Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Q & A

I get phone calls, emails, instant messages, facebook messages, text messages and many comments and questions about what I am doing, not doing and such ALL THE TIME!  I totally get it, everyone wants a quick and easy answer to "How are you doing it?'.  Bottom line, it's not quick and it's not easy BUT it definitely is worth it.  I feel (and look) better than I have in almost a decade!  Below are some of the common questions that I get asked.   

Why Did You Start Your Journey?
The 'why' is a variety of reasons.  It started out with just a very simple desire -  I didn't want to gain anymore weight or go up (again) in my clothing sizes.  I was out of control with my eating and lack of ANY type of exercise - I simply didn't give a crap.  I would wake up in the morning and my back would ache so badly that I often had trouble taking those first few steps out of bed.  I 'blew out', as the doctor put it, my calf muscles in December 2010 when I turned suddenly - this happened at work, in front of a bunch of people and I was so embarrassed that I was in horrible pain and couldn't walk from turning my in a quick manner - GEESH!!  We lost a family member last year to cancer, she fought her ass off and would have given anything to have a healthy body.  I felt guilty for having basically a healthy body and letting it go to shit.
I hated shopping for clothes.  I hated going into my closet and  trying to find something to wear.  I hated even thinking about the idea of going to a social situation where it wasn't just my very closet friends or family.  I hated that my kids could possibly only know me as a chubby mom.  I hated what I was teaching my children.  I hated spending so much time doing my hair and makeup JUST to try to disguise my fat face and double chin.  I hated getting pictures taken of myself - I have nearly none of me and my now 4 year son together {insert frown}.  I had ALOT of 'hate' swirling around my head.  After focusing the last few years on taking back control of other area's in my life, I knew it was time for me to take control of ME.

Are You Losing Weight on a Particular Program? 
I am not counting calories, points, carbs or anything like that.  I have issues with control and living with that type of control in my life is not my cup of tea.  So I begin reading health magazines (Oxygen is my favorite), researching online, talking to health conscience friends and family and of course I asked for help from my hubby.  I wanted to give this healthy living stuff a REAL try and it had to be something that I could live with for the rest of my life.

In general I do not deprive myself of anything; if I REALLY REALLY REALLY want it I will eat it - but the portion has to be small.  I use the size of my closed fist as a guideline on my portions; except for veggies - I eat as much as want of those.  Per my hubby, I paid attention to increasing the amount of protein in my food.  I eat about every 3 hours - anything longer and your body want to store into fat (just like a bear going into hibernation).  I also used the app Lose It!, faithfully the first few months of my journey just to better understand the nutritional amounts (specificially, calories, fat, protein and sugar) in the foods that I was eating (or wanting to eat). 

How Long Have You Been on Your Journey? 
I officially starting working toward a 'better me' on July 25, 2011.  The hubby and I had planned weeks before to take that entire week off for a family stay-cation, so I figured that would allow me more time to think about how and when I was going to exercise as well as plenty of time to think about what I was putting into body.  Not only was I able to spend lots of time talking to my hubby about things, we signed up for a membership at our local YMCA and I also was able to grab lunch with a dear friend that has an incredible physic and is very conscience about what she eats (and what her kids eat).  Our lunch ended up in a grocery store looking at different foods.  I was inspired, excited and determined!   

How Much Have You Lost?
I have lost 45 pounds and am currently the size I was when I graduated high school (over 20 years ago).  I wish I would have took my measurements before I started losing weight, I think those numbers would be VERY interesting.  My silhouette has changed the most - my body has never looked like this - EVER!  I attribute the dramatic change in my silhouette to the weight training that I do.

How Many Sizes Have You Gone Down
5 jean sizes {insert smile}

What's Your Workout Schedule?
Tuesday:  1 hour of Zumba & 1 hour of Resistance Training
Wednesday:  1 hour of BodyPump
Thursday:  1 hour of Zumba
Saturday:   Occasionally, I do 1 hour of BodyPump

When it's warm outside I like to swim laps after Zumba on Thursday, too.  I started doing the laps as basically a way to cool my body down quickly after Zumba - I don't swim long; only about 20 or 30 minutes.

Additionally, I got a snazzy new bike last Christmas and plan to do plenty of riding once the weather begins to cooperate and I have just begun to train (term used very loosely) for a 5K run. also. 

Where Do You Work Out?
I work out at the Blue Springs YMCA.  During my stay-cation week, I visited all the local gyms before deciding on the YMCA.  Some of the gyms were too big, some didn't have the opportunities that I was looking for my 11 year old and some had classroom schedules that didn't coordinated with my own personal schedule - and the Y is a mere 5-7 minutes away from my house.

What's Your Favorite Work Out?
Zumba hands down!  When I started I was barely able to keep up physically and my coordination wasn't so great either.  But the more and more I went, I realized that not only was I burning a boat load of calories and toning muscles, I could see a difference in the way my body was moving and my flexibility.  It was like 'How Shannon Got Her Groove Back' !  I also just adore the other 'regulars' that go - I have a number of pals that I truly enjoy interacting with. 

What's You Favorite Healthy Thing to Eat?
Baked sweet potatoes
Kale chips (duh)
Boiled eggs with hot sauce
Black and blue salad (salad topped with 3 or 4 thin slices of grilled steak and blue cheese crumbles)

How did you get your kids on board with your new eating habits?
They often are not 100% sold on some of the items that I serve them; sometimes there is just no way they are going to eat what I put out.  But OFTEN after the 3th or 4th time of me putting something on their plate and seeing their parents enjoying something they will give in.  In fact, my 11 year old daughter loves kale chips just as much as I do and my 4 year son won't eat normal french fries anymore; they have to be 'orange' fries (aka sweet potatoe french fries).  I also post a menu for the week so that EVERYONE knows what they can expect for dinner.  They also see and hear my hubby and I talk about fitness and eating habits all the time - we are leading by example.  They are doing very good with all the changes and I expect that it will pay off in the years to come.

I'm Just Getting Started, What's Your Best Advice? 
Don't expect instant results.  It's been proven time and time again the slower the weight falls off, the more likely you are to keep it off.

Use milestones and baby steps to move forward on your own journey.  If jogging a mile is too much, start with jogging 1/2 mile instead and then the next 3/4 a mile and so on.

Reward your successes with things beyond food.

Get the support of anyone and everyone you can; having a little bit more accountability works wonders.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

How My St. Patricks Day Went Down

 After getting a few loads of laundry taken care of and putting the house back together after a busy week I decided I need to stop procrastinating and actually do my very 1st jog OUTSIDE.  After all, I do have a 5K that I need to start working up to.

Since I don't really live in a typical neighborhood I thought I would start by running the mowed path over to my neighbors house and then down the length of their property toward the road and then across the front yards back to my home sweet home. 

Here I am looking toward the path, full of gusto and confidence.  Here I go...

...entering the path...

...made it to the bend in the path, the neighbors house is in sight...

...so close...but I can barely breath...

By the time I made it to their front door I was a hot mess, huffing and puffing at a ridiculous rate. 

I didn't even attempt to run down the length of their front yard and back to my house - instead I did a half jog/half walk back the way I came.

I stopped to snap a picture of me in front of the blooming pear trees.

...got home and had one of these...

...then went shopping and bought these..
sorry so blurry
So all in all my 1st attempt at jogging outside was pretty much laughable BUT you better believe that I tried it again the next day.  I made it to the neighbors house, chatted with their sweet daughter while I caught my breath and then (for the most part) ran my original intended route all the way home.  And yes, I was huffing and puffing like a freight train again....but I make progress, wahoo!

Hope everyone had a fab St. Patricks Day !

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Goal Updates

I have some news that I am SO thrilled about!  I have taken a major step towards achieving one of my goals.  If you recall, I talked about my mini goals several months ago here.  The goal that I am speaking about today is 'Run in a 5K'.

I've been researching and watching for just the right 5K to be my first.  I narrowed it down to two; the Run for your Lives and The Color Run.  I was immediately drawn to the Run for Your Lives run because I am a bit of a zombie movie freak and thought it would be a riot with an entire 5K having a zombie theme around. 

Then there is The Color Run; it's seems to be more of a family friendly event, less intense and just plain fun.  After I watched the video for The Color Run I knew it was the one! 

As soon as registration opened this week I filled out all the online forms and sat there in front of my computer with my pointer finger hovering above the enter key.  I just couldn't believe that I was getting ready to sign up for my first 5K run.  I took a deep breath and pulled the trigger (aka hit the enter key) and did a little happy dance in my head.  I wanted to shout it to the world, "I just signed up for my first 5K run".

It's pretty surreal to think that just a mere 7 months ago I would have busted out a big 'ole belly laugh at the notion of running (or even walking) in a 5K.  But now everything is different...things that once were impossible ARE now possible.

Oh and I have to give a shout out to Tammy and Maddie for joining my team the 'KC Cuties' and my old bud Kim for pulling together her own team 'Whoa, Watch Out Says That Bird!'.  We are going to rock this 5K, ladies.  We might not technically refer to ourselves as runners but we've taken a step out of our comfort zone and that's when we'll start to see our full potential.  

Tammy, Maddie and Kim ~ I can't wait to see you all at the finish line!
On a slightly similar note; I've been working on another mini goal for a while now - to build definition in my biceps and triceps.  Although I still have room for improvement I do believe that I see definition!

What goals have you accomplished?  I would LOVE to hear about it - just click that Post a Comment button below and share it with the world!