Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The epiphany.

The other day I was thinking that for having a blog about getting healthier, I haven’t spent that much time writing about it.  I mean in the beginning I wrote a lot about my ‘new’ physical endeavors, but lately there has been so much going on in other parts of my life, I think I lost track of the whole ‘health’ thing.  I mean, yes, I’m still weighing myself and losing weight and exercising (most of the time), but I really haven’t had that be my main focus lately.
Well, it’s all changing with this little post folks (and by little, I mean extra-long).  Put on your reading hats and get ready for the ‘health post’ of the century everyone!
When I first started this little blog of mine back in January, I found a few ‘new’ loves: yoga & running.  It was NOT love at first sight with those two by the way. As you’ve read in older posts, coordination is not my strong suit.  So when I did yoga, I looked like a 300 pound truck driver trying to be a ballerina in Swan Lake. With a Slim Jim hanging out of his mouth.  And a Natural Light in hand. But as I did more yoga, I found I really liked it. And my coordination got a little better.
Same goes for running. Running and I have despised each other for many years.  When my college girlfriends would ask me to go to the gym and run on the track, I looked at them with disgust and replied, “Are you kidding me, there’s a perfectly good 12-pack in the fridge. I plan to do some arm curls for my workout today, thank you very much.” Hence why I gained 40 pounds in four years.  But I started running/walking on the treadmill at the gym before yoga class and soon became best friends with that conveyer belt of death. Well, not best friends, but we did make peace about 45 minutes, three times a week.
Then my husband ruined my mojo and had to up and go work out of town.  That left me taking care of the canine, which meant I had to get home right after work to let him out of the house. That equals ‘exercise at home’.
So I tried something different: P90X
That was about a month and a half ago, or something, and I have yet to make it a solid week, but I have kept my goal of exercising at least 3 times a week, and that makes me proud. 
But I’m getting a little bored with it, and it’s all sunshine and loveliness outside right now, so I think I’m going to mix it up a bit.
New plan: Continue with P90X at least 3 times a week (mixing up the DVDs) and add some outside running back into my pathetic exercise routine.
We’ll see how this goes.
In other news: I have stuck with my nutritional experiment of adding Herbalife into my diet for breakfast and lunch and have decided that it’s exactly what I needed.  I tried the chocolate first, and it was ok, but I recently got the vanilla and I love it!
At first, I didn’t do very well on the Herbalife plan on the weekends, but the last two weeks I’ve done amazing. And it shows, because I’m down another 1.8 pounds! I’m at 151.7 and I haven’t been that low since last summer.
I also had a little epiphany this morning about exercise, nutrition, weight loss, health, blah, blahbity, blah-blah.  I have been on this roller coaster of weight loss/getting healthier for most of my post-college life (equals 5 years).  I mean, I joined food journaling sites, read all the latest diet books about good nutrition being the key to weight loss, watched countless, somewhat boring, shows about the human body and what causes it to be obese or healthy.  I freaking did a shit-ton of research on health, of not only the body but the mind too.  I also would do everything ‘by the book’ and not see any damn results. I did P90X (the first time) for 45 days straight, following their nutritional guide to the T. Want to know how much weight I lost? 2 pounds.  Yep, just a measly 2 pathetic pounds.
Now, I don’t want to mislead you. I know that the ‘numbers’ don’t mean shit, i.e. muscle weighs more than fat, judge your weight by how your clothes fit, etc.  But when you’ve started something that claims to change you to a healthier and skinnier person if you follow this simple plan, then it doesn’t do what it said, you get pissed. And I’m not just talking the P90X workout plan and diet either. It was everything. I counted food and exercise calories like it was goin’ outta style! I tried 1500, 800, and 2000 cal a day diets, I exercised 5 times or more a week, I DID IT ALLLL! I didn’t try any of those fad diets, I stuck with the boring ‘good nutrition’ of lean meats, low fat, low processed carbs, low sugar, lots of fruits and veggies kind of diet.  And most of the time I rarely lost any significant amount of weight.  The only reason I got down to 147 for my wedding because I was taking prescription diet drugs. Not a good idea by the way. It kinda made me a teensy bit psycho, and not in a good way.
Everywhere I looked, the same thing was said: Consume fewer calories, either by eating less (or better) or exercise more or a combination of both, than your current caloric intake, and you will lose weight.  It sounded so simple: to lose one pound of fat you need to cut/burn 3500 calories per week. Easy math, 3500 divided by 7 equals 500 a day. (Look Mom! I did learn from you! {My mom was my math teacher}) I was eating a 2000 calorie a day diet, so I dropped it to 1700 and added exercise to equal 1500 a day. After a week, that pound should be bye-bye, right?  Not so much. I never did figure out what I was doing wrong. As some people were jumping for joy because they lost pound after pound of excess blubber I kept wondering if they could do it, why can’t I.  I mean I got to the point that if one more toothpick bimbo Barbie wannabe posted about ‘another pound lost, yippee!’ I was going to go on a full-on drunk fest and binge eating rampage and pummel their ass.
So, I gave up. As many of us do in moments of desperation or when we don’t get what we want. Oh, maybe not many of ‘us’, but that’s what I typically do. Until January, when I decided that the last 4 month bender of sugary, fatty, fried goodiness was probably not the best idea, and that I needed to make a change. Plus my face looked like a New York pot-holed street. That wasn’t appealing, let me tell you. And since January, I’ve done pretty well. I’m down 6 pounds and I’m eating a lot better and I feel great. But most of January and February I barely made a scratch in the poundage loss department.  I was frustrated, but I kept with it, basically because I felt I owed it to all the people that read these crazed ramblings. (Thanks by the way!)
BUT the last two weeks have been stellar! I think I’ve lost 3-4 pounds in 14 days. Just the progress I wanted.
Which brings me back to the epiphany: Each individual has to find ‘their’ balance in their quest-of-health. 
Meaning, every person is different; physically, mentally, emotionally. So why wouldn’t that apply to losing weight?  It’s so easy; I can’t believe I didn’t figure this out sooner. (Sometimes that ditzy side of my family sneaks up on me.) I was doing what all these doctors and books and articles said to do, but with no effects. What really changed me this last two weeks is I thought that maybe I was still getting too many calories. I was again ‘following the book’ on what my diet should be. So I decided to shake that baby up. (Mind you I don’t count calories because through trial and error I found that it just doesn’t work for me. I stress too much on the little things, so I removed that stress.)
The changes I made were so small. Just cut back a little here, trim a little there, and *shazaam* weight loss.  Instead of putting 8 ounces of milk in my two shakes, I used 4 and added 4 ounces of water.  I cut the daily Girl Scout cookies (only 2) to zilch. Well, let’s be honest, I can’t just go zilch on chocolate otherwise bad things happen to the people I love, i.e. I get all Mrs. Cranky McGee on Ryan. So I have 2 cookies once a week.  I also stopped gorging on the weekends.  I’ll have a meal I love that is not healthy in the slightest, but I’ll only eat half, or sometimes a quarter. I also quit the bad snacking during work. A Babybel cheese here, some homemade pita chips there, maybe throw in a banana. Done. I also have almost cut out my beloved tortilla chips. I still have them, but only in moderation, and only after I’ve eaten something ‘good’. That way I fill up on the ‘good’ snack and don’t eat as many of the ‘bad’ chips.
I don’t know what my daily calorie intake is, and I don’t give a rat’s ass. (If I was to guess, I’d say somewhere around 1000 a day.) I’m not hungry, my tummy isn’t doing the grumble dance of love, I have tons of energy, and I feel fantastic. And FINALLY I have lost some freaking weight.  My abs are starting to show; it’s so stinkin’ sexy!
I am not saying, by any means, that anyone should cut their calories to barely anything. I know that 1000 calories a day isn’t a lot, especially if I’m burning more when I exercise. But for me, this is working right now; this is my balance.  When I hit a plateau, I’ll add more. Or if I reach my goal weight, I’ll start filtering in food instead of the shakes.
It truly is about getting healthier. But having a smaller number on the scale is healthier to me.  Plus, do you know how much junk food I’ve stopped eating because of this little health adventure? LOADS.  And that will help me in the long run, to keep a healthy diet even after I reach my goals.
So find your balance and all your dreams will come true. Yeah right. More like: find your balance, work your ass off, eat a quarter of what you were eating before in your ‘fat days’, scream at the piece-of-shit-never-shows-me-the-numbers-I-want scale, and then all your dreams will come true. Easy as pie.


  1. I'm a girl who loves a plan! You are so right that everyone is different. If you are feeling good, then you are probably doing what is right for you. Excellent!

  2. Awesome post - and i agree. Everyone is different and we all have to find our own "plan" that works for us.

    PS how is P90x? It scares the shit out of me.

  3. I read your entire post...I would like a little star sticker now please! Good for you for finding your balance. That is the best place to be at.

  4. What a fantastic blog and inspirational post! It really is about personal balance, isn't it?

    I like the notion that we just have to eat well 90% of the time. It's not about being perfect all the time - that won't hold up. It's also not about binging and crying into our beers. It's a balance. :)

    Love it!!


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