Nine Years Old- The Beginning of My Weight Struggle

Over the last few weeks, I’ve struggled with myself, done some deep soul searching and decided to share the FULL story (or at least what I remember) that got me to where I am now.  This is not going to be light, fluffy stuff- but these parts of your life rarely are.  All I ask, is that you please respect that these are my experiences.  They do still effect me, but I am working on getting better at all of this.

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I believe that most people who have had a bad relationship with their weight remember the first time they were told they need to lose weight- I happened to be 9.  If you look at my family tree- it should have been expected that I would go through what we all lovingly call ‘the Baker chunky phase’- almost everyone with Baker genes goes through this.  And *yes* it seems to normally be in those pre-pubescent years.  Almost everyone in my family was a bit chubby at this age.

But at 9 years old- I can still remember the doctor talking to me about how I needed to ‘watch what I eat’ and ‘lose weight’.  And my 9 year old self TRIED, tried so hard to lose weight and I did, but what I did never stuck. The weight would not stay off- because the deeper problem was not really addressed.  There is still a part of me that is that 9 year old who tried, but never really understood why my weight suddenly was a big deal.  Why was this something that people cared about? Why was me, as I was, not good enough?

For a little kid who was struggling to fit in, this was just another thing that made me different from everyone else in my mind.  My parents were, and are, wonderful and supportive, but there were other things that even their support could not completely combat.  During fourth grade, I can remember being a very lonely little kid.  I was constantly made fun of because I was not the same as everyone else.  I was not ‘country’ enough.  I was too smart.  I was too weird.   I did not cave to what other kids wanted me to do.  I was just not what all the other little girls in my class were.  My one friend  decided that she wanted to be friends with the little kids that tormented me.  She never joined in on it, but that was my first taste of what it was like to lose a friend to peer pressure.  To lose a friend because I was not the same as everyone else.

This was the year that I also gained 10 pounds in a month and that lead to the doctor conversation, mentioned above.  Looking back on it, I was eating because of how miserable I was.  I was eating because at 9, I did not know how to voice all of these feelings and emotions and I was not the kind of kid to tell someone off for treating me poorly.  I was the kid who silently took it at school and cried at home.

I couldn’t understand why I was picked on for being different.  I couldn’t understand why people were mean to me when I was not mean to them. At 9- these were all things that I could not understand and I turned to food to help me.  My parents helped and held me as I cried about losing friend and being picked on, but food was my fill in for when they weren’t there or when, at the grand old age of 9, I wanted to deal with it myself.  Food made me feel good.

It made me feel good when I was told that I could not join the ‘club’ that was going on in the playground jungle gym tree house.  It made me feel good when my one friend started to ignore me. It made me feel good when I was not invited to sleepovers and other parties.  It made me feel good when I was made fun of because I liked wearing my hear in a bun, not a ponytail. It made me feel good when all the other little girls had their first ‘boyfriend’ and no one was even remotely interested in me.  FOOD MADE ME FEEL GOOD.

That was 9 year old me.  And that little 9 year old in me still gets upset about all of this.  That little 9 year old still wants to know why.  That little 9 year old still wants to be good enough in the eyes of the kids that tormented me.  And the REALLY sad part is- most of them remember none of this- they do not know how they have shaped the rest of my life.  So the adult in me, has to remind the 9 year old, that I grew stronger because of all of this.  I grew into a better person because of this.  I grew into the person that tries very hard to NEVER make someone feel the way I felt. I grew into someone that can acknowledge how bad this was- but knows that it no longer defines me.  That food is not my pick me up anymore.  But the story of how THAT happened- is for another time.

Interested in my day to day struggles of today? Be sure to like my facebook page here.

Fitness Challenges: Piyo

For the last two months-  I have been working out with a program called Piyo and it has been great!  It is a complete departure from T25 and many of the other programs that I have enjoyed over the last several months of this journey.  The big thing that I found myself focusing on (besides the wonderful low impact workouts that it has) was nutrition. Chalean Johnson talks about how important nutrition is throughout the entire program and I FINALLY started listening to this sage advice in the second half of the program.  Before I go into the whole nutrition thing, I’ll give a little bit more about the program itself.

This is not a high impact program, it is a program that people getting back into fitness would love and people who need a break from high impact programs.  My body NEEDED this program.  It needed a break and I feel like I will be able to go back to Insanity MAX 30 and kill it.  That is the point of these kinds of programs- it lets you workout and also look after your body at the same time. Everyone needs a break from the hard pounding workouts, which is why even during those workouts stretching is super important. Overall- I love this program and I will absolutely continue to go back to it for stretch days each week.

Now, let’s talk about the nutrition piece.  This is something that I have taken seriously off and on, but no where near as consistently as I should. I have been doing Shakeology every day for months, but that only helps so much.  For the most part I tried to do well during Christmas, but that was not the easiest thing to do. So what I really vowed to do during the last three weeks of piyo- was to focus on my nutrition and that helped so much!  If you look at my little hand drawn, weigh in chart, you’ll see how things went for me.  And also- how they may work out for you too.  Weight loss is not a line that goes straight down at a nice angle and is always consistent.  There are ups and downs, things change and life happens and the scale jumps up and down.  Do not get discouraged!  At the end if you are still working hard, the scale will eventually start to play nice.

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The other big thing that happened during Piyo was that I was placed on thyroid medication again. I had managed to lose 19 pounds before I was put back on the medication and now the weight is starting to come off again.  Honestly, I am thankful for the medicine (and I really hate going to the doctor, but this is something I refuse to take lightly).  In 2010, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and had my thyroid irradiated.  For most people these leads to being put on medication immediately, for me- it took 4 years for my thyroid function to fall off enough for the medication to be needed.  I am still in the stages where we are trying to get the medicine to  be at the right level for my body, but after this last check up- it looks like me and the doctor are on the right path to getting this under control.  If you are like me and have a thyroid condition- trust me when I say that you CAN get the weight off- you just have to put in the work and find a doctor that will work with you.  I know this is not going to be an easy road and for the rest of my life I’ll be going in to get the dosage adjusted as things change, but it is completely doable.

Now for the fun part- before and after pictures and measurements!

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Beginning of Piyo

Measurements:

Chest: 34.5

Waist: 29.5

Hips: 37.5

Right Thigh: 19.75

Left Thigh: 19.5

Right Upper Arm: 11

Left Upper Arm: 11.25

Pounds Left to Lose: 25.2

Pounds Lost: 19.8 

2015-01-24 08.39.05

End of Piyo

Measurements:

Chest: 35.25

Waist: 29.5

Hips: 37.75

Right Thigh: 20.75

Left Thigh: 20.75

Right Upper Arm: 11.5

Left Upper Arm: 11.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 22

Pounds Lost: 23

And this time- I actually gained inches in some places.  Not sure if this is from toning or that I just pulled the band tighter at the beginning than I did now- but I am okay with it.  For the first time- the number on the bottom, is bigger than the number on the top and THAT is absolutely awesome in my books.  Also- when I take a look at the pictures I can SEE a huge difference in various areas and that makes me really happy- sometimes the measurements don’t show it, so the photos really help.

Want to know more about this journey and follow along on a daily basis with what I’m doing- feel free to like Bailey Holladay- Building My Best Body and also feel free to message me if this seems like something you’d want to do.

London 2014: Touring the Town

So- I ended 2014 with a bit of a bang- with a trip to London!  This is something that came about over the summer and I jumped at the chance to go.  As some of my friends asked what to do while over there- I thought it would just be easier to write it up.  We hit so many things while we were over there and there was so much more to do.  Honestly- everything I did was a ton of fun and you really can’t go wrong with what you choose to do (at least as far as I can tell). Here are some of the big things that I think people should give a try while in London.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Where We Went

1.) Tower of London and Tower Bridge

We were lucky enough to stay near the Tower and Tower Bridge and that definitely had its advantages- we were close to so many things, including the Tube (i.e. the subway) and bus stops.  Both of these landmarks include tours and it was absolutely worth the money to go to through the Tower tour.  We tried to go on Monday, but were told that we did not have enough time to go through the Tower.  They generally say that you need between 2 and 4 hours to go through the Tower.  We wound up going on Wednesday and got there first thing in the morning- which is absolutely worth it.  There is next to no line for the Crown Jewels and you can make it through in less time and see everything you want.

The Tower- Near the Crowned Jewels

The Tower- Near the Crowned Jewels

2.) Buckingham Palace

We took a walk down The Mall and ended up at Buckingham Palace.  The building is absolutely gorgeous and there is so much to see near the palace.  If you catch it just right, you’ll be able to catch the changing of the guard, which happens every other day at the palace.  Be warned- get there early if you want to get a good view of what is going on.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

3.) Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus

Shopping!  There is tons of shopping on these two streets and they actually aren’t too far of a walk from each other.  It goes from very pricey to very reasonable on these streets- so just keep that in mind. There are plenty of places to buy reasonable souvenirs and not pay an arm and a leg.

4.) Windsor and Windsor Castle

It is about a 40 minute drive from the heart of London- but this is absolutely worth it.  The town of Windsor also has a great deal of shopping and Windsor Castle is absolutely gorgeous.  It is a bit of a hike up from the parking, but it is worth it.  There is an audio guide to talk to you about the history of the pieces within castle and many different levels to enjoy.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

5.) Westminster Abbey

The church is absolutely gorgeous again- if you want to see it, it is better to get there early.  There is an audio recording for here as well and you are able to see many of the things that you only see in pictures.  However- no pictures are allowed in Westminster Abbey- so you will have to take your memories with you.

6) Platform 9 3/4

If you are a Harry Potter fan- this is a must- you can take as many pictures as you need near.  There is a bit of a line for it, but it is worth it.  There is a shop nearby that is solely Harry Potter and you can look at a professional picture there (it comes in a cute frame, but we opted for the cell phone version).  This is a fairly popular place to visit, so the earlier the better (are you catching on to the theme that there really is no sleeping in?). Even if you have to wait in line- the pictures are to die for.

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Platform 9 3/4

7.) Eat Fish and Chips

This is a signature dish in England and can be found anywhere from street vendors to upscale restaurants.  We had it a couple times while I was there and both renditions were good (the second was better).  I am still on the search for the best fish and chips I have ever had, but both of these were really good.

8.) Ride a Double Decker Bus

Pay the 10 pounds to get an oyster card and go on a double decker bus (route 15).  The buses stop throughout the city and you can even just ride for a few stops and get off.  The experience from the top of the bus is great and you get to see London from a different view point.  The driving there is a bit crazy, but watching it from a bus is great.

9.) Thames Cruise

There is so much to see along the Thames and a river cruise is a wonderful way to see it, especially at night when a lot of things were lit up.  I am not sure how long the lines will be on this, but it should be easy enough to look up and book.

10.) Museums

There are museums everywhere- absolutely everywhere- we visited the Victoria and Albert Museum, which had everything from clothing through the centuries to cultural items.  There are two other museums near the Victoria and Albert Museum and they are completely worth your time (plus- entrance is free!).

Wrought Iron Work at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Wrought Iron Work at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Other sites like Big Ben and Parliament can be seen easily while walking to other places.  Some places you can go in and other places are photo only from outside.

Things We Didn’t Get To But Sounded Fun

1.) Churchill’s War Room

As a history buff- this is one thing I wish we had time to do, but we were not able to make it around to it. Located near 10 Downing Street (the prime minister’s house) and Buckingham Palace- it is just a short walk from many other attractions.

2.) St. Paul’s Cathedral

We heard that St. Pauls’ Cathedral is equally beautiful, but did not have time to go see it.  Much like many of the other places- there will be a bit of a line and getting there early is worth it.

3.) Harry Potter’s London Tour

Grrrrrr- the tour was filled up by the day we wanted to go on it, but we were able to go around and see Gringotts and Platform 9 3/4.  While we weren’t able to see it, it is something that is still on my ‘to do’ list.

4.) The London Eye

I am terrified of heights, so this was a ‘no’ for me, but many people loved going on this attraction because you get such a great view of the rest of the city.  So- if you can deal with heights- this is a great place to go.

The London Eye at Night

The London Eye at Night

Other Things to Know

– Look right-left-right when walking across roads- they drive on the other side!

– Split meals with family members in order to save money and shop around for places that are a bit cheaper.  I would personally avoid American restaurants, because of the experience (and your American restaurants WILL taste different).

– Your drinks will not come with ice most of the time- so ask for it if you like it.

-Be prepared to walk!  I guestimate that we did between 4 and 5 miles a day to see all the different venues.  Walking is the cheapest (and healthiest) way to make it around the city.

Whew- 2014 was a great year and I am just hoping that 2015 will be that much better!

Fitness Challenge: Hip Hop Abs

Yet another month and yet another bit of progress.  Hip Hop Abs was something that I had a ton of fun with- that I ABsolutely enjoyed every minute of.  It is definitely not as high intensity as T25 or Insanity, but it does get the job done and it does help you with core.  Besides the fact that my nutrition went to crap (and it did…I’m human and we all make mistakes/have set backs)- I was able to see definite improvement in my core and feel the improvement in my clothing- that is always the most important thing to me- how are my clothes fitting.  Weight may not change, but clothing and the inches are wonderful to see off.

I would say that many people would lose a lot of weight if you start with Hip Hop Abs, this is my fourth program, so it definitely took a different angle for me.  For me- it was important to do work on my body and if weight came off- that was great, if I could maintain- that was just as important.  So for, this worked out to maintenance, if I had not trashed my nutrition- that would probably be a bit different.

So, the thing that we all like to see- before, after and measurements.

Beginning of Hip Hop Abs

Beginning Measurements

Chest: 35

Waist: 29.75

Hips: 38.25

Right Thigh: 18.5

Left Thigh: 19

Right Upper Arm: 11.25

Left Upper Arm: 11.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 25.2

Pounds Lost: 19.8

 

 

2014-11-22 08.09.39

End of Hip Hop Abs

Ending Measurements

Chest: 34.5

Waist: 29.5

Hips: 37.5

Right Thigh: 19.75

Left Thigh: 19.5

Right Upper Arm: 11

Left Upper Arm: 11.25

Pounds Left to Lose: 25.2

Pounds Lost: 19.8 (no change from Rockin’ Body)

Inches Lost: 0.25 (overall I notice that my thighs yoyo more than any other part of my body)

So what is up next- Piyo!  I’m super excited to do this low impact workout and give my body a break.  So, until that is over- keep at it!

Fitness Challenge: Rockin’ Body

Rockin’ Body is a definite departure from many of the other workouts that I have done over the last several months- but don’t let the fact that it is a dance workout fool you- it will absolutely kick your butt. It may not have the high intensity of T25, but it is still a high impact workout.  During the first week, I thought that it would be easy and that I would just coast my way through dance workouts and then I got to the workout simply titled ‘Rock It Out’, which was on the strength disc.  That should have been a clue that it was going to be an intense, body sculpting, workout.  However- I did not pick up this clue and when Shaun T said ‘pick up your weights’ my mind went completely blank.  So I picked up my weights and proceeded to get my butt kicked by Shaun T.  My initial assessment was that I would have an easier time on strength- after ‘Rock It Out’ I had completely changed my mind.

There were several pluses to these workouts- Shaun T breaks down the choreography in a way that is easy to learn and remember- he is also hilarious and keeps you distracted, which made it easier for me to do the workout and not really realize how hard I was working.  As I mentioned before it is lower impact, but not low impact by any means.  The only minus that I really have is that if you are looking to tone up, this probably is not the workout for you or it should be combined with strength workouts from another source.

As always- here’s the photos and numbers:

Before Rockin' Body

Before Rockin’ Body

Beginning Measurements

Chest: 35.5

Waist: 30.5

Hips: 39

Right Thigh: 19.25

Left Thigh: 19.5

Right Upper Arm: 11.5

Left Upper Arm: 11.75

Pounds Left to Lose: 26

Pounds Lost: 19

EndofRockinBody

End of Rockin’ Body


Ending Measurements

Chest: 35

Waist: 29.75

Hips: 38.25

Right Thigh: 18.5

Left Thigh: 19

Right Upper Arm: 11.25

Left Upper Arm: 11.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 25.2

Pounds Lost: 19.8

Inches Lost: 3.5

Want to see my week by week thoughts and results?  Or even the crazy videos that I made along the way while doing these workouts- take a look here.

Fitness Journey: Six Months In

road-so-far

Well, it has been six months since I seriously started my fitness journey and ten months since I vowed that I was going to really make a change with this whole fitness thing.  With this post, I really want to focus on the past six months- the ups and the downs and everything that I have learned along the way.  While I still have a long way to go to reach my goals, I feel that I am getting closer to these goals each and every day.  If you recognize the show that the little banner photo comes from then you’ll know that this post is not necessarily going to be all sunshine and unicorns- there have been some tough moments as well.

What I’ve Learned

As cliched as it sounds- I have learned that losing weight does not come easy.  The last time I was truly serious about getting into shape was when I was 18 and I do not have the metabolism of an 18 year old anymore.  I cannot eat crap and just exercise my way out of it- I have to pay attention to my nutrition and put in the hours in the gym (or in this case- my spare room turned home gym). At this point I am about halfway to my goal weight and I have hit multiple plateaus along the way.  That is probably the thing I dislike the most, but it just comes along with the journey. The one thing that has helped me keep my sanity is the measurements- seeing the inches come off is just as important as the pounds going away.

Another thing that I have learned is that you have to mix it up.  Over the last six months I have done T25, Jillian Michaels 30 day shred, Power Half Hour and Rockin’ Body. Each program has a different benefit and each program has pushed me in different ways.  I have one more program that I plan to complete before I start doing repeats of the others and I hope that at this point I have enough mix and match stuff to make it for a long time.

And the last big point that I have learned is that I have to listen to my body.  Several posts ago, I talked about how taking off my ankle brace was a bad idea- that has not happened again.  There have been weeks when I needed to take it easy and other weeks when I really pushed to make the most out of it because I felt like I could.  I have recently switched from doing primarily morning workouts to afternoon workouts, except on the weekend.  The whole season change is getting to me and I do not have much motivation in the morning because the sun is not out yet- however, I am still getting in my workouts and that is the most important thing at the end of the day.

Now for the hardest part of these posts- picture and number proof- from the beginning to now.

Beginning of the Journey

Day Zero: T25 Challenge- BEFORE

Day Zero: T25 Challenge- BEFORE

Chest: 41

Waist: 34

Hips: 42

Thigh: 23

Upper Arm: 13.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 39

Pounds lost: 6

Six Months In

6MonthsIn

Chest: 34.5

Waist: 30

Hips: 38.25

Right Thigh: 19.75

Left Thigh: 19.75

Right Upper Arm: 11.5

Left Upper Arm: 11.5

Pounds Left to Lose: 26

Pounds lost: 19

Inches lost: 24.75

And one final thing- I’d like for as many of you to be able to experience these sorts of results- so please join me for a challenge starting in November! And if you just want to see more of my journey on a day to day basis- take a look here

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