Friday, February 27, 2009

Virtual Route 3

I finally have time to post the latest progress on my virtual trip to New York. Here it is:

As you can see, I didn't quite make it to the Colorado border, but I came awfully close! I feel good about my progress, especially since I missed a couple days (cousins weekend) and walked two days (less miles when I walk).

Start date of this section: 2.9.09
Number of days traveled: 16 - remember I missed some days
Miles traveled: 110.4
Hours traveled: 9.0
Calories burned: 2924 - doesn't include calories burned while walking
Miles 'til New York City: 2084.3

My plan is to start riding my bike in the morning and walking in the evenings once Daylight Savings starts. It'll be light enough for me to walk after work. I enjoy both activities, so I want to do both.

Last Saturday, I walked for the first time in many months and was a little nervous about how I'd feel. I walked my favorite route - from my house to the cemetery, all around the cemetery, then home again. Even when I used to walk that route three or four times a week, it was really hard walking to the cemetery because of the incline and my legs would start to burn. It would be tempting to give up and go back home.

I prepared for this feeling, but it never came. It wasn't exactly easy - my legs were still working hard - but it was a lot easier than it used to be! Losing over 50 lbs must help a lot, but I bet that riding my bike so much for the last couple months has conditioned my legs and now they're a lot stronger. It was a small, but happy, victory.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Me: February 2009

Okay, here's the picture that I promised you yesterday. I actually took it on Saturday, so it was before I had technically lost 50 lbs, but I'm not in the mood to take another picture. I took this picture to show Adam what I looked like after my hair had been in curlers. Maybe someday I'll show you the first picture I sent him - me with no makeup and curlers in my hair. It was funny.

Anyway, here's the picture:

Sorry it's a little fuzzy. I guess I'm not very good at taking pictures of myself with my cell phone. Maybe there's a class somewhere...

That teddy bear you see in the background? That's the teddy bear Anthony gave me last year for Valentine's Day. His name is Norman and this Saturday he'll be 1. I sleep with him every night because he's soft.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

5 - 0

As of this morning, I have lost 50 lbs!

It feels great to have lost that much weight. I feel wonderful. I feel lighter. I have more energy and want to be more active.

My clothes fit great, mostly. I've had most of my clothes for a long time and wore them even though they were getting tighter as I gained weight. Now, they fit the way they were meant to, though even some of the clothes I've had for years are beginning to be too loose. For example, on Monday I wore a pair of black pants that I haven't been able to wear comfortably for over a year. Not only do they fit comfortably now, they're bordering on being too baggy - especially in the legs. Woohoo! Some of my more recent clothes purchases are too big - sob - my favorite blue shirt! I still wear them but probably not for much longer.

At my support group last week, one of the things mentioned was finding non-food ways to reward ourselves for doing well. I've been thinking about ways and have decided that to celebrate losing 50 lbs, I'm going to buy myself jewelry. A necklace, specifically. Maybe this weekend my cousins won't mind going shopping with me to pick something out! I'm not thinking something terribly expensive, but not really something you'd get at Walmart, either. I'm excited! I've discovered that I quite like jewelry, particularly necklaces, and I wear one almost every day.

After this, I'm going to buy myself flowers for every 10 lbs I lose. Just a little arrangement from Albertson's to put on my kitchen table or in my office. I like flowers even more than necklaces. They are so cheerful.

When I've lost another 25 lbs, I'm going to get a manicure/pedicure. I'm still not sure I'll like a pedicure, but I'm willing to give it a try.

I'm still working out the details for when I've lost 100 lbs and for when I've reached my "goal weight". Maybe more jewelry or a party or something. Fortunately, I don't have to know right away.

Thank you, everyone, for being so supportive! It has really been helpful to know that there are people who care about me and want me to be healthy and happy. You guys rock!

P.S. I had planned on posting a picture of me at this point, but it'll have to wait a bit. I don't have a picture of me! I'll work on getting a current picture to post a.s.a.p.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Virtual Route 2

I really like this idea of a virtual route. (Thanks, again, Sarah!)

It doesn't really motivate me to actually exercise, I'm already pretty motivated, but it definitely motivates me to record how much I've exercised. Otherwise, I'd just huff and puff away and not know how far I'd gone, how many calories I'd burned, etc.

Here's my updated route:

Again, I know it's small, feel free to click on it to enlarge it.

Here's a rundown of stats, because it's fun for me:

Start date (of this section): January 29, 2009
# of days traveled: 11
Miles traveled: 74.1
Hours traveled: 5.25
Calories burned: 2022
Miles left to go 'til NYC: 2194.7

Please don't think that just because there were 11 days for each interval that I did it on purpose and will always have 11 days for each interval. It's totally a coincidence. Basically, I'll just do it when I have the time and inclination to go on Google Earth. :)

I noticed that I spent less time on my bike these 11 days than the previous 11 days. Huh. Good to know. My ideal is to bike in the morning and in the evening, but there were too many days that I only biked once. However, unlike last time, I didn't skip a single day - I rode my bike every day. Woohoo! Also, I'm going faster. What used to be my "all out" pace (I go as fast as I can for 3 minutes towards the end of my ride), is now my normal pace. I used to burn 120 calories for 20 minutes, now it's over 130.


My goal for next time is to cross into Colorado!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Support Group - February

I wonder if it will always be an internal struggle to attend my support group meetings. I look forward to it for a week, then the night of, I have to talk myself into going.

Monday night, it didn't help that I stayed late at work trying to fix a glitch with my phone - it wasn't receiving emails and I really like that it normally does. I finally got it working again around 6:30 and the support group started at 7:00. I had a little meat leftover from lunch, so I ate it, trying to decide what to do. A movie across the way tempted me. Going home and changing into my sweats tempted me. I finally decided on the movie and popped a Hershey's Kiss into my mouth (our FedEx driver gave a bag of Kisses to my coworker and me).

The Kiss changed my mind. I had rationalized eating it by saying that at least I was only eating one. Before my surgery I would have had more. I've been rationalizing a lot lately - especially Super Bowl Sunday when I ate more carbs in 5 hours than I had in over a month! I ate considerably less than I normally would have, but I definitely did not stick to my prescribed diet.

I changed directions and drove to the library instead of the theater. The whole time, I still had to convince myself to go. I know what I need to do to lose weight, I'd argue. Yes, but you're not doing it as well as you could. You need support, not just knowledge. This will keep you motivated. The angel on my shoulder won out. Thankfully.

The night's topic was self-talk, wouldn't ya know. The leader told us some of the things she says to herself and how she'd never let someone else get away with saying those things to her and that she certainly would never say them to anyone! I don't think I have a lot of negative self-talk, thankfully, but it does exist. Certain times are worse than others. Certain events bring it out - like my boss wanting to set me up on a blind date. I say to myself, I bet I know what he'll think when he sees me! or something along those lines.

We discussed ways to keep our internal conversations positive and to break the habit of negative self-talk. I came away with two things I'm going to do.

1. Love notes to myself. Okay, not really "love notes", but little sticky notes that have positive things about myself where I'll see them often. One lady puts sticky notes all over her mirror. I'm going to put some on the monitor of my exercise bike. I know it sounds corny, but it's worth a try.

2. Two things I did well today. Every night, before going to bed, I'm going to say out loud (to myself) two things that I am proud of myself for doing/being/etc. For example, Monday night, I said I was proud of myself for going to the meeting and for riding my bike for a record 35 minutes in one session! Woohoo!

The instructor said that she's going to start saying "Stop!" out loud every time she catches herself saying negative things to herself. I'm going to hold off on doing that - it's a little extreme for me. Maybe if my negative self-talk get worse I'll do it. That's good motivation to nip the bad self-talk in the bud early!

I was right, I didn't learn anything new about what I should be doing to lose weight, but I was also right in that it re-motivated me to keep doing the things I'm doing right and to recommit to doing other things better. It keeps me focused on my goal. I'm so independent, sometimes it's hard to need help, to admit that I can't do it by myself. I'm trying to learn that needing a support group doesn't make me weak or incapable. It's just another tool to help me.

Now, will someone please remind me of this next month when I'm trying to talk myself into going to the support group? Please!