Tag Archives: weight loss

Invisibility & Inner Beauty

When I first started my healthy lifestyle one of the biggest things I had to change was work lunches. I, like many others, work on a street filled with nothing but fast food / unhealthy restaurants. Previously a typical week at work would consist of lunches from McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and maybe Subway or takeout from the Italian restaurant across the street. So out of those options, the healthiest go-to was Subway. So when I made the change, if I didn’t bring my own lunch, I would usually hit up Subway once or twice a week and get a Turkey sandwich with lots of veggies. We went there so often, we formed a friendly relationship with the management there. Hands down the best Subway in this city mainly because the family that manages it are really great people!

At some point, I stopped going to Subway so often. I opted for bringing in my own lunch every day and making my own turkey sandwiches at home. In fact, I think up until this week, it’s been several months since I even stepped foot inside that Subway. The other day, upon discovering someone had tossed the food I had left in the fridge over the weekend that I planned to eat for lunch, I got treated to Subway. I walked in and the manager’s jaw dropped. He joked that I could probably start eating unhealthy food again now and that I had completely changed. My Dad told him I had lost a total of 101 pounds and he joked and said that I used to be a “roly poly” and was talking about how unfortunate it is but that a lot of the world judges by appearances alone and then started grabbing his employees to tell them how much weight I had lost and that he remembered when “roly poly” came in to Subway before that. I almost wanted to be offended by being referred to as “roly poly” but I just laughed it off because I know he wasn’t trying to offend me or hurt my feelings but also because I’m proud that I no longer can be referred to as “roly poly” or any other similar term.

Proverbs 31:30

The entire situation got me thinking, though. It’s interesting having both perspectives now: the perspective of a person who is obese/overweight and that of someone who isn’t. I was really lucky even when I was obese because I was never really subjected to any teasing, bullying or anything like that and despite being unhappy with my physical appearance, I had found far more value in the person who I was underneath. My friends and family (for the most-part) never treated me any differently and for that I am extremely grateful. I think because of that I never really paid attention to how I was perceived by those around me but now I know I’m so much more aware of how being obese makes you invisible. The ironic thing is that the more weight you shed (and less space you take up), the more visible you seemingly become to the people in the world. I’m not just talking about getting more attention from the opposite sex, which is certainly true, but overall people are more likely to interact with you when you weigh less. I never was aware of just how shallow the world can be until after I lost weight and it really is a shame because I know there are so many wonderful people who are overlooked and ignored because they maybe aren’t “beautiful” by the world’s impossible standards. I wish more understood that beauty is only skin deep. If only certain people could have a Shallow Hal type of revelation.

That entire day was definitely a motivating day for me. Nothing is more motivating than when people you barely know or people you don’t know at all approach you and let you know how great you look. It’s been years in the making but that will never get old! Sometimes weeks go by and I feel like I haven’t made any progress but when things like that happen, it makes me realize that even if the change is small and unnoticeable to me, it doesn’t mean that change still isn’t happening. On Monday, Will and I both started the same workout program: Focus T25 which is pretty much kicking both of our behinds. His more than mine, which makes me feel pretty awesome. Bwaha! I expect as this process goes on, I’ll probably be gaining some muscle weight, but that just means losing inches. I’ll definitely be posting my results as I go through the program.

Getting Back On Track

Weight Loss Wednesday

Today was my final acupuncture appointment for my back problems. It’s a little bittersweet. On the sweet side, it will be nice to go back to using that extra money every week to pour back into my savings. On the bitter side, I’m going to miss the relaxing environment, the sweetest receptionist on the planet, the mid-morning nap and break away from work and especially the overall relaxed, serene and happy moods I’m always in the day of my appointments. I think I’ll definitely have to make a general appointment from time to time when money allows. However, most importantly, I’m PAIN FREE, feeling great and so completely thankful! That means I can start working my way back up to the workouts I was doing before and it’s been a while since I’ve done more than just walking and stretching.

I was terrified that while waiting for my back to heal two things would happen:

    1. I was worried I would lose motivation and start feeling lazy again and it would once again be a chore to workout.
    2. I was worried I’d lose a chunk of the progress I had made recently.

Wednesday Weigh In

Turns out neither of those things really happened. I still have my motivation, (in fact, I’m still kinda forcing myself to take it easy and not overdo it) and somehow I managed to mostly keep my goals on track. I tried to keep a close eye on what I’ve been eating since I couldn’t workout as much (although the last two weeks I have been failing a bit on that front). As a result, my first Wednesday Weigh In was 0 change. I didn’t lose any weight at all this week which, in itself, it quite the accomplishment. I think I ate a pumpkin muffin once a day (maybe twice one day), I ate pizza, fried food and was just apparently on a SEEfood diet. I saw food, I ate it. In terms of exercise all I did this week was go for some fast/long walks and on the nights it was raining too hard, I rode the stationary bike. So out of all the exercise tracked, I burned a total of 1,436 calories last week! So since my eating habits were not so fabulous, no loss this week is a GREAT THING.

Remember to cut yourself some slack sometimes. Plateaus and gains are part of the process. I know, ideally, all of us trying to lose weight hope to see the scale going down every week and when it doesn’t, it’s so easy to get discouraged and then completely fall off the wagon. You just have to remember that tomorrow is another day. Don’t completely destroy all your progress because of one bad day.

So since I’m back on track now, I’ve decided that my first priority is core strengthening. After I hurt my back, I did some research and learned one of the best ways to keep from re-injuring your back is to keep your abs strong because the abs directly support your lower back. So to kick things off, I’m on Day 4 of a 30 Day Ab Challenge. I had trouble deciding between two different ab challenges, so I think I’ll do one this month and the other next month, maybe? And maybe after the first month, I’ll also try to tackle the 30 Day Squat Challenge again at the same time! Challenges get me EXCITED! Which of these two ab challenges do you think will merit the best results?

30 Day Ab Challenge Ellie 30-Day Ab-Tastic Ab Challenge

Taking Things For Granted

I haven’t blogged on a regular basis in a couple years. This is something I’m going to try to change. I’ve been working on getting all the pages up and finished but I wanted to get the ball rolling. Basically I wanted a place where I could come and post about things that I’m excited about and a lot of that will include my health and fitness journey. One of my favorite parts of the entire process of weight loss is being able to inspire others to make the same choice to be more healthy. I know for many years I thought it was impossible. I had accepted that my weight was just the way I was supposed to be. Look at me now! It’s not impossible! It’s not always easy and you have to want it for yourself, for your life and for your future. It’s not a temporary fad diet so you can trim a few pounds by a certain deadline, it’s a lifestyle. My Health page is under construction but I hope to have my entire story and some pictures up there when it’s finished. If my weight loss has brought you here, you’re definitely going to want to check back and read up on that and until then, if you have ANY questions about my weight loss, my workouts, what I eat, Shakeology or anything else, feel free to drop me a line.

MOVING ON! The main reason I wanted to post is because I’ve been going through a bit of a struggle lately. It’s something that has pretty much halted or at least slowed my fitness goals (which means I’ve had to really watch what I’m eating). I thought it might be encouraging or inspiring to some if I shared about it. I know from time to time all of us encounter health issues. Whether you’re fighting off a small cold, the flu, a serious illness or you have physical injuries, not only can it be a source of stress and frustration but for those of us trying to keep up with health goals it can really be detrimental to our motivation. Maybe you might be stubborn like me and feel like you still have to push through the pain and just suck it up. We’re all different and maybe sucking it up and working through it helps in your case, but in my particular case this time around I learned the hard way that sometimes I just need to stop and give my body time to repair itself.

A couple years ago I first started having back issues. I woke up one morning and bent down to put a book on a lower shelf and that’s all it took to throw out my lower back. It’s crazy how easily back problems can arise. I think it lasted about two weeks the first time. It pretty much just went away on it’s own with a little bit of rest and anti-inflammatory medicine but before it started getting better I experienced the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. I went to get up from my bed in a hurry and immediately fell to the ground in agony. I could not even get up for about 10 minutes. Ever since then, I have been living with a little bit of fear that it would come back and any time I felt any sort of twinge or discomfort in my lower back I’d immediately start to worry.

Over the last two years my back problem has flared up here and there, but nothing as serious or as painful as the first, thankfully. About a month ago, my back started flaring up again. It was just a little discomfort so I decided I’d still workout through it. It came about during a time where I was really motivated and determined to workout on a daily basis. I was jumping rope like a maniac to burn off extra calories and then some. The impact of jumping rope only made my back hurt worse (duh!) so I stopped in favor of lower impact workouts. It started to improve but every time it would, I’d start to amp up the workouts again and the following day my back work be hurting a little worse. It got to the point where I just had to stop ALL extra activity. So for the last week I’ve been resting. Still trying to stay off the couch/chair as much as possible but even walking too much seems to aggravate it sometimes. If I wasn’t so stubborn, the pain probably would have been gone weeks ago and yet here I am still struggling. Some days are worse than others and it’s gotten to the point now where I’m tired of ALSO being stubborn and not going in to get it checked out. I’ve had a couple people and my mother recommend acupuncture. I really believe in more natural and holistic forms of treatment and have a lot of personal opinions (which I won’t rant about right now) about health care, pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, etc. which have basically had me opting for homeopathic medicine to begin with. So all in all, I’m hopeful that acupuncture will be the right choice for me and hopefully will help get my body back on the mend so I can enjoy my favorite season and also get my fitness goals back on track! My first appointment is tomorrow and I’m kinda nervous about it.

Anyway.. moral of the story: Learn from me. Your goals are important, of course, but not at the expense of your health. Know your limits and remember to REST. Your body needs rest just as much as it needs activity. It’s not just about balance in your diet, it’s about balance in exercise too. I really wish I didn’t take my healthy back for granted and if I had just respected my body’s needs when the first warning sign surfaced, I would probably be back to my healthier (and happier) workout routine by now! Be patient. It’s not a race. You can press ‘PAUSE’ on your fitness goals any time you want. Just remember the plan is to eventually resume, so don’t press ‘STOP’ or keep it paused eternally! Take nothing for granted folks! This is just one example of ONE thing I’ve taken for granted and now wish I hadn’t. Let this be your reminder.

“It’s not a bad idea to occasionally spend a little time thinking about things you take for granted. Plain everyday things.” – Evan Davis