March 21, 2012

Kids. Sports. Choices.

I can hardly believe that my child is going to turn 4 this year. The older he gets, the more we start to discuss what types of activities we would like for him to be involved in (or rather, what types of activities we THINK he'd like to be involved in). We watch him closely and know that our child is nutzo active. When he nailed a line drive over the fence in our yard, we were pretty certain that he will be a ball player someday and we hope to start him in T-Ball next summer.

One important thing we are trying to keep in mind: no matter how many activities we have Jackson try, we will not force him to do anything he doesn't want to do. If he decides that sports are just not his thing and he'd rather be a band geek, then that will be up to him. There's nothing worse than watching a kid being forced to participate in a sport that they are either not good at whatsoever or that they do not like.

While I secretly have my heart set on my son becoming a hockey player someday (stemming from years of following my hockey player brother around from arena to arena as a kid), I think my husband would like to see him be a swimmer like he was. Judging from Jack's first ever swimming lesson, despite some reservations to putting his head under the water, he was kind of a natural:






His swim school costs mega bucks but is worth ever penny. Super personalized attention made us feel safe with him being in the water without us and his teacher... wow. She rocked. I loved how they made us feel really important on our first day. The staff showed us around, gave us some good tips for making clothing changes and transitions easy and even came up to us during the lesson to see how things were going and to cheer Jackson on. It was a WONDERFUL experience for all of us and we will continue to do lessons at this school for many years to come!

So proud of my little fish!


March 16, 2012

Fabulous Fit Friday: Summer In... March?

It is March 16 today. And my car said it was 76 degrees outside. In Minnesota.

I think those who live here will join me in a collective: WHAT THE FUCK?

The optimist in me wants to believe that Spring is officially here. The pessimist is saying: WHOA. It could snow in two weeks.

With amazing weather comes the desire to break out the warm weather wardrobe. My issue? My wardrobe has shrunk by nearly 90%. Even my summer SHOES are too big. SHOES? REALLY? Some of my tops are still a comfortable fit, but the bottoms? I can either cinch them up with a belt or suck it up and buy new clothes. I'm sure you can take a wild guess which route this shopaholic will take.

I headed out into the incredible and freakishly warm MN day with the idea that I would first try to find some cute summer dress sandals. After striking out at two stores, I decided that I needed a cute "going out" top. I stopped in at a couple of my staple stores: Gap, Express and Loft. Gap was too casual, Express was too clubby/flashy and Loft was too "work"-ish. In a last ditch effort, I stopped in at New York & Company. Jackpot. My selections:



One for work and one for play. The bottom one I got in black. The most awesome part of my excursion? I had to ask for each one of these in a size small. Not only can I not even remotely remember the last time I wore a small but I have always been too ashamed to ask for different sizes in the dressing room- usually because I always had to go to the next size up (or two).

Shopping isn't the only thing that is amazing for me now. I have had the urge to go out with my friends lately. Partially spring fever related; however, I think it has a lot to do with my confidence level. I kind of want to go out. Show off. Feel good.

I don't want to hide anymore!


March 12, 2012

Motivation Monday: Temptations

I have been on the Medifast program for 9 weeks and I am quite proud of my ability to stick to it.

However, the further I get into the program, the more tempted I become. Yes, I have had a few cheats over the last 9 weeks. They mostly consisted of a glass (or two) of wine or in the case of the Oscar party a couple weeks ago, full fledged jumping off the wagon for about 24 hours.

The good news is, it didn't stifle my progress. While I didn't see enormous losses those weeks in which I indulged, I also didn't see a gain. I was also able to jump right back into the program without letting those weak days drag me into a downward spiral. I can also thank my many years of Weight Watchers for training me to get in extra fitness when I have indulged because I think that has helped significantly.

Lately, the urge to eat foods outside of the program are immense. We hosted a play date yesterday with Jack's best friend Andrew and his parents and served pulled turkey breast sandwiches. No biggie, right? On plan, yes? I wanted a bun, chips and salsa so terribly bad. When I ordered a salad on Friday, I didn't pay attention and when I opened my bag back at the office to eat, it had come with a pesto mozzarella flat bread. It smelled so good. It took every ounce of willpower to throw it away. Part of my program is taking note of the moments I am punched in the face with temptation. What is the situation? What am I feeling? Why do I want these foods? What time of day? All of these things factor into how I will control my diet once I am in the maintenance phase and essentially, for my lifetime.

The good news is that I am in the home stretch. I lost only 1 pound this week which is frustrating as I worked so hard to stay on program. Why couldn't it be more? On the other hand, I have lost 23.3 pounds on Medifast and I am just 15 pounds from my goal!! I am in disbelief. I discussed with my Medifast Counselor today how badly I was tempted all week and he gave me some awesome advice: "Keep your eye on the prize by re-reading the original reasons you decided to lose weight in the first place." Solid advice. Here are my top 5 reasons (I probably have more somewhere...):
  1. Health & Wellness: I want to be around for my son for long as I can. Prior to my weight loss I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am proud to announce that my blood pressure is now normal. I am also very close to having a normal BMI. For the first time ever, I am actually excited to have a physical this year. I can't wait to see what a healthy person's numbers look like. I can't wait to have my weight not to be one of the things my doctor talks about when I go in for a sinus infection. I also have visions of my weight loss helping with my endometriosis and ongoing issues with polyps and fibroids. No, I'm not having crazy pregnancy wishes or visions; however, maybe I can at least stop taking the medication to control it not to mention saving money on a rather painful surgery.
  2. Vanity: I'll confess some of my reasons for wanting to lose weight are completely vain. Who doesn't want to look and feel beautiful inside and out?? I love being able to shop at any store I want.
  3. Pictures: For the last 3.5 years of my sons life, I have avoided being in pictures because I HATED the way I looked and was mortified when I saw pictures of myself. I don't want to hide behind the camera. I want to be right there next to him capturing our memories.
  4. Fitness: Despite my being out of shape (first run of the season outside on the most beautiful spring day ever = painful), my 1 mile time is the same as it was last summer when I was 23 pounds heavier and running 5 days a week outdoors. I have been able to increase my speed and endurance. Losing the weight is helping my running- less weight equals less stress on my joints and a whole lot less friction! So much more enjoyable!  
  5. Expense: Medifast is crazy expensive. There is no way I'm letting this money go down the drain and no way in hell I want to have to do this ever again.   
As I get close to goal, I have started thinking about what to do with my bigger clothes. For a moment in time, I actually considered keeping them "just in case" I gain weight again. I realized thinking in that way is just like saying that all this hard work over the last year was for nothing! So, NO WAY. NOT THIS TIME. I plan to either sell my clothes to consignment or donate them. If I gain weight, then I guess I am wearing some tight clothes for awhile! Once I have completed my Medifast transition, I am also planning to sign up for MyCoach at LifeTime Fitness to help keep motivated and keep my fitness goals on track.

No more yo-yo. This time I lose the weight and keep it off. Forever.


March 09, 2012

Fabulous Fit Friday: Fab Bod = Fab Fashion

There is one very important thing to know about me: I love to shop.

Being overweight made that habit somewhat depressing. I hated not being able to shop wherever I wanted and at most stores having to dig towards the back to get to the bigger sizes. Did I mention I'm short? So yes, in most instances, I prefer petite or ankle length. I was told at a Gap store once "Oh, you would have to buy ankle length online. We don't carry the big sizes in store."

Big sizes.

Ugh. While I know she didn't mean to offend me and was simply stating a fact, I still felt wounded. And embarrassed. That was about a year and a half ago- and one of the many tipping points for me in starting my healthiness journey.

Topping the list of the best things about losing 42 pounds (and counting!) is being able to SHOP again. I am still hesitant to buy new clothes because I am uncertain what my final size will be when I make goal. The ladies at Medifast told me about a store called Clothes Mentor. Much like a consignment shop, this store is packed with tons of cute clothes and many designer labels (which makes my heart race!). It is a great option for me to buy some "in between" clothes to replace the ones that are literally falling off me. Yes... my pants nearly fell down when I was carrying a heavy box yesterday so it is definitely time to buy clothing that fits. I also plan to sell some of my bigger clothing to Clothes Mentor where they offer cash on the spot for gently used clothing.

Probably one of the thing that makes me the most excited is my ability to fit into designer jeans. Since the 5th grade, wearing my one pair of Guess jeans with the little triangle on my butt and zippers at the ankles, I have been obsessed with designer jeans. Yes, I am still (and probably will continue to be) at the top end of their size tier simply because that is the way my body (specifically my booty) is built. BUT, I can actually fit into them now and zip them without having to lay down or do the jumpy pull up tight pants dance. I am OBSESSED with a couple different online, invitation-only, boutiques that offer designer jeans and clothing at drastically discounted prices: Rue La La, Gilt Group and Zulily are my top picks and these links are my invitation to you to join in the shopping fun. Not only do these sites offer awesome women's clothing, shoes and accessories but you can also get stuff for the kids, the husband and plenty of stuff for the home as well. I'm sooooo addicted to checking their sales every day. 

Today, I am picking up my newly hemmed William Rast "Ryley" jeans which I fully intend to change into at the seamstress. The funny part about these jeans? I had to hem so much off that they won't be flare anymore. Ahhhh the joys of being short. I bought these jeans in January and haven't been in able to fit into them until now. It is definitely worth a happy dance celebration! I also have a new pair of Rock & Republic jeans that are JUST a little too tight for my taste but should fit perfectly at goal. I have them in plain view in my closet as motivation to keep pushing forward to my goal.

The fashion diva that lives inside me can finally be FREE!!!!


Disclaimer: I am not getting compensated for shit to push any of these websites or brands. I just love them that much and am excited to share them with you! 

March 05, 2012

Motivation Monday: Body Comp Testing

One of the many things I love about the Medifast program is the monthly Body Composition testing. Every 4 weeks they do a body comp scan. Here is how Medifast defines their body comp testing:

Body composition testing is the process of measuring the components of your body, in short, what you're made of. Weight alone is not a clear indication of good health because it does not distinguish how many pounds are fat and how many pounds are lean body mass. By regularly monitoring your body fat, lean muscle mass/muscular development you can understand how your diet, lifestyle and exercise regime are influencing your body comp. Knowing what's working for you can help you target and reach your wellness, appearance and longevity goals.

Cool, right??

I love this because it is giving me a more accurate picture of my health beyond just my BMI. It is telling me that my health and weight loss success is based on more than just the number on the scale. Since I have been full disclosure with all of you (and I'm actually at a weight that I am not totally mortified by anymore) here is what my scan looked like this week:


Holy crap. I lost 4.3 lbs this week (thank you Step class!) for a total of 22.1 since starting Medifast. 42.1 since I started my healthiness journey.

My measurements?? Since my last body comp, I have lost 11.25 inches off my body (on Medifast).

I only have 16.2 lbs left to lose.

I am a little in shock. A little choked up. I will be at my goal weight by my 36th birthday. I officially started planning our Disney vacation (the only way I would plan it is if I reached or got close enough to reach my goal weight).

I never thought any of this was possible.

March 02, 2012

Fab Fit Friday: Medifast is NOT a "Quick Fix"

I mentioned in a previous post that I caught a lot of flack for joining Medifast.

Dear Haters: Medifast is NOT a quick fix. It is not a crash diet. I have as many bad weigh ins as I do good ones and I have not lost any more weight on this plan than many others that are doing "healthy" plans such as Weight Watchers or jerks like my husband who simply state they are on a diet and instantly lose 15 pounds. There are even some folks who started Weight Watchers the same time I started Medifast and have actually lost more than me. So, haters, before you judge a program, do your research. 

I've said it before- Weight Watchers wasn't working for me anymore. While I may have been eating less, I wasn't eating better. Nor was that going to change for me without going into a program that required an entire diet overhaul. Yes, I have to eat Medifast food. It sometimes sucks and I long for "real" food. Yes, at my Oscar party this past Sunday night, I "cheated" on my plan but mostly by default- I was at an event and staying in a hotel without a microwave or the necessities I needed to prepare my Medifast meals. I made a compromise for one day and was back on plan the next. To my astonishment, I still lost a half pound. Medifast is giving me the opportunity to control my diet and help me lose weight slowly (yes, read that again: I said slowly). My average weight loss comes out to be 2-3 pounds a week. No different than someone working Weight Watchers to the bone. When I have reached my goal, the program DOES NOT END for me. I will have to go through 12 weeks of transition and counseling where they will teach me how to eat THE RIGHT foods and how much of them to eat in order to maintain my weight. Once 12 weeks of transition have passed, I will enter into maintenance FOR A YEAR. Yes, for a year I will meet with my Medifast counselors once a week to weigh in, discuss and review my food journal. I will be expected to maintain my weight. The hope is that after a year and half of these three phases, I will be re-taught why to eat and what to eat without compromising my weight loss.

Dear Haters, please tell me again why you feel this is a quick fix? Because, a year and a half on this program pretty much feels like an eternity to me. Why is your way the only way right way to lose weight?

For me, my weight struggle isn't something new. I have dealt with being overweight my entire life. I have food issues that have plauged me forever and it has taken me until now to realize I will never be able to fix them on my own. Medifast is the first program that has actually kept me honest about what I am putting in my mouth every day. I'm not going to bullshit anyone here, the biggest motivation to keep me on this plan is that it costs a small fortune. I will be damned if I ever have to pay for this again (which is hilarious because I have spent a lot more on Weight Watchers over the last 6 years trying to lose this same weight).

I am just sick and tired of people hating on my program. If you had been struggling for years and paying for a program that simply wasn't working, what would you do? Just keep paying for a program that wasn't working? Really? There was actually a fleeting moment I had before starting Medifast where I was believing that being at 188 lbs is just who I am. I actually almost believed that being a bigger girl was just how I was going to be and to accept it.

I am so glad I didn't give up.

Weighing in at 169 pounds this morning, I am down 19.3 since starting Medifast on January 11 and down 39.3 pounds since officially starting my healthiness journey over a year ago. I only have 19 pounds left to reach my goal. I am stunned that I am almost there. I am stunned by the way I look even right now though I'm not yet to goal. I am stunned that I fit into a size 10 (I have been a 16 for as long as I can remember). I get choked up thinking about the fact I am excited to go swimsuit shopping and that I am not the least bit worried about taking my son to swim lessons or wearing a swimsuit in front of other people. I can't believe I will go to Disneyland with my family later this year and not think twice about being too big for a ride or wearing shorts. I am stunned how much this is changing my life.

THIS is the me I am meant to be: healthy, fit and happy.

Dear Haters: This is no quick fix. This is a lifelong change for me. I will always need to watch what I eat and exercise. When I make it to my goal in the next 6-8 weeks, this doesn't end. So please stop hating on me and please, PLEASE understand that not everyone will be able to lose weight the same way. Some of us need something a little different. Medifast is my different and it is working. For me.


 
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