Monday, August 27, 2012

Day 125: Stuck at 136. Time to get Unstuck.

Frustration. I was at such a fantastic steady pace of losing about a pound or more per week for 16 weeks! Now it's been almost 18 weeks since I started my tiny pants journey, and I am STUCK. I've been stuck at 136 pounds since week 15.

Granted, I know a lot of stuff has happened in the last 3 weeks, but I am a bit upset with myself for giving in so easily to turning to food for comfort on several occasions. With stress and girly hormones blasting me with cravings, I have been caving in to more sugar than I'd like to admit lately. I had some frozen yogurt at Orange Leaf on Friday and 3 slices of pizza, a cream soda, AND some ice cream on Sunday. Eck.

When I wasn't eating ice cream or pizza, I was actually on my best behavior with lots of fruits, vegetables and protein as my intake. I'm still obsessed with the mango/tomato/cucumber mix splashed with rice vinegar. NOM NOM.

My lunch at work = spinach salad with sundried tomatoes
and mango/tomato/cucumber salad
My new favorite thing (besides the mango/tomato/cucumber salad) is a big bag of fresh (not frozen) steamed broccoli and cauliflower with 1tbsp of Smart Balance and 1 tsp of TexJoy Steak seasoning. Delish.

On the bright side, at least I have not gained.  I've been a little scared seeing my weight go up to 138 a couple of times at the end of the day, but I'm still averaging at 136 every morning.

I've been told that the last 10 pounds are the hardest ones to lose, so I know I've got to work harder. I tried something last Thursday (August 23rd) that I might start doing once a week. I decided to go for a jog around my apartment complex, but the cars zooming around corners were freaking me out, so I took it up a notch and decided to take it to the buildings...the 3-story buildings...all the way to the top and back down again.

Talk about a change for the better! Not only was it way more exciting than just running in circles, but it was like this crazy adventure obstacle course all around me! I ran up and down 3 floors of 10 different building in my apartment complex. That's 30 floors worth of stairs! I wanted to do more, but the weather was starting to get bad and the sun was going down. For the most part, it was a fun new challenge, and I intend to try it again to see if I can run through more than 10 buildings! There was one slightly scary confrontation with a big angry dog who was trying to do its business, but thank goodness its owner had him on a leash. I'd probably be angry too if someone decided to jog by me while I was trying to poop.

During the weekend, I was able to bike 11 miles and do a fantastic upper body workout with my free weights/dumbbells. I want to get rid of the squish of my arms!

So I'm still on the journey, but my path has been winding, hilly, and against the wind lately. These last 10-15 pounds are probably going to be the hardest because I tend to slack off when I see and feel progress. NOT this time. I'm GOING TO DO THIS. I must!!!

The next time I blog, 136 WILL BE NO MORE. Mark my words, people. Bam.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 118: A Scare, Some Scars, & The Scale

So I am sure you guys have noticed that it has been almost 2 weeks since my last blog entry. The morning after my last entry (Wednesday, August 8), I received some terrifying news that my dad was in a chemical burn accident at work. My dad has told me horror stories about the chemicals that he works with, so when I found out about it, it took all that I had not to panic and assume the worst.

He was rushed to the UTMB Burn Unit in Galveston, one of the best burn hospitals in the country, which luckily for us, is only about an hour or so away from here. My mom and I sped to Galveston unsure of what to expect since we did not get to talk to him the whole morning. It was unnerving for me because the last time I heard his voice was from a voicemail message he left me from an unknown number on my cell phone at 4 in the morning. I had to pray that that wouldn't be the last time I would hear his voice...

We got to Galveston, and to my relief, found my dad chatting and smiling with the BASF Safety Officer, Sterling, who had been with my dad since 2:30 a.m. shortly after the incident occurred. The burns were on his face and chest, and his skin was purple and about 8 to 10 shades darker than he usually is. It was already 9:15 a.m. by the time my mom and I arrived at the hospital, and I hated that it took so long for us to get to him. I was emotional mostly because I was relieved and happy to see my dad smiling and talking, but the next hours and days would be critical because the chemical he was sprayed with has extremely toxic properties that could kill. Lesson learned: ALWAYS ANSWER YOUR PHONE...EVEN IF IT'S 4 A.M.

The chemical my dad got sprayed with is called Dichlorophenol, also known as DCP. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to explain what happened in a public post, so if you'd truly like to know, message me at my inbox on Facebook or Gmail, and I can tell you in a private message.

Thankfully, all of my dad's pH levels and blood work tests were normal. That meant the chemicals did not have the chance to seep into his system and affect his organs. Thank God he took the time to wash the chemical off as much as possible! He spent 60 minutes in the safety showers at BASF and they scrubbed him another 60 minutes at UTMB. Since his results were all normal, they were able to discharge him and send him home the very next day.

Here are some progress photos of my dad's burns
(Warning, some may be hard to look at, so scroll quickly if you have a weak stomach):

August 8
Same day of accident at UTMB
August 9
Back at home
August 11
Painful Peeling
August 13
August 13
Still peeling, painful, & swollen
August 13
Post 1st Follow-Up Visit
at UTMB Galveston
Doctors removed the burned peelings
August 20
2nd UTMB Follow-Up Visit
at UTMB Galveston
The doctors at UTMB and my dad's co-workers who know about the dangers of DCP keep reiterating exactly how lucky he was to escape such an accident alive and to be healing as quickly as he is. I am beyond thankful that this is the case, and I know that all the positive energy and prayers we have been receiving from everyone have truly helped. Thank you.

Somehow during all the chaos of the past couple of weeks, I have still been able to make time to work out and eat right 80% of the time. I didn't get to exercise as much as I would have liked, but it was better than doing absolutely nothing for 2 weeks. I was (and still am) very tired from this big shake-up from my usual routine, but I know that keeping up with my physical activity has helped keep my stress levels lower than they would be otherwise. Besides, I'd take this kind of fatigue and overwhelmed feeling any day over what could have happened.

The first weekend that my dad was home, I stayed with my parents to help my dad change his bandages, get him food, etc. When my parents were napping, I made time to work out in my old bedroom. I managed to walk to my aunt's house down the street and use her treadmill on Sunday morning before church also.
I was able to run/walk a mile in 16:12.
 My mom was also thoughtful enough to fix us healthy dishes while I was there, and she's trying to maintain healthier eating habits for herself and my dad. We ate mostly salmon, chicken, fruit, and vegetables during that weekend. It has been such a relief to see my dad's condition progress toward healing so quickly, and words cannot express the gratitude I feel for the way things turned out despite the scariness of the situation...

Back at work, it was weird to adjust. I've been on a spinach salad kick lately. I enjoy it with an Italian vinaigrette, sun dried tomatoes, a little Pecorino Romano, and sometimes I add a protein such as tuna or salmon.

Spinach salad, tuna, pita chips & hummus
I was able to bike 11 miles after work August 14th - August 16th. I took an off-day on Friday to FINALLY see The Dark Knight Rises with Nick (which was QUITE good, by the way!), and then I did the elliptical for 45 minutes on Saturday morning (the 18th).

Going back to August 14th, that day was my mama's 62nd birthday! Due to my dad's burn accident, plans got changed up quite a bit. We originally planned for me to take off a work day for me to go with my parents to a casino in Louisiana since it's become a yearly tradition for her to try her luck on her birthday. Instead, we changed our plans and went to Coushatta to gamble on Saturday the 18th and stayed the night to Sunday morning.

This was the first time I ever went to a casino. Yes, I am 28 years old, but there are several reasons why I've avoided it for so long, though. I hate cigarette smoke, and I don't want to risk losing any of the little extra money that I have after all my bills have been paid. The only joy I got out of the trip was seeing my mom win and enjoy herself and the splurging a little by eating at the massive buffet. Otherwise, I intend to avoid going back. The machines devoured all the money I put in, it smelled awful, it was loud, crowded, and did I mention it smelled awful?

Obviously, my dad could not join us because God only knows what kind of germs lurk in a casino, and he may have still been vulnerable to infection. It was a lovely mom/daughter trip, though! We went back home on Sunday morning and took advantage of the tax-free shopping sales in Beaumont before I brought her back to Fannett. I wish she could have had a more exciting birthday celebration, but we had a lot to be thankful for. Keeping it low key this year was the best option.

I will admit that my eating has not been as great as it needs to be, and that I have been "stress eating" more often than not. But by some miracle, I have been able to more or less maintain the same weight since my last weigh-in. It has been fluctuating between 136 and 139 over the past 2 weeks, but it has not gone any lower than 136. I have about 10 - 15 more pounds to go before I reach my true goal bracket, and I know I need to get back on track with my eating and my regular workouts.

My weight August 20, 2012
My apologies for the blurriness.
Now that things are (hopefully) beginning to settle down a bit, I intend to get back on track and shed these last difficult 10 pounds. Now, more than ever, I understand that maintaining my health and my weight are so important. Life is short, and you never know when some surprise situation might take away everything... 

Why not make the most of it by taking good care of what you've been blessed with instead of waiting until it's too late? There are times, if you are fortunate enough, to enjoy and savor the rich flavors and indulgences that life has to offer, but what makes those things special vanishes when you make them available to yourself all the time. 

Since I am still playing catch-up both at work and at home, I have decided to reduce my posts to weekly entries rather than daily. I am a little more than halfway there, and it's down to the wire. I truly need some inspiration to keep going, friends and followers. If you have any words of encouragement, they are welcome! I know it sounds kind of selfish to ask for words of love, but well...I could use some! 

Here's to a good rest of the week. Be healthy! Be happy! And hug your parents often. Oh, but if the front half of their body is burned, hug their back. ;)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 105: Week 15 Weigh In

Cheers to a shorter than usual Tuesday! My legs are SUPER sore from yesterday's run, but I love it! I'm so happy and relieved that my foot is NOT part of the soreness I've got going on in my body today, too.

Breakfast was a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats with non-fat milk. They have a new kind that is filled with fruit. I think I used to eat something similar to this at my Grandma's house when I was little, which is why I bought some. Haha...darn sentimentality. Gets me every time.

It's so tasty, too!
I didn't get the chance to walk around campus today, but I got plenty of walking in after work. The cereal kept me full for a LONG time, so I didn't feel hungry until 3:00.

I ate leftovers from last night's supper for lunch with a banana for dessert.

Hello? Yes, I'm on a banana phone.
Since the weather cooperated today, I made a trip to the grocery store right after work and I was able to get more veggies and healthy snacks! 

Carrying all my groceries up the stairs to my 3rd floor walk-up is always a huge challenge. I am stubborn and I like to try to bring it all up in one trip, but I'm always able to do it! I'm always gasping for air by the time I get to my door. 

After I put everything away, I decided to go for a brisk walk around my apartment complex a couple of times. Upon my return, I did this workout as well:

Thanks, Internet!
I thought I'd try to run again, but my legs are so sore. I did a LOT of stretching tonight to loosen things up, and I am hoping that I can bike tomorrow after work and then run again later in the week. I'm all about changing it up! If I weren't such a germophobe, I'd even do some laps in the pool here at my apartment complex...but eew.

Supper was half an eggplant with a turbo baked pork chop and a tiny bit of rice.

Yay, leftovers for lunch tomorrow again!
I still have the other half of the eggplant, too.
Well, today is Tuesday, so that means it's time for my weekly weigh-in. With how I've been eating over the past couple of weeks, I am not surprised with today's weigh-in results....

Well, at least I didn't gain MUCH weight! I'm .2 lbs more than last week.

Still at -14 pounds, but I'm not complaining! I'd like to meet or be super close to my goal by the end of August, so I've got to TRULY discipline myself with my eating. I've decreased my portions a little more since I've been back at work, and I am feeling strong. I can do this!!! I"ve come so far, and I'm almost there. I'm so close I can taste it! Thanks to all of you who are keeping me motivated. You guys really have no idea how much your words of encouragement have meant to me over the past 105 days. 

Also, I just got done Tweeting back and forth with my friend Travis. I'm hoping to meet up with him and his lovely wife Robyn at the hike & bike trail tomorrow if the weather doesn't suck! Yay for fellow friends who want to get in shape. I hope to see you both out there, guys!

Goodnight, everyone!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Day 104: You Never Know Till You Try!

Ah, Monday. I always start Monday feeling tired, but I think my body just accepts that it's time to work again for 5 days after a few hours back at my desk.

I didn't have that great of a breakfast. I don't know why I've been slacking on eating a good breakfast lately, but I know I need to snap out of it! I had 2 prunes.

Lunch was really small since I haven't had time to go grocery shopping since I've been back from vacation. I had a handfull of pita chips with some hummus and water. I had a peanut bar, but I never got around to eating it. I'll save it or tomorrow.

I got to go for a brisk walk around campus today to hang up some flyers. I am always happy to get the chance to get up and get my heart pumping during the day because most days I am stuck inside my office sitting on my butt in front of the computer for 8 hours. I made myself walk faster than usual today because it was about to start POURING, and I didn't want to get caught in it.

After work, I waited for the rain to die down a bit, and then I headed to my apartment complex gym to greet my old friend, the treadmill! I have not run in about 3 months, so I was pretty nervous about what would happen. Would my foot cooperate? Would I be able to last for more than a minute running? Would my knee begin to hurt?

All these questions have given me anxiety since I felt the pain in my foot from the last time I had a good run, but after a lot of thought, and a lot of stretching, I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I didn't set huge expectations for myself, but I figured if my foot didn't give me any trouble in San Francisco from all the walking (and sometimes jogging on my part to keep up since Nick is quite taller than me) I would probably be OK. I even asked my boss lady (who is a marathon runner) for advice on what she thought I should do, and she thought I'd be OK...

So, I ran! And ya know what? I was able to run for 1.5 miles in 20 minutes without stopping! I don't think I even ran that well when I was running often back in April and May!!! I was able to run more later after a 10 minute break, which makes the total amount running today 1.75 miles for me. YAY! Not too shabby for a newbie runner with a gimp foot and a shaky knee. Well, at least I don't think it is! 

I know I have accomplished a lot with biking and the other exercises I've forced myself to do since April 25th, but running is something I've feared so much my whole life. When I'm able to run without fear, I feel fantastic! As someone who has struggled with weight and body image issues since the age of 9, I am finally feeling like I am more powerful than those insecurities. Being able to run over a mile is something I never ever thought I'd be able to do, and it still makes me smile knowing that I am capable of doing this now, plus more.  

For supper, I made myself a fillet of salmon with some rice and pickled okra. I am pretty much out of vegetables, so I need to go grocery shopping sometime this week.

I've developed a new obsession with
Sriracha hot sauce... It's my new ketchup. hah!
A healthier alternative, for sure!
Yay, leftovers for lunch tomorrow!
I feel like I've lost focus over the past couple of weeks with the excitement of my trip and like I fell into a mundane routine before I left. I need to remember that this blog isn't only for documenting MY progress, but it's also to help others be inspired to get healthy and/or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Now that things are calming down a bit,  I will have to show more discipline. I have about 10-15 more pounds I want to lose before I reach my goal weight, and I've heard that those are the most difficult to lose. If I want to achieve my goals, I must step it up with my intake and work harder. I'm finally rested and ready! 

Tomorrow is my week 15 weigh in. Bring it on.

P.S. I am thoroughly enjoying the Olympics. They're SO inspiring and they've helped me get off my but and get going! What inspires you to move? Cherish whatever it is, and get going! 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 102: 9 Miles, Crazy Heat, & Lots of Food

I hate that I haven't been able to blog daily since I've returned from California, but I am still playing catch up on a lot of things.

My apartment is a mess, my sleep schedule is still all messed up, and I've had a lot of after-work activities that have been taking up my time. I am hoping that I can get back into my usual routine sooner than later so that the weight loss progress can continue.

Today was the first time I've been on my bike since July 21st! It felt good to be back out there, but by the 3rd lap, I knew I chose one of the the worst possible times of day to be out there.  I normally prefer to go to the trail at around 8 a.m. or 7 p.m., but I had plans for this evening so I had to go now or never.

I had a banana and a bunch of water before I hit the trail because I knew the heat would be bad.

I biked at 10:20 this morning, and the heat was already on the verge of unbearable. I was only able to do 9 miles today, but I know I will be able to do more next time. I won't be able to bike again until Monday (unless I am preparing to evacuate from stupid Tropical Storm/possible Hurricane Ernesto). Here's hoping the storm doesn't head this way! I finished my bike ride at about 11:15.

Hello, my friend! I've missed you!
A few entries ago, I mentioned photographing one of my Godkids for his 1st birthday party. Today was his big party day, so it was a day of lots of delicious food. The party was sock monkey themed, and there were delicious dishes as far as the eye could see.

This was my plate.
I ate everything but one of the meatballs. haha
I didn't feel too badly about eating all that because I was FAMISHED after my scorching bike ride.
I drank water with my meal.

Filipino noodles (Pancit)
Monkey bread
Various desserts
Filipino desserts
I suck and I don't know what these are called.
After the birthday party, I had to take a short nap because I think the heat gave me a headache. After a good rest, it was time to go back out again for a "farewell" dinner with some of my friends. My dear friends Amy & Jimmy are moving to Corpus Christi on Tuesday, and we wanted to have one last meal together before they left. I met Jimmy, Amy, Alisa, and Brian at Tokyo for some sushi.

I got a yummy orchid roll
and a  small bowl of onion soup.
Orchid roll: avocado, shrimp tempura, spicy crab meat,
nitro sauce wrapped in BBQ paper, topped with fresh
hamachi, green onion, and hot sauce.
Amy and Jimmy will always hold a special place in my heart for many reasons. I will miss them so very much when they're no longer a 5 minute drive down the road, but I guess this means I'll have to make a trip to Corpus to visit them! ROAD TRIP!

But getting back to the fitness....(SO I DON'T START CRYING!)
Lately I have been making myself do 10 pushups before I go to sleep and when I wake up in the morning. I have also been doing squats while I brush my teeth! Fitting in any kind of activity into your daily activities can make quite a difference, so there's no excuse for not making time!

Tomorrow shall be an interesting challenge for me to fit in my workout because I've had a hard time waking up earlier than 9:00 since I got back from California. Waking up for work has been TORTURE all week. Between adjusting to the time change and watching the Olympics into the night, sleep and I have not gotten reacquainted very well since I got back to Texas. I have to wake up earlier than usual tomorrow since it's youth mass and practice starts at 9 a.m. in Fannett. I hope to wake up at 7 and fit in a Sworkit workout before I have to get ready to go.

So goodnight, all! It was a lovely Saturday, and I can hardly believe I've been on this weight loss journey for over 100 days! It's time to truly get back on track now until the next big occasion -- my mom's birthday!