Thursday, June 30, 2011

My protective shield....

If you asked most people what they see in the picture above they would say a worn out sweatshirt. If you asked me I would say its my protective shield.

That sweatshirt has been with me since I decided to lose the weight in May 2009. If I was in the gym you can bet I was wearing it. It started out with long sleeves and a hood, and when I first bought it , it was also kind of tight fitting but I wore it anyway. I remember the first day I walked into the gym I wore it and worked out with my hood up over my head, I didn't want to make eye contact with anyone in the gym. I hid my face inside it for months, I hid my body, I hid the desperation in my eyes.

As I started losing weight I stopped wearing the hood over my head and eventually I cut it off, I didn't want to hide my face anymore. As I started to incorporate weight lifting into my routine I decided to cut the sleeves off, I wanted to see my muscles as I worked them.

I have had that sweatshirt for over two years now and like I said before  I have worn it for 99% of my workouts (yes I am always washing it). It used to be a lot tighter than it is now but I still haven't been able to part with it, I still wear it for all my workouts in the gym. Part of me wants to retire it but another part of me stills need it to protect me and I am ok with that for right now. I know when the time is right I will let it go....

Do you have any protective shields??

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Its not the hardest thing and not the easiest..

I often tell people weight loss is the not the hardest thing I have ever done but at the same time its not the easiest. We all know the steps we need to take to lose the weight right?

 We gotta eat right, work out, create calorie deficits, drink enough water, get enough sleep and so on.

Thats the easy part! Execution is where it gets hard. If you had nothing to do all day, didn't need to work, had no worries then yeah you could do all the things I stated above and you would lose the weight. Most of us don't have that luxury, life gets in the way. But that doesn't mean it cant be done.

I'll give you an example: In May of 2009 I was laid off from what I thought what my dream job. The economy was in state of panic and I worked in an industry that was one of the hardest hit. I knew for a fact I would not find a job for a extended period of time. That's also when I decided to lose the weight and I started do everything that I needed to do. I signed up for a gym, starting working out, hired a RD to  help me with my food, got enough sleep. I practically lived to work out and it showed, I dropped 80 lbs like it was nothing.

Eventually I found a job and after being free to spend my days as I pleased for a year and a half I found myself back to a state of reality. Back to a 50 hour work week, deadlines, projects, meetings, blah blah blah (Don't get me wrong, I love what I do).  I found myself trying to find that balance between my professional job and my weight loss job, yes you read that correctly I do consider weight loss a second job. Its taken me a long time to find balance and I feel that I am getting closer to it but its VERY hard work.

This is what my typical schedule looks like at the moment:

5:15 am: Wake up, pack gym bag, get dressed, make protein shake.
6:00 am: Arrive at gym, workouts usually last an hour.
7:15 am: Shower at gym, get dressed, etc.
8:00 am: Get to Work
6:00 pm: Leave Work
6:20 pm: Get Home
7:00 pm: Start prep for the next day. Make breakfast, Lunch, 2 Snacks for the next day the night before.
7:30 pm: Cook Dinner and Eat
8:00 pm: Clean all the dishes
9:30 pm: I try to be in bed, this usually ends up being 10 pm.

This is what I do Monday through Friday and its hard, to me at least. I mean there is a lot of little things I must do to make sure I have all my food with me at work the next day. If I don't get to bed on time I can forget about waking up for my workouts. I really have to disciplined about all of this and I dont have alot of room for error. On a side note I truly now appreciate what parents go through, especially ones who work. I couldn't even imagine doing what I have to do everyday with a couple of kids thrown into the mix.

I'll be honest with you since I started working again in August of 2010 I haven't lost a lot of weight, truthfully I have lingered around the 400 - 420 mark since then. Its taken me awhile to find balance, way longer than I expected but life is such.

This all leads me back to what I said in the beginning, weight loss isn't the hardest thing I have done in my life and at the same time it isn't the easiest. It takes a lot of discipline, planning, and preparation.

Everyone should know that they can do it. Everyone should also know that not everyone will do it.  You have to want it. Not your for your wife, not for your child, not for your parents..... for YOU. I  want you to think about that. Do you really want it ? Or do you think you want it?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Susan G. Komen 5k ..... A year later!

Last Saturday I had the honor of participating in the Susan G. Komen 5k with a group of wonderful people. Sue and I were still coming off our Fitbloggin 2011 buzz when we started talking about doing a fitness event together since we live close to each other. Ultimately we decided to walk the race for the cure. Once we started tweeting about this JennCasey, and Bryan all decided to join the team!

My Team!
This was my third 5k walk, my first 5k was actually the Komen 5k that I did last year. I remember being so nervous about the race last year. I was feeling really self conscious and was worried about what people would think. This year was a different experience for me. I will admit I felt a little anxious when I walked up to event to look for my team, but once I found Sue I knew everything was going to be ok. Eventually our team all found each other and we made our way towards the start line.

It was so hot that morning that before the race even started I was sweating like crazy!

Approaching the start line!

The race streamed live on the local news channel and I found the clip right as we passed the start line!

Last year during this race I had one thing on my mind, and that was finishing the race in 1 hour. This year I wasn't concerned with time at all. It was more about meeting a group of friends and us all participating in a fitness activity together. So thats what we did, we walked, talked, laughed, and we had a great time.

This lady walked the race in high heels!
Rounding the corner at the 1 mile marker which happens to be in front of my old college stomping grounds! Go PACK!
We all stayed together and made sure nobody was left behind. I told all my team members that I was a slow walker and the whole race they accused me of lying about that! Maybe I am becoming a fast walker??  I do know one thing, last year this walk was hard for me. Last year at about mile marker two I thought I was going to die, my feet were killing me, my legs felt heavy. This year I felt totally different, I didn't feel tired, my feet didn't hurt and my legs felt strong! I remember telling Sue that it was easy this year. Of course she blamed it on the great company that I had, and she was right to an extent :-)

There were more than 25,000 people at the event!
I can deal with that ;-)
Down the home stretch!

Overall it was a great morning! I spent it with amazing people and I am glad I decided to participate. Like I said before I did this race last year and since then I haven't really lost a significant amount of weight but I feel different. I am stronger mentally and physically, that is a fact. In the last year I stopped really caring about what other people think, whether I am in the gym or walking a 5k I am out there for myself and nobody else.  Every time I do an event like this I gain a little more confidence and I get a little more closer to reaching my weight loss goals. This weight loss path has been tough but I have a positive outlook on it. I feel like in the past I would worry about "IF" I could do it and now I feel like I know I can do it, it just going to take time.

Check out the video clips I took from the race below: