What the scale WON’T tell you but my smile will

Yesterday, I finally returned to my favorite Sunday Warrior’s Weight Watchers meeting for the first time since my FIRST half-marathon and my SECOND half-marathon with a trip to Disney in between. SHOCKING. I thought to myself, “I’ve been so determined, what the hell happened!?” Well I realized that life happens and that it’s okay. The scale slips away from everyone but most importantly what I’ve learned from this whole process is that you have to OWN whatever happens and most importantly, keep kicking ass and taking names! I will say with confidence that I am actually HAPPY I gained 1.6 pounds. Yes, call me crazy but I was expecting at least a 6 pound gain from Disney (that damn Mickey ice cream!) and losing track over the past few weeks. Regardless, it’s definitely a weight off of my shoulders (I’m so punny) since I anticipated the absolute worst but was pleasantly surprised. I tend to do this a lot, as you will realize later…..

Enough about a number though. Really, what is ONE number (okay, more like three numbers strung together sometimes 4 because you can weigh like 135.2) going to tell you? Yesterday my leader (whom I adore and is super inspirational and motivational and just ALL OF THE GOOD FEELS) said something that really stuck, “Do not let 10 seconds on the scale determine your week.” This statement really got me thinking that everyone in that room is so much more than a number and we should not let the scale dictate or measure our happiness. You’re really going to let ONE number tell you that you ran 66 miles this month?! YOU BETTER NOT. I believe that anyone who is on a weightloss journey should not let one measly number define them. I mean for goodness sakes if I let a number control and define me, I’d have quit the first time I gained. Not to mention, I’ve run TWO HALF-MARATHONS since the last time I sat with my Sunday Warriors. The scale won’t tell ANYONE that.

The scale won’t tell you how my body was yelling at me during Saturday’s half because it was 88 degrees outside and I was so dehydrated. (Never doing that again!) I don’t think you understand unless you have actually ran in a 5k or half marathon or marathon that your brain starts to think some pretty crazy stuff. I wanted people sitting outside their houses to just turn their hoses on and cool everyone off. I envisioned the children standing on the road running inside and getting me a damn freezie pop. That’s when you know you’ve lost it, like when this one woman handing out water told me she could see the finish line at the 11 mile mark and I thought to myself, “NO YOU CAN’T. DON’T YOU DARE LIE TO ME.” In all reality I know she was trying to be encouraging but don’t tell me you can actually SEE the finish when it’s INSIDE the stadium and TWO miles away. I’m dying here, THANKS. After I saw someone on the side of the road with an ambulance I thought to myself, “Chelsea it’s hot, you need to slow down, who cares what your time is you are just aiming to finish standing up at this point.” So that was my mentality for the rest of the race. I figured my time was going to be a lot slower compare to my first race due to the hills and heat. So here I go with the whole anticipating the worst thing…..I mean not that I’m obsessing over numbers or anything but my first half marathon was on May 25th which I ran in 2:31:11 and Saturday’s 50 yard finish was 2:28:52. The scale won’t tell me that I actually beat my time!  The scale won’t measure the happiness that I felt when I found out that I beat this time earlier today. The scale also won’t tell you about the real smile in this transformation picture but I will.

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That smile comes from over a year of hard work, persistence, determination, dedication and defeat. I feel it’s important to discuss the defeat I have experienced as this journey is far from perfect. That smile also comes from the fact that in February 2013 I could barely run 13:20/mile and just last week in Delaware Park I ran one mile in 8:40. TONIGHT I RAN ONE MILE IN 8:35!!! That smile comes from an endless list of accomplishing things that I never thought were possible. That smile comes from the fact that I was once wearing size 18 pants and now I fit into a size 8. That smile comes from the fact that I no longer wear XXL shirts. That smile comes from the fact that I can be comfortable in shorts and a tank top. That smile comes from the fact that even when your body wants to quit, when every muscle is aching, your head is pounding, sweat is in your eyes, you want to faint, puke and collapse all at once, YOU DO NOT GIVE IN. That smile tells you that others will support and encourage you but at the end of the day this is your OWN journey and you have to rely on yourself and do what makes you happy and successful. I find myself thinking about another quote from Silver Linings Playbook….

The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That’s guaranteed. I can’t begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. But guess what? Sunday’s my favorite day again. I think of what everyone did for me, and I feel like a very lucky guy.

I can totally relate to this quote. I used to run everyday in high school. I had a specific 4 mile loop around the village of OP. Throughout the years I lost sight of that but now running is my favorite again. Sure, a lot of stuff happens in between but you must remain grounded. You must have a constant. I’ve learned through experience that there are going to be setbacks along the way, the scale may lean one way, you didn’t run your best race, you experience a heartbreak, or you’re stressing out about school/work. Whatever the situation is, at the end of the day, if you want it bad enough, you will do what it takes to figure it out. You have to push all the bull**** aside and remember what you truly want. Nobody is going to go out there and get it for you and sometimes you need to be selfish in what you are after. Finally, the scale will not tell you that I am a fighter or that I refuse to give up on myself, only my smile can do that. Do not let the scale run your life. YOU run your life. Thanks for listening! Stay tuned for more =)

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P.S. I got some new kicks tonight and I’m even MORE pumped about running. I’m not sure where Brooks have been my entire life but I’m glad I found them =)

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One year FITversary!

I’ve been meaning to write this post since Thursday as I reflect on my ONE YEAR FITVERSARY. (Yes, this post is long, no I am NOT sorry.) When was the last time you spent an entire year making yourself better? Focusing on what you wanted the most? Sure, it’s selfish and it’s a crazy thought but on February 6th 2013, I never thought I WOULD be where I am right now. Actually, never in one million years!

I never thought that I could lose 46.8 pounds IN MY LIFE, not to mention ONE YEAR.

I never thought that my Instagram account “luvtobfit” would have 1,175 followers.

Of those followers, I never thought that I could receive so many touching comments informing me that my success was inspiring others to accomplish their goals.

I also never thought my page would be shared on another fitness page and receive 447 likes on one transformation picture.

I never thought that I would be seriously contemplating signing up for a half-marathon.

I also never thought that I would be looking into the different certifications in order to become a personal trainer. Wait, you mean I actually like the gym?! WEIRD.

I also never thought that I could be THIS genuinely happy.

When you see yourself going places that you never thought possible, you just sit back in awe at everything you have accomplished and just cry tears of joy. You literally think to yourself, “Is this really me? Am I really doing this?! (Okay, so I admit it, making that transformation picture down below, I cried.) It’s amazing how much you can achieve when you finally believe in yourself and you can actually physically see all of your hard work paying off. It’s safe to say that this past year has shown me that I’m a lot more capable than I ever anticipated.

I recently watched Silver Linings Playbook and this quote makes perfect sense:

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Most recently, I proved to MYSELF that you have to literally “do everything you can” in order to reach the impossible. Why meet yourself only halfway? Every Sunday morning I would drive to my Weight Watchers meeting and say to myself, “Now, are you going to lose or gain?” “Did you REALLY do everything you possibly could to make that number go down this week?” Almost every single time I had a feeling of doubt. Sure, I worked out 5 times that week, but did I track ALL of my food? Did I drink enough water? Did I limit my portions? NOPE. Sure, I partially did each of those things, but it was never 110% and I knew that I was only cheating myself.

I was rocking this weightloss thing with Weight Watchers since February 6, 2013 and in November 2013 I got stuck in the 170s that is, until this week. I was so tired of playing this yo-yo game with the scale since November 3rd. (Later, I realized it was a mental game) I hit my 40 pounds and then I hit a wall. One week I lost .6, the next, gain .4, then lose .2, then stay the same, then gain .6, then lose .2. There were no more multiple pound loses at the scale. I never gave up. I knew I had to stop playing the game. Sure, some refer to Weight Watchers as a game because there are points involved, but you have to keep track. I knew I had to make it an all or nothing thing. I was tired of letting not only myself down, but my Sunday Warriors Weight Watchers group and all of my followers on Facebook and Instagram. I was slowly losing my enthusiasm and I knew that those who followed me were losing their belief in me.

This morning, February 9th, 2014, I stepped on the scale at 167.4 and LOST 6.2 POUNDS IN ONE WEEK! I wanted to cry tears of joy at the scale because this week, for the first time since November, I finally did everything I could to stay positive. I did everything I possibly could to make sure that number on the scale was less than the number the previous week.

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I had to dig real deep to get here and I also had to realize that it’s not going to be 6 pounds every week. But damn after being so back and forth since November, I felt like a baby bird who could finally fly! (Too corny? Probably.) I had to say no to cupcakes, dinner invitations, coffee outings, chips, cookies, you name it, I said no because I promised myself YES on February 6th, 2013. Now, I realize you can have anything you want in moderation, I mean moderation is my favorite word. However, I needed to focus and moderation was getting a little out of hand for this one over here. So this week I said to myself, “Enough is enough, you can do this. You spend $42.95/month on Weight Watchers, for YOU. Why are you putting all of this bad food in your system (spending more money on said bad food) and chancing your own body with the potential to be successful and happy?” This gambling has got to stop!

Once you realize that every time you reach for a “treat” or “I worked out and I deserve it” you only set yourself back.  It’s so very hard, I know it’s hard but being miserable and overweight is HARDER. I would get Tim Horton’s Iced Coffee and a Breakfast Sandwich EVERY MORNING. I’m talking Iced Coffee with chocolate syrup double cream, double sugar. WHO WAS I!? Now, sure, if you tracked said Iced Coffee and Breakfast Sandwich it would be doable. (Which now I do because I get two milk instead of two cream and one sugar. The egg white and cheese on an english muffin is 5 points!) I told myself, “This is getting out of control, why are you doing this? STOP IT. STOP PLAYING THE GAME.” I could list all of the horrible things I ate two weeks ago because I had a not so good number at the scale but I can’t focus on the past, I can only focus on the good things I’ve accomplished this week. I fueled my body with the healthy and filling portions it needs while tracking and IT FELT AMAZING to read 167.4. I honestly do not know the last time I was in the 160s, sophomore year of college? Maybe? I can’t wait to say that for all of the wonderful numbers ahead 🙂

What I learned from my plateau:

1. Find a workout buddy. I’ve had a great friend from high school join Weight Watchers and now we go to the gym together every Sunday morning after our meeting. I look forward to our Sunday routine every week. Then throughout the week we may send a picture of what we’re eating or tell each other the point values of our food. Total nerd status but having a partner makes you realize you’re not alone and they have this ability to push you without even realizing it. Oh right, that’s called accountability!

2. Don’t get too comfortable. The minute your workout bores you, you need to change it up! Muscle confusion is my new best friend and after almost 2 hours at the gym 5 days/wk, I’m sore as ever 🙂

3. Play with your food! Pack different snacks that will excite you and look forward to trying them! EAT OFTEN. Yes, you feel as if you are eating all day but your body needs the fuel. I eat breakfast before work, have a snack before lunch, lunch, one/two snacks in the afternoon, dinner and a snack after dinner. Listen to your body. Don’t deprive.

3. Admit from your mistakes, but move forward. Don’t look back and realize that failure is part of the process, accept it and keep going. I promise you that the success that follows is well worth the wait.

I figured I would share my insane organization, as I don’t want to have an excuse to not know how many points something is or not have enough snacks! Now, don’t worry, I have yogurt, cheese sticks, fruit, applesauce, and other items in the fridge! From the left: Oreo Thin Crisps (3 points) Special K Pastry Crisps Cookies and Cream (2 points) Weight Watchers Marshmallow Brownie Crunch (2 points) Special K Protein Bar (5 points) Weight Watchers Brownie Bliss Peanut Butter (2 points) Fiber One Gummies (2 points) Keebler 100 Calorie Pack Fudge Stripe Cookies (3 points) Can you tell I like chocolate and peanut butter? 🙂

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This week I’ve also been reminded that we shouldn’t focus so much on the finish but realize the importance of starting. I was watching the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics:Sochi 2014 and I was very emotional watching this commercial. (Me, emotional? You don’t say!)

Why do we always set our sights on the finish? When the most important moment is the start. The moment we begin to dream, to climb, to conquer, to soar, where we realize the only impossible journey is the one we never begin. Because from great starts, come great things.

This weight loss journey is far from perfect, I’m far from perfect. I’ve made some mistakes, and I’ve lied to myself. Most importantly I learned from my start, and soooo many great things have come from my start. I’m not focusing on the finish because I don’t know what the finish entails just yet. That’s what is so exciting about all of this, I have no idea what the finish looks like. I mean I have no idea what I’m going to look like and that thrills me so much! The changes I already see with my body are INSANE. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve learned that it’s better to not set any expectations so that there is no room for disappointment. You may just surprise yourself with losing 6.2 pounds in one week. 🙂

Not to mention, I’m only human….

I can do it. I can do it. I’ll get through it.

I’m really doing this!

I’M SO EXCITED I’M DOWN 3.6 THIS WEEK : )

TOTAL SINCE FEB. 6th: 14.4 =))))

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(Just take a look at what 15 pounds of fat looks like, that was fun!)

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It’s so crazy to me to think that the last time I did this in 2011, it took me FOUR MONTHS to lose 13.8 and now I’ve already crushed that in ONE MONTH. Okay, okay, so I’m sure going to the gym for 2 hours everyday might help ; ) I’m just shocked because I took a day off from the gym on Tuesday. I don’t think anyone understands what a mind game I play with myself in wagering whether or not I can take a day off. My drive from school is about 40 minutes and I changed my mind about every 2 minutes. I’m not doing the math, but you know what I mean. I’m really hard on myself as far as skipping the gym and maybe that’s because I know how good it feels afterwards. 

I’ve gotten many compliments this week at school as far as people being able to tell my progress. I can tell from the simple things, such as my clothes are getting baggier and I should really buy a new pair of pants. But in my mind, it’s like “Well, why don’t you wait just a little bit longer so then it will be really worth it.” I think I need to start setting mini-goals. Have you ever set mini-goals for yourself? I mean I guess they’re not “mini” but they will be rewards along the way. After my first weigh-in I bought a new sports bra and exercise pants. It feels good to reward myself with clothes purchases instead of food!

Now I must say last Saturday night I went to Barnes and Noble and did treat myself to some Starbucks (it was an iced coffee and a cookie) but that’s because everyone deserves a cheat/treat here and there. If I cut myself off completely then this is just not going to work. I know that I’m making better choices than I used to. I figure that as much as I do work out, like 2 hours everyday, I pretty much burn it off. Plus, when you have something you haven’t had in a really long time, it tastes so much better and you savor it!

At the meeting this morning, (I went at 7:30 because the 9:30 time is actually getting too late. By the time I go to the meeting, the gym, come home it’s almost 2pm and my entire day is gone! Where as right now it’s only 9:30 and I’m going to go for a run outside soon!) they talked about planning ahead your meals and routines and well I guess that is perfect timing because I will be flying back to Buffalo Thursday night! I already have it in my head that Thursday will have to be my day off from the gym. Friday night I plan on weighing in at my old center with my very first leader. I can also go to Planet Fitness at home because I got the black card. SCORE! It’s super encouraging that all of my “Weight-loss services” are also available in Buffalo. I didn’t realize it when I was signing up for all of these things but I can easily mold my habits I have here into the time when I’m in Buffalo.  : )

I guess I’ve always been hard on myself but it feels so good to finally be in control and changing myself. I set my phone background to this picture because it motivates me to find who I really am regardless of how long it takes. One week at a time I will get there and losing really is winning! I’ve heard so many people say, “Oh, I wish I could do that!” Well, you can. Making those small changes lead to something big. I mean I think about how much I’ve changed my diet and eating better. Not to mention, I RAN THREE MILES THIS WEEK! I’m about to go find a 3 mile route outside with MapMyRun! Leave your comments and inspiration below. They mean so much to me =)

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That “spark” fueling my flame.

I know I’ve talked about writing a blog for my weight loss journey and a week later here it is….

Some may be wondering where my jumpstart came from, others may be happy for me no matter what sparked the change. I think it’s important to get a feel for where I’m coming from in my journey before I take you along for the ride.

I don’t remember how many weeks ago this was but I was teaching my second graders about comparative adjectives. More specifically, how to utilize the “er” ending, such as, I’m taller than you. Well when it came to the “est” ending, I explained to students that you use “est” when comparing more than two things. If I was to say, I am the oldest one in the room because there are 20 students. Okay you get it, well one of my lovely (sarcasm?) students decided to compare me to a close teacher friend. This child so politely stated that I was the biggest. Now, I know that I should not let one of my students make me cry but I definitely cried all the way home that day.

I’ve gone through a lot of changes since I started this journey in North Carolina in June. I was dating someone who I thought I loved. Put the relationship on hold to pursue my teaching dream, only to hear him say the day before my interview that “He doesn’t see himself moving down here.” That was clearly super inspirational but I kept keeping on and landed that job. He then decided well we should break up before the first day of school when I clearly needed support the most. Then me being as smart as I am, I thought throwing up in front of my class THREE TIMES was THE best way to start my first day of school.

As I missed home (New York), family, and friends, there were days I didn’t even want to get up in the morning. My class seemed out of control, I was stressed and no matter what I tried, I wanted to throw my hands up and quit. Subconsciously I turned to food. I felt better if I could stop and eat at Sonic after school, grab chinese, get a frappe at McDonald’s before school (made getting out of bed a little bit easier.) I would reward myself in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and watch my favorite TV show. You hear some people “wind-down” after the work day with alcohol. Nope, Ben and Jerry were by my side. Due to my awful eating habits, I had no energy. I would come home and get changed into comfortable clothes, sleep until 8pm. Eat dinner super late. Stay up watching more shows until after midnight. This awful cycle went on from August-Feb. 6th. I was mad at myself for not being able to adjust. I wanted to be happy, I wanted to find comfort in something, something that I could always count on. So, all of these bad habits accumulated to that charming student calling me the biggest.

I can’t solely blame just that student, I’ve struggled with weight before but this time, the change was my choice. I did Weight Watchers from March 2011-July 2011 and I lost 13.4lbs in 4 months. I started this journey Feb. 6th and I’m already down 10.8lbs. That’s only three weeks! I’m so happy I’m ahead of the game this time. I also realized I am supposed to be a role-model to these students and if they see Miss Miller drinking two cans of coke everyday, what does that show them? School life finally seems more calm and I can focus on me.

On February 6th, I decided enough was enough. I joined Planet Fitness and Weight Watchers in the same day. Stepping foot inside that gym was the best thing I could do for myself and then Weight Watchers was just that extra boost. Sure, people ask how I can afford these things but the way I look at it, the amount of money I used to spend on fast food and being miserable all the time, I will definitely pay the extra cost to get myself feeling better.

My life instantly took a 360 degree turn. Okay, Weight Watchers, I know your slogan for this plan is 360, I’m such a genius. Instead of napping for 4 hours everyday after school, I have gone to the gym for almost TWO hours every day. I couldn’t walk up my stairs without feeling out of breath. I can now run two miles at 11:45 pace. Within the first 10 days I lost 6.6lbs. People have babies that are 7 pounds. So yes, I feel as if I lost a baby. I figured I changed my lifestyle so drastically that is probably the biggest loss I will see throughout this whole journey at one time. My students now ask if I need them to fill up my water bottle and they think I go to the school gym for two hours after school, it’s really cute. Instead of Sonic garbage and McDonald’s cups rolling around in my car I have empty water bottles rolling around and Fiber One wrappers tangled in my headphones. I now walk around Walmart calculating Points Plus values on EVERYTHING. Hey, if teaching doesn’t work out, I might just do that for a living. Coming up on March 6th, it will be one month with no soda and no fast food! It’s amazing how different you feel with a little exercise and better eating habits. I don’t have a specific goal in mind yet but I do know when I started college I was probably 135 pounds.

I guess this is the part when I say how proud I am of myself, does that make any sense? Well, I truly am. School seems to be under control and I’m finally adjusting. I’ve swallowed my pride and realized I needed to make some changes in order to feel myself again. I find myself becoming more confident and I can’t wait to see what the future holds! It’s amazing what losing 10.8 pounds can make you feel like, it only motivates me to see what maybe 20 will do, then my little steps will lead to something big : ) Dream big and don’t lose sight of who you truly are. I thank everyone for their support thus far and any words of encouragement are certainly appreciated!

These photos are from August 2008:

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This is now:

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I’m making steady improvements though:Image

 

Thanks for reading : ) Leave any and all inspirational comments below!

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