Posts Tagged ‘Birthday Gift Goal Update’

My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

In what seems to be a recurring theme with this post, I don’t have a weigh in to share this week. I checked in on the scale throughout the week, and it was still holding steady.

But this week really wasn’t about that. I have lots of NSVs this week, all in the form of workouts. I worked out “every damn day,” only taking one day off. I felt good about myself with each sweatyface photo I posted on FB.

The highlight of the week was something I’d been looking forward to for a few weeks – BeautyJunkie824‘s Goal Weight Celebration. I thought her idea of hosting a hike in Muir Woods to celebrate getting to her goal weight was ingenious. But if I’m honest, I have to admit that I was completely nervous and anxious about whether or not I’d be able to keep up. From everything I’d read online, the paths in Muir Woods were challenging and steep. I hated the thought of making people wait for me. Or that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But I pushed through my nerves and rsvp’d “yes” because I love BeautyJunkie824, I’m so proud of her for reaching her goal, I’d never been to Muir Woods, and I wanted to challenge myself.

20120521-084921.jpg So I left the house at 7:45am yesterday and headed up through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, and into Mill Valley, where Muir Woods is located. Even though I’ve seen the GG Bridge in person more times than I can count, I always get goosebumps when I see it.  There was absolutely no traffic on my way up through SF, and I got to Muir Woods in 1.5 hours.  The ride up to Muir Woods was really, really curvy, so I’m really glad that I decided to drive myself.  I can get carsick, and that windy road would have been enough to do it.  I arrived early, so I took a few minutes to take in the scenery and snap some photos.


This creek runs throughout different areas of Muir Woods, and this view was on the way from the overflow parking lot to the Visitor’s Center. It really made me excited for all that I was about to see.

Soon enough BeautyJunkie824 and her friends arrived and we were on our way on the hike.  The beginning was nice and slow as we stayed on the “boardwalk” path and took in all of the sites in the Cathedral Grove. This is the pathway that most of the tourists and families take – it’s fairly flat, wide, and easy to navigate.  There are several smaller “loops” that feed off of the boardwalk, and we were heading to the Ben Johnson Trail.


The redwoods are just so majestic. Awe-inspiring.


We walked this way for some time, and then we hit the area that I had been dreading – the part where it began an incline.  The guidebook said the incline was gradual, but for someone who is 150 lbs overweight, it was anything but. My heart starting really beating and my breath became really shallow.  But I pushed myself because I wanted to make it to the destination – Stinson Beach.


This was the log that we had to cross to make our way up the trail. It was about a story off the ground, which didn’t bother me, because I’m not afraid of heights.


You can’t tell it from the angle of this photo, but each of those are fairly steep steps that we had to walk up.

I kept climbing and climbing, even though my heart was pounding and I couldn’t get my breath.  The steps were really hard to climb because they were so steep.  BeautyJunkie824’s mom was so sweet and stayed behind with me because she said she needed to rest, too, but I knew it was because she didn’t want to leave me alone.  At one point I told her I didn’t think I could continue, but she told me that she knew that I could, and that I’d feel so good when we got to top and then had nothing but a downhill descent to look forward to. As much as I tried, I finally realized that I’d gone as far as I was going to.  I was gasping for air and my heart was beating so fast that I was feeling sick, and overwhelmed, and panicky.  And my foot was starting to go numb, which was really scary, considering that the ground wasn’t even, but really bumpy and unsure.

With tears in my eyes I told BeautyJunkie824’s mom that I didn’t think I could make it. She said that she had worried that I might not be able to, and that she was so sorry for pushing me.  I told her that I appreciated her push, because sometimes I needed it, but at this point I had to listen to my body, and that this was where I had to turn back.  She called BeautyJunkie824 over, and that’s when I really started to cry.  I stammered out that I was so sorry for holding them all back, that I was so disappointed in myself, and that I didn’t want to ruin what was supposed to be a celebration.  She was great and hugged me and comforted me and told me that she was so proud of what I HAD accomplished, and I should be to.  I heard what she was saying, but still felt a terrible sense of discouragement.  I’d wanted so badly to go with them and see everything, but once again my body wasn’t going to allow me. It’s hard to describe just how gut-wrenching this was to me; I felt like a complete failure.


#pinklaces. I took this to show how steep the steps were, but again, I don’t think this gives shows it. Even on the way back, going downhill, I had to be really careful to avoid falling.

Yet, as I walked back to my car by myself (they had offered to see me back to the Cathedral Grove, but I just wanted to be alone), I took some time to realize how much I really had done.  I’d hiked my way through a really steep section of Muir Woods, and even though I hadn’t gone as far as I’d hoped, it was something that I could build on.  It was now a baseline that I could push past, that I could overcome.


I walked/hiked for over two hours, burned 1260 calories, and had seen sites that I’d never experienced before.  I tried something far outside my comfort zone, even though I had major doubts and reservations.  I pushed myself and I tried, and that counts for something.  Plus, I found this hidden gem right in my own backyard that I plan to visit again and again this summer. And after I’ve lost some significant weight, let’s say 50 lbs or so, I plan to try this same path again to see how much farther I can go.  And I’ll keep trying, until I can make it all the way to Stinson Beach.

So this week was successful for me, no matter what the scale shows or how much of a path that I left untraveled. Because I am showing myself, through actions and not just words, that I am serious in my pursuit of my first major goal.  It’s only a matter of WHEN, not IF.


I came to the woods because I wished to live deliberately and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~~ Henry DavidThoreau, from Walden

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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

Once again I forgot to weigh myself this morning.  It seems that I’m either so groggy or so excited about the day’s plans on Sunday mornings that I can’t seem to remember to get on the scale.  So I just put a little reminder in my iCal, which should take care of my poor memory.

It’s just as well that I didn’t weigh in today – it’s TOM, and although the clothes are fitting the same as they did a couple of days ago, I’m sure there’s a slight water weight gain.

This week I was supposed to concentrate on working out, and while I did better than I did the week before, which is progress, I didn’t do enough.  Which leads me to a bit of an epiphany I had last week.

Thursday I was at my desk at school, eating my lunch and reading blogs (as I do most days), and I  came across this post, written by Tonya.  And as I read it, I realized that she could have been writing directly to me.  It’s strange that a post with such biblical tones in it spoke to me this much, but it did, especially the beginning portion, where she writes:

I don’t want to just scratch the surface anymore. I’m tired of not finishing. Half-way leaves you hung in the balance; it doesn’t take you down or move you forward. You’re just…STUCK.”

That’s what I’ve been doing for weeks months years now.  Concentrating on only part of the journey.  Doing well with food during the day and then overeating at night.   Or doing great with the food, but being lazy about workouts.  And really, I’m just so tired of being Miss Halfway.

I’m going to do my best today to dig deeper and give 100% of myself to my workout and to my food plan.  And tomorrow, I’ll do the same thing.  And while I take each day as it comes, I will continue to recommit to myself, because I do believe I’m made to shine.

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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

This morning I woke up and was so excited about the weather forecast and some plans that I had, that I completely forgot to weigh myself on the scale.  I’m disappointed that I forgot, but at the same time, I have a feeling that the scale probably didn’t change too much in either direction.  Again.

I’ve been doing well with my food, but not great on the exercise front.  When I look at some of the people that have been my inspirations in this weight loss journey, for example Scale Warfare and BeautyJunkie824, the biggest difference between their routines and mine is the fact that they’ve been putting in WORK exercising.

I keep saying that I need to workout more regularly, but so far, I haven’t got back in the zone that I can get in during the summer.  But summer only lasts 2 months, and if this is going to be a lifelong journey,  I need to learn how to make working out a priority even when my schedule gets busy.  Because lots of people with much busier schedules than mine find the time, and I can, too, if I really want it.

Along those lines, today I went on a long walk with one of my friends, and it felt good to get out and get moving. The weather was beautiful, and we were able to get to the trail before it got too hot.  We were going at a really great pace, fast enough to really get my heart rate up and for me to sweat a bit.  The problem was that I also had that numbness in my feet that I was experiencing a few years ago (and every now and then since).  I’m not sure what brings it on, but the only difference between today and all the other days that I walk is the speed we were going.  It’s super frustrating not to be able to walk as fast as I know I can because my body (specifically, my feet) aren’t cooperating. I’m not going to let the frustration get to me, though.  I’m going to do what I can right now and know that as I lose weight, this will improve.

Not much else to report this weekend.  I had to proctor the SAT early on Saturday morning for 5 hours, after which I did the grocery shopping for the week.  And the rest of the day I did my own marathon of watching Game of Thrones.  It’s not the type of series that I would normally be interested in, but I’ve been hearing such great things from everyone about it, I thought I’d give it a try.  And before I knew it, I was sucked right in.  Today, besides the long walk, I prepped my food for the week  and spent some time reading outside.  A nice, quiet, relaxing weekend.

So this week’s workout plan is:
Monday: walk Sofi; aqua aerobics
Tuesday: Zumba DVD; walk Sofi
Wednesday: walk Sofi; aqua aerobics
Thursday: elliptical at the gym; walk Sofi
Friday: walk Sofi; OnDemand workout
Saturday: Zumba class; long walk with Sofi
Sunday: long walk with Sofi

Here’s to a week of getting it done.  A week of no excuses.  A week of endorphins brought on from a hard workout.  And a week of feeling proud for sticking to what I said I was going to do.

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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

Week 4 was a struggle for me, I’m not going to lie. I had a ton of responsibilities this past week for work, which really took my time away from exercising. I know that I probably could have found the time, but all I felt was (self-imposed) pressure, and when I feel like that, I can’t see past just getting the job at hand done. Not to mention a complication with my car which sent me to the dealership, but what’s a few more hours wasted, right? Poor Sofi was lucky that we went on any walks at all. 😦

My food was pretty decent all week – I stayed within my 1400 calorie range all week, but I wasn’t really inspired by what I was eating. Lots of leftovers, fewer fresh veggies. It was the week before I get paid (I only get paid once a month), which is usually the week that I open the freezer and pantry and have whatever I can find that looks healthy. I don’t have any junk food in the house, but this week wasn’t my best ever, to say the least.

Which all adds up to the fact that I only lost 1 lb this week. My total loss is 6 lbs overall from my starting point, which means:

And I know that a loss is a loss, and I didn’t do anything to warrant a higher number, but it’s still disappointing that I let an opportunity to lose more weight slip by. I did a good job of maintaining, which is an improvement from my recent pattern of overeating due to stress. So progress is happening. Part of the stress I felt this week could have been avoided if I had done the grading in small increments each day. But I let myself have too many off days, and then got stuck in a situation where I HAD to get the papers back to the students by the date I’d promised they’d have them.

The good news was that with all that work I did over the week, I had the weekend to myself.  So yesterday I spent most of the day cleaning the house top to bottom.  Everything from mopping every floor of the house to changing the sheets on the bed, dusting the entire house, and cleaning both bathrooms.  Plus laundry.  I was tired when I was through, but that great kind of tired that comes from a  job well done.  Plus, I had a sparkling clean house to wake up to this morning.

Today I did more laundry (I swear, for one person I sure do have a lot of loads!) and then got ready to meet a friend for a nice walk and chat along a great trail near my house.  I even brought Sofi along.

It was a beautiful day here today, but it was hotter out than I had anticipated, and after we’d been walking for about 45 minutes, poor Sofi just plopped down in any shady spot she could find, was breathing so hard, and looked so uncomfortable.  I decided to walk her down to the pond area so she could wet her feet, and well, here’s what happened next!


Forget my feet, I'm going to plunk my whole body down in this nice cold, algae-filled pond.


Awww, relief. Hey, maybe I can go a little deeper....


One of my friends who saw this on on FB said that Sofi looks like a merdog in this one. It was definitely the money shot.

Good thing it was bath night tonight!  I made sure to give her a fairly cool bath when we got home, and she didn’t seem to mind the bath as much.  Poor little thing.  But she (and I) had fun out there with my friend.  We’ll just have to make sure to go a bit earlier in the day next time.

And I’ve spent the rest of the evening cooking a great dinner, preparing my lunches, and basically getting ready for tomorrow.


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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

Week 3 had a bit of everything – pre-planned meals, a ridiculously hectic schedule, a complete change of routine, great food choices, and the RETURN OF WILLPOWER.  That last bit is the most exciting.  Well, actually, if I’m honest, I’m most excited about my weight loss.  I lost 6.5 lbs this week!! My overall loss is 5 lbs because I was up last week.  But either way, I’m on my way:

The week itself was really busy at work for me, and because of that I really didn’t get to exercise the way I would’ve liked to.   Which actually makes the weight loss that much more astounding.  The one good thing about this crazy schedule was that I was able to change my afternoon routine, which helped me in my food choices. But I really like the way I feel better when I get some in some good workouts.  So, that’s something that I’m going to improve on this week – hitting the gym, going to classes, and doing some workout DVDs.

I ate really well all week, and I enjoyed everything to the fullest.  If you’d like to take a peek, you can become my friend on MyFitnessPal.  I also upped my calories from 1200 to 1400, and most days I stayed closer to 1300.  That small increase made a big difference in feeling more satisfied.  I’m happy to say that I didn’t have any episodes of overeating at all.  AT ALL. Which is especially wonderful because there were times of great stress, which is usually a trigger.

This past week was also my first week taking a prescription weight loss medication since Thursday. I don’t attribute all of my weight loss just to the diet pills, though.  I was losing at a great rate earlier in the week.  But I do think that the prescription is helping me with willpower. I’m also very happy to report that other than a bit of dry mouth (which just helps me drink more water), I have not had any side effects.  In fact, rather than making me feel anxious, I feel calmer.  And instead of giving me insomnia, I wake up feeling more rested than I have in a long time.  I’m not saying that it’s a miracle drug, by any means, but I am thankful that it’s working, and that I had a good week. Here’s to another one next week.

I was also really lax in blogging this past week (because of the hectic schedule), and I want to make sure to get more writing time.  It helps me feel centered and connected.

As far as a weekend update, I don’t have much to report.  It was HOT here, and I stayed inside in the AC and got lots of much-needed grading done.  I got some walks and gardening in, and I got all my grocery shopping done for the week.  Prepared and ready for the week.  I’m looking forward to being out and about more next weekend, because it’s overdue.

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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

What a week! I had the week off for spring break, and had plans to rock big workouts each day, the same way I did when I had the February break. Unfortunately, I never got myself in gear, and I felt very listless and blah the entire week. But I also make some huge strides towards better health in the latter part of the week. So all in all, it was a good week, even if things didn’t go according to plans. Still, I have to believe that everything that is meant to be is what happened.

So I faced the scale this morning, and was up from last week. As you can see from this button, I have 41 lbs to go to make my Birthday Gift Goal. That means I have 79 days, or 12 weeks, to go. I can make it. At my weight, I can easily lose the 3-4 lbs per week that I need to. Because those recommendations that say that safe weight loss is 2 lbs or less per week aren’t talking about people that are 300 lbs. So, relatively speaking, it’s very realistic.

Now this is probably going to be a bit controversial, but after trying this for a year and 8 months, I can use all of the help I can get. So, I contacted my doctor to see if she would give me a prescription for a diet pill that could help with my weight loss. There are several that would help with short-term weight loss, so we’ll see what she says. If she approves it, I’m going to try it and see if it helps.

A fun step I took this week was starting a Facebook page related to this blog. I’ve already had several of you visit me there and “Like” me, but if you haven’t yet, I’d really appreciate it. I’ve been on FB for years with my personal account, but making a page tied to this blog is a great way to connect with more of you.

You guys know how happy I am to be a #SweatPink Ambassador, and I’m excited to let you know that my bio is now on Fit Approach. Even if you’ve been reading this blog for years, I think you’ll find out some new info about me, so if you have a minute, please head over and read it. And while you’re at it, read about my fellow #SweatPink Ambassadors, as well. They are a group of really interesting, accomplished women. By the way, I have a few pairs of pink shoelaces left, so if you’d like a pair of your very own, read this post, email me, and I’ll mail them out to you.


Speaking of which, Friday I sent all of the pink shoelaces out to those who emailed me, so most of you should be receiving them. Don't forget to email me photos of you doing something active while wearing them.

A major thing that happened this week was that I had a therapy appointment. I really liked my new therapist, and I think she and I are going to click well together. The first appointment was emotional, to say the least, and I left the office feeling worn out, as if I’d done a major workout. And in a way, I had. It felt good to talk about everything, and the therapist asked me some really insightful, thought-provoking questions. I really look forward to getting to the key issues surrounding the reasons why I’m blocking myself from achieving my goals.

When I went to my parents’ house to let them know that I’d entered therapy, and a bit more about my disordered eating, my dad had some excellent suggestions. He pointed out that when I quit smoking, I had to change my routine in order to get my mind off of cigarettes, and he suggested that the same thing would work with eating. He’s absolutely right! I told him that I can be great during the day, but when I get home, I get ravenous, and most of the time it’s really just the habit of wanting to scarf rather than from actual hunger. So we brainstormed a plan for the rest of the school year that I think is going to work well:

  1. Get home from work, have a quick snack (veggies and hummus/tzatziki), which I plan to eat standing up in the kitchen. Now before you quote that I should sit down and enjoy the snack, I can tell you from experience that once I sit down and rest, I’m done.
  2. I’ll head to the dog park with Sofi so that we can both get out for 20-30 minutes. This will be good for both of us. I’ll get out of the house and be able to soak up some rays and maybe make some new dog-owner friends. Sofi will get more and more comfortable with playing with other dogs the more we go. She does great at the doggie daycare or when I have puppy play dates with my friends, but when I take her to the dog park, she is much more interested in the people than the puppies.
  3. When we get home, I’ll start working on dinner and then eat. I’m planning on eating earlier than I normally do, like maybe 5:30 or 6pm, so that there’s plenty of time after dinner to do a few other things.
  4. After dinner I’ll take Sofi for a 20-30 minute walk in the neighborhood.
  5. Depending on how much grading I need to do, I’ll spend about an hour doing that.
  6. Otherwise, I’m going to head to the gym and go to a class, hit the elliptical, ride a bike, or maybe even swim. As luck would have it, my gym started holding classes at 8:30, which would be perfect. Enough time to digest dinner and get moving.
  7. I’ll spend the rest of the night relaxing with TV and blogging.
  8. If I get a snack attack while watching TV as I have been lately, I’m either going to have some popcorn or some flavored coffee, or something that won’t hurt my calorie budget.

I’m really excited to start this new routine tomorrow. I’ll absolutely have an update next week.

And lastly, since food is a huge part of my success with this Birthday Gift Goal, I planned my menu for the week and spent about an hour getting everything ready.

Sunday: pork butt roast, broccolini
Monday: lowfat curry chicken, couscous, zucchini
Tuesday: pork soft tacos with shredded cabbage, salsa, and Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
Wednesday: Hungry Girl chili, salad
Thursday: salmon, brown rice, asparagus
Friday: lowfat curry chicken, couscous, broccolini

And now for some photos to show my food prep…


Bananas, to add to a few I have in the freezer, for my Green Smoothies that I make for breakfast every morning.


I put a pork butt roast in the crock pot, added some Trader Joe's BBQ sauce, and voila! lots of delicious meat. Only 53 calories/oz.


I de-boned a rotisserie chicken and separated it into 2 oz (or so) packets for this week's lunch: salads.


Two kinds of salads this week. Asian: chicken, beets, sugar snap peas, broccoli slaw, and shredded iceberg. Mexican: chicken, sliced olives, corn, lowfat shredded cheese, and shredded iceberg.


For the Mexican salad, I make a dressing by mixing Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream) and salsa.


This week's veggies for dinner: asparagus, broccolini, and zucchini. I'll also have some salads later in the week.


"Dippers" for my afternoon snack.


Zucchini two ways - sliced for the PM snack and rounds for dinner.


I sliced bell peppers for the PM snacks.


I couldn't resist this shot because Sofi was waiting at the ready while I chopped and prepped everything. (Oh, and those are the peppers and zucchini for my PM snacks).

As you can see, I had a very productive day.  Now if only I had spent a bit more time this week (or even today) grading all those essays.  (Sigh!)

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My birthday is July 2nd, and what better gift could I give to myself that to reach this goal that’s nearing two years in the making? So from now until then, I’ll be giving Sunday updates/weekend wrap-ups on my progress called Birthday Gift Goal Updates.

Yesterday was my first week of Spring Break, and I totally enjoyed myself. I went to my first-ever Aqua Zumba class (which I’ll write about tomorrow) in the morning and then spent a good portion of the afternoon reading The Language of Flowers while lounging in my Adirondack chair as I watched Sofi play.


Since today is Easter Sunday, I completely forgot to weigh myself. I didn’t exactly take a “day off,” but I didn’t exactly follow my normal food & exercise plan. I ate a bit of everything offered at my family’s Easter Brunch, but I tried my hardest to keep it to “a bit,” in other words, in moderation. And I also guesstimated how much all of those “bits” added up to and then overestimated the calories, logging it all into MyFitnessPal.

Since I have this coming week off, I’m planning on doing a really big push in terms of exercise. I want to hit the gym every day, in addition to daily mid-morning walks with Sofi. Tomorrow BeautyJunkie824 and I plan on going for a 2-mile walk around a lake by her house to catch up on everything that’s been going on for both of us since we last met up about a month ago when we went to Bikram. Speaking of Bikram, I think I’ll go to a Bikram class at least once this week, as well.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend spent with those you care about.

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