Non-Scale Victories

I don’t know about you but weight loss is full of ups and downs.  There are days where I feel like I can take on the world, and there are days where I feel like I’m just as heavy as always and I want to drown my sorrows in cupcake frosting.  Both types of days are entirely normal and I am slowly learning to relish in the good, strong, powerful days and to look for small victories in the harder days.

That being said it isn’t always easy to see the changes around you when you have a lot of weight still to lose, especially if the scale isn’t moving or is moving SLLLLLOOOOOWWWWWLLLLLY.    Or maybe you are like me and you try to weigh in only once a week and need motivation throughout the week.  That is where the non-scale victory (NSV) comes in.  Acknowledging non-scale victories are vital for lifting your spirits and sustaining you on your way to your goals.

The way I see it there are two main types of NSV.  I call them The Willpower NSV and The “That’s New” NSV

The Willpower NSV 

This type of non-scale victory relies on you noticing when you are rising above something that might have previously been an obstacle.  You use your strength and determination to make a different choice from the one you might have made before.  This could include not eating your fries, working out when you really don’t want to, avoiding the dangerous buffet, or even managing to eat the buffet in moderation.   Anything that is a temptation for you is an opportunity for a NSV.  And as I find, the more of these types of NSVs you have, the easier it is to make more good choices.  Strength and willpower multiply exponentially.  When you are staying strong on Monday it is easier to stay strong on Tuesday.  If you make some not-great choices on Monday it might be harder to make good choices on Tuesday.  This NSV has cumulative powers to keep you on track.

The “That’s New” NSV

These are victories that are new to you, or at least things you haven’t seen or been able to do for a while.  Again these are dependent on you, but most of the time you suddenly become aware of them and it is a shock to you.  Just when you think no progress is being made you might find a pair of jeans looser, or the coat fitting better, or the car seat being more comfortable.  You might find your endurance has gone up at the gym, or you can run longer distances, or lift heavier weights.  Or maybe it is realizing that the salad you had for lunch really hit the spot, or that you aren’t craving diet coke today.  These NSV are glimmers of progress that also keep us going.  They are tangible examples of our ability to make change in our life, even if we don’t always see it on the scale.  You can seek these out by measuring yourself or trying on new clothes in different sizes, but most of the time these will sneak up on you and you will suddenly find yourself smiling with the knowledge of something accomplished.

Because I am trying to be hyper-vigilant about my determination waning, I am trying to make note of my own NSV as they happen.  I will often tweet them or celebrate them with my friends or Mr. Goat.  They almost mean more than the scale because they are reminders that I am stronger than I think and that change can happen.  Knowing those two things are great motivation for me.  If it is true yesterday then it is true today whether or not I’m feeling stressed or fat or sad or tired.

I’m writing this because tonight I was sitting on the couch and realized that my leg was tucked under me in such a way that I could have painted my own toenails.  Now home pedicures are always awkward processes but this simple fact was enough to remind me today that I am making serious lasting changes in my life.  Now I just need to find some nail polish and get them painted!  (What color should I get?)  Watch for those NSVs my friends, they can make days brighter and tomorrow easier.

What is one NSV that you’ve had this week?

Weekend Recaps and Weigh-in

Let’s get right to the weigh-in. Here are my Week 16 results from April 28th:

Starting weight:  251.0
Previous weight: 236.0
Current weight: 235.0
Week 16 Loss: -1.0
Total Loss: -16.0

I’m pretty happy with a one pound loss considering the previous week’s events and calories consumed. We attended a lovely and fun wedding, where I made no real effort to track how much beer I drank (a lot) and as a result, had a killer hangover the next morning. That was my first hangover since 2010 and let me tell you, it was a doozy. Oof. Friends were in town from out of state, so the next day, some of us decided to have brunch and hang out a little more. I don’t know if all of you are familiar with Eggspectations, but it is the place of hangover-cure dreams. It was hard to choose what to get – their menu is probably bigger than that at Cheesecake Factory – but I decided on Eggs Benedict crepes and enjoyed every single bite.

While I ignored calories and points at the wedding, I did make a very conscious effort to make up for it with workouts and better eating throughout the week. I decided to amp up a workout by doing walking lunges on the incline treadmill at the gym. If you’re not familiar with the incline treadmill, let me tell you just a little bit about it. It inclines. A lot. It inclines up to 30% and there are handlebars that you have to hold onto so you don’t tumble backwards and fall off of the machine. Kind of like this, but ignore the smiling woman on it and pretend she’s grimacing and gripping the handles for dear life:

My old trainer (hi Leigh-Anne!) showed me how to do walking lunges on the incline, so that was part of my workout last Wednesday. I warmed up with regular walking and gradually increased the incline. Once I got to 18%, I started alternating very slow walking lunges with regular walking. I’d lunge for 30 seconds, walk for 30 seconds, up the incline, and repeat. I was really struggling once I got to 27% and didn’t want my heart to burst in my chest, so I did 15 second intervals for the last two inclines. I won’t bore you with the rest of my workout, but I will say that I shouldn’t have jumped right into so many lunges. I could barely walk for two days and even felt it a bit when I took an easy 2 mile walk yesterday. (Is this what I have to look forward to when I start 30-day Shred? Hold me.)

I’m fairly certain I would have lost more weight if I would have had only a couple of drinks at the wedding and had egg whites and turkey bacon for brunch the next day, but I have no regrets. I enjoyed the drinks, the food, and the company, and really have no guilt about any of it. I’m happy with with a one pound loss, proud of myself for stepping up the workouts, and feel good about striking some sort of balance.

All that being said, this week will be somewhat of a repeat of last week since I was at my parents’ house in Pennsylvania all weekend. I did take a nice walk with my mom and the baby yesterday, but I don’t think I made a dent in the amount of calories and carbohydrates I ate. I went to a cousin’s baby shower where I’m pretty sure I didn’t see a single fruit or vegetable in the buffet line, went to a spaghetti dinner benefit lunch for an old friend’s father who was in a very serious car accident, and to top it all off, had McDonald’s for lunch on my way home this afternoon. My justification for stopping at McDonald’s was that they have kid’s meals and Syd could play in the kid area for a bit after two hours in the car. Of course the one we stopped at had no play area and of course my kid taught me a lesson by refusing her cheeseburger and wanted only apple slices. Just in case you’re wondering, I had a Big Mac and fries, but this time, I do have major regrets. I could have had a salad or grilled chicken sandwich, but I chose not to and I’m not even really sure why. It’s like I didn’t even think about it which blows my mind. So again, I will be working out more this week with a goal to do two workouts a day from Tuesday-Friday. I have no big weekend plans coming up that would involve celebratory eating and/or drinking, so I should be safe from the Indulgence Monster for a while.

Do any of you just eat whatever you want on the weekends and make up for it during the week or do you treat the weekend days like every other day? I know different things work for different people but look forward to hearing how you balance indulgences, planned or unplanned.

It feels great to be home and I can’t wait to get my workouts in this week!

 

Trying Crossfit

Have you ever heard of Crossfit? I hear people rave about it all the time, and I’ve seen some pretty convincing transformations in people I know who have done it.

I’ve looked into it myself a few times, but the price always turns me off of it. It’s definitely more than your average gym membership fees. But then last week, I was walking back to my desk from a meeting when a flyer in the hallway caught my eye…

“FREE CROSSFIT TRIAL”

Aw yeah, baby. The very best time to try something out is when it’s free. The flyer said Crossfit will bring all necessary equipment (barbells and the like) to the premises, and all you have to do is show up in sneakers and workout clothes. It’s during lunch this week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I’m planning to get in all three days. When the trial is over, they’ll discuss contracts and pricing, and if I like it as much as I think I will, I just might sign up.

One not-so-fun thing I have to deal with after having lost weight is my upper arms. What was once just chubs is now loose skin that would look much better it it was firmed up by some muscle. Same with my legs. And bohiney. And, well… kind of everything. Running has been great, but it doesn’t do much for me in the way of forming and building muscles. Not for my upper body anyway.

What do you think of Crossfit? Have you done it? Do you think it’s worth the $$$?

You can follow me on Twitter @PFG_Elle

And now, to recover and move on!

I am so thankful this weekend was half gloomy and grey – it made curling up in our big chair easier. Surgery on Friday went really well. I arrived very early, at 6am, and was greeted by Jill, my nurse. We took before pictures and then walked back to wait for Dr. Gervais. Dr. Gervais and I talked a little while he examined under my arms, reviewing what he’ll need to do. He then drew incision lines and showed me.

I’m learning surgery isn’t like we’d think it is. It isn’t like cutting fabric & sewing it together because the skin pulls in different directions, reacts differently and heals differently. The skin under my left arm wasn’t as bad as under my right arm. After drawing, they started the I.V. and I kissed Carlos goodbye.

I walked into the O.R. and stood on a large blue disposable towel while Jill wiped iodine all over my body. Iodine is an antiseptic wash used right before surgery. I laid down and before I knew it, I was out.

Before surgery:

After surgery:

Hopefully those pictures aren’t too bad for you – they aren’t as graphic as from previous surgeries. I’m done posting gross surgery photos. Mostly because I have no intention of having any more surgeries

I finished my 2nd book in a month, read 5 magazines, addressed all the wedding invitations and caught up on a lot of recorded t.v. Iggy has been very cuddly, insisting on laying right on my lap. He does that sometimes, but not all the time like this weekend. I think dogs are very intuitive.

I’ve been very good with my water the past six months and especially good this weekend. There isn’t much else to do while sitting still except drink water :) My eating has been pretty good too. I didn’t gain any weight during this surgery and am looking forward to getting back into my weight-loss mode in the next couple weeks.

I can’t believe it’s been over six weeks since I worked out, since I went in for my 2nd surgery. I don’t miss working out but I miss running. I miss the air in my hair, the wind hitting my face. I miss running with friends and catching up on life. I’m thinking of doing another large calendar for the summer, to keep me on track and focused. I also am going to restart New Rules of Lifting for Women to get my upper body ready for my wedding dress. Anyone want to start that with me? I was thinking maybe the beginning of June.

I have Monday off from work but do have a Blogging for Beginners class Monday evening. Back to work on Tuesday which should be fine. I’m trying to alternate the Vicodin with Tylenol so I think by Tuesday, I should be off the Vicodin. Other than that, I feel like I’m out of the loop on the healthiness community.What am I missing? Fill me in!!