Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Use stickers for workout motivation

While I was in law school steadlily gaining weight with each passing academic year, I read a lot of stories on how to lose weight.  Sometime after 1L year, I stumbled across a before/after story in some lady fitness mag (Self, Fitness, Shape? --- not sure which one). The story was about a couch potato turned military chick who after deciding to join the military had to lose some pounds to pass her physical fitness military exam.  The magazine asked her how she did it, and one thing she mentioned was that after each workout she put a sticker in her calendar to mark her success.

As soon as I read her story, I was motivated to do the same.  After all, my sister's wedding was months away, and I wanted to look better than ever in my Bridesmaid dress. I went out and purchased some grade-schooly type stickers from the Dollar Store and went to work on my sticker plan.  Using the kind that say, "Way to Go"  and "You Rock", my weight loss increased with each week.  Two months later, my calendar looked like a hurricane of stickers had exploded onto it -- and I was down 10 pounds!  It was an amazing feeling to see how many workouts I had completed.  It didn't hurt that my bridesmaid dress had to be taken in as well.

I need to resurrect the STICKER plan.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm doing well -- except for the cow

Two weeks ago I re-defined my specific weight loss goals.  I'm doing well.  If I were to give myself a grade in all areas...

1.)  I want to lose 25 pounds 
Grade:  C
Explanation:  I've hovered around the 3 pound loss for two weeks.  Nonetheless, I'm seeing good changes in my body --- i.e. my waistline is coming back!  I'm making better food choices and overall eating more veggies and fruits daily.  I'm also participating in a pedometer challenge at work which keeps me focused on walking to get my daily steps up!

2.)  I want to complete a half-marathon 
Started training.  Need to kick up my training and be more consistent with my workout plan. 

3.)  I want to build muscle and lose fat  
It's simple - to gain muscle I need to work my muscles.  Got in one session of weight lifting.  Need to do it regularly.
4.)  I want to complete a 10-day juice cleanse 
Had to reschedule my initial plan because of travel plans-- changed the start date to September 1st, but have gotten more organized.  I'm reaching out to people who have juiced for tips/advice.  Keep the suggestions coming!  I've been warned Day 1 I'll be crabby.  Day 2 will be worse.  But if I can make it past those two days I will feel fabulous.

5.) I want to complete a winter time 5K  
This is well on it's way.  Found a race to run and a friend to join me.  After the half-marathon running this will be a breeze! 

6.)  I want to save refined sugar treats for special occasions.
Saying no to sweets except special occassions is difficult.  I've had cravings like crazy but NO means no.  That means saying no to free office cookies and morning pastries.  I have more energy without so much sugar in my diet.  It's amazing!  I also find I'm able to enjoy sweets more when it's once in a while instead of every day.  I recently traveled to Nashville and went to an Jeni's ice cream shop.  It was glorious and I didn't feel one bit guilty indulging.

 7.)  I want to go to the gym three times a week 
Have been making it to the gym 1-2 times/week because of traveling.  This is changing this week as I don't have any upcoming travel plans for a while.  Otherwise have been doing a LOT of walking!

8.)  I want to eat no more than one dead cow a week.  

I tried this and failed because of steak dinners two days in a row.  Plus, while traveling I splurged on a jr. bacon cheesburger from Wendy's and a cheeseburger from Dairy Queen.  To make up for it, I'm trying to avoid beef for the next month --- as i've used up my allotted "one dead cow a week" and need to make up for what I ate.   The one glorious decision I made while traveling was to do eat fake ground meat soy tacos.  I couldn't tell the difference between the soy mean and beef.  I'll have to try more fake options when I crave the dead cow.

Drum roll...

my current weight loss GPA = 2.16 or C-

OVERALL: I need to step it up.  I will have a higher weight loss GPA in two weeks!   Aiming for at least a 3.0!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I will reach my goals

I'm a "fan" of Bob Harper on Facebook and today in a status update he wrote, "Make it a point to be more active today.. Get a workout in! Today is the first day of the rest of your life and you are worth it!"

 I like that goal.  That's doable.   No matter how my schedule looks before or after work, I can always fit in a 15 to 30 min walk during my lunch break.  Any day.  Everyday.  That's what I'll do today.  Done!

Goals keep me focused.  In the past they've helped me accomplish great tasks.   It's time to jot down some August 2011 - December 2011 goals to keep me focused.

Wikihow says STEP ONE in reaching a goal is to Set a realistic but challenging/inspiring goal.
"Take a big dream, like "I want to be famous", and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps, like "I want to star in ascience fiction movie", "I want to go to three auditions a week", "I want to move to another city" and "I want to save $5000 so I can move." Make the goal big enough to challenge and excite you, but not so big that you hesitate to take the first steps."

Here's my break-down.  
My big dream:  "I want to be thin" which is girl talk for "My extra weight is interfering with how I feel about myself.  It needs to go!"  Specifically for me, being "thin" means losing the 50 extra pounds I have stored on my frame.

My big dream broken down into smaller, more manageable steps
 1.)  I want to lose 25 pounds and then take it from there.  Only a year ago, in August 2010, I weighed 20 pounds less than I do now.  Over a year's time I let stress from new life changes make me eat with reckless abandon and focus less on exercise.   Losing 25 pounds betwen August and December will get me half way to my goal of losing 50 pounds and getting thin!

2.)  I want to complete a half-marathon I've signed up for one in October!  I have a buddy and a training schedule (that's gotten off to a rocky start) but I will do it!

3.)  I want to build muscle and lose fat  I can do this through stepping up my weight training...which is actually part of my half-marathon training plan

4.)  I want to complete a 10-day juice cleanse I have researched juicers and watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  Unless I hear better suggestions, I plan to get an inexpensive Black and Decker juicer from Wal-Mart to stay in my $50 juicer range. I have recipes for drinks.  I scheduled my cleanse dates in my calendar for August 15th thru August 24.

5.) I want to complete a winter time 5K  Working on getting this set-up. The last winter outdoors race I did was in 2002: The Jingle Bell Run in Champaign, IL. It was cold and it was glorious.   Perhaps it's time to do it again!  

6.)  I want to eat less refined sugar.  Ok this one's a lie.  More like I know I should eat less fined sugar.  I want to work on minimizing the consumption of donuts and candy at work.  I want to avoid Starbuck's sugary drinks.  I want to say "no" to ice cream treats on sale at Jewel and only enjoy them on special occassions -- birthdays, parties, weddings.  Revised:  I want to save refined sugar treats for special occasions.

 7.)  I want to go to the gym three times a week I have a Groupon pass for one class at Flirty Girl Fitness and a gym membership at the Y.  The Y location is literally a 4-min walk from my apartment.  It opens at 5 a.m. weekdays and doesn't close until 10 p.m.  Morning workouts may be what I need to complete this mini goal.  No excuses.

8.)  I want to eat no more than one dead cow a week.  Let me explain.  Last July, when I started this blog I made up my "One cow a week" rule.  It stuck then so it's time to bring it back.  I wrote, Cheeseburgers were doing me in so I made up a rule that I can only eat one serving of dead cow a week.  Max.  Not daily.  This means, once I have my ONE cheeseburger or Chipotle steak burrito, it's time to switch to Boca Burgers, Black Bean burgers, veggie-based meals and other non-four legged friends.  Veggies, you should be very scared.  I'm going to devour you like no other.

At this point I've made my  August 2011 - December 2011 goals big enough to challenge and excite me, but not so big that I don't hesitate to take the first steps.   8 goals.  Sweet!