Friday, July 08, 2016

Be Accountable

 I remember writing a post about feeling super busy. I didn't find enough time for myself, to be who I wanted to be. But I managed to find some time to do something for me that made me feel really, really good every single day.
 Back in December my co-workers and I were complaining that we were all a bunch of monsters. Our customers were relentless, coming in with a variety of endless Christmas treats for us to devour. We decided that once Christmas was over, that we would compete to see who could lose the most weight in a three month period. We would do weigh ins every Monday and record our results on a chart to be compared later. We all threw in twenty dollars and the 'biggest loser' would win the money at the end.
 One thing I've discovered about myself is that I am quite competitive. If I'm being honest, I think I always knew that I was. But after having competed in this little competition I can certainly see that I am. I remember being in Thunder Bay at the end of December and weighing myself in the evening. I weighed in at 136 pounds. Besides when I was pregnant, that would definitely be my heaviest. Once I weighed in at work, that January morning for the first time, I believe I was at 133 pounds.
 At the beginning, I was very determined to lose the weight. I was very strict with my diet having learned that that is the key with losing weight. I also started running and using our elliptical every morning. I would say a few weeks into the bet, I discovered an app called Fitness Pal. Fitness Pal is amazing because it helps you log in your calories everyday, it trends your weight,it even calculates roughly how many calories you burn in exercise. In the beginning, I would say I was borderline obsessed with logging in everything. Even on Alina's birthday, we planned to go out for supper at Montana's. Hello ribs! I researched before what to order so that the calorie count was not ridiculous.
  Some things that I did learn along the way, was that menu items at restaurants can kill your calorie counter in a few bites. Beware of Boston Pizza Quesadillas! I believe one quesadilla is 1200 plus calories. I couldn't believe it! At my lowest weigh in, I came in at 127 pounds, but I couldn't stay at that weight. I did lose the most weight and won the prize money, which was fun. After our bet was over, I kept calorie counting and I increased my cardio and added weight lifting and many, many exercises to get my body into better shape.
How could I resist this food? (Alina with the antlers on getting happy birthday sung to her. A Montana Tradition..)
  I have discovered many helpful things along the way, in my journey to looking and feeling better about myself. I now know that I can stop stressing about the act of losing weight. There's a lot of emphasis and obsession on losing weight. I find that I'm not being hard on myself about losing pounds. I work out in the gym every weekday and I'm building muscle. I know that muscle is heavier than fat, so I have to keep that in mind when I get on a scale. I also have eased off on the calorie counting. However, what I really take away from my experience and want to share with the world or at least my few loyal readers, is that you have to be accountable for what you eat. That's what the calorie counting has taught me. I have to know what I'm eating and understand and give myself an idea of how good or bad it is for my body. I don't have to obsess, I don't even have to feel all that guilty. But it's important to understand. I still calorie count and when I get into the negative numbers (which means I've gone over my 'allowed' calories for the day) I make a point to try to stay within them the following day. A mental note is made and I move on.

My progress.. and the shot of me is a bit lame.. but I'm proud of what I've accomplished.. so I put it up..

  One thing I do have to work on, is feeling guilty. I feel guilt if I don't get up and work out. I am the type of person that is in all the way or not in at all. I'm very strict with my exercising because I know that if I start saying I'll get up every other day, I'll realize how cushy and soft my bed is after 6 am and I will find other excuses to stay in bed. I also need to work on allowing myself a day off when my body is telling me so. Overdoing it is also not healthy.

 I'm the smallest I've ever been. Rob commented that he just thought I just always had bigger calves. But now we both realized that my legs are capable of being smaller. I am in love with the way that my body looks and feels. It's fair to say that I'm drunk with fitness. I get why people that do it keep doing it. I understand that it's a huge commitment but the pay off is really worth it in the end.

 I haven't battled weight fluctuations like some people do. I've been very fortunate in that way. One thing that has always discouraged and annoyed me is that people always say, Ugh, you're skinny. You don't have to worry about weight. It is my choice or not, to worry about my body or my weight. A customer the other day said, "There's nothing to you.. you're tiny." And she said it in kind of a critical way. I replied, "Thank you, I actually work really hard for it." I think my reply may have caught her off guard. I wanted her to know that I look fit because I've put a lot of effort and heart into achieving just that. I've been watching what I eat and have been dedicated to exercising so that I can maintain this healthy look.

 My step dad Rudi was really big into fitness in his 30's and 40's. As he grew older, his work outs slowed down. But up until the last few years of his life, he still went to the gym as much as he physically could. I think my desire to be healthy and fit come from being his daughter. I feel closer to him somehow, when I'm pushing myself to my limits.

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