In my professional life, I am a project manager. So, I am pulling out a tool I use all the time, in hopes it helps all of you out too.
Are you setting SMART goals for yourself? SMART is a mnemonic standing for goals that are: Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time-based
This tool can be used for lots of things in your life, but I find that it is especially helpful on this journey of mine. While your mission might be to loose 25, 50, maybe 100lbs, maybe that is too big. Break it up into pieces that seem attainable in the near-future. Make it real. When you get close to acheiving that goal, set another SMART goal. Keep going. Keep moving.
As you all know, I am doing a 12 week push. My goal is to complete it, using the HMR program. I am measuring my weight, my measurements, my fitness calories. My mission though, is to lose an average of 3 pounds per week. 12 weeks is a realistic time frame where I can convince myself to be accountable. When I get close to finishing, I will set my next SMART goal.
This will put me to the next phase: SMARTER goals (SMART-Evaluate-Reevaluate). Constantly review the goals you have set and learn from the wins and losses.
Is this not cutting the mustard? Well how about trying DUMB goals. DUMB stands for: Doable Understandable Manageable Beneficial
Can you lose 100 pounds in 4 weeks? Not so understandable or manageable. Certainly not beneficial, as I would guess it would involve removing one's appendages with a very large knife.
Let me know if this helps and tell me about your SMART and DUMB goals! I am going to take this button and permanently place it on my blog. Maybe you can too. Cheers.
I have been rereading my posts and I realized that I have not been motivated to write at all about my weekly check-in meetings with my HMR Health Educator. So, I am wondering if I should stop going. Here is why:
As of late, it seems like all of the other people on the call (approximately 10pp), are just depressed. We have to report our losses and gains, and it seems like everyone has been gaining consistently over the past few weeks. I am the only one losing. I am finding it pretty unmotivating. With the blog community, if someone's post is a downer, I read it, try to send some motivation, and then move on to something perky and hopefully inspiring. I don't have an out on this call.
We discuss why people think they aren't losing, but the reason is obvious: they aren't following the plan, they aren't moving, they aren't keeping up with their food journals. It isn't the kind of call where you can call someone out on the carpet and say "Hey! Get with it!" In fact, it isn't even the kind of call where you can say, "You will surely do better next time."
The call is totally reliant on the feedback of the HE. Typically, she tries to find the positive in all the negative. "Well, you gained 3, but you ate 10 more servings of vegetables than last week." I am not buying this approach. There is going to come a time when the scale is not so kind to me as it has been thus far. I need more than kudos because I ate all my broccoli. I want to be enabled to lose these pounds, not enabled to just squeak by. This is where all of you come in.
I have been truly humbled by the support that I feel by writing. Maybe the feeling is all in my head, but I feel like you all give a crap about me & Ethel. So, here is my plea: kick me in the tush when I don't do what I should. Give me praise when I deserve it. Help me do better. I promise to do the same for you.
Off to the gym for only the 2nd time this week. Cheers.
Warning: Off-color joke. If you offend easily, maybe this isn't the day to read my blog. If this joke runs too close to home, then I want to hear all about it.
A guy walks into the bedroom with a sheep on a leash and says:
"Honey, this is the cow I make love to when you have a headache." The wife, lying in the bed reading a book, looks up and says, "If you weren't such an idiot, you'd know that's a sheep, not a cow." The guy replies, "If you weren't such a presumptuous bitch, You'd realize I was talking to the sheep."
So, it is snowing again in the Garden State. The advantages of snow are that I can work from home (procrastinate from home). The disadvantage is that I am 10 feet from my kitchen filled with yummy delights. So far, the temptation has not taken over, but as the weather is going to continue to decline, Cabin Fever will descend upon me. I will grip the couch, sweat pouring from my brow. My veins will pop with anticipation, and I will have to do something..ANYTHING to get the boredom to go away! Can we say chocolate? Hopefully, snow shoveling will knacker me out enough to not care if I am bored. How do you cope with being snowed in?
So far this week, I have only worked out once. I am only punishing myself by not moving. How is it that I know this, accept this, and still my tush is still sitting on the couch? I am mental.
Week 6 Weight Loss also brings us to Hump Week in my 12 week push.. So to review: I have dropped a little over 21 lbs, and have lost approximately 14.5 inches off of my body. As a reward, I am not going to measure myself this week and see what shakes out. Next week, I will post one of my first in-process pics.
So, as I wind down my next 6 weeks, I am going to try to wind things up. I need to keep it fresh so I keep going and not get complacent. I have been squeezing little cheats from my plan all last week. They just seem to pop back in. I am throwing in the ‘out-of-the-box’ towel and getting back on the wagon.
Last week was kind of a blur with sickness and yuckiness, but I am pleased to report that Missa is back in the saddle again. Yesterday, I rocked out the Angry Elliptical and She-Ra tunes in full effect. I then promptly went home and drooled on myself until I realized that I needed to go to bed immediately. You know it is a good workout when you come home and just want to sleep and have no desire to eat. Who is this person? Missa has no desire to eat? Where did she come from? Ethel, did anyone inform you of this behavior?
On a side note, today is my anniversary, so I am going to cut this short.. Sweetheart and me have been smooching now for 17 years. They are still just as delicious as they were back then. I love that one. Gotta go. Time for more smooches.
I don't know if any of you have tried this, but I have recently fell in love with the daily mile.
I can map and track my walks, track my treadmill and angry elliptical... and it tracks how many burgers and donuts I burn. How flippin' cool?!? (and it is free)
So, You will see my donut meter on my page going forward, 'cause it's rad. I just started yesterday, so I am not going to log all my previous miles since the demise of Ethel, but I like the idea of being able to track my fitness. I do track PA cals, but I think it will be good to show how far I have come. I need proof to remind me that I am really going somewhere, even if that somewhere is a loop around my block.
If you are also a dailymiler and want to join me, you can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org (Missa)
I am weighing in tomorrow, but am not expecting much progress, thanks to my cold and my blah feeling. I will be happy if I just maintain.
I have an hour commute to and from work everyday. I savor the time in my car. In that hour, I listen to news programs, rock out to She-ra tunes, or sometimes just have some me time. I talk to myself a lot in the car. I relive conversations that maybe should have happened or are about to happen, so I do not stumble on my very big, important words. After all, if it all doesn't come out right, maybe no one will really hear me? As car time is my pal and confidante, I need to take care of her better. I decided to give her a proper cleaning.
Well, something unexpected happened. Actually, I should have expected it, but I have been in denial.
I started with the back seat. I had wiped down the seats, dusted. No issues there. But then I wanted to get underneath the driver and passenger's seats. There, I found several: we are talking dozens of fast food bags, junk wrappers and debris. It was a burial ground for thousands and thousands of calories that I have stuffed in my face while on my drives to and from work. As I took each wrapper and put in trash bags I had so much emotion. "What the heck have I been doing?!? How could I have been so stupid?" Dunkin' donuts every morning: donut, coffee-cream-sugar, sausage-egg-cheese on croissants. McDonald's McGriddles with sausage, bacon. Bagels with butter and 4 inches of cream-cheese and lox. French fry crumbles embedded in my floor mats remind me of all the #7's, #5's, #3's and #2's. Candy bar wrappers in my glove compartment, on top of and underneath my car manual.
But then, there was the pie box. An actual pie box in the trunk of my car. That's right. I bought an entire strawberry and rhubarb pie and ate the whole thing in my car with a spoon: while driving. I found myself stuffing all this evidence in a trash bag, tying it as tight as I could, and burying it deep in the back of the garbage dump bin. I am so embarrassed. How the Hades do I explain this to anyone if they find out? In the interest of full disclosure, I know I have tossed other pie boxes in the past.
I can say that I have not stopped at these establishments since I started to lose Ethel, but I am terrified that this is a habit that is hard to break. Is it only a matter of time? Not only did I eat all of this stuff, but I ate in shame: alone in my car, while no one could see me, like it never actually happened. In fact, I remember arriving home saying to my Sweetheart, so what's for dinner: like I never ate. Today I mourn the loss of the comfort my car usually brings. She gets me where I am going, but she isn't telling me when I should turn around and just go home. I hope I can do that for myself. I don't know if I am ready to tell the people in my life that I do this, but for now I am coming out to all of you.
How can you have something that sounds wonderful feel like such a turd, just by how it is coming into place?
You tell me: I have just found out that I will be going on a week-long cruise at the beginning of June. I will have a balcony room facing the sea I will be wined and dined I will have access to world-class spa I will have a butler I will have access to food from morning until night I will have a fully stocked gym with plenty of classes to take I will have Broadway-style shows, including some ice shows I will be able to swim at some lovely beaches
So what is the problem? My mother just sent me a very short email. “It is my birthday, so I booked you, Sweetheart, me and my sweetheart on a cruise. Come by tomorrow so you can pay me for your stateroom. Xoxo, Mom P.S. Don't book the flight yet, because I want to plan a few days for all of us in Florida”
1. While we had discussed the possibility of going on a trip, SHE DIDN’T ASK 2. She committed my money. 3. She just assumed that we could get the time off from work.
On my road to being healthier, I need to manage my stress. So, what do I do? She is my mother and I love her. It is her birthday wish to go on a trip. It is a nice trip, and there will be many opportunities to have a nice time. Somehow though, this REALLY raises the blood pressure. In fact, I haven’t even mentioned it to Sweetheart yet because he will lose his cool. I mean really lose it.
So how do you explain how incredibly messed up this is without sounding like a whiny, little girl. I am in my 30’s and my mother just doesn’t know the word B-O-U-N-D-A-R-Y. I am fighting all urges to eat a cheese steak and fries. At least now I can confirm this woman is one of my food triggers.
I will make this post brief, as I feel like a cannon has blown a hole through my head, and yet the bastard still won't drain. I have been laid up in bed for the last three days coughing, sneezing and hacking. I wonder how many PA Calories I have burned, as this has truly been an Olympic effort. To boot, I have slept funny on my left shoulder, so moving is agony, sleeping is agony... I am in agony.
Anyway, I lost 4.4 pounds. I only did 750 PA Cals of exercise for the week. This translates into going to the gym once and exercising for an hour. I did keep my eating on plan, except for Friday's outing with my GF. My descent into hell started immediately the next morning. I still haven't measured myself, simply out of weakness and the kinked shoulder. I will get to it hopefully today with some assistance and update the grid. I have to go to work today, but I am going to be useless. Hopefully, no one will notice. (Not likely).
The clothes at these plus size stores are ridiculous. Why can’t they replicate the same fashions for plus sizes that they do for everyone else? Why does everything have to have:
-A test pattern that looks like a curtain -Sleeves that look like dust ruffles -A bodice that has no definition, so you look like a blueberry (I have a waist dang it!) -Lengths of pants which are suitable for women over 6 feet -Lengths of sleeves which are suitable for women that have been stretched on some medieval rack -Fabrics that are so synthetic that standing near candles is seriously a hazard -Colors that either make you look like you work in a mortuary, or Rainbow Brite
Now that I am starting to lose weight, I don’t want to invest in clothing that I absolutely despise. I find myself finding one top that I like, and then I buy it in 10 different colors. So, essentially, I look the same all the time. Why can’t I have a fashion emergency and actually have someone to answer my 911? Where are you guys shopping?
So, after the build-up of my little panic last week, everyone behaved and things went on without incident.
The weather gods obliged, and I finally met up with my old childhood friend last night. She looked exactly as I expected her to: tall, beautiful, well put-together. We sat and ordered food and then the conversation just flowed. There weren’t any awkward moments. We just talked and talked about things in our lives like we used to talk. She told me about her children, her husband’s struggle to find new work in a crap economy. She got personal, and told me about her own struggles with weight after pregnancy, fighting the school system to keep her LD son in the best programs, intimate moments of her own wedding. She told me about her mother’s recent passing. I could tell that it still really stung and that it helped her to talk about it.
I told her what I was up to: my work, my desire to be healthier. I told her about my sweetheart: how we met, what we have done over the years, why we still aren’t married. We reminisced about my family, as so much of our childhood was spent at my home and my grandparents’ home. She missed my grandparents as much as I did. She asked about my aunt and my mother and told me how much she loved them. At the end of the dinner we agreed to meet for dinner again in about a month’s time. I told her that I was sorry that we waited so long to do this, and that she was always really important to me. I found myself fighting tears. Luckily, I didn’t whimper, because that would be creepy.
I feel good and bad. Good that we took the first step. Bad, because why am I so emotional over one person? She isn’t this much of a wreck. How is this all in my head? How do I get unstuck? I also ate at a regular restaurant, right off the menu. I couldn’t bring myself to explaining my diet in detail at dinner. It was too soon. How odd that I can talk about my family in detail, but not a diet plan. So, I had a green salad, one bruschetta, broiled salmon about the size of a deck of cards, and steamed spinach and string-beans. I also had a glass and a half of wine (Dutch Courage). It seemed reasonable, but of course the drawback is you never know what hidden calories are in a meal prepared at a restaurant.
I think this might be the beginning of something big. We’ll see.
I love Indian flavors, so I doctored up my own quickie version of Aloo Masala and cut out the oil. I made it last night, and it rocked my world. I found a great blog with lots of Indian recipes that seem pretty easy to follow. You should check out itsalovelyworld to review the original recipe and great photos.
Potato-4-Small-Washed, Boiled, Peeled and Cubed (I used red potatoes and nuked them for 8 minutes) Onion-1-Small-Finely Chopped (I used frozen chopped onions and green pepper mix) Tomato-1-Finely Chopped (I used one small can of diced tomato) Green Chili-1-Finely Chopped (I used one tablespoon of Chilli Garlic Sauce) Green Coriander Leaves-For Garnishing-Finely Chopped ( I only had dried parsley and coriander) Oil-1 tbsp (nixed the oil) Cumin Seeds-1/2 tsp (had powder, used 2x's as much) Turmeric Powder-1/4 tsp (had powder, used 2x's as much) Red Chili Powder-1/2 (didn't have it, so added a little paprika for color)
Coriander Powder-1 tsp Amchur (Dry Mango) Powder-1/2 tsp (didn't have it, so didn't add it) Salt-To Taste Water-1 Cup (as my tomato had juice and my onions and peppers were frozen, I nixed the water)
Directions: Heat a medium pan with a lip on it. Put on high heat. Toast all the spices till the flavor begins to really come out. I did mine for about 5-7 minutes. In the meantime, nuke your potatoes. (don't forget to poke holes in them or they will POP!) Take the onions and peppers and put them in the pan with the spices. Mix them around and make sure most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the can of tomato. Let the liquid reduce even more and salt to taste. I usually hold back on the salt till now, because the canned tomato already has salt in it. Once the liquid is reduced to about 75%, take your potatos and slice/cube them. Add them to the mixture and turn the heat down. Right before service sprinkle coriander and parsley. HEAVEN! Makes about 6 servings.
Happy Eating! I will be adding a serving of this to my meals to really get jazzed!
I have read several blogs lately (soggywetlettuceleaf, fatbridesmaid) where people are using Lent as a time to recommit to their health goals. People are giving up certain foods, committing to breaking certain bad habits, or using it as a 46 day push for something.
Those are great ideas and I am all for it. Lent is a time of self reflection. It is a time to do better and to be better, not only for the benefit of your own well-being, but for the benefit of the community around you. Doing something for others is incredibly rewarding for your spirit. I also find it reduces stress which is something you just can’t measure with a scale or a tape measure.
So, for Lent, I am going to commit to giving some of my time to others. 1. I will be serving food at my local soup kitchen at least 4 meals. 2. I will be giving at least 5 hours of service at the local food bank. 3. I will register to a walk for a charity. Since I live in NJ, most of them will occur after Lent is over. But, I will make the mental and financial commitment. 4. I am going to spend more time with my family: visit my father, take my aunt shopping, give my sister some free babysitting.
Oh, and one more thing: I am going to recommit myself to going to church. I have always enjoyed going. It was a reset for my week. This past year, I spent way too many nights on the road, and somehow it got out of habit, out of fashion… whatever you want to call it. Then I went through a phase where I rejected all things spiritual because I decided I was mad at God. Really, I was just mad at myself. I need to re-engage the things in my life that make me the happiest. It is a big part of my own journey to wellness.
Ok, I lied, one more thing: I promise not to talk about God too much. I am not a preacher and don’t plan to be. Typically, people who have crosses and fish and praise music blazing all over their blogs annoy me, as I feel like by reading their stuff I am pushing some sort of agenda. I don’t want anyone else to feel that way when they read stuff here. That being said, if God is your bag, 'right on!' LosingEthel = God-lite. ‘Nuff said.
I wish you all well, and I am routing for you! RAH RAH!
I checked 3 times and the scale did not lie: 6.1 pound loss for this week.
I am in disbelief. I did not make all the targets that I set for myself: I did not drink water every morning when I woke up. I did about half the time. I only worked out 3 out of 7 days this week. PA Calories were under 2000 :( I did not keep in 3+2+5. I did not keep in the box (within my food plan). I had to have a taste of the brownie. I had to have a little dip on my veggies. I did dip in the guacamole. Dang Super bowl! Ethel is making her mark. She is angry and bloated and wants to make her presence known. She seems to have gained back her girth from last week.
So, when is the other shoe going to drop? I feel guilty as I did not do the work to support the number. I am very mixed in my feelings. I know that getting something for nothing is the attitude that got me to this size in the first place. So, in addition to my regular commitment, I am going to set a few more goals:
1. Add 1 more set of at least 3 exercises. Continue to do my weight training 2X’s this week. 2. Drink more water and eliminate diet soda’s this week. 3. Get to sleep by 10:30 each night this week.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful and Lord knows that I need to lose, lose, lose! However, if don’t feel like I earned it, I am not going to get very far.
I never know what to do at the gym, so I am hoping if I share with you what my weight training routine is, we can do a swap to keep all of us challenged and entertained. I like to do programs where I do not need a ton of equipment. I travel for work, so I want to do something that I can probably accomplish in a hotel gym or even in my room. I have described the exercises in such a way that you can easily Google them and get more detail on how to do them. You can also ask one of the trainers at your gym. Since I am not a fitness pro, I would review. I had a trainer at the gym review my plan and make sure that my form was ok. eHow.com has been my pal.
I do the following for 3 sets of each, 12 reps per set. I will usually do the exercise with both arms at once, but feel free to do them one at a time. I have been doing this 2x’s a week for the last 2 weeks. It takes me about 25 minutes to get through 3 sets. I take breaks as needed in between sets.
1. Standing Bicep Curls with Dumbbells. I use an 8 lbs weight in each hand, but use something that puts some burn on for you. You should be struggling at the end of the 12 reps. 2. Standing Lateral Arm Raises with Dumbbells. I still use 2, 8lbs weights. 3. Standing Overhead Dumbbell Press. I use 2, 8lbs weights. 4. Lunges. I do 12 on each leg. I also do it in front of a mirror to make sure my knee doesn’t go over my toe. 5. Squats with assistance of an Exercise Ball. I have a bad back, so when I do squats, I have a tendency to over extend my lower back. By squatting while an exercise ball is against my back, it takes some of that pain away, but still allows me to get the exercise in. (Yes, you do this against a wall. No, I do not tape an exercise ball to my back). 6. Push-Ups. I am still doing the girly ones with my knees bent. But I will get there dang it! 7. Sit-Ups. 8. Reverse Sit-Ups. I do these by raising my legs and crossing my ankles. I have seen some people do it with a exercise ball.
I will look forward to seeing what all of you come back with! Happy exercising!
I am not doing what I should be doing right now. I am procrastinating. I am in this overly anxious, uncomfortable mood, where I just can’t get things done like I should. I have not gone to the gym yet this week.. What is that all about? Instead, I have just stayed up, reading blogs and chatting online. I have lost track of time, so I haven’t been going to sleep at a reasonable hour, and I have not been keeping to 3+2+5 because I actually have forgotten to eat. Now, I am not eating bad things, but I am not eating enough. I am anxious, tired and irritable. Why? While I want to say it is PMS< I think it is more than that. When I was a young girl, I had one friend. Not friends, but one, single best friend that I adored. I didn’t play with anyone else or have interactions with other children. (Long story). Well, like many friendships, we drifted apart in middle school. She was hanging with a different crowd. I was going to go to a new school. These things happen.
However, for me, it was one of the greatest losses of my life. I really loved this person. When we stopped talking, I swore that I would never let someone get that close to me. The problem is, I made that promise when I was 12 and I have kept it. I have never since had a girlfriend that I was this close to. Sure I have friends who are women. I appreciate them. I love speaking with them and I even love being their confidantes. But, in my case, I never open that door to them. Now, I did get lucky in the sense that I had family and of course my sweetheart to rely on, so I haven’t been a hermit all these years. They do a great job. But, I mourn the loss of this one friend. I have been stewing on it. So, like many of the issues I am trying to overcome, I decided to bite the bullet and attack it. I reached out to her on a social network site. She was really happy to hear from me. She is married, has a few children and still lives nearby. She wants to meet tomorrow night for dinner and drinks.
I am terrified.
All of these emotions from when I was 12 are in my heart. I don’t even remember what caused all the hurt anymore, but I sure do feel it. But at the same time, I feel such love. So weird how people that imprint your life, imprint your heart. What if she thinks I am a big, fat loser? Why do I even care what she thinks? UGH!! But, weather permitting, I am going! I think I need some Angry Elliptical to get all this feely stuff out of mind. Work, end soon so I can go to the gym.
UPDATE 2/5: It snowed, so we pushed out for a week. I went to the gym, worked on weights till I made funny grunting sounds, and cleared my head. I hope this doesn't mean I will be in a funk now for a whole week, but I think I feel better already. Fingers Crossed :-)
There is about $55 Million spent on food, and the average amount of calories consumed just on grazing, not even meals, is 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat!
So, now I am worried. How do I not give into this pressure? I too, am going to be going to a Superbowl party. I know it is Wednesday, but I need a plan.
The class suggestions were the following. I am sharing, because if I am in trouble, I know some of you are too!
1. Eat before the party. Arriving full reduces the need to overeat. 2. Bring Healthy Options. Give your guest a surprise plate of veggies or Hummus or Bean salad. 3. Only eat from a plate. No grazing. Fill a plate with food and eat from there. Do not eat in front of the food tables where all the snacks live. You will do a lot of unconscious eating. 4. Keep your wrappers & cans. If you are snacking, keep all your wrappers and beverage cans in front of you, so you are reminded what you have consumed.
If any of you have any other ideas. Please leave them in the comments.
Something unplanned happened. Last week, I set my goals to step up my fitness, add two weight training sessions, drink more water, etc., all with the goal that I would try to lose between 2-3 pounds for the week. Well, I lost 1.3.
So, why am I still jazzed? My measurements have done the talking this week. This week alone, I have lost 7.5 inches off of various parts of my body, INCLUDING 1.5 off of good ol' Ethel. I am doing the looser-pants dance! Yipee!
As well, I would be remiss if I didn't mention one more WIN. Even though I did not meet my 2-3 pound goal for this week, I did hit my first 10-pound milestone.
Now, off to week 4. I am going to continue to drink water first thing in the morning and use the workout intensity of last week. I am also going to be a bit more aware of my fruit and veggie portion size. I think I am eyeballing it a bit too much and may be eating more than I should. We will see if the scale moves more next week.
I am 36 and have been overweight for most of my life. There are much better things that define me, but till I work on this weight, it is the stinky fart in the room. So, I write this to keep accountable, to find inspiration in others, to rekindle the joy in myself.