Breakthroughs

So…I’ve had some setbacks lately. And most of them are because of my inability to stay motivated or stick to my diet. It’s October…and I LOVE CANDY. The fall has always been about soups, pumpkin baked goods, candy, comfort food, and definitely NOT about the green peppers that I have to crunch, crunch, crunch all the time. Last Wednesday, I put myself on a “NO SWEETS” moratorium until my birthday party. Then I ate two and a half small bundt cakes on Friday, one bite of a cookie Saturday, one bite of a cookie yesterday, and some muffin batter tonight. So I guess it starts again tomorrow?

So, anyway, I’ve been pitying myself as if I don’t have control when in reality I’m the only one who can take control. And motivation has been exceptionally hard lately. I’ve had two two pound weigh-ins in a month, I have the worst sweet tooth, and I just…it’s just been hard.

Lo and behold came this weekend! And it was a hell of a weekend. On Saturday, my goal was to run five miles. When I run five, I route six so that I can walk the last mile as recovery. Well, while on my run, I hit five, and decided that six wasn’t too bad. So breakthrough #1…my first unofficial 10K.

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This was absolutely incredible for me to be able to do. I never thought I’d be able to do it, and I didn’t die. Now I will say after Saturday’s run and this morning’s 3.1 run, I am a little sore, but that doesn’t downplay what I was able to do. AND I think I might want to run one – for real!

I have not been great with progress pictures during my weight loss journey. But Saturday night gave me an opportunity to have one. I went to my brother’s Halloween party, and out of curiosity, I brought up my Halloween picture from last year, and put the two side by side. I’ll let the picture speak for itself.

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Breakthrough #2? Being able to see what other people have told me they see…and letting myself be proud of it.

This morning I had my weigh in…and that was breakthrough #3. I hit my lowest weight yet, and officially at 58 pounds lost – and on my “weight thermometer,” I finally got to go into my next color!

I needed all of these this weekend. Motivation is hard, people. It truly is. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don’t, and sometimes you let your head get in the way of what’s happened. But then, a few things come your way that remind you it’s the small victories that matter, and give you exactly what you need to push through.

 

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The Shorts

I was a three sport athlete in high school. I played volleyball, basketball, & track, then played basketball in the summers.  While I wasn’t great at any of these sports (I suppose I was decent at basketball), I am a coach’s daughter & lived in a small town. Ergo, in the Berndt house, we were playing sports.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I distinctly remember running in track with the other throwers (we were the not-so-skinny, not-so-fast group) when I said something along the lines of “These aren’t even my shorts!” I don’t remember why I felt the need to share this, but I do remember that my mom had put one of my dad’s pair of shorts in my laundry pile, and I packed them one day without even thinking about it. Since then, they’ve become my shorts.

Over the years, these shorts have become my favorite pair. They have paint on them because they’ve been painting shorts, they’ve been pajama shorts, workout shorts…basically they’ve been everything. I’ve had them forever, so it’s easy to forget that the reason I kept them was because some of my other shorts didn’t fit me anymore.

It’s been an easy thing to ignore, continually gaining more weight until those shorts naturally fit. I just accepted gaining enough weight that made me go up two-three pants sizes, and I had the shorts, so I didn’t need new ones.

Last week, I practiced running the race route for the Race Against Breast Cancer, 5K #2 on the year. All my shorts were in the laundry, so I grabbed my trusty favorite pair and off I went.

What I found out through the whole run is that my favorite pair of shorts are obnoxiously too big for me now. I consistently had to pull them up as I ran, and I’m not gonna lie, I thought they were going to fall down half the time.

I’ve lost 53 pounds. Saying that still seems surreal, and I still feel like the same person I’ve always been. The main way I’d been noticing the weight loss has been when I feel nauseous after eating foods that used to never bother me, today’s example being cake & popcorn.

But now I’m really starting to see it with my clothes, these shorts being a good example of that. I also wore pants to work last night that I’d bought after a 25-30 pound weight loss. Now even those pants are too big. I’m officially down two pants sizes…back to high school waist size…back to the sizes I thought I’d left behind for good.

I’m so unbelievably grateful for this transformation. This past weekend was race weekend. This picture (left hand) was taken of me over the weekend, and I honestly didn’t even know it was me when I was looking through them because it’s the first time in years I’ve looked at a picture of me and thought, “Wow, I’m skinny!” Another plus? I finished 5K #2 of the year in 30:08, a full two minutes plus faster than the race I ran in July.

I was dogsitting at my parents house this past weekend, and I left the shorts there. Dad, you can have them back…I don’t need them anymore 🙂

 

 

Everything I’ve Eaten That I Shouldn’t Have in the Last Three Days

I decided to cheat this ENTIRE weekend because of a few reasons:

  1. I wanted to have a girl’s night with my mama!
  2. I had a 13 hour day on Saturday with my new part-time job and was exhausted when it was over.
  3. I’ve had a really good diet & exercise three weeks, and I just wanted to NOT worry about it.
  4. I’ve only had about eight rest days in two months, and my body needed some relaxation, but I didn’t feel like being starving for three days, so I ate.

Because of this, I ate a lot of food I shouldn’t have. This wasn’t one of these, “Eat healthy foods but maybe just a few more of them,” cheat weekend. It was one of those, “Eat foods you haven’t eaten & don’t eat because you miss them,” weekend.

So, to be fun, and transparent, and as a way to focus on something other than the three pounds that the scale has told me I’ve gained in a week……here’s a list of all the foods I shouldn’t have eaten, but did anyway:

  • Cheddar sour cream potato chips
  • Papa Murphy’s cheese bread
  • Papa Murphy’s 5 Meat Stuffed Pizza
  • Papa Murphy’s S’mores Pizza
  • Mini Golden Oreos
  • Sugar Cookie Dough
  • Gardetto’s snack mix
  • Banana Laffy Taffy
  • More mini cookies
  • A lot of mini Reeses Peanut Butter cups
  • Pulled pork
  • Cheesy potatoes
  • Way too much chips & salsa
  • Queso
  • Steak tacos
  • Popcorn
  • Mini Chips Ahoy

So yeah…it was a bit of a spiral. I can’t say much except for oops. Life happens.

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New Goals!

My weigh-in last week was 200! I’ve officially reached my goal weight!

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Through the last six months, I’ve decided that this isn’t enough.  Counting calories and eating healthier has developed into a natural habit and lifestyle for me. I naturally gravitate toward water instead of Diet Dr Pepper or alcohol. I find myself preferring fresh fruits & veggies over cookies and chips. No, this isn’t 100% of the time…let’s be real, I can only go so long without Famous Amos Cookies. But overall, counting calories isn’t something I feel like I have to do, but rather something I choose to do.

Naturally, I wanted to ride out this motivation. I started to really look at what I wanted for my life in the long-term. And honestly? I found out that there’s no reason I can’t lose more weight. So I got started making new goals, but this time, I went about it thinking, “What naturally healthier choices can I start making?” instead of “How fast can I get down to my goal weight?”

Here’s what I came up with – new goals!

  • Goal weight is 150 pounds. No time limit. If it takes six months, great! If it takes a year, great! At that point, I will work to maintain this weight.
  • Run a minimum of 6 5K races per year. Since there’s half a year left (I started this early July), the goal for 2017 is 3 5Ks (and I already have one down!).
  • Only eat El Mezcal one time per month. This is NEEDED, because my self-control when it comes to that place is nonexistent.
  • Track my exercise monthly through the rest of the year.
  • Be able to confidently wear a bikini when I go on my best friends trip in September 2018.
  • Keep going with no soda.

Those are six goals that I’m pretty much keeping myself to. No excuses, no cheats, just plain get them done. But since life is fluid, there are other things that I want to really focus on as secondary goals. These are things that I’d like to limit, see myself able to do, but I’m not going to feel guilty or really focus on them as main goals.

  • Limit the following foods: sweets (pastries, cookies, cakes, etc), chips / veggie stix, grains (rice, bread, pasta, cereals). I’d like to limit my sweets & chips / veggie stix to one day a week, while still remaining in my calorie count. For grains, the idea is just to limit them – I don’t really know how yet. Haha.
  • Be able to run a non-competitive 10K. I have no desire to run 6.2 miles for time or pay money to do so…but it’d be great to be able to wake up and know I could run 6 miles if I felt like it.

While deciding all of these primary and secondary goals, I needed a new “fitspiration” board! I’d had the same one for six months, so it was time to make a new one. Enter pinterest, new pens, & construction paper, and VOILA!!!!

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I. LOVE. IT. It’s got rainbows, rewards, ways to keep myself accountable, motivational pictures & quotes…I just love it! It keeps me energized and it starts me on this new journey. Yes, there’s a curse word too. IT HELPS.

I kept the exercise calendar, weigh ins, added a couple things for my goals, and I added a thermometer! Clearly I have a long way to go, BUT I get prizes as I go! 10 pounds, I get a pedicure. 20 pounds, new movies. 30 pounds, new Vera Bradley. 40 pounds, the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary set! And 50 pounds means a NEW WARDROBE!

I also did something fun and bought myself surprise presents! I gave five of my friends / family $15.00, and with that money, they buy me a present! Every ten pounds, I also get to open one of those. Just a few new ways to keep me motivated to keep going.

I can’t wait to continue on my journey. Two weeks in, and healthy feels pretty good 🙂

 

 

Unexpected Motivation

I ran my 5K this morning! Three+ years ago, I trained and ran for a 5K in 33:35. Fast forward 3+ years and flip flop fitness (read this for that story), and I ran another 5K! I cut almost a full minute off my time, and got 32:36!

Thoughts post 5K:

  • You can always run longer than you think you can.
  • Getting the negative split that you train on is next to impossible when you start with 50 other runners.
  • When you realize you’re pacing faster on both mile 1 and mile 2 than you have been in training, running mile 3 scares the hell out of you.
  • Mile 3 (and the .1) is REALLY HARD.
  • Running to the right playlist changes lives.
  • Mental toughness is the biggest hurdle to get over during the run. Get over your brain, and the run is the easy part.

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Naturally, I had to post a picture. I actually posted a picture collage that included a running picture, but it was NOT very flattering, so this was the one I deemed appropriate for the facebook profile pic. I’ve been opening it all day (if you want facebook likes, just run a 5K!), and as I kept looking at the picture, I noticed my bib number.

240. Really just a random number to used to keep track of me and make sure my timer number matches my bib number. But 240 is just short of my weight that I started this crazy roller coaster ride with. Through six+ months of watching the calories, yelling at olive oil, getting up early for Zumba, saying NO to vices I used to say yes to, working out 4-6 times every week, giving up Diet Dr Pepper, running, and so much more, I am within three pounds of my original goal weight of 200, PLUS working on the next set of weight loss goals.

I’ve not been the greatest at progress pictures during this journey. And while this picture has nothing to do with physical progress, what a great representation of before and after. What a great representation of being able to see how far I’ve come by seeing where I’ve been. I couldn’t have asked for a better motivator to push me forward in my continued journey, and I can’t wait to find hidden gems in the pictures I post as I go.

Next 5K is September 30! 76 days to go!

I Can’t Dance But I Do Anyway

I went to Zumba class tonight. I hadn’t been to my Wednesday night class in a few weeks, so I was GETTIN. IT. I was rocking my sweet, sweet dance moves, and you would have thought that I was the next contestant on America’s Got Talent. 

It was in the middle of the class while watching myself in the mirror that I had an epiphany. Here’ it is: I will never dance well. Six months ago, when I started working out consistently, I knew good & well I couldn’t dance well. However, I thought that over time, after I got into shape and lost weight, that somehow my dance skills would improve. I was completely and utterly wrong. Here I am six months and 39 less pounds later, and I am still just as horrible at dancing as I was to begin with.

 

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So yeah. I can’t dance. I will never be able to dance. It’s a hard truth of life that I finally came to terms with about 6:30 tonight. However, despite my complete inability to dance well, I’m not going to stop. I love Zumba, I love dancing in my car, and I love dancing while mowing my lawn.

After all, as a philosopher of our time once said (Don’t ask me who, I found it on google images): “Why be moody when you can shake your booty?”

Keep dancing, people. I know I’m going to.

Thirty

Second weigh in of the second weight loss challenge today. The scale read 212. That marks 30 pounds.

Thirty wasn’t the number goal (that’s 42). 212 wasn’t the weight goal either (that’s 200). But it’s 30. Pounds. And I don’t mean to brag (well maybe I do), but that’s an accomplishment that I’m incredibly proud of myself for. I lost two pounds this week. I haven’t had a weigh in like that in weeks.

It can get discouraging, especially when I lost 21 in ten weeks and then it’s taken me seven to lose the next 9. It’s frustrating at times, but then times like this morning happened…and it makes it worth it.

On another front, I started my 5K training today. I’m following this guide. Today was just a stretching workout, but it was more of a workout than I thought it would be. Tomorrow starts the first running interval, so we’ll see. Here’s my first post about it I wrote…I work for a great group of people that enables me to combine activities I like to do with my job. And I love it.

I’ve got 12 to go, and I won’t stop til I get there.