Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Barely...but still 100

I haven't wanted to write this post.

I've been avoiding my blog...you...the mirror...my scale...myself.

You see, there's this little thing of having lost 100 pounds I did a few months back.  Made a HUGE deal out of it.  Heck...it IS a huge deal!  It was worth celebrating.

But I haven't lost much since then.  I got up to 108 pounds lost shortly after I hit the 100 on January 6.  But then life got a little hairy.  I've talked about it a lot.  My knees are really being difficult right now.  And my life is beyond stressful personally.  I haven't really been losing so much as maintaining.

Only, really...I've been very slowly gaining.  I've found 5 pounds that I had lost.  To you, that might not seem like much.  To ME...it's devastating.  Because what it means is that I'm creeping closer and closer to that 100 pound loss...to LOSING it, not achieving it!

And I just can't go there.


But I've decided tonight that avoiding the situation won't keep it from happening.  Avoiding things in my life has never really done anything positive for me, in fact.  I am a person who needs to confront it head on.  So I will with this, too.  It's time to tighten the belt a bit.

Since I can't work out as hard as I have been and want to, I'm going to adjust my calorie level down a bit until I can.  And I'm also going to go back to my PT for some therapy to try to get these knees a little more functional than they have been.  Hopefully, between those two things, I can keep my 100 pound weight loss, maybe even increase it a bit.

And no more avoiding.  That's for wusses...weak people.  And that's not me anymore.

So I'll be back on here a little more frequently keeping myself motivated and you updated on how I'm doing.

It's game on...for real.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Top 10 Reasons I Work Out...

Been thinking a lot lately about how to get myself back into the gym 4-5 times a week as opposed to the 3 times a week I've been doing for the past month.

For me, what it's coming down to is remembering why I do this in the first place.  So I decided to write it down for myself...which is a great way for me to process things in my life. 

Here's my Top 10 Reasons I Work Out...

#10 - I actually DO enjoy it.  This wasn't always true, but it definitely is now.  Even with the pain in my knees, I enjoy the feeling of making my body move. 

#9 - It helps me lose weight when I do it consistently and at a high level.  I love watching the scale go down, and it does when I'm working out hard enough and often enough.

#8 - I'm competitive and this lets me compete against myself.  This is a great outlet for me to set and surpass goals.  I love setting a fast time on a piece of cardio equipment....or lifting more weight for more reps than I have in the past.  It's a challenge...and I never back down from a challenge.

#7 - I enjoy having better cardio fitness.  When I walk up the stairs, my knees still hurt, but I'm not breathing heavily anymore.  I can go for increased distances without being winded.  That's a great feeling.

#6 - It's a healthy habit in a life that has had all too few of those! I don't enjoy eating healthy foods.  But this is one habit that I've established that is truly healthy and positive.  I feel like it helps me make up for the years and years of eating french fries and Doritos!

#5 - It makes me actually WANT to drink water.  I drink water because I have to, not usually because I want to.  But when I'm exercising, it's the only drink I want.  I crave it, and that is good for me.

#4 - I like the way my body shape is changing because I exercise.  Muscles are developing where fat used to reign.  There's a lot more shaping and firming to do, but what's already happened makes me much happier when I look in the mirror.  My clothes fit differently...and are much smaller.  That's directly attributable to exercising.

#3 - Exercising releases endorphins and makes me happier - really!  It's a great stress reliever to put the headphones on and block out the world for a half hour.  I come off the equipment smiling and happier than I went on it, and the good feeling lasts quite a while.

#2 - I still have goals for my health that I won't hit if I don't exercise.  And I'm a person who absolutely needs to hit her goals.  I can't feel like I'm living the life I want and need to live if I'm not setting and achieving goals. 

And finally...the one that never leaves my mind...ever.

#1 - I want to walk.  Bottom line for me is that if I stop exercising, stop working out, I won't walk.  It's the fact of my life.  There is so much damage to my knees that isn't really reversible.  But it's manageable when I do good things like exercise and use anti-inflammatory medicine and ice.  I exercise because if I don't, I won't walk. That's a HUGE motivator for me.

So, there it is.  For me, these are the top 10 reasons that I exercise.  I needed to review these in my mind to remind myself why making time to workout is worth whatever it is I have to do to make it happen. 

What reasons do YOU have to exercise?  And more importantly, can you articulate them?  What I've found is the more real I make this...the more I keep these things in the front of my mind...the more committed I am to actually working out.  And the less likely I am to blow it off after a long hard day at work.  Conversely, when I DON'T think about these reasons, I'm far more likely to head home and veg out after a tough day.

So, can you name your reasons to exercise?  Sure hope so!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting Back in the Groove...

Had to go visit my PT for some pretty intense pain this week.  (I'll be going back into regular therapy for awhile here pretty soon!) But when she was evaluating how bad my left knee was, she mentioned that I've lost some of the muscle tone since she's last seen me.

With just a few missed workouts each week for the past 3 weeks, I've lost what it took months to build.  Doesn't that just stink?!?!

So, I was in the gym tonight.  I didn't want to be.  My left knee still hurts a good bit.  It was a long day.  I could give about a hundred excuses.  But none of them was good enough.  I need to get back into the groove.

Once you begin working out, it doesn't take long to start seeing the changes in yourself.  Your endurance is better.  Your weight drops (usually). Your cardio fitness improves rapidly.  There's much less heavy breathing after a few really good workouts.  Your body craves fitness...and when you work toward it, it responds.  Generally, very quickly.

But even more quickly, it responds to a change in your routine.  Because of taking on a part-time job and because of a great deal of knee pain, I've dropped down to 3 times a week in the gym instead of 5 for the past few weeks.  And Angie (the PT...not me!) saw it in my muscle tone.  Honestly, I could have told you, too.  It's part of why my knees have been hurting so much.  My quads and hamstrings, which I count on being strong because my knees aren't, have not been worked out as rigorously as they need to be...and they're losing their muscle tone that quickly.

What's a girl to do but get her butt...and her thighs...and her calves...and her arms...and the rest of her...back to the gym?!?!

It's time for Stella to get her groove back!  Who's coming with me?!?!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sharpening My Focus...

I'm almost there.  Almost.

I've thought and thought about how to get myself back into "losing" mode rather than "maintaining" mode on this journey I've been on for two years now.

I've tried to imagine staying where I am right now...with a 102 pound weigh loss.  And I just can't.  It's not over.  Not yet.  I have proven to myself that I do know how to maintain this weight loss.  But it's just not time to maintain.  Not yet.

The goal was never weight loss.  It still isn't.  That's just the byproduct.  But it's an important byproduct.  And because I haven't been losing for the past 4 months, I'm paying the price in knee pain.  Oh, boy...am I ever paying that price!

Bottom line for me is I need to lose about 80 more pounds.  THAT is what healthy physically looks like for me.  That is my best shot at living with less pain.  And therefore, that is now part of the goals I have for my life.  Officially.

So, now it's time to get there.  Not be almost there like I am today.  It's time to turn my energy and resources toward this goal.  Because only when I do that will I achieve it.

I've got to sharpen my focus.  Lose the distractions and let them fade to gray, and narrow my vision on what the real goal here is.  Healthy.  Lengthening the time before my knee replacements.  Quality of life while I wait.  Time to focus in on those things, and do what's necessary to move toward them.

Ready?...  Set?...  GO!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I found out yesterday that the mall I grew up in closed its doors forever on May 1.  When I say "grew up", I mean that almost literally.  I can trace my late childhood and all of my adolescence by the history of that mall.

I watched as it was built across the street from my house.  I saw them take the wide open field where I learned to play softball and turn it into a 2 story shopping extravaganza with attached parking decks.  I enjoyed the freedom to finally be old enough by my mom's standards to walk across the street and shop by myself, for myself.  I earned her trust by proving that I wouldn't be a mall rat (you know those obnoxious teenagers that never spend money, just block the way and get on your last nerve?), but would instead be a responsible citizen.  I mastered video games there, had several dates at the movie theatre in the adjoined shopping center (which was just the open part of the mall to those of us who called this place home), and eventually bought my husband's wedding ring there.

In essence, I've done life at that mall.  I have memories that are dear to me that include this place.  But this blog post is not about an homage to commerce or even a walk down memory lane.  Rather, this blog is about what happened in my mind yesterday when I heard the news that it's now closed for good.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

No Excuses

So, I went to the gym tonight. 

I worked a long day...at two jobs...and I didn't want to do anything at 8:30 other than come home and chill.  But really, since my last blog post, I've been challenging myself.  Maintaining shouldn't be enough for me right now, no matter what else is going on in my life.

So here's my new motto...


Yeah, I've got some stress right now...NO EXCUSE!

Yeah, I'm tired....NO EXCUSE!

Yeah, my knees are crap...NO EXCUSE!

Yeah, it's late and I want to chill...NO EXCUSE!

So, I went to the gym tonight.

Because there was NO EXCUSE not to!

And I feel good.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Time for a Reality Check...

I'm watching the finale of another season of The Biggest Loser...and I'm blown away by the transformations.  Just like last season.  Just like I will be next season.

So why am I not blown away by my own transformation?

Because here's my reality...I've lost more weight than a lot of those people.  I started bigger than most of the women, in fact all of them this season.  And I still am bigger than most of them.  But as of today, I have lost 30.49% of my body weight.  That would have put me in the top 5 finishers.

So again...why am I not blown away by that?

The real answer?  Sometimes what I focus on more is the journey that's left ahead of me, rather than the accomplishments I've already made. 

I have some big goals yet to reach.  And I haven't done much to work on them lately.  I'm maintaining...and for right now, I'm OK with that.  But part of me wonders if I allowed myself to truly understand what I've done so far...do a reality check...would I find there enough motivation to move out of maintenance mode and back into a real effort at finishing this journey?

I'll check in with you guys later.  I've got some thinking to do... :-)


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