WIFE WEIGHS IN WEDNESDAY:Tap into the strength you have within

Losing Who I Was

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the beginning of my journey to where I am now. And how many times before this, that I had started and stopped and started and stopped again and again and again finding the slightest motivation to be a little more active and eat a little healthier. But, a couple months later finding myself back where I started and wondering why. Why didn’t I stick with it?

As I put on the weight after marriage, I really feel like I was oblivious to what I was turning myself into in a way. And suddenly I was trapped, and felt like there was no way out. I honestly feel like I lost myself for those years of being so heavy, so weighted down physically and emotionally. Mentally I was there I remember every bit of it.

Someone close to me asked me last year in a private conversation, “What happened to the lively, silly, unique, imaginative, Karlie I used to know?” It hit me hard. I really wasn’t the same fun person I used to be. And for what? Food? Laziness?

A little while after that I found it. I found a place inside of me where I started to believe in myself again.

Maybe you are are searching for your “real” self again, or maybe you have already found that in our journey, you aren’t oblivious because you are reading this. Who is the “real” you? Imagine yourself at your best.

I watched Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition and it really related to me this week . Chris Powell’s words spoke to me:

 “Tap into that strength you have within” 
“Do whatever it takes”
It took a lot for me. It was hard to give up the things I was comfortable with.
 
“Don’t play the victim”
“I lost my job” or “My parents did nothing for my health growing up”
“Don’t blame”
Take responsibility for your actions: I know for a fact my parents and my siblings blamed Mike for my weight gain, It wasn’t Mike putting the food in my mouth it wasn’t Mike making me sit on the couch all day. I chose that. I did this to myself.
When are you going to start caring about you?
A major thing for me when I got married and had kids. Everyone else came first. I let myself go. It hurt not only me but everyone around me. Care about yourself. Give yourself that time to be you.
Are you ready to start living again?
Because getting healthy and fit brings you back to life.
The Turning Point
I remember the moment, a few weeks into the beginning of my journey. It was my turning point it was the key to my success.
I had Mike take my picture so I would never forget

I had Mike take my picture so I would never forget

walked for a while and then I started to run at 270 something pounds… it hurt. I could barely pick up my feet let alone the pace but I pushed myself I pushed SO HARD I kept going…… I could barely breath. I felt like throwing up. I was shaking and so angry at myself. I cried while I ran a little farther until I literally could not go another step. I knew at that moment………. that was my last day at 270 something pounds. I knew it in my heart. I imediately felt a calmness and peace. I continied to walk the rest of the way home……..and NEVER looked back.

Take all your tears and all that CRAP and DRIVE IT INTO THE WALL! Take it and put it all into your workouts. PUSH YOURSELF PAST YOUR LIMIT! LET IT OUT. Your hard work will pay off. It will. As much effort as you put into it, it will.

I DID IT. I AM DOING IT, AND I WANT EVERYONE TO JOIN ME.

BUILD MUSCLE & LOSE WEIGHT: How I Do It

With my exciting news about losing 150 pounds came a lot of questions about what I am doing to lose the weight. I have posted bits and pieces as I have tried to hone in on what works for me and what doesn’t. If you think I am a fitness pro, you have been fooled. I don’t claim to have the answer to getting fit. All I can do is tell you what has worked for me so far. If what I am doing helps you, sweet. You need to get all medical obstacles out of the way as much as you can before anything else. Also, going hard core into a workout routine at 524 is not how it happened for me. There have been 3 stages I have gone through as I have developed my own workout routine.

STAGE 1 – “BABY STEPS INTO THE ELEVATOR”
At the beginning, I started VERY small. I was just a newbie and was trying to figure things out. I had no idea what I was capable of at that point and the way I looked at it, I needed to start making simple changes that got me moving. It was a far cry from a weight loss routine. Truth is, in the beginning I was focused more on getting my heart healthy enough that I wouldn’t be a high risk patient for weight loss surgery. I started a limited cardio regimen soon after. Small and only 3 days a week. I started doing 20 min, then 30 min, until I could do a full hour of the elliptical trainer.What I was doing to get ready for weight loss surgery soon became what prevented me from needing the surgery.

STAGE 2 – RESISTANCE TRAINING & CARDIO
Not what you would think. The biggest changes didn’t happen in the gym, they happened at the dinner table. I have heard this phrase countless times on the many fitness blogs I read but it applies here and I need to repeat it for those who haven’t come across it yet.

You can’t out train a bad diet

If you want to lose weight, you have to get your food fixed first. The resistance training that happened in this stage was food resistance. Reprogramming my mind about food, nutrition and eating. I learned to give up foods that where making me fat, overhauled my perception of a portion and scrutinized each meal by counting calories. In posts like this one I literally had to run from food at times. This was the most difficult but rewarding stage in my weight loss. It was emotional, hard and life changing. I followed a food plan loosely but was strict about calorie intake. I started to understand weight loss as basic math and not some unobtainable dream.

Workouts blended into my day. Even though I was going to the gym, I would run stairs during breaks at work and find ways to get my heart rate up for 15+ min. at a time. I used a GoWearFit monitor to measure calories burned in the beginning.

STAGE 3 – BUILD MUSCLE WHILE LOSING WEIGHT
Now that you know the back story, as Nocho would say, “Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.”

My current weight loss routine is much more structured now. I decided that the two guys I knew that were the most fit and had the type of body I want to achieve are my brother-in-laws. Tyler plays at Utah State University and Cody at Southern Utah University. Cody helped me build a weight lifting routine that would make the most productive use of my time at the gym. There are some spreadsheets I built as I tuned my workout. You will find them on the “Tools & Resources” page in .xls or .pdf formats. Feel free to use them and distribute them.

A few things that stick out to me about why this workout has been effective for me:

Download My Workout
  1. It keeps my heart rate up during the weight training.
    • I think the best part of the workout is focusing on keeping up my heart rate. It keeps my mind focused, my goal in front of me and I am amped through the whole workout. Rest AFTER the workout is done.
  2. Focus on less muscle groups each day but works each group to the max.
    • prior to this workout most of my weight lifting was circuit based. Sure I would hit all the muscle groups but it was minimal in effect and I didn’t see much progress. These exercises really let you focus in on a muscle group and know you worked it out to the best of your ability.
  3. Interval training at the END of the workout.
    • by far the best advise Cody gave me was to interval train at the end of weight lifting. I know someone has a study somewhere that says that is backwards but it works. I get so much more out of my cardio when I do it at the end. It’s not a warm up, it’s a burn out. I love it. It loosens me up after weight lifting and I feel energized instead of worn out.

*Notes about the workout logs.

  • Expect to spend 11/2 – 2 hours for each of these workout sessions.
  • Interval training is about 23 – 25 min. I only do one session a day. I like to do the specified 20 min. and then continue on after the intervals are done to reach a specific calorie goal, usually at least 400 calories.
  • focus on good form (I can’t stress this enough) If you don’t know what good form is for an exercise there are great resources online that explain how to properly execute each exercise.

Any questions you have I would be happy to answer. I hope someone besides me uses these logs, they took a freekin’ long time to make

WIFE WEIGHS IN WEDNESDAY: Choosing to lose together

Hey! A little about myself. I’m a wife and mother of two beautiful kids. I am a florist by trade and a stay at home mom. I have always loved plants and flowers and love to dig in the dirt. I’m a friend to everyone, easy to talk to

Let me take you back to the prime years of my life. I was 20 years old, the healthiest I had ever been. Exercise was a joy and eating healthy was not a problem at all. I was all about myself and what I wanted and what would make me happy. It was great. I met my husband Mike, we fell in love and after a short engagement, got married in 2005.

I knew marrying Mike would be wonderful and great and awesome. It IS!!!! What I didn’t know is how being married and all the added responsibilities would affect my personal life. We had our little boy exactly a year after we got married. The weight quickly piled on. I was so comfortable in my situation I forgot how important it was to keep myself healthy, my focus shifted to my son and the care of my home and my husband. We had our baby girl in 2008 and it got worse and worse. I was at my fattest Fall of last year. Mike and I decided it was time. Enough letting ourselves go. There were a few instrumental occurrences that got us to the mentality we are in, (post for another time).

I am here, NOW!!! It’s TIME and I am in it til the end!!!

My weight has always been an issue ever since I can remember much like a lot of our readers I’m guessing. Until a few months ago I just didn’t care about myself. I was careless with what I ate and how much I ate. I sat on the couch all day and was super depressed in the winter. I would get spurts of motivation to try a diet, but that would quickly fade. Out of frustration and with lack of results, I would end up where I started & maybe even worse. I’ve heard the term yo‐yo dieting. I was there. I was sad, I was depressed.

TODAY!!! I am 62 pounds lighter and a little more than halfway to my goal. I am consuming just over 1200 calories a day. I drink 145 ounces of water a day and try to exercise at least 4 times a week. Accountability is essential. I couldn’t do this without the support of my Husband Mike he is my inspiration.

I’m no expert, but if I had anything to say to those in the same place we were last year… Find and do what works for you. Start today, not tomorrow. Stick to it, and don’t look back.

I am not anywhere near the tech person Mike is so I don’t twitter or anything like he does but you can always contact me through him.

TOP 10 WAYS TO GET FAT

So I have no illusions of being a fitness expert yet. When i hit goal weight, maybe. When I have a six pack and little boys are like “Hey! Mr. The Rock” and I have to say “Sorry boys, people get us confused all the time.” maybe THEN I will consider myself a fitness expert. I am an expert on being fat though. I have close to 20+ years of experience, if you take out kid years, of how to get fat.

And here are your top 10 ways to get fat:

10 – Assume food tastes better just because it is unhealthy.

There is this stupid idea that was put in my head as a kid. Maybe it was because every time I didn’t want to eat something that I didn’t like I would hear “eat it, it’s good for you”.  Low fat ice cream? Yea right. Might as well put some skim milk in the freezer and eat that. In working to eliminate foods that made me fat, I have tried new things and found that I love, even prefer over the food I used to eat like the Green Chili Chicken Lime Soup recipe I posted.

9 – Limit your steps taken in a day to between 150 and 200

Before my current job, I had sold cars. It wasn’t a great job but I walked a ton up and down the lot. I was eating crap and didn’t go to the gym but I think for a long time this is what kept the extreme obesity at bay. Then I got a job in software and I took a few steps getting ready in the morning, I walked 10-12 steps out to my car, 20ish steps from the parking lot to my desk, a few for potty breaks, 20ish back to the car in the parking lot, car to home and PLOP! on the couch till bed. Add on that I never went to the gym and ate a ton of food and you can gain 100 pounds in a couple years.

8 – Eat every piece of food someone offers to you because it’s free.

Free is one of every one’s favorite words. People love the idea of something for nothing. I do. My work is always doing “Moral Marches” where they walk around handing out treats n’ stuff. People bring in cakes and goodies. Oh, and who can forget free sample Saturdays at Costco. I love watching people getting samples. It’s so freekin’ funny. They pretend to be interested in the product as they walk up and maybe ask a question about the product like they were ever going to really consider it then leave uncomfortably from the sample lady knowing they had no intentions of buying the product. If you are ever there, watch the show. Something for nothing isn’t a good thing if what you get for free is fat.

7 – Eat on the go as much as possible.

Whenever I wanted to eat at Taco Bell or something, I would make myself unnecessarily busy just so we had to “grab something on the way”. There is fast food you can work into a healthy diet sure, but when I would get up to the monitor, roll down the window and open my mouth to say “side salad with light Ranch”.  I’d end up saying “double cheeseburger … make that 2 double cheeseburgers … with a small fry…better make that a combo with a drink” then the zit faced kid would ask, “do you want to make that a large combo for only an extra sixty cents?” At this point I am grabbing the monitor screaming “YES! Give me it ALL! ALL OF IT!” It took months of deprogramming to get to the point where I could drive up with intentions of getting a side salad and leave with a side salad.

6 – Use food as a reward.

Having a birthday? Make it all about your favorite foods and deserts. Did little Mike do good on his trumpet performance? Ice cream for everyone. Did you get all your chores done, here is a candy bar.

It sounds bad when you think about it but most of us have done this to some degree. Kar and I would find ANY excuse to go out and celebrate with food. We kept telling ourselves it was a special occasion to eat out and eat whatever we wanted. Looking back I think we had more special occasion days than normal days.

5 – Eat until you are comfortably numb.

The fastest way I know to gain wait is to eat until you are stuffed every meal. It’s an American tradition on Thanksgiving to eat so much you can do nothing more than let the belt go, lean back in a comfortable chair in front of the T.V. and watch Christmas adds with bits and pieces of The Christmas Story in between. Now that you get the concept, shoot for that kind of full every day. You will find that your stomach will expand to accommodate more food than you thought it could.

4 – Self loath and give into depression.

As a general rule, it is hard to keep up a constant regimen of self destruction without a good dose of self loathing. Focus on how incredibly fat you are. Constantly give examples to yourself and everyone else how every diet you have tried failed and how you have done everything you can. Cry a lot when you think about how hard it is to be the fattest person in the room. Worry often when in public about seeing someone who saw you last time when you were not as fat. And of coarse only turn to eating more food to numb the self loathing as well as sleeping too much. Don’t read this post about positive affirmation either.

3 – Lie to yourself every time you have food in front of you.

Any way you can, lie to yourself. It’s hard to get really big if you don’t lie to yourself. In general you could say something like “I am happy being fat.” I prefer to use little lies on a consistent basis. “It’s a special occasion” like in #6. “A slice of cheesecake isn’t that many calories”, “I don’t want to be rude so I have to eat this 3 scoop banana split with marshmallow fluff and chocolate sauce.”

2 – Drink Mt. Dew … a lot

The easiest and fastest way to gain weight is to drink a ton of calories. I wrote a post about how, for many years I would drink a 64 oz Mt. Dew a day … minimum. Do you know how many calories that is?

1 – Do Nothing

This is by far the easiest way to get fat. Do nothing. Don’t change bad eating habits. Don’t start an exercise program. Don’t worry how many calories are in the foods you eat or about proper nutrition. Apathy about obesity is a great place to start if you want to gain weight. Keep all of your intentions for getting rid of the weight on a future date. A great day is tomorrow. Just never let your intentions to do something start today or you might end up writing a poem like this. 

FACE PALM: I hate when I do that!

Yesterday I was on track to be well under my calorie goal. We went to a birthday party and my kid gets served up this mammoth  slice of cake, I see it’s chocolate (uh oh)  with white frosting (ooooo my favorite) and there is custard filling in the middle (holy crap run!). I didn’t even have cake on my own freaking birthday. but somehow I convinced myself that I was going to have a bite, then 2 bites. In the end I probably ate half of the slice which was the size of a regular slice. face-palm!

For some reason my arch nemesis fat guy was screaming at me:

“Come on, you ate a salad & a chicken breast today. It’s been over a year you rabbit food munchin’ pansy. Can’t we even eat one piece of cake a year? One? Look at it, with
it’s moist chocolate goodness, and you know you can’t look away from custard filling.”

I looked around for fit guy and for some reason, he wasn’t even there. The worst part about eating food when you know you shouldn’t be, is you look stupid doing it. At least that’s what Karlie tells me. It’s stupid. I try to act all nonchalant as I put a fork full in my mouth. My wife looks at me and immediately. I know the way she looks at me. I have a guilty look on my face made even worse by over compensating for the guilty look. If I video taped myself I would probably bust out laughing at how ridiculous the whole charade is.

Moments like this seem like a big fail sometimes but I have to step back and see it from the perspective of the whole thing. No, I didn’t go over calories unless that cake was like 800 calories for a 2 inch cubic slice but still…. crap food is not something that is going to get me to 150 pounds lost by Sunday (my goal).

Hope my dumb admission keeps you from doing something similar this weekend. Enjoy the heat, do something active. Maybe even go T.V. free for the weekend. Finish the week strong. Much love. Have a good weekend.

WIFE WEIGHS IN WEDNESDAY: If I can do a handstand…

Hi everyone, Karlie here. On my journey to health I often think of things that I wasn’t able to do at my heaviest. It keeps me motivated knowing that if I work hard enough I could do pretty much anything. I will get into more details about my progress and story next week but I wanted to jump right in for my first post.

Today I did a handstand. Applause! Thank you…. thank you everyone. I used to do silly things having to do with gymnastics all the time just for fun. At almost 300 pounds obviously I wasn’t able to do hardly anything at all.So my handstand today has motivated me for this week. We’ll see what my gymnastic background brings me next week 🙂 By gymnastic background I mean chubby kid in gymnastics class who could do a cartwheel, round-off and handstand really well. Leaving the rest for the skinny girls.
On to bigger and better things. As Mike explained in a previous post, I ran my first 5K! Three point one miles. This wasn’t just any race though. Oh, no. This race was Dirty. Mmm hmm.

Title of the race: Kiss me Dirty
Location: a farm
Racers: women only, all ages

Obstacles include: Jumping over hay bales, in and out of tires filled with mud, continue running with an added 10 pounds of mud to your feet. Jumping a small fence, then jumping a not so small fence (this thing was huge, and yes I jumped both fences). Crawling through mud stomach to the ground with 14 inches of head space. Climbing rope fence. Crawling through mud again, running through a quarter mile of freezing cold run off muddy water with another 10 pounds added water mud soaked clothing. Up and down the trail, in and out of the giant tractor tires, through the giant pipes…………..and then run it all over again. Yes, that’s twice through the obstacle coarse. Oh boy.

The group I ran with was formed in my neighborhood. When seeing Mike’s success a couple women decided to start up a health group. We meet every Monday to weigh in and talk about what is working for us. It’s a way to be accountable a way to get support from someone other than your husband or family. We had a blast. We were laughing, and singing, and burning calories all at the same time. With a hoot here and a holla there. We made our way to the finish line.

What a great first race. My goal was to run the whole way, and I pretty much did that setting aside the obstacles in my way.

For my next race it would REALLY be nice not to have my last 30 pounds on me. It’s like carrying my daughter the whole 3 miles. My heart could have run forever but my body is still HEAVY. It is very frustrating, but with hard work the pounds will slowly come off and I am transforming! It is so fun to see. Thanks for the support!

Wife Weighs In Wednesday

I spoke with my wife and she has agreed to start weighing in every Wednesday with a post. Transparency is what makes a weight loss blog valid in my opinion. To understand my journey you only get half the story when you hear from me because we have been doing this together. Now you get to hear from my better half. Stay tuned tonight to hear from my wife, Karlie for the first edition of Wife Weighs In Wednesdays or WWIW.

She will be able to add a new perspective to my our weight loss journey. Hope you enjoy the banter that may ensue. I love this chick and I know you will too.

Feelin 90%

Tonight I feel I’ve kicked the pneumonia about 90% and started telling my wife I think I should start the week off right with going to the gym in the morning. She said “blog about it and then you’ll have to!” So here it is.

Rested and sick today on his favorite pillow. And I thought about new publications.
That’s the way, and my pillow. I recommend it.

 

I’ll probably take it easy so I don’t cough up a lung but more than anything I need to get back in the habit. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I am excited to get day 1 under way. I also have adjusted my schedule at work to give myself more time in the morning so I can block out 3 days a week at the gym.

I need to strengthen my heart and increase my stamina but I’m no dummy, It’s diet more than exercise that will make the biggest difference in my weight loss. Over the past few months I did not throw in the towel with my diet but at the same time I HAVE deviated from my 1500 calories-a-day goal. In order to get there I need to log my food again. Time consuming but necessary.

And thank you to my peeps for not skipping a beat in welcoming me back to blogging my progress. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to posting daily but I will keep you up to speed at least weekly. Thanks for continuing to inspire me with your stories and your progress.

Much love,

-Mike