Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Q & A with Chubby Girl

How tall are you? 
Probably somewhere between 5’2” and 5’3”. Unfortunately, God didn't bless me with the gift of height and legs to my chin.

How much do you weigh? 
Currently 183 (lost three pounds recently!)

How much have you lost since you began losing? 
22 pounds. My heaviest was 205. (I know, right?)

What has been the most difficult thing about losing weight? 
Being patient with results. I’m learning that results don’t come for free. And results happen slowly.

What’s your guilty pleasure? 
Currently, it would have to be cheese and any kind of cream-based sauce like sour cream or mayonnaise. I try to limit it, but I haven’t cut it out of my diet. I believe (most) things are okay in moderation. And by moderation, I don’t mean every day. Unfortunately. (:

What health food do you love that most people wouldn’t think about trying? 
Oh gosh…anything different or outside the box. I have tried fish tacos (love them) and am gonna try some stuffed sweet peppers next week. Variety is the spice of life! And it keeps you from getting bored. Who wants to eat broccoli and chicken every day? Not me. I also recommend buying one new vegetable and fruit each week and experimenting with different recipes. Try allrecipes.com for some ideas. This week I’m trying my culinary hands at some fresh artichokes. We’ll see how that goes. I do know that the lady at the check-out counter doesn’t like them because she said “Oh shit!” when the stems poked her finger. (Oops!)

What do you do with the nay-sayers in your life? 
I say fah-get-aboud-it (in the best Italian accent I can muster up!) Seriously, just know that there are some people that can never be pleased. I have those people in my life. No matter if I lost 10 pounds in a week, they’d say I should have lost 12. And I can almost bet that when I lose more weight, I’ll hear “you’re getting too skinny!”. Remember: this is for YOU. No one else. Don’t go to those people for encouragement – you’ll just be disappointed. First and foremost, YOU congratulate YOURSELF for your accomplishments. Find ways to reward yourself (not with food). And go to the positive people in your life to share your successes with.

What do you do when you have bad days where you feel like a failure? 
I blog about it (see previous blog post where I was super discouraged). I also keep going. I don’t go order take out like I used to. Even though I still want to, I don’t drown myself in cheese fries. I try to continue to do what I know is right – eat healthy and work out. Eventually, it pays off. For instance, last week I was so discouraged because I had actually gained two pounds. But when I weighed in this past Sunday, I lost two pounds (in addition to the two I had gained). And I lost an additional one between Sunday and Today. So, work does pay off.

What’s your best diet advice? 
Don’t do diets just to lose weight. Look at it as a lifestyle change. I believe losing weight is 70% diet and 30% exercise (that's just my personal belief). Your diet lays the ground work for what happens with your muscle and metabolism. 

What foods should I eat if I’m trying to eat healthy? 
I’ve been trying to eat whole, unprocessed foods for the majority of the time. It’s called eating “clean”. A good rule of thumb is to do most of your grocery shopping along the perimeters of the store. Most of the stuff in between the aisles is highly processed. This is a general rule of course. Fresh produce, low-fat dairy, and low processed lean meats are the best. I try to be aware of sugar. I do this because I tend to gain all of my fat around my mid-section which is often associated with Type 2 Diabetes. And I don't want to join in on that party.

What’s your current workout plan? 
I am doing a combination of three workout videos. They are: Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred and two videos from The Firm series. I workout six days a week for at least 30 minutes a day. Eventually I’ll change it up, but for now, it’s my plan. And it involves a good combo of intense cardio, strength training and stretching.

What’s a big diet or fitness lie people believe? 
Many folks believe you can spot reduce. You can not. You can’t do 100 sit ups a day and no cardio and expect to lose weight only in your stomach and get a six pack. It doesn’t work that way. Cardio is a MUST. (I know, it kinda sucks sometimes.) Wouldn’t it be nice if the DVD had a prompt at the beginning of the video that said “please select the following area you would like to lose weight from today”?

Final words…
I put my weight loss off for way too long. I made excuses. I don’t know how many times I said “this is my last fast food burger” or “this one bad food choice won’t make that much difference”. But now I look at my decisions as steps. I can take a step forward or a step back. It’s up to me. I don’t torture myself if I want a Snickers candy bar. I’m not that fanatical about it. But I make more healthier choices than I make unhealthy ones. The only person standing in my way was me. Now, I’m actually rooting for my own team...Team Danielle 100%! Many times in life, you have to be your biggest cheerleader (not in a totally self-absorbed or conceited way, but in a healthy "I love myself" way).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today feels like a good day for quitting

I am so frustrated. I made a commitment a couple of weeks ago to try and be out of the 180s by June 1st. It was difficult to get out of the 190s, but it has been even harder to get out of the 180s. Like, crazy hard. It’s not looking like I’m going to make my goal. I don’t know why my body is resisting, but I’m ready to heave these scales across the room. Every time I step on them, I feel like I’m on some hidden camera show where they are playing horrible tricks on me. I’m feeling all “why isn’t this easier?” I mean, some people can just do one thing and lose five freakin’ pounds. Not me. I feel like I have to turn my life upside down to lose even one meazly pound. I just don’t know what the hell is up…but I’m ready to give up. Call it quits…and order a damn pizza.

I’m sharing this because I’d be full of crap if I only shared the successful moments or moments when I feel totally up to it. Because that’s not real. It’s not life. Sometimes you try really hard and the reality is, you don’t see immediate results. Sometimes you want to just give up and say “forget this crap”. Because it’s one thing to know you aren’t doing what you are supposed to and therefore not seeing results. But it’s a whole new ballgame to actually be doing what you are supposed to and NOT see results. That’s so frustrating. And when people ask me questions like “well, are you eating healthy?”, “are you working out?” and “have you been giving it your all?” I just want to punch them in their face and say “no, you complete moron. I’m eating cheese fries for breakfast, sitting on the couch and half-assing it and expecting to lose weight.” 

But sometimes, when I look at the scale and am expecting to see some results and I don’t, it does make me want to drown myself in cheese fries and watch The Notebook. (Please tell me I’m not the only one.)

Well, I didn’t drown myself in cheese fries. And I didn’t watch The Notebook. But I did have a macadamia nut cookie. And it was good. Really good. I’m not going to commit diet suicide over the cookie. Even though (today) I feel like it. Because part of maturing is realizing I can’t always do what I feel. And by feel I mean swim in an ocean of spicy ranch dressing.
So, I’m gonna take a break from the scales for a few days. Because, frankly, I am mad at them and that is what you do when you are mad at an inanimate object – you ignore it or at least take a break from it. (It’s a lot like being mad at a real person.) Tomorrow is a new day. I will work out. I will eat healthy. Because I know (aka I hope) that eventually, it will make a difference and all be worth it. It will, right?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Excuses are like what?!

Excuses. My guess is that if you are from the South (or perhaps anywhere in the United States), you know the ole’ expression “Excuses are like butts. Everybody’s got one and they stink.” You know, I never really liked that expression. For one, it is not entirely accurate in its claims. Let’s say for instance, if you just took a bath, my guess is that your butt doesn’t stink. It probably smells quite lovely…especially if you used some of that fru-fru bath gel from Bath and Body Works. And secondly, most of my excuses do not stink. If excuses were a scent, mine would smell like the aroma of fresh pine of a cool spring day.

Okay, well, not really. 

I have to be honest here. Have you ever walked through the cosmetics department during the holidays? Whoa! I bet your little nostrils, like mine, were working major overtime. It is just too much. a spritz of this cologne here, a whoof there. By the time I walk out of Dillard’s during the peak of holiday shopping season, I have a smell-induced migraine. I think that is probably what my excuses smell like. One or two is okay, but a whole host of excuses just smell like…too much of the same thing.

There have been times in my life where I am filled to the brim with loads of excuses. Especially when it comes to weight loss. Perhaps these sound all too familiar…

I don’t have time to work out.
It’s summer. It’s too hot to work out.
It’s winter. It’s too cold to work out.
It’s spring. My allergies bother me too much to work out.
It’s fall. The kids have too much going on right now.
I’ll wait till summer gets here. I’ll have more time.
I’ll wait till school starts in the fall. I can be on more of a schedule then.
The gym costs too much.
There’s nothing but skinny bitches at the gym.
It’s raining outside.
It’s not raining outside and I want to enjoy this beautiful day not working out.
Eating healthy costs too much. I can get a McDouble for only $1!
I don’t have time to plan my meals and cook healthy.
I’m just big-boned. (This is my favorite)
I don’t like health food.
You only live once. I don’t wanna deprive myself.
I’m just not a runner.
I’m just gonna try some diet pills…or Sensa! Yeah, Sensa! All you do is sprinkle that on your food and bam! Instant weight loss.
I can’t get up at 5 a.m. and work out. I would be miserable.
I can’t work out when I get home from working all day. I’m too tired.
And those are just a few…

Wow. With these thoughts, it’s no wonder I let my 5’2” frame get to 205 pounds. I wanted all the benefits of being fit and healthy but wanted no part of the sacrifices it took to get there. My mindset was a spoiled little brat. I wanted it my way and made my own demands. The thing about that is, my body didn’t respond to my brattiness. My body, in a sense, just looked at me all stupid, crossed its arms and was like “Mmmhmmm. No she didn’t!” That’s why it took me so long to lose even the smallest bit of weight. I wanted to be lazy, eat whatever I wanted - all the while expecting the pounds to just melt away. (I sorta still hope for that, even though it’s highly delusional. Or at least I want to half-ass it some days.) But the truth is, that’s insane. Literally, I heard once that is the definition of insanity…doing the same thing but expecting different results. Except now I hear that insanity is a new workout DVD so I guess the joke is on me.

The point is this: we all have reasonable excuses. In the summer, it is hot. It is more expensive to eat healthy. It does take time to work-out and cook healthy. And there are and will always be skinny bitches at the gym who intimidate the hell out of me in their spandex. But my excuses do not get me any closer to my goal. So, what I have to do is find a way around my excuses. I’m not saying excuses aren’t valid. But in reality, at least for me, the more correct definition of my excuses would actually be inconveniences and a sense of discomfort. It is uncomfortable for me to workout when it’s hot. But I can do it. It is inconvenient for me to get up at 5 a.m. to workout. But I can do it. It is (highly) uncomfortable for me to wear my extra large ugly t-shirt at the gym while I huff and puff from walking on the treadmill and watch Barbie in her hot pink spandex run 10 miles without breaking a sweat. But I can (arggg!) do it. 

So, I guess I’ll go press play on my workout DVD now. Because Barbie isn’t here. It’s not hot. And I have the time.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Doing life...or something like it

Oh. My. Goodness. It’s been awhile, huh? I have so missed blogging! But since I’m just now getting internet (hello stone age) at my house (which, as you might have imagined…is in the sticks) I’m back!

So, what have I been up to the past…um…six months or so? Well, let’s see if I can give you a little update.
Job status: unemployed
            side note: pounds gained since unemployment: 3
Relationship status: single
Side note: idiots who take me out on a date and “forget” to tell me they have
girlfriend: 1 (but isn’t one enough?)
Additional side note: men whom I am attracted to who are emotionally unavailable:       unlimited
Last time I had a good work-out: …………………(my point exactly)

I think that pretty much covers it, don’t you?

Oh, now don’t go and think I’ll be throwing myself a pity party anytime soon…not because I don’t do that from time to time, but because I just threw myself one last Saturday. One in which my best friend refused to attend with me. But that was a good thing because sometimes you need friends who won’t throw on the pity party hat with you, but ones who will say “This party sucks! Let’s go somewhere else!”

I suppose I could get all depressed. But, at least for the day, I’m not feelin’ all “woe is me”. Maybe it sounds silly, but I think it’s because I watched this video on YouTube about this guy, Ben.

I will break the video down for you in a Letterman-esque list of 10.
1. Ben got fat.
2. Ben got sad.
3. Ben got inspired.
4. Ben started running.
5. Ben, like Forrest Gump, kept running. 
6. Ben lost weight.
7. Ben lost a lot of weight.
8. Ben became happy again.
9. Ben says you should do life.
10. Ben says if you want to do something, all you have to do is just do it.
I like Ben. And because I’m not all technologically-savvy and know how to post a link to the video, you need to look up the video and watch it. Just type in “120 pound journey” or “Ben does life”. I mean, the video combined with Coldplay’s song “Fix You”…just break out the Kleenex. Ben also has a blog that I follow quite regularly…well, since my internet is up and running now. I like his story (and him) because he’s real. He’s not perfect. He eats pizza. He works out. He slacks off. Then he gets back up and starts again. Now, for me, THAT is motivation. It’s not about being a perfect robot that never screws up. But rather, it’s about picking yourself up after you realize you are doing more talking about changing than actually doing something about changing.

It sure is easy to think about changing, isn’t it? It’s fairly easy to make a list or journal or daydream about starting to change and what that change would do to me if it ever came to fruition. But, for me, it is kinda hard to get started. And when I do get started, I almost psych myself out by anticipating when I will, in fact, fail. Then I fail (and feel like an epic failure) and just don’t want to try again. I mean, who wants to feel like the loser who keeps failing over and over? I’ve felt like that too many times to count. And when I feel like that, I tend to just mentally and physically tap out. I become a gross slob surrounded by fast food sacks and to-go Styrofoam containers. My house turns into filth because I have passed the point of caring. Simple things become such an inconvenience. I’m even too embarrassed to say how long a sink full of dishes stayed in the sink. I don’t want to take any pride in myself by fixing my hair or putting on my make-up. I want to revert back to the newborn stage: sleep, eat, poop. Except my mind is far more advanced than a newborn because I start engaging in all these “my life is so horrible” thoughts. I compare myself to others and just upset myself by wondering what is wrong with me that I’m not married at 32 or don’t have a set career or that I’m not as thin as I want to be. All the negative thoughts just hit me like an emotional tsunami. And when I’m in this zone, it’s almost like committing a living suicide. I am existing. But I’m not living. I am, by no means, as Ben says, “doing life”. And boy, is that depressing or what? I’m going to let you in on a little secret…I’ve been sort of going in and out of this for about eight years now. But, the whole time…all I had to do was just do it. I heard once that whatever you feed…will grow. I mean, not too hard to grasp that one. However, I was feeding all my “I can’t change” thoughts. And they grew. Again, both emotionally and physically. It grew into this ugly monster.

But I could change. I can. Whatever the change may be…letting go of a bad relationship (once and for all), losing that final five pounds, running that extra mile or stepping out and taking a big risk career wise…I hope that this quote (from Ben) awakens something in you that was awakened in me…and I believe has changed my whole outlook: “If you want to do something, all you have to do is do it.”