I won’t lie to you, nor cover up the truth on this. I look back at the last ten months and realized not much has happened. When I set out to accomplish this goal of getting fit, I never, I repeat, never thought I would struggle this hard to lose the weight. I look back on my sixth-month post and it occurred to me I wasn’t really taking my goal of committing to be fit seriously enough. It showed in the post, and it showed in the progress picture. So I was determined to get it in check until I hit the wall. I wish there was a good excuse to why it has not turned out as expected. Maybe the moment my body realized I was hitting the big 3-0, that it was no longer going to cooperate with me anymore on losing the weight within a few months. It’s not like I am obese or have a huge amount of weight to lose, but for some reason, it is not happening that well. I know some of you reading this have been through this before where you keep looking in the mirror and nothing seems to be happening. I remember Melissa Hartwig saying “it is not an overnight thing,” but after months of no luck, it makes one feel there is something wrong with them.
I spent most of the summer trying to find a breakthrough in losing the weight. I hit a wall. Since May I have been doing Whole30, running at least 45 minutes every other day, and started to do strength training on three times a week for 45 minutes. Why can I not lose the fat on me? This should be the universal question most women ask daily. The thing about getting older is the fact your body does not bounce back like it used to after putting on a little weight. Also, I guess the college stress does account for some of it. Instead of freshman fifteen, it is more stress twenty or thirty instead.
This summer was stocked full of farmer’s market produce, outdoor pursuits, and working hard on my goals. I even took the thirty-day one-gallon challenge of water which ended up with me having to visit the restroom a lot.
Still, nothing budged. Could it be all the stress about college that has nothing to do with food intake? I did talk to a doctor about it all, and as far as they can tell nothing is inhibiting me from losing the weight since I am healthy internally, but I do need to lose some weight to stave off diabetes. I have prayer fasted with only one pound loss only to gain it after eating something, and limiting certain foods out of my diet has seemed to not have any effect. I guess it is the stress.
I have not given up yet on this goal of mine. I will see how the last three months of year turnout. Who knows maybe something will happen unexpectedly. Also, it is time to put the Happy Planner Fitness Planner to good use now.
Hiking in Tanzania was an unexpected adventure with a whole lot of people. I was talked into going on this hike with a whole bunch of people because we could have a view of Mount Meru from the top of a hill just behind the hotel. The said hike was to hike to the top of Suye hill before sunset. We did all make it up just as the sun was setting, and we all got a great view of Mount Meru and the rest of Arusha valley below.
It all started with crossing the busy road full of crazy motorcycles and cars. Not something for the faint of heart in this country! The beginning part of the trail started up a steep muddy rock step between a cluster of houses along the slope of the lower part of the hill. Once in the tree line, it was climbing up the steep embankments with slippery mud clinging to our shoes, getting almost lost in the brush when the group was split up, and finding out the cobblestone path was not complete enough to take anyone to the top. It took around an hour to hike up this trail to the top to see the sunset over the valley and to see an unobstructed view of Mount Meru. The guide from the hotel said Mount Kilimanjaro could be seen from the top as well, but it was hidden by cloud cover and this was true for the whole time I was in Tanzania. Most interesting part of this hike was seeing two people living in the shack on top of the hill. Remind me of people living deep in the jungles of South America.
Now going down the hill was an adventure in the dark. I have never hiked in the dark, and hiking down this hill in the dark was not an easy task. What made it easier for me and those around me in the group was the headlamp I had packed just in case. Going down the side of the hill was a challenge with all the slippery mud on the steep parts, and the vegetation that liked to reach out to catch us as we passed by. People were slipping and falling at times. I even when down hard after I had told the people behind me to watch out for a slippery part. Slowly we all made if safely to the bottom with a few scraps, scratches, mud caked on clothing and shoes. It was worth it in the end! I earned the dinner back at the hotel, and it was one adventure worth going on.
Half way point of my goal! Not much to report for the sixth month since most of it was spent getting my body prepared for Tanzania, being in Tanzania, and then trying to get it back working properly after Tanzania. African countries can do a number on your body if you are not careful.
I look at my pictures from Tanzania (series starts 12th of June!) I look bloated. Why? Because fluids were trapped in my system at times after both long haul flights, and the food is on the carbohydrate side. I did loose weight in Tanzania, and it was only five pounds total. I was lucky not to get traveler’s sickness from the food, but there were times I petered on the edge of getting it. I did go on a hike in the middle of Africa up a rather steep hill to have a view of Mt Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro. With a two-mile up and back, the whole experience was worth the sticker bushes grabbing me and falling on my butt on the way down. The above picture was taken two weeks after Tanzania, and you can see the five-pound loss and not the five pounds of bloat as the bottom picture has.
After coming home it was full swing into a second round of Whole30 for me, and getting back to being outdoors. The last two weeks of May had Seattle in summer time mode, and that was a great time getting up in the morning for a run. Along with my Whole30, I have been trying out some recipes I brought back from Tanzania. So far I have made a healthy version of Tanzanian stir fry and getting back into the swing of going to farmer’s markets for fresh produce.
This whole month of April was completely busy with studying for finals, getting ready for a trip to Tanzania, and keeping up on being committed to fit. The treadmill and I had a 30-45 minute a day every morning this whole month. Will see how it lasts after I get back from Tanzania.
Easter was healthy (take that Peeps!) with minimal sweets. It seems there are five months out of the year where candy is used in celebration of the holidays. Interesting. Besides, I dislike Peeps so you will NEVER see those nasty marshmallow chicks in my cupboard EVER. But I had to have the Belgium waffles church was serving for Easter breakfast with all the Nutella and banana slices on top!
Meal prep has become more routine since I have a friend who taking the challenge of commit to fit. Now all I do is search Pinterest for recipes and try out all the concoctions hoping not to get bored in eating the same thing day in and day out for a week.
Depriving myself is not on the agenda and having a group lunch date with all the organic chemistry peeps (ha!) at Maggiano’s in Bellevue, eating Chicken Marsala was on the agenda. Well eating a ~1,200 calorie meal over two days would count on the agenda and I had to balance out my meals to compensate for this calorie heavy meal for the rest of the week. I regret nothing!
You would think stressed from work and college would keep me skinny, but the opposite is true. When stressed it is like diving face first into a bowl of M&Ms for me. Chocolate is the go-to comfort food for me when I am stressed out. I am glad to say I did not dive into a bowl full of chocolate but decided to take the healthy route when it came to stress over finals. I found snacking on “apple nachos” and little bite sized Pro Bars to help with mindless eating while studying.
The month of April came pretty fast and ended fast. I could say I sailed through this month with a few healthy habits after being derailed for two months. I wonder what May (Month 6) has in store for my goal of committing to being fit by the end of the year? Stay tuned!
I haven’t gone off my plan of commit to fit and yet I feel as if I have. Oops! Weight loss is a fickle thing at times. One minute you lose some weight and the next it is back. Then again the law of physics plays a cruel joke on you and no matter where you put the scale in the house, you have a range of weights! Then again why am I weighing myself? Isn’t healthy measured not by how much you weight, but how your body feels? Ugh! Even a biologist like myself has a hard time answering this very question. A friend of mine who is a dietitian determines healthy by the things you eat that help the body better function. Then again it doesn’t matter what you read, it will be wrong at some point. Anyways…..
In the past two months it has been a roller coast ride in weight loss, and being on a healthy living kick. I could say all the hard work done in January on Whole30 came undone in the month of February. How can a short month cause me to derail my diet? STRESS!!! Its’ not like I ate a whole bag of M&Ms every day, but it felt like I did. February stresses me out. Even the thought of it right now stresses me out! The whole month was stressful, and instead of me losing the weight like a normal person, I gained weight back! Ugh! My inner fatty kept telling me I needed bread!
March was crawling back into trying to be healthy again until the Girl Scouts decided to hawk their wears outside the grocery store. Who can resist thin mints? Yep though so! I had to have not just thin mints (hey don’t judge! I know you went crazy too!) but the Samoa and the s’mores. Damn those s’mores were good! They better be back next year! Also, the weather sucked again. Talk about the weird weather in February (snow every Monday) to being washed out in March. Even the treadmill is guilt tripping me to stay longer on it. Motivation is hard at times, and even with all the Pinterest motivation quotes, it was still hard to get my butt in gear to do anything with the world exercise in the title. Even stocking the Tumblr called Commit To Fit wasn’t helping either. Just seeing all of my classmates walking around with athletic wear and drinking protein shakes didn’t motivate this late twenty-year-old into exercising.
You can say the last two months has been derailing my diet and having no motivation to exercise. Is this normal? Apparently, it is when you think about the bleak days of winter in Seattle. Just hoping the next month will be better and this exercise funk will be over with spring here.