Saturday, May 23, 2015

It's pretty hard to believe that I started this blog in 2006 and here I am, nine years later, still looking back to it for inspiration and to remind me where I came from. So many things have changed and I have grown so much, while ever shrinking. 

I hit a big goal of mine recently. I'm not breaking up with Lane Bryant quite yet, but we're rocky. 

For the first time in my Dutch life, so 11 years, I walked into a regular old store, and put on a regular size dress. The exchange went something like this:

me: That dress is awesome. I'm going to go in and try it, just to see how far I have to go still. 

Grabs biggest size they have. 

Gets the dress on. Like... ON. 

Walks out to see myself in the mirror. 

store employee: Oh, that looks a little big, let me see if we have a size smaller. 

me: umm yeah, there is no way my booty is fitting in a smaller size (thinking: did she not see the size of my ass?!?!?)

store employee: Just humor me, I think it's going to be great.

me: _______________(lost for words as I am still stunned I got the dress on. Like ON!)

Apparently they pay this women the big bucks for a very good reason. Not only did I fit in the smaller size, it fit me like a glove! 

So yeah, here is the dress that drew me into the store:

And I happened to walk in on the "buy one get one free" sale. It's like the gods of weight loss were looking down on me saying "throw that woman a BONE". 

I've turned a major corner recently, recently being the last three years but more so in the last five months. I have been focused, consistent, powerful, true, honest and lucky. I dare not jinx it too much by saying how awesome shit is right now so I will just leave it with that. Life is good.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I'm still here! Still working. Still fighting the good fight for myself.

It's been a million years since I've blogged on this blog (okay, about two years, ever the exaggerator) but if any of you are still reading, I am still "here" as in focusing on health and weight loss. I am still having success. I am still working out 3-4 times a week and eating mindfully and healthfully. I still have my moments of struggle but for the most part it's very "lather, rinse, repeat".

I recently had this picture taken in the gym and thought it was a perfect opportunity to share here.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pictures not showing up anymore?

I have no idea what happened to all of my pictures on here and why they're not showing up. Anybody have any helpful hints?

I'll try to reload some but man, I'm not going through years of blog posts and redoing all of my pictures!

Monday, August 19, 2013

I'm still here!

I'm still here! I'm probably more "here" than I have been in a few years!

I am still swimming. Two to three times a week, depending on my husband's shifts.

I am working out now in our company gym two days a week, and three if I can sneak it in. I'm lifting heavy and doing some BATATA training. I go in the slow times of the day, so every time I'm in there I get a personal training session pretty much. I have a gym pal, Carolyn who is a great support and good, healthy, competition! Funny thing seems to be that the more I work out, the more contagious is seems to be at work. More and more people are asking "hey, are you going to the gym today" and wanting to work out together! NICE!

I am working closely with the trainers on my nutrition. I'm eating between 1800-2000 calories a day. It's the first time I've been able to log my food and still feel in control and not all obsessive. It's also the first time that I realize I have to eat good quantities of food and not try to go with as little as possible to sustain myself. It was hard to get used to, the whole "eat more than 1200 to weigh less" but it seems to be working for me.

My body is feeling tighter and smaller although I'm not seeing great leaps and bounds on the scale. It'll come though. I feel so strong and am enjoying myself and my workouts!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

blub blub

I kept my promise to myself and I did get in some exercise over the last weekend. I swam together with Sadie and trust me, that's a workout! My little girl is quite a fish and is twice as slippery once we're in the pool. She's a huge fan of the slide too which means lots of stair climbing. One and a half hours of pool play makes this Mommy wore out for the day!

So far this week, I've kept with the fish theme and swam two more times, Tuesday and Thursday. I really feel like I'm back in my swimming rhythm and am not having too much difficulty getting my tush out of bed and into my swim gear, which includes a lovely blue swim cap, goggles and snorkel. Yes, I said snorkel! Don't worry though, I make a snorkel look cool, I'm sure.

I guess most of my weight and struggle now lies with being patient and letting the work I'm doing have time to, well, work! I don't feel that old panic of "I have to lose weight NOW" but I am feeling a bit impatient. I am trying to keep a balanced mind and not rush myself or expect too much. There is always that nagging feeling of "well, if you skipped this food and worked out even more and even harder..." but that's what old-pre-Novarum-pre-getting-it-together-Sarah would say. I am not skipping meals or snacks anymore. I am not cutting out food groups anymore. I am not doing anything extreme anymore. I never want to be back in those awful toe pinching shoes again. I don't ever want to be back in that pattern of manic weight loss, followed by guilt laden binges and weight gain, followed by another manic fleeting attempt. Rinse lather repeat. That ship has sailed. Bon Voyage!

I will admit though, I could put some more effort into exercising. I know lifting weights is extremely beneficial to weight loss and over all health and I do plan on starting to lift once the gym at my work is open but until then, as that could be as late as April, I could easily put in my Wii Fitness Coach and do a session of strength training with her. (typed in my whinniest voice possible) But once I get home from work, play with Sadie, get her in bed and eat dinner I just don't feel like doing anything else.  I am sure it's one of those things, like swimming, that once I build it into my routine it will be much easier to stick with but just making that step to do it the first couple of times seems gigantic right now. I'll work on that. That's a promise.

What goals have you promised to yourself that you would take a stab at but are dragging your feet at getting started?

I hope you are all having healthy, successful weeks!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

GOAL!!! Week 1 - swim 3 - DONE!

I knew that if I didn't go today I risked making up an excuse not to go on Friday and making it virtually impossible to meet my swim goal this week, since swimming on the weekends is WAY too crowded and doesn't fit in well with our schedules. So, up I got at 6am and really kicked (and paddled) some ass! I was red faced and mildly sweaty when I hopped out of the pool, which is hard to do when swimming in a cold pool!

So now it's Thursday and I've worked out three times, like I intended. I made my goal. Now what? Do I just wait until next Monday when it's time to swim again, giving me a three day break or do I plan for some exercise over the weekend, maybe a bike ride or some walking? This is a rhetorical question, as I already know my answer. Either Saturday or Sunday, some form of movement will be made. I may just put in the Just Dance 4 for the Wii that Santa brought me that is still sitting in its cellophane wrapper. Nothing like having fun AND getting in a work out!

Weekends seem to be my biggest downfall when it comes to logging my food on My Fitnesspal. It's not that I eat bad and don't want to log the evidence. I just can't be bothered to log at the time I am eating or I think "oh I'll do that later" and then totally forget or it gets too late and I can't remember what I ate anymore. I even have the MFP ap on my phone but I don't carry my phone around. It's so easy to forget what you've eaten and go over a couple hundred calories in a day without realizing it. Multiply that by two days and you've got some damage there. This weekend my goal is to log as I'm eating or even before and really finish this week on high notes!

And there you have it folks. I'm feeling just hunky-Dory!!!!

I hope you're all having healthy, fantabulous, successful weeks!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Week 1, swim 2 - done!

Of course I start the week saying "okay, I WILL swim three times this week" - while in my head that meant I will swim on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And of course, just to test me, life throws a wrench in my plans and I had to schedule a dentist appointment and the only time he could get me in was Wednesday at 7:30am. Really?!?!?

What's a girl to do? I got up (with the help of super husband Marco again) and swam today! I very, very easily could have skipped today and told myself "I'll swim Thursday and Friday" but the chances that I would feel like doing two days in a row at the end of the week were more slim than the chances that I would feel like getting out of bed again at 6am today.

It ended up being a fantastic swim! I did 22 laps! That means I swam 1100 meters, 1.1 km or 0.68 of a mile. However you prefer it to be written, that's some movement! My goal is to get up to swimming a full mile (1600 meters or 32 laps) in the 45 minutes that I'm at the pool in the morning. I may have to increase my time to a full hour in order to really get the mile in but at least it's something to shoot for. The closest I have ever come is 25 laps, 1250 meters or .77 of a mile and when I finished that swim I was sweating and sore for two solid days. I don't want to push too hard, too soon, but push I will!

What are some of your exercise goals?

I hope you're having healthy, successful weeks!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Swim 1 - Sarah 0

Holy crap man. Today's swim kicked my arse... and my arms... and my legs. I can't believe, well, I can't really believe a couple of things:

1) How much I must have done over the past year to build up my condition by swimming

and I realize point 1 only because I noticed point two:

2) How much I must have been slacking in December because today's swim about killed me.


I only swam for 35 minutes because the pool was exceptionally crowded and not with the typical silver bullets (old silver headed folk who don't get out of your way or feel they need to share the lanes) but my arms feel like I swam the English Channel! My quads are a wee bit shaky but my arms feel like lead. I've got two zeppelins hanging from my shoulders who are of absolutely no use to me. I can feel both my biceps and triceps just begging for mercy. What a workout! And what a way to start off my week!

I'll admit, it was tough getting up at 6am to swim and I have to really give credit where credit is due... my husband is the biggest and best support system a girl could wish for and always has been. As I was sitting bedside, telling him how hard it was to get up and asking him "should I go" (when I know good and well I SHOULD GO!) he said to me "If you want to get in three swims this week you should. I know it's really hard, but you're a strong woman and you can do it". That's all I needed was his boost of confidence in me and I was up and running, er, swimming.

When I pulled into the parking lot at work, I remembered my other goal, to take the stairs and not the lift. Ugh. I briefly tried talking myself out of it. I really did want to find some reason that I SHOULDN'T walk up those stairs but in the end I decided, come hell or high water, I didn't want to be the one standing in my own way of success. So I clambered up to the 3rd floor (4th by American standards) and huffed and puffed for a few minutes before entering my workspace. My legs, who were already shaky from the swim, were not quite Bambi-trembling but it came close. I predict by this time next week, they should get used to it and it should only take me a good 30 seconds to catch my breath at the top.

As well as the other goals I mentioned in yesterday's post, I forgot to talk about logging my calories in the My Fitness Pal website. It's something I started doing last year but got off track somewhere around November and just haven't gotten back into it fully. My goal is to log my food solidly, all week long.

It seems I am off to a good start! How has your first week of the new year gone?

I hope you're all having healthy, successful weeks!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Goals - let's set some realistic ones...

I've realized that I  have been missing out on what was a very successful part of my weight loss initially. I am missing having little goals. Better yet, I am missing the thrill of meeting and beating those goals, giving me that confidence boost that sometimes a person just needs. So why don't I put some stuff in black and white and see how it goes.

I am going to try to swim three times a week, every week this year. That means every time my clock goes off at 6am I am going to have to say to myself "I like being fit more than I like being overweight". This, my friends, is going to be a challenge! 6am is awful early in the dark days of winter. Three times a week though, at 45 minutes per pop, it's not like I'm shooting for the stars, it's a very attainable goal! I can do that.

I am going to stop taking the lift  elevator at work. I have been looking at the stairs for a couple weeks now, battling in my head how I should make myself climb up the three floors, but I can always humor myself into the elevator somehow, justifying it with some bullshit line. No more. It's stairs for me.

I've been slacking on eating my fish through the week, even though I really do like fish. I dislike cooking fish because I'm just crappy at it. I overcook the crap out of it and I never know what herbs really go well with it. I end up with tilapia almost every time and end up topping it with mustard of all things. I know that's not a combination that I EVER see at a restaurant so I'm sure there are better alternatives. I do eat canned tuna usually 1-2 times a week. Since my cafeteria at work usually offers fish in at least two dishes through the week I'll try to eat some there. My goal will be fish in at least 3-4 meals a day.

I have stuck with only having one can of diet coke per day and that's made me pretty happy. I wonder if cutting out that one can would really make a difference of if, mentally, I would feel like I am punishing myself. I know when I go to lunch I look forward to that sweetness, the bubbles, the chill of it. I'll shoot for having it every other day at work (since I don't drink it on weekends anyway) and see how that goes.

I'm still eating my two fruit per day, so I can't really set that goal again but I am sure I don't get in 3 veggies per day, so having a veg at lunch is going to be a goal of mine.

On top of swimming, I need to find another form of exercise. Once my gym opens at work, I'll lift there but, what if that doesn't happen until June... am I really just going to sit around and wait until then? I have the Wii Fitness Coach that has strength training options on it. I will try this out and see how it goes before I set any real goals with it.

I have tossed around the idea of walking during my lunch break but I just can't seem to stick to that routine. I'll revisit this idea once winter is over and spring...springs!

So there are just a couple actually pretty small changes I can start with. These goals feel good. They feel attainable. They don't feel overzealous or like it will be too much pressure on me to be perfect. Seems I may have actually learned some life lessons with Novarum. Still the best choice I ever made!

What are some of YOUR goals for this year?

I hope you're all having healthy, successful weeks!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Weight Loss is a Marathon - Running Backwards

One of my "rules to live by" is to try to think as weight loss as a marathon, not a sprint, meaning, slow and steady wins the race. Well how freaking slow is SLOW?!?!? My weight loss has stalled (and crept up) since MAY of 2012... that's absolutely NO loss and a bit of gain. What in the world? Am I running the marathon backwards? While at Novarum they told me it would take probably 6 years to get to my goal weight and of course I thought "nope, not me, I'll do it quicker" but with this most recent stall, I am starting to think they were onto something there. God, 6 years seems like a LIFETIME but whichever way I choose to go, 6 years from now will be 6 years from now, so it's up to me to decide how I'll look and feel when that time comes.

I hate to be a cliche, but the new year, January 2013, has inspired me to re-dedicate myself, once again, for the hundredth time over, to a healthier lifestyle, because another "rule to live by" is "I'll quit when I'm dead" and I'm not dead yet and I don't plan on being in that state for quite some time!

I am still planning on swimming 3 times a week, minimum. I will be back in the pool tomorrow morning, 6:30am sharp. My office is opening an in-house gym this year and once that's open I plan on lifting weights while at work, using swimming as my cardio, so then I get a good balance of overall work outs. It is something that I really miss from the gym when Marco and I joined so many moons ago. I really LOVED lifting weights and how it made me feel and I am truly looking forward to starting again. Also, in the warmer weather, I hope to add bike riding to my cardio as well.

I am still tracking my calories on My Fitnesspal, although not as religiously as I should be. Weekends are the worst but I'm going to try to be better at that.

I need to re-visit the idea of making small goals every week and focusing on that, as that really did work well for me and I have gotten out of the habit.

So, if there is still anybody out there, reading, popping in on occasion to check on me, don't count me out of this race yet, even if everybody else has crossed the finish line (or worse, dropped out). I'm still here, I'm still (and yet again) dedicated and I am still focused on getting healthy.

This is how I looked back in May (the last time any real weight was dropped) and it's pretty true to how I look today, if you would add a bit of bulk under my chin). Let's see what this May will bring!  

Here is to 2013 being a healthy, successful year!