I never used to be a morning person. I was the person who would always sleep through the alarm or hit snooze about a hundred times. But, I realized that if I wanted to reach my goals, changes had to be made. Not only did I change the way I ate and exercised, I also had to change my entire routine…from beginning to end. Because mornings were always the worst for me, I decided to start there. I learned very quickly that your morning routine sets the tone for your day so it’s best to have a good one. This is the routine I created, and followed, to help me lose 100 pounds.
5:00 AM – Rise and shine (yes, even during summer vacation). This is the time I enjoy my coffee, review all the notifications on my phone, let the dogs out, and sit in silence.
5:30 AM – Breakfast. I generally have the same thing for breakfast every day so there’s no planning required here. While breakfast is cooking, I unload the dishwasher, feed the pets, wipe down the kitchen counters, and review my Filofax for the day’s action items. I also start a load of laundry, if I didn’t set the machine to start automatically the night before.
6:00 AM – Morning hygiene routine. After breakfast, I brush my teeth, wash my face, apply moisturizer, and get dressed. Once I’m done with that, I put my breakfast dishes in the dishwasher and put the dogs out again. Since we’re no longer on summer vacation, I wake the kid up at 6 am so he can get ready for school.
6:30 AM – During summer vacation, this is the time I would leave the house on my walk. However, things are different now. During this time, the kid is either watching TV or playing Minecraft, so I use this time to review my Filofax, catch up on social media, get the laundry on the clothesline (or in the dryer), and just chill out.
7:00 AM – The kid goes out to wait for the bus. I’m still inside tidying up, putting the dogs in their kennels, putting my shoes on, etc.
7:15 AM – The kid is on the bus and I hit the streets for my walk. I don’t have a set duration or distance for my walks, but I do like to get 5+ miles. My main goal is to hit 10k steps before I head home.
8:45 AM – I’m usually home by this time and I make a protein shake (1 scoop of Quest chocolate milkshake protein powder and 2 c. unsweetened almond milk). I sit on the back porch with my shake and wait for the dogs to do their business.
9:00 AM – Time to hit the shower! It’s still been fairly warm and humid here and I sweat to beat all hell so a shower is very necessary.
9:15 AM – Work. I used to log on at 10 am but work has gotten really busy, which is awesome!
This is my daily morning routine during the week only. I don’t follow this morning routine on the weekends because, well, because it’s the freakin’ weekend! I try to incorporate exercise into family activities on the weekends so it benefits all of us. Now that it’s getting cooler, we’ll be able to take walks in the woods without fear of ticks and chiggers. I’m not picky about where I walk as long as I’m walking, but hubby prefers being in nature, which is cool with me.
It took me a little while to adjust to getting up at 5 am but now I’m up before the alarm. Yesterday and today, I started waking up at 5:30 am and I rolled over and went back to sleep. Bad idea because I’ve felt like crap because of it. It’s so funny now because I’m up before my husband, which only ever happened when the kids were babies. I’ve gone from not being a morning person to being a morning person in just a few months. I enjoy my quiet time in the morning; it gives me the time I need to reflect and prepare myself for the day ahead. If I can become a morning person, anyone can!
When you set out to lose weight, you can’t help but notice some things you never noticed before. At first, you may notice just how out of shape you really are, especially if you’re winded walking up the stairs or to the end of the driveway. Other things you’ll notice are more subtle. Hell, you might not notice them at all until you stop doing it. Here’s what I mean…
The more weight I lost, the more I noticed that morning exercise was better for me. Kinda ironic, if you think about it, because I was never a morning person. I was the one who would sleep through the alarm, or, if I did hear it, I’d hit snooze a hundred times before dragging myself out of bed. I noticed that exercising in the morning helped me increase my productivity and it always put me in a better mood. But, if I missed a morning workout, I noticed something I hadn’t realized before.
Morning exercise actually curbs my appetite all day! It’s not just me; there’s scientific evidence to support this. I’m not going to get into all of that because you’re not here to read another scientific article full of 50-syllable words. You’re here because I tell it like it is and here’s how it is…
We all have a hormone called ghrelin (kinda reminds you of “gremlin” doesn’t it?). This is the hormone that stimulates appetite. But, when you exercise in the morning, this evil hormone decreases and we experience an increase in peptide YY (I always say “ya-ya” in my head when I talk about this). Peptide YY is a hormone that suppresses our appetite. So, “gremlin” makes us eat and “ya-ya” keeps us satisfied. With me? Good.
So what have I actually noticed? My morning routine is basically the same stuff every single day. I head out for a 5+ mile walk after breakfast. I’ve missed a few walks here and there (it was raining or I was down with plantar fasciitis) and I started to notice that my breakfast wasn’t sticking with me as long as it normally does. At first, I thought it was because I was eating more overnight nights instead of my usual egg whites. So, I tested that thought. I was wrong!
On the days I haven’t walked, I’ve eaten, on average, 500 calories more than on the days I do walk. That’s another whole meal! I’ve also noticed that I snack more often during the day. I just can’t seem to get full.
You’re probably thinking that burning calories should make me want to eat more. I thought that, too, and had a really hard time wrapping my head around the fact that burning calories actually kept me from eating everything in sight. But, then I changed my thinking. It’s a built-in accountability system for me. Think about it – I walk and don’t eat a charge or I sit on my ass and eat everything in sight. Which one would you choose? Exactly!
Of course, everyone is different so this may not be the case for you. I encourage you to find out what works for your body and listen to it! Naturally, on days I lift, I tend to eat more because I have to for muscle recovery. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle I build the higher my BMR gets. But, I get most of my calories from protein and complex carbs.
You always have to listen to your body. That’s the biggest part of any weight loss plan you follow. Your body knows exactly what it needs. Don’t think your mind knows better because it doesn’t. Always listen to your body…I can’t say that enough.
Part of listening to your body is moving it on a regular basis. It’s craving exercise and you may not even realize it. I’m hosting another 30 Day Fitness Challenge starting October 1. I’d love for you to join me! The details are coming soon and will be available here and on my Facebook page so be sure to keep an eye out. If you don’t want to miss it, sign up to receive my posts in your inbox and it’ll be delivered to you!
I lost 100 pounds! I lost more than my youngest kid weighs. It’s an amazing feeling, but it hasn’t been easy. I fought for every ounce I lost, scolded myself for every pound I re-gained, and celebrated every single step I took toward achieving my goal. During this process, I dealt with countless obstacles and it would have been so easy for me to give up. I even did for a little while. When I first began my journey, I weighed in at 278.6 pounds and had type 2 diabetes. But, y’all already know that. Right now, I’m 178.6 pounds and in no danger of being diabetic!
According to the Lose It! app, it took me 23 months and 16 days to achieve my goal of losing 100 pounds. Not too bad considering that I stopped trying for quite a few months and was limited on physical activity due to having a hysterectomy. Once I was released, it was on! I may have lost 100 pounds but I’ve gained so much more from this journey!
Love, Acceptance & Patience
Before I began, and even during, this journey, I didn’t love or accept myself and you can forget about having patience with myself. I didn’t hate myself but I wasn’t pleased at all. Each time I looked in the mirror or caught a glimpse of myself elsewhere, I would cringe and automatically focus on my flaws. My face was fat, my belly stuck out further than my boobs, etc.
Throughout this journey, somewhere, and I can’t pinpoint where, I fell in love with myself. I learned to accept myself for who I am and not worry about what I’m not. My patience was severely tested each time the scale didn’t move or someone would poke fun at me for measuring my food. I learned that I had to wait for my body to catch, which it always did. And, for those who poked fun at me, who’s laughing now, huh?
Perfect Does NOT Exist
For a type A person like me, perfection is always the end-result. Well, forget about it because that shit doesn’t exist. Repeat after me: there’s NO such thing as perfect! If you wait for all conditions to be perfect to start, you’ll never start anything. Life isn’t perfect – there’s highs and lows and in-betweens and you gotta learn to roll with it. Enjoy the good moments, learn from the not-so-good moments, and chill out in the in-betweens.
I’ve learned that I’m more than capable to achieving anything I set my mind to. My body is capable of working hard and doing more than I ever thought possible. I’m capable of making changes and sticking with them. I’m capable of walking away from food when it doesn’t serve me in a positive way. I’m capable of processing my emotions without using food for comfort. The point is, I’m capable!
Strength, Confidence & Determination
I cannot begin to articulate just how strong, confident, and determined I feel now. It’s amazing to feel this way about myself and I’m enjoying every second of it. Yes, I still have some work to do, but I’ve already come so far. My confidence is through the roof these days and that’s taking some getting used to. I’ve always been somewhat determined and everyone tells me they wish they had my strength, but I don’t remember the last time I truly felt strong and determined. I’ve never felt it like I feel it now, I can tell you that.
I used to give up fairly easily when things weren’t going the way I thought they should go. But, one quote has changed my mindset for the better:
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore and I’m much happier because of it!
Food Isn’t Evil
I’ve never thought of food as evil, but I’ve had many other thoughts about it in the past. I’ve learned that I don’t have to give up the food I enjoy to achieve my goals. It all comes to moderation! I still get my iced coffee from Dunkin’ but I get a small or medium instead of a large. You notice I said “a”? I only get one when I used to get multiple. I try to stick to no more than 2 Dunkin’ runs per week. I don’t feel deprived of something I enjoy but it’s not enough to wreck all the work I’ve done.
I no longer run to the chips or cookies or cakes when I’m upset, which is much less often these days. I’ve actually started craving healthy foods, like celery. Who the hell craves celery?! I know that’s what you’re thinking. But, I do. I’ve gained so much more knowledge about food and nutrition and getting healthy the proper way that it no longer bothers me when junk food is brought into the house. I’m just like, “eh, whatever” and I keep it moving.
I’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time and this still isn’t my stop. I’ve set a new goal of 160 pounds and I’ve added strength training to my routine. I currently walk 3.25 miles most mornings and workout with weights after that. I wake up at 5 am every day so I can get an early start on my walk to beat the heat. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t (it’s very hot and humid here). I’ll evaluate things again once I hit 160 and go from there. I’m not aiming for a specific number on the scale; I’m aiming for what makes me happy and healthy.
I’ve done this before – a million and one times actually. Losing weight is something I don’t remember not doing….except when I just didn’t care about it. But, something has changed in me this time. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of losing the same weight two, three, four, one hundred times, only to put it on again. I noticed one HUGE thing the other day that I’ve never noticed before. So, how has weight loss changed my thinking?
There’s nothing better for your confidence than dropping pounds. It empowers you, makes you feel stronger, and you just exude confidence. Well, at least I do. I feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and that’s a great feeling. I’m also in smaller clothes now and that’s freakin’ awesome!
An increase in my confidence has changed my thinking from “I can’t do that” to “Watch me knock this out!” I’m proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished already. I want to do more but I’m keeping realistic expectations. I know I’m going to slow down and even plateau. I’m preparing myself for it now so, when it does happen, I won’t let it get me down.
Seeing Food Differently
It’s no secret that I’m an emotional eater, but my relationship with food has changed tremendously in such a short time. About 2 weeks ago, I was really pissed off at my husband. I bitched about him to anyone who would listen. Usually, I would turn to food to help me feel better, but I didn’t do that this time. While I was on the phone having a bitch session with my mom, I walked laps around my dining room table. I replaced my food cravings with activity and it’s done amazing things for me.
It used to be I would sit around, watching television, doing nothing. Now, I’m barely still. Some of that is thanks to my FitBit because it reminds to move every hour. I get at least 250 steps per hour, which is a little over 3,000 steps per day. I also get my workout in no matter what my schedule is like. I much prefer to do my workouts in the morning, but my schedule doesn’t always allow that. Instead of saying “eff it” and skipping it, I get it in just as soon as I can. I’m even thinking about joining a local gym!
My entire mindset has changed so much since the beginning of this year. February really, since that’s when I really got started (I wasn’t cleared for physical activity until January 23). I’ve been feeling absolutely amazing. Even the stress I’ve experienced with the hubs hasn’t been as difficult as it once was. I’m so grateful for a number of things, but, most importantly, I’m grateful for myself, my abilities, my strength, and my determination.
Facing the truth isn’t easy and it’s certainly not easy when you realize it yourself. Over the past few months, I’ve realized several hard truths of my own that have made me sad, disappointed, even disgusted with myself. It all started back in August, when I lived in a land of ignorance and thought I had my life under control. HA!
Hard Truth #1: I’m Not Happy with Myself
I’ve been functioning on auto pilot for so long. An “opportunity” presented itself in August and I, stupidly, jumped on it. Why? Because I wasn’t happy with myself. In turn, by not being happy with myself, I wasn’t happy with other relationships in my life, which included my marriage. I ended up participating in something I shouldn’t have for a couple of months and was left feeling far worse about myself than when I started. I’ve spent the past few months trying to move past this and some days are better than others. Therapy has been helpful but it’s a slow process.
Although I was a complete and utter dumb ass, there is something positive that came out of all of this. My marriage is on the road to recovery and I realized I wasn’t happy with myself. I’m working on finding myself again and learning what makes me happy. I’m not seeking happiness from anything or anyone other than myself. My husband and I have spent a great deal of time talking to one another, which is something we haven’t done much of during our marriage.
Hard Truth #2: I Cannot Be Trusted with Food
If you’ll recall, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, dropped 60 pounds and cured myself. Well, that was short-lived. I saw my doctor last week and weighed in at 259 pounds! That means I’ve only kept off 19 pounds. Hmph! So, that means I have 2 choices; I can let it get to me and put the other 19 pounds and more on, or I can tell myself that I have a 19 pound head start. I’m choosing the latter.
Why can’t I be trusted with food? Because I freakin’ eat it…ALL of it! When my doctor took me off metformin, I told myself that I had this under control. Well, lying is never good, especially to yourself. I shouldn’t have told myself that, let alone believed it. I know better. If I could control my damn food, I wouldn’t have blown up to 278 pounds in the first place. Right or wrong? Right! I’m an emotional eater so it doesn’t take much for me to abuse food.
I dusted off my FitBit yesterday, strapped it on, and cleaned the house. I ended up having to contact support because there was an issue with syncing and updating. Long story short, all of my data from yesterday was lost but it finally updated and synced with the app. Gotta take the good with the bad. Just because my data was lost doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
Hard Truth #3: I’m Lazy
I’m the freakin’ queen of excuses when it comes to exercise…and a few other things. Most days, I’d rather lie around on the couch and binge watch my favorite shows than do anything else. That’s a side effect of depression and not being happy with myself. I’m working on those things every single day. I tend to feel overwhelmed most days and that makes me shut down entirely. I don’t want to meal prep or cook these days either. I want to grab whatever is easy, whether it’s good for me or not.
I find it difficult to do the simplest of things, such as wash my face and brush my teeth. I’m sure that’s the depression but still. No one wants to feel like that. I’ve also found that I’m not as productive as I or others believe me to be. I haven’t been consistent with my Filofax in a long time and I can see a huge difference in what I get done….or don’t.
It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and admit your truth but it’s necessary. You HAVE to admit it before you can accept it, change it, learn from it, and grow. This year is all about that process for me. I have a lot to work on and it’s hard not to get overwhelmed when I look at the big picture. BUT – with the help of my goal setting action plan, I’m able to break my goals down into smaller, more manageable ones to, hopefully, decrease my anxiety and feelings of overwhelm. Here’s to admitting hard truths and changing them!
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Almost a year ago, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My doctor prescribed metformin and required me to test my glucose every day. If you remember, all that came to an end in January when I beat diabetes! So, where am I now?
I just visited my doctor a couple of weeks ago and realized that I’ve gained back 20 pounds. Ugh! Everything has changed and, apparently, I don’t handle change well at all. I’ve been dealing with some health issues lately that keep me from normal, every day things. But, I see my doctor again on July 15 to hopefully fix that. Or, at least start the process. I’ve been dealing with severe cramping from the mirena and I can’t stand it anymore. When I say severe cramping, that’s exactly what I mean. I’ve been dealing with this since last September and it sometimes keeps me from functioning. I double over, pain goes down both of my legs, and my feet go numb. On July 15 that bitch is coming out and, hopefully, start the process for an ablation.
Things are about to change yet again as my oldest son is going back to boot camp on July 11. He went earlier this year, got a concussion, and was released. Since he’s been home, he’s gotten himself into a shitload of trouble, including taking alcohol to school. He’ll be 18 in December and this is our last ditch effort to get through to him. Fingers crossed!
Work has exploded since the beginning of this year and it’s become one of my top priorities. I could work 24/7 and still not be caught up but I love it. However, I need to reorder my priorities because my health has taken a back seat. You see, when I heard my doctor say that I no longer had diabetes, I immediately thought that I was in control. As it turns out, I’m a jackass!
I stopped logging my food and activity in Lose It! and I stopped measuring my food. I told you I’m a a jackass. I clearly can’t handle this on my own. I’ve talked to my husband about this so many freaking times and he pointed out that getting healthy is the only goal I never achieve. It’s true but I don’t know why. That’s the next thing for me to work on with my therapist. I need to get to the bottom of this immediately because I’m getting too damn old for this shit.
It’s time for me to get back to where I was. I’ll be weighing myself tomorrow morning to survey the damage. From there, I’m having a healthy breakfast and then I’m hitting the streets with Digger for some cardio. I have to put my health first no matter what because I’ve got a lot of life left to live. Looking back, a year later, I’ve been successful in losing more than 60 pounds and keeping off 40. I don’t care what people say, that’s success! Here’s to more success to come.
Six months ago, today, I learned I had type 2 diabetes. It wasn’t the best news, by a long shot. I realized that I had 2 choices: live with it or change it. On August 1, 2015, after 3 or 4 days of sulking, I decided I had to change it. I’m very fortunate to have such a strong support system in my family and friends, but, even so, it wasn’t always easy. I had my 6-month check up today – here’s how it went.
My Initial Diagnosis
Back on July 27, 2015, I went in for what I thought was a routine check up. Needless to say, I was shocked when I learned that my A1C was 6.8, which meant I had type 2 diabetes. My doctor immediately started me on Metformin and I was, for once, at a loss for words. It was one of the most difficult days of my life, but it was also a chance for me to make some changes. And, that’s exactly what I did!
What’s Changed For Me?
Every damn thing! Well, almost everything. I haven’t given up my iced coffees from Dunkin’ but you already know that. 😉 I’ve been a member of Lose It! for awhile but I only used it sporadically. Kinda like when the mood struck sort of thing. On August 1, 2015 it became, and still is, a constant in my life. I renewed my premium subscription and entered my stats from my doctor’s office. From that day on, I never missed a day logging my food. I also changed my food and the way I eat. The first thing I did was cut out sugar. Well, most of it anyway. I stopped using sugar in my coffee and I became very aware of the grams of sugar in my food. I stopped eating white carbs and went to whole grain instead. I learned that corn and lima beans turned to sugar when digested, so I haven’t had any since before July 27. My food became a top priority for me and now it’s just a habit. I measure every single thing. Yes, I took some heat for this by some people in my life, but, guess what? It didn’t matter then and sure as hell doesn’t matter now. I still measure certain things even though I’ve been doing this every day for 6 months. I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Back in July, I weighed in at a whopping 278.6 pounds. My A1C was 6.8 and I was put on Metformin for type 2 diabetes. Well, as of this morning, my weight is 222.8 and my A1C was 5.4! That means I no longer take Metformin because I don’t have diabetes! It also means I’ve lost a total of 55.8 pounds. According to my doctor, my A1C is better now than it’s ever been! How’s that for kicking some ass?! YEAH!
When I first started this journey, I wore a size 26 and they were kinda snug around the middle. I was under the very misguided perception that bigger clothes helped to hide my weight. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking there! Anyway, I now wear a size 18 comfortably and prefer clothes that accentuate my figure; not hide it. I was in a 4X top and now I’m in a large or 1X, depending on the style. Oh, and check this out – my feet have gotten smaller! Yeah, I know you’re think how the hell does that happen?! But, here’s what happened. I used to wear wide width shoes and now I don’t. You’d be surprised at where your body carries weight; places you probably never even thought about, like your feet.
How’d I do it?
Hard work! I never gave up and there were plenty of times I wanted to. I gave up a lot but I refused to give up everything. I started logging everything that went in my mouth and I bought a FitBit Charge HR. From there, I made healthier choices and moved a hell of a lot more than I used to. I had to cut back on my work for a while in order to focus more on myself. That was difficult for me because I love my clients, my work, and I hated dumping the financial burden on my husband. But, I had to look at it like this: If I died, he’d have that burden anyway. So, I figured it was better for him to shoulder this burden alone for a few months than for years. I recruited friends and family to exercise with me: walking, hiking, etc. I didn’t limit my exercise partners to just other people. My fur babies got recruited, too. Digger loved it immensely because he got to sniff and pee on everything every day. I even started running! It wasn’t much and I didn’t do it well, but I still did it. Digger was the one I took on my runs because he could keep up. My poor Mocha is getting old so I don’t take her on runs.
The Physical & Mental Struggle
Weight loss isn’t all physical. In fact, I think it’s more mental than physical because the mind is a powerful thing. Yes, my body was doing things it hasn’t done in years or ever, but my mind was trying to change old habits all at once. I’m a self-sabotager from way back so my mind definitely doesn’t always work to my advantage. This time, however, I couldn’t afford to sabotage myself. So, I informed my therapist of what was going on and we put together a plan. I’m not going to say that I followed it closely or that it worked all the time. What I will tell you is that it was great to have a plan to refer back to when things got hard. Believe it or not, I had the hardest time separating myself from the clothes that were too big. I didn’t want to lose that safety net but, eventually, I let go. I donated a large bag of clothing to Goodwill and it felt amazing! In December, I guess in preparation for the New Year, I decided to go through my closet and see what was there. Ya know, for someone who always said she had nothing to wear, I certainly had a lot of clothes. During my closet clean out, I boxed up a lot of stuff! Once I got over my phobia of donating clothes, it felt like a huge weight was lifted off of me. I’ve had to buy clothes here and there but I mainly wear my workout gear. Hey – ya never know when an opportunity is going to present itself and it’s best to always be prepared. I currently only have 2 pair of jeans but that’s more than I had when I started this journey. I’m not in a big hurry to run out and buy clothes because I loathe clothes shopping and I’m still losing weight. No need to spend money on clothes I’m not going to wear long. The people closest to me have started calling me “skinny”. I’m not skinny by anyone’s definition, but, compared to what I used to be, I can see why they call me that. At first, it was difficult to accept the compliment because I’m not used to being complimented on my appearance, but now I love it. Why? Because I earned that shit! For the first time in my life, I’m actually happy with who I am and what I look like. We all have this idea of who we are and we try to live up to our expectations and often fall short. Well, that’s how I am anyway. It’s no wonder I felt like such a disappointment most of the time. But, that’s all changed now. I don’t feel self-conscious about my appearance like I used to, I’m not considered a shut-in anymore, and I’m all about activities that get my heart pumping.
What I’ve Learned
The most interesting part of all of this is what I’ve learned about myself. I’ve always considered myself a strong person but I didn’t realize just how strong I was until I began fighting for my life. And, let’s face it, that’s exactly what I was doing. I’m still doing it. I’ll never stop. I’ve also learned that I can make healthy choices and still indulge every once in a while. Can I still get 2 and 3 large iced coffees a day from Dunkin’? Uh, no way! But, I can get one a day or even a small and medium on the same day. It’s all about compromise – not giving up. Dealing with sagging skin isn’t as difficult as I thought it would be either. I remember, way back when, I used to think that having sagging skin was no better than being fat because I still wouldn’t like how my body looked. I’m happy to report that I was so wrong about that! I have sagging skin now and it doesn’t bother me. Why? Extra skin doesn’t carry the health hazards that extra weight does and because I feel good about myself. Oh, and if you’re like me where you crave chocolate or sweets, give cashews a try. Seriously. I eat them when I feel a sweets craving and it takes care of it without all that nasty sugar. My journey isn’t over by any means but I’ve made great strides in the last 6 months. I still have about 40 pounds left to lose before I hit my goal weight so be sure to stay tuned for more!