Monday, October 22, 2012

Non-Scale Victories

I think it's time I take my weight-loss focus away from pounds and start focusing on non-scale victories, inches lost, goals accomplished, etc...  I am 15 pounds away from what my ultimate goal was back in February when I started this journey, and the pounds are coming off slower and slower these days.  Granted my beer consumption has gone up these days, but I'm sure that has no affect on my weight loss ;)  I am one of those people that weighs myself daily - I know some people are 100% against this, but it totally keeps me in check!  I only take my loss from Monday - Monday as my 'official weigh-ins' but I like to see where I am at each day.  I know weight can fluctuate a huge amount from day to day, so I try not to get too discouraged when the scale creeps up a couple of pounds.  I feel like I have been losing and gaining the same 5 pounds over and over and over for the past 6-8 weeks, but I go back and look at my weigh-in chart (I track my weight everyday in an app on my phone called 'Simple Weigh-in') I realize that I have lost about 8 pounds in the last 2 months.  This is just another reason that I like to track my weight daily, I love having all the data, seeing the graphs, seeing the progress I've made.

While I try not to get discouraged with what the scale says, I would be lying to you if I said I didn't get discouraged with what the scale says.  I know that there is so much more to this than what the number on the scale says.  Back in September when I did the BodPod I found out that my body fat percentage was 28.6%, which is in the 'moderately lean' category - which was a GIANT shock to me!!  I can only imagine that that number has improved during this class - I can't wait to see what my percentage is after 8 weeks of the class, maybe that will be motivation to keep up strength training on my own.

During the last 6 weeks that I have been doing my strength training class through work I have only lost about 4 pounds, but I know that the inches are falling off!  I wore a newer pair of jeans today that have fit me pretty snug in the past, but they are falling off of me today!  They feel huge in the waist, thighs and butt - that's pretty concrete evidence that I'm losing inches!  And while I LOVE that my newer jeans are falling off of me, I can't afford to keep buying new clothes!  Maybe I need to switch my whole wardrobe to spandex? Yeah? That would be pretty awesome, right? And if everything I wore were spandex I'm sure that I would get more than a couple of months use out of them.. seems pretty genius to me.

With all of that said, here are some things that I am going to try to shift my focus on:

Inches lost - I know that I have some measurements from back in April - I am going to compare my current data with these old measurements and see how many inches I have lost and then continue tracking.

Strength - I am going to start tracking how many push-ups and crunches I can do, as well as try to do a plank a day and time myself and keep a log of it.

Running - my running has improved SO MUCH in the past 6 or 7 weeks.  I have been very consistent with running 3-4 times a week, and I can totally tell that it's paying off!  My average pace has gone from 12:30/mile to right around 10:00/mile - that's a huge improvement!  Current goal is to be able to run a full 5k without walking - this has been a goal of mine for, well, I don't know, 3 years... haha, time to get this one crossed off the list!  The next 5k is the Turkey Day 5k - exactly one month from today.  If I can keep up on my training, I've got this!

Clothes - seeing how differently my clothes fit from week to week is a huge motivator!  Granted I hate losing a favorite pair of jeans, but if that means I can buy a new pair in a smaller size, so be it!

Weight - while I am going to try to not focus on this number... I have it in the back of my mind that I am 12 pounds away from a "normal" weight by BMI standards.  I know that BMI is not really the most accurate thing to go by, but that fact that I am this close to being NORMAL is huge to me - I have never, ever, ever been in a "normal" weight range - so this will be a huge accomplishment for me!

This is where I am going to put my focus - expect lots of charts and graphs from me in the future...they're coming!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Back At It...

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again - I NEED TO START BLOGGING MORE!!

I need to use this as a place to keep you updated on what is going on in Kara and Macy's life.  Ok, I'll be honest - I use it as my scrapbook/baby book/memory log for the girls, so I need to keep it updated so that in 10 years I can remember the first food Macy ate, her first words, when she took her first steps, how Kara's first day of preschool went, when Kara lost her first tooth.  Am I the only parent out there that doesn't have scrapbooks or memory books for my kids? Please say no so that I don't feel like such a horrible parent!! :)

Let's start with the girls - Kara has started going to preschool at Sonshine Preschool at Rose of Sharon Lutheran church.  We are lucky enough that our daycare provider will drive Kara to and from preschool.  If we didn't have that option, Kara wouldn't be going!  I don't know how any working parents can work around preschool and half-day kindergarten schedules, it's ridiculous! Anyway, she is absolutely loving preschool and is learning so much!  Pretty soon she will be smarter than Joe and I combined.  They are starting the year off by learning colors and in the next week or two they will start learning numbers, and then move on to learning letters.  They practice writing their names everyday and Kara can now write her name all by herself, granted the letters aren't in the correct order, but she's getting there! :)

Kara also had a birthday back in August that we haven't talked about yet.  In true Kara fashion, she wanted a Lightning McQueen (the red car from the movie Cars) birthday party, and the only thing she asked for was a Lightning McQueen Power Wheel.  Let's just say that she got what she wanted!

Macy is our happy little chunker!  She started crawling just after 7 months and quickly learned how to pull herself up onto everything.  We have to constantly keep an eye on her to prevent her from eating everything off the floor or hurting herself!  She is quite a handful at times!  She has started waving, blowing kisses, clapping and giving high fives in the last month or so.  I still cannot believe that she will be 1 in just 2 months!!  She says bye-bye, momma, dadda, tries to say clap - I'm still waiting for her first real word, Kara's was pinetree - I'm hoping Macy has a good first word like that!  She has taken a few steps in the last week and I think she will be walking very soon, and then we are really in trouble!  She also has this new obsession with licking things, particularly the floors, but she'll lick pretty much anything.  At her 9 month appt she weighed in at 20 pounds 6 ounces and was 28.5 inches - she's about the same size at 9 months as Kara was at 1 year!  She's got 2 cute lil teeth so far, but with the way she's been acting lately I'm guessing that a few more are working their way through.

Joe and I ran (I'm using the term ran VERY loosely here) Joe's first 5k on July 15th.  We did The Color Run - they throw this powdered color on you at each kilometer and by the end you are covered in color, it was a great time!  The running part was not so great.  It was about 98 degrees out that morning, I felt super dehydrated and just couldn't run.  Every time we reached one of the color stations things came to a complete halt.  Overall I think our time was about 41 minutes, but that's not important, all that matters is that we had fun! 

A shot from afar of one of the color throws that happened every 15 minutes at the finish line.

Do you love the hand print I left on Joe's back?

Most of the crew - Me, Joe, Meghan, Emily and Christina - not pictured Roger, Riana, Megan and Ian

After our first, and hopefully not last, 5k together

Back in June when I last blogged, I was at 38.4 pounds lost - since then I have lost another 17.6 pounds for a total loss of 56 pounds, total of 73 since Macy was born!!  The last 6 weeks or so I have been fluctuating up and down the same 5 pounds.  Which I mostly blame on my beer consumption on the weekends :)  

Here's what 73 pounds lost in less than 10 months looks like - and trust me, if I can do it you can too!

I just finished week 4 of an 8 week group strength training class that is offered through work.  If I go to at least 13 of the 16 classes I get fully reimbursed.  Here is the structure of the class:

First 20-25 minutes is a circuit of 12 exercises.  8 of the exercises are weight machines - chest press, shoulder press, tricep extensions, lat pulldown, leg press, leg curl, bicep curls and calf raises - the other 4 in the circuit are considered 'the line' these are cardio exercises that change up every week, but have included things like burpees, jumping squats, jump onto a bosu, things like that...

The next 15 minutes we do different exercises each week, which include - planks, up and down planks, planks on a bosu, push ups, crunches, squats with shoulder press, supermans, and all sorts of core work, but I don't know what those exercises are called.

Then the last 5 minutes we do stretches and use foam rollers to roll out our tight, sore muscles.

I am really enjoying this class, and I will be so sad when it's over!  Another cool thing about this class is we did a pre-fitness assessment and bod pod assessment and will get to do them again at the end of the 8 weeks to measure our progress.  The fitness assessment includes doing as many push ups and crunches as you can, one time maximum leg press, one time maximum chest press and a flexibility test.  The bod pod uses air displacement to accurately measure muscle mass vs. fat mass - it was pretty cool!  My body fat was measured at 28.6% which is in the 'moderately lean' category - this totally blew me away!!  I for sure thought I would be in the 'excess fat' category!  I'm super excited to do it again at the end of the 8 weeks and see how much progress I have made!

Things I'm happy about with my weight loss:

  • I weigh 20 pounds less than I did BEFORE I was pregnant with Macy (and remember that I gained 51 pounds while pregnant and she is not even 10 months old)
  • The weight on my driver's license is more than 20 pounds higher than my current weight!!
  • I'm 10 pounds less than the lowest weight I ever got after I had Kara (and I was only at that weight for about 1 week!)
  • I wear a size smaller pants than I did before I got pregnant with Macy - since February I have gone from a size 20 to a size 11!
  • I feel like I am finally making progress with running
Speaking of running - I ran two other 5ks since my last post - the Big Gay Race to support Minnesota United For All Families - VOTE NO!!! - and the MMRF 5k to support Joe's aunt who has Multiple Myleoma.  Both of these 5ks were in the same weekend, and both were PRs for me.  The Big Gay Race I finished in about 35:30 and the MMRF 5k was just over 33 mins!  Wooohoo!!  I track all my running on dailymile and runkeeper - be my friend if you are on either of those sites!

Alright, I must go to bed now.  Thanks for reading, I promise to update more frequently :)