Monday, April 12, 2010

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye...

Last week I bid farewell to the 150's {for awhile anyway, until I get knocked up again ;)}. I haven't seen that weight in four years. Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked! Audrey must have been reading my mind when she chose the latest challenge because ever since the end of our first 3 week session I've been wanting to post about how my life is changing. To steal a phrase from Mindy, I am experiencing a major paradigm shift.

The beginning of this challenge was a huge awakening for me. I was purposely ignorant about how poor my nutrition was. I just ate whatever sounded satisfying at any given moment. I ate mostly carbs and very few veggies. Lots of butter and lots of treats. After I started counting calories and using the MyPyramid Worksheet, I realized I was far, far off the recommended servings for each food group. Doing this challenge has not only helped me to eat a healthy calorie range, it has made me start eating a well balanced diet. Imagine my surprise when I took two free days over Easter weekend and after gluttonously devouring a bunch of candy and cake, I found myself craving vegetables and I couldn't go to sleep until I ate a cup of stir-fry veggies. Dude, that's not normal, not for me anyway.

But now I have a new normal. Veggies are now a staple at every evening meal and although I haven't been able to sway my husband very much, my kids are eating more veggies and Lily especially has become a huge veggie lover. I love to put tons of veggies on my sandwiches and I find myself trying new things, like this egg sandwich with salsa, cucumbers and avocados. Super yum at about 300 calories {with Oroweat sandwich thins}.

And now it's rare for me to have breakfast without lots of fruit in it. Would you like some cereal with your strawberries?

I didn't dare attempt baking in the first couple of weeks because I knew I'd cave. But now I have developed an appetite for healthier foods and I have the self-control to eat goodies in small portions. I bought a kit to make chocolate dipped suckers for Easter, then had to beat my children off with a stick until my free days on Easter weekend before we made them. Even with it being a free day, I really didn't eat a lot because I got sugared out pretty quickly.

Eating out hasn't been a huge issue for me because I live in the middle of nowhere and there are no restaurants in town. I was able to do the eating out challenge when I drove to Evanston {2 1/2 hour round trip} to do a Walmart run. Here's Mack and me grubbin' on some Subway:

Fitness is becoming easier each day and after exercising pretty consistantly since the beginning of January, I can say with confidence that it's now a part of my routine. I've been able to get in some bike rides with my two youngest riding in the trailer now that the weather is improving.

But, this is Wyoming, so more often than not I am doing exercise DVD's in my small living room while the wind whips and occasionally the snow still flies. I've mentioned this before in comments, but I have been truly shocked at how my internal clock has made a monumental shift from being the girl who sleeps in and takes long naps to the person who actually LIKES getting up early. One of the main reasons I get up early is that if I'm going to exercise in my house, it becomes so much harder to get it done once my kids are awake and needing my attention. Dishes, laundry, the internet and various other distractions virtually guarantee that I won't exercise after 8:00am unless it's an outdoor activity I can do with my kids. In addition to being able to get my workout in, I can check blogs without interruption, I can eat breakfast without the little mooches begging at my leg and I just love the quiet in the house when I'm the first one up.

Feeling healthier and more fit is rewarding all on its own, but as icing on the cake, I'm seeing changes in my body. I cinched in my belt a couple weeks ago...

...and now my size 12 pants are getting loose.

(me taking pics of my newborn nephew, with my Mom as assistant, last week)

Yesterday I decided to wear the same outfit to church that I'd worn for Lily's baptism 6 weeks ago and take a picture for comparison. Me, at 158 pounds:

And here is 9 pounds lighter:

But don't get too excited, I'm still wearing the girdle. :)

The biggest changes I've seen are that my arms aren't so flabby, my hips are getting smaller, my thighs are getting toned and I actually have a little depression on my upper belly that looks suspiciously like ABS! I still have a lot of flab to work through on the lower belly, but the fact that I can see any definition in my stomach is pretty freakin' exciting! The toning can be largely attributed to Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, Biggest Loser The Workout 2 (the women's toning section is awesome for hips, thighs and butt) and Biggest Loser Boot Camp. I also really like Biggest Loser Cardio Max for getting a good cardio workout when I have to stay inside.

This has not been easy for me. But I think the biggest reason I've been able to stay consistant is that I was READY. In January, when I started exercising, I wasn't ready. I didn't want to stop eating. But to my great pleasure, after several weeks of establishing good eating habits, I've discovered that not being a heifer is OK. Cutting back on treats has not taken all of the pleasure out of food. I try to give myself one free day each week and knowing that I'll be able to eat goodies to my heart's content (usually on Sunday) in just a few days helps me to stay committed. Also, I think I'm afraid to fail at this point. I finally feel like I'm successful at something and I don't want to lose that feeling. I've been a little disappointed during this process that my husband hasn't been more of a cheerleader. I figured he'd be pretty excited that I was trying to get in shape, but maybe he's just disappointed that my boobs are shrinking! I finally said something to him about it, reminding him that my love language is Words of Affirmation, and he declared that his policy was silence. "I don't comment when you gain weight and I don't comment when you lose weight." You gotta admit, the guy's no dummy.

This blog, with the accountability and the constant support from all of you ladies has really been the turning point for me. I will forever be grateful to Audrey for starting this, to Mindy for inviting me, and to all of you for being my cheerleaders. Love you!


  1. You look AWESOME by the way! Even though I don't know you personaly, you can absolutely tell from the pictures a MAJOR difference. Don't you love when that number switches over! I love the sandwich thins. They are a staple in our house. Even though they can be pricy, I still buy them because I'm the only one who eats them. Thanks for such an inspirational post.

  2. Sue, you never ever cease to amaze me. YOU look FABULOUS dahling . I've seen you overcome many challenges and I believe you can do anything you set your heart on. You meet your weight goal and you get a free ticket from me to come east and show us in person. Love YOU!

  3. Sue, the before and afters are AWESOME!!!! Those nine pounds really do make you look lighter, happier and toned! Keep it up. You are a great example to all of us and I am so, so proud of you.

  4. I was riveted through your entire post. You are an engaging writer and your success story is so inspiring to read. I feel proud of you too. Great attitude and insights into the new you!

  5. I just have to say one other thing: I love that you took a picture of your newly cinched belt and loose pants while on. That's just freakin' awesome.

  6. Sue is not only a great photographer she is also a great writer, but then if you read this and her other posts you know that.

  7. Yes, Melissa, the funniest picture would have been one of me holding the camera at arm's length, pointing at my gut!

  8. I'm here in my family room doing the happy happy joy joy dance for you.

    Thanks for your great post. I love all the pictures of you looking super fabulous and the pants and belt pictures are a crack up!

    Keep it're making the rest of us work harder!

  9. SUE! That is so great! Love the before and after pics- I can't believe the difference! There is nothing more motivating than feeling too small for your clothes!
    I've been thinking about you all day because I finally worked up enough courage to move up to level 2 on 30 Day Shred. I'm so sore! You know if you're sore before you go to bed that tomorrow is gonna be brutal! Have you done #3 yet?

  10. WAY TO GO!! What a great success story and its still going :) My husband is much like yours they probably feel like they can't win either way so they just love us! Thanks for being an inspiration to all of us!!! you look amazing!

  11. Mindy, I've done all 3. It gets easier the more you do it, but each time I moved up I was dying after the first workout! I still can't do all the jump training in Level 3, but I just substitute some other type of cardio that doesn't make my heart pop right out of my eyeballs.