An 8 to celebrate

“You’ve lost weight,” the fella commented after hugging me when he got home from work the other night.

I scoffed, having been on the tail-end of one of those “fat days” when I just wasn’t feeling the outfit I chose to wear to work that morning.
Can you relate to a day like that, when your clothes just don’t feel comfortable, so you’re constantly tugging at them? Ugh. 

“Obviously you know you have,” the fella said, rolling his eyes before reminding me that I’d told him a few days before that my jeans were starting to feel baggy.

To find out for sure, I hopped on the scale the next day and saw that I’d dropped eight pounds since mid-August when I started this latest “eat-better-and-walk-more” regime.

But I cannot tell a lie. The new regime was one part me knowing I needed to make a change, especially after my summer of inactivity due to the endless heatwave we had … and one part my doctor telling me a few weeks back that I am pre-diabetic because of my weight.

It certainly didn’t come as a shock, especially since my grandmother had severe diabetes and both of my parents were diagnosed with it late in life. I knew it was coming; it had to, considering my eating habits and lifestyle, but hearing the doctor say it was quite the wake-up call.
Funny how those things work, hmm? 

I promptly made an appointment with a nutritionist he recommended, and put many of her suggestions into practices ASAP. And it seems to be paying off, according to Mr. Scale.

Plus, I’ve been getting off at a different subway station most days instead of the one at the end of my work block just to get in an extra walk and aiming for an even further station after work, so that’s been a big help, too, in ensuring that I’m meeting my daily step goal.

In fact, adding that little effort paid off big time as I won this week’s Workweek Challenge on Fitbit, my first win of this particular challenge in quite some time.

workweek

It was such a good feeling … one that was almost as good as seeing those eight pounds not on the scale.

Nikki

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-20 and surviving a carb fest

I figured I would hop on the scale Friday before I headed home to visit my parents for the weekend. If I was down a bit, I’d keep that top of mind when I got to the place where food was always the sixth member of our family (after the parents, the brother, me and our beloved late Lab, Zakk).

I was pleasantly surprised to find I was down a full 20 pounds — it felt like it was a long time coming, but I’m glad I finally hit this major milestone. So excited by that number — and the fact that I was running extremely late to catch the 11 a.m. out of Port Authority — I didn’t have time to eat or grab a snack to take on the bus with me before I left the house.

Needless to say, by the time I got of the bus more than three hours later and after a grocery-store trip where we got about three bags full of carbs (think three different kinds of chips, two different kinds of pretzels, a loaf of bread, hamburger buns and this super-yummy baked oatmeal from the bakery department), I was famished. And bordering on hangry. So I opened one of the bag of pretzels and ate a few handfuls as I drove.

We picked up some Wendy’s salads, and I’m proud to say that my hunger didn’t force me to weaken and get the crispy chicken sandwich and fries I really wanted. I got a salad, and after I ate it when we got home, it just wasn’t hitting the spot. I went back to the pretzels I opened in the car. Then I dipped into the baked oatmeal. I went back to the pretzels and then I just felt sick. And ashamed of myself.

But that didn’t stop us from going out to a nice dinner later on that night. I had soup and ahi tuna, so my dinner wasn’t that bad, but I still felt awful, both because I knew I had eaten way, way too much and because I was severely disappointed in myself.

I woke up Saturday determined to be better. I decided to go for a walk, but since my folks live on a dirt road, and it had rained so it was all mud, I headed to the track at my old high school. I love walking on those rubbery tracks, but my God, they are so boring compared to walking the city streets or the woods surrounding my parents’ where I really wanted to walk, so after I hit the two-mile mark, I told myself I’d do another half mile and head home.

Just as I started the final two laps, a woman who had continually outpaced me — and I was walking “very brisk,” according to Map My Walk — passed me again, but this time she said hello and commented on how nice the day was so far. We started walking together and talking about walking, health and we even shared weight-loss tips with each other.

Before we knew it, we both exceeded our walking goals — by two and a half miles! It was great to have someone to pass the time with, and Denise and I exchanged numbers to continue sharing tips and walk the next time I’m back in Dallas. It was such a pleasant surprise, one that doesn’t really happen here in the city, where you just start chatting with a stranger.

I was so glad our walking paths crossed, and her pushing me to go those extra miles was instrumental in keeping me on the straight and narrow the rest of my time at home. Of course I ate Mom’s famous whimpies, but I only had one with a bun and just a small follow-up scoop of the meat, and when I still felt hungry, I had grilled chicken with spinach and balsamic. While I treated myself to some chips, I didn’t house most of the bag like I used to do.

I stayed pretty good on Sunday, and when I weighed myself Monday morning — just as a check up, not because I have an obsession with the scale — I had maintained Friday’s weight, which had always been unheard of after a weekend at home.

I knew going home to my parents, who used to own a restaurant and always had the best food around the house, would be a huge test to the willpower I’ve been building the past few months, but I daresay I passed with flying colors.

Now onto the next challenge, whatever that may be!

Nikki

 

Fighting with the scale

I have, quite literally, been walking my ass off the past few months.

My previous post about walking 25 miles over the course of a weekend, while I find it super impressive, is just part of what a normal week is for me. This week, for example, I’ve already exceeded 25 miles, and it’s only Thursday, and I’ll be putting on my Reeboks as soon as this post is done and logging another six or seven miles by the time I get home.

According to the first-quarter stat update from Map My Walk, I’ve already done 205 miles in 2014, and the e-mail said I’m “on track to hit 822” by yearend. I love a challenge, so I plan to raise that number by 178 to make it an even 1,000 miles at least.

Having said that and that fact that I’ve been walking my ass off and feeling my jeans get bigger and getting back into some of the clothes that have been shoved into the bottom of a drawer or the back of my closet, the scale has just been an unbudging SOB. In fact, it even went back up five pounds, which I know is a bold-faced lie because 1) I’m wearing those clothes that finally fit again, 2) I definitely see a difference in my face and stomach and 3) I am more often than not eating less than my caloric allowance because of all that damn walking, which is obviously a key to weight loss.

The scale has been giving me NO love lately. (Getty Images photo)

The scale has been giving me NO love lately. (Getty Images photo)

It’s been depressing me, to be honest, and the old me would’ve been derailed by my weekly (or multi-weekly, if I’m being completely honest) weigh-ins ten times over, so what the hell gives? I have never eaten so well, so clean and so good in my life — I mean, I am eating spinach and other veggies and fruits like it’s my damn job, we’ve pretty much cut out everything white and hardly eat a starch with dinner anymore. I actually crave all these good things on a daily basis, and even on the weekends, when we have our one lax day where we might, say, have an Irish breakfast for brunch or indulge in a burger or share a lemon gingerbread cookie at our favorite bakery, it’s usually after one of our mammoth walks so at the end of the day, I still have a ton of calories left over.

So yes, scale, I am having a pretty big beef with you right now. I’ve been chalking it up to the fact that it was the cheapest scale they had at the store when I bought it last year, but c’mon. It’s one of those stupid old non-digital ones, how could you not work properly? Especially after you showed me that 15-pound loss so lovingly just a few weeks back?

Last night, I finally confessed my depression about the whole thing to the fella, and he found it BS, too, saying he knows I’ve been losing because he sees it when he looks at me and knows how well I’ve been doing. He thought maybe it’s because it’s a cheapo scale and that maybe, since he was standing on one of the floorboards that creak in the house because it’s slightly raised, where I’m stepping on in the bedroom might be uneven or something.

With that in mind this morning, when I finally decided to hop back on (it’s been about a week since I last weighed myself because of this whole scale-hating episode), I moved the scale and voila, there was that lower needle that I’ve been looking for, thank the gods of weight loss!

In my years (and years) of trying to lose, I have always read in fitness magazines and on blogs that you should throw your scale out because of the very reason I’m about to mention as the reason I just can’t perform said action. Most women have been trained to think in numbers when it comes to weight, not just “going by how your clothes feel” like those blogs and magazine articles tell us to do.

It’s really hard for me to not track my progress with a scale, and I think that not having one when we first moved to New York, though it was not the sole catalyst for the weight gain I am now battling, I do regret not having one to check in on. I think seeing the number creep up might’ve helped get me in line a lot more than my tightening pants, which is stupid, I know, but I think some of you will agree with me that we sometimes come up with excuses like, “Oh, they were just washed,” and then come home with the button imprint embedded on our bellies.

So what about you? Are you a slave to a scale or a go-by-the-fit-of-my jeans kind of person? I’d love to hear your tips and suggestions!

Nikki

-15

I hopped on the scale today and was extremely pleased to see the number down 15 pounds!

I’ve been working my tail off with exercising and eating right, and I love seeing it pay off like this.

I’ve continued to be super mindful of tracking my food in My Fitness Pal and all my movements in Map My Walk, and, thanks to the fella and I taking advantage of last weekend’s glorious 50-degree temps, we walked almost 17 miles on Saturday and Sunday combined. On Saturday, we found a new path along the Hudson that led us to The Little Red Lighthouse, and on Sunday, we walked from 43rd, through Central Park and home to 149th. Needless to say, I think my new purple Reeboks are officially broken in!

According to my weekly summary from MMW for March 3-March 9, I did 10 workouts for 8.2 hours, covered 23.5 miles and burned 5,405 calories. Not too shabby I daresay! I think when I’m down 30 pounds, I am going to start incorporating jogging as part of my walks to help ward off any plateaus and to, you know, start putting the “run” back into Run, Nikki, Run!

Hope you have a great Thursday — and an even better weekend!

Nikki

-10, and a lifestyle change

Well, would you look at that?
I’ve gone and dropped 10 pounds since January 6.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve dropped this kind of weight, and I’m not gonna lie.
It feels good, real good.

I wore a pair of dress pants yesterday that, when last worn way back in the summer, were uncomfortably tight.
Yesterday, though, they were slightly baggy.

We’ve mixed up our eating habits per the fella’s nutritionist, which means no more starches at dinner for the time being, so we’ve been filling up on lots of vegetables instead, which has been quite delicious.

I’ve been mad-craving wine lately, so I texted the fella and asked if I should chill a bottle to accompany tonight’s orange-ginger salmon and spinach. “It’s up to you,” he replied.

I thought about it for a second and remembered the little heart-shaped Snickers that I didn’t eat from Valentine’s Day.
It wasn’t so long ago we’d share a bottle and have a much bigger, much worse dessert than the 70-calorie sugar-free chocolate pudding cup we now have while watching our “stories” at night.

I'll take the one on the right tonight, thanks. (Getty Images photo)

I’ll take the one on the right, tonight, thanks. (Getty Images photo)

“I think I’d rather dessert,” I texted back.

And just like that, I realized we were balls deep in a lifestyle change we were actually sticking to for the very first time.

Of course, I could have a glass — or two — of wine if I damn well pleased, but I like that I’m finally willing to restrain myself, to say, “Either … or …” before making a decision to eat something, to think about if it’s really the best thing for me to eat right now.

I’ll see you at the next 10, wine, and we’ll celebrate together.

Nikki

Walking on air again

When my mom gave me an Amazon gift card for Christmas, the plan was to use it to get Kindle books. But with receiving a bunch of book gifts, a winter that’s actually, well, been winter and the recent addition of HBO Go to our TV (which gives me unlimited access to “Sex and the City,” aka My Favorite Show to Watch Whilst Exercising), I knew there was something much better for me that that gift card could go toward.

So I  went ahead and ordered a new Air Climber.

Hello, old friend. I've missed you.

Hello, old friend. I’ve missed you.

It sure has been a long time since I’ve written about my beloved AC (two years, to be exact!), but now that we live in an apartment that actually has consistent heat (as opposed to our apartment back in Pennsylvania which was so frigid it caused the AC’s billows to crack) and room for me to step (which our first New York apartment decidedly did not have), it’s high time I got back on the red and black contraption that could always be counted on to give me good results.

So when it arrived last week, I couldn’t wait to hop on and actually get to wear my brand-new Reeboks, which I thought I’d have to wait until spring to break in. I was reminded very quickly how hardcore the AC is. Fifteen minutes in, I thought my legs were going to give out, which was surprising because you and I both know I walk a lot, but man, this just — ahem — steps up the cardio to a whole different level.

I lost four pounds since last week already, which pleases me greatly. So while it may take me a few weeks to get back to making it through a whole “SATC” episode like I used to on the AC, at least I’m taking a — cough, cough — step in the right direction.
OK, I’m done with the puns, promise. Well, in this post at least.

Nikki

That New Year smell

What is it about a new year that just inspires such hope and so many plans to do and be better?
I don’t know, but I’ll have what it’s having and fall suite to all that resolution making like I always do.

But instead of all those, let’s face it, empty promises I make to myself year in and year out, I’m going to make it pretty easy on myself this year, kind of like I did over on Ink for Blood, where I was very, very proud to report I kept a resolution for the first time ever and wrote something for myself every single day of 2013.

Here on Run, Nikki, Run, losing weight is always the numero uno, the modus operandi, the Grand Poohbah of Things to Do. You get it, I get it (oh, do I ever!), so I’m pretty sick of saying I need to shed pounds … and then crickets. I lose my willpower, I get sick, life hands me a lemon, etc. and so forth — life just happens, just as it does for everyone, even those annoying people who I always seem to see running as I’m out huffing and puffing wherever I walk. They make time for exercise, no matter what, so who the hell am I to not do the same?

So to myself in 2014, I vow to do (at least) 20 minutes of movement every day. That could be 20 minutes of walking, which obviously is pretty doable here in New York since we walk everywhere. It could be 20 minutes of ab exercises or one of the old standby circuits (crunches, pushups, squats + lunges) I used to do. Hell, it could even be 20 minutes of dancing around the house to my iPod (clearly only when the Girl Child and fella are at school and work to save myself some embarrassment). The point is to just move. I am not going to make any changes to myself or my health while I sit here feeling sorry for how bad I sometimes feel about myself.

These cute new Reeboks should make this resolution a snap!

These cute new Reeboks should make this resolution a snap!

And I’m not going to make any changes to myself without eating better, so for Christmas, I asked my mom to get us a NutriBullet. I had my first green smoothie off a truck a while back and have become kind of obsessed with them since, so I’m excited to start making them at home. A bunch of my friends on Facebook use similar gadgets to make them, so I look forward to drinking these super-healthy concoctions for breakfast and lunch several times a week and swapping some recipes and talking smoothies with them.

Can't wait to fill this up with green goodness!

Can’t wait to fill this up with green goodness!

That’s it. Just these two simple things. If I can’t do them, then I should just go pound sand or something, right?
Maybe don’t answer that.

But I think these two simple things can lead to big, big change. Lost pounds, a healthier and happier me — and us, to be honest, because you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be dragging the fella into this and know he’ll thank me later — a more comfortable airplane ride to Ireland for our family vacay in August and obviously more energy to lift all those pints of Guinness that are on the menu for that trip.

Let’s do this, 2014. I’m not getting any younger, but I sure as hell can start taking care of this body as a way to thank it for bringing me this far.

Happy New Year!

Nikki

(Reblog) You Are Not A Before

Such a great, great post!!

A Confederacy of Spinsters

lucky-ad-2Are you a woman over the age of twelve? You should definitely be on a diet. It doesn’t matter if you’re a size 2 or a size 20, there is always weight to lose or maintenance to be done. How will you ever find love and succeed in the world, if you don’t know your daily caloric intake? It’s not just about beauty, of course, it’s also about health. Everyone knows that health is a number on a scale. Today is the first step in a journey! You are a before now, but soon you will be an after!

We’ve all heard this message. As women, society expects us to be on a never-ending quest for perfection. If it’s not fat to vanquish, it’s wrinkles or cellulite. This message, this unyielding refrain of “Be prettier, already!”, makes me want to find the nearest dried up lake, fill it with full…

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-5

mfpWell, it’s been a little more than two weeks since I started being a regular checker-in on My Fitness Pal, working on stopping my emotional eating (which has been a very difficult task what with some crazy amounts of stress lately) and finally, finally, finally thinking before eating.

I’m nowhere close to being out of the woods, but I’m of to a good start, especially after stepping on the scale yesterday morning and seeing the number five pounds lower than it was last week.

Yep, I’m five pounds down, and hopefully this is one downward spiral that’ll continue until I get back to the weight where I was most happy with myself.

I’ll never be 130 pounds, sadly, but I know where I’ll feel comfortable, and like “G.I. Joe” always said, “knowing is half the battle.”

Nikki

 

 

Scaling down

Photo by Getty Images, surprisingly not a Nikki original ...

Photo by Getty Images, surprisingly not a Nikki original …

Well, the scale’s just a few days old, and already I loathe it.

I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know how bad, I didn’t know how far I now have to go.

But, it was a wakeup call that I know I desperately needed, and it seems daily inputs into My Fitness Pal and texts between me and my lifestyle-change cohort Tiffany about our progress (and/or setbacks) have become “the new normal,” and it’s all for the better. I see myself being super conscious about what I eat. “Do I really want to put this in MFP … and have a questioning text from Tiff?” I say when I find myself craving something naughty.

Right now, I’m still in baby-step mode, but I think I’m making the right choices. It’s been 10 days since we started, at least according to MFP, and I do feel more energetic and that I’m making the right food choices to fuel me for hours, plus, I can see a slight difference in my face, which is always the first place I see results.

Ahh, if only the belly was first, but all in due time, I s’pose.

Nikki