Thursday, December 30, 2010

My year in retrospective

This time a year ago, I was waiting. Waiting for what exactly? Well, I was one of the hundreds of thousands of morbidly obese Americans vying to be selected to be a contestant on a weight loss reality show.

In October of 2009, I auditioned for a new ABC weight loss show. I was around 320 at this time. They wanted people that were 200+ pounds overweight and I tried to act the part. I received a callback, but in the end I just wasn't big enough. Ha! That's something I had never heard before.

So, I spent the first two months in 2010 waiting to audition again. This time for Biggest Loser. I had auditioned once before for the show, two years prior in 2008. I was actually told during the October audition process, "if I don't get you on this show, I WILL get you on Biggest Loser." Those words gave me a lot of false hope. So, during these two months I did nothing to change my unhealthy lifestyle or try to lose weight. I did everything not to change the way I looked. I even waited to cut my hair and donate it to Beautiful Lengths. Between October and March, I actually gained weight. At this point I was hovering around 330-335.

The months following the audition was a roller coaster of highs and lows. The process completely broke me down and it was hard for me to not think about what might be going on behind the scenes in the casting process. This is an excerpt from one of the private journal entries I wrote during the casting process:
Whew, what an emotionally drawn out week this has been. I spent Sunday and Monday ANTICIPATING the call back, Tuesday morning was actually alright, I think I should have been more nervous than I was. I didn't really prepare. I was just excited I got calledback. Then spent Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday analyzing my interview and yesterday and today fretting over this damn hometape they want me to do BY TUESDAY!
So again, I did nothing for 2 months. I ate what I wanted and didn't exercise. In the back of my mind, I thought I'd be at the Ranch in just a few weeks, so why start losing weight now. Looking back, of course, this was a horrible way of thinking. On April 22, I received the news that the NBC executives passed on me as a potential contestant. This is the feedback I got from my casting director:
To be honest I feel like they thought you were just too all American normal. Everything I love about you.
When I read the message saying I was not selected, I cried. I was actually on my way to an event and I had to pull myself together pretty quickly, but that doesn't mean I didn't grieve for many days, because I did. Apparently I grieved for the whole month of May because on June 6 I started this blog and made a pledge to change my life and to never audition for a weight loss show again. It took me some time to get a grasp on eating healthy and exercising regularly again, but fortunately I was able to lose 30 pounds between June and November and maintain my weight in December. I can't say 2010 has been a horrible year, but I don't know that it was the best year either. There have been a lot of good times for sure, and equally a lot of disappointments.

2011 will bring at least 50 more pounds lost and my 2nd half-marathon in February. I will make 2011 a great year. And it won't be an accident when it is.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On the 12th day of Christmas my family gave to me...

Today was the first day in many days that I've felt in control again. My calories are under my 1,900 goal and I walked 4 miles at approx a 19 min pace.

I'm not even going to look back at what went wrong (well maybe I will for my own internal introspective, but I won't rehash it here). I'm only going to look ahead and make sure my calories are on point the rest of this week into next month so I can either lose or maintain on Sunday. I have to remember I have a hefty goal ahead of me - I have approximately 6 months to lose 50 pounds. Scary!

The highlight of my holiday (and birthday!) was definitely the awesome, awesome fitness gifts my mom and sister gifted me.

New "wicking" sports bra. I haven't tried it yet, but it seems like it will be way more supportive. I've been wearing crappy cotton sports bras that just don't provide any support.Resistance bands. I asked for hand weights but I got these - and I'm not complaining!!! It comes with a DVD so I can't wait to try them out. I'm in some serious need of strength training in my life. My sister tried to show me a few moves Monday night ;)

Finally a jacket that's not cotton! I've been wearing fleeces and hoodies, which hold in moisture. I think this will be a welcome piece to my workout wardrobe.

A great base layer piece - it features a "Duo Dry" material. I have tried it on, but haven't walked in it. It seems like it may be a bit short on me (I have a long torso), but I think it will work out fine.

There was one disappointment - these running tights. My mom got me a pair of XXL C9 running tights from Target. When I inspected them they looked....small. Sure enough they didn't slide past my thighs. I measured them and they are only about 36 inches around the waist - is that an 18/20? Seems small to me.

It makes sense that they didn't fit, I'm not an 18/20 or XXL. Although, I have another pair of XXL C9 capris I bought 2 years ago when I did the Music City half-marathon. They were actually tight when I bought them and I always had a wear a long t-shirt with them (and still choose to do so, even at 30 lbs lighter). I ended up ordering these Danskin Women's Plus Performance Leggings from Wal-mart. I loathe Wal-mart, but they were only $13 since this style is discontinued, plus I didn't actually have to go IN a Wal-mart store.

I can't wait to try out all these new, awesome gifts. I got new tennis shoes last week and I'm ready for that 10 mile walk!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Weigh in - week 29

Last week's weight: 297.2
This week's weight: 297.4

0.2 pounds gained

32 pounds lost since June 2010

Last night, after getting back to my mom's house at 3:30 am from family Christmas festivites (cause that's how we roll), we walked in to discover the house was 54 degrees and the heater stone cold.

At this point I was so tired and just wanted to sleep. We sought refuge at a friend's house and my head hit the pillow at 4 am.

The wacky sleeping schedule has left me groggy and I'm having a hard time getting going today.

This weigh in has me entering 2011 officially under 300!!! I am proud I've maintained through Christmas and have no doubt I will continue to lose next week.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Going "Loko"

View 2010-12-21 09:14 in a larger map

This was my "almost" 4 mile walk yesterday. I probably should have mapped my walk before heading out, but instead I just set off and just went where my feet took me. I am so thankful my mom lives in a safe, residential area perfect for taking my feet to the streets! I'll do another 4 miles tomorrow and on Friday I'll do my DIY 5K Santa Shuffle. That one I'll for sure need to map before hand.

I am eating fine, but last night I indulged in the alcohol a bit. Ever heard of Four Loko? Yes, the stuff that was pulled from the shelves because it caused a few deaths and heart attacks. Well, I tried the non-caffeinated version last night. I guess the draw is that is it cheaper than liquor, but has 12% alcohol - more than twice that of it's beer counter part. It didn't have a nutrition label so I have no idea for sure, but it tasted like it was filled with 5 million grams of sugar (and yes, it tasted good). Looking up the calorie count on Spark People, I found it has 660 calories in an almost 24 ounce can (and some sites report 60 g of sugar and 65 carbs). YES - I typed that correctly - 660! I only had about half a can because it was so sugary I couldn't drink it all. With that much sugar, it sure did cause an epic sugar crash too. Obviously this isn't something I should ever put in my body again. But when in Rome...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weigh in - Week 28

I forgot my laptop in Nashville so for the next week or so my blogging abilities are limited. My mom only has an archaic computer that takes forever to do anything and I hate using it. I did try to post my weigh in yesterday from a Blogger app I downloaded on my phone, but it deleted half my post before I was done, so I gave up.

Anyways, better late than never. Here we go.

Last week's weight: 295.8
This week's weight: 297.2

1.4 pounds GAINED

32.2 pounds lost since June 2010

The last several weeks I've been teetering back and forth between 295 and 297. I don't think it's a big deal, I just need to stay on my game for the next two weeks and really focus on making the scale go down after the holidays.

Tomorrow I will get in a 4 mile walk. It didn't happen today because I had a major case of the "Kelly flu" (aka hungover). I spent way too much time on the couch, but I had a great time with friends last night so it's totally worth feeling like a worthless blob.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday pitfall: how I survived

This is probably the hardest week I've had since September. I only walked once due to snow/ice and holiday parties (I will walk 9 miles in the morning). However, I did have one significant victory when I indulged at my work holiday party Thursday night AND stayed within my calorie range for the day. I'd really love to recap what I ate, so here we go:

3 oz honey baked ham - 170 cals
1/4 cup mashed potatoes - 50 cals
2 Tbsp corn casserole - 45 cals
Pea and mint crostini - 40 cals
Croissant - 110 cals
1/4 cup salad w/1 tsp dressing - 25 cals
Captain Rodney's cheese bake (2 Tbsp) w/3 club crackers - 130 cals
1 small brownie - 115 cals
1 small slice cheesecake - 240 cals
7 oz pino grigio - 155 cals

Total - 1,080 calories

Whoa I know, where does the victory come in you ask? For one, I did not eat every dish offered. I left out sausage dip, green beans with bacon, the cheese ball, potato salad, shrimp salad, and the list goes on and on. Secondly, I pre-planned my lunch so that it was low in calories. Lunch came in at 220 calories. With breakfast, I was only at around 585 before heading to the party. My calorie total for the day was around 1,660. Even if I miscalculated what I ate at the party (easy to do) and was off by 10%, that still puts me at 1,900 for the day - my goal.

While I realize others would approach the holiday party differently, I chose to enjoy myself and cut out unwanted calories elsewhere in my day. And so, I'm calling this a victory because I didn't compromise my enjoyment OR my calorie goal for the day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hold the Stuffing - halfway point

If you recall, I am participating in my work's Hold the Stuffing holiday challenge. It is a voluntary program facilitated by my employer's healthy and wellness department that encourages little to no weight gain during the full, two-month holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years. They weigh you in a week before Thanksgiving and a week after New Years. If you do not gain more than 2 lbs, you are entered to win a prize.

Today mark's the half-way point and I am happy to report not only am I maintaining my weight, but I have lost 5.4 lbs in the 4 weeks since I weighed in.

I am hoping putting this in perspective helps me stay away from all the baked goods I have in my house right now. Last night I munched on far too many molasses cookies and toffee bars. I need to bring them into work so they are gone in a snap.

This is also a good reminder of my "guidelines" I set a month ago. I have been letting them slip as of late.

- No consumption of any baked goods brought to work by others.

- Allow myself 1 piece of dessert ON the day of the holiday and not the days before or after (I am going to try to stay away from dessert until me)

Less than three weeks to get through the holiday tempations and I am hoping another 5 lbs lost!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Imagine my surprise when I was actually LOOKING FORWARD to heading to the gym after work in the snow, ice and -3 windchill. Yep, all I wanted was to hit the treadmill for an hour and decompress from my day.

However, my plans came to a screeching halt.

While in the elevator, my co-worker informed me the employee gym closed at 4 pm today.

Say what!?!

So my walking plan has been thwarted for the week. There's no way I can walk Thursday because of a work holiday party. And Friday is out because I am walking 9 miles on Saturday morning. So, now I'm down to just walking Tuesday (after a wine party) and Wednesday. Damn.

This makes it even more important to watch my calorie intake, this week, amidst plenty of holiday temptations and my very own baked goods staring me in the face.

I should be prepared with a back-up at home workout, but I have no idea what that should include. What is your favorite at-home workout?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weigh in - Week 27

Last week's weight: 297.8
This week's weight: 295.8

2 pound LOSS

33.6 pounds lost since June 2010

My scale has been doing some serious jumping around this week. Monday morning I was down 4 lbs from last week's weigh in to 293. Friday, I got on the scale and it showed me 3 different numbers between 293 and 299. Could something be wrong with my scale?

Despite the weird scale jumping around, my calorie differential (from Spark People) was around 8,900 for Sun-Sat, but I know I've had a couple situations where I could have done better. I had french fries twice in a week, which is something I don't normally do. I've also been craving all of the holiday baked goods and sweets so several days last week I had a couple cookies here, a few candies there. And it adds up. I am not of the mindset where I am never going to have cookies or chocolate again, but I need to stop saying, "oh I'll just have these 2 cookies" every other day. That's what gets you in trouble.

I have TWO holiday parties at work this week. One will be easy to avoid over indulgence because it's just an hour and a half wine party with light apps. I am bringing a healthy shrimp salad on cucumber slices. The other is dinner at my boss' house. This will be where trouble comes in. There will be fat filled appetizers, un-healthy honey baked ham with all the trimmings and pie....PIE! Not to mention alcohol galore. I want to enjoy celebrating with my co-workers, but not overindulge. I am bringing a vegetable and I know another co-worker is bringing a salad so at least there will for sure be a few healthy(er) options.

My plan is to simply have a light lunch and have small portions of *some* of the items and limit my alcohol to a glass or two of red wine.

How do you avoid over indulgence at holiday parties without drawing attention to your calorie counting ways?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It always comes back to being prepared

It was a frustrating walk today. My GPS tracker on my phone crapped out on me (couldn't find the GPS signal where I was - I think it was weather related) and I had no idea how far I walked. I decided to walk for approximately 2 1/2 hours and figured that would be around the 8 miles I needed, but unfortunately I turned around about a mile too soon and ended back at my car only about 1:45 hours in. I tacked on about a mile at the end by walking down 8 blocks past my car and the 8 blocks back, but it still only gave me around 7 miles. I was frustrated at the end because my feet hurt and I FELT like it could have been 8 miles.

I plan to make up the miles this week by walking Mon, Tues, Wed. (I have a holiday party on Thurs. and need to walk Wed instead.)

This morning made me realize I NEED to start planning my long walks out better so that I have fresh locations AND I know how far I am walking when I go out in case the GPS tracking on my phone doesn't work.

I think the sleepless night I had last night contributed to my frustration of not completing the 8 miles, but I'm trying REALLY hard not to let it get to me knowing I will get in extra miles this week. On another note, my calorie differntial is looking really good this week, so hopefully I have a good weigh in tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

3 miles: personal record!

You may have seen this on Twitter, but I almost forgot to post here that I did my 3 mile training walk last night in 47:53 - a personal record! That is approximately a 16 minute mile. I've been struggling with motivation lately so I decided to challenge myself with trying to do 3 miles in under 50 minutes. I have to keep the treadmill visits fresh, ya know?

Now that it's dark and cold outside, I've been hitting the treadmill during the week. I have a few tips to keeping it fresh:

- Do intervals. Either way you do it, either by distance or time. Choose an increment to go as hard and as fast as you can then do a recovery interval for a bit longer time than the first segment. (ex: 1/4 mile at 4 mph then 1/2 mile at 3.5)

- Change machines mid-way through your walk/run. I know it sounds silly to get off a machine, wipe it down, then move to the other side of the room, but the change of perspective may help your, "oh this is so boring" thoughts.

- Cover the display and only look at it after a pre-determined time. After a commercial break, for example. Or every two songs.

- Think of your walk/run as smaller segments. When I hit 1/2 a mile on a 3 mile walk, I am 1/6 of the way through. 1 mile is a third. Before you know it you'll be half way through, then you'll only have a quarter mile left.

- Make mental lists about what you have to to that day/evening, the next day, the coming weekend.

- And of course, set a time limit and finish your mileage before that set time. It keeps you focused on an end goal and the challenge gives you something to think about besides how boring the treadmill is.

Tomorrow I am attempting 4 miles. I may try to go outside on a well lit road with a bike path/sidewalk - we'll see how I feel!

Do you have tips for race training indoors? Share them below!

Random thought

Could this be any more amazing? Wedding cupcakes served in tea cups.

Cupcakes in teacups [Style Me Pretty]

This photo is right on target with my cold, wintery daydreams today. Love.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How to know when 'most of the time' is good enough

I love comparing stats and numbers and backing up my personal opinions with cold, hard data. Weird, I'm aware.

I follow several weight loss bloggers. Some, who I envy because it seems every week they lose, lose, lose - and never, ever have a gain! I'm jealous of those that "seem" like they have no problem taking the weight off (I know this is only my perception). I also run into several posts during a week of bloggers posting a gain - big gains - week after week. Lose and gain, over and over, the same 5 pounds. I am not judging anyone, just observing and using this observation as a catalyst to reflect on my own behaviors here.

Over the last 6 months I haven't felt like I had many weeks with significant gains (+1 or more), so I went to the data to investigate what my behavior when it came to the scale.

The Breakdown
  1. I had 6 weigh ins out of 26 weeks with a gain (1 week was less than a pound gain, and 1 week was 0.8 pound, but I rounded up)
  2. That is 23% of the time where I gained
  3. Which means, I lost weight 77% of the time!
  4. I missed 2 consecutive weigh ins due to being out-of-town for vacation (the only 2 I've missed)
  5. I lost 33.4 pounds in 26 weeks (June 6 - Nov 21)
  6. That is 10.14% of my starting body weight
  7. My BMI went from 44.6 to 40.1
  8. That is 4.5 points
  9. If I lose at least 2.8 pounds from my weigh in on Sunday, I will be OUT of the morbid obesity category (BMI of over 40) and move into the severe obesity category (BMI of 35-40)
  10. I have dropped 2 dress sizes and I already feel like I am working on crossing over into the next one.
So, my point is, that I gained 23% of the time, however, I lost weight 77% of the time which goes to show you to be successful you do not have to be perfect, but you have to be great MOST of the time to see results.

I am often hard on myself. I am my own food police, I am the food police to others (I am working on this). I feel guilty if I miss a work out, I push others to not cut out on theirs. I want to do everything perfectly, because if it's not perfect then I think what is the point? However, I think my biggest positive behavior has been when I do gain, or do go out and eat some french fries, I don't get down on myself BUT I do make a conscience choice to TRY BETTER NEXT TIME. There is a fine line between beating yourself up about a bad decision and being apathetic about your bad decision and not taking the chance to learn from your mistakes to make better choices the next time because in the end, if you aren't learning through out this journey then what is the point?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Weigh in - Week 26

Last week's weight: 296.0
This week's weight: 297.8

1.8 pound GAIN

31.6 pounds lost since June 2010

I knew it was coming - a gain. I've been lacking motivation and the cold weather has my cravings all over the map.

This week, I will focus on pre-planning my menu for the week and get 7 servings of fruits and veggies each day plus I will make a conscience effort to not overeat on Saturday after my long walk.

I am also switching up my training schedule and swapping out the Monday walk to take a water aerobics class Monday evenings, which I believe will burn more calories. I've been doing so well on my long walks, that I feel I don't need to focus on walking 4 times a week when I could use some cross training in my schedule.

Lots to get done today - have a great Sunday!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

10 weeks until race day

I realized today that I am NOT a group exerciser. I don't particularly mind group exercise classes if I go on my own, but I don't really enjoy getting a friend, or multiple friends, together to go out and exercise.

I realized this when I pulled up to the greenway at 7:05 this morning and there were about 50 people from a local group training team getting ready to start their run. Anxiety immediately entered my body. Were they going to be doing the same pre-determined route as I was doing today? My next thought was, "that's a lot of people to run around or passed me." In the end they went the opposite way and I enjoyed my peaceful walk where I only saw 4 people until the last 2 miles of my route.

I like going my own pace - as fast or as slow as my body needs me to go. I get much better quality work outs in if I do them on my own, I am my best competition.

My walk today was another good one. If My Tracks is measuring correctly, I did my first two miles at a 4.5 pace and completed 7.4 miles with an overall pace of 15:47. However, something happened when My Tracks was tracking my walk because it measured my walk out at 4 miles and then the walk back to my starting point only at 3.4 miles. So, once again I have no idea REALLY how far I've walked or how long it took me. Oh well, here's what we're recording:

View 12/4 Training Walk in a larger map

Friday, December 3, 2010

Motivation in weight loss

I've been having a rough week on the motivation front. I was sick earlier in the week (and I still have an earache) and the weather in Nashville is cold, cold, cold. This makes me want to eat macaroni and cheese and stay in my warm and fuzzy bed all day long - but alas I have to go to work, I haven't had ANY mac and cheese and I've been hitting the gym to walk.

So how do I get out of this lack of motivation funk? Cindi suggested I write out my goals (i.e. smaller clothes, feel better, look better, be healthier).

This prompted some major introspective thinking on the treadmill last night. What are my goals? Why am I putting all this work in? Immediately I remembered my next milestone I'd like to reach: lose 50 lbs by July 1st. It sort of freightens me this is such a huge goal, 50 lbs in 7 months (7.14 pounds a month) is more than I've lost in such a short period of time. However, I didn't blindly make up this goal.

The reason why I put this date on my goal of losing 50 lbs is because my sister is expecting her second child in July and I couldn't be more ecstatic!! One of my reasons to change my unhealthy lifestyle back in 2008 was because my neice was just a few months old and I realized I wanted to be able to run around and play with her effortlessly. I didn't want to be the fat aunt. I didn't want to pass on unhealthy habits to her that have been passed around my family for generations.

I hope thinking about WHY I am doing this is motivation enough to get back on track and get the scale moving in the right direction. I hope my long 7-8 mile walk tomorrow will help even out my week, as I haven't been as diligent with food choices.

I think motivation is the hardest thing about weight loss - it provides dramatic ups and downs to boot. What motivates you? How do you keep your motivation alive?