Weight Loss Motivation

The last time I checked in with you about my weight loss journey (9 months ago), I had lost 20 pounds overall. I wrote about how it took me 2 years to lose that much weight in a daily uphill battle. I pointed to my friends as a source of strength and motivation on that journey. My friends still support me each day.

The biggest change I’ve made to my life is to eat less. I still eat pizza and drink beer, but I do it less. I pound back the caramel banana bread pudding, but I make up for it by eating greens the next day.

How do I accomplish this “eating less” business? By judging myself less. This is not easy. I constantly have to tune out the little voice in my head that says, “You’ve ruined your whole healthy eating plan,” whenever I slip up and have too many brownies. That voice is not helpful. That voice gives me permission to continue the downward spiral of eating all the things. That voice is a judgmental bitch. So I ignore her and tell myself things like, “Wasn’t that brownie awesome? SO GOOD! If you want another one, take a nibble on that salad for dinner. I know you want another one.”
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I have lost 2 pounds since my last post on the subject, and I’m happy with that. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of days where I say, “Mads, you can do better! I can’t believe you’ve only lost 2 pounds in 9 months! What have you been doing that whole time?” That judgmental bitch again. But there’s an even bigger part of me, one that knows I’m worthy, that says I’m still moving, inching, crawling, clawing, in the right direction. I know I can keep going and I know that progress is progress.

How do you keep motivated to stay healthy? Do you use self-talk to stay on track?

-Mads
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How my friends helped me lose weight

Hello friends,

Three of my very good friends and I have kept in contact through daily emails for the past 2 years.  I can’t say that I’ve ever stayed in touch with anyone quite as long and with such regularity as these women.

So what unites us (besides friendship)?  A passion to improve our bodies and overall health.  *cue eye roll now*

We’ve supported each other through weekend binges, marathon training, 6 month plateaus, and stomach flus.  Despite the obvious “hang in theres”, we’ve given each other sound advice and reality checks.

Collectively, the four of us have lost 167 pounds!  ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY SEVEN POUNDS!  That is an entire person.  And we’ve managed to keep it off for over a year now.

So what have we done as a team that I couldn’t do on my own?

1) Check-in with a daily menu plan.  If you write what you eat for others to read, you are more likely to eat healthy foods in normal proportions.  I get embarrassed when I have 3 carb-loaded meals per day, which motivates me to add extra veggies and proteins into my diet.  If I ask why my weight isn’t falling off, my friends can point to my diet and make suggestions.

2) Cut out the bullshit.  The previous step of making menu suggestions leads to cutting through the crap.  If I whined about not losing weight fast enough, my friends gave me a reality check, “Mads, you drank 3 beers and then ate an entire pizza, of course you’re not losing weight.”  This step might be the most important.  It’s hard to confront your friends, but truth-telling is the slap in the face that we often need.

3) Set mini-goals with specific dates/pounds to lose/rewards.  When we were all stuck, we set a mini goal of 3 pounds over two weeks with rewards varying from buying a new book to treating ourselves to a bubble bath.  The quick mini goals helped get us out of ruts and built friendly competition.

4) Give reality checks.  Along with eating tips and general weight-loss talk, we also emailed each other inspirational articles.  Having a group of friends who remind you daily that your body is beautiful, no matter how much weight you still want to lose, is a really wonderful thing.  I didn’t start losing any weight until I decided that I deserved it and they helped me see that.

5) Workout together.  Although we mostly live in separate states now, we would frequently meet up for a run or walk (occasionally we met to do awkward Navy workout videos).  I prefer stuffing my face with cheese than running any amount, but my friends made it fun.  Sometimes we do virtual runs with the addition of some friends on twitter #RunningPackInTheSky.

6) Have fun.  I hate eating healthy and exercising (truly, I do), but my friends make it fun for me every single day.  They get me excited to try new foods, and I think about them cheering me on every time I go for a run.  We give each other gold stars and shoulders to cry on when it got hard.  There’s no way I could do it without them.

I could write a million more tidbits I’ve learned on this journey, but I really want to hear from you.

 

What or who inspires you to stay healthy?  Have you recently lost weight?  What works for you?

-Mads

Guest Post: An Open Letter to Pedestrians

This guest post is brought to you by Kat.  I am in town for her wedding and we have already started the celebration.  In between getting married and Living, she blogs about food, fashion, and fitness.  Enjoy.

I only started running a year and a half ago.  The most expensive piece of workout gear I own are my running shoes, I run with a $10 digital watch from Target.  Judging from those things, I would say I’m probably as low-maintenance as you can get when it comes to running.

But from me to you all, an open letter to pedestrians.

Pedestrian,

I see you there, casually ambling down my sidewalk.  Walking towards me, moving away, it matters not.

I’m a mouth breather.  A Mouth Breather.  Even if my footsteps sounded more like a fairy’s and less like a Clydesdale, you’d still hear me coming up behind you on the sidewalk.  Because if I’m not busy huffing and puffing, I’m probably occupying myself with the odd cough.  Or gas.

All of this adds up to mean that my way of running?  Is not peaceful.  So don’t give me that look of surprise when you finally Face Reality.  You didn’t know I was coming?  LIAR.  I do not sound like the wind in the trees.

Sometimes you sport those gaucho pants that are so circa 2004.  Sometimes you rock a tye-dyed tee from Camp Christmas Tree 1998.  There’s nothing that warms my heart more than when you give me that Michael Scott-esque oops look as you and your three friends aimlessly wander the beaten path.  Sometimes you walk in a line, other times you scatter like leaves in the wind.

It is so thrilling to try and figure out where you will deign to tread next.

I love how when you are walking two or three abreast, rather than arrange yourselves into a single-file fashion, you prefer to martyr yourselves and Walk In The Grass.

Do not make your problems mine.

And I think it is so cool that even though you have absolutely no intention of walking into oncoming traffic, when you and Your Pack monopolize the sidewalk, you try to make me do it.

Pass.
I would sooner run into you head-on.

You should know that your off-leash dog scares the S*** out of me.  It’s probably scaring all of those moms with their would-be bike riding tots too.  So let’s just agree that you stop doing that effective: yesterday.

Sometimes you’re teaching your child how to ride a bike and so you give me the stare of death, because to you my fairly slow pace comes off like a freight train.  If you could see behind my sunglasses, you’d see me giving you the stare of death right back because you refuse to put a helmet on your three year old.

Happy Trails,

Kat

I did what now?

I agreed to sign up for a 1/2 marathon with a friend, to take place August 22nd.  That’s 13.1 miles!  How many miles can I run at the moment?  Probably 5 if I kicked my butt into gear.
That needs to change fast because I only have something like 9-10 weeks left!  Arghh!!!

This week’s training schedule:
Monday: Run 36 minutes at 10run-2walk
Tuesday: Run 45 minutes at 3run-2walk
Wednesday: Cross train by biking to work
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 30 minutes straight
Satuday: Go 7 miles…running and walking when I need to
Sunday: Rest

I made this schedule up based on several different training guides.  Thoughts?  I’m open to any and all suggestions.

My diet has 2 different modes:
1) Winter mode–eat all the comfort foods possible to warm your body up
2) Summer mode–drink and be merry at every happy hour and grill-out possible
Those two modes leave me in a poor condition to run.
This week I toss out everything in the fridge that is coming between me and my goal weight.  I’m hoping this helps to make me feel light as air when I run.

I’m working towards giving myself a big GOLD STAR on Sunday if I accomplish these goals.  That gold star will be a glass of chilled wine and my book on a patio in uptown. 

-M

Run run run

I have been on a get fit journey (for way too long for me to acknowledge) and have decided to revamp my regular routine.  My friend Kat recently completed a 5K and suggested that we run a 1/2 marathon together in August.  Two years ago I attempted the 1/2 marathon, but only got up to 8 miles in my training due to lack of a buddy, lack of motivation, and serious boredom.
 I agreed to the 1/2 marathon, but that leaves me with 16 weeks to go from 1-3 mile running to 13+ miles!  I need to step up my game.  The race date is August 22, 2010!

I’m hoping this blog will help to keep me accountable, but the rest is up to me.  

Helpful running tools:
half marathon training schedule
The Non-runner’s Marathon Guide for Women
run mapping programs and trails

Any good pointers for me?  I’m uber nervous, but also pretty excited to get running again!

-M