New Video Update: RETURN OF THE VLOG!

*Knock-knock*

Is anyone here?

*crickets*

Hello, friends! I’m… back? I dunno, but I recorded a little thing for your viewing pleasure. From the thumbnail, you can likely tell the big reveal. I’ve gained a lot of weight. All the weight. And then some. I’ve got a lot to say about it in future posts.

I’m not defeated by the weight gain, but my focus, after many many many months of thinking about it (reading, research, therapy, trial-and-error), has shifted from the desire for pure weight-loss to a more holistic approach to wellness. Weight loss will hopefully be a nice side-effect, but I’m embracing the experience of being ME instead of waiting to reduce my body’s relative mass to the Earth’s gravitational pull. 🙂

New Vlog and Weight Loss Update: 90 LBS DOWN!

Two weeks ago: 182.8
Today’s Weigh-in: 182.0 lbs
Change: -0.8 lbs
Total Loss: 90 lbs!

This has been a banner week, folks! Lots of stress in my life, but I continue to experience breakthroughs in my fitness. First things first: I’m down 90 lbs total since my highest recorded weight – huzzah! I might be struggling with feeling like I haven’t been “giving it my all”, but I have to take this opportunity to celebrate this milestone. **Cue party whistle**

The week before last I got pretty excited because I ran a full mile on the treadmill without stopping. I’m proud to report that I’ve shattered that best-distance and last week I ran a full 5k on the treadmill without stopping. That’s 3.1 miles!

I definitely know what they mean by a “runner’s high” now. For me it happens about 20 minutes in. The first 5 to 8 minutes everything’s okay, then around the 10-minute mark my legs start to harsh my good vibes. It’s a huge struggle until around the 20-minute mark, then I get into a “zone” and my calves don’t hurt as much and I feel like I can just keep going.

The other thing that I love about running is that it really is a singular activity. At this point I still can’t focus on anything else EXCEPT the act of running while I’m doing it. I had some family drama pop up and while I tried to think about it while jogging on the treadmill, my mind wouldn’t let me. As if the activity itself required so much concentration the whole world outside of that alone washed away. All I’m thinking on that treadmill is, “How is my breathing?” and “Ow my calves hurt now” and “Just keep moving forward” and “Wow this lap is taking forever”. No “I wonder what I should eat for dinner” or “How do I deal with such and such problem”. I get anxiety from time to time and this seems like a fantastic mechanism to break the anxious thoughts when they creep up on me.

I feel so strong about the running that I’ve signed up for my first 5K… AS A RUNNER! I walked a 5k back in March, but now I’ve gone and registered for the Biggest Loser Run/Walk Seattle on October 12th, so there’s a real commitment made to the idea of running. My hope is to be able to jog the whole thing without stopping.

I’ll leave you with my latest video diary recorded just a little while ago – enjoy!

New Vlog and Weigh-In Update: AM I A RUNNER NOW?!?

Hello friends! First off I have to thank everyone who came forward to support me through my rough patch last week. If there’s one thing I know for sure about weight loss it’s that these bad weeks happen. The goal in managing them is having them only be weeks, and not letting them turn into bad months, bad years, or a bad life.

I’m happy to share that I got back on the proverbial horse and since the end of last week my food choices have been solid, I’v felt more in control, and I’ve gotten back into the swing of things with my activity. I’m still not rockin’ the cardio as much as maybe I should, but I’m putting in my best efforts, and that’s all I can really ask of myself!

In fact, last night I broke another personal record: I RAN A WHOLE MILE WITHOUT STOPPING!!! That’s a first, folks! I’m definitely feeling like running isn’t something I can say I “can’t do” any longer. I can run for over ten minutes at a time, and that’s amazing to me! Next goal is to run a 5k. I GOT THIS!

Next up, the weigh-in. I was very curious, this week, to see how my body dealt with my binge episodes and my return to activity. I like how my body approached it 🙂 Last week I weighed in at 186.0 lbs. This morning I weighed in at 182.8 lbs. That’s 3.2 lbs lost this week! Woot! That makes my total just a hair shy of a total of 90 lbs lost.

I’ll leave you with this video update. I talk a little more in it about my recovery from last week. And it’s a much more upbeat video than the last one, lol!

A Bona Fide Rant Video and “What I Ate” Catch-Up

Oh boy, yesterday I was feeling a little more uppity than usual, and uploaded a nearly half-hour rant to YouTube. What could stir such vehemence in me? Well, it may have been related to the fact that I was a little sick to my stomach, and when I get sick my fuse gets a lot shorter. But while I was browsing my Twitter feeds yesterday morning, one of the Twitterers that I follow posted something that just chapped my hide.

For the last week or so this person has cluttered my Twitter feed with constant retweets of entries into her weight loss blog’s current contest. Something on the order of 40 per day or so. I was REALLY tired of seeing “I’ve entered to win a week’s worth of workout attire! Visit X site to enter!” But then yesterday morning she started posting sponsored ads for what I would refer to as diet pills. Ummmmm…

At this point I’m going to take the lazy way out and direct you to my rant video itself, embedded below. I was feeling far more loquacious about it when I recorded it.

So, what are your thoughts? What are your feelings about seeing other bloggers promoting products, and have you ever had an experience where you feel someone stepped over the line and put their integrity at risk? And if you are a blogger who deals with brands or advertising, what is your approach? What types of opportunities do you reject on principle?

———–

I alluded to this above, but I fell ill for the majority of the day yesterday. Familiar abdominal pains plagued me throughout the afternoon and I was miserable. I felt a little feverish, with chills and a spot of nausea. Surprisingly, eating eased the pain temporarily, so I made sure to keep myself fed, but my activity levels were super low. I spent most of the day on the couch covered in a blanket willing myself to feel better. I’m happy to report that it completely passed by the evening.

I dredge this illness up to excuse my lack of “What I Ate” posts for the last two days. Intentions were to catch-up yesterday and then, well, that didn’t work out so now I’m going to catch up and post the photos and menus from Wednesday, Thursday, and today.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18TH, 2014

What I Ate: Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A post shared by Julie Loses! (@julieloses) on

Breakfast:
Fried egg with black pepper
Sara Lee Multigrain 45-Calorie Bread
Laughing Cow Light Swiss Cheese Wedge
Fage 0% Total Greek Yogurt (I sweetened with Stevia, yuck)
Organic blueberries & strawberries

Lunch:
Baked chicken breast with Frank’s Hot Sauce
Wholly Guacamole Classic
Goya Low-Sodium Black Beans
2% Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Snack:
Activia Strawberry Patch Greek Yogurt
Dry-Roasted Unsalted Peanuts
Frozen Green Grapes
Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea

Dinner:
Burrito! made w/baked chicken breast with Fiesta Lime Mrs Dash
Goya Low-Sodium Black Beans
2% Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Tillamook Fat-Free Sour Cream
Wholly Guacamole Classic
Pace Restaurant-Style Salsa
Guerrero Large Flour Tortilla
Leafy Green Romaine Salad Mix

Calories: 1479 kcal
Protein: 128g (35%)
Carbs: 138g (38%)
Fat: 44g (27%)
Dietary Fiber: 25g
Sugar: 48g
Sodium: 2134mg
Cholesterol: 335mg
Saturated Fat: 14g

———–

THURSDAY, JUNE 19TH, 2014

What I Ate: Thursday, June 19, 2014

A post shared by Julie Loses! (@julieloses) on

Breakfast:
Scrambled eggs (1 egg, 8 T egg whites) with black pepper & ketchup
Organic strawberries
Sara Lee Multigrain 45-Calorie Bread
Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread
Welch’s Natural Grape Jelly
Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea

Lunch:
Baked chicken breast with Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime seasonings
Litehouse Lite Salsa Ranch Dressing
Sugar Snap Peas
Leafy Green Romaine Salad Mix

Sickie Snack:
Banana
Emerald Cinnamon Roast Almonds
Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea

Dinner:
Baked chicken breast with Mrs Dash Fiesta Lime seasonings
Rosarita Fat-Free Refried Beans
Tillamook Fat-Free Sour Cream
Pace Restaurant-Style Salsa
Leafy Green Romaine Salad Mix

Calories: 1078 kcal
Protein: 93g (35%)
Carbs: 106g (40%)
Fat: 29g (25%)
Dietary Fiber: 21g
Sugar: 38g
Sodium: 2109mg
Cholesterol: 309mg
Saturated Fat: 9g
———–

FRIDAY, JUNE 20TH, 2014

What I Ate: Friday, June 20, 2014

A post shared by Julie Loses! (@julieloses) on

Breakfast:
Smoothie made with:
Fage 0% Total Greek Yogurt
Baby Spinach
Organic Blueberries
Banana
Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
ClearFiber supplement
Organic Greens & Reds supplement
Chia seeds

Lunch:
20/20 Lifestyles Chicken Vegetable Pizza (Pro Sports Club bistro)

Snack:
Deli-sliced Roasted Turkey Breast
Cracker Barrel Cheddar Stick made from 2% milk
Kosher Dill Pickle pieces
Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea

Dinner:
Grilled chicken breast seasoned with lime juice & Fiesta Lime Mrs Dash
Goya Low-Sodium Black Beans
Pace Restaurant-Style Salsa
Wholly Guacamole Classic
Tillamook Fat-Free Sour Cream

Calories: 1235 kcal
Protein: 102g (33%)
Carbs: 134g (44%)
Fat: 31g (23%)
Dietary Fiber: 28g
Sugar: 20g (+ lunch unknown)
Sodium: 2032mg
Cholesterol: 152mg
Saturated Fat: 8g

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: Updates and Excitement Galore – in Glorious HD!

Hi folks! Well, my shoulders are aching from being hunched over my MacBook Pro for the better part of the last two days while both filming and editing my latest vlog. Maybe time to cash in that free massage voucher? Anyways, hopefully you will see a quality boost in this latest video update. I replaced my broken lens (with a minor upgrade), and downloaded a trial copy of Final Cut Pro X to try my hand at. And my hand is loving all those ridiculous, over-the-top titles!

I kinda don’t wanna recap because I really, really, REALLY want y’all to watch it, but if you’re aching to know the deets and can’t catch the video right now, bookmark it, and read my recap below!

Okay, so yesterday I weighed in at 205.6 lbs, or 0.4 lbs down from last week. Not shocking or worrisome, as I’ve been having some PMS-related bloat – and this morning’s casual weigh-in has me already down a pound more. This past week can be summarized by the following two highlights:

  • First, I’ve been feeling really empowered during my workouts. I find myself negotiating with my trainer for a few more minutes of cardio, and am full of positive emotions during and after my workouts.
  • Second, I’ve been flexing my creative muscles more than usual this week by getting back into photography and shooting video on my DSLR.

I’ve spent a lot of time doing online research about videography using a DSLR, and have learned SO MUCH from the following two videos:

The big excitement yesterday – beyond my nearly non-stop video editing and playing with my new lens– was that my boyfriend volunteered me to be interviewed by his cousin, a senior reporter for the nationally-syndicated public radio program, Marketplace, about my use of wearable fitness technology. It was a fun five-minute chat, but unfortunately her piece was so short that she wasn’t able to use my material. Oh well! It’s still an interesting segment, and if you’re so inclined you can check it out here!

Are you geeking out about anything right now as much as I am with videography? Or do you have any suggestions or questions regarding related tech tutorials?

Thanks for reading!