Weighing In: Maintenance Mode for Now

Hi Friends! I’ve (noticeably) been taking a conscious break from writing posts lately due to a string of stressful events in my life that have occurred since the beginning of April.

I lost someone who was close to me after a long battle with cancer, badly sprained an ankle, and got behind in some of my classes. I have been trying to stay positive and responsible during these times of stress, but it’s not always possible to stay perfectly on plan, because life doesn’t always go as we might have planned if it was perfect.

To be honest, I haven’t tracked any Weight Watchers Points in about three weeks. I’ve also had some beer, and skipped quite a few gym days due to my sprained ankle. The difference between my old self and who I am now is that I don’t hate myself for any of it. I am glad that I have been able to enjoy food and treats surrounded by loving friends and family after dealing with a loss. I am glad I have had warm-hearted people around me who have invited me out for a beer instead of wallowing at home. I do my best to make healthy choices whenever possible, but I have also had to be somewhat forgiving because life isn’t always easy, and sometimes a salad just doesn’t sound great.

Luckily, my ankle is almost healed, my heart is a little less heavy, and I’ve managed to maintain an even weight of 181.5 for the last three weeks.

I think that I have developed a lot of good habits that have allowed me to maintain without too much effort, as well as trying to keep my fridge stocked with healthy items that I can grab without much thought or effort, (I’m lookin at you, Siggis yogurt!).

I attribute this maintenance to other small habits such as parking far away from the entrances of buildings, limiting crappy foods from being in my home, stopping eating when I am just full enough, and drinking lots of water. Eating my sandwiches open face or bun free, and trading in pasta dishes for some type of protein with a veggie on the side if I am eating out. I no longer have a daily coffee at Dutch Bros with cream and sugar, but instead take a 200mg. caffeine pill if I feel like I need a ‘pick me up.’

All of these things truly do add up and make a huge difference and they have worked well for me in making sure I don’t lose all of the progress I have made in the last four months. Just because I’m not trying to be perfect with my diet is by no means an indication that I am throwing in the towel. I’m just on the sidelines, taking a little half-time break before I head back in.

I have every intention of getting back into the gym when my ankle is healed fully, but for now I am sticking to yoga and upper-body/core home workouts. In fact, it has actually be tough to do not cardio, as that was easily becoming one of my greatest  go-to stress-reducers when I was having a tough time. I miss sweating it out and feeling accomplished and glowing at the end of my routine. I also miss all of the ladies in my Spin classes and the encouragement they give me by seeing that health can be achieved at any size, at any age.

In short, I’ve absolutely hit a rough patch, but it will remain that– just a patch! Making a lifestyle change means making changes to fit within your lifestyle, and not even the Kardashians are immune to the little imperfections life throws our way.

To be clear, I have zero regrets from taking these few weeks off from being so controlling over my diet because it’s just what I needed, and when I am ready, I will return to it.

For now, I’m 181.5 and I am happy, and I am alive. This will change at some point, but this is where I have been, this is where I am now, and I am okay with that.

Thanks for reading, supporting me, and sending me bits of encouragement that I have received in the last few months since I began this whole journey.

Bye Bye Muffin Top!

-Kenzie

Weighing in: Gains, and Gainz, Losses, and Getting Lost

This post is not about how great I’ve been doing or about how much weight I’ve lost this week. This post is about the honest, vulnerable reason why I started this blog in the first place. Accountability, as well as transparency. I want people to know, who see me reach my goals in the future, that this wasn’t without trials or setbacks. I had a great week last week, only to see my progress do a 180 in the following week. I will get back on track, but in the meantime, this is where I am.

This past week has been a bit trying as I have had lots of social situations come up in which I have been tempted and partaken in drinking lots of alcohol, eating lots of indulgent foods, and going to the gym less than I normally would.

As the end of Spring Break neared, I was feeling good about a total loss of 10 lbs in the month of March, as well as a 2.5lb gain in muscle. However, I think I took this information and ran with it a little too much as the weekend approached. I took a short road trip to visit some friends who live an hour and two hours away from me, respectively.

On the first night I visited a childhood friend and we enjoyed a light dinner, followed by drinks and Karaoke. On the second night I drove up to a bigger city to see a concert. Before the show I met with some friends at Buffalo Wild Wings to watch my college play in a March Madness game. Buffalo WW is very hard to eat healthy at, and I opted for a salad but it was definitely still a lot of points. I walked around the city and danced a lot at the concert. At the end of the day I totaled 20,000 steps, but I had also had well over my day’s worth of points in alcohol. Come Sunday morning I was feeling sore from moving around so much, happy that I had such a fun weekend, but also achy and physically exhausted.
I headed back home with a clear vision of health in mind for starting out my week. I did great on Sunday, with 28 out of 30 points. But then Monday was rough with 50 /30 points, Tuesday was decent with 35/30 points, but today I really crashed and burned- Finishing the day at 71/30 points. Much of the imbalance has been due to eating out with friends, being at work during dinner time, and also snacking when I’m not hungry. There have been treats offered and I’ve been bad about saying no. I also, for a moment, lost sight of the determination I had when I first began this journey in January– But I am now more determined than ever.

Truthfully, I think another part of my frivolity has been a subconscious effort to sabotage myself. I think that seeing my body and my mind change in this way is almost frightening because it is pulling me out of my comfort zone. It can be a scary feeling knowing that things are starting to look up if you don’t believe you deserve for them to– but that kind of thinking is what caused me to gain the weight in the first place. I am not going to fall victim to my self-sabotage anymore by ignoring my self-worth. Just like any other person in the world, I am deserving of love, happiness, confidence, and success.

While I am not happy about some of the food choices I’ve made in the last week, I appreciate that I was able to have some fun with friends, enjoy lots of delicious meals, and dance a ton. 

I am honestly surprised that I have made it this far in my journey without having many days that feel like setbacks so if anything this was a lesson learned that I need to reaffirm my goals and recenter my focus more often.

For this week, my goal will be to maintain, and next week I should be back on track to lose some weight. 

Even though I haven’t lost weight this week, and I am feeling down about my choices, I also know that a few months ago I would have been derailed by this and given up completely. I will not let that happen this time.  

So, starting tomorrow, I am going to make a change. I am going to make it a goal to hit my smart points each day and exercise a little extra. I don’t expect to have any loss this week, but maybe I can prevent a major gain by keeping-on. As a way to hold myself accountable even further, I am going to post a screenshot of my progress in the forthcoming week.

I will try to pack my lunches and keep protein shakes handy in case of hunger-emergencies, I will avoid alcohol as there is no room for it in my diet this week, and I will focus on eating fresh produce when I am hungry, supplementing with protein and minimal starchy-carbs. I will plan ahead for when I know I’ll be working, and I will leave my debit card at home so that I can’t make impulse purchases.

I will also focus more of my energy on exercising– I will attend my bootcamp/spin class tomorrow and I will make the gym a priority throughout the rest of the week.

Tomorrow I won’t begin anew because today did, in fact, happen. However, I will pick up the pieces and make the best out of where I left them. Tomorrow I look forward to seeing 30/30 on my total points for the day. The sun will rise again, and again, and eventually the scale will lower.

Bye Bye Muffin Top!

Kenzie

 

Weighing In: 10% of my body weight gone, and taking a different approach to vacation,

Journey

As of today, I weigh in at 186.7lbs. Bringing my total loss to 27.3lbs since January 11th (The day the picture on the left was taken).

I also hit another neat landmark: I’ve lost 10% of my total body weight! It’s crazy to think that 1/10th of me is gone forever, and I’ve been wondering where the heck I put all of that! That’s more than the amount of weight of a Costco-sized bag of rice…

I’ve had a few other non-scale victories this week as well. Namely: I have dropped two pant sizes.

I celebrated these victories by purchasing a few new items to wear over spring break when I go to Arizona, including a two-piece swimsuit. I’ve found great joy in eliminating clothing that is too large on me and by finding inexpensive pieces to replace them. 

 I also allowed myself a, “cheat day,” on Sunday, after saving some of my weekly points and indulged in a burger with some sweet potato fries with some friends– guilt free! However, I do not believe in “rewarding,” myself with crappy food anymore so I’m looking at it as a cheat meal because I wanted to, rather than a reward because I’ve, “been good.”

As I gear up to leave for Arizona, I am faced with a challenge that any person trying to lose weight can relate to: Vacation! How will I navigate the balance of having fun while sticking to my goals?

For starters, I already have a plan set that I will try to make most of my outings each day focused on some form of exercise. I had ample opportunity to have a “typical,” college Spring Break fueled by alcohol, music and hangover food, but I opted for something else that will leave me feeling relaxed and rejuvenated when I return home, rather than starting classes feeling worn out, broke, bloated and sick. 

I am excited to be able to catch a nice tan and maybe even lose more on this week away so that when I come back home I’m not dealing with residual guilt from poolside margaritas or ensuing drunchies.

Don’t get me wrong– sometimes party-based Spring Breaks sound fun!

There is nothing wrong with enjoying Spring Break however you see fit– hell, I know next year I’ll probably go the Spring Break in Cabo route! But for right now, I am just doing my best to keep my goals in mind and honestly consider what will help me reach them faster and easier.

I’ve already got plans to hike with a friend who lives down there, access to a gym, and plenty of sunny sidewalks to stroll down if boredom hits, in addition to lots of swimming, and golfing. 

I also plan to do lots of acts of self-care such as doing my nails, putting on a face mask, journaling, yoga, etc.

I have intentionally chosen to go somewhere where I know I’ll have plenty of support from the people around me– something I also try to do while at home.

Since I am visiting my grandparents, they are already aware of my goals and are pretty healthy themselves. I know wont have to worry about finding healthy and fresh food to eat throughout the week while I am there.

I also know that they will be more than encouraging if I want to spend some time at the gym or go hiking with one of my friends since they want me to succeed just as much as I do. 

To summarize: I think anyone can be successful and stick to their goals while on vacation as long as you plan ahead, have a good support group around you, and treat it as a time to make your life better now and in the future– keeping in mind that instant gratification generally won’t fuel your success. 

In that same vein, I think the most important part about a vacation is just doing whatever makes you feel happy, healthy and good– however you see fit. 

What are some of your tips/tricks for sticking to your goals during a vacation? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Bye Bye Muffin Top!

Kenzie

Weighing in: 25 Down and Checking Things off of my Bucket List 

Woohoo! Today I’m 189.3 which means I’m officially 25 pounds down! I’m so excited about this I #literallycanteven.

I have been trying to up my daily exercise and have been getting around 30-60 mins of cardio + alternating between arms/legs and core doing strength training about six days per week.

I also ran a 5K on Saturday, something that was a HUGE “bucket list” item for me. I’ve already ran many 5k’s as a cross country runner but this time felt a bit more victorious because I really worked for it and got over my built up fear of running in public. I even got a little emotional at the end and shed a tear (maybe two), because I haven’t been this proud of myself in a very long time. 

Next up on the list is to get back on the mountain and go snowboarding again. Something I used to love but haven’t done in over seven years. I’m going next weekend and I just can’t wait.

I’m also excited to be taking a trip to Arizona for spring break to visit my grandparents and I’m going to try to be touristy in a different way than I am used to– hiking and biking whenever possible. Also some reading books whilst laying in the sun is definitely in order. I bought the plane ticket for myself as a reward and as a way to say hey, you deserve this. 

It’s a huge thing for me to check off a milestone like this because a year ago I didn’t think I could do it but here I am doing it.


Bye bye muffin top!

Kenzie 

A VIP experience, Twenty Pounds Down, and Gaining Back the World.

This morning I weighed in at 193.8, which means that I’ve officially lost 20.7lbs since I began this journey the day after my twenty-third birthday. The weight has honestly come off much quicker than I was expecting but I assume that this will slow down over time. I believe this is in part due to going to the gym at least 5 times per week and consistently tracking my points and being mindful following days when I’ve slipped up and gone overboard.

Last night I went to a concert and after the show the group I was with was invited to go onboard the tour bus to hang out with the artist. I joined in and had a wonderfully fun time. Admittedly, I enjoyed a few drinks, but I was cognizant in staying within my allotment of Weight Watchers points. I don’t regret it at all, but I also want to maintain my sobriety 99% of my time throughout this journey. A month ago I probably would have declined the invitation to go, for fear of how I looked. A year ago I would have been inhibited by my crippling and uncharacteristic social anxiety. I had great conversations with the artist, his crew, and my friends. I actually felt like I was welcome, enjoyed, and belonged there. With each pound lost, I am gaining back so much more in my life. Experiences like that are why I am doing this.

Additionally, after the show I purchased a t-shirt, partially as a souvenir, and partially because I have a very limited amount of clothing to work out in at the moment. I got a size XL and when I put it on this morning, I realized it is way too big for me. I will still wear it to the gym and whatnot, but it was a positive reminder that this process is working and worth it. img_1284

With each pound lost I feel like my steps have become lighter, everything has become just a bit more effortless. For the first time in months, I’ve been able to fall asleep without the assistance of my Trazedone prescription. My eyes have fluttered open, ushered so by the light of the morning. My wakefulness precedes my alarm clock. I remain awake with a level of alertness that I am just now calling forth from the depths of my memory. My skin somehow feels like it is glowing- I see a blushed warmth in my cheeks when I smile at myself in the mirror— I actually look at myself in the mirror, and I don’t feel the burning singe of hate in my heart I had grown to fight, and then began to ignore.

To feel hungry— to feel a genuine want and need for food as a form of nourishment is something I had forgotten about. The joy of taking time to prepare a meal, to chop the fresh produce and enjoy an apple’s natural sweetness, the crisp crunch of a carrot, or the buttery texture of an artichoke is something that disappeared from me in the midst of my depression.

Of course, preparing a fresh meal is not always something I am able to do because of the constraints of time, but it has become a truly enjoyable ritual to carefully select things at the grocery store, consider how they may nourish me and how I will prepare them. This is so vastly different from my previous habit of hurriedly picking up as many frozen meals and pre-made foods as I can afford with my limited funds— If I even made it to the grocery store. Food delivery services cater to depression, fuel it, by allowing you to forgo the necessary events of interaction, or the need to take the blip of effort to put things into a shopping cart, to place them in a microwave.

I have so much more now. It’s as if all of the things that were fundamentally wrong in my life are slowly being fixed, healed through this process.

I’ve experienced the comfort of knowing I have emergency money in my savings account. The financial ability to go to movies, experience fun outside of bars, to gas my car for a day trip, or enjoy a new book that I gift to myself.

On a heavier note, i’ve felt safety in knowing that, if assaulted again, I would have the physical power to run away or fight back. I feel safety in knowing that as my confidence has slowly returned to me, I have a voice that I can use, a voice I am starting to believe in.

There is something amazing in the way I can feel my personality returning to me— a spirit of light and enjoyment of life that had left my body for a few years. I laugh genuinely, and with my whole heart. I’m not afraid to be around people. Let me rephrase that: I’m no longer trying to hide— my body or my mind.

I cannot wait to see what other revelations will come as I continue on this journey. As I nourish my body and take care of it as a temple, I nourish my passion for enjoyment of life and I drink in the experiences that come my way.

Oh, and my double chin is now like, a 1.5 chin so big ups for that!

Goodbye to the twenty extra pounds of weight and the world that have been on my body, mind and spirit, and, Bye Bye to my slowly dwindling muffin top!

Weighing In: Hitting Road Bumps and Staying Honest

This past week and a half was full of particularly difficult trials and tribulations. There was family drama, friend drama, a broken down car, dinner plans at un-trackable restaurants, babysitting a picky eater, gym plans falling through, midterms, and the list goes on!

It was difficult to not just say screw it and forget my plan all together. I did cave a few times: There was some popcorn at the movies, a meal I couldn’t figure out how to track at a brewery, and lots of sweet treats while visiting a sick loved one. I did my best to moderate, track as well as I knew how, and make it to the gym because I was stressed rather than avoiding it.

My weight has been fluctuating the past few days between the 196 I caught a glimpse of on Monday, to the 199.5 I was at last night. I’m not super thrilled that I didn’t necessarily lose this week, but I’m also pleased that I didn’t gain given all of the commotion going on.

Someone pointed out to me that food and diet is one of the few things that most of us are fortunate to have some genuine control over. While I was by no means perfect this past week, the important part is that I tried and that I’m not throwing in the towel despite a few minor slip ups. I plan to go into next week with a mindset of taking control of my health and, in turn, my life, rather than letting life take control of me.

While I don’t believe in willpower as a means for success (some psychology study somewhere confirmed this with a well known study involving small children and marshmallows), I do believe that looking forward and having empathy or confidence in your future self can be very motivating.

If I don’t feel like going to the gym, or I feel like making a poor food choice, it has been especially powerful to think about how I will feel emotionally or physically after the fact.

In the past, I have quit after a day or two of trying to, “be healthy,” because I caved in to some type of decadent temptation— however, this time I am trying to avoid my perfectionist tendencies because being perfect at something didn’t make me gain 70lbs, so being perfect isn’t going to make me lose it either.

With all of that said, I do think that it is imperative to be honest and accountable with yourself despite having that balance with self-compassion. I have tracked every. single. thing. I have eaten in the last week, even though some of it has been guilt-ridden and I’ve hated looking at the numbers in front of me on my Weight Watchers app. I know that in the moment it causes me a bit of pain, but in the long run I will look back and have an ultra-successful week to compare to it in the future.

I have tried to keep in mind that I am accountable for my own actions, and that I can’t let difficult circumstances beat me down or disrupt my goals anytime something hard comes up.

While I am trying to avoid emotional eating altogether, a significant part of this last week was my ability to identify it as it was happening. Taking a moment to reflect on why I am doing something did help drive me to make some somewhat healthier decisions (ex: After an emotionally charged day I got popcorn at the movies, but I said no on the butter, and I said heck-no to the sour patch kids that were calling my name).

Tomorrow is my next, ‘weigh in day’,and while I’m not expecting a huge drop in the number I see on the scale, I am confident that I will see a change in it next week.

 To end on an ultra-positive note: I ran a whole mile today in about 10 minutes without stopping, which is something I haven’t done in months. I’m hoping to sign up for a 5k in April, and work towards running the 10K Butte to Butte in July.

Horray for self-compassion, self-care, and honesty to keep us all moving forward. 

Bye Bye Muffin Top!

Kenzie

Weighing in: Checking off milestones 

Today I made it to what the WW (weight watchers) community calls “Onederland,” this means that you are now in the coveted 100’s in the midst of your weight loss journey. This was probably my largest motivating goal since I started this whole thing because I kept feeling ashamed of myself that I had gotten past the 200lb mark (my highest weight being 214.5).

I am excited because my main goal now feels that much more attainable. The challenge, now, will be finding motivation in other milestones- a friend suggested 5lb increments.

I am excited to get to 195, 190, 185, etc. but I’m nervous about sustaining my focus during those times.

However; Another way that WW’s define success is through ‘NSV’s’ or ‘non-scale-victories.’

So I decided that some of these, NSV’s, for me, will involve going down in pant sizes, being able to run a 5k, losing inches around my waist, etc.

I’ve heard that the best way to form a habit is to reward yourself for accomplishing goals, so I decided that as a necessary reward, each time I drop a pant size, I will invest $20 into my “goal weight wardrobe.”

I will save money to put towards purchasing new clothes when I reach my final goal. I also have a few gift cards I’m saving from Christmas and my Birthday to help me with this.

I’m happy I had the foresight (read: denial), to keep most of my old clothes despite gaining a lot of weight– So I will have some outdated back up clothing to last until I hit my final goal.

For today, hitting onederland feels awesome, but for next week, a looser fitting shirt or more distance on the treadmill will mean success to me.

I’m planning on keeping track through my daily and weekly weigh ins, but I also hope to feel accomplished by the way my life improves.

Bye bye muffin top!

XOXO, Kenzie