Tag Archives: Motivation

Of Guest Posts and Shed Pounds

Happy Tuesday Everybody! I’m so excited to have my first guest blogger, Sasha, visiting today to talk to us a bit about her weight loss journey and what she has found to work for her. Please take some time to get to know her a bit here then hop over to her blog to read more about this inspirational woman!

From July 2011, currently down to 246.

Hi, Sasha, and welcome to my blog! I’m happy to have you as my first guest blogger.

Thanks so much for asking me to be a guest blogger, Tammy. You have no idea how much it means to me to be able to share a little of my experience.

Tell us a little bit about your history. Have you always struggled with your weight or is this something that has happened at a later stage in life?

I have always been overweight, my entire life, I have always also been rather tall and somehow that always compensated for it especially since I was always fairly active and muscular. My serious weight gain didn’t begin until I was well into my late 30s.

What was your rock bottom moment? That moment that pushed you to start your weight loss journey?

When I got to the point where I looked at a set of stairs with no banister with dread and when I starting avoiding unfamiliar restaurants because I was worried I wouldn’t fit into a booth, I knew things were way past out of control. Besides, I just got tired of feeling tired. Carrying around almost 400 pounds is a huge chore!

When you began your journey, did you tell anyone your goals or did you just jump in and let the current take you where it wanted?

When I first started out, I knew only two things for certain, first that I was absolutely not going to do a traditional diet of lowfat/nonfat foods/diet foods and, I was determined to be physically active again. My husband was the only person who knew what I was doing. I downloaded an app on the iphone called LoseIt a few months after I started my weight loss, it’s a simple tool and that’s about as “organized” as I get with my weight loss. I try to keep my goals fluid so I don’t get discouraged or frustrated. Very important to keep in mind.

What has been one of the hardest things you’ve had to face since starting? How were you able to push through/cope?

The most difficult thing for me occurred early on in my weight loss and that was the point where I realized that my desire didn’t match my physical capabilities yet. I wanted to do so much more than I was able to do, my mind was already thinner and fitter than my body and I really had to push myself to get to where mind and body were more evenly matched. I still have this issue but not to the extent where I get as frustrated.

To date, you’ve lost about 130lbs, is that hard for you to wrap your head around? I’ve known some grown women who didn’t weigh that much! That’s a huge accomplishment.

Yes, the fact that I’ve lost 130 pounds just blows my mind sometimes. I’m at turns proud of myself and disappointed in myself for allowing myself to get that obese. It’s a mixed bag but mostly I’m enormously relieved that the majority of my weight loss is in my past.

How long has it taken you to get where you are now?

It’s taken me two years. If I had thought about this fact in the beginning of my weight loss I probably would have been overcome by impatience and possibly too discouraged to begin but I tried to acknowledge the timeline only occassionally. If you busy yourself with enjoying the process instead of focusing on “where will I be X number of months/years from now”, it helps.

Tell us about some of your non-scale victories and how that has motivated you to keep on trucking.

Those non-scale victories are certainly icing on the cake. Giving away huge bags of clothing to charity over the past two years has been a big incentive and I still have bittersweet feelings over giving away rather expensive shoes that no longer fit me after I lost an entire shoe size. Gaining strength is still my biggest incentive though. Every time I scale a hill on my bicycle that I had trouble with before or take on a longer hike, I gave huge amounts of self-confidence.

Speaking of motivation, what do you do when your motivation has left you? I know I have many times where I have no motivation to work out or watch what I eat. However, if I wait for motivation to strike I’ll be waiting a long time, and probably gain a few pounds in the process!

I talk about motivation often to people because I’ve noticed that they often allow motivation to be their basis for losing weight. This, in my opinion, is setting oneself up for failure. As you say, if we wait for motivation we’ll often find ourselves simply sitting around packing on pounds and getting weak when we should be drawing on self-discipline to compensate. Self-discipline is my fallback and I often find that after I push myself into doing something, the motivation comes back very naturally. I guess it’s a chicken or the egg thing.

How has your life changed (outlook, hobbies, etc.) since the day you made the choice to live healthier?

I am a happier, more confident person in mind body and spirit. I went from serious couch potato to enthusiastic outdoorsy girl. I love my hiking, bicycling and just being outdoors in nature. I live in the Pacific Northwest which has beautiful mountains and opportunities to play outdoors so it’s become my own personal playground now. I can’t believe how I’ve changed in this respect and I have great appreciation and gratitude for this change. 

How do you reward yourself for reaching goals?

My favorite ways to reward myself; hiking and bicycling gear and clothing. Being able to purchase a new bicycle because I’ve “outgrown” my old comfort bike or buying a backpacking backpack because I’m finally fit enough to go backpacking –these are my favorite rewards and they inspire to do more. 

What is your current goal you’re working toward?

Currently I’m working on toning and strength. I figure since it’s been awhile since I’ve lost any significant amount of weight, I’ll take advantage and work on shaping my body. When you lose a huge amount of weight, your body really droops. It’s been through a shock and needs a little tender loving care and that seems to be where I’m at right now. I’m seeing results in inches and appearance which is a big confidence booster. Weight loss isn’t a straight line and this is just part of the process as I’m discovering.

What 1 tool/item has been indispensable in this process?

Is self-discipline considered a tool? Because honestly, of all the things I’ve needed over the past couple of years, this has been my bottom line. The best part about it, anyone can have self-discipline, it’s like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets and the easier it’ll come to you.

Do you have any pearls of wisdom for people who may be where you were? Or for people who feel the task at hand is just too great?

Be persistent, be consistent, keep moving forward. This has been an important motto for me and it applies to all stages of the journey. Be prepared for rough times and emotions, push past them, ride them out, do whatever it takes, just keep going and it’ll happen.

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to talk with us! I’m looking forward to seeing your journey continue to unfold!

These were wonderful questions and I appreciate the opportunity to help. Anyone can do this, I promise!

I Took the Fit Out of Crossfit!

It all started when I agreed to try out a Crossfit class with some ladies from work. I watched one video and I have to admit it truly scared me. I walk on a normal basis and I have no doubt I could go out and walk a 5K tomorrow if need be, but I am a wimp when it comes to strength training. For better or worse, I’m a clutz and tend to try to use weight machines (if I do strength training) so I don’t drop the weights. So, the idea of putting free weights above my head wasn’t too enticing!

Michelle, Alaina, Jennifer and I showed up to DynamicFit full of curiosity. There were a few guys there and the trainer, Shane.

 

Everyone was so supportive and helpful. While I definitely felt out of my element, I didn’t feel judged. Shane put us through the warm-up and stretching. The first circuit consisted of a wall handstand. BWahahahaha…yeah, that so wasn’t happening for me. The girls and I were given some pvc stands and boxes to scale the workout to our abilities. My legs started shaking. We had to hold that for a minute, then move on to a squat for a minute, then a pull up hold for a minute, and an L lift (I think it was called) for…yep you got it, a minute. Then REPEAT! My legs were shaking so bad on the handstand and squats. Then I couldn’t hold a pull up to save my life so I just kept jumping and trying to hold the best I could. When it was over I thought I might get sick. Thankfully Michelle and I had a light lunch!

The next circuit was to hold a weight bar overhead (I just used the dow, or wooden bar, for today) and do 15 squats (overhead squats), then a sprint 100 meters, and repeat 5 times total. I really enjoyed the squats. I felt strong in my movements, but as soon as I put the bar down to do my run my legs became jello and didn’t want to move. After about the 3rd sprint (which really turned out to be a fast walk) a muscle around my ankle started really bothering me. I guess I have weak ankle muscles…will need to work on that. I finished that set in 12 minutes 30 seconds. Not too bad, but not great either.

This was me after:

Shane kicked my ass. So, how did I like it? I didn’t like it at all during the class. Feelings of failure and embarrassment filled my head through the entire exercise. Everyone else was able to do so much more than me and here I was, someone who has been walking/running on a normal basis, and I couldn’t do the sprints. I decided I was NOT going to do this again. I don’t need to be humiliated like that.

Then….I got my wits back. No one was judging me there. No one was acting as though I didn’t belong. It was me that was judging myself. I should have been proud of myself. I completed a hard workout and I was still standing! What did I learn? I have strong, capable legs that are screaming to be sculpted. It is evident I’m not pushing myself as hard as I should be with my cardio. I am able to hang in there despite my tracheal stenosis. I didn’t just put my shoes away and stop trying to get healthier like some might. Last of all….I kept repeating the phrase on the gym wall and realized it’s true.

 My husband asked me “Are you going to go back?” The honest answer is I don’t want to. However, I think I need to. I think it’s important to push myself out of my comfort zone if I truly want to make myself healthier. I am grateful for my body and the fact that I don’t have too many restrictions even at my size (225lbs). So, I should let it know that by treating it right!

It’s My Reeeeward!

People always say that you should find a reward to motivate you through the hard times during weight loss, or just getting healthy in general. Obviously, these should be non-food related rewards. I’ve always had a hard time coming up with something motivating enough. However….Today I found it!

I want to be a Pin Up Girl! I’ve always loved the 40’s – 50’s fashion and my husband and I both like the vintage pin ups. This way, I can become one of the lovely Ladies and my husband will get a treat as well! *wink wink* Thankfully, he doesn’t ever look at this blog, so he won’t know what I’m up to.  So, my final reward for getting to my goal weight will be to make myself into a Pin Up! I’ve already found a local photographer. If I wanted to really motivate myself I’d go ahead and book it in advance and put some money down. I’ll have to think that through!