My self-worth should be separate from my weight loss efforts. 

This losing weight thing is HARD.  There is a reason so many of us are out here.  If it was easy, we’d all be skinny.  We’re smart people, we know what we need to do.  Even though knowing is half the battle, doing is the other half.  But, struggling with the ups and downs of losing weight is better than not trying at all, right? 

I recovered from my little slump/pity party yesterday and tried to put things in perspective.  Even though I wish that just the *thought* of losing weight actually made me lose it, I know the truth is that this is not going to happen overnight.  Two or three days of eating well does not undo the prior weeks/months/years.  Patience, Grasshopper. 

The miracle isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the courage to start.  ~John Bingham

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Resolve Waning?

So, here I am on day 3, and I’m already starting to feel slightly less committed.  To be honest, I think it’s because I’ve really been feeling like I’ve done great the last couple days, but I made a critical mistake in weighing myself this morning.  It is so defeating to feel like you’ve made some good changes, and then see that the scale is up – more than a pound.  Seriously, how could I have gained more than a pound in one day? 

I was sitting in an 11:00 meeting this morning and after 10 minutes, my brain was consumed by the thought of going to get Mexican food for lunch - even though I brought my own tasty, healthy meal to eat.  Do you ever hear your inner dialog argue with itself? 

“I’ll just go grab some Mexican food”
“No, you brought lunch”
“Well, I’ve done so good the past couple days, it won’t matter anyway”
“Yes, it will. That’s just over processed junk food.  You have real food at your desk.”
“Maybe it’s good to plan a cheat day.  Maybe today should be my cheat day.”
“Ok, how about if I do good the rest of this week, I can splurge on Mexican on Friday.”
 (that last part was inner me giving a disappointed look to itself)

Well, I won’t keep you in suspense – I did not cave in.  I enjoyed my healthy leftovers for lunch.  And I’m just trying to say to myself, “Screw that scale, it doesn’t even know what it’s talking about.”

I find that I really want to sign up for one of the monetary motivators, but I am really, really scared that I won’t meet my goal.  What if I do the year long plan to get to a healthy BMI and don’t do it?  I'd have to weigh 142 to be at a healthy BMI.  I have not weighed 142 since at least my freshman year of high school, possibly middle school.  Is it really possible that I could be that weight as an adult? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Monetary Motivation

I was thinking about two years ago (gosh, was it really so long ago?) when I competed in the Ultimate Girls Challenge.  It was a Biggest Loser type of competition, where we each put in $10 and the top 3 winners split the pot.  We earned points not only for the amount of weight we lost, but also for daily and weekly healthy activities.  It was a great motivator for me, I think because it tapped into my competitive side. 

I didn’t even get to finish the first competition since I got pregnant in the middle of it, and I’ve since pretty much lost touch with that group.  So, I’ve been looking for similar competitive motivators, and I have found a couple of websites that strive to do something similar:

DietBet ( has you set up a game with your friends.  You decide how much money goes in the pot, and how much each person has to lose in four weeks, and then the winner gets the pot.  It seems like a nice tool to track everything fairly, although I feel like you could easily do it without the site.  My problem is that I don’t think I have a group of people who would want to do this with me. 

Healthy Wage ( is slightly more intricate.  They have 3 different challenges you can take part in (and you can do one, two, or all three at the same time).  The first is the 10% challenge.  You put up $100 and if you lose 10% of your starting weight in 6 months, you win $200. 

The second challenge is the BMI challenge.  You need to have a starting BMI of 30 or higher to do this one.  The goal is to make your way to a healthy BMI (under 25) in 1 year.  You can put up $150 to win $400, $300 to win $1000, or you can put up no money to win $100. 

The third Healthy Wage challenge, the matchup, is more of a team competition.  You join a team of 5 and each person puts up $60.  For 12 weeks, as a team, you try to have the biggest percentage of weight loss vs. other teams out there.  If you do, your team wins $10,000; second place wins $5,000, and third place wins $3000.  To prevent unhealthy weight loss, they do only count weight loss up to 16.6% per person. 

With Healthy Wage, you can put a team together yourself, or you can have the site add you to a team of people from around the country.  To keep things fair, you have to have your starting and ending weights verified by your doctor or at a Weight Watchers meeting. 

I find myself more drawn to Healthy Wage, and I really like the way they have their Matchup challenge set up – there are also weekly contests within the Matchup challenge, and since it’s only 12 weeks, it’s a quicker reward.  But, again, finding 4 other people to do the challenge with me might be difficult. 

Both of these sites say that wagering money makes people up to 5 times more likely to succeed. 

Have you heard of something similar?  Is there anyone out there that is interested in putting their money where their mouth is?

Monday, April 30, 2012

Starting over or continuing?

Geesh, it’s been so long since I posted, I nearly forgot my password.  Since I have such a small audience, I guess I don’t feel too bad about it though.  Not that you two aren’t important! ;-)

I do find myself amazed at the people who have jobs, families, and somehow figure out how to life a healthy, active lifestyle AND blog about it regularly.   

So, my little Bug is a year old already and I still haven’t made eating well and working out a consistent part of my life.  I think I was hoping that if I focused enough on all the other things I have going on, this one would just sort itself out on its own.  Not the case, apparently.  

This weekend, I decided it was time for me to update my wardrobe.  I haven’t bought new work pants since before I was pregnant, and in general, I feel like I’m starting to look a bit sloppy.  So, I headed out to the Mall of America ready to makeover my closet.  

First, I got a bra fitting at Nordstrom.  If you haven’t had a professional bra fitting, I highly recommend it – especially if you are busty (like I am), or if there have been changes in your body (like, say, having a baby).  It turns out that I have been wearing the right size bra, but the wrong style.  So, I got a few nice bras and headed out to fill the rest of my closet.  

Unfortunately, I just couldn’t find anything that I loved.  It was really hard for me to find pants that fit, it just seemed that all the stores were out of my size and everywhere I went, I would try stuff on that just didn’t look great.  

This got me to thinking that it’s time for me to focus on getting back in shape again.  I’d be much more likely to find clothes that fit if I wasn’t always in need of the largest sizes.  

I feel like I’m approaching this a lot different than I’ve approached it in the past.  I don’t really have a concrete plan, but I’m just going to do what I can and try to take it one day at a time.  And, I’ll probably develop a plan as I go.

So, today at the Y, I took a “Fitness Test” on the elliptical machine.  There wasn’t a description of what all the fitness test was supposed to entail, but from what I gathered, it was 2 minutes on each increasing level.  After 10 minutes, I was beat and finding it really hard to stay in the RPM range they specified, so I stopped the test there.  The report said that I was in the 10th percentile for my age group.  Yikes.  So, lots of room for improvement there.  I thought maybe I’d try to retake it once a month and see if I can improve. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

...And We're Back!

Hello, my little twisters! My, my, it has been a while, hasn’t it? Well, what have I been up to? I gave birth to my gorgeous son on April 7th. I worked hard to stay within my weight-gain goal & only gained about 20 lbs (which, frankly was a miracle). I wasn’t as active as I had hoped to be throughout my pregnancy, and actually ended up being on partial bed rest for the last six weeks, which really wasn’t fun. One of the reasons staying active was important to me was that I really wanted to have a drug-free delivery, and I’m happy to report that despite my inactivity, my body was fit enough to handle it and I got my wish! If anyone is interested in non-medicated birth, feel free to message me and I’ll be glad to share my experience.

I’m now back at work full-time, and that is going ok. In some ways, it’s great to be back with grown-ups again, but it’s also hard to be away from the little guy all day.

I pretty much lost my baby weight right away, and I’m now about 5 pounds lighter than my last official weigh-in on this blog. I have decided to not focus on weight loss for a while – I mean, I’d love to keep losing, but in reality, I have a lot of other things to occupy my mind and I know I would be half-assing any weight loss efforts. So, for now I have no plans to rejoin the SparkPeople group that I was a part of last year, or Weight Watchers, or any other structured weight loss program.

However, I really do want to get back into an active lifestyle, so I have started the C25K running program again. I just finished week 2 and so far, so good. It’s nice that we have a treadmill at home, and it just takes a little more planning to get myself down to the basement while daddy watches the little guy.

So, that’s pretty much the update. I have some other thoughts that have been percolating in my little brain, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

An Explaination

Hello, my two followers.  I thought I would share with you why I have been MIA since July.  At that time, I was taking part in a SparkPeople weight loss challenge which had really boosted my efforts.  I was down almost 20 pounds and really starting to get into the weight loss groove.  And then....I found out I was pregnant! 

We are super excited and probably as ready as we can ever be to accept this major life change.  But,  this means I have pretty much tabled all weight-loss thoughts for the time being.  I have been really trying to eat a balanced diet, which has actually not been too hard for me.  Staying active has been a challenge, for sure and I really need to make more of an effort to get moving every day.  My goal has been to not gain more than 25 pounds.  So far, I'm only up about 3 pounds from my last SP weigh-in before we found out.  So, things are pretty good in that regard.

I'm due at the beginning of April, so I'm *almost* half-way done.  I'm super nervous about what weight loss efforts will be like post-baby, but I'm sure I will keep you posted.   

I just wanted to check-in and let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth!

Keep on truckin' :)

Monday, July 19, 2010


At the start of this year, my New Year’s Resolution was to run 300 miles in 2010. I didn’t really document any mileage up until early April (anything before that would be pretty negligible anyway), and since then, I have ran 91.55 miles! My goal for the next 4 weeks is to run 10 miles per week. At this rate, I think it’s totally possible to meet my 300 goal by the end of the year! That feels pretty good!

Saturday I attended a baby shower for one of my college friends. It was very nice and low-key. The food was very tempting, but I used some willpower and had one plate of snacks and NO cake. I was sad about the cake for about 5 whole minutes, and then everyone else was done with theirs, and I let it go.

Speaking of willpower, my husband told me about this experiment (Baumeister, R. F.; Bratslavsky, E.; Muraven, M.; Tice, D. M. (1998)) that he read about in Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard (Heath, Chip; Heath, Dan. (2010). So, they have two groups of people who believe they are doing a taste test experiment. The researchers ask them not to eat the night before the experiment. Group A comes into the experiment room. There are two plates on the table, one is a plate of warm, freshly baked cookies and one is a plate of radishes. They are told to eat only the radishes, and not even touch the cookies. After a few minutes, the researchers come in and give the subjects a maze that is impossible to solve. If the subject makes a mistake on the maze, they have to start over from the beginning. So, the subjects work on the maze and the researchers time how long it takes them until they give up in frustration. Then, Group B repeats the experiment, except they are allowed to eat the cookies. The researchers discover that Group A gave up on the maze much sooner than the subjects in Group B. What does this mean? Well, the researchers theorize that we all have a finite amount of willpower. Group B didn’t have to use willpower to resist the cookies in the first part of the experiment, so they were able to use it to endure solving the frustrating puzzle longer than Group A.

Pretty interesting, no? I believe they go on to discuss how using willpower in one area of your life (your diet, for example), can deplete the willpower you have left to use in other parts (work, for example). Which might explain why when I’m successful in my weight loss efforts, I have little self-discipline to get my work done.