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Weight loss, Exercise, & Bellydancing

Finally - I've broken my fourth weight loss plateau. I may have been cheating to weigh myself right after exercising (and before eating :P), but I've lost another five pounds!

Do you know what this means?

I am now only TWENTY pounds away from my weight loss goal!

I am also weighing less than I have since before I got pregnant (although, eep, the baby-belly is worse).

That may still seem like a lot, but I got big when I was pregnant - twice. So, I'm feeling so good about myself (and wanting to make sure that I keep on track), that I've decided it's finally time to post actual weight. I feel this will help keep me motivated. Nothing like public accountability.

Speaking of which - would anyone like to be a weight loss buddy? I need someone(s) who is willing to say, "Hey, Amanda, have you exercised any this week? How many Little Debbies have you had? How many pounds have you lost?" Anyone else who's winning the battle, let's do it together.

So...here it is. The full nitty-gritty:



Now, keep in mind that I'm only 5'3". My *fantasy* weight would be 125, but I haven't weighed that little since high school. Seeing as how I've had two babies since then, I figure a realistic and healthy goal would be 135, although I hope these will be life changes, and that the weight loss will not stop at 135.

Most of my weight loss has been from dietary changes (and breastfeeding - one more huzzah for breastfeeding!). My exercise has been hit-and-miss -- meaning that I usually resume exercising when I hit another plateau. :P I'm trying to improve this. We're working on having more Family Activity time, where we all get active together.

This is hard for me. I CANNOT exercise in front of people. My whole life, it's been this way. I used to loathe gym class, because others could see me.

I've stepped out of my comfort zone with this. We've gone biking together once as a family, and plan to do more when Josh fixes up the other bike that is more my size. We have family dance time. And now that we've bought the kids a playset, we're all spending more time playing outside (sun! Glorious sun! Have you seen our albino pictures? We'll all be healthier for that).

I also have a bellydance video, Veena & Neena Present: Bellydance Fitness for Beginners, Basic Moves. I've only done this video maybe twice before, because I quit when Josh lost his day job and began spending days at home. I can't do that in front of him until I'm much better. But today I chased him outside with the kids and had glorious alone time to work on my video.



I know keeping form is important, so I had a mirror set up. Let me tell you, that is not a boost to my morale.

I'm surprised I had so much trouble with things. First, the lady narrating said things like, "Ok, now right, back, left". Of course, this means that I should be doing what the women are doing, only backwards from the way I'm seeing it on TV - as a mirror image. I thought that would be easy for me. Afterall, I picked up signing super-easily, and most people seem to struggle with doing the motions backwards, as a mirror image from the person showing you. I *never* had that problem. It was so easy to 'switch' it around.

Not the same with dancing, I've learned. I'd get all mixed up, so I ended up just copying what I saw. Discouraging, but not that bad for a beginner.

*Sigh* That's only the beginning of my difficulty with this.

I think the ONLY thing I can do half-way decently are hip drops. Everything else is so hard for me. A real wake-up call for how out of shape I'm in. I have trouble isolating moves, like only moving the neck (not shoulders!) or only hips (not chest!), etc. And add hand movements or walking? I'm lost.

I've never felt so hideously ungraceful. I tried doing leg lifts and got such a cramp in my left hip that I fell over and had to stretch it out through the routine.

Even my snake arms suck, and honestly, with my fluency in signing, it looked like something that should be easy. I move my hands and arms all the time to express myself! No problem, right? Gah. I do half way decently with my right (dominant) arm, but the left arm throws me for a loop every time. It's so totally NOT graceful that at least I was able to laugh at myself. I just can't seem to 'lead with the elbow' on my left side, which would then throw off my right side, and I'd end up windmilling it or flopping them around like fish out of water. Nice.

Well, it's nothing if not encouragement to keep practicing until I conquer this video.


I took a bellydancing class for a month or two when I was pregnant with Eden. I couldn't do the moves and walk then, either. I didn't feel so darned self-conscious, though, because I was six or seven months pregnant. I thought I was hot stuff.

Those illusions are dashed. I have no excuse now. Blah.

Josh has a yoga video. I'm contemplating switching between the two. Maybe that would help, and also help with my stretching and gracefulness. We shall see.

In the meantime, I'm starting to think I'll pick back up with something I would do back in high school when I was on drill team (where I totally rocked the house, for the record). I started doing sit-ups and push-ups every night before bed. I began doing as many as I could do while maintaining the proper form, then try to do just one more the next night, then just one more the next night, etc. I'll tell you what, too - I was in the best shape of my life when I was on drill team. Of course, that happens when you're always having to "Drop & give me twenty!" and "All right - five laps on the track!" anytime some dumb kid (usually male) would piss off the platoon leader. That, and I had a manual labor job after school.

So, perhaps some measures will be taken as I draft our new, strict daily routines (See here if you're wondering what that's all about). The new schedule will hopefully begin next week.

Comments

( 78 comments — Leave a comment )
deliriousgal
May. 19th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
Daily routines?!
STRICT daily routines!

You've gotta be kiddin me.
ahavah
May. 19th, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
Indeed. You can check out that link to see why I feel it's so necessary. Believe me when I say this is my last resort. :( It kills me.
(no subject) - deliriousgal - May. 19th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
flamespirit
May. 19th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)
Weight loss is such a GOD DAMNED BATTLE!!!!
I would love to join you as a buddy...but I think I'm just to negative with this right now. Work is TAKING OVER MY LIFE!
ahavah
May. 19th, 2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Well any time you need it, remember that I have a link in my profile for all my friends who would like distance healing. :)

If you change your mind, drop me a line. I'll probably be working on it for a while.
nedia782
May. 19th, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
Congrats on overcoming another hurdle in your weight loss!!! Thats is such a huge deal! I am proud to say that I have only gained 19lbs in this pregnancy, but thats on top of the 40+ I was still pack'n from the first two ;) Once I have him and stop with the after baby nasties, I would LOVE to be your work out buddy, but that wont be for a while on my end :( Kepp it up lady!!
ahavah
May. 19th, 2006 09:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! Your encouragement means a lot to me. I was still packing a lot from Eden when I had Ivy, too. I kept inching up towards 200, and my midwife would give me the ol blah blah about it. I told her straight out, "I will NOT reach 200 pounds. I will have this baby before I allow that." Wouldn'tcha know? LOL

So anytime you're ready, give me a holler. But be aware - this isn't a work out buddy, but a weight-loss buddy. :P I still barely work out, myself.
(no subject) - nedia782 - May. 19th, 2006 09:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lolacat - May. 22nd, 2006 12:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 22nd, 2006 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 22nd, 2006 02:23 am (UTC) - Expand
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a_treitell
May. 19th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
Some tips to help you with the middle eastern dance side of things..

- Don't worry so much about your isolation at first.. Be aware of it, it's an important thing, but a comfort with your body and how it moves is more important in the beginning, technique takes a long time to perfect, and you shouldn't expect perfection from yourself right off the bat.

- I can't speak for all dancers, but dude, I HATE how I FEEL like my snake arms look.. And I've been told I have beautiful arms when I do them...

-Unless you're planning on trying to make money dancing, or joining a dance troupe, put away the mirror.

Remember that middle eastern dancing is about celebrating.. It is what women did when a child was born, when people were married, when there was something to celebrate. This isn't a formal thing (though it has become so), this, started, as something women did to celebrate their lives.. Go to it with the same joy and you'll find a lot more fun in dancing..

Just my two cents.. :D
ahavah
May. 19th, 2006 09:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks so much! Your tips really help. Eventually I would like to join a troupe, but first I'd like to get in better shape and at least learn some basics. We have a lot of bellydancers in this area, but I do better working alone until I feel comfortable 'performing' in front of people. It irrationally squicks me.

I should probably take your advice about the mirror! I thought it might help me realize when I'm showing improvement. Maybe I'll at least learn the moves first, THEN worry about how I look doing them. LOL

Thank you so much for your wisdom and encouragement! You cannot begin to fathom how much I appreciate it. :) I will definitely work on dancing to celebrate my life! It may help with the tension problems I noticed, too - I'm about as fluid as an oak tree.
(no subject) - a_treitell - May. 20th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
dominanefret
May. 19th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
I'll do it with you! We weigh the same right now, and have the same goals, so it would totally work. I also need someone to help push me along. (I would love to eventually get to 125, but I haven't been there since 7th grade.)

I'm a little bit taller than you (almost 5'5") but I've never had babies, so we are pretty much the same size.
ahavah
May. 19th, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)
Sweeeeeeeet!

Thank you so much, my partner in crime. I'll tell you straight out, I need someone up my ass making sure I'm staying on track. Do you want me to do the same for you? Because I totally don't want to annoy you off track. :-D
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 22nd, 2006 02:24 am (UTC) - Expand
asphixiapixia
May. 19th, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC)
Oh I am so jealous. I am 5'3" as well. I need to loose close to 100 lbs. I am so not happy about that. It feels next to impossible. I have this drawer full of awesome clothes that I can't fit into anymore. I am really proud of you sweetie! Keep it up!
ahavah
May. 19th, 2006 10:33 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you so much! Man, the support I get from you guys just makes it so much easier. :)

I know how you feel. Even though I'm in the process of de-cluttering, I refuse to throw away my pre-preggers clothes. I *will* fit into them again! I threw on an old bra-boxer jammie set I found last night, and Josh pointed out, "Hey, good job, sweetie! You haven't fit into those since you were first pregnant with Eden." Surprised me. I didn't even remember. I thought I'd worn it between kids, too, but apparently I'd tried without success. A mini-milestone! lol

Good luck to you! Feel free to sign up with me as a health-buddy if you feel like you could benefit from doing it with a friend.
(no subject) - asphixiapixia - May. 19th, 2006 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 19th, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asphixiapixia - May. 19th, 2006 11:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 19th, 2006 11:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sneezythesquid - May. 20th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 22nd, 2006 02:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asphixiapixia - May. 22nd, 2006 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 22nd, 2006 02:37 am (UTC) - Expand
manifest_now
May. 19th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
less struggle, more flow
That is sooo cool! Congratulations Amanda!

I've been thinking alot about this weight releasing thing, and really trying to pay attention to my language. It is said that weight-loss (the phrase) can be threatening to some, as it involves the word "loss". So along those lines of thinking, the word "plateau" and "stuck" are probably not too supportive, either. What about "pause"? And then visualizing you pressing the Pause button to start the weight releasing going again.

As you know, I have a ways to go so I am not thinking about it a rush kind of thing, or I might resist. Also, if it's too structured or painful, like whipping myself into a daily routine, I would probably resist that, too. For me I have to continue to focus on what's fun and neat about the process, like how I seem to feel and hear my inner guidance more when I am not stuffed with food. I also hear my angels and guides more clearly when I am walking so now that exercise angle is covered. And so I do ask my angels in writing and nonverbally to continue to guide me and give those little reminders. (and then actually do what they are saying.) I think as a consequence, I am drinking more water, I am more conscious of eating smaller portions, and the urge to exercise gently. If it's painful or a drag... Well, you know.

I've noticed a couple things with portion control. One morning after work I sat down and ate an entire omelet out of a take out box, even though 1/2 of it would be plenty. I mean when you think about the size of our stomachs (about a fist) and the size of the omelet... I noticed that I was feeling anxious and thinking about working and money issues, while I was overeating. So this is part of eating consciously.

Also, when I talked to Michael Mirdad recently, he looks so healthy I commented he probably does yoga, and eats only veggies... not so. He eats what he wants, but he is doing it in a loving way, giving himself what he wants, and what feels supportive to him. He told me, if he was experiencing a weight challenge and eating the same foods, or an overabundance of those foods, then that would not be terribly loving or supportive to his body. So my diet might look very different from what his diet looks like, but we are definitely in different bodies. LOL

Last thought: use it if you like it... since I am focusing more on the source of my overeating rather than the result of it, I found this affirmation on a reiki community that I think is way cool.

"No matter what I eat, I lose weight, because the NEED for the excess weight, has left my life."

Hope you find some of this stuff helpful! And I can be a weight releasing buddy but I don't do "nag".

manifest
asphixiapixia
May. 19th, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC)
Re: less struggle, more flow
"No matter what I eat, I lose weight, because the NEED for the excess weight, has left my life."

I really like that. I know a large part of my weight issue is a need to create a buffer between myself and others. I have not felt happy or safe for years and no matter what I ate or didn't eat the weight kept adding up.
Re: less struggle, more flow - ahavah - May. 19th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: less struggle, more flow - asphixiapixia - May. 19th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Backwoods? What backwoods? - ahavah - May. 19th, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Backwoods? What backwoods? - asphixiapixia - May. 20th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Backwoods? What backwoods? - ahavah - May. 20th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: less struggle, more flow - ahavah - May. 19th, 2006 11:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: less struggle, more flow - manifest_now - May. 20th, 2006 05:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: less struggle, more flow - ahavah - May. 22nd, 2006 02:26 am (UTC) - Expand
ascadulineadept
May. 19th, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC)
I know you may have considered this already, but how about something like martial arts? The people I see in classes are usually a wide range of body types, lots of adults, and the atmosphere is always pretty happy, upbeat, etc. After a few months of two-classes-per-week I felt really, really good. Much more balanced (and I took ballet, so I'm pretty balanced already) and building up good muscle.
That aside, yoga IS fantastic. I do cardio a lot, but I feel hot and sweaty and gross after it - yoga has the same effect, but I feel amazing after I do it. So ... yoga for the win?
ahavah
May. 19th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
I have thought of it, but it won't work right now for two reasons: no room in the schedule for regular classes, and no money. :(

HOWEVER,

I met a guy who owns a studio once at a health fair, and we got to talking...he'd be willing to barter classes for Reiki attunements. This was a while back, so I need to get on the ball with creating my Reiki classes if that's something I want to look into. It's a goal, but more long-term. I think I'd feel more comfortable in a class setting after I'm at least a bit more used to regular exercise. I hate people watching me turn all red and huffy-puffy.

Josh says he does have a Tai Chi video, though. I shall make him dig it out, and add that as well.

And yes, yoga for the win! LOL I'll let you know how that goes. That's something my daughter enjoys, too, so we could do the video together. Yum.

(no subject) - ascadulineadept - May. 19th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 19th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
times_suspended
May. 20th, 2006 02:28 am (UTC)
Oh. I sense a filter for this. I would love exercise buddies but I'm afraid that I am not regular enough on LJ to be of benefit to anyone here, I don't think. My work is becoming more even, and the art fair will be a memory after the 4th of June.

I have commitment problems as well. ;-) If you put this on a filter I want to be on it. How about healthy eating tips, snack tips, other tips that have helped you all? I need to get back on track and get back to walking every night but I fell off that when my work schedule got hectic. I have no excuse - I have an electronic treadmill if it's raining and freeweights, a balance ball, etc, as well as four incredibly awesome dvd workouts.

My schedule had been to walk M-W-F about two miles, and do floor work [stretching/freeweights/balance ball] on T-Th. I also need to start eating better because I have been embarassingly horrid at that lately. I know what I need to do - and it was working - but I fell off the wagon.

What a rambling comment. Great entry, lovely. Got me thinking. And hopefully, it will get me back on track.

[and if it made no sense, please excuse, I just woke up from a nap and I don't have my glasses on/contacts in] =P
ahavah
May. 20th, 2006 02:32 am (UTC)
No filter yet, I don't think. I like keeping most of my journal public, as I have several non-LJ readers. Plus - health is something that affects everyone! Perhaps I'll touch someone via osmosis! lol

You have given me a wonderful plethora of ideas for future posts. Thank you very much. It's nice to know there's interest. :) But then, I'm a feedback whore. *blush*

sneezythesquid
May. 20th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC)
Congrats on breaking the plateu! When you hit those, it's just so hard to keep going, waiting for it to break. Now with the motivation of my Baby Girl, I can't miss my treadmill time. The encouragement of my other LJ friends also helps.

The biggest problem I have right now is that since I am exercising, my hunger has increased. I have to fight that urge and keep my portion sizes down. I have completely cut candy from my menu, and try to have no more than one soda a week (I can't have water all the time, sometimes I want something with some flavor.)

And I'm very glad that you and my Baby Girl are going to become weight loss buddies. Keep encouraging each other, as she encourages me. And feel free to check on me as well. The more motivation, the better. :)
ahavah
May. 20th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, sneezythesquid! I'm glad to know you approve! And always glad to have another Health Buddy.

Keep in mind though, since you are a man, you *may* need more food as you exercise. Building muscle is hard work! I noticed the same when I exercise, although I've not been doing it often enough. I allow myself to eat when I'm hungry - as I'm nursing, I can't coutenance not eating when I'm hungry. I have, however, started eating salads much more often. As long as you go easy on the dressing, a couple salads throughout the day can only help your workout regime.
(no subject) - sneezythesquid - May. 20th, 2006 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(Deleted comment)
ahavah
May. 21st, 2006 04:44 am (UTC)
Re: FOOD!
Oh wow, thanks for sharing. That must have been hard to deal with. Do you Reiki your food before you eat it? My RM suggests Reiki-ing food and all your utensils before you eat and drink, take medicines, etc. I'm trying to be more mindful, although I still lapse. It's hard to get back into the habit. One of my new year's resolutions was to resume praying before I ate - a great time to Reiki, but I lost the habit when I was in kindergarten and can't seem to remember. :P I find it helps me to eat slow, savor each bite, and remember that this is God's sustenance for me. Keeping that mindset also helps me cut back on all the processed foods! Those aren't what God had planned for my temple, I'm sure.
(Deleted comment)
reiki_evolution
May. 21st, 2006 06:02 pm (UTC)
I'm starting my new exercise regime this coming week. I'm planning to go to at least 3 classes at our local sports centre as possible! Going to do a real mix as well- yoga, body combat (lots of marshal arts moves very fast to music- works you really hard!) and good old aerobics thrown in for good measure! I'm a similar height to you- about 5'2" and currently weigh about 9.5 stone (133 pounds). I would like to be 8.5 stone or a little less (119 pounds and less).

I know it's tough to loose it though- I've been trying for ages. I have more free time now though.

I can help encourage you along if you like?
ahavah
May. 21st, 2006 09:13 pm (UTC)
Wow - that sounds like a lot of fun! Good luck with that. I'd love another health buddy. Feel free to help & encourage me all you like, and I would be happy to do the same for you. Just let me know what I can do to help you along. Thanks so much!
(no subject) - reiki_evolution - May. 22nd, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 22nd, 2006 02:28 am (UTC) - Expand
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lanternlady
May. 23rd, 2006 02:23 pm (UTC)
congrats!
I think you will be my new inspiration. Between that and taking things one day at a time, I may have some success! :o) I've been thinking about Yoga. I"m soooooo not flexible at ALL, and getting back into Tai Chi... At least it's moving right? :o)
hugs
ahavah
May. 23rd, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC)
Re: congrats!
Thanks, Willow! We have a yoga and tai chi video that I want to work with, but I'm waiting til I learn all the moves on my first (bellydancing) video. I tend to get confused easily. LOL Anything is better than nothing!

Let me know if you'd like to be a Health Buddy, too! We have about seven people signed up to support each other now. I'll be doing a post soon to list everyone. You're welcome to join in if you like. Let me know if you'd like me to add your name to the list.

:)
citrinepoint
May. 23rd, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
I would totally like a weight loss buddy :)
I'm 5'2" and weigh 156 currently. I'd also like to be 125 but I'll be thrilled with 130.

ttyl!
ahavah
May. 23rd, 2006 05:34 pm (UTC)
Fantastic! I'll be glad to add you. We have a lot of people willing to work together and support each other. I'll be posting soon to list everyone that's signed up. May I list you?

Thank you for stopping by my journal! It looks like we share several interests. Do you mind if I friend you?
(no subject) - citrinepoint - May. 24th, 2006 12:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ahavah - May. 24th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC) - Expand
( 78 comments — Leave a comment )

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