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Archive for January, 2008

Happy Thursday!

Okay, I’m feeling a little better today.  I had a great workout last night – couldn’t quite manage the whole thing, but I came close, and I wasn’t surprised because the intensity is definitely higher than where I was two weeks ago, and I’m sure I’ve lost some ground.  I probably need to take my weights back down a little until I get back up to speed.  But it felt really good.

I’m a little sore today, but not bad.  I’m definitely retaining a lot of fluid, I can feel it (and man, I hate that feeling) but I suspect hormones are at least partially to blame as I’m nearly a week late for my period.  (No worries though, I’m definitely not pregnant.  I do this every few months.)  Plus yesterday was another high-salt day.  Not as bad as the day before, but still not great.  Today should be much better.

I am going grocery shopping tonight, thank God, so I can clean out the fridge, get rid of everything bad in the house that’s left from the parties, and get back to sanity.  I’m not terribly unhappy with how I’ve done through it all; I’ve indulged, but it hasn’t been complete insanity as it would have been, say, this time last year.  I haven’t even been heavily into the diet soda; I’ve stuck with water, though I have had more coffee than I need.  I’m cutting back on that too; caffeine always makes my PMS worse.

So, stocking up on good stuff tonight.  I’m also going to start packing my husband’s meals for him again; I stopped doing that when I was working two jobs and I feel terrible about it.  Now that I will be home and have the time to do it, I’m going to start again.  He needs to get healthy just as much as I do and it’s not that much more work to pack for two instead of one.  Hopefully, after a month or so of eating right I can get him working out with me regularly, too.  I worry about him.

Last night was a good night, despite tempers flaring throughout the house.  (Brennah was her usual 8-year-old premenstrual self; Scott was a little tense though not terribly; and I was tired and cranky.)  As I said, I had an awesome workout and still had time to clean the kitchen really well and have some down time; had a lovely hot bath before bed and went to bed feeling pretty darn good. 

It’s amazing how much more I appreciate simple little things now, after so long without them.  Not baths, but the opportunity to take a long, hot bath without it meaning I’m not getting to bed until midnight.  Evenings at home with the family…the chance to sit on the couch with my husband and watch TV for a few minutes…the time to make sure the kitchen is really clean, the way it should be.  I know I will eventually probably start taking all these things for granted again, but for now I really, really appreciate them.  Life is pretty good.

It’s payday, so hopefully life will either stay good or get better.  I missed some time this past month, so there’s a chance my check will be short (I’m not sure if I exceeded my PTO or not) but I’m hoping it won’t be. 

And…major interruption here.  I’d have had this posted two hours ago but a series of odd events interfered.  I was going to say “there’s a good chance I’ll know today exactly what my salary change will be with the promotion.”  But I was interrupted by the boss calling me in so he could tell me exactly that.  And it is exactly what I had hoped for.  I was beyond happy…for about five minutes, which is how long it was before my 16-year-old called, in tears, to tell me she’s “in trouble.”  Okay, you’re thinking the same thing I was, I’m sure, but that’s not it, thank God!  She got caught attempting to leave campus without signing out.  So she’s got D-hall for two days and I got to spend half an hour lecturing her (after the first five minutes of sheer panic, thinking she was pregnant, had been in an accident, or was going to jail) and another half hour talking with her Dad about punishment.  Talk about a roller coaster.  Fun times, fun times.

So anyway.  Good news (very good) bad news (not that bad) and now I’m just really tired.  🙂  And I’m shutting up now because I can’t even think anymore.

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Tewwwwsday

Because “ewww” is basically how I feel about life right now.

Yesterday did not go exactly as planned.  My eating was really rather bad, not completely dreadful but not great, and I didn’t work out at all.  By the time I got everything done that absolutely had to get done for birthdays (tonight is the big family birthday dinner) it was 10:30 and I was falling asleep on my feet.  So, no workout.  I am not pleased with this, particularly as Jillian’s website doesn’t have any way of pausing the progress if you are forced to take a week or so off.  So they have been progressing in intensity, but I haven’t been progressing with them…and they are looking tough.  I am uneasy to say the least; I’m afraid when I get back to doing them I’m going to be way behind where I should be.  But I guess I will manage.

Probably no workout tonight either as the dinner will go on till late, I’m sure.  I will be taping TBL, I guess, as I’m sure the party will not be over by 8 p.m.!  If I could somehow manage that, then I could watch it and work out…but in all honesty I don’t see that happening.  So.  No workout tonight.

I feel like a giant ball of blubber.  I feel gross and disgusting and unhappy and frustrated.  Not because I have gained weight – I haven’t, though I think I am retaining some fluid – but just because my behavior has been so horribly out of tune with where I want it to be.  I want to work out, I want to be eating what I should be, not grabbing whatever’s handy, I want to be well-rested and feeling in control.  I hate feeling this way.

I think a lot of it comes down to control really.  When I feel as though I have it, I am super happy and calm and focused and competent.  When I don’t, I’m a giant blubbering mess.  Right now, I definitely don’t have anything under control, so I’m a mess.

I have got to get a grip.  I have got to start by getting a decent night’s sleep, so that I am not exhausted and prone to bad decisions.  Then I have to plan my meals, pack them, bring them, and eat them.  Then I have to go home, get my butt downstairs, and work out.  It’s a pretty simple process, and I just have to do it.  I cannot allow this little setback to become a major slide.   I’m feeling a bit panicky about it because I hate this so much and I know this is how I have deteriorated in the past.  I just can’t let that happen this time.

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Well, this is just about guaranteed to be random, disconnected, and probably a bit incoherent.  There are a couple of things I want to blather about, in the name of getting things straight in my own head.

First of all…I still have (and probably always will have) a basic dichotomy within my own view of body image/fat acceptance/weight loss/healthy living.  It’s hard for me to reconcile.

On the one hand, I despise, abhor, and revile the fact that our society has become so fatphobic.  To illustrate this point:  I spent the entire weekend in the company of four teenage girls ages 15-17.  Let me preface this story by saying that none of the four is what I would consider fat, or even “chubby”.  All four of them have significantly different body types; all four of them are very cute.  One is a little smaller than the others, but still looks healthy, decently muscled, not flabby at all.  Two of them are a little more rounded and curvaceous than your average 16-year-old, but it’s curves and muscle, with a little bit of leftover baby-fat that you can see melting off.  One of them is somewhere in the middle, with nearly no body fat but some killer curves that are just what nature has given her.  This one – we’ll call her Marty, though that is not her name – is also a “recovering anorexic”.  I am putting that in quotes, because my daughter tells me that Marty has relapsed.  That makes me very very sad.

At one point, all four were in swimsuits.  All four of them looked fantastic, particularly compared to my own 35-year-old stretchmarked body.  🙂  And frankly, I was pretty damned impressed with my own appearance, all things considered.  But what blew me away, what disturbed the hell out of me, is that every one of them spent an hour trying to find a swimsuit that didn’t make them look “so fat”.  (None of them had their own swimsuits, we were pooling donations from myself, my daughter and another friend.)  All of them lamented how awful they looked and when I took laughing issue with that, each pointed out the particular areas of her body that she “hated most”.  I was shown “spare tires” (at least, they said they were showing them to me, though I didn’t see any!), fat thighs, big butts, “underarm fat”…you name it. 

I tried to handle it with aplomb, to gently point out how stupidly self-destructive they were being without appearing to make a big issue of it.  But inside, I was so sad.  These girls are adorable.  They are so cute, and they looked great in their swimsuits.  But they didn’t see that.  They didn’t see the overall picture, the image as a whole.  They only saw the “bad parts”, that they are convinced make them unacceptable – not just imperfect, but unacceptable.  I had to put my foot down and absolutely refuse to let any of them wear a T-shirt.  (Which paid off later in the flocks of teenage boys who surrounded them at the Y.  If they wouldn’t listen to me, hopefully they’ll listen to the guys.  Not really the way I want them to get their validation, but…I guess it’s better than nothing.)

I was so disturbed and upset by this whole thing.  I don’t want them to look at themselves that way.  I remember looking at myself that way, when I weighed 115 pounds on a 5’4″ frame and thought I was fat and gross because my friends were wearing a size 2 and I was in a 5.  I remember that, and I remember what happened in ensuing years, when I started the yo-yo dieting process.  By trying to lose 10 pounds I didn’t need to lose, I ended up (eventually) gaining about 80, and spending about 15 years hating myself.  I don’t want that for these girls.  I don’t want it for anyone, for that matter.  But how do you get them to see what’s really there? 

So, feeling this way, how do I justify my own fight to take off weight and reach a “goal”?  How do I justify the fact that I don’t look in the mirror and go “I look pretty darn good” instead of saying “Well, I still need to lose some in the thighs…” etc.   How do I reconcile those?  How can I want something so badly for them and not think I need it myself?

Well, first of all, lately I do actually look in the mirror and go “I look pretty darn good.”  🙂  I’m fairly happy with the way my body looks right now.  I’m not striving for perfection any more, whatever perfection is.  But…I’m still trying to lose weight.  Even though I am trying to segue from weight loss into straight behavior modification, I still step on the scale.  I still measure occasionally.  So how do I justify that?  How do I reconcile those?

That’s the first subject for perusal rising from this weekend.  The second is a little different.

I have a pair of very dear friends who have decided it’s time for them to get healthy.  Like most of us, both of them started out overweight, but more importantly with pretty unhealthy lifestyles.  So I am overjoyed that they have made the decision to change that.  I am impressed as hell with what they have done in the past month or so and the progress they have made.  Both of them have lost quite a bit of weight and they are both getting healthy.  They work out regularly, they have changed their eating habits significantly…it’s all great.

I find them coming to me for advice, with questions, for feedback.  I am finding myself in the very unlikely and somewhat frightening position of being considered an “authority” on the subject.  Not because I’m educated or whatever, but because of what I have done. I know they have watched over the past year and a half as I have changed my own lifestyle and lost weight, and I guess they see me as someone who maybe has some of the answers.

This makes me feel really great, of course, but it also scares the hell out of me.  It makes me step back and examine my own behaviors and frankly, I don’t feel worthy.  I know how often I still struggle…how often I completely tank when it comes to eating right or exercising…and I know how many questions I still have.  Like the song says, “Still so many answers I don’t know…”  (Proud, by Heather Small)  It scares me that anyone thinks I know anything at all.  Some days I not only don’t know the answers, I seem to have forgotten the questions!

But…it also feels incredibly wonderful when I do have the answers they are looking for.  It’s amazing to think that I can help someone do this, that I can make a difference in someone’s struggle, that I can maybe provide that quote they need to hear or that reference they need to consult or the explanation of why something works or doesn’t or what will help a particular difficulty.  It’s an amazing feeling, and it’s got me thinking.

I’ve toyed with the notion of going back to school, for years now, but I haven’t for a number of reasons.  Time, money, all the usual complaints – but mostly because I can’t think of a profession I would want to enter in which I would start out making any more than (or even as much as) I am now, in order to justify the expense and the time.   But I am beginning to think that I may want to go back and become a nutrionist and/or a personal trainer.  I am thinking that if I really, truly could help people change their lives…regardless of how much money I would make or not make, just being able to really and truly help people would justify the time and expense.  I’m not sure…and I absolutely have to get out of debt before I do anything at all…but it’s a thought I’ve been having and it intrudes more and more often of late.  If I could do that…if I could acquire the education and the knowledge, and be able to pair it with my own personal experience…I might find myself actually loving my work instead of, you know, just doing it.  Or not, some days.  😦

So it’s a thought.  But then I still have to figure out the balance, the line you walk between seeing yourself and loving yourself as you really are, and trying to make a change so that you are healthier and stronger.  I don’t know if anyone has the answer to that…and it’s an answer I would feel I needed to have, before I could feel that I was justified in setting myself up as an “expert” in any area.  So I don’t know. 

There’s just a lot going on upstairs right now.  I’m doing a lot of processing.  I guess it’s a process that never really ends; just when I think I’ve got a handle on something, I find something else I need to figure out.  But I guess when you stop learning, you’re dead…like the song says again, “to question is how we grow,” so I guess I’m growing.

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Happy Monday, everybody!  Though, admittedly, the first thought in my head when I woke up this morning was “God, it never ends, does it?”  But still.

For the first time in forever, I had an entire weekend at home.  I was supposed to be at our cabin at the lake with four teenagers, but we had a water line break during the super-cold weather so that was out.  We did the sleepover thing at home instead and I am actually really glad. 

My eating was Absolutely and Completely Terrible, and the capitals are well-deserved.  The healthiest thing I ate for three days running was a turkey sandwich on wheat at Subway on Saturday.  Everything else was from the Land of Dreadful.  I enjoyed the heck out of it though.  Pizza and potato chips and ice cream and Oreos and I don’t even know what else, but it was uniformly terrible and tasted great. 

I am very ready to get back to healthy stuff today though.  I am not weighing; I really don’t want to know!  I will weigh on Wednesday as usual and hopefully I will have reversed most of the water-retention damage at least.  But I’ll worry about that then.  Meanwhile, I am hitting the grocery store tonight to restock on fruits and veggies and back to my regularly-scheduled workouts this evening.  🙂  I’m rather excited about that, I have missed them HORRIBLY!

I did get a little exercise Saturday night; we ended up going to the Y with friends – all of us, including the teenagers, who had a blast in the hot tub and the pool – and I did some swimming.  Now…I am anything but a strong swimmer.  I understand the basic principles, but I am lousy at it because I can’t stand having my face or ears in the water.  So what I actually do is get one of those kickboard things, hold on to it, and just kick around the pool.  Sometimes I will actually swim, but only for about ten feet.  My breath capacity sucks too.  I blame it on the asthma but I think it’s really the lazy. 🙂  Anyway.  So I did that for a while but then my friend hands me a pair of flippers and says “You’ve gotta try these, just hold on to the edge and kick, it’s a great leg workout.”  So I thought, cool!  And I put them on, and found that it was a great workout, but I couldn’t do it much because they displace so much water that it kept pulling me away from the edge.  So I grabbed the kickboard and flippered my way up and down the pool for like an hour…I know I looked completely idiotic but I had a blast.  🙂  And then I jettisoned the kickboard and actually swam, and found that I’m much better at it with the flippers.  Heh. 

So anyway, it wasn’t the workout I’d planned – I was going to hit the weight machines but chickened out because everyone else was going to the pool — but it was lots of fun and probably burned a ton of calories.  So it’s all good.  And some day, when I am out of debt, I plan to go ahead and get a pool membership so I can do this regularly.  It would be an awesome change of pace.

On top of all that, I was Ninja Housekeeper…I got some hard-core cleaning done, tons of laundry (that I have to put away tonight, more’s the pity) and I had a blast.  It was so unbelievably wonderful to get up and start cleaning without thinking about what I could accomplish before having to go to work.  Usually it’s “Oh, don’t start that project, it’ll take too long and you have to leave for work at X.”  I was able to just clean and launder away without regard for the clock…and though that may not sound like a lot of fun, it was so nice to be able to do it.  I slept in a little both days too, and though I was up late the night before (so I didn’t get a lot of “extra” rest) it was so restful to not get up until I was ready. 

It’s amazing how much you appreciate the little things when you’ve been without them for a while. Maybe that’s the reason behind all this; I was taking too much for granted and needed to be reminded how wonderful these things are.  I think I got the message, at least for now.  🙂

Oh, and my daughter had an amazing party.  Her reaction to the surprise appearance of her BFF from Florida was everything I could have hoped for…and they had an amazing time together as evidenced by all the “best weekend ever” MySpace posts they’ve put up last night and this morning.  🙂  So I feel really great about that too.

All in all, it was not the weekend we’d planned…but it might have been even better.

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Thursday night

Well, here’s an oddity…a nighttime post.  I don’t post a lot at night because it’s usually very hard to get to a computer then; I’m either working or doing stuff around the house and can’t get a second alone.  Tonight, though, Scott is out of town; the girls are doing their respective pre-bedtime things, and I…well, I’m SUPPOSED to be making lists (remember how much I love making lists!) prepatory to packing stuff for the sweet-16 weekend getaway.  Since I have to make the lists and do the packing all before bed tonight, I should be doing that instead of this.  But, you know, oh well.

 I’m really very tired tonight.  I don’t know why, but it was a really unproductive and wearying day.  Okay, I guess I do know why.  I got about three hours of slep last night due to work, birthday shopping, and coughing.  I was trying to tough it out, but I finally behaved like a sensible person and took some medicine.  After that I slept, for a couple of hours, then woke up at about 3:30 convinced that the alarm was about to go off.  After a wakeful hour or so I finally looked at the clock and realized how far off I was…but by then I was firmly entrenched in tossing-and-turning mode.  Ugh.  Finally fell asleep at about 5:30, then had to get up when the alarm went off at 6.  Not a good night at all, and I spent the morning in a state so far beyond groggy that it was near unconsciousness.  I’m serious; I probably really should not have been driving; it was completely surreal.  I’m still not totally convinced this whole day hasn’t been a dream…

I’ve made a conscious decision not to work out tonight, even though I think I am probably healthy enough to do so.  The cardio intervals in my circuits aren’t long enough to create a serious breathing issue, and I think I would be okay.  But I am just so worn out…just walking across the room makes my heart race.  In part this is because of the cold medicine; I am not supposed to take a decongestant because of my blood pressure, but I have had to just to breathe, so it’s making my heart race.  Also, I can tell I am a little dehydrated, which always raises my heart rate; there is the sleep loss, which could play a part, and the fact that I’m probably still not adequately oxygenated.  So for all the above reasons, I just don’t feel up to par, and I’ve decided that it’s not going to kill me to skip another workout.

In the past, I’ve been very afraid to skip workouts because of my tendency to hit the slippery slopes – i.e., to never get started again once I take a break.  I think I am safe from that right now because I am still very enthusiastic about these workouts, and I really want to get back to them.  Just not enough to make myself seriously miserable, sicker than I already am, or completely exhausted.  I am going to take one more night off, to rest up and try to get a little of my normal energy back. 

I know that I won’t work out tomorrow night, as I will be in a cabin with a bunch of teenage girls.  I suppose I could banish them upstairs while I sweat and pant, but realistically I know I won’t.  Ditto Saturday…so it ends up being an entire week off.  That isn’t great and I’m uneasy about it…but I also know that I don’t work at all next week until Friday night, so I have five days to concentrate on working out.  I know that by Sunday I will be desperate to get my muscles loosened up and worked out, but Sunday is supposed to be a rest day.  I suppose it will depend on how I’m feeling by then – if I’m back up to par, then I may substitute days and do my Saturday cardio on Sunday. 

Okay, I’m rambling…big surprise as I’m more than half asleep already.  Anyway, I’m not working out for a while and although I don’t like it particularly, I’m not going to stress over it.  I need rest now and my body is not taking no for an answer, so I’ll give in gracefully.

However, next week’s weigh in will inevitably show the signs of it, because this will be a bad eating weekend.  I just don’t see myself eating salad in a cabin full of teenage girls eating pizza and Oreos.  Ugh.  Those don’t even sound good to me right now…which tells you right there that I’m sick.  I am taking fruit and veggies for me, so there will at least be some healthy stuff.  But overall, it’s not going to be great.  If I can end the week without gaining, I will be very happy.

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Original starting weight, June 2006:  209 

Starting weight (this time around, mid October 2007):  180.5

Last weigh in, 1/16:  164

Today’s weight:  162

Can I just say how happy I am about this?  I mean, 18.5 pounds in four months doesn’t sound like THAT much, especially if you watch the Biggest Loser – lol – but I’m pretty darn pleased.  47 pounds overall…and I’m creeping up on 50, which is a big number to my mind. 

But it’s the 18.5 pounds that really sings to me, because when I hit the big slump last year and started having so much trouble – to the point that I gained back about 10 pounds – I was pretty much convinced that I wasn’t going to lose anymore.  I was fighting just to not gain it back.  I will grant you that my life had changed drastically and I was struggling a lot with that, but still, I was convinced that I was never going to make it.  So to have not only started losing again, but to be in double digits, makes me feel really good.

I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself for having adjusted to that and gotten back to priorities.  I am pretty proud of myself for managing to juggle two jobs and a family and still maintain a healthy enough lifestyle to have lost weight and resculpted to the degree that I have.  I don’t pat myself on the back a lot, but today I’m going to. 

It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve done it and I have more faith now than ever that I can continue to do so.  If I can be healthy, to any degree at all, under those circumstances, then I can certainly do it under “normal” ones.  There can’t be any excuse for not doing so, barring extreme disaster.

So anyway, I’m a happy girl today.  🙂  Also, I find it really interesting that the last time I was the size I am now, I weighed about 20 to 30 pounds less.  Says a hell of a lot for the change in body composition and resculpting, huh?

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And sick…again

Can I just say how over this whole “being sick” thing I am?  ARGH!  This has been the longest winter EVer.

I’m sick again…feels like the same exact virus I had last time, at least it’s taking the same course.  Head cold segueing neatly into a chest cold which I have no doubt will segue neatly into bronchitis, etc.  Hopefully this time I can stave off the walking pneumonia portion of the program, please God.

Anyway, I’m miserable and pissed off because once again, I can’t work out.  Climbing a flight of stairs wears me out; I think I’m burning tons of calories just staying upright, though, from the amount of effort it’s requiring. 

The good news is the scale has dipped, for completely incomprehensible reasons.  Saturday night I went out with my family and my immediate supervisor’s family to celebrate the fact that I am definitely being promoted as of February 1.  Big load off there, but I will go into that another time.  So…we went to a Japanese restaurant…tons of sodium in EVERYTHING, a million and one calories but oh my GOD it was so good.  I didn’t really do all that badly as far as what I ordered, I just ate a ton of it and once again, the sodium.  Then we all went back to our house, played games all evening and ate…tortilla chips and chocolate-covered Milano cookies.  Dear God.  But again, it was so nice to just…not worry about it.  And we were up until the wee hours, meaning I got about four, maybe five hours of sleep.

So I figured, the next morning, that I’d better check the scale to see just what the damage was.  (High sodium, tons of calories, no sleep…usually an equation for certain disaster.)  Imagine my suprise – 162!  I mean, come on.  That’s down, like, at least a pound.  (Can’t remember exactly what my prior weight was.)  Anyway, I know it’s down.  What the heck?  As I commented to DH, I should eat chips and cookies more often.

It’s still reading 162 today, which is nice as I figured it was one of those phantom dips that happen sometimes.  I still don’t understand it, but it’s nice.  I wish I could claim responsibility for it but given that I haven’t worked out since Thursday night and my eating has been less than stellar, I can’t.  But whatever.

So the job situation is looking up – my last day at Target is definitely February 1, so I will be down to one job.  That is beyond wonderful and I am very relieved about that.   I am still trying to figure out where I am monetarily but that can wait…there will be some readjustment required and I’m not even worrying about that now.  But to actually be able to see my family occasionally…wow.

So anyway, tonight I will be curled up in bed to watch the Biggest Loser instead of working out, and that always sucks, because I feel like such a loser-sloth.   But at least I know that I am not gaining weight – at least not yet – from the down-time.  And I’ll be back at it as soon as I can breathe again.

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