WELLNESS CHALLENGE BLOG: Sofia Ngirutang

June 22, 2018

One more week and counting…that's how many more days we have left of this wellness challenge.

The old me would have been relieved and celebrating by thinking about what fabulous meal I can finally gorge myself on and not worry about the consequences!

No more being careful about what I eat, no more obligation of going to CrossFit class because everyone is watching…Yay! Right?!  Except this me doesn't feel that way at all.

There has been a complete rewiring in my brain, a conditioning towards continuing this personal challenge even after all of this is done and no one is watching.

A lot of self-reflection this month has propelled that rewiring, seeing the physical change in both appearance and strength not only in myself but in both Debbie and Sam as well who I go to CrossFit classes with.

For sure, it has been a little bit of an emotional journey. For those of you who have kept up with our blogs, there was one where I referred to a weight-loss transformation that I follow on Instagram and how I was amazed at the before and after photos and how I wanted that.

Today I look at old pictures of myself and then look at my reflection in the mirror and realize I am one of those transformations.  Our final segment is next Thursday, June 29 on the 10 p.m. news.  Watch as we recap our journey and catch our final blogs next week.

June 15, 2018

Raise your hand if you have a reserve of oversized clothes in their closet.

You know, the clothes that are a little or too big because you lost weight, but you decided to keep just in case the weight came back on? Yes! That pile!

For as long as I can remember, I've always had a reserve. For as long as I can remember, I've had periods where I've lost weight, but gained it all back so my reserve always came in handy.

During the course of this challenge, I've seen and felt a dramatic change in how my current (soon to be reserve) clothes fit. They aren't just a little loose, they are really loose.

I am practically swimming in them. This has prompted me to purchase some clothes that fit my current frame.

I'd been thinking about whether to keep my big clothes as a reserve in case I fell off the wagon again and gained weight. It had been a passing thought here and there, but not fully addressed until this month.

As I slowly replaced items in my closet, my pile of oversized clothes grew higher and started to grow into multiple piles. What do I do? Should I keep them?  My analytical, often overactive mind started weighing my options, both pros, and cons.

Part of me wanted to keep them, just as a safety net.  The other part of me was pushing me to let go.

But you see, I am not a risk taker; it's not in my character. I like my safety nets because I know exactly where I am going to be. If on occasion I happen to step out of character, there is an immediate retreat back to where I feel safe.

I know; some of you are saying, "what does that have to do with your reserve? This whole challenge was a risk. I wanted to participate, but in order to do so, I had to be ok with being filmed and writing a blog (so not in my comfort zone).

I won't be able to bow out; everything will be on public display so quitting is not an option (yikes! Private me is quivering). Yet I went ahead and took the leap and I feel so much better and happier because of it, so what's one more safety net removed?

Farewell reserve; thank you for providing me comfort all these years, but this is the end of our unhealthy relationship.

June 8, 2018

I will admit, last night I skipped CrossFit to go to the After Hours Art Walk.

I haven't been able to go since we go to CrossFit classes Monday, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, but I will make my way to open gym tomorrow before my day gets busy to work my butt off on a few of my Achilles heels.

I may also try to fit in a yoga session since I haven't gone for a while. I also indulged in an adult beverage and a decadent meal, but this me no longer makes it a habit to have too many days like this.

Today, I am back to hustling. I could have easily left this part out of this blog, but I owe it to you readers to be transparent.  This is, after all, a chronical of my journey.

It's our last month on this wellness challenge. It's our last month?! It's our last month! Wow! Tuesday's workout was brutal, another heart pumping, I need to take a moment to catch my breath kind of workout.

But guess what, I made it through it. I also learned a few things about myself. I was able to do handstands in succession! I could almost, almost do knees to elbow (google to find out what that is).

Ok, so, I needed a step under me as a safety net so I could drop down and rest periodically, but I could get my knees so much closer to my upper body while hanging from the bar.

I could not do more than just hang from the bar during On-Ramp when we first started this challenge. "Try to pull my legs up to where? Um, trying, but they don't seem to want to cooperate."

There are a lot of things I can do now that I couldn't do at the beginning because I doubted my abilities and questioned why I was doing this to myself.

Today, I can do a one rep max deadlift of 200 lbs., I can carry on a conversation while rowing, and actual pushups!  So let me take a moment to pat myself on the back! ??

I want to end today's blog with this, self-doubt and telling yourself you can't do it, leads to quitting.  DON'T DOUBT yourself.  DON'T think that you can't do it. HAVE FAITH in yourself.

Sometimes progress and seeing results may be slow, but if you put in the effort and change your mindset to, "I can do this, I will do this!" you will get there.

June 1, 2018

We're into the final stretch. June is our last month for the actual challenge.  Wow, I didn't think I would get to this point.

I was so out of my elements in the beginning, so out of my comfort zone. There were days in the beginning when I wished I had never joined because I was just too tired and thought I couldn't do it so I didn't want to go to a CrossFit class, BUT I still went.

There were days when I just didn't want to care and just eat the cheeseburger and fries and forget about all the bad things in it, BUT I didn't.

I still made my way to CrossFit class because each time I manage to complete a WOD (Workout of the day) or set a new PR (personal record), it was a win!

Each time I passed on the cheeseburger and opted for a small steak and greens, it was a win!

It was one more day of being comfortable outside of my comfort zone, one more day of, "Yeah! I can do this! I did this!"  My journey will certainly go on after this as I continue to work towards a better, healthier version of me.

Until then I will continue to hustle and push to meet the goals I set forth at the beginning of this challenge.

May 25, 2018

Today's blog will be short as I am taking a few days away from the office to disconnect and unwind.

Sometimes you just have to do it. I still made it to CrossFit last night, but I sure was thinking about skipping it. Glad I didn't.

The workout was a breath taker, heart pumping hard, I need to lay down on the floor for a little while... BUT I survived it.  Does it get easier?

No, it doesn't, but every time I complete it is a great, satisfying feeling. Why? Because it tells me I am capable of doing more than what my mind is telling me I can't do. #strongereveryday

May 18, 2018

Didn't lose weight this time around. Gained .2 lbs, but I lost half an inch around my waist. Talked to Dr. Turner about nutrition this week.

Now that the summer months are in full swing all the fruits that I love to eat are going to be in season: champagne mangos (I can eat 3 of these in one sitting!), oranges, peaches (sliced peaches on waffles…yum!).

My mouth is starting to water just thinking about it! These fruits that I also love so much are so high in sugar! What?! "I already gave up on bananas Dr. Turner, I don't want to give these up…" was part of my conversation with Dr. Turner today.

Like everything else I've had to modify or find alternatives to, I will have to do the same with fruits by substituting the above with watermelon, papaya, and berries.

It's all about balance which some days are like walking a tightrope (not that I've ever done it) where the focus is key. Leaning just a little too much to one side will cause you to fall off it completely.

Don't want to end up there again so will focus and do what I need to do to get where I want to be.

CrossFit has been extremely rewarding lately. Sam, Debbie and I have hit benchmarks in both deadlifts and last night in back squats.

I am amazed at how far we have all come. I think it's fair to say, they can correct me if I'm wrong, that none of us at the beginning pictured where we are today.

We've changed physically, not just in appearance but in strength and stamina. That's a testament to hard work and support. Yes, achieving goals and crushing them is fantastic, but it's also great to have the people who celebrate your accomplishments right along with you.

Shout out to Jimi here, our regular fellow CrossFit athlete and cheerleader too!

May 11, 2018

This week I reached a new benchmark at Crossfit.

On Monday we were working on deadlifts to find our new one rep max. Our coach told me to stop calculating the weight I was adding and just keep adding and lifting.

So, I stopped and kept adding weights until I was able to lift but not without a struggle. When I calculated my final weight lifted, I was ecstatic! I deadlifted 200 lbs!

My max weight lifted prior to this was 135 lbs! Between this and finding out I lost 3 ½ lbs at the weigh-in at Got Health? Wellness and Weight Management last week, I'm a happy, happy camper.

I've also learned a lesson; never say, "I don't think I can." All things are possible when you set your mind and heart to it. Be persistent and determined.

When you want something bad enough, you will put in the effort. You will struggle and you will fall along the way, but you get right back up and keep going.

May 4, 2018

It's been a blah week. I missed two CrossFit classes this week, one due to a work-related function and last night due to not feeling well.

Next week I will do better. It's been busy at work as well and I've forgotten to drink water and eat which normally happens when I'm super busy and stressed.

I decided to set reminders on my outlook calendar so it would go off every 30 mins to remind me to drink more water. So far, it has worked.

I'm down 3.5 lbs since last weigh in. Progress since I'd gained some of what I had lost previously. For a foodie, food still remains a struggle some days.

The temptation to give in to cravings still oftentimes outweigh the need to make healthier food choices, but today I did better. Chipotle is what I consider a treat.

I don't go there often, so, when I do I normally get a bowl that consists of cilantro white rice, black beans, grilled chicken, pico then guacamole and queso and a bag of chips to go with it. Today I was good with salad, a little black beans, some grilled veggies, pico, a little-grilled chicken, and guac, hold the chips.

I practiced self-control and made good choices. Drinking that water every 30 minutes too. ??

April 27, 2018

My blog last week was a little bit of a downer. Not losing any weight and gaining a pound was enough to pull my spirits down. I apologize, I was having a poor me moment and needed some time to wallow in it.

I'm over it, getting back on track to push forward. One of the things that got me out of my funk was trying on pants. I had an event that I attended this past Saturday.

It was a cold day, so I decided to go find a pair of pants that would fit. Prior to the challenge, I wore size 8 pants that were just a little bit too tight around the waist.

They had gotten looser since on this wellness challenge so I figured I had gone down two sizes to a size 6. I tried on size 6 pants and they were extremely loose.

"Could it be, could I fit into a size 4?" I thought to myself. I decided to entertain the idea and grabbed a couple of size 4s. They fit! They weren't snug, They fit just right.

Oh my gosh! I have never, ever in my entire adult life (so far) been able to fit into a size 4 pair of pants! That felt really, really good. Needless to say, I didn't find a pair to wear Saturday night because they were all too long for this very short girl, but just knowing that I could was a great feeling.

April 20, 2018

Up a pound, down a ¼ inch off my waist, no change in my arms and thighs.

It's a constant battle, I wish there were a happy medium. I'm a little disappointed in myself because I know I can do better and I have been trying, but I haven't been trying hard enough.

I can insert optimism here, but today I am just not feeling it. I need to reset my mind and bring my focus back to my goal and work harder to get there.

April 13, 2018

I've had a blah couple of weeks. Getting over being sick then trying to figure out whether I'm still sick or if I'm suffering from allergies caused me to miss a couple of CrossFit classes which pretty much put me in a funk.

Have I mentioned that I look forward to CrossFit classes? I may whine a little during class and complain about the soreness afterward, but I genuinely look forward to going to class.

I look forward to seeing my fellow Wellness Challengers and the other athletes that we attend classes with. There is something about being in an environment where people push you to do your best and at the same time support you.

I know, I sound like a broken record because I'm pretty sure I've said it before, but hey, it's the truth.

Samantha, Debbie and I had been discussing yoga for a while now and this past weekend an opportunity to attend a free session at one of the local yoga studios presented itself.

I've never attended a class before. I've attempted to follow videos, but it's never the same thing. I don't have the discipline nor the concentration to follow what is going on on the screen and if a movement looks too complicated to me, I just skip it.

When this opportunity presented itself, we jumped right on it. It was the best experience I have ever had as a first timer.

The atmosphere, the soothing music, the soothing sound of our instructor's voice as she guided us through the movements…it was great!

I got to stretch some very achy muscles and at the same time release all the stress and negative energy I'd been holding on to. I left feeling relaxed, calm and collected. I'm going again.

To nutrition, because I've been feeling a little under the weather, I haven't had much of an appetite lately so I haven't been meal prepping either.

I haven't been eating bad, I just haven't been putting much nutrition into my body and that is even worse. Again, food is my Achille's Heel. Sometimes I veer dangerously towards opposite directions.

I either don't eat enough for a while then a switch goes off and I gorge to make up for it. I will attempt to do better and meal prep this weekend. We will see how it goes.

April 6, 2018

Close to 5 lbs lost this past two weeks. Yippee!  I think that is the most I've lost in a two-week period. It certainly makes me happy.

I've been working hard, giving it my all at CrossFit and eating better. What's great about my visits with Dr. Turner at Got Health? Wellness & Weight Management is that she celebrates your victories right along with you and that is an awesome feeling.

That's what I needed, the support and someone there to keep me accountable because sometimes doing it on your own can be a struggle.

At least for me, it always has been, hence the yo-yo dieting and up and down fluctuation of pounds. Do I still fall off the wagon? Do I have cravings? Yes, I do.

Do I have days when going home to just lay on the couch and watch TV is more appealing than CrossFit? Absolutely! But I remember my goals and get right back at it.

March 30, 2018

This past week has been crazy. There is so much going on and so much to do. So, I've felt a little tired lately and haven't been put in the effort to meal prep which is not always a good thing.

If I have to sit at my desk and try to figure out if I have something at home that I can eat for lunch, I'm in trouble.

It leads to purchasing takeout that leads to not so great food choices. I need to buckle down and get back on it. I will work on that this weekend.

CrossFit, however, has been so satisfying this past couple of weeks. Being able to execute a move that was a struggle at the beginning, completing a class knowing I killed it, and lifting heavier weights than I did before has been a great boost to my confidence.

Going from the mental state of, "I can't do it" to "I can do it" has been satisfying. I even have a friendly competition going on with Samantha on who can lift heavier weights.

We're consistently trying to one-up each other. It's all in fun, but what a great way for each of us to push each other to do our best. This week I've been so sore in parts of my body I did not know could be sore, but it's a satisfying soreness that was born out of hard work.

I know Samantha and Debbie will agree with that.

March 23, 2018

On Instagram, I follow Weight Loss Transformations that features individuals who embarked on weight loss journeys for various reason.

It shows side by side photos of what the individual looked like before they started their journey and what they look like now.

I don't want to say "after," because maintaining the weight after you've lost it and being healthier does not end; it is a lifelong process that you consistently work on.  And let me tell you, I was amazed by some of them.

I applauded their success and thought to myself, "I wish I could do that." Little did I know that I would embark on the same journey myself.

We are nearing the end of our second month on this journey and I am feeling fantastic! My clothes feel so much looser, I have more energy and feel stronger.

And the good eating habits that were a struggle when I started are starting to get a little less of a struggle. But, I still have days when I want to throw myself off of the wagon because it would just be so much easier to not care.

Take yesterday for example. I was tired and craving something sweet so I headed towards the vending machines and stood in front of it contemplating what I would get when I heard this assertive voice behind me say, "What are you doing?"

It was Samantha, she talked me out of what would have been a bad decision. I could have easily gone back after she left and she wouldn't have found out, but I did not. My brain was focused on my goal.

In a conversation with Samantha earlier, she brought up the quote, "nothing good ever comes easy," and that is true.

This journey is entirely my own. I get to decide whether I succeed or fail. It's hard work and takes willpower and discipline to keep on track.

But, when you want something bad enough you make the necessary sacrifices to achieve that goal.  You can sit and make excuses to try to justify the reasons why it isn't working, but in the end, the only person you are fooling is yourself.

I refuse to make excuses.

March 9, 2018

After the last disappointing follow-up where I gained almost all of the weight I had lost so far, I really needed to buckle down and really focus on doing better.

I managed to be good while eating out, had water, a bowl of soup and side salad on one occasion and had a salad last weekend with grilled chicken at a Mexican restaurant while out with friends.

Mexican restaurants are the hardest because of chips, queso, and salsa.  But I was good and resisted the temptation to indulge because I knew my one bite was going to turn into a whole bowl that would have been followed by self-loathing and snowballed into a weekend of bad eating habits.

I also have not made any trips to get the special burger I love from that place I equally love as well. Does it hurt? Yes, a little bit, but I have to make sacrifices.

Today's appointment went better, down lbs. and inches. Yay! Hard work pays off! It will get tricky when wine fest comes around on March 24. I asked Dr. Turner how I will manage that and not get off track.

She gave me a pass for the day, but not a free pass to let loose and just do whatever I want. I can indulge, but I will still need to be very conscientious of what I put in my mouth and be accountable for it.

Accountability, when it comes to food, that is a struggle and will continue to be a struggle. Dr. Turner said that developing good healthy habits does not happen overnight, but I am on the right track. I am going to work hard not to derail myself.

With CrossFit, I feel myself getting a little stronger. I still get disappointed when I can't complete quite as many AMRAPs as I want to without having to stop to catch my breath or because some part of my body is protesting or not being able to successfully lift as much weight as I want to.

But I also need to tell myself I am further along today than where I was when I first started and that it will take time to get there, but I will get there.

March 2, 2018

My last appointment with Dr. Turner was a mixture of great news and not so great news.

I gained almost the two pounds I had lost from the previous appointment, but I lost inches in my arms and my thighs. My waist stayed the same.

The problem is when I get a victory, such as losing the weight, I almost immediately sabotage it by being a little careless when it comes to my eating habits and I temporarily lose sight of my goal.

Since that appointment, I've been trying really hard to stay on track. Temptations are aplenty, but I am learning to be strong and find healthier, better alternatives to quench cravings and to stay strong when eating out.

I am not going to lie, it is hard. If any of this was easy, I would have been at my goal weight a long time ago and probably healthier too, but it's not.

It requires dedication, determination, and commitment. It's all a learning process. Every day brings its own set of struggles, but I work through it and try to always remember my goal.

Yesterday I got an email from CrossFit Wichita Falls letting me know that it's my one-month anniversary! Wow, I had to sit for a moment and reflect on that.

The old me, prior to this challenge, who was curious about CrossFit watched videos and got on websites to get more information about it. I even asked James Warner, our Director of News and CrossFit athlete about it a while back; he encouraged me to give it a try.

But still, I was reluctant. I thought, there is no way I will be able to do any of that. I'll just end up embarrassing myself and quitting. I was so wrong. I could not have found a better community of coaches and fellow athletes to be a part of.

They emphasize the word "family." I heard it, but I did not truly understand what that meant until I started to pay close attention and observe what was going on around me.

Here are some of the things I saw. Coaches checking in on you to see how you were doing and address questions and concerns. Coaches encouraging you to push just a little bit further because they know you could do it.

What that taught me; With their guidance, I could do so much more than what my doubts were telling me I couldn't do. I saw coaches and fellow athletes cheering and encouraging those of us who couldn't possibly do another rep.

What that taught me; they are invested not only in their own success but in everyone's success. It will take time for me to get to the level of fitness and strength that I want to be at, but I know I'm headed in the right direction.

With Sam and Debbie by my side and the CrossFit Wichita Falls family all around me, I know I will get there.

February 23, 2018

So this week I made it to regular CrossFit classes! And I am happy to say I survived my first class on Monday! Whoohoo!

Then the weather put a damper on my plans to go three sessions this week and has kind of put me in a funk as well. I need to shake it off. I was also doing so well with eating until yesterday; it all went out of the window last night.

I try not to keep food that I am not supposed to be eating in the house or in my line of vision because I know me and I know I can be weak and cave in.  I was craving something sweet. I walked into the kitchen and spied a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch on the top of the fridge.

I struggled with myself (2 seconds) and grabbed the box. There were two cups of cereal left in the box (yes, I measured it before I put it into my bowl).  I poured almond milk on it and ate.

Did I feel guilty? Not really, at least not initially. It wasn't until I logged it in on Myfitness Pal and saw the number of carbs and sugar I consumed. Ugh!

Food is a struggle and has always been a struggle for me and will continue to be a struggle. I just need to focus and do better. We have a follow up with Dr. Turner this week. Stay tuned to see how I did.

February 16, 2018

I had not been following the meal plan and failed on drinking a gallon of water a day.  When I am at work, my brain is focused on work, remembering to drink a full gallon of water a day, plus trying to fit in 6 meals is a struggle.

Ok, I take that back, it is possible if I really put my mind to it, but I really needed something that would work with my schedule.

I also fell off the wagon with one meal.  That was all it took, one meal.  Would you like to know what it was?  Whataburger's Mushroom Swiss Burger is my current Achilles heel.

Anyone a fan of McDonald's Mushroom Swiss Burger?  I am, but I had not seen it on their menu in a while so when Whataburger came out with one, I jumped at the opportunity to try it right before I signed up for the Wellness Challenge.

It was a piece of heaven on a plate. I mean two premium patties, two layers of premium grilled mushrooms, two slices of Swiss cheese and their creamy Au Jus Sauce…I'm salivating just thinking about it!

My first attempt at a Whataburger cheat meal came right after a great workout at Crossfit. I pulled out every possible excuse to justify getting one. I don't have anything to eat at home (nope, that wasn't it, I didn't want to eat what I had at home).

I'll just do it this one time and no one will know. To Whataburger, I headed. As I drove up to the drive-thru lane, there were a lot of cars waiting in line.  Several had already turned around to leave.  There I sat going back and forth on whether I should stay or go.

I left, so thank you long line for preventing me from making a big mistake. This, however, was short-lived. I made another attempt a few days later and was successful at getting the burger.

I enjoyed every bite of it.  I did not regret it until I plugged in the calorie count into Myfitness Pal. 1,110 calories for just that one burger, that was pretty much my entire calorie count allocation for the day!  Yikes!

I was a little worried about my follow up at Got Health Wellness & Weight Management with Dr. Turner.  I didn't want to confess my mistake, but I did.  Dr. Turner didn't tell me not to indulge, but she also didn't give me the green light to overindulge as well.

She told me ways to scale it down, addressed my concerns about the meal plan and provided adjustments to the meal plan that would work better for me. She continues to hold me accountable.

I'm down 2 lbs. and down close to 2 ins. in measurements. My clothes are feeling looser and what used to be too small to fit into is starting to fit again.

A combination of Dr. Turner's guidance and Crossfit has led to that. I still have a long road ahead of me and I know I will have bad days here and there, but putting in the effort and hard work yields results. Today I will not set myself up for failure.

February 7, 2018

I volunteered for the station's Wellness Challenge. I thought it would be a great incentive to get back in gear and start eating healthier and exercise.

One thing you should all know about me is I'm a foodie. I read an interview with Gina Rodrigues in Shape magazine; in it, Gina says, "I'm an equal opportunity eater" about her relationship with food.  That's how I am.

When it comes to food, I am game. I will be the first to scope out and suggest trying a new restaurant, new food, new recipe.

Whataburger has a new mushroom, swiss burger?! Why yes, I believe I will have one!  Did someone say chocolate cake?! I love, love, love good food; but, I also know that consistently overindulging in what I want to eat isn't sustainable for me or good for my health.  I want to work towards a happy balance between the two.

Exercise, the other thing you should know about me is I have a long history of not being able to commit to any exercise regiment.  Do you want to know how bad?

One year I was pumped up for a Mile A Day Challenge that I joined via Facebook with other women scattered across the US and the Pacific. It was simple, just a mile a day. Log it by showing a screenshot of whatever fitness app you used. Simple…right? That lasted about 4 months.

I joined a local gym, did great for the first couple of months, fell off the wagon there. Last year, joined a new boot camp in town. I was doing so well, got stronger, lost inches, tightened muscles…you guessed it, fell off the wagon there too.

I don't like commitment, except for work, I'm a work-a-holic, but I digress. Crossfit, I've always been curious, but at the same time self-conscious, scared and a little intimidated.

If you were to ask me a while back if I would have willingly joined, I would have flat out said, "nope, not for me."  So why do it now?

It's clearly out of my comfort zone, kind of scary, and looks intimidating. For me, it's about taking that first step. I want to be a healthier and stronger version of me.

I can't do that by sitting on my couch adding exercise moves on Pinterest and adding HIIT apps on my phone then saying, "ah, I can do it tomorrow." I'm not going to say it's going to be easy.  For me, old habits are hard to break, but this is my first step.