Oh My Gah I Forgot To Blog This Video!

Peeps! So sorry for neglecting to post this blog update. I recorded and posted this video update on Friday but somehow forgot to post it here as well. If you can’t watch it for whatever reason, here’s the quick details:

  • I lost so much weight this week! My Tuesday weigh-in showed me 3.8 lbs down from the previous week for a weight of 201.8 lbs. SO CLOSE to Onederland! Imma get that camera so soon!
  • My workout ethic continues to surprise me. I made an effort to get a workout in every day this past week. Yesterday was the first day since a week ago that I hadn’t done any structured activity, though I spent the day walking round Seattle, so that was a good day as well.
  • Goal rewards and DietBet are helping with my motivation!
  • So. Much. Hiking.
  • Quickie Pep Talk: JUST KEEP GOING. This weight loss thing is tough. Super tough. But it gets easier. You get into a groove and eating the right kind of food and working out starts to become second nature. It feels so unnatural at the start, and progress can seem slow, but hang in there. If you’re doing it the healthy way, your body and mind will catch up to your efforts and it will become a real lifestyle change you can live with. I’m there right now, and I’m totally digging it.

I’d love to hang around and chat some more, but I have to get up outta this chair, walk around, and snack on some strawberries (kinda low on carbs so far today). I promise to check back in with all my lovely readers soon! Until then – take care!

On Discipline, and Setting My “Onederland” Goal Reward

Setting rewards for hitting a goal – whether that goal is health-related, educational, professional or otherwise – can be a helpful tool in achieving that goal. Rewards can be anything from a quiet, relaxing afternoon at home to yourself, or a pedicure – to a luxury vacation somewhere exotic or a big-ticket item purchase. Anything that’s beyond the norm can qualify, if it’s special to you.

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it here on the blog as of yet, but it is rather difficult for me to assign myself rewards for hitting goals. The reasons behind this difficulty are three-fold: 1) ideas for “things to consume” or “experiences to participate in” have to occur organically for me (and I’m horrible at remembering what I want), and building a list from my memory at any given time proves impossible; 2) when I do think of something I want, I tend to go after it immediately without any thought of attaching it as a reward; and 3) I have a history of lacking discipline, and waiting to go after what I want is, well see reason #2…

Important Aside: Let me just say here, I totally get that this qualifies as a FIRST WORLD PROBLEM. If assigning rewards to goals is a hurdle in my life then, well, my life must be pretty awesome! 

Lately I’ve been feeling much more lively about producing content for this blog. I get “good feels” from the videos I post – perhaps it’s the old college filmmaking education I exited from a long time ago coming back to haunt me – and at the moment I’m feeling especially driven to achieve improvements in the quality of these videos. So I find myself spending hours and hours looking for other weight loss bloggers, watching a lot of other YouTubers, researching filming and lighting techniques, and digging through online forums for equipment reviews. And of course along with this there’s the inevitable: “Oh, if I had this (insert equipment here), I could make my indoor shots look better”, etc.

So it occurred to me over the weekend, while I was out at Best Buy perusing the point-and-shoot digital cameras, that instead of just buying one merely because I want it, why not use this as an opportunity to earn something for achieving a goal? And I have a long list of videography-related items that I’ve been adding to my Amazon wishlist recently – why not set some reasonable targets to get those items in my possession? Hallelujah! I just resolved reason #1.

Now to overcome the second two reasons… this is where the challenge really comes in. So I’ve had my eye on this particular digital point and shoot camera for a little bit now. Now that I’m hiking, and heck, just getting out of the HOUSE a lot more, I’m finding using my iPhone to shoot photos and videos to be less-than-ideal for reasons of quality, battery life, and not dropping it in a frickin’ LAKE. So after doing a more than reasonable amount of research, I’ve 99.9% settled on this model from Canon, the PowerShot S120.

canon_nowOn Saturday, when chatting with my boyfriend about camera options, I mentioned that I could use this purchase as a reward for hitting Onederland. Because this camera is kinda pricey, and I’m not earning money at the moment, I think it would make a more-than-adequate reward for the epic achievement of getting under 200 lbs. And I’m SO CLOSE, people! I weighed in this morning at 203.2 lbs. I can TASTE IT, it’s so close! But still a couple weeks away, in all likelihood.

…And then Sunday morning I woke up and got it in my head that I would go to my local camera store and look for an in-person model to handle, and MAYBE if I liked it, go ahead and pick it up to use on another park outing that afternoon. Huh?

This thought clashed with my resolution made JUST THE DAY BEFORE to use it as my Onederland reward! My impatience was busting through. After being confronted by my supportive and reasonable boyfriend about the swift shift, I took the opportunity to reflect on my discipline challenges.

Discipline is one of those important personal tools that I never adequately learned growing up. To be completely frank, my parents were awful at it. I would be scorned for a bad activity and grounded for, like, a week, but then the grounding would be quickly forgotten by later the same day. And when things got hard in school, or in an activity I was pursuing, I was never pushed to overcome.

My therapist and I talked briefly about parental neglect in our sessions, and I never really felt I had an issue with neglect in the form I imagined it to classically take. I was fed and had a roof over my head, and even though there were some darker aspects to my childhood, part of me thought I had it relatively good! But I can now admit that this consistent lack of regulation and positive pressure really did a number on me. It has deeply affected me in the pursuit of my education and career goals, the activities I explore, and my health. My wherewithal is nowhere near where I’d like it. So parents out there, take this to heart: if you can, be at least somewhat consistent with your discipline and help your children push to achieve their goals in a healthy way – it really matters!

But I’ve learned that I DO have a sense of self-discipline, I just need to stretch those muscles, and to cultivate it. Hello, perfect opportunity! So as I drove away from my house yesterday – maybe to the camera store, maybe directly to the park – I made the decision that NOW is the time to focus on discipline with these purchases. The camera will wait until I see that “199.8” (or less!) appear on the digital scale, and not a moment before! And I’m backing that up by posting this here. I’m not completely out of my element here – getting out of the house to exercise when I don’t necessarily want to is one way I’ve been strength-training these self-discipline muscles over this last half-year, so I definitely have a good start. I can’t wait to share all the awesome photos and videos this camera can capture, ONCE I’M UNDER TWO HUNDRED POUNDS!!!

 

Video: Hiking Fun & Betting My Weight Away!

Greetings! Yesterday I had the opportunity to go hiking again at Saint Edward State Park (you can check out my RunKeeper route here!) and scored some video to “Memorex the moment” – I’ll take any ‘ole opportunity to get some editing practice in! Also, at the recommendation of a new vlogger friend, I finally got around to joining a DietBet! I’ve been a bit interested in the idea for a few weeks now, but her recommendation sealed the deal. Learn more about it by watching the video above.  My game is already started, and it’s only a 4-week game, so it’d be a little silly to join up at this point, but if you’re interested in what DietBetting is all about, take a look at this video. I’ll be sure to give updates on my progress as this game nears its completion.

Thanks for stopping by!

Non-Scale Victory in the Dressing Room

Hi all! So it’s been a bit cricket-y around here but I assure you it’s only due to my laziness about blogging, not for lack of things happening. The last meaty post I made was that live-blog of my cereal binge. That turned out to be two days of a deep, dark place, but I got back on track easting-wise pretty swiftly after that. The mood stuff took some more work, and I chose to consult my counselor about it. But I seemed to have beat back that funk for the time being. It’s great now just KNOWING that these dark days will come, but they will pass; and that I have the wherewithal to get back to a healthy space.

I wanted to report on a pivotal NSV (non-scale victory) I had just this past weekend. My progress photos for my End of Phase 1 (stay tuned!) were going to be taken on Monday, and I’m basically swimming in all my old workout attire – especially the shirts. I wanted to pick up a couple new tees that would be slightly snug on me in order for the photos to really show the effect of my weight loss. Most of my v-neck tees come from Lane Bryant, so I thought I’d stop in for a few shirts over the weekend.

A little background: I hate clothes shopping. Since I can remember it’s always been a bad experience. The last time I stopped into this particular shop I cried in the dressing room because, at a size 26, I wasn’t able to find anything that fit me right. Talk about a dark place! But I’ve lost a lot of weight so far, and almost none of my clothes fit, so I have to tackle this monster at some point, right?

Back to this weekend, as I strolled into the Lane Bryant I wandered around, scouting for effective tees. Alas, their early spring inventory wasn’t superb, but my eyes wandered and I found myself looking at a skirt/blazer pair-up. A SKIRT. AND BLAZER. Let’s go back into my background again, m’kay? I DON’T WEAR SKIRTS. Or dresses. I’ve always been a tomboy. T-shirts and jeans, skater shorts and old flannels. That was my style in high school. Now I stick to slacks and turtlenecks at work, pretty much. There’s part of me that wants to feel what it would be like to be a girly-girl, but I just feel like I missed that boat.

But for some reason, that skirt and blazer called to me. I grabbed a size 20 in the skirt and a size 18 in the blazer, along with some striped tees (in both 18/20 and 14/16 ‘cuz I was feeling trim) and a cardigan, and requested a dressing room.

You guys… this dressing room experience was… an absolute landmark turning point for me. A breakthrough! I tried out the skirt. The size 20 fell off. Way too big. So I went out and grabbed the 18. Hmmm. Fit better, but I still wasn’t sure. I decided to wander back out in the whole getup (skirt, blazer, and blouse) to find one of the shop attendants to ask for her opinion – ANY opinion that wasn’t my own, which I felt to be too inexperienced. I found the girl who helped setup the room and gingerly mentioned that I didn’t have ANY experience wearing skirts and asked, “Does this fit me right?”

She asked what size and said I could probably do the size 16 better. And then she asked about the blazer size. When I answered 18 she responded that I should try both the skirt and the blazer in a size 16. SIZE 16?!? WHAAAA???? I headed back to the dressing room while MY NEW BEST FRIEND went scouting for the smaller sizes. I redressed and made my way back out – slightly less embarrassed than I was last time. I asked, “What do you think – can I pull this off?” and got nods from all the shop girls. “Welcome to the world of mainstream clothing sizes!”, one of them cheered. From that outfit, it was ON.

ShoppingSuccess_hires

Every time I tried on a new outfit, I had to snap a cellphone shot to send to my poor boyfriend. And he’s never seen me in a skirt, so I figured that alone was worth bugging him with a constant text stream of his (and everyone’s) favorite film trope: a dressing room montage! I had a serious Romy White moment, thinking: I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW CUTE I LOOK!

My new BFF also offered to get me into a properly-sized bra. I’ve been wearing a size 46DD and it just wasn’t doing anything for me. She brought me in a size 40F and WOW the difference! I wasn’t used to being so “up-and-out-there”, but I immediately felt better about myself. And I was truly shocked at the reality that I fit into a size 16 pant. I started at a size 26, and now I’m able to fit (okay, just barely) into a frickin’ size 16! And I’m now in the smallest shirt size on offer at Lane Bryant, a 14/16. Next stop, Forever 21? I kid. I’d never set foot in there.

While I don’t have any use for that blazer/skirt outfit, I couldn’t walk away from it. I asked my boyfriend to promise that we’d go out somewhere nice so I could actually make use of the pieces. So now that girl who hates clothes shopping is now one who LOVES IT AND WISHES SHE HAD MORE MONEY! Lol!

So what about you? What’s the latest non-scale victory you’ve achieved? Share yours!

Video Update: Sunny Weather = Happy Julie

I know what you’re thinking: TWO VIDEOS within two days?!? I KNOW! I’m just feeling good and wanted to Memorex the moment, so to speak. In this installment, I discuss my big day out in the sun with my dog, Benny. I also announce a new book I’m reading, The Willpower Instinct by health psychologist and Stanford lecturer Kelly McGonigal. Stay tuned for more feedback on what should be a pretty interesting read. And lastly, I discuss my fear of dining out, and what I’m doing to break past it.

Also, I didn’t mention this in my video, but part of my good vibes today may be attributed to the fact that I was able to put on a pair of pants that I haven’t been able to wear IN YEARS. It’s a size 22 – a TINY size 22, if you know what I mean. These pants were the first things I grew out of several years back, so I’m excited to be able to wear them again. It’s a blessing and a curse – they’re the only pair of non-yoga pants that I’m not swimming in!

Now, for your viewing pleasure, today’s installment:

Video Update: I Posit a Caloric Concern

First video of the new year, wewt! In the following video, I celebrate the completion of my New Years Resolution, mourn the (hopefully-temporary) loss of my favorite personal trainer, and discuss some shared concerns about my caloric intake.  This one’s a long one at nearly thirty minutes, so watch when you have some time to kill!

Stay tuned for more info on the calorie situation and a progress report on my massage and facial! And of course thanks for watching!