Getting into The Zone

So I’m sure there are a million stupid puns and titles that I can use when blogging about my adventures with The Zone Diet, but I promise you I will try to go easy on those. I just wanted to pop in to let you know how the first full week went.

Preeeeeeeeeeeeetty good.
Well at least okay.
I mean it was cool most of the time.

Ack. There is not an easy phrase that will sum up how we did.

How about this: We survived and we are forging onward! That makes it sound like a grand adventure, yes? Let’s go with that.

Grand Adventure: Week One

I will be honest with you, it was an adjustment. About 3 hours into Day One I shot this video over to Larry (my trainer extraordinaire who is being our cheerleader on this Grand! Adventure!)

But honestly, then I had lunch and I was fine. When I weighed out my first portion of protein on that first day, I was fairly sure I was going to die of starvation. But what do you know — I did not! And I did not feel hungry at all the rest of the week. My fears — unrealized? So that was pretty great. And one of the upsides was that I not only felt satisfied, but light on my feet. That’s a good feeling.

It was not all sunshine and roses though. Weighing your food is a giant pain in the ass, folks! You will not hear me glossing over that. It blows. But everyone said that after the first week you will feel more comfortable doing that, and yesterday I realized if I am going to do something that sucks, instead of doing it 3 times a day I’m going to do it for 2 hours straight while listening to Lil Wayne and shaking my ass. So I did a little food prep WOD with my scale and measuring cup and actually it was kind of a blast. And this morning when I woke up, I was so happy to not even have to think about what I was going to eat.

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Now my fridge looks like this and we have many (perfectly portioned) things to eat for breakfast and lunch:

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It may not be the prettiest my fridge has ever looked — a food stylist, I am not! — but I don’t have to really THINK about weighing and measuring anything for a while. And that makes my heart go pitter pat.

On the menu this week:

Breakfasts
Sweet Potato Hash // Hard Boiled Eggs // String Cheese // Olives
Cottage Cheese with Berries + Canteloupe + Slivered Almonds

Lunches

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Holy Hell we are having a lot of SALAD!
But I love salad, so I’m okay with this. Salad, salad, salad. YUM! It makes me excited about my little tomato seedlings growing strong in my kitchen. I’m ready for the summer garden!

Dinners
To Be Determined

The reason I am leaving dinners open (well sort of open, they will be comprised of chicken, turkey or ground beef) was that one of the things I struggled with last week was the feeling of having no creativity in the kitchen. And you know I freaking LOVE TO COOK. So that was a bummer.

But I decided since Breakfast and Lunch are basically taken care of all week, I am going to try and get a little more creative with dinner. New spice rubs, some more fun techniques — just be a little more “ME” in the kitchen now that I have my bearings about me. And if I have to measure that a little at night, I’m ok.

Oh, Shall We Talk Results?

Both of us felt notably lighter and better all week. The forced portion control actually worked well in that we didn’t feel hungry but very…I don’t know…more light and efficient.

At the end of the week, I was down almost 3 lbs, which ruled! I did weigh myself mid-week though (I couldn’t resist) and had gained 3 lbs and let me tell you I almost threw in the towel right then and there. But we all know the scale is a stupid stupid stupid metric for something like this. Do you struggle with Scale Addiction too? Please go read this then. I needed to hear it this morning! I may have Garrett hide the scale in April. Who knows? haha

Also I hit some PRs in the gym, so that was fun. This week’s CrossFit Games Open WOD was basically all heavy lifting (which I have not been focusing on for about 2 months) and so it felt nice to perform pretty well. I threw 100 lbs up over my head and HEY-O, I actually caught it a few times. Sweet. I’ll take it.

I feel like it was a great idea to combine trying Zone while the CrossFit Games Open is going on, because it gives me some motivation to stick to it in hopes that it will help me perform my best. My best certainly isn’t going to win any gold medals, but damn if I want to do it all the same! Anyway, there were highs and lows, but I feel even more equipped this week so I am running with it.

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What kind of Grand Adventures did you have this week, folks?

What’s Happening This Week?

So I had all sorts of fun things lined up to tell you this weekend and then on Friday morning one of the hard drives on our computer died.

AWESOME.

We are actually pretty good at backing things up (and by “we” I mean Garrett, of course — credit where credit is due) but it was a wee bit of drama there for a second. Garrett spent most of the weekend dealing with all the intricacies of that — insert computer talk here — and I spent most of the weekend figuring out what the hell we are going to eat this week. Both of those things prevented me from posting a What’s For Dinner post on a Sunday.

The main reason I didn’t post a menu is because, well…It looks pretty boring this week. This week is our first foray into trying The Zone ratios (in combination with our already Paleo habits, so nothing is changing there) so I am not cooking in the most creative way while I figure my way around these new parameters.

**A quick note to acknowledge that I do realize it is kind of ironic that I am in the midst of talking about why I don’t like counting calories while I am in making some stricter changes in my own diet. For the record: Still not counting calories, but I thought it was worth mentioning. If you feel confused about where I’m coming from right now, rest assured that when I am done with the calorie counting series I think my entire philosophy will make sense. Those posts will spill out slowly so that I’m not talking all diet/food/calories all the time — because my god, there are other things to talk about like Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars in a cape! Did we love it? Hate it? — but it is something I want to get out there eventually, so expect another installment later this week.

Anyway — back to The Zone. For those of you who might be interested, I thought I would break down what it is and how it’s going to work in our house.

Current Status:

We currently eat an unweighed, unmeasured Paleo Diet. Diet as a noun, folks. Not as a verb. This means that 90 % of all of our meals consist of meat, vegetables, fruit, good fats, nuts, seeds and we make an exception for a small amount of dairy. (Also sometimes we make exceptions for weekend long binges on wine and Nutella donuts. What can I say, life happens and usually when we do this I becoming even more in love with Paleo. Sometimes I want to kiss it on the mouth.)

We don’t portion things, weigh things or count things — we just eat a metric ton of vegetables with meat. Easy peasy. And if I was maintaining my weight, this is exactly how I would eat all of the time. But right now I’m looking to keep losing, so I’m dialing it in a little more.

Enter The (Paleo) Zone

One of the most concise things I’ve ever read about the Zone Diet is right here. But to give you the cliffs notes, The Zone Diet involves eating your food within a strict ratio of carboyhydrates/protein/fat (40-30-30), every few hours, which keeps your insulin, glucagon and eicosanoids (hormones! woot!) at optimal levels for fat burning.

Oh my god, are you asleep yet? Ok, just checking.

Timing and Ratios are important, so I’m going to spend some time being a little more disciplined about that over the next few weeks. What I’m committed to doing though, is not deviating from my regular Paleo Diet — I’m just going to dial in the “unweighed, unmeasured” part temporarily to see if my body could function a bit more efficiently. The important distinction I’m making is that The Zone allows for eating any foods (just about) if you eat them in the right ratio. I still plan to stick to meat, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. I do forsee temporarily incorporating a little more dairy in while I transition, but I don’t know that I’ll do that for the long haul. Dairy is something I tolerate okay, but I don’t always feel like I’m “thriving” when I eat it. But it’s an easy protein/fat combo. It will just take some time I’m sure.

The Numbers

For those of you familiar with The Zone, I’m going to be rocking the 13 block model for the next few weeks and Garrett is going to be adhering to 14. It’s based on the amount of body fat you have and your activity level. I was conservative with my activity level factor, but if I find that I’m starving or not recovering as fast as usual I might tinker with that factor. We’ll see.

Pounds-wise, I would just like to see the scale trending downward, so that’s what I’m aiming for. I’m going to give it my best shot, and we’ll see how it works. You know I will keep you all posted!

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Anything you want me to clarify, or that seems confusing? Let me know and I’ll do so in the comments.

Want To Build Confidence: Do Hard Things

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You know what’s hard? Posting pictures of yourself with bed head. :)

A few mornings per week I set my alarm for a little bit of an ungodly hour. I wake up. I write. I feed the dog. If he’s lucky he gets brushed and then I grab breakfast and head to work. Some days I get crazy and throw in a load of laundry. Morning is an important time in my house because it is definitely when I feel most productive. But I know this about myself, so I harness that — even when I don’t really feeeeeeeeeeel like getting up early.

Each month I set intentions. Sometimes by the end of the month I find them annoying and wonder to myself “Why did I even set out to do that in the first place?” Sometimes I high five myself for productivity. But having sat down and thought about what I wanted for the month gives me a road map. A compass of sorts. That list doesn’t get things done for me, but it does reminds me of what I really want. And sometimes it is hard to remember amidst the din of everyday life.

4 to 5 afternoons per week I lace up my sneakers after work and head over to American River CrossFit. The workouts are intense, heck, sometimes they even border on torture — but it’s temporary torture. The results, however, are not temporary and that is why I keep going back. Sure every once in a while when I get out of my car I think “Why I can’t just go hop on an ellipitical and watch the Food Network while on auto pilot and call it a day?” But I know myself and I know that for me, part of getting healthy is really KNOWING what my body can do. So I walk into that gym even when it feels difficult.

Some months I do nutty things that rub right up against the boundaries of my own happiness. But like my favorite T.S. Eliot quote says “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” Despite people telling me I am whacky (confirmed: I am. I’ll admit it) I continue to do it. I document my life in public on this site. I throw in a nutritional challenge here and there. I do crazy experiments with my skin care. I make an arbitrary goal to post a certain number of recipes. I run a half marathon when I know I don’t reeeeeeeeeeeally have time to train. I know these things will be tough, but that is precisely why I do them.

When Garrett says, “Holly, let’s just be normal for a bit.” I always entertain this idea. Sometimes I entertain it because in the moment not pushing myself sounds really good. I even sometimes question myself during these moments — am I doing more harm than good? And that is a good question to continually ask if you are a person like me because sometimes things don’t just feel hard, they are hard. Challenging yourself and pushing your limits is great, but in the end nobody gets a medal for having a dramatic life. There is a difference between doing hard things as a challenge and letting things become hard due to poor time management or filling your plate too full.

But ultimately doing hard things is worthwhile, and I always *highly* recommend it to others. An easy life is a good life too, I’m sure. But here is the thing about committing to hard: when you finish, there is a very particular feeling. A good feeling. And it is a feeling that you won’t get if someone just hands you something. This feeling you get is that nothing is insurmountable. This feeling you get is that your skills have risen to the challenge. And they have. This feeling you get is confidence. And confidence is a need to have, not a nice to have. And while it is well within your reach, you can’t just pick it up on the Clearance End Cap at Target. You have to work for it.

But it is worth it.

Confidence comes from having experiences. Confidence comes from being well prepared. Confidence comes from being completely UN-prepared, scrambling to get through, and knowing that you don’t want that to happen again. Confidence comes from knowing yourself. Confidence comes from stretching yourself outside of your comfort zone and succeeding anyway. I don’t always KNOW I can do things, but in my heart of hearts, I always know that I can try. And if I try, there are only two possible options: I will either succeed or I will gather more information for my next attempt. Either way I’m moving forward, and to me that’s a win. And the best part? Building confidence doesn’t have to start with a long list of Stuff To Do. Sometimes it just starts with a thought. I’m a firm believer that what we think is what we become.

So what are YOU thinking about today?

The Great Skin Care Experiment

I’m hatching a plan in my mind, are you ready for it? Of course you are, you have begun to expect my particular brand of crazy around here, right? We had The Whole 30, The Great Zone Experiment, last year’s Look Better Naked — I mean, You know I LOVE a good experiment! I start to get a little anxious if I am not challenging myself and it’s weird and I know it. We are all on the same page here. :)

What I’ve decided — and it’s been kind of a long time coming — is that it is time to get to the bottom of some of my skin issues. I have made some great strides with my diet and fitness over the last 2 years, dropped a ton of weight and improved my overall health; however, the skin situation is still hanging on to let me know that something still isn’t quite right. You skin is the largest organ in your body, right? So when stuff continually shows up there, it is my opinion that your body is talking to you. Mine seems to not want to shut up, so I’ve decided I’m going to listen.

Diptic
Naked picture of my face. OH MY.

One of the most awesome takeaways I had with the Whole 30 is that sometimes managing the little things makes such a big difference, so I’ve decided to let that inform my this experiment. I think it is a complex issue and for me I think it is a mix of gut issues from a lifetime of carrying extra weight, lifestyle/stress issues, and hormones. And for the record when I say “Hormones” I don’t mean it in that in a once a month, blanket type of way that we as women have a tendency to use the word “hormonal.” Hormones aren’t the enemy. They don’t exist in your body to make your skin look crappy and to give you mood swings that make your boyfriend crazy. They are a system in your body that has a function, and if it is not functioning right — hey, why not get to the bottom of it?

Seeing a functional medicine doctor 2 years ago, going Paleo because of it, and learning so much more than I ever wanted to know about hormones, neurotransmitters and gut health and how it all interacts with the food we eat has really given me so many ideas of why my skin is potentially still flaring up a bit, but at this point I’ve just made a bunch of lists of things I could potentially change and never really said “Hey I’m going to pay attention to all of these little things at once and see if they make a difference on my face.” I’ve decided to change that and do something about it.

My hypothesis: I think the little things will make a difference. And so I’m going to make some changes.

And I’m making these changes during the month of October so let’s just call October the month of The Great Skin Care Experiment. I’ve done A LOT of thinking about most of this, and some of it has to do with my own personal medical history and my skin care history, so this post may seem like a willy nilly oversimplification but I assure you it is the culmination of a lot of research. Also, please don’t think I’m telling YOU to do this. It’s a bit nutty and I’m okay with that, and don’t think my methods are for everyone. But since this will be on my plate for October I thought I’d let you know.

Today, specifically, I thought I’d outline the main changes that I’m easing into right now, but will be going full force with starting in October. Where I can, I’m providing links to what inspired them, but I imagine I will be talking more about them in the future. If there is anything you would like me to address in more detail, feel free to let me know. There are 11 changes, and most are internal things I’ll be addressing (diet/supplement/lifestyle changes) but there are also a few external things going on (physical changes I’ll be making with respect to skin.) Here’s the rundown, and after 30 days we will see if monitoring these 11 factors make a difference.

A QUICK NOTE ABOUT DIET: Since I do think it is the foundation of this experiment, I think it is worth noting I plan to keep to 90% Whole 30 Eating, which I have found mostly easy to maintain. That 10% will include some Paleo-ified staples like banana muffins on occasion and my beloved red wine if I feel like it. But still no gluten, no dairy, and just generally eating for nutrient density. I’m keeping the diet clean with intentions on adding in some of the strategies below.

Internal Actions


1. HOLY CRAP, I’m giving up coffee (and subsequently, caffeine)

I’m not even sure I can talk about this just yet, but you all I am taking the plunge. 30 days, no coffee. HOLD ME CLOSER, TONY DANZA.
The upside: I really love herbal tea. (Just keep telling yourself that Holly.) I worked in coffee & tea for years so I really do enjoy a good cup of tea, but no doubt this will be a huge adjustment for me and I’m not quite sure I will survive. But it’s time. The relationship between caffeine and your adrenal system (something that I really need to keep a close eye on) coupled with my PASSION for a good cup are not always a match made in heaven. Plus, I’m also veering into a liiiiiitttle bit of an unhealthy place with my coffee dependence and when I saw this the other day it spoke to me:

So. Let’s do this.


2. Taking a Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend supplement Supplement

If you spend any time listening to the Balanced Bites Podcast, Diane and Liz make a great case for this supplement. For your skin, and for your life. Ooooh, didn’t that make it sound extra dramatic? :) Anyway, I’m trying it.

3. Incorporating Brewer’s Yeast into my routine
The inspiration genesis of Brewer’s Yeast (as well as the Fermented Cod Liver Oil Supplement) came mostly from this Cave Girl Eats skincare post. I mean, hello, results. So. Let’s add that into the mix as well since we’re shaking things up.

4. Exploring (eek!) Organ Meats
Is pastured liver the cure all for everything? I don’t know, lots of people make great cases for the nutrient density of organ meats so I am going to work to find some ways to incorporate them into my diet. I don’t know whether to cringe and crawl in a hole, or get excited for the culinary challenge. I’ll get back to you on that. :)

5. Regularly Eat Fermented Foods
I started this during the Whole 30 with sauerkraut, but I’m thinking about doing a little more exploring. This was a great podcast on kombucha (organ meats too! YIKES) so I may explore that a bit just for fun. Allison (who is a wonderful resource you should all be reading) sent me an email full of information (Thanks, lady!) and I’ve gotten some amazing links from readers of things to explore on this topic, so again – more on this possibly in the future.

6. Adding in Some Bone Broth
Do you drink bone broth? Have you heard of all of it’s wonderful properties? Why inject collagen when you can drink it, eh? I don’t even know what I’m saying right now, so forget that, but bone broth. I’m exploring that. I made a huge batch this weekend. I’m uh…too scared to use it so far, but baby steps.


7. Potentially focusing on some particular nutrients

Chris Kresser has been putting out some amazing resources for addressing skin issues with diet. His 3 part Nutrition for Healthy Skin series(Part One, Part Two and Part Three) has been really enlightening as well as his podcast about gut health and acne. He makes some great recommendations I’m considering.

External Actions

1. Purchase a Clarisonic — Yep I took the plunge. And I’m excited to see if it is as life changing as everyone claims. Since it is made by the same folks who make my Sonicare toothbrush (which DID change my life!) I have high hopes.

2. Use only Non-Toxic Skin, Makeup + Body Care Products

I’ll talk about this in another post, but basically if it has Parabens, Pthalates or other crap that isn’t doing my body good, I’m swapping it for something else. I’m not gunning to be the world’s best hippie or save the environment on this one. What I’m doing is trying to keep things as natural and non-toxic as possible during this period of time. (Bye bye super awesome wrinkle creams. Let’s just see what happens, eh?) I know I keep saying skin is our largest organ so I best be treating it right everywhere. I figure if I’m going to be complaining about how the skin on my face is acting, I better at least make an effort to treat my skin EVERYWHERE pretty well.

Makeup, lotion, skin care, deodorant. We’re going full on Au Natural. This actually wasn’t too big of a change for me, but to be honest I had never paid too much attention. Come October, the labels on my beauty products are going to be short.


3. Dry Brushing

I just think this sounds fun! And since it is supposed to promote skin and organ health, why not use this month to get in the habit? Fun times.

4. Give Oil Cleansing Another Try

I had a very…um, not great experience with Oil Cleansing the first time around. I experimented with many different formulas and all of them (even the 10% castor oil one) made me feel like I was washing and moisturizing my face with battery acid. But you know, I’m a glutton for punishment, so I may try again. And instead of using jojoba for the moisturizing element (my skin is SUPER dry) maybe I’ll roll with coconut. We’ll see.

*********

And that’s the plan man. It’s kind of nutty right? But as with everything nutty I do, I always seem to learn something. I don’t imagine this will be any different.

Body Composition Testing and Losing the Goal Weight Mentality (Part One)

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Do you know why I make lists? Because the second I write something down it immediately becomes something that nags at me. Of course sometimes I am good at ignoring the nagging (ahem, home improvement projects) but other times just the act of listing will light a fire under my ass to complete something I have been meaning to “get around to” for a while.

Moments after I published my Summer Bucket List on Friday I thought to myself “I wonder if I could test my body composition today?” Sure there are better ways to spend a lunch break on a Friday afternoon, but I had written it down, it had already begun to nag at me, and most importantly (since I was hoping it would improver over summer) I figured it would stack the odds in my favor to get the initial measuring over sooner rather than later.

And so the googling began.

Moments later I had found Spring Medical Clinic where for $25 and with no appointment I could have my body composition analyzed without taking off my clothes, getting dunked in a tank, or pinched with calipers. Totally lunch break friendly! Of course I had to listen to some sort of weight loss clinic nutritionist discuss “My Obesity” and my high-risk BMI and how they could offer me services that would help me lose 8-10 lbs per month if I wanted to “get the ball rolling.” But I held my tongue, smiled and nodded and then went on my merry way. It only took about 20 minutes and even despite the all the “You are undermining your life expectancy” scare-tactics it has given me a completely new appreciation for my body. More importantly though, it has given me a whole new perspective on this weight loss journey.

Let me just back up for a second though.

The Catalyst

You see I have hit another seemingly never-ending plateau with the scale. These are always shitty, but what’s worse is that it started back when I was being super strict and eating everything within super calculated Zone portions. By the way, that was…oh, all the way back in February/March. Is there anything more irritating than really working hard at something and not seeing the results you are looking for? As you know, I had to ditch the scale finally to get some perspective. I know that the number on the scale doesn’t define success but in the back of my mind I still felt like I was far away from my “healthy weight range.”

Here’s a recent picture. And I’m super happy with my progress, but it’s easy to see that I have some excess body fat still, so obviously I still have some weight to lose.

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I had tried to change how I was eating back in March with no luck (well, at least no luck on the scale) so my next thought was to change how I was working out. We have two different workout tracks at my gym – an A and a B program. “A” involves more days of programmed lifting than “B” so I thought that I would switch to the A Programming in hopes that more strength training would improve my lean mass which would make my body more efficient which would YIELD SOME GOD DAMN RESULTS ON THE SCALE.

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So for the last two months that’s been awesome. I’ve seen some great improvements in my lifting technique and also gotten stronger. I crossed my fingers that my body was doing it’s best to get a little leaner. Of course because I’m a numbers person and a list person and obsessed with comparisons I decided it was time to get back to taking some regular measurements and perhaps see some progress on the scale.

I busted out my measuring tape and found that since March I had lost 6 1/2 inches! I was so freaking happy to see that. I had an idea since I was wearing a new pants size, but it was nice to see it confirmed. Hard work, paying off! Then, of course, I happily jumped right on the scale to finish my own personal standing ovation for myself. Only to find that I had GAINED SEVEN POUNDS.

SEVEN, you guys. FUCKING SEVEN POUNDS.

I am smart enough to understand that I am trending in the right direction when it comes to the big picture, but you guys a 7 pound gain at the scale was super hard to swallow, even if it came with a smaller pair of pants and a loss of 6 inches. I knew it was time to change the way I was measuring and get the facts to help me understand my body’s composition. I wanted the good, the bad and the ugly: the lean body mass as well as the fat.

Ghosts of Weight Loss Past and The Goal Weight Mentality

Finding out that exact information helped me realize that the problem is not with my diet or my exercise routine or my obsession with the scale or whatever. The actual problem, I have realized, is that I haven’t quite let go of the “Goal Weight” Mentality. Let me see if I can explain this without sounding crazy.

My trials and tribulations with the scale are pretty well documented on this website, but for the sake of context let me just remind you that I hit up my first Weight Watchers meeting when I was 9 and joined on and off until I was about 30 with varying degrees of success. I have a good 20 years of history with Weight Watchers and even though I some people swear by it, I think Weight Watchers can suck a fat one. (Mel does a great job of summing up my major objections with WW here.) Within Weight Watchers the only way you can become a lifetime member is if you reach a pre-determined “Goal Weight.” I still know what my Weight Watchers goal weight range is for my height:

But listen, I’m not a nut job. I actually have a pretty large frame (hello, daughter of an NFL Lineman, remember?) and I do have a lot of muscle so I made a compromise in my mind a while ago that I would be okay if I never made it into that goal weight range. Instead I made a new (shockingly heavy sounding to most!) Goal Weight of 175lbs. Remember how I told you about the night I made Garrett wear women’s clothes? Ah yes, that was a good night.

You should go back and re-read that story if you haven’t. Then come back tomorrow because I’m going to tell you how ridiculous my goal weight actually is, and how enlightening having my body fat measured was. Plus I’ll give you the dirty details in case you want to do it yourself!

(Psssssst: Here’s Part Two)

Stopping The Insanity

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So on April 1st I’m trashing my scale.

Ok well maybe not trashing it, it’s a really fancy scale. For what I paid for it though, it should probably make and deliver my morning coffee as well as tell me all of my numbers. But I’m having Garrett hide it, because I think it’s time to take back my sanity a little bit.

I used to weigh myself all of the time and now, while I only do it once a week, it still does cross my mind on a daily basis. Worse, sometimes during my weekly weigh ins, I let it affect how I feel about my OVERALL progress. I generally weigh myself Friday mornings because it is so nice to go into a weekend down a few pounds, knowing that your week has been a success! But also there are weeks that ARE successful where I do not go into the weekend down a few pounds, and the feelings that brew up on those are Fridays are starting to get to me.

I imagine you can guess how today’s weigh in went, yes?

It is so stupid to have so much success, and yet I allow myself to get all emo while standing on a scale on a random Friday morning. What’s more stupid is that I can have a week where I eat well, feel great, workout a lot and ENJOY MY LIFE and then come Friday morning if the scale doesn’t show my preferred type of progress I start to feel like “WOE!!! WHY IS EVERYTHING A FAILURE???” I mean, can you even believe the stupidity of that? When I say it out loud, it just sounds so RIDICULOUS.

So you know what? I’m going to stop doing that.

REVA-FRICKEN-LATION!

So I’m telling you all this to hold myself accountable and to let you know that I’m going to take a month off. I’m not going to talk about my weight loss progress with in the context of pounds on this website. I just…well, I just don’t want to for a minute. I need a break. I need some time to get my mind right. I don’t plan to make any changes to what I’m doing — hooray for Paleo/Zone, I’m going to keep up my workouts because I love them, but I just need to get my eye OFF of The Prize for a mother-frickin-minute.

There are a million reasons why it is lame to be so scale dependent, here is my favorite list of a few, but at this point I don’t need to “motivate” myself stop doing something I just need to *actually” stop doing it.

And sometimes it helps me to just say these things out loud.

Before Pics! And Some Thoughts on Weight Loss

Part of the reason I chose to focus on progress this year is because it doesn’t come naturally. I am a pretty self aware person, I can usually recognize and articulate where I am at any given moment, but then I’m instantly hard wired to start thinking about how to get to the next achievement. If I’m not conscious, my life becomes a series of separate Navigation Entries, constantly starting at an arbitrary Point A, making its way to Point B. I rarely take the time to look backwards and recognize the big picture progress, instead recalibrating my Point A and finding a new Point B over and over.

Anyway, you get it. Some of you probably operate in the same way. Tell me I’m not alone here. LOL

So one of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is getting rid of this last 40 lbs. (Point B Alert! Point B!) I’m not THAT obsessed with the number actually, but here is my rationale: I feel great right now. I’m making slow steady fitness progress, my clothes continue to fit better, I feel healthier, my eating habits get more and more streamlined (obviously with the occasionally deviation) but overall life is good. I’m trending in the right direction so I know I’ll get there eventually.

But also, I want to get pregnant. And pregnant like, soon. The “eventually” timeline that I’m trending toward is okay, but not ideal. If I all of a sudden got pregnant and did gain 20-40 lbs, I would NOT feel as fabulous. So one of my Priority Missions is to just drop those last few pesky pounds (HA! Few! I’m sure 40 lbs sounds like A LOT to some of you, but consider that I’ve lost 100. 40 sounds like a piece of cake!) At 40 lbs lighter I will feel confident in my ability to maintain my health and fitness during pregnancy, if that is in fact in the cards for us. :::knocks wood:::

(That was my long winded disclaimer that it’s really NOT about the scale, I promise. If there is anything CrossFit has taught me it is that all things considered, what the scale tells ya ain’t much!)

So I have a big and urgent goal and of course you know making an action plan was the best part! Indulge me and let me tell you my plan, would ya? I’m going to experiment with Paleo/Zone eating. I’ll tell you more about that when I finalize my strategy, but it will involve a little more ratio measuring, which I’m willing to do TEMPORARILY. (Fret not!) Measuring food is right up there with calorie counting to me: not a helpful long term strategy (though I have a much longer and more informative post in the hopper about why calorie counting is lame and OMG stop with that nonsense immediately! But I really need to find the nerve to post it. FOR ME, it feels controversial since I try not to tell people how they should lose weight or whatever, but calorie counting is something I feel SO STRONGLY about, I figure I should get it out there at some point.)

Anyway — whew! That was an anxiety causing sidebar! So right now I do need to employ a new strategy to get from A to B. And it comes at the recommendation of one of my favorite trainers at my gym, Larry, and he’s a smart cookie so I’m going all in. More to come on that soon.

But.

I don’t want to get so focused on this last 40 lbs that I forget where I’ve come from. So I figured just for fun, the best way to do that would be throw up some old pictures, because who doesn’t love a good before pic, right?

Anyway, here goes.

On the left, the picture that made me want to lose weight. Everyone has one. This was mine and it popped up as a tag on Facebook and I just about died. Then I decided it was time for change. And change I did. So see, Facebook isn’t completely evil, right?

On the left, a group pic taken recently that I felt must less anxious about having tagged on Facebook.

Second is a pic of Garrett and I at a wedding a few years ago. Sorry if my loving hand gesture offends you. I can be salty sometimes. And on the right is a picture of us just a few weekends ago. While I think we certainly look happy in both, no doubt we are healthier on the right. So um…YAY??

The thing about weight loss is that it’s never the answer you think it is. It’s not going to solve your problems or mow your lawn. It’s not going pay your bills or magically clean your house. In fact, in some ways it creates new problems. (HOLY HELL CAN WE TALK ABOUT ALL THESE NEW WRINKLES THAT I HAVE NOW THAT MY FACE IS THINNER, MY GOD. Tell me that goes away over time. Sob!)

It doesn’t magically make everything great despite how you feel when you are desperately wishing the pounds would melt away. So I think it’s important to find the balance between acknowledging your progress and moving on to the next thing. This is my attempt to do both, but man are they both a challenge!

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