Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Determined, Friendly, and Courageous.

I'll be honest, I'm currently fighting back tears typing this. It's funny because I haven't really sat down and cried in almost 3 months. Before I started working out and eating clean, I would literally cry at EVERYTHING! I would have small little break downs probably twice a week. I would think about something, focus on it for a long time and eventually my emotions would take over. I've always been an emotional person, I joke and say "I get it from my momma". She is probably the most emotional human being on the planet, but her heart is the size of Texas, so for that I envy her.

But as of lately, I have noticed I haven't sat down and really "cried my eyes out" in almost three months. I would like to give credit to the Vitamin B Complex I take daily. It really is better than any anti depressant, mood stabilizer, or big piece of pie that I used to use to make myself happy. Lately, the few times I have cried was out of sadness (leaving home from vacation, watching my sister graduation, etc). So, to my surprise when I read a posting from Dannii Martin ( a blogger from the UK who has lost 98 lbs and has kept it off for nearly 2 years s) I found myself crying I had a "Why the heck are you crying!" moment. 

Dannii posted on her Facebook challenge page "Today's task is to think about yourself more positively. Start off with "I am" and then follow it with 3 positive words to describe yourself. I will start - I am ambitious, honest and loyal. Go!"

Now, this simple act of self reflection has now caused me to blog and get a bit emotional. Why? Because my 3 words are, "dedicated, friendly, and courageous". When I came up with the word "dedicated" I immediately went back to April 6. I remember the conversation I had with Laura on our first hike. I chose to hike behind her and her daughter, because at 242 lbs, I was having a hard time breathing, I was embarrassed, and I just didn't want anyone to "see" me like that.

I remember Laura started talking about her struggle and her journey. I listened and realized, she was there one, she was doing exactly what I was doing. She was out of breath, she was embarassed, she struggled. But she did it. Then, immediately after, I remember thinking "but she has self control. she's dedicated." So out loud I said, "I'm just not dedicated. I have zero self control." 

Looking back, honestly, I think that was the moment I had the mental shift. I admitted to my fault, I admitted to what I felt was the reason I had let my health become so poorly. I knew I had control and dedication in other areas of my life, but why not my health? In the moments following that, I became mad. I remember getting mad when I felt like my lungs weren't getting air. I was mad that I was going so slow. I decided that day to find, make, or train myself to have self control. 

Since that day, almost 12 weeks ago, I haven't really come back to that thought until today. Dannii's post made me revisit that. And even though the past 3 months have gone by so fast, and I am still changing and growing every single day, and today was a big moment for me. Because I'm proud to say that I'm dedicated. I'm proud to say that I have self control. Yes, we all cheat and we all indulge, that's healthy. I told myself I would indulge in the sake of my sanity. But, I have self control. I'm controlling my body. I work out 6 times a week, I prepare healthy, clean meals. I drink a gallon of water a day, I make time for myself. I always think about what's going into my body. 

I can't express the amount of pride I have right now. Yes, I've lost weight and inches in the past three months. I fit into old clothes, my "fat clothes" fall off of me. But, more than all of those victories, I'm proud of myself. I have faith in myself and my abilities better myself. Today was a HUGE emotional/mental win for me. 

Click here for Dannii's blog information. Also, if you'd like to join her group on Facebook, they are doing a 100 days of summer challenge. It has thousands of people who are encouraging each other, from all over the world.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Helpful Changes :)

So, I started this journey and my priority was to help myself. I would ask for help from friends if I needed it because I knew I was bettering myself by doing so. I asked Laura for help and I'm grateful she agreed. She lost her weight and wanted to inspire and help other women. 

I didn't know that I would be inspiring people along the way. I didn't know that my friends and family would come to me for advice or just tell me on a daily basis that they saw me workout so they did the workout I posted on Instagram. I'm amazed at the amount of support and encouragement throughout this journey. 

I want to clairfy, I still have a lot to learn. When it comes to nutrition, I know the basics. If I see or hear a term that I don't know what it means, I will research the heck out of it. I know what my body needs by now and I listen to it! As for workouts, I obviously know the importance of cardio--to shed pounds. But I'm also learning that lifting weights will help shed pounds as well! Lifting weights isn't going to make you huge and buff right away, it aids in the effort to loose weight while gaining muscle. 

Now the following are tips/hints/changes that either Laura introduced me to, or that I have found along the way. I do everything on the list and for the most part, I see the benefits. :) I am not a doctor nor a medical professional.

  • Getting PLENTY of sleep. I'm a night owl and HATE mornings so this was one of the hardest. Trying to get at least 7-8 hours a night was the biggest struggle. Our bodies do so much while we are sleeping and it's important. I think of sleep as fuel for my workouts the next day. 
  • Eat Breakfast. I am not a breakfast person, probably because I'm not a morning person. I would usually eat "breakfast" and it would be my lunch hour. Sometimes I would wake up at 8 am and not eat until 1 or 2 because I was busy at work and I didn't think I was hungry. This often lead to my lunch at 2 being a huge wrap or a hamburger or something equally bad. Now, eating within the first 30-60 minutes has increased my metabolism and makes me less cranky throughout the day.
  • Drink water! I try to do a gallon a day. I have a water bottle with me at all times. It typically fits in my purse :) You don't have to drink a gallon a day. Typically, a lot of people when trying it for the first time feel very full and have to pee a lot, but that means your body is getting rid of toxins! 
  • Vitamin B Complex. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since junior high. I'm a very emotional person and with stress, it gets worse. My anxiety can make sick and my depression turns me into the biggest dragon lady EVER! Laura introduced it to me (I quit taking anti depressants and mood stabilizers) and the vitamin b has helped so much! I have more energy in the morning. I really think it turned me into a morning person, Ha. I am able to handle stressful situations. My phases of being depressed don't last as long. I used to go through months, but now I haven't been depressed for longer than 10 days at a time. 
  • Eat Clean. Eating clean means different things to different people. Don't let others tell you what clean it is. Of course, if you're eating Hamburger Helper with a soda, that isn't clean eating. To me I identify clean eating as: no processed foods, anything in a box I typically stay away from. Food that has been already cooked down and I have to re-cook...NO! Example: tv dinners. I eat more veggies and fruits than I ever have before. If it grows and comes from a tree or the ground, EAT IT! When it comes to carbs, I mad the personal decision to cut back A LOT. 6 months ago I would have pasta with every single meal as a side. Now, I'll have bread or pasta maybe once or twice a week. When it comes to bread and pasta whole wheat is the way to go. I have done a lot of research and have found that when people turn away carbs all together they tend to gain weight back later, faster. I want my body to have carbs ocassionally, especially depending on my workout schedule. 
  • Plan Ahead. Some people can sit down and plan a whole month of meals out in a calendar. I can't. My budget for food varies on other bills, so I typically have anywhere from $130-200 every two weeks. Yes, that seems like a lot. Trust me the first few shopping trips, I was blown away at how much "clean eating" costs. But, if you buy produce at a good health food store, the food lasts longer. I get all my groceries at Costco. Buying in bulk does save some money. It's just myself in my household so if I need little things I will go to a different health food store. Don't go grocery shopping on a hungry stomach. Make a list and stick to it. I know where I need to go in the store before I go, so I don't run down every single aisle until I get to the produce. I go straight to the produce and then the coolers for my meat and other veggies. 
  • Meals. There are a lot of different websites and charts you can find about portions. I know some people who literally weigh out every single thing they put in their mouth. Typically, a lot of them are also calorie counters. That's not me. I know that portions play a huge role in eating, you don't want to over eat. I eat 3 main meals with two snacks throughout the day. I try to eat every 2-3 hours. Small portions. I am never feeling hungry during the day (unless I have a hard workout right before dinner). 
  • Counting Calories. Surprise, surprise. I don't count calories. I used to. I obsessed over it for almost a month. I used My Fitness Pal as an app and it is amazing. I would freak out if I went over or had too many carbs or didn't work out enough during my workouts. Counting literally caused me to quit. It was too much. Instead, I use the method's described above. However, if I'm eating out or am trying something for the first time, I will read the label (if provided) or search for it in My Fitness Pal. It's good to have knowledge about what's going in your body. I know a few people who count calories and it works for them, I think that's great, but I'm not one of them. 
  • Workouts. Everyone has to start somewhere. We can't have progress pictures if we don't take the initiative and START! I started by hiking. Laura and I started with doing about a 20-30 minute hike a few times a week. It was about building endurance and using muscles that probably hadn't been used in MONTHS! Once we did that, we kicked it up a notch and hiked farther and for longer. After about a month and a half of hiking we started circuits. Circuits are my favorite! Helps with focusing on certain body parts or just getting a full over body workout. I also decided to start running a mile. I wanted to improve my time and really push myself. I'm still learning a lot about workouts and what my body needs and wants when it comes to exercise. I encourage YouTube! Jillian Michaels is a beast and she has some great workouts on there. 
  • Weigh Ins. Some people don't even own a scale, that's great! I envy that, but I started at 242 lbs on April 6 (my highest weight being 253 in October 2012) and I know that I need to weigh in. I told myself I would weigh in every Saturday. Since then, I've done pretty well. Lately, I found myself getting obsessed with the numbers so I decided to take a 2 week break from it. I'm finding that I know I'm losing inches because old clothes are fitting finally or that something I wore two weeks ago is loose. It's a good feeling. Sometimes it's great to focus on the way we FEEL instead of how much weight we've lost. However, I think the scale helps keep me accountable! 

I know this is a lot of information to take it. I'm sorry it's so long and such a ramble, but these are some changes I've made and I'm seeing progress. 

Get out there and get moving! 



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Time to Catch Up!

I haven't blogged in like 8 days. I've been pretty busy with my workouts, work, finally getting settled in my house, and just spending time with my sister and nieces. I have done pretty well & am excited to share some pictures and what's been going on. I can't remember everything the past week or so, but I'll definately hit on some highlights and points. I think that after this post, I'm going to lean toward more on the meals, workouts, and self discovery I've come to learn and love. I do a lot of the same thing every single day, so instead of a play by play of my day, I'm going to share with you exactly what I use, cook, do for workouts, and what I come across when it comes to my journey! 

So last weekend, I beat my mile of 12:11 to 11:57...well I beat it AGAIN the next day!!! :) I was so excited. I cried, yet again when I beat the time :) I've come a long way!

Right: April 17 just over a week after starting my new life style. Left: Last weekend! :) 

 Last week, I had a LOT of non scale victories when it came to people noticing changes, old clothes fitting, and feeling overall AMAZING with my progress. 

My periods have been a bit messed up this month, I've had 3 total this month alone. I'm seeing my doctor and checking in with her a lot via phone to make sure I'm okay. It's good because I'm having pain on both sides (both ovaries), so I'm hopeful that things will level out soon. I know my body is getting used to being lighter, being more active, and eating better so weird changes like this is bound to happen! 

Went on the hike behind my house that I orginally started with, with Laura, and now what used to take me almost 20 minutes and a ton of breaks, I was done at the top in 12 minutes with only 2 breaks. 

I started this journey 11 weeks ago, two weeks after I started I took the pictures on the left hand side. On the right was this Friday. :) I see progress!!! YAY! 
 I have my measurements and before pictures (1 month in) at Laura's house and hopefully sometime this week or upcoming weekend I can compare. 

I've been feeling like my body is used to my workouts and circuits the past week because I haven't been sore. I'll push myself and go a bit longer for a workout or add another circuit, but when it comes to using different parts of my body I feel like I should do some more research and find more workouts. 

My sister, Aislinn told me about the "P.I.N.K Method" I had never heard of it, but after some light research I saw that it was a program made my women who sorta of retrain your body and metabolism with a meal plan and workouts. I don't believe in following a certain meal plan set, because I believe our bodies tell us what it wants and needs! As long as I'm making clean options and eating clean, I feel confident in my eating! :) However, I did do the level 3 cardio kickboxing session! PHEW! It really did kick by butt. I'm not really coordinated with the whole kickboxing thing, but I liked it and got better. It was 45 minutes long! 
After my kickboxing workout!


I am really enjoying cooking lately. Sometimes I go through phases where I get tired and don't want to cook, but it's so fun and nice knowing what's going in your meals! 

My "niece" Cheyenne posted this photo on instagram and it literally made my night when I saw it. A friend of mine told me that the most rewarding thing is when your family follows by your example. I know I post a lot on Instagram and Facebook about this journey, but I know that some day, I can and will inspire someone else. I know that if it wasn't for my friends who live healthy life styles on Facebook and Instagram that I would feel defeated some days. They help with that extra motivation I need. :) 

I went shopping today and rewarded myself with some new tops and a pair of sun glasses! :) So excited!

After I went shopping, I decided to clean out my closet and organize everything in my new dresser. I found a pair of size 15 skinny jeans and they fit! :) Currently I'm in a size 14/15 depending on the style of the jeans. I've come a long way from size 18!

Today's workout kicked my butt! :)

My arms were HUGE 3 months ago. I had no muscle! Now, I'm starting to see some definition and they are starting to tone up nicely. :)

Not drinking alcohol as much means that I get to drink lemon water in my nice wine glasses!

Tonight's Dinner! :)
Now, this sums up the past few days, so starting tomorrow I'll be writing down some recipes and posting them, sharing my entire workout routines, and also giving helpful tips and reminders to help when there comes times when we all feel a bit down! 

Have a good night all! :) Remember, you can find me on Instagram at @chelsea_is_changingxoxo 


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Non Scale Victories...ALLLLL week long! :)

Thursday, I started my day off by putting on a pair of jeans and had to do a double take to realize what I was seeing in the mirror! 
 Everyone who knows me, knows that I've never had a butt. EVER. So, you'll understand my surprise when I looked in the mirror and was able to see a butt! I wish I had taken a pictures months ago to compare, but I'm so excited by this small progress already!  :) Confidence, it's nice to meet you! :)

So, for my workout I waited until around 9 pm because it had been raining ALL night. I don't have room in my house to workout, but I have a nice yard that I can workout in :) I did a couple circuit workout and had a great evening working out in the fresh air! 

Yesterday, after work, I went to a friends house for her birthday BBQ. I ate pretty well, chose not to have alcohol and drank my water. However, I did have a small piece of cake and didn't feel horrible at all! I told myself that if I ate the cake I would POWER through my workout and make sure I gave it my all. So, I did the following as my working :) 

15 min on a stationary bike
Then I did this:

I ended with Jillian Michael's Standing Ab Workout
Each exercise 3xs

It was a great 60 minute workout! :) 

I usually take Saturday's off, but because I didn't workout last Sunday or Monday, I decided I wanted to run. :) I guess I should explain what crazy idea I had this week. 

It seems like with new found confidence and changing body, I'm finding myself wanting to do more. I want to accomplish more and reach more goals. I don't know if I'm impatient or eager...but I randomly saw that there is a 5k on July 13 in Missoula and I had a wild idea...

Maybe I could run in it? Not focusing on time, but just finishing. It starts at 8 am and awards are at 9:30 am. I don't know...I have a feeling that this crazy idea will have positive and negative responses from people I know. I feel that if I work hard up until the run, I could do it. I probably wouldn't do it in a fantastic time like most, but hey for still being over 200 lbs, running in a 5k is an accomplishment in its self, right?

I'm not sure. I'm going to run one more time and make up my mind by Wed. :) 

So, to focus on today's workout, I wanted to see if I could 1. beat my mile time 2. go further than a mile. 

My last miles have been 12:36 and then my next best one was 12:11 and this was tonights!

That's right, I got it under 12 minutes!!! I couldn't believe it! Cried a little bit :) 

So, I decided to push myself and keep going. During the last mile, I walked a couple times because I felt a bit tired in the legs and shins. When I hit the couple of hills going up, I would run and push through. It felt great! When I finished, I felt sooooo awesome! :) Here are some pictures! Here is the entire workout for the night. :) I feel pretty good about it. Especially walking a few times and this is the first time I've gone further than a one mile run. :) 

Now, I'm lounging on my couch and enjoying some t.v. Tomorrow, I plan on cleaning house and re-arranging my house. I think tomorrow I'll do a couple new workout videos from Fit Sugar. If I do some, I'll post about them then. :) 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Body Love

Do you love your body?

I've never loved my body. Not in junior high, not in high school, and definitely not in the past 3 years. 

I used to blame my body for what I was actually doing

Yes, I have PCOS, and yes it's a horrible syndrome to have and have to live with. But, it was my choice not to take control and do what all 4 doctors told me to do. I'm the one who didn't look to the future and realize that I needed to take control when I was 18. Being 16 and diagnosed, I didn't want to emotionally deal with it. I wanted to be a kid and enjoy my life without having to watch what I ate or exercise daily. 

 So many women I know say "I hate my boobs". "I hate my arm fat". "My thighs don't have a gap". "I need to lose 5 lbs". "My face is still fat". "I wish I had back dimples". "I hate how I can't get the extra weight off".

Now, don't get me wrong, I think wanting to improve yourself and seeing what your body can actually do is a great and beautiful thing! I never knew what our bodies were capable of until I started working out. 

The thing that gets me is the fact that some women could be a LOT worse...they could be obese or have major health problems. As women, we need to stop complaining! The effort and time we put in to only complaining and hating our bodies (typically with several other women at a time) could be transformed into something positive! If one person in that group of women who are complaining would speak up and say "lets go for a hike" or "who wants to try to run a mile?" instead of negativity, I think our mind set and thought patterns would change dramatically. 

Every woman has the right to control her body. I've believed that from a young age. No one can tell me what I should or need to do to my body. If I'm going to do something, it's because it's what I think I need or what I simply WANT. So, it really comes down to what we do for our bodies; the good and the bad. 

I never thought about it this way until recently but we are responsible for our bodies. It's the ONLY one we get. We have to nurture, love, cherish, and encourage it! That means we also get to change it. Changes can come from a lot of different meanings, but I just want to encourage every one to change in positive way! 

Today, I found myself looking in the mirror and for the first time in my life I appreciated my body. I was proud of it. I put on my jeans and tank top and walked out of my house confident. Not because my body is where I want it to be, but because I see improvements, I see changes being made. Although I know I'm the one getting up doing the workouts and preparing healthy meals, I'm finally LOVING my body. I guess I should say thank you to myself and every person that has inspired, encouraged, and helped me get to this point. Because of those simple acts, I'm falling in love with my body and what it can do

I know that there are women out there with eating disorders and mentally have issues accepting their bodies, but I just hope and pray for every single one of them that they turn that mind set from what their phsyical appearance looks like to a mental state first. If we can change what we think, our actions will follow, and ultimately we will find a love and apprecaite and most of all a profound amount of respect for ourselves and especially our bodies. 

I know this is a bit of a rant, but I was thinking about it today and then when a friend, Annie on Instagram made a comment about how inspiring it is that I was talking positive about my body...I thought...'I think this is a first for me...' 

I hope someone gets something from this post and it encourages them to think twice before they start mentally and verbally abusing themselves by talking bad about their body. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Mental Shift Changed My Life

Here is a rant: I hate when people ask me what my "secret" is. Seriously? There is no secret. It's the same thing every single person who sees lasting results does! I don't use pills, mixes, or wraps. Honestly, the biggest and best thing that happened that can be praised for my results is a mental shift

I was talking to Laura before our first hike and I was completely honest as to why I wanted to lose weight. 

  • Be confident
  • Feel great in any piece of clothing
  • Be a mom in the future
  • Hike mountains & camp
  • Run for cancer, not walk, but RUN 
  • Inspire people

Talking to her, I knew none of those things would happen if I kept my life style and habits the same. So, from our first hike on, I let any embarrassment or reservations about self confidence aside and pushed to do what had to be done! Every small result kept me going and pushing until I reached my next one.

Now, I know that I post A LOT of pictures especially comparison pictures but yes, they keep me accountable. This is a journey that I want to document. I am gaining more than muscle and the fact that I'm losing weight. I'm gaining confidence, strength, and self esteem. 

Now here are some pictures and stories for the day! 

I cannot believe that I'm actually getting a waist line. I know I still have a long way to go, but I'm excited to see where I'll be at the end of the summer! 

L: October 31. R: Today. 
 For breakfast, I was in a hurry and ate: a string cheese, hard boiled egg, and part of a grapefruit. 

My allergies were a lot better today! 

For lunch I had a chicken salad and some broccoli. 
Afternoon snack: Apple, less than 2 tsp of natural peanut butter, a little drizzle of honey, and topped with granola with almonds. 

 I ran a mile before our actual workout. 

Our workout consisted of the following:

Each exercise Jillian demonstrates, we did 20 times X3. 
20 push ups X3
15 standing rows X3
20 squats X3
50 donkey kicks on each leg X3
20 scissors on each leg X3

For dinner: a couple pieces of deer backstrap, half of a tiliapia, lettuce, light cheese and just a drizzle of ranch, with corn. 

This is what it looks like when you're getting low on groceries. Can't wait to go shopping next week & stock up! :) Either way, I try to be as healthy as possible by not buying boxed items or processed foods. 

I'm so excited to see what this week has in store! I think I might limit to how much I post this week. If I feel the need to rant or ramble, I will, but I need to focus on my workouts and eating right. I would LOVE to have an extra 30-60 minutes a night to do nothing. Haha. But we shall see, I might end up blogging every night like usual. 

Well, I'm off to enjoy my night! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Vacation Summary: The Good, the Bad, & Oh....the Memories...

Friday, May 31, I left Missoula at 6:00 p.m. and headed to Coeur d Alene. I got my Aunt Dawns house at 8 p.m. I spent the night there, visiting with her, my cousin, J.T, and Bob! The next morning, I woke up to plans to go workout with my Aunt Sue at the YMCA in Spokane Valley. 

By 9:15, my Aunt Sue (who has lost around 30ish pounds I believe) and I were at the YMCA to do a morning workout. It was AWESOME! I haven't been in an actual gym in some time, so it was different, but the two machines we worked on were great! We did about a hour workout and I definitely felt the burn! After our workout, my aunt made me a HEALTHY and delicious breakfast! It makes my heart so warm and happy knowing that I have such a great support group. 
My Aunt Sue is definitely looking FABULOUS!!!

After getting a shower and picking up my cousin, Jackie, I headed off to my cousin, Dakotah's graduation! I have to admit, I cried like a little baby. He was always this blonde haired little boy that I got annoyed with and then when he got older, he would scare me with snakes and bugs. In the Fall, he is off to U of I and he did FANTASTIC with all of his scholarships! Such a gifted student! 

Dakotah & I at his reception.

I think the BBQ food was a challenge, because I wanted to try EVERYTHING, but the options that my aunt angel had were great. :)

Later that night, I went to go visit my sister, Julie who I hadn't seen in FOREVER. I almost think it was around 9 or so months, maybe longer. I LOVED visiting with her and my brother in law, Merv. They both crack me up. Merv was so kind and made my chicken on the grill without BBQ sauce. I tried asparagus for the first time, it was good! I'm definitely going to have it more often. :) 

The next day, my middle sister, Christy graduated high school. Talk about emotional! I'm so proud of the person she's becoming. I know that she will do great at whatever comes her way! 

Me, Christy, & our momma at graduation.

The Diploma!!!!!
For the most part of the week, I volunteered in the morning at my old job, The Senior Meal Site. Working with my old boss, Lody again felt so great! She is a true friend and I was so glad I saw her every day! On Wed, I went to a picnic by the elementary school, the food was healthy. I was surprised to see that the buns they did have for hot dogs or hamburgers were whole wheat! 

Here are some workout photos! 

Christy and I hit the gym :)

My best mile has been 12:11, so this time I didn't beat it but I did change up the speed from 4.5, 6.0, & 7.5. It was a tough run and I felt in my legs and lungs after. Phew!

On the L: 253 in October and R: 217 :)
I did go out with friends a couple times and had a great time! Seeing my friends and especially my best friend, Alicia made me fall in love with "home" all over again!

Love her! :) 

So, yesterday I celebrated my neice's birthday and then made a late trip to Seeley Lake so I didn't work out. Today was my first workout back with my FAVORITE workout partner, Laura! I missed her and her family more than I thought I would. I'm so excited to continue this journey with her and work our butts off! :) 

I know this is a short and kind of "choppy" blog post, but my allergies are KILLING me and I'm exhausted. I went home from work and spent the day fighting my watery eyes, stuffy/running nose, sore throat, and foggy head! 

I think the hardest part of the trip was eating, definitely. I did my best and am proud because.......I LOST 5 LBS on vacation! :) I'm now 217! Hello -25 lbs since April 6! Whoo hoo! I have a couple ideas I thought of while I was on vacation that I will go into further tomorrow and later this week, but for now, I'm going to hopefully get some rest and be able to function tomorrow at work instead of wanting to cry and blow my nose on my paper work!