Friday, March 27, 2015

The Streak

"Oh yes, they call her the streak..." No, No... Don't worry! There will be no streaking in my near future. I hope that hasn't made some of you weary of reading this post. Do I have any Grey's Anatomy fans out there? If so, you know Miss Meredith Grey was on a streak! She hadn't lost a patient in 89 surgeries, or some similarly miraculous number. While discussing roll call, gains/losses and how many meetings we have had at TOPS - I was checking my weigh-in book and discovered I'm on my own streak. We have had 11 meetings, 10 weigh-ins and not a single gain. Some weeks are bigger than others - but whether it's 0.1, 1.0 or 10.0 (yea, right!) - I have not gained since January 14th. I am pretty excited about this discovery...and I too, wanted to tell about my streak.

During this process, I've been working hard to figure out once and for all what works for me. It's been pretty evident I've been a bit all over the place trying to do so. I've tried it all over the years...and nothing has ever really stuck. I hear people carry on and on about loving this and couldn't be without that. I have to tell ya...that has never happened for me. It's has always been a struggle...

Not one aspect did I find enjoyable or even tolerable. This journey has been by far the most successful - the longest I've ever stuck with anything, and in result, we have...the streak! In the past, I was waiting and waiting for that "loving it" mentality and it just didn't come. Even into week 6...7... 8...of this journey, I was having to force myself through. We had our 10th weigh-in Wednesday and I am JUST now starting to have that feel good attitude.

Awhile back I had placed 30 work out visuals in my living room, after reading that it takes 21 days to create a habit. Perhaps that is true for some, or even most...but it was not true for me. Even after seeing a 10 lb. loss...15 lb. loss and heading into my 20 lb. loss - I was waiting for the feeling to come over me. However, I wasn't shouting from the root tops by any stretch of the imagination.

We're into Week 11, and I'm just getting there. I'm finally finalizing a schedule that I naturally want to commit to and don't have to argue with myself repeatedly. I am finally completing work outs and meals with that feelin' good attitude. I just want to sing "Can't Touch This". I don't even know why, just have the urge lol. No matter what goes on in my day - I'm happy. I'm coping and I'm productive. I had a fair amount of patience before, but it is much improved. In my line of work - that's terribly important. Now, here I am, down another 1.2 lbs this week...sitting between my 20 and 25 pound weight loss and I can finally say I feel it. I'm on a streak...and I feel it!!

I'm still keepin' it real, though...I still have my Wednesday night binge. Then, I wake up Thursday morning and I'm back at it! As many times as I've attempted this weight loss, I sadly can say that I've never really felt committed or habitual in any aspect...let alone obsessive. I do have an obsessive personality, I'm actually quite obsessive in several other aspects of my life. Probably too many to be mentally healthy lol. However, becoming obsessive in the world of healthy living has never been a concern. I have finally found (and who would have thought it would be a good thing) another obsession....

Meet my  FitBit Charge...

Although we already know I fell in love with my morning workouts, I definitely can pay gratitude to the FitBit for keeping that going. In order to hit those daily goals...I need that workout. I am obsessed! I check this thing several times a day. I'm completely committed to hitting those daily goals, even if it means I have to run in place at the Hannaford's check out (Sorry, Courty!) It tracks my sleeping patterns (which is as bad as I thought it was - averaging 2-5 hours of sleep each night), steps, miles and calories burned. It also has a section for stairs - but I don't track that as I don't have stairs at home or work. My main daily goal I have set as steps. It vibrates once I hit my goal. I also have an alarm set, so it vibrates each morning at 5:30am. If I am going to hit that step goal, I need to turtle.

Yes, I call it turtling. People will say, "Did you go for your run this morning?" Let's not get carried away and call it a run, it's pretty far from that. I lightly jog 1/2 of the 3k. Maybe 3/4 on a good day. When I say lightly jog, I mean it resembles a turtle crawling through molasses. Yes I know it's a start, it counts and all that jazz - I'm not putting myself down...Just keepin' it real, as you know.

I understand these devices can be pricey - mine happened to be a gift. However, it is well worth the money! It is key to keeping me on track, along with my TOPS meeting and this blog. If my streak continues, I owe a lot of appreciation to these three things.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

My Beast is A Badass

A teacher friend of mine shared a quote that has helped me find my inspiration this week...

It's true. Life is hard, and you need to push yourself a little. For most, there is no coasting through. There is especially no coasting if you genuinely want to accomplish anything. This has been an adventure so far, and hopefully will continue to be - and it certainly has been difficult at times.

Growing up, my mother had this magnet on the fridge, that was in the shape of a pig and stated "I ate my will power." Back then, I probably did not fully comprehend this joke, because I didn't find it funny or fridge worthy. However, just the other day I was crackin' will power jokes and remembered this not-so-worthy magnet. Suddenly, I understood the humour. I have absolutely no will power. It is quite possible that I did indeed eat it during one of my binges.

I have no idea how someone can have so much ambition and work ethic in certain areas and be lacking so much in will power when it comes to eating right and working out. But that is me, in a nut shell. If it is in the house, I am going to eat it - probably ALL of it. Make myself work out? Ha! I think I am missing a will power gene. I think I replaced the will power gene with an excuse fabrication gene.

So let's see...lack of will power, amazing ability to develop excuses...I can pretty much envision how I got here. But, I think I see changes on the horizon!

Me: I have this little headache I can't get rid of.
Her: Huh, wonder why.
Me: Probably from coughing all day long.
Her: Probably.
Me: Weird I just have this cough I can't get rid of.
Her: It has been a few weeks.
Me: I know....
Her: Ebola, maybe? Are your eyeballs bleeding?
Me: Not that I recall...I'm seeing pretty clearly.

This is what I deal with! On a serious note, I have had this great excuse for a couple of weeks, now. No...not Ebola - I have a cough. Yes, a cough. Normally, I'd tell myself, "You should really rest"..."You must be fighting something off"..."You don't want it to get worse." While this is all somewhat true, normally I would take that to mean I need to lay in bed for days and binge watch Netflix. I tend to take things to the extreme, remember?...But, not this time!

Do any of these statements sound familiar? "I will never get up early and work out, so I'm not going to claim to do that"..."I'm going to be honest and realistic so these changes can be long term." Probably - because I think I've mentioned them every blog! I know you're all nodding like the SNL Roxbury skit. Again, there is truth to these statements but that does not mean I need to be so extreme about it.

I'm all about keeping it real - know your strengths, know your weaknesses - work with them. For instance, I accept that it is likely I will never have a thigh gap. I have a better chance of my legs molding together and transforming into a mermaid tale. I'm just keepin' it real! I THOUGHT I was keeping it real when I claimed I could not do morning work outs. However, I have some new advice: Try anything once. Because I have seen the light!

It only took that one morning for me to fall in love with my morning work out. Now, each morning I am rearing and ready to go...and when it's not fit to go, I'm totally ticked off! I know it would not be very wise for me to head out while the snow plows are running - ending ass over tea kettle in a snow bank will not help my cause. When Tuesday morning rolled around - I'm so excited and ready for it, I was tossing and turning in my bed, watching the clock. The alarm finally goes off at 5:45am, I roll out of bed, pull on my clothes, lace up my sneakers and I'm off. Just me and the road.

I can't even look at weather reports at this point..not because I'm sick of snow, or worried about snow, but because I will be terribly irritated if I think I can't hit the road in the morning. When I'm out there, when I'm going - I'm a different person. I'm confident. I'm able. I push myself. I don't give up or give in. I run until I feel like I can't breath, then I walk until I can, run until I can't breath, walk until I can...and you get the picture. I don't feel like I'm on display. Each day I go a little further and a little further. I don't let anything stop me - I think this is what they refer to as "beast mode".

Back when I was a Pinterester - and not a doer (now I'm both) I would read t-shirts, ads, slogans, quotes, etc. referring to "beast mode". Quite frankly, I hated the term. I certainly did not want to think of myself as a beast while I was working out. Since I'm 5'8, pretty round with a giant head, I already feel like an ogre 90% of the time - I certainly did not want to refer to myself as a beast.

However, I have embraced the term!...and my beast is a badass! It only took me that one morning to get hooked. Not only did I find my beast, but I actually LIKE my beast...oh, and did I mention she's a badass? And this badass beast lost 3.2lbs this week and finally crossed the 20lb. loss finish line!

With 162 days left to go, I have embraced my inner beast. So, even if you're POSITIVE you will not like it (as I was) just try it once to be sure. You may be surprised - you may even find your inner beast.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Thirty and...All "Groan" Up

Once upon a time, I read that 80% of lifes most significant events take place by 35. This seems realistic since typically you have hit your highlight moments - graduation from high school, graduation from college, marriage, children, etc.

So what's after 35 - your ah-ha moments? Nice...really looking forward to that! Your early 20's are drastically different than your late 20's. I recently read this article on things you should forgive yourself for entitled 14 Things Its Time You Forgave Yourself For.  I think it's an article that everyone should take a look at (I especially love #4 - The fries you ate with your lunch. You'll survive).

It made me think about the past decade (yet again - there's a lot of that happening!). Nearing the end of my 20's, and realizing the things I did, didn't do or the ways I didn't always make the most of them... I started to think about what I could have done differently - or even if I would have done these things differently. Which, if you're wondering - I would not.
Maggie & Rylee

On Thursday evening I went to the 18th birthday celebration of a beautiful young lady, who was my first favourite little kid and like a sister. She's also friends with my 17 year old niece, and another favourite little kid - even though neither are little kids anymore. They're both preparing to branch into the real world. While I watched the excitement unfold and watched these two young ladies, I thought about being that age and having no idea - even though I didn't know I had no idea. So, I thought of some tibbits of information to pass onto them in hopes that they take the 20-30's time frame (when it comes around) and make the most of it, instead of cramming these lessons in at the last some of us.

1. First bit of advice - You are enough. Always.

2. Time flies is not just a saying.

3. Dr. Seuss really nailed this one: say what you feel. It's true - say what you want, what you need to, what you mean.

4. Take chances and make mistakes.

5. Learn how to budget. At some point you have to begrudgingly admit that keeping track of your finances is actually a good idea.

6. Work the hardest at being good and being kind. Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind.

7. Being the better person is actually a good motto. Which somehow leads me to Face Book - do not sign into FaceBook when you're drunk, depressed or livid!

8. "What am I doing with my life" is a daily question...get used to it.

9. Life is hard. It's harder than hard. Unfortunately we don't get an invitation for the tough times - they just happen.

10. Remember thinking that the grown ups had all the answers? Sorry, noone knows shit!

11. Take breaks and travel.

12. Learn how to cook. Living off Kraft Dinner and Raman Noodles may work in your early 20's, but by your late 20's that shit catches up with you.

13. Which leads up to...staying mentally, physically and emotionally healthy IS important. Work at it.

14. Which also leads up to...stress is toxic. Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy. Whether it's a relationship, a job, friendship. The emotional wear and tear of these toxicities have long term effects...Walk away.

15. You're NEVER going to be ready - We're all a little not ready for life - so just do it.

16. Accept failure and learn how to apologize - we all fail at something and we'll fail at something again. It's okay.

17. Do something you're afraid of - it's exhilarating.

18. Life isn't about things, it's about experiences. Live life and don't rush it. If you're bored, you're doing it wrong.

19. Life is too short to follow the crowd - be different, do what you like, do what makes you happy.

20. Haters are gonna hate...don't let them bring you down. Respect yourself.

21. Contrary to what you used to believe, going to bed at a reasonable hour is actually cool...and becomes necessary the older you get.

22. Dance - even if it's not well, even if you do it alone - dancing has many health benefits (including reduced risk of dementia).

23. #2 in the article I mentioned really nailed a few things for me. Anything goes when you're fighting to keep yourself going. Anything. Don't be ashamed of the things you do during dark times. You'll come back around stronger than before - fight to keep yourself alive and don't be ashamed of how you do it. You're worth it ('re enough).

24. In order to see your friends, you actually have to make an attempt to see your friends. As you get older, as things get crazier and when you figure out who these people are, make time for them.

25. I suppose a decades worth of advice wouldn't be complete unless I said a little something about love. Don't run around looking for love, let love find you. It probably will happen when you least expect it. Now, I'm as much of a Disney fan as the next person, but accept right now that love does not arrive on a horse drawn carriage, in the form of a prince holding your lost glass slipper, which your Fairy God Mother gave you. It also will not come in the form of a giant, hairy, angry beast and magically transform into a handsome Prince. See how far fetched that sounds, now? Regardless of how you find love, you must remember that few decisions will shape your future then who you decide to spend the rest of your life with - so choose well. It's a game changer!

BONUS: It's likely life will not pan out how you might just be even better.

Love you girls <3

Maggie's Birthday Remake

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Struggle is Real!

Let's recap the last week:
- Post March Break
- Time Change
- Progress??

One of these things just doesn't belong!... Most time changes and transitions do not affect me. However, I think this past week was a clear sign of aging. The return to school as well as the time change did quite a number on me. I could barely hold my head up after work. Yet, when I went to go to bed I was wide awake and slept really poorly. If this sounds like a disaster, that is because it WAS! The struggle is real, folks! Yet somehow, I managed to find some exercise success. I'm random like that.

If you've been reading along, you're aware that exercise is my downfall. Like many, I have limited time to fit it in. This week I'm down another 1.6lbs. I felt like I had a good week and honestly was expecting a better result of my good work outs and eating. But, I recognize that there were a few downfalls as well such as not getting enough fibre, not sleeping much and exercise inconsistencies last week. Magically, I manage to prioritize everything else before my exercise routine...
"Oh, I need to get the Girl Guides schedule done."
"Geez, I really should read this Chapter today, I might not have time tomorrow."
"The library needs that mail out down ASAP."

The work out piece of my puzzle is where I'm continuously trying to improve and progress. I love all of the extras I am involved in, and I've already cut back significantly - and somehow still need to make some changes. I'm half way there, but I really need to let go and cross the finish line.  

I receive a lot of invites and encouragement - So what's the problem, here? 

I have a complex about working out with people or around people. Let's just be honest - I'm a giant complex! I'm a total nut case, and I know it! LOL. I'm not going to tell you my sad sob story - but for a variety of reasons, I am pretty insecure. I am always being invited to go kayaking, walk local trails, etc. I always have a perfect excuse to excuse myself from such invites that push me outside of my comfort zone. Even with the best of my friends, I am very self-conscious. I avoid most and many events/activities. If we've been asked to go out, I will get showered, do my hair, make-up and once it's time to get dressed and leave...insert full blown meltdown here. 

Insecure. Uncomfortable. Anxious. Self-Conscious. However you want to classify it - it keeps me from a lot of things. If I am going to really do this - I need cardio. I am getting some in, but I need more and I need it more consistently. Since I struggle to do cardio on my own at home, the best idea is to attend classes, go with a group, have fun and support each other. But given my complex - this is very difficult.

All along I have said I'm doing this realistically. I'm not going to try to do things I know I cannot stick with. One of these things being early morning workouts - knowing darn well I would never do it, let alone be consistent with it. 

Contrary to everything I have said, last night I told myself I would get up early and go for a walk before work. I've said this 100 times, have I ever followed through? Uh no. Which is why I know not to even joke about it. But by golly, I did it!

That's right, this morning I woke up at 6am and walked/jogged my little hiney up and down the road. It was a horrible day for it, too. Windy. Cold. Icy. Dark. It was also AWESOME.

No joke.

Even though icicles were forming off my fingertips, the rest of me was fine. Normally I'm so anxious while working out - even walking. As people drive by, I wonder what they're thinking, what they're saying - "There is that Brittany Rice walking, what a joke." It was dark. It was quiet. It was just me and the road. I dare say it was peaceful, and none of that stress was there. When I got to work, I was chipper, eager and had a great, positive day. This could be a coincidence - but it just seems that it was a great booster. I'm not saying it will ever happen again. But I sure do hope so. I'd like to think I could test the theory. Even though I had a very close encounter with the garbage truck - Success #1 of the week - Check!

 Pre-Morning Work Out..."Am I reallly doing this?" Face
Post-Morning Work Out..."OMG, I did it!" Frosty Face

Success #2? On Sunday, I broke the work-out-in-public-ice. Some members of my TOPS group attend a Drums Alive class. It sounded like something I would really enjoy, and I was interested, but I was also extremely nervous. I said I would go. However, Sunday rolled around I was hesitating. Becca said "You're going!". All day - she told me I was going and I was going to be fine and I was going to enjoy it. 

As the time crept up, I started to get panicky. I started pacing. Naturally, I couldn't find my favourite sneaks - so I couldn't go. I was at my breakdown point, so no other shoes would do. I wasn't going. 
Fast forward 20 minutes - Found my shoes! But I'm already doubting the entire thing, I'm pacing, I'm stressing...I'm not going. When the time came, Becca pushed me out through the door. As soon as I jumped in the vehicle, I had to put on my game face.   

We arrive. We sign in. We set up. We begin. 

Within 15 minutes I'm going through the actions and I've pushed everything else aside. I really did enjoy the class...and now that I've broke the ice, I really need to make a challenge of committing to this class and attending regularly so I can overcome these anxieties. Then, maybe I can progress onto another class and hopefully I will begin to feel more comfortable with myself and it will spread to other situations.

I've lived a life of downfalls. I can honestly say this journey has had as many ups as downs - even if they're equal, that is success to me. The struggle may be real, but with 166 days to go, I think I can honestly say I will be thirty and...balanced.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Do The Do-Over

How is it that when you actually and finally have nothing to do, all you can do is nothing? And, when you have something(s) to do, you tend to do everything? Hold on...let me explain. I've commented on this before. When I have a day - which is few and far between - where I have nothing on my plate and I can therefore create my own schedule for the day and do what I need to do...a perfect day to get in my work outs and plan meals, I don't. I end up doing nothing at all. However, when I have a jam packed day - work, school, Girl Guides, Cheer...I am more inclined to squeeze something into every last possible minute and push my time to the extreme, acting like a nut case along the way.

Since I live in NB, Canada, students and staff of the school system have a week off. Perfect!

Miss Rice Last Week:
"I'm going to work out twice per day."
"I think I'll plan ahead a bit, make up some meal plans."
"I can't wait to research some new recipes."
"I'm kind of happy I can't afford a vacation, then I don't have to worry about vacation weight gain!"


Miss Rice This Week:
"Man, I have eaten like I was on vacation!"
"Geez, I've fallen off the wagon a bit."
"Have I worked out at all this week?"
"What are we going to have for supper?"

Yet, I guarantee that when I'm back at it full force next week, I'll be juggling it all (like a boss). I guess I just love the chaos.

The last few weeks, I've been waiting for my plateau to strike. I've been very concerned about having to mutter, "I gained". I REALLY thought this week was going to be my first gain and I (Hallelujah!) stayed the same! Phew.

There is nothing wrong with gaining. Inevitably, it is going to happen to all of us at some point. At times, I think it would be nice to just get it over with. My losses have been dwindling down, I did not lose this week - which means a gain may be just around the corner. I know the level of will power I have (or don't have). After that first gain, that first defeat - I fall apart. It has been 7 weeks, I have not gained yet, but I must keep plugging away because I still don't feel like I could personally overcome a gain quite yet. It's time for "the change".

I know many of my supporters are in this same boat. I hear from so many of you personally (which I love). I've received so many great messages from people who love the blog, who feel inspired and those who message to support me. One common thing I hear is that they have hit their plateau, they are not seeing any weight loss, etc.  You, too are ready for "the change". Don't doubt, do the do-over!

When working with students, and we happen to make a wrong choice, we have the chance to apologize and do a do-over. Adults can do the do-over, too! Sometimes, we hit a rut and our body needs us to change it we do the do-over!

Things we need to NOT change: tracking and drinking water.
It's really difficult to keep up with this, but if you are not tracking OR if you have started to slack on your tracking - get with it! There is nothing wrong with writing it down in a notebook or journal, but I strongly suggest using an online program such as My Daily Plate, My Fitness Pal or one of the many others available. Why you ask? Because not only does it make it easy to be accurate, but it also helps track individual nutrients (sodium, proteins, carbs) which I find equally as important as calories.

Things we need to change:
Look back through your logs, reinvent, what seemed to work, what didn't? Sometimes we take it too far. We drastically change our ways and it's not realistic. Think about the foods you like, the foods you enjoy and think of healthy ways to reinvent them instead of cutting them out. Make sure you're not too far under - those goals are set for a reason! I've recently had that problem (barely hitting 1000 calories when I need 1900).

I easily get bored with exercise. Especially if I pick a program I want to follow - such as the Gillian Michael's videos, Couch to 5k, etc. I have to change it up. I understand those programs are good if you're looking at specific goals - such as running a 5k. However - I'm not working towards anything like that currently. I just want creative ways to burn calories. I keep a list of my cardio and strength options. A lot of times, I am looking for something quick and will resort to YouTube for some Zumba exercises or jump on the treadmill. I also have Pinterest workouts for the exercise ball, kettle bell, dumbbell and medicine ball. When I'm in a rut or "don't feel like it" I pick a new work out to change it up. While I did not exercise as I should have been, especially for being on break - I did borrow some snow shoes and took on one of the fabulous local trails. I also laced up the skates and checked out the new rink. My favourite kind of work outs - the kind that don't feel like work outs!

 Snow Shoeing Selfies! 

Have a bad day.
Say whaaaat? Sometimes you just need to have a bad day - get it over with. I personally think that by depriving yourself - your setting yourself up for failure. Again - be realistic. If possible, purchase individual treats instead of boxes, so you don't over indulge. But let yourself have bad days here and there (controlled bad days).

Reward yourself
Maybe with a bad day...maybe with something else. Set a goal, find a reward and follow through.

I've already started. I've let myself have a bad day, I've found some new exercises (I am going to attend a Drums Alive class next Sunday) and I'm always reinventing recipes. So far, I've rewarded myself with treats each Wednesday.

Seriously, you should be here on a Wednesday or Thursday's scary. Tonight, we stopped at a local convenience store for some scrumptious Sweet Chili Chicken Fingers. Normally, we record all of our shows and I can't recall the last time we watched a commercial. We were loving on those chicken fingers so intensely - there was no time to skip the commercials.

I hit my 15lb. mark last week, 20 lbs is hiding out somewhere nearby, so I think it's time to think big - think beyond Sweet Chilli Chicken Fingers lol.

I never go anywhere, and that's something I'm trying to work on (life is too short!). So, I have booked a night away Easter weekend. I've invited Becca to make her own goal and join me. Originally, I made a goal of losing 30lbs. by our April 1st meeting (14.4lbs, 4 weeks). I have everyone freaked out, as they feel it's too big of a goal and I'm setting myself up for failure. I appreciate their concern, but I've put lots of thought into it.

If I set a 25lb. goal - that's realistic yes, but I wouldn't need to push myself in order to reach it. However, 30lbs. I would, and that's what I need. This get away includes - a themed room at the Best Western which includes a massage chair, fire place and jacuzzi! As well as an afternoon at A Body in Knead Spa and for the finale, a new tattoo! It's probably ALL going on a credit card, but it is definitely worth the fight. Since there is so much concern, I've contemplated having 25lbs. earn my the night at the hotel, 28lbs. earning the spa day and 30lbs. earning the tattoo. But I really think I just want to go for it - commit to the 30lb. loss and really challenge myself. I need to kick my own ass, and dammit - I want that getaway - It will really hurt to call and cancel.

14.4lbs, 28 days. Come on everyone...cheer me on!!