It Keeps Getting Better

Hello Friends,

I am very happy to report that I am down 46 pounds from when I started this journey a year and a half ago.  

I’m super embarrassed and nowhere near perfect, but in an act of vulnerability and love, I’m posting my before and after pics. 

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                          My heaviest, at 208                                                    Currently at 162

What’s the magic formula? Hard work.  It really is just about showing up consistently.  It’s not fancy.  It’s not that complicated.  It’s just difficult.

I started working out with a Trainer via Groupon.  Because I am a hustler and because I don’t work at Amazon or Google, this will be a very short stint.  However, I will take what I learn from my trainer and apply it to the gym. 

The best part of this journey hasn’t been my weight loss, it’s what has come about it.  I have newfound confidence in myself.  I feel healthier.  My back hurts less.  I believe there is untapped potential that I still have yet to see and that will only come with time, dedication, and patience.  

I want to acknowledge that this isn’t the first time I have lost weight.  Also, there are no guarantees that I won’t give up and gain all that weight back. Lord knows that I love to eat and bake.  I know for me that it took a lot of work to get here and I changed the way I did things this time so it was all on my own-which feels pretty damn good.

All I can say is that if I can do this, I truly believe anyone can. I can’t eat anything I want and never workout.  I had to work for my progress, and the work made my accomplishments meaningful to me.

Thanks for reading,

Amber

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Diving in head first

Where did the month of May go?  I feel like I blinked and it’s already gone (also, I feel like this is so cliche and something older people say, but I feel it!).  I can tell you exactly where it went- hall closing, 9 days of duty in a row, 2 on campus visits, multiple phone interviews..can you say stress?

Needless to say, my diet and exercise plan basically just went out the window.  I did the best I could, but my best wasn’t that great.  I’m up a few pounds, but I am determined to get back into a healthy mindset, start eating healthfully again, and get to the gym- starting today! 

I also seriously need to stock up my fridge with some healthy staples like fruit and veggies. I feel like preparedness is the key to success, and know for a fact when I have smart choices easily accessible it is much easier to stay on track.

Here’s to a brand new week and sticking to healthy goals!

Peace and Love,

Amber

On Track

After a rough few days, I finally feel happier and healthier.

I have gotten in three days of solid workouts- all running intervals on the treadmill. I love being outside and getting a good workout in by hiking, but there is something about the gym that makes me feel dedicated and motivated.  I hope that the gym time I put in these last few days will balance out the crappy eating that happened early on this week.  Even if it doesn’t, I feel happier and healthier.  It has been apparent that my points were cut two weeks ago because I feel like my weekly points are running out earlier than normal- and they are.  When I started on Weight Watchers, I was allowed 32 points a day plus 49 per week, so total in a week I would get 273.  Now I get 28 a day plus the 49 per week, so now I only get 245.  That’s like cutting out a whole day’s worth of food.

My next weight loss goal is to keep going and lose another 10 pounds.  Apparently for my height and weight that’s where I need to be in ordered to be considered in the healthy range.  I don’t want to deprive or starve, but I do want to continue to make a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  If my points ever dip down to the point that I feel it is unmanageable  I will reevaluate at that point and probably modify my plan or goals.

My mini goal for next week is to get in 5 solid days of exercise, particularly because work will start to get crazy as student’s move out.  I want to go in to closing healthy and with the least stress amount possible, knowing that I will need to put in several long days.

Enjoy your weekend! I know I will!

Peace and Love,

Amber

Mixing it up

I have been focusing on eating healthy clean eating. I will be the first to tell you that I do not do clean perfectly, it’s more like clean-ish.

I can get behind the concept of clean eating because I do think it is healthy and everyone should have water be the foundation of their meal plan/diet.

I do not however think Paleo is sustainable.  If you can do it- awesome- you deserve a Gold star. From what I understand it is basically vegan + limited carbs. I think I could last about 5 minutes on that plan.

For those who do not know the difference, I found this chart on itsuxtobefat.com today, which makes both diets easy to understand.

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So basically I eat pretty clean, with the occasional fro yo or chipotle splurge in there.

I also posted today to get some ideas on healthy snacks and meals and a few friends suggested some tasty options like fruit and yogurt, cucumbers and hummus, chicken and salad.  Tonight I sauteed spinach, made chicken burgers (from the frozen section of Trader Joe’s) and make a smoothie with kale, sweet potatoes, almond milk, and protein powder.  I thought I was being really healthy, but that dinner contained 14 points- which is half my daily points.

Today I didn’t even feel THAT hungry until around 3:00.

Here’s what I had to eat

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Am I crazy or is that  A LOT of food? Does anyone have suggestions of how to eat less and feel fuller?  Is it because I didn’t workout today that I was so hungry?

I would love to hear your comments and thoughts.

My goal is to make it through the rest of the week eating healthy and not to go over my daily and weekly points.  Eesh.  Wish me luck.

Peace and Love,

Amber

 

I take it back….it’s okay to break up with your diet, and here’s why:

Last night I ate Chipotle…and fro-yo from Yogurtland…and I’m not sorry.

Yesterday my post focused on the error of my ways and I proceeded to beat myself up for the bad food choices I made.  Well F that. Sometimes you need a small break from your diet in order to get back on track.  Weight Watchers works for me because it isn’t over controlling. It has the much needed element of flexibility in food choice, how to incorporate activity, and whether or not you use weekly points.  I need that.  Every other diet I have tried confined me to either pre-packaged meals, or extremely limited calorie consumption.  Who can live like that for an extended period of time? Not me. 

My very wise sister has lost a lot of weight herself by running and tracking her calories online.  She doesn’t believe in diets or depriving oneself and I think that is what makes her not only successful, but happy.  It’s probably time I started taking some of her advice.  By the way, good luck on your first 1/2 marathon this weekend Cassie!

Today I am back to counting points, working out, and taking care of my whole body-including my mental and emotional health.  Maybe the scale will reflect my choices, but I am ok with that.  I would rather be happy and healthy than hangry (hungry+angry). This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon that will last the rest of my life.

Peace and Love,

Amber

 

Saboteur!

So, you’re going about your day, making healthy choices and feeling really good about how far you’ve come and how healthy you feel, then Blamo- your boss asks you to plan an office birthday party and you find yourself sitting in the middle of a room surrounded by people eating Sprinkles cupcakes and ice cream.  Do you give in and indulge, or do you grab a healthy lunch of salad and fruit?

This actually happened to me this week. Not only did I have to pick up  the cupcakes and ice cream,  I also had to sit in a room with them for an hour and I hadn’t eaten anything but fruit that morning.  Somehow I managed to not eat a single cupcake and made it to lunch an hour later and chose to eat a healthy salad with chicken and veggies.   Was it easy? No.  Did I survive? Yes.

Lately I have been motivated by two things.   How healthy I feel and seeing individuals that are obese.  I will explain both.

When  I was in Orlando, I was extremely limited by the food choices around me.  Usually when I travel I plan ahead and bring lots of healthy snacks that I can eat on the plane and in my hotel, but I was really tired and overwhelmed the night before I left so I didn’t go grocery shopping.  My choices were limited and the second day on my trip I over indulged and ate dessert during lunch and nachos and a fish sandwich for dinner.  That night and the next day I felt disgusting.  I was so bloated from the fat and sodium I am no longer used to eating that I spent $4.00 for a 4 pack of pepto-bismol tablets from the hotel gift shop.  That uncomfortable lesson stuck with me.  I realized that food can be a source of health and wellness or a poison.  I hated feeling that way and since that day have been very strict about what I choose to eat on a daily basis.  Lately I have been having a latte in the morning, salad or lean cuisine at lunch, and oatmeal for dinner. Yes, it is super boring but I enjoy it and it makes me feel really good.

When I say that I am motivated by the overweight or obese, here is what I mean.  I know what it is like to be overweight, and I do feel like people are not exactly the nicest to those who are heavier.  For myself, I know that the extra weight I carried was a reflection of how I felt about myself, which in general showed that I hated myself and didn’t care enough about my body to fuel it properly and fit exercise into my schedule.  I do not feel like this is true of everyone, but it definitely was for me.  The shame and guilt I felt on the inside was reflected by the weight I carried.  I know that I am never going to be a size 0 or 2 or 4, but I do know that I could be a size 18,20, or 22 and when I see people at my old weight or larger I am reminded by the choices I made then and the choices I am making now.  I care too much about myself at this point to over indulge, and I care too much about myself to sit on the couch for 5 hours every night after work. I read a lot of weight loss blogs and something that always sticks out to me is how much energy people seem to have after losing weight.  I won’t say that I am bouncing off the walls, but at least I feel that on most days I have a lot more energy than I did 30 pounds ago.

So for today, I am making healthy food choices and am going to the gym.  If I can do this, then anyone can!

Peace and love,

Amber

A Weight Loss update

Happy Wednesday!  You made it half-way through the work week!

I haven’t been blogging a lot about my weight loss journey recently, but wanted to assure you that I am still going strong. Weight Watchers seems to be a plan that really works for me, and also one I can stick with long term.  It’s been about 5 months since I started eating better and working out and as of last week I have lost over 30 pounds.

I have struggled to maintain a healthy weight my entire life and was determined to make “this time” different than all the other quick fixes that I tried before. I remember complaining last year when I was 30 pounds heavier that weight loss seemed so overwhelming because it is an everyday thing.  Nothing has changed since that point-other than my perspective. Weight loss or maintenance is still a daily challenge, but like everything else, wellness is about making one good choice, then another, and then another.

I don’t always want to work out.  I don’t always want to eat salad and fruit, but when I do I feel SO much better- physically, emotionally, and mentally.  The small changes I have made  over the past five months have really started to stick.  I have found myself making healthy choices without even thinking of it; for example, last week I went out to lunch and instead of the fries that came with my sandwich I asked for fruit.  I hadn’t even contemplated that decision ahead of time, but I was really glad I made it.

I still have some progress to make in terms of weight loss, but I am very happy with where I am at this point in my journey.  My next mini-goal is to lose 4 pounds, which is completely manageable   I am not giving myself a deadline or time frame, but am taking things gradually.   I have limited dining out to only once or twice a week because of the challenge that seems to present to me but I don’t miss it at all.

If you have had any weight loss successes, I really want to hear about it! Also, if you’d like to be a guest blogger, let me know!

Peace and Love,

Amber

I love bread. I love cheese. Did I mention I love chocolate?

Have you seen Jennifer Hudson’s new Weight Watcher’s commercial?  This one is by far my favorite because 1. She’s not singing to me (sorry, but singing really isn’t going to convince me to sign up for a weight loss program), and 2.  I agree with every single statement she made in this new commercial: “I love bread.  I love cheese.  I hate getting up in the morning.  Did I mention I love chocolate?” This is a woman after my own heart.

It actually does make me feel better knowing that others struggle with the same problems that I have.  I feel supported by my friends who also follow WW.  Right now the only thing stopping me from eating a couple of chocolate truffles is the fact that I weigh in first thing tomorrow morning (plus it’s 11:00 at night and I am not really hungry).  I identify with and like people more when they are real.  I have found that when I open up to others and share about challenges and struggles, those whom I confide in usually trust me and will reciprocate.

I hope that you find my blog to be real, honest, and are able to identify with at least some of what I write.  I am far from perfect, but truly it’s about honesty, openness and the willingness to learn.

Peace and Love,

Amber

“You Look Good!”

I have been a member of the Weight Watcher’s program for just over two months now and have lost 15 pounds!  Hallelujah.  Proof that hard work always pays off!

This week I think the weight loss has become noticeable to others because people were handing out the compliments left and right today.  Positive reinforcement definitely gives me a motivational boost and makes me want to work even harder.

I can’t say that everytime I eat a salad I am in heaven.  And sometimes I have to drag my butt to the gym when I would rather just take a nap.  But, most of the time it hasn’t been incredibly hard.  Essentially my weight loss comes down to a series of healthy mindful decisions.  Each day I make thousands of choices that turn into conscious decisions.  They aren’t always easy, and sometimes I give into a pack of mini peanut butter M&M’s but overall I am choosing the healthy thing over the easy thing or the saturated fatty thing.

Yesterday there were many people in my WW meeting celebrating their milestones.  One woman had lost 52 pounds in exactly a year.  Another who achieved Lifetime Membership status (lost weight and maintained his goal weight for six consecutive weeks) shared that he uses a “T.E.A.M” approach to his healthy lifestyle including Tracking all foods you eat, Educating yourself on the program, adding Activity, and attending Meetings.  I love going every week to my WW meeting because it keeps me on track and accountable, especially during the weekend (I weigh in on Sunday morning).  I always learn something new, whether it is a technique to help me stay full longer or a food another member recommends.

I am looking forward to heading to the gym tonight and seeing my hard work pay off on the scale this week!