Ending My Gym-Cation

I’ve never been shy about telling you guys how much I don’t enjoy working out.  Heck, even Jillian Michaels mentioned that she doesn’t love killing it in the gymThanks for that reality check, Jill.

As part of this healthy living community, I know that I am definitely not the norm.  My social media feeds are peppered with folks that are leveraging those endorphins every single day.  Some of them do it for a living, some of them are conquering new and exciting physical challenges (Yes — I’m talking about you, Alan!,) and some seem to be wired to work out overcoming all odds.

Many of you are going after it every single day in the most impressive of ways.  Thank you for sharing your stories, posting your pics, and displaying your positive mantras.  I’ve wanted to be inspired by you.  I’ve wanted to use your sweatie selflies as an inspiration for me to put on my sneakers and get to the gym.

But… I didn’t, and I haven’t for a while.  While I’ve been hitting up yoga at least once or twice a week, it’s been a long time since I had that super-sweaty, adrenaline-filled night at the gym.  The hardest part… I haven’t had the desire to be there AT ALL.

If you’ve met me and or know me even a little bit, you likely know that I don’t do anything that I truly don’t want to do.  Yep, that’s me.  I’ve been stubborn about this.  I’ve justified it in my head… and I’ve taken a break.  I told myself that I would maintain my weight (and lose a little) solely through managing my food consumption.

So… How’s that Going?

I am a FIRM believer (refer back to the stubborn paragraph above, if needed) that your weight story is told in the kitchen, not in the gym.  For example:  It is VERY hard to work off an extra 500 calorie snack you indulge in every single day.  It can be done, but to me, it makes better sense to just choose the 100 calorie equivalent of said snack, and move on.

This is why I am wildly passionate about cooking, why I am a huge volumizer on the Jenny Craig program, and why I allowed myself to (pretty much) take a month off of working out…

I absolutely know that I can lose/maintain weight by just eating better.  I have for the past month with Jenny!  While the program is working for me, I need a little “wiggle room.”  And, I get wiggle room from adding in physical activity.

Truth be told, I don’t feel great.  I miss those endorphins and the sense of accomplishment associated with even walking through the door at the YMCA.  I also feel like I’m holding all my stress in as opposed to releasing it.  This isn’t good for me.  I can also feel that in my body.  Lastly, summer is JUST around the corner.  Even though we’re expecting snow this week (AGAIN!), I will be in a swimsuit soon, and I want to feel fabulous.

Right now, I don’t feel fabulous.  I truthfully feel like I’ve entered a self-approved form of laziness.  Meaning, I accept it and I don’t judge myself for it… since I wrote myself a permission slip a month ago to take a break.  However, it’s time to tear up that pretty piece of paper.

It’s time to end this gym-cation!  Does this mean that I’ll be at the gym every day?  Probably not.  Does this mean that I’m going to make an effort to add more activity every single week?  Yep.

One last confession:  The idea of doing this… it doesn’t sound exactly fun to me, but neither does saying no to a slice of cake, a piece of pizza, or a second glass of wine.  But sometimes, you just have to do it.  It’s time.

So, starting this week, I plan be there.  I’ll be on the treadmill, lifting weights, and maybe even in that new class I’ve wanted to try.  I may not be the peppiest about it, certainly not the fastest, nor the most excited about it… but I’ll be burning calories and doing something great for my body at the same time.

I’m in Phoenix for the next few days, and I have workout clothes with me… and I plan to use them.  I need this.  It’s time.  I’m choosing me.

Have you ever taken a “gym-cation”?

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Asking for Help and Recommitting to Jenny

Last Monday, I was driving home and talking to my sister-in-law Beth on the way home.  And something hit me… it was time to take action.

While I had been thinking about it for a while, I’d hesitated.  I’d told myself that there might be another way.  I told myself that I could just do it on my own… but in the back of my head I knew what I really needed to do.

Instead of driving all the way home, I took a turn in the opposite direction… in the RIGHT direction, if you will.

I drove myself to my local Jenny Craig Centre.

Beth and I talked about it, and she really encouraged me to do it.  I hung up the phone with her, and called Jenny to see if my favorite centre direct had time available to see me.  Of course, she made the time and ten minutes later, I was at Jenny Craig waiting for the first “official” consultation that I’d had in about a year.

I’d felt overwhelmed for the past few weeks, and I needed a plan.

It had been a long time since I had sat in that very seat, in this position.  Used to sitting in the waiting room very proud of what I’d lost, I hadn’t experienced that “I need help” feeling in a long time… and, it brought me to tears.

I don’t think the tears were sad tears, instead tears of relief.  I’d finally asked for help.  I’m finally leaning on the support system I’d used in the past, and I felt confident that I could get a handle on what had been going on.

After an amazing pep talk with Maria, I walked away with a week’s worth of food, a plan, and piece of mind that I would lose that weight I’ve been haunted by for the past six months.

Jenny Craig Foods | No Thanks to Cake

I shared with you guys that I’d gained back about 15 pounds in the second half of 2103.  Since then, I’ve been trying to eat better… and workout more… but in reality, I haven’t been consistent.

For me, the best way for me to lose weight is to actively participate in a program.  I’m not one of those girls that can eat on program one day, and off program the next… my body likes consistency and with consistency, I find peace.

Jumping back on program with the Jenny Craig program has been amazing!  I was able to slide right back into my comfortable place on this program, dining on some of my favorite Jenny meals.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m eating well.. and dining on quite a few beautiful meals!

Jenny Craig Food | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve been leaning on my volumizing strategies, following a food plan daily, and I feel amazing!  I’ll be weighing in for the first time with Maria later today.  I’ve scheduled to visit with her on Mondays after work.  Looking forward to seeing that scale start to move!!!

Sometimes we just have to pause.  Sometimes we need to re-assess.  And, sometimes we need to go back to what we know works.  I’m back.

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Over the years, I’ve come up with quite the collection of Jenny Craig Volumizing Recipes.  Click the image below to see the full list of creations and to try some new favorites!

Jenny Craig Volumizing Recipes | No Thanks to Cake

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My Reaction to the Biggest Loser Finale

It’s after 10pm in Colorado (on a school night!) and I just got done watching NBC’s Biggest Loser.  While I told myself that I was going to take my happy self to bed, I just can’t.  Too many things are going through my head about the show I just watched.

Right after Bobby appeared  on-stage showing off his slim and trim self, I posted this message to the NTTC Facebook page.

Biggest Loser 2014 | No Thanks to Cake

I have always loved this show.  Not because of their lose-weight-fast techniques (that’s topic for another post), instead because I see that look on people’s faces that I recognize so much: that look of pride and elation for having lost the weight as they step across the finale stage.  I’ve seen that look on my very own face many times since I’ve freed myself of 65+ lbs over the past three years. On a small scale, I get what they’re going through…

Before After | No Thanks to Cake

I think Bobby’s comments were the most relatable to me… he said that he was finally proud of himself.  And, he didn’t even have to say it.  You could see it all over his face and in the way he carried himself.  That man is forever transformed… I am honored to have had a chance to see a glimpse of his journey.

For me, the show has always represented hope. It helps people believe they can achieve what they never thought possible.  And, for all of those sitting on the couch at home watching… it offers you a moment to think that MAYBE, just MAYBE it could be you in the spotlight.

Biggest Loser Finalists | No Thanks to Cake

Now, the nature of this show is that it is a weight loss competition, so he/she who loses the most weight wins.  Clearly this year, there was a contestant who pushed this “contest” to the limit, much further than we’ve ever seen before.  I anticipate the press will cover it over and over today and criticize the show intensely.

Doctors and dietitians are going to swoop in and make the call on what has happened.  For this, I feel confident and appreciate.  I also feel confident that the winner will be guided toward greater health… and new rules will be established in the contest.  I think we all saw that lookon the trainers’ faces.  This was not what they expected to have happened during the at-home portion.  It has never happened before, and I am hopeful that the contest portion of the show will be guided differently in the future to assure contestants don’t take extreme measures.

I feel in many ways that as a weight loss blogger, I am expected to have a critical opinion on tonight’s show.  That I am expected to take a strong stance on the contestant and show.  And, that I am expected to provide an expert (or at least an educated) opinion on what happened this season.

Disclaimer: I’m not an MD, nor dietician.  I’m not involved in any part of the weight loss process associated with this show.  Instead, I’m merely a spectator who pressed the right buttons on my remote and landed on the right channel to watch it.  I’ve also experienced a small fraction of the weight loss we saw tonight and kept it off.  Note:  That doesn’t make me an expert.  It makes me a fan of watching a show that has helped people who achieve their dreams.  

I’ve also watched these men and women struggle with their weight.  I’ve had a glimpse of their breakdowns over what got them to their obese state.  I’ve watched them participate in herculean challenges and been in awe by their newfound strength. Lastly, I’ve cried with them as they’ve revealed their final weight loss to America.  And I’ve related to so much of their beautifully-imperfect journeys, the part of the journey that we watched this season on the ranch.

When I carried around my excess weight, I judged my body way too harshly. The words I had for myself were more intense than what anyone could have ever said to me.  Whether it was criticism over the number staring at me from the tag on my jeans, that I couldn’t resist the meal I just devoured, or even that I really couldn’t cross my legs properly, the self-criticism was intense.  There was only one person saying this to me… judging me, telling me I wasn’t good enough, and it wasn’t millions of Americans (thank goodness!)

As a result, I have a pretty firm position on weight loss and judging other people’s journey.  I really try not to do it.  

Instead, I wish anyone battling the scale my support, good health, and peace, and I think it’s incredibly important to reserve judgment.

So rather than casting my judgment on these contestants today, I’m choosing to send love and support… and from the few comments I saw on my personal Facebook feed last night, Twitter, and the internet so far, there will be plenty of judgment for you to read elsewhere.

I just can’t contribute to it.

Instead, I choose to send my best to all of those we saw on last night’s Biggest Loser.  (Did you see Tumi, Marie, and Ruben?  WOW!)  There were a lot of success stories on that stage tonight, and I suspect the process has really just started for all the contestants.

As we all know, there is no quick fix to losing weight.  There is no magic pill, nor magic procedure that will make it all go away (and stay away.)

What does exist every once in a while is that magical moment in time where you feel motivated to change your life, when you find yourself inspired to dream, and when you finally feel compelled to change.  I have to believe that there were many people who experienced that moment while watching this show over the years, and for that I am grateful.  Grateful as well to the contestants who put themselves out there and share their stories…

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Life Lessons: Allow Yourself to Be Challenged

I meet with my life coach every other week now, and I was excited to have a chance to catch up with Betsy late last week.  Betsy specializes in helping people “Find Food Peace” so I knew that she’d be someone great to talk to about my plan of action for the new year.

What I’ve grown to expect from these sessions is that I’m going to get way more than what I’m asking for, and Thursday was no exception.

Life Lessons - Allow Yourself to Be Challenged | No Thanks to Cake

Over time, I’ve realized that I don’t gravitate to the “Yes Sir” kind of people.  You know them, the people that just love everything about you… your hair, your smile, the way your shirt is wrinkled, the way you carry your suitcase.  While I appreciate those people for being kind to me on the regular, those aren’t the people I spend my life with.

If given a choice, I always choose (consciously or subconsciously) the people that cause me to pause and reconsider an opinion, a plan, or a belief.  

I’m not always right.  I don’t have all the answers.  And, no, I don’t always have on cute shoes.  Nope.  And, I don’t always have life figured out 100%.  {PS… I never will.}

Life to me is about looking at your current situation, examining why you do what you do, and pausing… assessing… and making a decision to change or to continue your course of action.

Talking with Betsy last week, she caused me to pause.

Right now, I’m at a critical point in my weight loss journey.  I’ve recognized that I’ve gained about 15 pounds, and I’ve established a plan to lose that weight.

Quickly, I put into place my MyFitnessPal practice of tracking calories.  I began getting my happy self to the gym a few times a week.  I’ve already started to see my weight decrease.

What a brilliant plan!  I thought.

And then, I spoke with Betsy.  She and I spent our hour talking about how freeing intuitive eating can be.  We talked about how my body knows when it’s hungry, what it should be eating, and how much it needs for fuel every single day.  We talked about how great it would be to not be logging my food into an app… instead, just to listen to my body.  We even talked about how it is a good idea not to weigh myself every single day.

WHOA!

All of these concepts sound amazing.  Each one of them get me closer to where I want to be with this weight loss journey… and each one of them represent me letting go of the control I’ve executed to lose weight in the past.  Whoa…

My first instinct during this conversation:  TO RESIST.  100% to resist.

Nope Grumpy Cat | No Thanks to Cake

I mean, I only know what’s worked for me in the past.  I don’t have confidence that I can do this new approach.  I don’t know that it will yield results, and in many ways… I’m afraid.

But when I think about it… what she’s describing is EXACTLY what I want my end-game to be.  I don’t want to have to track my food forever.  I don’t want to count calories for a lifetime.  I just want to live.

As I move into this week down 2 lbs following my old track-it and weigh-it philosophy, I’m beginning to adopt some of the philosophies that Betsy talked about.  I’m adopting them in a gentle way… still tracking on MyFitnessPal while simultaneously incorporating some strategies of intuitive eating.

Just three simple things… so it doesn’t seem so scary to me.

Challenging Myself in New Ways | No Thanks to Cake

So far, it’s going well.  As this process continues, I’ll certainly follow-up.

Why did I choose to incorporate these new challenges?  Frankly, why wouldn’t I?  I have support as I do so, and it’s ultimately how I want to live… eating intuitively, rather than deliberately or per plan.

Also, my standard plan isn’t without fault.  If it were, I wouldn’t have gained back the 15+ lbs I’ve been carrying.

So, here I go… adding a little more complexity (or rather simplicity) to the process.  This journey is all about learning, and afterall…

Choose Change | No Thanks to Cake

How do you listen to your body when it comes to weight loss/maintenance?

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