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Confessions of a Stress Eater

Guest Blog by “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest Winner
Amy Smith

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Hello Slender Seekers! It’s me, your How Do You Celebrate Success contest winner. And I have a confession to make: I’ve been struggling. Like… a lot.

If you’ve lost a large amount of weight, you already know a fact that surprises people who haven’t: It’s much harder to keep weight off than to lose it in the first place. The hardest part about losing it is just getting started. Then it’s one good decision after another, until you’ve made enough good decisions to make a real difference, and the momentum keeps you going.

But besides diet and exercise, there’s the matter of our stupid brains. The ones that say “you’ve had a hard day, just go home and relax.” Or “you had a really sad day, just this once you can have some ice cream.” And then the next day they say, “you already blew it yesterday, so have some pizza today, then you’ll work out harder tomorrow.” And the next day, “you feel crappy from that junk food yesterday, take it easy on your run.” Or even “you ran 5 miles, you can eat whatever you want today.” Anyone who runs knows…it burns fewer calories than it feels like it should! Five miles, 500 calories… 2 cookies and you’re back to where you started.

I had an extremely difficult summer. Work got incredibly intense to say the least. A friend passed away. Some stressful financial issues cropped up. I got sick. My ankles have given me problems with my running. And I began to eat. It started out as a treat here and there, and before I knew it, Labor Day was here, and I was 25 pounds heavier. And then the guilt attacked me. “I won a contest for WEIGHT LOSS and I spent the summer gaining weight.” I’ve kept up with my exercise, but I haven’t been able to increase my per-mile time, because I’m carrying around extra weight. I’ve made it so much harder on myself than it had to be. But I know if I didn’t have the half marathon coming up, I probably would have scrapped the exercise as well. So thank goodness for the contest, for Pandora, and all of you supporting me, because without that, I might be in a really ugly place.

So anyway, I’ve been feeling incredibly guilty and so ashamed. But then I thought about it… and none of us would be here reading this blog if weight loss came easy to us. I’m guessing all of you truly understand what it’s like to backslide, or struggle every single day to keep making those good choices. The true test is how we rebound from times like these. NOT giving up, no matter how much damage we’ve done. And admitting our mistakes, being accountable and then attacking it all over again. Health and wellness isn’t something we just accomplish and then never think about again. It’s a lifelong process – a mental one just as much, if not more than, a physical one. I need to do some serious work on my brain, along with my butt and gut!

I’ve spent the last month dwelling on the weight I have gained. But it’s time for me to focus on the positive: I’m still down 65 pounds from where I began, I’m still about to run a HALF MARATHON, and I am going to take these 25 pounds, show them the exit, and then work on losing 25 more. I will be working on it for the rest of my life. We all will be. But with the support of friends like Pandora, awesome sponsors who keep me healthy with vitamins and good nutrition, and my family and running buddies, I’m going to overcome this. It has been a tough summer, but I vow to finish this half marathon, and finish 2014 back at my lowest weight. I need all of your support, and I am here to cheer for all of you too. We are truly all in this together, and we always will be.

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

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Tackling One Goal at a Time

This has been harder than any other training program I have ever held myself too.  My body aches in ways it never has before and I keep asking myself “Why is this so difficult for me this time around?” When I answer myself back it sounds like my Father’s voice and it says, “You’re comparing apples to oranges, you’ve never done THIS before.”

It’s the absolute truth. Not that I haven’t done a half marathon or seven. But I’ve never trained for one under these circumstances.  I’ve been benched in the middle of training before due to recovery from reconstructive plastic surgery after massive weight loss. But I’ve never tried to train for a half while working out of the house and while teaching exercise classes four to seven times a week.

I love my job as a weight loss and wellness coach. But this training schedule was a little more than I bargained for. I’m excited that we’re almost done.  I’m proud of what I have been able to do. But if I am telling the truth, I’m happy that it is almost over. We’re seventeen days away from the Run Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon.

My Dad would be so proud of me.

When I first wrote this article I thought that my pace time for my last half marathon (Another solo half marathon I did a little over a week ago) was the same as the one I ran as part of our team training for the Tinker Bell Half Marathon that my last contest winner and I did back in January. When I pulled the times down I realized I was wrong. Silly Pandora, the number I was looking at was distance NOT time. In fact, in the last ten months my run time has improved by one minute and 11 seconds!

There is a part of me that really wants to run this Half Marathon with a pace time that comes in under 13 minutes a mile. That part of me that always wants to do better than last time. throughout my weight loss journey I’ve learned that no matter what anyone else thinks of my speed or pace time or performance; the only person I am competing with is myself. I teach my clients this same philosophy in training.

Since July I’ve been pacing twelve plus miles, but I’ve also been running much shorter distances, it wasn’t until the end of September that we started running over ten miles at a time and maintaining your pace over longer duration is more difficult.

That doesn’t mean I won’t push as hard as I can at this Wine and Dine half marathon to try to pull off a better time but it does mean that I won’t try to do that at the Hallowed Half Marathon that I’m doing on October 26th because an injury at that event could throw off the one I have actually been training for. I have to stay focused on the main event.

By then of this year I will have completed a total of nine half marathons – something I never would have even imagined I would be saying about myself. I need to remember to take that victory along with a 71 second improvement time and celebrate it rather than trying to push for a new goal this late in the game.

My Daddy used to tell me to always practice what you preach.

When I help my clients set goals I try to teach them that the goals they set have to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. I teach them to set one goal at a time and not to get too carried away.

I have to remember to hold myself to the same standards. I don’t get to decide three weeks before an event to suddenly change the goal. If I want to set a goal to run faster, I have to train specifically for that and that, as my Dad would say, would be a whole different ball game.

I’m the type of person that often bites off more than I can chew. Since I tend to work well under time pressure, I pull it off. But I’ve been working on this promise to myself not to do that right. I already have my next goal set and it doesn’t involve pace times or even running. So before I set a new goal, I need to achieve the goal I am currently working on; completing the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in less than three hours and remember that I my next goal is already set.

There is a post it notes in my mind that reminds me what my next goal is so that I don’t allow myself to get distracted or procrastinate any longer. So for right now, I’m going to keep my eye on the prize; That Wine and Dine Half Marathon medal and trying to insure that inscription on the back that marks my pace time for that event starts with a two instead of a three.

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is a  Cooper Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies and Motivational Speaker studying to become a Certified Personal Trainer.

Check out the Second “How do YOU Celebrate Success” Contest

Team Slender Seekers Sponsors:

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AmeriWell Bariatrics
Like AmeriWell Bariatrics on Facebook ]

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WELLESSE
Like WELLESSE on Facebook ]

Celebratecmyk

Celebrate Vitamins
Like Celebrate Vitamins on Facebook ]

Kay's Logo

Kay’s Naturals
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BariMelts Logo

BariMelts
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Please support our sponsors!

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About (Pandora) The Author

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

Jaime "Pandora" Williams

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