Monroe County YMCA Blog

Bloomington, Indiana

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The Athlete Inside – Monday, December 31, 2012

Thanks for visiting the Monroe County YMCA blog!  Today we get a visit from Chris as she chronicles her journey in the Thursday evening Weight Loss Program.

Twelve weeks have flown by so fast!  I can’t believe that our Thursday night Weight Loss class is over.  It’s been a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs.  I’ve learned so much in the twelve weeks about nutrition, food journaling and myself.  I’m sad that this class is over; but I’m also happy and proud that I was able to participate in this great program.  Like I said, I’ve learned so much about myself – some good; some not so good.

Here is just a small list of things I’ve learned and will take away from this class:

  • You are not alone.  Everyone has challenges – whether losing weight or overcoming some other obstacle.  You are not alone.  This program has taught me that.  What I thought I was feeling is also felt by my other group members.  This is where you need the support of your friends and family.
  • Food journaling is a MUST!  I cannot even begin to name the reasons writing down everything you eat is priority number one!  When I first started journaling, it was a real eye opener to what I was actually eating compared to what I thought I was eating.
  • You are going to have your ups and downs.  That’s what life is all about.  This is where you need to keep thinking positive.  Take those negative thoughts and throw them out.  Crumple them up like a piece of paper and throw it in the garbage can.
  • Truth be told, it’s not going to be easy.  Even though it was easy to put the weight on, taking it off and keeping it off is a full time job.  This is why eating healthier and exercising is very important.  This is a lifestyle change, not just a “diet”.  You are working on and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Exercise!  Even if you are just walking up and down your driveway to get your mail.  That is exercise.  Keep moving.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  • Challenge yourself!  For me, getting back to running and working out was the biggest challenge I faced.  I remembered when I ran my first marathon and did my first triathlon how amazing I felt when I was training and when I completed my events.  I want that again.
  • You are going to have slips.  As you have read in my previous blog entries, the last few weeks have been rough for me.  I’ve slipped and eaten foods that I know were not healthy.  I’ve not exercised enough.  The negative thoughts creep in and take hold of my attitude.  Again, this is where having my weight loss class buddies and instructors have helped me.  They turned these negative thoughts around and countered with all the positive changes I’ve made.
  • Stay motivated!  When you’ve completed one goal, think of another goal to complete.  Keep climbing the ladder of success to a healthy lifestyle.

If you are able to participate in the YMCA Weight Loss Class, do it!  Now is the time.  Start your new year off on the right foot.  I don’t have enough positive words to say about this class and my instructors.  The weight loss class will give you the tools to a healthier lifestyle.  The instructors will help you overcome your obstacles and take the necessary steps to a healthier YOU!

Like Jim Kobow said in his previous blog entry, if you ever need a workout partner, he is always at the Y.  I’m also putting out the same request.  I’m always at the Y and working out.  If you ever need someone to walk/run with, I’m here for you.  Even if you need someone to listen, I’m here.  If you want to try a new class at the Y and need that first step to walk in the door, I’ll go with you.  I know what it’s like to be “the shy one”.  If you want to try a cycling class, come to one of the ones that I am teaching.

Finally, this is your life!  Don’t waste it!  Get out there and get moving.  Remember small steps – One foot in front of the other.  You WILL make a positive change in your life.

Even though the Weight Loss class is over, my journey is not.  I’ve got my goal set for my next half marathon, then another half ironman.  I’m getting back to the athlete I once was and will continue to be.  I’ve enjoyed blogging about my adventures and hope that I can continue to do so and let you all know how my journey is progressing.

If you see someone out on the roads run/walking with brightly colored socks and a long ponytail waving in the wind – that’s ME!  Give me a honk and thumbs up.  I can always use the support and encouragement of my friends and family!

Strong and Determined!!

Chris, thank you for sharing your experience in the YMCA Weight Loss Program these past weeks.  Congratulations on all of your progress and success and best wishes to you in 2013!   Don’t be a stranger to the blog  … we’d love to hear more from you.

To our blog-followers – registration is currently open for the new Weight Loss Programs beginning in January!  There will once again be a Tuesday night group and a Thursday night group.  You can register by clicking here…

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The Athlete Inside – December 17, 2012

Thanks for visiting the Monroe County YMCA blog!  Today we get a visit from Chris as she chronicles her journey in the Thursday evening Weight Loss Program.

I feel like I’ve been here before.  I’m going to make this post a positive one even though I’m very frustrated right now.

It’s the holiday season and this week alone I’ve had three holiday parties that I’ve attended.  My week started with a pitch in for our graduate assistants.  I brought healthy spinach, strawberry, poppy seed salad.  I knew I would be able to eat this and still feel like I was participating in the festivities.  Well, one of my directors brought Short Stop Barbeque.  For those that haven’t had Short Stop’s Barbeque, you are missing out on the best in Bloomington (in my opinion).  I scoped out our pitch in before getting anything to eat.  I wanted to see what healthy choices I could make.  I was able to get vegetables, salad and hummus.  I also tried the barbeque pork and had one sandwich.  I did, however, go back for seconds on the pork, but skipped the bun this time.  It was very hard not to have dessert as one of my other directors brought in his homemade chocolate chip Bundt cake.  I wanted to try it.  It looked so good.  I did have a piece of cake, but cut the regular slice in half.

Tuesday brought another holiday party – our office Cookie Share.  Lunch was catered by McAlister’s so I was able to make a healthy salad and baked potato.  The cookies on the other hand….We had chocolate, peanut butter fudge, cheesecake brownies, and so on and so on.  I think I brought the half way decent healthy ones – oatmeal, craisin, chocolate chip bars.  The smell of sugar was overwhelming!  I did have a few cookies to say the least.

Wednesday brought yet another holiday party – our Cardiac Rehab/Adult Health luncheon.  This year we decided to make it a little healthier.  Staff brought in homemade soups and participants brought in side dishes.  The soups were amazing!  It was very difficult to not try all of them.  I tried to stay within my fat gram goals, but alas, that was not to be.  You see, one of our staff members is from Wales and she makes the most AMAZING Welsh cakes!  I had five – yes FIVE – one with whipped cream on it!

Trying to make healthy choices every day, especially during the holiday season can be difficult if not near impossible.  I read somewhere that the average person gains about ten (10) pounds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  Ten pounds!!   If you think about it, the weight gained during the holiday season is like an unwanted, un-returnable gift that keeps on giving and giving.  This explains the surge in gym memberships after New Year’s Day with resolutions to lose weight.  It’s very hard to get into a holiday spirit when you are worried about weight gain and eating too much.  Especially since the holidays are focused mainly around food.  After eating all the rich, holiday food you become sedentary and just want to nap and relax.

This coming week will be another difficult one for me as well.  The week will start out with another holiday party at my director’s home.  He is a fabulous cook and all his dishes are to die for.  I have noticed in the last couple of years that he has incorporated a healthy component to the meals.  I’m hoping he does this again this year.  Then Tuesday brings the Kelley School of Business Holiday Party.  This is usually a catered event and I’m hoping again to be able to make some healthy choices.

With all this food, I’m trying to get in as much exercise as I can.  I’m still doing the 30 days of walk/running and am hoping to continue this through the holidays.  This Sunday I’m participating in the Santa Hustle 5k in Indianapolis.  I’m really excited to do this one since I haven’t participated in a race in quite a while.  I’m hoping the walk/running I have been doing is going to pay off.

For the day of Christmas, I’m hoping to get a walk/run in during the morning before going to celebrate with my family.  I did this on Thanksgiving and felt fabulous the rest of the day.  I got my workout in and was able to make some healthy choices during dinner.  I’m hoping to repeat this at Christmas.  I’m also hoping to move my body after we eat dinner.  We will be celebrating Christmas at my sister’s house this year.  My brother and his family will also be coming from South Carolina, so everyone will be “home for Christmas.”  I’m hoping we can do a family walk after dinner.

I’m trying my hardest not to be a “bah humbug” about the holidays.  I know I can rely on the support of my friends and family, but they sometimes don’t understand the odds I face.  They don’t realize that I can’t just stop at one dessert, or just try a little bit of the rich, decadent meals.  I’ve struggled with this my entire life and the holidays are very hard on me and I know others like me who are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and make healthy choices.  This is an inner battle that I deal with every day.  In the past I would have just given up and given in to my temptations, but I know better now.  I’m going to take this set back as just a stepping stone to get over in the long term healthy weight loss journey of the rest of my life.

Bring on week eleven!  I’m ready for you!!

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The Athlete Inside – December 10, 2012


Thanks for visiting the Monroe County YMCA blog!  Today we get a visit from Chris as she chronicles her journey in the Thursday evening Weight Loss Program.

I’m so thankful it is Friday.  This has been one heck of a week for both good and bad.  It seems like I’ve been having these kinds of weeks lately.  But, I will survive and keep on keeping on.  I’d like to say that getting back into a healthier lifestyle has been a piece of cake, but it hasn’t.  To be honest, it’s been very difficult and the temptation to quit is always in the back of my mind.  I know it’s always going to be there and I have to have the willpower and strength to not let it surface.

This has not been an easy road for me, but I’m doing my best.  We have two more weeks left of the weight loss class.  I’m very thankful that I have had this class to participate in every week.  Especially now since the holidays are right around the corner.  This is the time of year when making healthy choices and keeping up with your exercise is a true test of your willpower and self-control.  This week’s lesson was about social cues.  What do you see or hear that makes you want to eat healthy or make that unhealthy choice.  I think this is a perfect lesson for this time of year.  The Holidays are difficult for people in more ways than one.  We talked about different types of social cues relating to eating.  For me and for my classmates, stress was a major factor in making unhealthy choices.  Going through the day to day stress of work, family, etc. can take its toll on you; emotionally, as well as, physically.  A lot of us turn to comfort food when we are feeling stressed.  My comfort foods are French fries or chips and ice cream.  I would be fine with just having one serving of ice cream, but I don’t stop there.  I could literally put away a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Late Night Snack ice cream every night.  I get the sweet with the salty – potatoes and ice cream.  A year ago, I did do this.  I would have a pint of ice cream almost nightly.  Hence the weight gain the bloaty feeling and the lack of energy.  The temptation to have a pint of ice cream has been weighing on me lately and it chips away at my willpower daily.  This is my downfall.  I know this and yet continue to crave this food.  I know that I cannot stop at just one serving.  Once I have a taste, I want more.

So how does one overcome this temptation?  We talked about this in class using positive cues.  What types of situations, etc. can you use to make a positive impact in your life?  Beautiful weather in the spring and summer, a beautiful snowfall, fresh fruit and vegetables, seeing my friends – all these positive experiences give you that lift you need to get through the bad times.  When the weather is nice, I want to be outside enjoying it – running, mountain biking, road biking.  Even in the winter, it’s so cool to run in the snow.  It is serene and the only sounds you hear are your breathing and the crunching of the snow under your running shoes.  I know my body feels better when I eat more fruits and vegetables.  I’ve tried new recipes and new vegetables I would never have thought to try – beets, kale and Brussels sprouts – to name a few.  And my friends…..ahh my friends….they are the best.  When I need a pick me up, they are there with positive reinforcement.  By using these positive cues, they can outweigh the negative cues.

Another positive cue is definitely exercise.  The other night I had a dream that I was running in a race with….wait for it…..Tom Cruise.  He was running beside me the whole way.  Not sure why Tom Cruise was in my dream, but that’s okay with me.  I had this dream on the third night that I actually started running again.  My good friend and future IronWoman, Margie, sent me a message while they were in Las Vegas running the half marathon this past weekend suggesting a 30 day running camp.  She sent me the first week of running that night.  I started running the next day.  This was the best positive cue I could ever hope for.  It is getting me back into running.  I didn’t realize how much I missed it.  I’ve almost completed my first week and still going strong!  This is my base work for the next race I will be participating in.  This weekend, I am signing up for the 2013 St. Jude Country Music ½ Marathon in Nashville, TN taking place on April 27, 2013.  If this isn’t an awesome positive cue to keep me going every day, then I don’t know what is.

When I logged in to Facebook this morning, there was a post that I truly needed to see.  It’s from Trainer Thought of the Day.  “There are no tricks there is only hard work.  Eating healthy foods & never giving up.  I reward my body with training hard and eating clean because I’m worth it.”  I need to remind myself of this every day, especially when I’m at my low points.

Strong and Determined!!  Strong and Determined!!  Let’s bring on next week!!

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The Athlete Inside, November 30, 2012

Thanks for visiting the Monroe County YMCA blog!  Today we get a visit from Chris as she chronicles her journey in the Thursday evening Weight Loss Program.

Last week was Thanksgiving so we didn’t have class.  My Thanksgiving Day started out with a nice Bloomington Bagel Company Turkey Trots 5k.  I’ve been doing this 5k for the past 4 years and absolutely love it.  It was a great way to start the day and actually go into Thanksgiving dinner with a deficit in calories.  I had a pretty good dinner planned with my family.  I made the side dishes – roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli and cauliflower and homemade mashed potatoes.  Everything was going well until dessert.  That dreaded word – dessert!  I was good and only had one piece of pumpkin pie during dinner; however, once everyone left and I got to settle down for the rest of my evening, the pumpkin pie was calling my name.  I had another piece and then another the next day, until it was finally all gone three days later.  I went overboard and fell off the wagon.

This started my downward spiral for the week.  Ever have those days/weeks where nothing you do goes right?  It seems like you are pulled in all different directions?  Well, that was my week following Thanksgiving.  I was eating all the wrong things, but still exercising for the most part.  I didn’t feel like tracking my food, but I still forced myself to keep track.  I just wasn’t in the mood.  I was tired.  In truth, I didn’t feel like doing anything.

We all have those moments.  My moment was just taking forever to go away.  I kept on going and had internal talks with myself so that I could get back on track.  It’s very hard when negativity sets in to shake yourself out of it.  It’s just so easy to fall prey to those thoughts and actions.  It takes a strong mind and body to stay on task.  I knew I could get back on track.  I just needed to give myself a good swift kick in the rear.

I’d like to say that it was a snap to get back on track, but it wasn’t.  I had to get rid of all the unhealthy food in my house to get back on track.  I bought more vegetables and fruit from the grocery store and started cooking my meals again.  I looked back on my food journals and could see the pattern I was building for myself.  I saw where I had started the downward spiral.  I took a good strong look in the mirror and didn’t like what I was seeing.  I said to my reflection, “GET OUT OF THIS FUNK!  Get back on track.  I know you can do this!”  With renewed confidence, I started logging my food in the journal – healthy foods, high in vegetables and fruits, low in fats and calories.  I pulled myself out of my exercise funk and started working out again.  I ran with the Endurance Group.  It felt great to be running again.  It has helped me feel better again and climb back on that wagon to a better healthy lifestyle.

We are all going to have these types of situations in our lives.  Like I said before, if it were simple, we would all be healthy and active.  This is not a temporary fix; it’s a lifetime reality.  We are all going to fall off the wagon at least one time in our lives, if not two or three or maybe more.  The turning factor is that you dust yourself off and climb back on that wagon.  Positive thinking equals positive results.

I had to turn my focus back onto my first goal – getting healthy.  I can do this.  I know I can do this.

With the famous words from Dora in Finding Nemo – “just keep swimming…just keep swimming…” and with a renewed sense of purpose – Let’s bring on week 10!

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The Athlete Inside – November 16, 2012

Thanks for visiting the Monroe County YMCA blog!  Today we get a visit from Chris as she chronicles her journey in the Thursday evening Weight Loss Program.

This has been an interesting week.  A week of feeling like I’ve taken one step forward only to take two steps back.  This has been a week of exceeding my exercise expectations, but also being disappointed in my food choices and weigh in.

Our focus for this week’s class is the grocery store.  How can we make our trips to the grocery store healthier and not as tempting to “fall off the wagon?”  This is actually a perfect lesson because the holidays are fast approaching.  We did a virtual shopping trip in the grocery store and covered the good and the bad parts.  The good parts are to go along the perimeter of the store where the fruits, vegetables, and non-processed food are found.  I hate going to the grocery store.  There, I’ve admitted it.  I would gladly pay someone to buy my groceries for me so I wouldn’t have to go.  My reasons for not liking to grocery shop are that I feel like I’m wasting food.  I’m single with a beagle, Milo.  It’s very hard to shop for one person and it’s very hard to cook for one person.  When I lived at home, I was the one that pretty much cooked the meals.  We are a family of 5, so making a large amount of food was a given.  Plus, my dad grew up in the meat and potatoes generation and my mom grew up on the white rice and meat generation (my mom is from the Philippines).  We either had white rice or some form of potato for each meal; sometimes both.  Hence my addiction to anything potato!  My mom would include vegetables in our meals for the most part, but we (the kids and my dad) would pretty much just eat meat and potatoes/rice.  My brother lived on rice and gravy from age 5 to about 9.  He wouldn’t eat anything else.  Me, I lived on red meat and rice/potatoes — which is why I do not eat red meat now.  I gave it up in 2000 and haven’t gone back since.  I’m not vegetarian by any means – I eat chicken, turkey, seafood and sometimes pork, just no red meat.

But I digress – back to topic – the grocery store.  In the past few years, I believe I’ve gotten better in shopping at the grocery store.  I still hate it, but I treat it as a necessity to a healthy lifestyle change.  Going to the grocery store takes a lot of pre-planning.  I try to make a list of things I need by imagining the layout of the store and going through each section.  I check my refrigerator and cabinets to make sure I’m only buying what I need.  I’ve learned just to get enough for me and not an army.  Once I get to the grocery store, I hit the fruits and vegetables first.  I try to just go the perimeter of the store (fruits, vegetables, chicken, yogurt), and then I hit the “natural food” section.  There I get my almond milk, cereal, etc.  I try to stay away from the cookies and soda isles.  Those sections can be very tempting, especially if you go to the store hungry – which I have done on many occasions.  This can be disastrous!  I once came out of the grocery store with only soda, pies and ice cream.  I was a little hungry and wanted something sweet.  I didn’t feel so good later in the evening after eating that in excess.  I learned the hard way.

I struggle every day to make healthy choices.  If you look back on my food journals for the past couple of weeks, I’ve made some good, healthy choices and I’ve made some not so good choices.  I’m not sure why I had to have that egg mcmuffin, hash browns and chocolate pudding.  I knew when I was eating this food that it was not the healthiest selections I could have made.  And yet, I still ate them.  I don’t know if it was just boredom or stress that made me eat that food.  Wait…the food didn’t MAKE me eat it – I ate it on my own accord.  The food didn’t force its way into my mouth; I put it there.  This is the taking two steps back in the program I was talking about earlier.  Last week I had a good weigh in, good food journaling and good exercise.  This week, I gained a half pound.  I didn’t eat very healthy, but I did get my exercise in.  One step forward….two steps back.  I was so disappointed in myself last night that I think I made myself sick.  I walked into class shoulders and head down and a frown on my face.  I felt so dejected and ashamed.  The negative thoughts started coming into my head – “you are a failure….you were doing so well, now look….ARGH!!!”  I would have gone home right then and there and called it a night, but I knew I had to go to class.  Well, I’m glad I went to class last night.  My instructors, Anna, Molly and Liz are AWESOME!!!  When I told them how awful I felt about the weight gain, they immediately put a positive spin on it.  They gave me praise for coming as far as I have and that I’ve gotten in so much exercise.  They lifted my spirits.  My classmates are also amazing!  We have bonded as a group.  If you think you are alone in your weight loss struggles, YOU ARE NOT!  We are all going through the same struggles and feelings.  I’m so glad that I have my class to look forward to every Thursday night.  They center and ground me.  We talk about everything and help each other over obstacles.  We are not meeting next week because it’s Thanksgiving.  I think I’m more prepared for the Thanksgiving holiday and the upcoming Christmas holiday by taking this class and having the support of my friends and family.  It will be a struggle, but one that I know I can come through without having to take many steps backwards.

I’d like to end today with a quote that my sister sent me for encouragement – “No matter how many times I break down, there is always a little piece of me that says NO, you’re not done yet GET BACK UP!”

I’m not done yet and neither are YOU!  Get back up and take another step forward toward a healthy life!

Here comes week 8!!!!!

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The Athlete Inside – October 29, 2012

Thanks for visiting the Monroe County YMCA blog!  Today we get a visit from Chris as she chronicles her journey in the Thursday evening Weight Loss Program.

Have you seen the commercials for all sorts of weight loss gimmicks?  They promise you instant results.  It is so easy to get sucked into their hype.  It sounds too good to be true.  Take this pill and never have to exercise and still lose weight.  What they don’t tell you is that you will most likely gain it all back and then some.  Everyone wants instant gratification.  They want it now, not tomorrow, not next week, not three months from now.  They want it now!!!  Anyone can lose the weight with a simple fix, but to sustain and maintain the weight loss and healthy lifestyle is another story.  Healthy lifestyle change is a long ongoing process of eating right and exercising.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes a lot of hard work and determination.

Our task last week was to look around our kitchen and do a kitchen “make over”.  What did we have in our fridge that was high in fat and calories.  What could we change in our kitchens to bring in healthier food.  This would be easy for me.  Or so I thought.  I looked around my kitchen and I have fruits, veggies, chicken, yogurt and water.  I also had potato chips and chocolate.  Chips are my downfall.  You can’t stop at just one – even one serving.  I’ve been known to put away an entire bag of chips in one setting and not think anything of it.  Forming new habit takes, on average, about 30 days.  My new habit is to eat healthy and make healthy choices.  I got rid of the chips and chocolate.  Another habit I am making is really paying attention to what I’m eating by tracking on my food journal.  Keeping track of my fat grams is exciting to me.  It challenges me to really choose the right types of healthy foods.  Do I really want that bag of potato chips with 11 grams of fat or can I have some vegetables and fruit with little to no fat.  It has really opened my eyes to what I’m truly putting in my mouth and body.

Making over your kitchen is a controlled environment, but what about when you go out to dinner with your family and friends?  Now there is the true test of willpower and determination.  I’ve been pretty good about choosing a healthy salad or grilled chicken and vegetables when going out; however, I slipped this week.  This past Monday was my nephew, Kylan’s 9th birthday.  He wanted to go to Red Lobster with the family.  He just loves his crab legs dipped in melted butter! – A boy after my own heart.  I was going to meet everyone there just to wish him a happy birthday and give him his present.  One thing led to another and I found myself sitting at the table, joining in the conversation and having a good time.  Next thing I know, I’m putting a breaded deep fried shrimp in my mouth that my mom passed to me — and then another one – and then a fried chicken finger from my other nephew, Asa.  Umm……did I think anything of it at the time?  Nope.  What would two shrimp and a chicken finger do?  Boy was I in for a shock.  Those two, little inconspicuous breaded shrimps were…wait for it…..22 grams of fat!!  That was ¾ of my fat gram goal for the day!  I didn’t even look up how many fat grams the chicken finger had.  I didn’t want to depress myself even more.

We all have slips.  In retrospect, dinner with my family made me realize I should have had them order a salad for me so when I got there I could have eaten that instead of fried food.  I’m sure this isn’t going to be the first time or the last time that I slip up in food choices.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Getting healthy and losing weight is not going to happen in a day.

We all have our good days and our bad days.  Last week was a doozy for me.  This week; however, has been a lot better.  I feel good about myself and no amount of heckling from teenagers is going to change that.  Because, you know what, I’ve lost 5 pounds and I feel good about myself!!  I’m proud of this accomplishment.  It gives me another boost to do better and push myself to the next limit.  What a difference just a small weight loss makes.  If I can do it, so can you!

This coming week is going to be another doozy for me.  Making healthy choices and getting my workouts in are doing to be a little difficult – not impossible, just a little difficult.  I’ve got a Kelley MBA weekend event where there will be good food – some healthy, some not so healthy.  Then I have another women’s cooking event to attend.  It is several days of eating and long days and nights.  My schedule doesn’t give me much time to exercise, but I will find a way.  Determination!

What have YOU done today to make yourself proud?

Week five!  Strong and Determined!

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The Athlete Inside – October 19, 2012

Thanks for visiting the Monroe County YMCA blog!  Today we get a visit from Chris as she chronicles her journey in the Thursday evening Weight Loss Program.

In a perfect world, everything would go right.  We would all be healthy and at an optimal weight.  We would all be happy and there would be no disease in the world.  But, alas, that is not so.  Life is full of ups and downs, like a roller coaster.  One day you are up and feeling on top of the world, the next you are down and feeling like the world is against you.  This week has been full of ups and downs – positives and negatives.  It’s the way I take the negatives is how it really affects me.  Before, I would just feel defeated and eat something like ice cream or chips to make myself feel better.  The justification was because I’ve had a crappy day, I deserved some comfort.  Well, little did I know that that behavior was destroying my body, my mind and my self-confidence.  Now, when I have a bad day, I try to get some exercise in.  You would not believe how much this puts a lot of things in perspective.

Like I said earlier, my week has been a lot of ups and downs on the roller coaster of life.  I’ll sum it up the only way I can – the good, the bad and the ugly.  Here goes:

The Good:  This past Sunday I ran the Martinsville Fall Foliage 5k with a few of my friends (Margie, Liz U. and Christina).  This was the first 5k that I “raced” in a long time.  The course was fast and flat except for the 25mph gusts that hit you head on towards the end of the race.  I was proud of myself of completing this race.  This is just one stepping stone to becoming the athlete that I once was.  My food journaling this week was also a lot better.  I made better food choices and kept to my fat gram goals.  Did you know that you get “extra” calories when you exercise?  There were a couple of days that when I exercised, I was allowed 500 extra calories!  There were a couple of days that I just couldn’t get the calories in.  I got the fat grams in, but not the calories.  Another goal for this week was to get in at least 90-100 minutes of exercise.  This was really hard at first.  There were a couple of days that I didn’t want to exercise, but now it’s getting better.  I taught two cycling classes (back to back), did Power Pump with Walter and speed work with the YMCA Endurance Group and resistance with Priscilla.  All in all, I did about 540 minutes this week.  My goal for this coming week is to break 600 minutes.

The Bad:  When I fix my meals from home, I know what I’m eating and just how much I can eat.  This is a problem when I have meetings and other events that I have to attend where I don’t know what the food will be like.  I try to make healthy choices and if I can get an idea of what is being served, then I have a better idea of my choices.  There were two days this week that I had eaten out.  The first was for a staff meeting at Oliver Winery.  We were scoping out the venue for one of my receptions next week.  We pre-ordered lunch from Panera and then had a wine tasting – there are times when I really enjoy my job and being able to taste wine is one of those times.  I was able to look up Panera’s menu online to get an idea of what I could order that was healthy.  I opted for the Chicken Cobb Salad with the dressing on the side.  The dressing alone was about 23 grams of fat.  Nope, not having it!  Well, everything is all well and good until someone decides to put a peanut butter cookie in with your meal!  How could I resist?  It was calling my name!  My moment of weakness – I ate the entire cookie.  When I looked it up to log it in my food journal, I found out it had 29 grams of fat!!!!!  Was it worth it…!  Lesson learned.  The second was for another meeting at the IMU.  We had lunch at the Tudor Room.  I made healthy choices until that dreaded dessert table called my name again!  How dare they??!!  The pecan pie basically threw itself at me.  Was it worth it….again no!  Another lesson learned.

Now for the Ugly:  It’s really hard to stay positive and know that you are working on improving you when some childish teenagers yell from a car “Fat A**”!  This has happened to me in the past and in the past I would have given up and felt terrible.  Well, when this happened to me earlier this week when I went for a run by myself.  My first thought was to yell some obscenities at them and slink away and call it a day, but I’m a bigger person.  I just smiled and waved like I didn’t hear them.  I’m here getting healthy and if they don’t like it, they can lump it!

I read somewhere that weight issues are not only about the foods we put in our mouths, they are about the thoughts and beliefs we hold about ourselves.  We need to address these and encourage ourselves to set up small, concrete and measureable goals.  This is exactly what I’m doing and feeling better about myself every day!

I saw the most perfect quote on Facebook this morning from “Trainer Thought of the Day.”  Really brings things into perspective “I’m not training for a 5k.  I’m not preparing for a competition.  I’m not trying to set a new record.  I’m not trying to impress you.  I’M SAVING MY LIFE.”

Week five here we come!  Let’s throw down and rumble!!