Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'll be a Mom-to-Be in a few weeks



Well, I haven't posted any weight loss stories and you can see why, I'm a mom-to-be. I often wonder how funny life can be when you're on track for one journey and how it leads to another. I haven't posted much because well, my body has been going through so many changes and I don't know if my fingers could survive all I've experienced thus far. Overall, I feel great and hopefully once I've delivered my baby girl, I can get back to diet and fitness. Hope to see you all in a couple of weeks or months depending on when I can get back to my workouts.

 Pregnancy Ticker

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How Funny?

A few years ago I lost weight and I felt great in every way – mind, body, and soul. My body was running a lot more efficiently – I was thinking more clearly, I had more energy and everyone around me noticed some big changes. At the time it felt great to have someone say, ‘Man you look great, what are doing?’ I would oblige the person with my regimen and some would say great and others would say, ‘Oh, I can’t do that’. But I was never fazed by the negativity – I felt way too good.

Well, I’m doing well, losing the weight, in the beginning I couldn’t really see the changes happening like the last time. So I would go about my business taking the process one step at a time. Well, now my secret is out, people have slowly realized that ‘Erica is shrinking – literally’. When one of my colleagues asked me if I was losing weight, I reluctantly said yes. In the past I would have willingly said, yes and give the rundown of what I was doing to lose the weight. I know the more people know the more accountable I am to keep the weight off. I get that but this time around I find myself loathing these discussions because I either have a great conversation or realize someone I thought was so nice is really a complete jerk. Negative energy – it’s such a confidence killer.

So, recently I’ve found talking about my weight to be so burdensome and drain on my sensibilities. I still tackle the stairs and as I’m walking up (I take the stairs three times a day going up and down at least four to five times to stay challenged on the stairs). I’m greeted by smiles and comments. At first I smiled and kept it moving but suddenly I noticed more and more people were finding a way to hit the stairs. When one woman told me I should be careful or I’ll have buns of steel. I thought to myself wow, what would make her say that. I smiled and chuckled with this woman but I began to notice a hint of sarcasm.

And I thought about change and when it happens how others around you change either for the better or for worse. I’ve noticed a few people have joined Weight Watchers and they look absolutely fabulous and I can find support in these people. But I also see another side; there will always be naysayers just around the corner.

So while I continue to walk the stairs I’ve begun to think about what my naysayers have said to me – the comments as I walk by. And I wondered why people have such a hard time supporting a person who’s doing what’s best for themselves? And what’s so bad about celebrating a good thing?

Personally I think it’s impossible to just be happy for someone, the human side comes roaring out wanting to crush what change for good comes its way. Why? Because comfort doesn’t work hand in hand with change.

So I really began to see how self-centered we are as individuals that no matter how well someone else is doing it all comes back to that individual and what they are willing to do or not do. And how they attempt to project their insecurities on to someone else. Or in this case to look at themselves and change or not change.

Now I understand what it takes to change – I’ve resolved that change is good even when others don’t like it. So I’ll take the Skinny Mini and Buns of Steel comments because in the end – I want change for me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finding My Balance.

It's been a while since I've had something to say weight-wise (I think this is ok to say, weight-wise) :)

I'm trudging along with my weight-loss trying to remain focused and on track. Recently I've noticed a pattern in my weight; I'll begin to lose weight then plateau temporarily and then lose weight again. In the beginning, the weight just came off but I know my body is constantly adjusting and trying to find a rhythm. Whenever I would begin to level off for a few days, I can sometimes become discouraged because I'm doing all the right things but the scale stays put – it’s frustrating.

So lately I’ve been reading a lot of weight loss success stories which are great ways to stay encouraged and keep my mind on the ultimate goal – my health. The other day I read something that I'm now learning to do for myself. To allow my body to rest and to trust I'll make the right food choices no matter what.

But anyways, I was reading an article about a woman who tried to lose weight and would hit plateaus often. She was literally killing herself working out every single day. She even trimmed down her meals - healthy meals at that, with the hope that she would lose weight. The scale didn’t budge one bit. While in the gym one day, a fitness trainer started jogging next to the woman asking the woman about her food and fitness regimen. The woman was proud to say she was working out every day and altering her healthy meals.

The trainer explained to the woman that she was hurting her body more than anything. The trainer explained that her body needed to rest in between her work outs. And that during the periods of rest her body would heal and form into the body she was trying to sculpt in her work outs.

The trainer also told the woman if she didn't eat proper portions during her meals that she was literally depriving her body of important nutrients that would help keep her healthy and increase her stamina; specifically when she was working out. Not to mention her body was probably going into survival mode since the woman was beginning to scale back significantly on her food intake.

Needless to the say, the woman, of course found her balance. Balance is so important and I'm beginning to find my balance. There was a time I'd try a new recipe and smile and grin and bear something that tasted absolutely terrible. But I've learned to enjoy food, that's healthy and tastes great. There are some days I don't want to workout and I push myself to get that workout in. Then there are days when my body is telling me I need to rest and not push so hard. So I rest.

While mentally and physically I know I have to allow variety to prevail or my weight will level off and I need to lose pounds not keep them. There was a time when I didn't know when to stop and I looked great but at some point you burn out or you hit a plateau. This is just as harmful as not eating right or working out at all. So I'm learning to be attuned to my body and balanced throughout this process and to truly be real with myself. I feel good but I don't have to suffer to feel good or to be healthy.

So take care of yourself and be balanced about it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

It Takes Time

It's been a while since I've posted and I think now is a great time to reflect on the last couple months of monitoring my diet and overall health. I'm excited because I've reached a weight loss milestone - 15lbs. down - I wasn't expecting to do so well so quickly.

So what's next? More weight to lose, my goal, simply to lose five pounds over the next few weeks. One of the most important lessons I'm learning is one I’ve always known deep down but it’s hard to follow. All good things happen in its time; my mind often reverts back to when I first lost weight four years ago. I lost the weight and maintained a healthy lifestyle before gaining the weight back. My goal was to lose the weight and that’s it.

Even now, I know how to eat a good diet, I know how to workout for fitness and health. And having this knowledge makes this weight loss journey a bit more difficult; because I know I can lose the weight but the patience factor is what could make or break me this time around. I thought initially it would take some time to lose the weight, I was hoping to lose a pound or two each week to two weeks. But I've lost quite a bit, I pause now because although I'm excited, I know I have a ways to go and it’s easy to think I can lose another 15 to 20lbs in a short few weeks. I pray every day that patience prevails.

But greater than that I know patience is a virtue and if I am patient and maintain the same attitude, then I won’t have to worry about how much weight I’m losing. Something I notice this time around that didn’t exist for me the first time I lost weight is that my focus is completely different now.

I keep a food diary but it doesn’t run me. I focus on fitness to assist my diet but I move because it’s good for me and not so I can get into a certain dress size. I’ve always hated grocery shopping, I loathed it my first time around losing weight. I hated monitoring what I ate but I knew I had to do it even then I was counting calories so as not to go over a certain caloric intake. Now I focus on the nutritional information to put good foods and nutrients in my body. I’m just looking to be healthy for me.

That’s it, nothing more, nothing less – I don’t feel like I have a mountain to climb. I just want to be healthy and each day that goes by and I check the scale and see progress. I know I’m moving towards something greater than a number. I’m moving towards a better me. I know it all takes time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shake Off the Mundane

Have you ever felt like nothing could satisfy your boredom? I was thinking about my mindset a couple months ago while running on the treadmill one day. How my spirit felt like it was at a standstill and how dull life felt to me. I felt like a hamster running on a wheel; my life was going around and around but I was going nowhere. Have you ever felt that way?

And then I thought this is crazy! I have to break out of this crazy routine.

I think about why I started this health and fitness journey. And yes, part of my motivation was to get back to my former self; to be healthy and moving. Moving. Yes, moving forward towards something. Its funny how moving can take you from one place to another and change your whole experience with each step you take toward your goal or dream.

I could never have imagined last month that I would be in a completely different mindset from now. At that time I was loathing the fact that I weighed too much, my clothes were getting tighter. I didn’t really want to go anywhere or do anything. And one day I realized how boring my life was becoming and how my energy was waning for life in general.

But today, I find myself excited after getting off the scale, I lost a good amount of weight and in a short period of time. My spirits are high. How did I end up here? I had to shake off the mundane and get moving somehow; I find myself looking for other ways to keep the momentum going and to release myself from what is commonplace. I’m seeking new challenges to open my eyes to new things and to elevate me to a whole new height in life.

Thank God for revelation and for wanting more than ordinary – take a look a at your life and know that moving forward can always change your situation and your life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pay Attention

Do you remember a time when you were in school and the teacher was droning on about math or English? And how your mind could sometimes wander thinking about some silly young thoughts you had at the time that mainly had nothing to do with school? The teacher would call your name and you would not only look silly but you’d realize you weren’t paying attention enough to answer the question? Let’s just say I had one of those moments yesterday evening.

My mom wanted to buy her first digital camera on Saturday, we went Best Buy to check out a few cameras with the sales person going on and on with what sounded like a droning sales pitch. Most of us have gone through this sales process. Where the sales person is not just trying to sell you the product you want to purchase but about five other things they claim you need to have in order to use the one product you want.

Well, I felt like I was back in school as the sales person was going on and on, I found myself tuning her out more and more. I even asked questions that forced the woman to repeat herself. What was going on with me? My heart wasn’t into the whole sales pitch but I wanted to help my mom who could freak out when having anything to do with electronics or anything that would technically challenge her. After enduring the sales pitch, my mom chose a Samsung camera with all the fixings and we were off.

My mom was eager to try out her new camera and we decided to visit my sister’s home and christen my mom's new camera. We took some great pictures of my mom showing her throughout the picture taking what each feature on the camera meant and when to use certain features when she was inside versus outside, etc. Well, my mom loved the pictures we took and we saved them directly on her camera and not on a memory card. Big mistake.

When it came time to download the pictures on to my mom's computer (which she rarely uses by the way) the cord we thought would connect to her computer was not there. We scoured the box and read over the instructions several times. Finally, my husband indicated we’d have to go back to Best Buy to get the cord; my mother needed a USB connection and the only cord in the box was some analog cord - no good.

Here’s where my dumb moment comes in due to not paying attention. My mom and I head into Best Buy and we patiently wait while a sales person assists another customer. While we were waiting another sales person stopped to ask us if we needed assistance. I told the gentlemen our dilemma; who by the way resembled and made me fell like I was talking to Will Smith (at least the guy looked like Will Smith with glasses and he spoke with the kind of intelligence and humor that Will Smith is often known to have in his movies).

The guy asked my mother if he could see the charger to my mom's camera. My mother’s camera came with a charger so she could recharge the rechargeable battery and use it for a longer period of time. He took the cord and held one end and then asked us to pull on the other end of the cord. He held his grip on the charger and my mother pulled on the cord and low and behold the USB connection was revealed.

My mother and I laughed with the guy and he went on and on about how most people don’t realize the charger and the USB connection are all in the same. But as he was talking my mind began to think back to Saturday when my mom initially bought my her camera. I vaguely remembered the first sales person mention the charger and USB connection being one and that was the part I missed in this whole debacle. I was so busy tuning out the first sales person that I missed the most important part that could have saved my mom some gas for her car and not to mention time.

How often do we tune people out and ignore what could be important information? We often feel like I can figure this out or I really don’t want to stand here long enough to listen to what this person is saying. But if we take the time to slow down a bit and not anticipate what’s going to happen then we would hear important information that would generally help us. What can it hurt? So pay attention :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Plateaus

This morning I stepped on the scale and thought wow - same weight as yesterday and the day before yesterday. Immediately my mind began to race and think back to what I’d eaten the day before. And thoughts of how effective has my exercise routine been over the last couple of weeks. I felt a pang of frustration because I know I’m eating right. And my mom is about to offer me rent as much as I’ve stopped by her home to use her treadmill.

As I began to prepare for the day, I thought about hitting a plateau and what that means in my life. For anyone in the middle of a weight loss program; a plateau is not the word you want to hear. It means your body has become too familiar with your current regimen or business as usual. It means it’s time to make a shift in how you’re currently operating in your program.

I began to reflect on how often we hit a wall in life. And how we murmur, complain and bicker with ourselves over our situations. When I stepped on the scale to weigh myself, I felt frustration after seeing the same number as the previous day. Frustration over what was causing me to remain at the same weight – what was holding me back? Me. I knew I had to evaluate my ways and make some alterations. Have you taken out the time to put frustration to the side and truly find out how you can be more effective in your situation? No matter how tough, can you mount the problem and ride on to victory and your destiny?

I put a lot of thought into what I’d done over the last couple of weeks since starting my weight loss program; I quickly shifted my thought process. I reviewed my food and fitness diaries to see where I was missing the mark. And almost immediately I noticed that although I was eating the right foods, when I tallied the amount of my sugar intake, it was on the high side. And despite the fact that I was eating good fats, I could cut back on them a bit. I also noticed I’m a snacker – I’m eating the recommended 5 to 6 small meals each day, but I also enjoy eating small snacks that could put me over ever so slightly and slow my progression.

What am I doing here? Making an adjustment – it’s the best way to combat a plateau. Think of your plateau as a stepping stone to your ultimate goal, which for me is to be healthy and strong. You should know that your frustrations in life are temporary. Take the time to be still, be silent and listen to yourself. Are there lessons screaming at you but you aren’t listening? Should you work a little harder to resolve your situation? Think about this the next time you feel stuck or you’ve hit a plateau; what will be your approach? Adjustment or a plateau.