Journey to a New Me
Wow! I’ve not had time to write anything for myself in the last couple of weeks. After the 1st real session with my personal trainer, the kids and I went out of town for the weekend. Although I felt bad because I had to cancel not just one, but two training sessions, I walked more that weekend than I’ve probably walked in the last five years. I suppose I still got a good workout in with all of the walking I did as well as swimming at the resort. Yes, fat me actually donned a swimsuit and got in the pool while other people were around. Just for the record, anyone that truly knows me already knows that swimsuits just do not happen with me when I’m in public. I always wear shorts and a tank top to try to cover the fat. I’m getting over that now however and learning to accept that although I’m overweight, I am working on myself and working hard to lose fat weight and build muscle!
Somewhere in the last month it suddenly hit me that eating only salads was not going to cut it. For several months, I ate basically lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and dressing for lunch and basically the same thing plus chicken for dinner. I was not losing weight but I was surely getting bored with my meal choices. So what happened? I ended up binging a few weekends ago and ate pizza (several slices) as well as chicken casserole (in a not so healthy portion) and popcorn at the movies and well, lots of other things over the weekend. Once the weekend was over I noticed that I hadn’t gained any weight but I felt lousy due to the crappy food choices. I just didn’t feel as “healthy” as I had felt for the last several weeks. This was not however due to the type of food I ate, instead, it was due to the fact that I ate too much because I knew I wasn’t supposed to be eating this kind of food!
What I determined from that weekend was I should be able to eat what I want to eat, whether it’s salad and raw veggies or a steak or piece of chicken. Albeit, I seldom ever eat meat, but if I want to I should be able to do so without worrying that I’ve messed up my entire body and all chances of building muscle and losing weight. Moderation is the key to everything. This includes the food that I eat and as long as I eat the right portion sizes, I should be just fine with the foods I like to eat. Thankfully, I really like salads and tend to eat tons of low calorie lettuce at every meal. I also eat a lot of fresh fruits and raw veggies like broccoli and carrots.
What I Eat
Someone asked me recently what I typically eat every day and as of right now, this is my regular meal plan daily:
Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal (Yes, I’m sure plain, no flavor oatmeal is better for me, but hey, I am not depriving my taste buds right now)
Blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe or grapes and a cup of yogurt
Water and Orange Juice
Snack: Grapes, Blueberries, Raw Almonds, Whey Protein Bar (On weight training days!) No, I don’t eat all of these at the same time. I choose ONE daily at snack time!
Lunch: This varies depending on the day and what I feel like eating but generally I choose from these:
- Salad with romaine, cherry, grape or Roma tomatoes, sliced cucumbers. On weight training days I add white chicken or tuna to my lunch salad. Lite Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.
- Veggie Burger with fresh mushrooms. Quinoa with Brown Rice and I usually add 2 TSP of shredded cheddar cheese melted on top. The cheese may not be “fat free” but it surely tastes good!
Water. I always drink water!!
Snack: Evening snack is usually the same as the mid-morning snack. Grapes, Blueberries, Raw Almonds, Whey Protein Bar (On weight training days!)
Dinner: Just as my lunches, dinner varies as well. I cannot eat the same things every day without getting bored.
- Salad (romaine or iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, white meat chicken or tuna, cucumbers and light balsamic vinaigrette dressing) with 2 TBSP croutons. I usually use Olive Garden seasoned croutons from Sam’s Club when I eat croutons.
- Broiled chicken seasoned with brown or red rice. Asparagus or spinach or a small side salad.
- Black or red beans with rice. Small side salad.
Water of course!
Dessert: Fresh grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, blueberries or other fruits. Every so often I’ll have an ice-cream or even something sweet. Never deprive yourself or you will want to binge on the sweets!!
Water! I always drink a bottle (or 8-16 oz. glass) of water before I go to bed. It’s good for your heart as well as for digestion.
I do eat other foods from time to time, but for right now I’m trying to stay a bit consistent with what I eat. I don’t want to go overboard and end up eating too much or eat too many of the foods that I know I’ll end up overeating. There is, by the way, no such thing as a bad food unless you’re talking about the tons of preservatives and other junk that you find in processed foods. As I said earlier, everything in moderation.
Is This a Heart Attack?
Several months ago I was doing great with working out. From September 30 until the day after Thanksgiving I lost 30 pounds and I worked out every single day. I was pumped about getting fit! Then, Thanksgiving with my parents and the inevitable leftovers happened.
I didn’t work out on Thanksgiving because we were enjoying family time. The next day, my kids were out of school and instead of working out we went to a movie. The next day, I had another excuse and eventually I realized it was January and I had not worked out two months at all!
I gained back 10 of the 30 pounds that I had already lost. I felt like a loser and I was super mad at myself but I still did not start working out again. Instead, I started having “health problems.” I started having chest pains every day. They were bad no matter what I was doing. Resting, sitting, standing, walking or other things all seemed to cause the chest pain.
I took my kids out one weekend to see a movie and stop and grab some pizza from one of my favorite pizza places. I ate one slice of pizza and suddenly my chest started hurting. The pain was seriously intense and worse than I had ever had before. Chest pains landed me in the ER and admitted to the hospital. I had to see a cardiologist and do stress tests and bloodwork and several other tests looking for blockage to my heart. Nothing was found.
Well, nothing was found with the heart that could be causing the pain. What was discovered however was a doctor that prescribed medicine for acid reflux. The chest pain that had me rush to the ER in fear that I was dying turned out to be chest pain caused by food!! Since that weekend in the hospital I’ve started eating right again instead of binging on sweets and other foods. I’ve also finally started working out again.
I told my family for almost a year that I lacked the motivation needed to work out on my own and to stick with it. I knew that the only way I was going to be able to do this was to hire a personal trainer and have someone that would help hold me accountable. I needed someone to show me what exercises I should do and the right way to do them. What I needed was someone that would be right there with me and in my face so to speak to tell me what to do.
Earlier this month, I finally did what I needed to do. I hired a personal trainer to work with me and guide me in the right direction. As of right now, we’ve had three sessions and still have a couple months to go. My trainer, Doug, is great. He has started me working out slowly, which I need as I’m honestly just not strong enough yet to do tons of strenuous workouts. It’s great to have someone standing right there showing me how to do things the right way and telling me how many reps I need to do in order to do things right.
Each session, he adds a little more. More weight, more circuits, etc. The first session was a breeze. I walked away feeling like I had just had a conversation with someone but not a workout. The second session, I was sore for two days after the session ended.
By the third session, my chest and shoulder blade area were really sore and I could still feel the soreness by our fourth session! I’ve lost just a couple pounds since we started but I’ve gained a new outlook on working out. On the days I don’t work out with Doug, I go walking. I’ve also started jogging a little during my walks. Not much, but yes, I am jogging very short distances.
I’ve also progressed to the point of I don’t care. Let me explain that one. When I went to the first and even the second workout with my trainer, I was very self-conscious about other people at the gym. I worried that they, and even my trainer, would only see me as the fat woman looking foolish trying to work out. I don’t care about that anymore. Now, all that I’m concerned about is getting fit and staying fit. Besides, have you ever walked into a gym and noticed the guys lifting weights? Half of them have some very definitive guts that make me say to myself, “Why was I even worried about what these guys thought about me when they have guts as well!!?” No one is perfect and worrying about what others will think about you is pretty senseless.
I know it will be a long road to get my body where I not only want it to be, but where it needs to be. I’m in this for the long haul though and I will do it this time. I’ve set a goal date to be where I need to be physically by December. Each month between now and December I need to lose roughly 10 pounds per month and build more muscle while doing so. The bottom line is this: I’m doing this for me and not for anyone else and I will do it the right way. By December, I’ll not only be great on the inside, but I’ll also be in great shape physically.