April 2018 Check-In

Well, March has not been a very productive month for my fitness journey.  Disappointed I feel is a little too cliche with any weight loss journey.  Or, the whole, this month I am going to do better.  Long story short, if you want change you need to work for it, not just wish for it.  So while there still is a loss, I’m down 3.4 lbs since last check-in, it is not the loss I was looking for, but it is the loss that I was working for.  Meaning, I didn’t do shit for March.  I pretty much quit working out.  I got really sick with strep throat and was battling that for two weeks, however, once I was recovered, I never went back.

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I will say, waking up hella early is starting to get to me.  I have never been a morning person.  Unfortunately, I have to be at work at 6:45 am, my gym doesn’t open until 5 am.  So, I have been trying to roll out of bed at 4 to 4:30 am and it is not working.  So, my goal is to go back to working out in the evenings.  When I did that, I didn’t feel as rushed and I could actually enjoy my workouts.  On days that I worked and went to the gym, I would try to be there a little before 5 to work out for at least 30 minutes, but feel super rushed because I needed to be home no later than 5:45 to make breakfast, freshen up, get ready for work, give the girls breakfast, hopefully, have time to put makeup on and be out the door by 6:30.  It just feels that I’m setting myself up to fail because I can’t dedicate the proper time and mental time to working out.  So, back to PM workouts, so we shall see how this works out.  We will know by May’s check-in, won’t we?

Overall, a loss is still a loss, and that is pushing me closer to Onerland.  I could have gained, but I didn’t.  So I need to remember that.  I can’t expect perfection out of myself.  I am a human being constantly learning and growing.  Well enough blabber, here are the measurements.

March 1, 2018 April 1, 2018 Difference
Weight 211.2 lbs 207.8 lbs ↓3.4 lbs
Neck 14 inches 14 inches N/C
Left Arm 16 1/2 inches 16 1/2 inches N/C
Right Arm 17 inches 17 inches N/C
Chest 40 inches 40 inches N/C
Waist 36 1/2 inches 37 inches 1/2 inch
Hips 46 1/4 inches 46 inches 1/4 inch
Left Thigh 27 1/2 inches 27 1/4 inches 1/4 inch
Right Thigh 27 1/2 inches 27 1/4 inches 14 inch
Left Calf 18 1/4 inches 18 14 inches N/C
Right Calf 18 1/4 inches 18 14 inches N/C

As you can see, not a huge amount of change.  Again, you get what you work for not just wish for.  Looking at my list of goals last month, I did not hit a single one of them.  I have decided this month I am going to write down my goals and tac them up on my vision board.  I look at that thing every day, so maybe also seeing my goals written down and hanging, it will help me stay focused.  With the last month’s goals not being completed, I am just pulling in those goals for this month.

1. Be able to run 30 minutes straight.
2. Lost 1 inch off of each arm.
3. Lose 8 pounds to get me into Onederland!

I have yet to figure out what reward I’d like to give myself once I hit Onederland, maybe if I think of what that will be, that would also help push and motivate me.  Hell, it’s worth a shot, eh?  I was thinking of getting a new tattoo.  That’s been something that I have wanted for a while, but have not been able to justify spending the money on.  So let’s make that my Onederland reward.  Once I hit Onederland and continue to lose by the neck check-in, I will get my other tattoo.  Alright, I’ve got a reward ready!  Plus, it’ll be right around the 40-pound loss mark so it can be a combination of two rewards.  I’ll go with it!  Well, I think that is enough talk for one day, if you have read this far, thanks!  If you are on a fitness/health journey and do check-in’s I’d love to know how your March went!  Did you have any setbacks or successes?  Let me know in the comments!  Thanks for stopping by and until next time!

🍀 March 2018 Check-In 🍀

Oh March, how are ya?  I know most people say this, but seriously, where the hell is the year going?  On that note, however, in comes another check-in and if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that I am DOWN 7.8 pounds!  If I am not mistaken, that is my greatest loss yet.  I am currently at 211.2 pounds, making it 31.4 pounds of total loss!  I am so close to Onederland that I can taste it!  Some days, it is hard for me to notice a difference in the mirror, mostly because I look at myself every day.  However, my clothes are fitting better and I have items that are big on me now!  Those pants in the picture down below, they use to be extremely tight on me, I thought for sure I was going to rip them at one point.  Now, they are slightly loose.  My favorite leather jacket was so tight on my arms, I could barely move them and when I took it off (which was a huge struggle mind you) there were red marks and indinations everywhere.  Now?  LOOSE!  I am feeling more confident in myself everyday.  I haven’t cared about what people thought about me for a long time, only the words in my head mattered.  Even though I still deal with severe depression and bad days, my confidence in myself keeps increasing.  I’ve always known I was a bad ass, but now I am actually starting to feel like one too.

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Clearly, I think you guys can tell I’m out of my depressive funk and might I add, no longer sick.  But before getting into anything else, let’s go over some numbers shall we?

February 1, 2018 March 1, 2018 Difference
Weight 219.0 lbs 211.2 lbs ↓ 7.8 lbs
Neck 14 12 inches 14 inches 1/2 inch
Left Arm 17 14 inches 16 1/2 inches ↓ 34 inch
Right Arm 17 14 inches 17 inches 14 inch
Chest 40 34 inches 40 inches 3/4 inch
Waist 37 12 inches 36 1/2 inches ↓ 1 inch
Hips 46 12 inches 46 1/4 inches 1/4 inch
Left Thigh 28 14 inches 27 1/2 inches 3/4 inch
Right Thigh 28 14 inches 27 1/2 inches 34 inch
Left Calf 18 12 inches 18 1/4 inches 1/4 inch
Right Calf 18 12 inches 18 1/4 inches 1/4 inch

So, if my calculations are correct I am down 5 1/2 inches overall.  This has definitely been one of my best months, despite the setbacks and hurdles.  Looking over my goals for last month, I managed to hit 1 out of the 3 goals, which was to lose 8 pounds in February (hey, I know I’m .2 pounds off, but I’m giving myself this one).  1 out of 3 is not bad, with that being said, let’s go over my March goals, shall we?

1. Be able to run 30 minutes straight.
I have the half marathon coming up in June and I have yet to even complete the Couch 2 5K plan because I keep making excuses.  I am not going to be able to survive this half marathon if I don’t get my damn head in the game.

2. Lose 1 inch for each arm.
If you were to ask me what body part I hate, it’s my arms.  I have ALWAYS hated them.  They are extremely flabby and are huge bat wings.  I want to feel confident wearing tank tops because I love tank tops, but hate my arms.  I can’t lose anything from them unless I start strength training.

3. Lose 11.3 pounds to put my in ONDERLAND!
Now, I know this is a bit much, but I managed to hit my goal last month and I really want to try this month.  If I don’t hit it, I know I will come close and definitely hit it in April, but I would really love to prove to myself that I can, because I haven’t been in Onderland in about 8 years and I want to get there so bad.

Well, I think that does it for me.  If you stuck around this long and read to the end, I appreciate it.  Until next time!

February Check-In

Well, here we are again, the beginning of the month and another check-in.  I definitely had a more successful month than the past couple.  The last recorded weigh-in was November 1st, which was 223.8 pounds.  November and December were completely dud months for me, with no weight loss.  Although no weight gain either.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is official.  I am below 220lbs!

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That is a loss of 4.8 pounds, which I am a little disappointed in, just a little, just because the scale didn’t give me an additional .2 lbs, I mean really scale, couldn’t round it to 5 pounds loss??  🤣 🤣 🤣 Haha  In all seriousness, I am pleased with the loss, however, I know I can do better.  There is always room for improvement.  My total overall weight loss since starting this journey is 23.6 pounds which also means I have officially lost over 20 pounds, another HUGE victory!

November 1, 2017 February 1, 2018 Difference
Weight 223.8 lbs 219.0 lbs ↓ 4.8lbs
Neck 14 12 inches 14 12 inches  Same
Left Arm 16 34 inches 17 14 inches 12 inch
Right Arm 17 14 inches 17 14 inches Same
Chest 43 inches 40 34 inches ↓ 2 14 inches
Waist 37 34 inches 37 12 inches 14 inch
Hips 47 12 inches  46 12 inches ↓ 1 inch
Left Thigh 28 12 inches  28 14 inches 14 inch
Right Thigh 29 inches 28 14 inches 34 inch
Left Calf 19 12 inches 18 12 inches ↓ 1 inch
Right Calf 19 14 inches 18 12 inches 34 inch

Now, if I did my math correctly, I believe this month I lost a total of 5 3/4 inches as well as 4.8 pounds.  Sometimes I know the number on the scale can be underwhelming and disappointing, even though we know it is just a number.  This is also another reason I have been keeping track of my measurements.  It is insane to me that I lost a whole inch in my hips and over 2 inches in my chest (but if I could not completely lose my boobs, I’d appreciate that body lol).

Besides numbers, I’ve been paying attention to how I have been feeling.  I have been using the Elliptical instead of the treadmill (hopefully this doesn’t screw me for the 1/2 Marathon in June) and I have been increasing my time on completeing a mile.  I’m down from a 16 minute mile to a 12 minute mile.  I have been feeling more energized throughout the day and I feel like I am accomplishing something.  I was started to make excuses on the treadmill, not fulling completeing the Couch to 5k program by slowing down.  Sometimes you need to switch out your workout plan and try something new.  I am glad I started using the Elliptical.

Now, with all of that being said, let’s discuss February’s goals!
01. Lose 8 pounds this month.
I know I just discussed that the number on the scale is just a number, but this month I truly want to push myself.  I am aiming for 10 pounds but 8 seems like a good inbetween number of 5 and 10, plus I tend to like even numbers more (like that actually matters Leah, geez).

02. Practice Yoga 2 times a week.
Unfortunately I did not complete the 30 day Yoga guide with Adriene, however yoga is wonderful for the body and mind.  I think 2 times a week is a good, slow number to start out with and hopefully I can stick to.

03. Strength Train!
I have no upper body strenght, like seriously none.  I worked on some of the machines last week.  The leg machines, 70 to 110 pounds easy.  Arms… well, I was lucky if I could do 10 pounds and unfortunately, I am not exaggerating.  For work, I can dead lift a lab in the tub easy.  Past that, nada.  So if I truly want to learn how to rock climb this year, these guns need to be packing!  I am aiming for 2 times a week, just like yoga.

Well, I think that does it here from me.  How did your January go?  I’ve seen a lot of great successes on Instagram this past month!  What are your goals for February?  I hope everyone has a great weekend!  Until next time!

My Weight Watcher’s Story.

In my Battle of the Diets post, I mentioned briefly my time on Weight Watchers.  Tonight, I have decided to go a little further in depth about my time on Weight Watchers as well as why I will never go back to WW.  PS: I am just going to abbreviate it to save time.

beforepicture001I started WW when I was about 20 years old or so and weighed around 224 pounds.  This picture to the left doesn’t really show how large I was, but unfortunately it is the only one I can find.  I was living with a friend who was also overweight and was looking to lose weight.  Together we decided to start WW and join a local gym.  We used the app to help keep track of our points and our exercise.  It was fairly easy to follow and track points.  Of course, back then the internet was not as quick as it is now, but there wasn’t too much issues plugging in our meals.  My friend did most of the cooking, measuring, counting, all of that tedious work because at the time I had no clue how to cook.  Scrambled eggs with cheese was my specialty as well as cereal.  I know, real Rachael Ray in the making… not lol.  For lunches, most of the time we picked up microwaveable meals from Smart Ones, Healthy Choice, and Lean Cuisine.  Most of them also already had to points on the box, which was another wonderful convenience.  Over the span of 6 to 7 months, I went from 224 pounds to about 165 pounds.

Here is where it starts to go downhill.  Although I maintained the weight loss for a good while, I want to say about 2 to 3 years, I learned absolutely nothing from it.  Is that WW’s fault?  Absolutely not.  I allowed myself not to learn anything from that experience.  I didn’t learn how to portion control, I did not address my mental health issues, I definitely didn’t learn how to cook, I just knew that I could heat something up in the microwave and boom, dinner was served.  I quit WW’s because I lost weight, although I still was not at my ideal weight, I was lighter and thought I didn’t need it anymore.

After a wrist injury that left me unable to perform my job, I started emotional eating and the weight started piling back on.  I reached my original highest weight and tacked on an additional 20 pounds.  When I started this fitness journey, 242.6 pounds was officially the highest weight I have ever recalled being.

So after all of that, the fact that I did achieve success with WW’s, why have I decided to not use the service again?  For one, it costs money.  I would rather spend the money I’d be paying to use that service towards my gym membership or workout clothes and shoes.  Another is that I use MyFitnessPal (not sponsored), which is a free app, and it guesstimates how many calories a day I should be eating to lose about 2 pounds a week, let’s me scan foods, calculate recipes, and etc. all for free.  WW’s is an absolutely wonderful tool and I am grateful for the time I used it.  However, I no longer need it because what I am doing is working for me.  I am learning how to cook for myself, portion control, exercise, and I am figuring out how to properly take care of me.  It’s a beautiful thing.  I hope you found this post somewhat interesting.  If you have used WW’s in the past or are currently using it, let me know how it went or how it is going!  I love hearing other success stories as well as tribulation stories.  Until next time!

Lose Weight Quick! BS Fad Diets.

Throughout the years I am sure all of us have read, seen, heard the “Lose 7 pounds in 7 days,” or “drink this to drop 20 pounds in 2 weeks,” bull shit.  If you have been sucked into those lies, never fear, we all have, including me.  Society as a whole is so obsessed with weight that if one does not fit into the societal norms of weight, we look for any means to drop the excess weight as quickly as possible without regards to lasting effects or consequences to our bodies.

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Cabbage soup anyone?  Most means of losing weight quickly from what I have read (and done mind you) over the years tends to entail disgusting drinks, concoctions, and foods.  You follow some sort of plan for about a week or two and drop 7+ pounds, for what?  Momentary satisfaction.  Those “diet plans” never stick.  Within a month the weight tends to come back, and then some.  Putting your body through such turmoil and restriction ends up inhibiting weight loss because it screws with your metabolism and mental well being.

Restricting and denying yourself also has other adverse effects, such as intensifying cravings, which can lead to a food binge.  Most of us who are overweight or have been overweight know that the weight gain did not happen overnight.  Then why put your body through such shock for a quick fix that doesn’t end up actually fixing the problem?

Some diets that I have read and done throughout the years include the cabbage soup diet, the master cleanse, the cayenne pepper and maple syrup diet, and the grapefruit diet.  Did any of those work?  Technically yes, however, if I actually managed to work through a week of that crap, I ended up bingeing and gaining everything I lost and about 5 pounds more.  My body and mental state were in shambles every time.

Find strength and happiness where you are at now, in order to change where you want to go.  Make a long term commitment to your health, instead of a short term empty promise.  Stick to a balanced diet, full of proteins, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats and find a workout regimen that gets you excited, motivated, and charged.  You are beautiful, you are strong, and you are worth more than a 7 day fad.

Start Fresh. Start Where You Are.

So, my original blog was located on leahravenblog.wordpress.com but I decided for an upgrade.  Hence, where we are now.  The original focus on my blog was a weight loss journey, my transformation.  While that is still the major focus, it shall not be my only focus.  I need to transform everything in my life in order to achieve success.  Now, I am not talking about my personality, or who I am as a person, but I need to transform my attitude and my focus to reflect who I want to become.  I need to implement positive consistent changes if I want lasting results.

Right now I want to take a reflection on the previous week, discuss my successes and failures and evaluate what I need to change in order to have a productive upcoming week.  One major positive was that I went to the gym on January 1st.  Why that is such a big deal is due to the fact that there was no one to open up the gym until 7:15am when the gym was originally supposed to open at 6:00am.  I waited and had a wonderful workout.  I also went to the gym on Wednesday and did yoga twice this week.  Major successes.

Setbacks, I missed Friday’s gym workout, did not follow through with my yoga regime, and did not menu plan or meal prep, causing some bingeing and major snacking.

Now let’s talk about ways that I plan to improve my upcoming week.  After I complete this post, I have set aside distractions to menu plan.  I have a list of every food item in my fridge and pantry and am going to come up with some meal ideas.  Working out first thing in the morning has been extremely enjoyable for me, so I am going to continue to work on that and make sure my alarm is set.  Monday I have no appointments on my books so I am going to focus that day on meal prep.  I would like at least a weeks worth of meals prepped and ready to go, if I can get more, fantastic, but that is not the priority.

My goal for the end of the month is to be down 5 pounds, which would put me at 218.4 pounds.  Currently, I am at 223.4 pounds but originally when I started all of this, I weighed 242.6 pounds.  I am down a total of 19.2 pounds.  None of this has been easy, but it has been worth it.  Honestly, if you read plenty of self-improvement books, you will read life is a mental game and it most certainly is.  The most challenging part of my journey is to convince my mind to do things.  I may be enthusiastic and ready to take on the world one minute, then my mind comes creeping back saying, nah, do it tomorrow.  It is a constant battle and immensely frustrating.

Every day is a new day, and every day can be a fresh start.  As long as you never quit, you will never fail.  You may fall, but as long as you keep getting back up you can achieve anything.  What were some of your successes and misses for the week?  What is your plan for the upcoming week?  Let’s talk about them in the comments and maybe we can help each other!  Until next time!