Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Week 8, 35% body fat! No weight loss.

 This has been a wild week!

Let me start with the best news I have to share:  My husband and I met with his radiation encologists yesterday and received the wonderful news that he's 100% cancer free!!  Hooray!

And even though I was due at weigh-in later in the day, after we got the all clear from the doctors we went out for a celebratory lunch, on the San Antonio River Walk and treated ourselves to a margarita each!

In spite of the Mexican Food I ate at lunch and the margarita I drank, my fat ratio is down another full percentage point!!  I believe I am fully capable of reaching 31% by the time I leave for the cycling tour on April 10th.

I have been cycling like crazy!  The weather has warmed up and with the cancer battle behind us, I can now focus on training for the trip.  This past weekend I cycled a total of 52 miles - 22 miles on Saturday and 30 miles on Sunday.

My hair dresser has asked me to "strut my stuff" in an ad campaign he's running for his salon.  I've shown some of the photos that came from my modeling session on some of my previous blogs but the final ad is shown above!  I can't believe how much my life has changed in the past couple of years.

Two years ago:
I weighed close to or over 300 lbs. (I had sworn off scales)

I had horrible problems with my female cycles
I was sedentary, spending hours upon hours in front of the TV
I hid from the world, avoiding social interactions as much as possible
I rarely left the house
I was unhappy, I did not like myself or value who I was

Two years ago I decided to change my mind about who I was and what I was capable of achieving. All I did was open my mind and be receptive to making one simple change in my life.

The simple change I made at that time was that I bought a bike and started cycling the one and a half miles to work instead of driving. I think it was this one simple change that saved my life because after I made myself open to the possibility of being only slightly more active, other little changes started happening.... almost without any serious effort on my part.

In what seemed like no time at all I was using my bike as my main mode of transportation around town, had decided to try Ideal Protein to get rid of my excess weight and one day I woke up and realized I had dropped over 100 pounds and bore no resemblance to the woman I was two years ago, physically or mentally!

All it takes to start a blaze is a spark.  A journey starts with a single step.  If you are unhappy with something in your life, whether it's your size, your health or your job, you don't have to make a grand gesture or huge effort to make that change.  All it takes is an open mind, a willingness  to make a change and then take that first step.  Just make a gentle shift in your behavior or lifestyle (and stick with it).  The rest will fall into place!

You are stronger, more powerful, more capable than you ever imagined!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Week 7: Body Fat 36%, Two pounds down!

McCullough Ranch Road - Where I rode 22 miles on Sunday.

The fat ratio is back on the way down, I'm wearing form-fitting clothes again (including my "skinny" jeans from last summer) and I'm feeling really, really good!

I've started intensive training for the bicycle tour in April.  This past Sunday I rode my bike for 22.58 miles over some really hilly terrain.  I fell once due to the new clipless pedals, but overall I was really happy with the ride.

The extra activity caused some balancing issues with the diet.  I'm exercising more than the base protocol calls for and my lean mass was decreasing as a result.  I was also eating a lot of off-program foods (on top of the dinner I talked about in an earlier post) to make up for the calories my body was craving.  All this slowed down my progress.

The diet has been tweaked - I am eating a protein before and after the big rides - and I'm dropping weight again!  My goal is to have my fat ratio down below 30% when I leave for the bike tour.

Tonight I plan to go on a 30 minute bike ride, on top of my regular commute to work.  I need to do these little rides in the evening to get my hiney "saddle ready" and build up my endurance so I am able to cycle every mile of the coming tour.  I don't want to be that girl who didn't plan properly that ends up spending most of the tour in the support vehicle!  I've been dreaming of doing a tour like this since I was 12 and I don't want to miss out on a thing!

A woman pulled me aside this week and told me she tried Ideal Protein but had to give up.  She said she's a compulsive over eater, attends Overeaters Anonymous and just couldn't make the diet work.  My heart went out to her and I surprised her with my answer.

I told her that I have a history of eating disorders, including bulemia and compulsive eating.  I told her that I had also been involved with OA in the past.  Her eyes got wide and she asked me how I was able to stay on the diet.

I told her that I changed my mind about myself and my abilities.  I decided my soul was more powerful than my compulsive eating and that I was worth the hard work to overcome my overeating.

I told her that the biggest, most important thing I did was decide to love and accept myself, just as I was in my 300+ lb. frame, and the rest fell into place.  Her eyes grew wide, as if she never considered that kind of thinking before.

As Wayne Dyer often says, "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

I changed who I thought I was, how I saw myself and the changes started happening, almost by themselves.

My experience with eating issues is that I was using eating to anesthetize myself to the pain I was feeling about things that happened in my past.  I could not allow past hurts, a low self esteem and the eating habits that manifested as a result to control my life.

I am more capable, more powerful - STRONGER - than my past.  It is vital that the past remains in the past and that I live in the moment as much as possible. I put the unnecessary mental baggage I was carrying around in the closet, like a box full of forgotten photographs, and moved on  with my life.

It is my firm belief that anyone can do this, including you!  If a sedentary, 40-something woman who weighed over 300 lbs. can transform herself into an active, trim, vibrant cyclist, NOBODY is a lost cause. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Valentine's Message to You from Me!

Life is a beautiful gift!  Enjoy it with a sense of incandescent amazement and gratitude!
Make a vow today to be your own Valentine and do something loving for yourself!
You are a beautiful, divine child of God!  Appreciate who you are and let your light shine!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Week 6, 37% Body Fat!! Crap!!

I'm ready for my close-up!
Yes.  I know. The body fat ratio is up!  An hour before weigh-in I was at a 98 year old's birthday party with a bunch of women over the age of 70, all of whom were in a party mood. (I want to grow up to be that lively at that age!)

The 98 year old woman who was having the birthday was the closest thing to a grandmother I have and is one of the dearest people in the world to me.  She's one of my role models, so I allowed myself to take a break from the diet for this meal and embrace the celebration whole-heartedly.  (Who wants to be a wet-blanket dieter at those kind of occasions?)

While I ate a salad, I did enjoy a couple of glasses of white wine to toast a woman I admire.

So, of course, an hour after the meal my numbers on the scale would be all messed up!  I'm thinking I'll see a lot more improvement next week, especially since I am fitting into my skinny jeans again!

Some crazy things are happening in my life.  For one, the salon that does my hair asked me to model my new hairdo as part of an ad campaign they're doing in the local papers.  I have never - NEVER - been very comfortable in front of the camera, so the experience took me outside of my comfort zone (which is good for me).  After a few awkward shots, I finally relaxed and had fun with the session.  I can't wait to see how the ads turn out!

For a girl who was the class nerd in elementary and junior high and someone who spent too many years in an obese body, these little experiences have me re-defining the words I use to describe myself.  For too long I saw myself as inconsequential and invisible, someone who didn't have much to give to the world.  Over the past couple of years I've worked hard to see my own value and see myself as a strong, capable woman.  I started on this journey to gain better health and inspire others to get out there and make positive changes in their own lives.

Another word I used to describe myself was "ugly."  This is a word I used on myself from the time I was in first grade.  I look back at old photos of myself and realize I wasn't an ugly kid, but back then you couldn't have told me any different. As I grew older I saw my ugliness as something I had to live with.  Some people have handicaps, mine was ugliness.  As long as I held the word "ugly" next to my identity, it kept me from being who I was destined to be.  I settled for less in life because I refused to recognize my own beauty, my divinity, my worth.

When I started calling myself a "beautiful child of God" a year and a half ago, it changed my life.  Those words ignited a spark in my soul that has changed my life a thousand fold and what was once a spark is now a all-out bonfire.  I feel better about myself, I live a better life and enjoy better relationships with those around me.  Now that I see my own beauty and worth, I appreciate the worth and divinity of those around me.  Like the Bible says, "Love thy neighbor as thy self."  You have to have a love for yourself before you can open your heart to others.

Experiences like the photo shoot only help enforce the new way I see myself. 

You and I, dear reader, are gorgeous, amazing creations!  Embrace who you are! Love and appreciate yourself as you are right now!  Miracles will happen!


Friday, February 7, 2014

Week 5, 36% body fat (monthly visitor)

Gratuitous Selfie with new phone
Sorry for the late posting!  It has been the week from you-know-where!

I'm just going to share a short post I placed on my FaceBook page this week instead of blogging, because I think it's a good message and bears repeating:

For the past seven years I have been working closely with a group of men and women whose average age is around 85.

Up until recently, many of these "elderly" volunteers were in better shape than me.  Two women who are particularly inspiring, aged 81 and 83 respectively, get up every morning and either walk two miles or attend water aerobics.

Both women are adamant that it is the exercise that keeps them younger than their years.

This morning on my bike ride into work I realized that I am in better shape now, in my 40s, than I was in my 20s.  I look better, too!

As much as we hate to hear it when we're stuck in a sedentary lifestyle, it's exercise that's going to keep us young and active into our later years.  That, a positive attitude and a healthy diet will keep my body going long enough to achieve my dream of being the town eccentric - the little old lady on a bike!

Have an empowering day!