Thursday, August 20, 2009

My SELF Challenge

So, as of yesterday, I have joined the SELF Magazine Challenge to improve upon myself. I have been unhappy with my weight for a very long time, but I never really did anything about it. I mean, for a while at the beginning of the year, I was going to the gym 4 days a week doing cardio and 2 days doing strength training. I did this for about 4 months and it did absolutely nothing for me. I had a personal trainer for a while and man did she kick my butt, but I still didn’t seem to lose any weight. She kept trying to reassure me that I was gaining muscle and losing fat, so even though my weight may have stayed the same or gone up, I was losing inches, which was what I wanted. But when she took my measurements after 2 months, not only did my weight continue to increase, so did my inches. She was at a loss and couldn’t explain why such a thing was happening.

Then came the food journal. I was to write down every single thing I put in my body. So I did. Every day, I wrote down what I ate at what time and how much (guessing). Again, based on what I was eating, she couldn’t figure out why I was still gaining weight. To be honest, I don’t know if I will ever know. Maybe my heart wasn’t in it enough, maybe my body was just rebelling against me, but every test the doctor has done have all come back normal. For a while I thought maybe it was a thyroid problem, but I guess that was ruled out.

Then, 2 weeks ago, to my horror, I tried on my wedding dress and it didn’t fit, when just in April I tried it on and there was no problem. I was able to get it mostly zipped up (about 2 inches from the top, but that was with nothing on underneath. I still had to manage to get the corset bra and underskirt to fit underneath! Granted, by this time I had given up on working out and trying to eat better because it was doing absolutely nothing for me. Believe me, my depression deepened. I couldn’t stop crying and I felt awful. I was disgusted with myself that I could let that happen. I really think that was my low point. When I realized that it didn’t matter if it wasn’t working, I had to start again, no matter how small. I would go on a liquid diet if I had to lose the weight. Brian, the sweetheart that he is, offered to go to the gym with me after months and months of trying to get him to go. I don’t think he could bear to see me that upset.

So, starting that night, I had a bowl of Special K for dinner instead of a box of macaroni and cheese, and I can eat a whole box without even trying. It’s sickening really. The next day I had another bowl for breakfast, soup for lunch, and another bowl for dinner. I was going off of the theory that Special K had put out there a couple of years ago “Replace two meals with a bowl of Special K and lose up to two pounds in two weeks.” I also started an at home work out my mom had sent me from Self Magazine. I looked at it thinking, “man this looks so simple! I can do this no problem.” There are 9 exercises and you only need to do 12 reps of each exercise. I was out of breath and sweating at the end! I couldn’t believe how these simple moves could make me so tired!

The next day I was sore and I was so sore the day after that I could barely get out of my office chair! I continued eating my bowls of Special K with a light lunch, and only fruit as snacks and Brian and I started swimming laps in the pool at the gym. I did 5 laps in 30 minutes my first day. We have gone two more times since and I have added a lap each time. So on Tuesday, I was up to 7 laps in 30 minutes. We’re going again tonight and I’m going to try to do 8. I could probably go more, but I’m trying not to push myself and I want to gradually work up to being able to swim for 60 minutes, not just 30.

I’ve also started using Slim-Fast. I have the chocolate drink mix and some snack bars. I got it because I was getting tired of Special K (I don’t know how people can eat it twice a day for two whole weeks!). Today I didn’t stick to the directions very well, but I’m also planning on working out to make up for it.

So far, I’ve used this workout: This is the one that had me walking funny for 3 days because my legs were so sore! I used two 3lb. weights (one for each hand). I’ve also begun to explore the other workouts they have on their site. It’s almost an endless number really. I have a few that I’m going to try to combine and see what my progress is.

The great thing about joining this challenge is it motivates me to watch what I eat, count my calories, and I can keep track of all my workout and what I eat. It makes me feel good when I can add a workout to my log because I know I’ve done something good for myself. I’m hoping this will also help with my stress and depression. They say exercise can help create endorphins which make you happy and plus it will make me feel better about myself. I can’t remember a time, pretty much ever, that I actually was happy with my appearance. There was/is always something (usually everything actually) I didn’t like about my body and I’m hoping to change my opinion of myself.

I started at 162 pounds (Last Monday) and this morning I was 160. I don’t feel any difference in my clothes or anything yet, but I think it’s too soon to tell. I think something that is important is to make sure I weigh myself with the same scale every say with the same variables. I try to do it in the morning after I go to the bathroom, but before I take a shower, undressed – to get my “true weight”. I just have to keep it up. Wish me luck!


Lars said...

Good luck, Jackie!! We're in this together!! I know you can do it!

Tea Time With Melody said...