Sometimes I have to remind myself of where I’ve been when I’m overwhelmed by how far I have to go!
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!
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!
This Saturday morning I drug my butt out of bed at 6AM to get ready to meet the girls for a run. Kelly was having a migraine so she wasn’t able to make it. Clara was competing in a Sprint Tri on Sunday so she was going to ride her bike instead of run. It was very tempting to tell Clara that I was just going to stay home (and sleep!) but I made myself go.
We met up at Falconwing park where I followed the green belt trails for what I thought was a 4 mile trek. Turns out, the trail was only 3 miles. However, it was extremely hilly! This caused me to go a bit slower than usual. I enjoyed the fact that the whole run was almost covered in shade. So, while it was still hot it wasn’t too bad.
Clara got several miles in on her bike. We both were a bit sweaty! I headed to CrossFit Point Break, where Clara currently goes, for a free foam rolling presentation by one of the guys from Airrosti. There were quite a few people there. My first impression was “Wow”. Everything was so neatly organized and the layout was great. The Owner/Coach was pretty “wow” too! Just think, extremely tan and bright blue eyes! Justin was extremely knowledgeable and kind. He took time after the presentation to talk to me a bit, which I appreciated. I also met Blake, another CFPB coach. While I didn’t get to talk with him too much, he seemed like a pretty cool guy too. I really enjoyed the box and the people. Maybe I’ll go by one day when they’re having an open WOD to check it out further. OH…they also have Harley, an adorable French Bulldog (in picture below).
Mike and I went out to dinner Saturday about 4:30 at Goose’s Acre on the Woodlands’ Waterway. We ended up walking a little over a mile after dinner to let our food digest some. So, while I didn’t get 4 miles in that morning I did get over 4 for the entire day. That has to count for something! When we got home I did a little digging to see if I could somehow upload my Garmin run data into my Nike+ profile. I wanted to put all of my mileage in one spot, plus I like Nike’s site. Fortunately, I came across this post that allows you to do just that! So, after spending quite a bit of time moving entries over, I have most of my mileage accounted for! There are a few runs that I didn’t have recorded because I forgot my Garmin, but hey…we can all be perfect! I do have my 1/2 marathon practice run and my actual Angie’s Half Crazy 1/2 Marathon in there now.
Today, I went by Fleet Feet in Spring and picked up a little somethin’ somethin’. I originally was going to get the Nike GPS Sportwatch, but based on some of the reviews I’ve read I decided to go with the Garmin 610. After all, I can still upload my runs into Nike!
Can’t wait to see how it does on the road this next Saturday. I had been using a Nike GPS app on my phone, but I broke my previous phone by using it on my workouts…so now I’ll just use this and my nano (for music).
How was your weekend?!
A couple of weeks ago, I got a present in the mail from Barnes and Noble (ok, so I bought it for myself, I still enjoy opening them!). I had been patiently waiting for Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo to be released, so it was a happy day! The first thing that struck me was the fact that the book was much larger than I had anticipated.
The pages are thick and the overall book has a great feel to it. I love heavy books! Plus, with the pages being as stout as they are I’m not as concerned about possibly getting some olive oil or other cooking goods on it. I cracked it open and I have to say, this book is beautiful! If you don’t want to lick the page, there’s something wrong with you! (j/k)
With the book being the size it is, I was expecting a couple of recipes per page, but that’s not the layout. Each recipe has its own page, which is fine but you don’t get as many recipes! They include a picture, which is great. Sometimes I wonder if the dish is supposed to look like it’s done when I’m finished with it!
So, after opening to the middle and looking at the different recipes, I finally flipped back to the beginning and worked my way through the entire book. The start of the book tells Sarah’s story and gives the reader information about the Paleo way of eating. Not too shocking. What did surprise me though, was at the back of the book she includes a 30 day meal plan complete with shopping lists for each week! Too cool!
And wait…there’s even more! If you order right now we’ll throw in some exercises…FOR FREE! How many times have I seen exercise descriptions and explanations in a cookbook? Once…just with this book. The pictures are great because you see the actual progression of the exercise as opposed to just the starting and ending positions.
You may be saying “yeah that’s great, but I never know which ones to put together for a workout. There’s too many choices.” True, and Sarah is kind enough to give you some workout suggestions using the exercises she’s laid out in the book!
All in all, I’m very impressed with this book. I have only made one of the dishes so far, but if someone with my cooking skills can make a tasty meal from this book, I’m sold!
What a wonderful weekend we had! The weather was gorgeous and quite cool. It actually felt like Fall for a little bit. On Saturday, I got up and run some errands in the morning then went over to Tamarac Park and got in 6 miles worth of walking. It was a great walk but I noticed my left foot (ball of the foot) felt a bit raw so I decided 6 miles was plenty.
I stopped by Lowe’s and picked up some paint swatches (yep, thinking of redecorating!) and a couple of books then went home to pick up the Hubby. We went to check out a place called My Fit Foods. They have perfectly portioned meals, many of which are gluten free. We didn’t pick anything up as we didn’t have a cooler to get them back to the house in, but I think I may get some of these meals for dinner for next week. Mike probably won’t eat them as they won’t have enough food for him. He has an extremely high metabolism that requires quite a bit more food than I do! So, I’ll have to let y’all know how they taste when I try them out. The meals looked good in the cooler. You could even buy them and heat them up there. They had a little eating area with tables and chairs.
Then Sunday, I stayed in my PJs all day watching football with Mike. I was going to get a few more miles in, but my foot was bothering me a great deal. Come to find out I had blisters. So, it’s time to get some new athletic socks and possibly some new shoes. Those shoes have probably close to 300 miles. I’ve heard that you can normally get anywhere from 300-400 miles on a good pair of running shoes before the materials start breaking down.
Today is a walk/run day, so I’m hoping the socks I use won’t irritate the blister too much. I’m tired of dealing with blisters on that foot. My guess is it’s the same blister that just hasn’t completely healed yet that keeps getting aggravated.
Hope y’all had a great weekend!