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Archive for February, 2008

Well, I’ve got to post at some point and there’s never going to be time, so morning-snack time is as good as any.  🙂

Today is, of course, Friday, which is my weigh-in day.  Let me preface this by saying that although I was certainly not perfect yesterday – pizza for lunch and six oreos before dinner – I was better than the day before.  I haven’t figured calories yet but I’m sure I was over, though probably not by that much.  So I’m still doing a little emotional eating, but not outrageously.  In fact, the pizza doesn’t really qualify as emotional eating, it was more just a moment of weakness…had to take the 8-year-old to the dentist and she had to have lunch before going back to school; she wanted Taco Bell and the nearest one was a Taco Bell Pizza Hut combo.  And the rest is Personal Pan History.  🙂  But oh well.

Anyway, I’m getting better.  And I had a really good workout too, not my hardest work – I think it’s time to move up to 10-pounds weights – but definitely a great workout.  So it ended up being a pretty decently on-plan day.

Still, after two days of at least marginal weakness, and a lot of extra sodium, I wasn’t too confident about the scale.  But I wasn’t stressed over it enough to avoid it, either, so I weighed and –

163.0  Still a pound over my all-time-low, but a pound and a half down from last week.  A definite and distinct victory for which I am tearfully grateful.  🙂  Could I have made my goal had I been strong every day instead of most days?  Possibly…and possibly not.  And as it turns out, I don’t really care.  I’m very, very happy.  At this stage of the game, a pound and a half is pure gold.   (Which reminds me, I need some sort of way of factoring in a loss into my stars…)

I also spent some time really looking at my body last night, and I noticed something extremely cool – I am beginning to show some definition in my abs.  MY ABS!  I never even had abs!  🙂  I have also noticed that I am able to come up a lot farther on my crunches than I ever could, even after I’d lost a bunch of weight, and I’m rockin’ the other ab exercises instead of grinding through them.  I love getting strong! 

It makes me feel so good to see changes that have nothing to do with weight – to actually see visible changes in the health and strength of my body.  I think that makes me feel better than the numbers do, and I think it’s addictive.  🙂 

Oh, and to top it all off?  Remember that I am one of those people who just “don’t run”.  I have always said, I don’t run unless I’m being chased.  By something that will eat me if it catches me, or by a really big man with a really sharp knife.  I will walk, and sometimes I will walk really, really fast…but I just don’t run.

But after watching the Biggest Loser, when Jillian made Brittany run at 14.0 on the treadmill, I got to talking about it with my friend.  We both said, “I couldn’t do that,” and then I said, “yeah, but that’s what Brittany said, and Jillian made her do it anyway.  And she could, and she did.”  And I thought, you know, how many times have I said I can’t do something…and then proceeded to discover that I actually can?  You’d think I’d have learned not to ever say “can’t” anymore, but I’m still doing it.

So I checked, and my treadmill only goes up to 10 mph.  It has never gotten above 6, but I thought, I just want to see just how fast the belt moves at 10.  So I hit it, and it was blindingly fast.  And I thought, “I’m not stepping on that.  No way, it’s too fast.  I can’t.”  And that pissed me off.  So I did.  And I ran, at 10 mph, for probably about 15 or 20 seconds.  And it was FREAKIN’ AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, ran out of exclamation points.  🙂  But it was.  I stopped not because I was exhausted or didn’t think I could continue – not even close – but because I really wasn’t there to run, and I was in the middle of my circuit training.  But oh, my God, how awesome did it feel to do that?  To find out that I’m still capable of way more than I’m doing?

So that settles it.  I’m starting the Couch to 5K next week.  I do not know how I’m going to add it in on top of my circuit training – which I’m not stopping, because I love it too much and it’s reshaping my body so fast and so beautifully – but I am going to find the time, because I have discovered that it feels amazingly good to find that I can run.  🙂

So anyway.  I’m in a very happy place today, focusing on my accomplishments rather than the stresses of life, because that’s what I need to do right now and it makes me feel really good.  And I’m being incredibly productive at work, which feels really good too, and I may just explode from all the feeling good.  Nice change from exploding from feeling bad!  🙂

Happy Friday, everyone, and I will be out this weekend, so I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

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Hangin’ On…

Yesterday was a completely offbeat day…and I’ve held off posting because I honestly wasn’t entirely sure what to write. I’m not going to go into everything that’s going on in my head and heart because it’s complicated, confusing, and sort of irrelevant to this particular blog.  🙂  So…suffice it to say I’m still processing through a lot and it’s got me a bit knotted up.

I missed my weekly check in on the challenge, too, and I hate that.  I’m a bit miserable over it in fact…do I get kicked out?  Yesterday was just not a good day.

Focusing on my reason for being here, though, I will say I’m reasonably proud of my own behaviors in the past few days.  My little calendar is sporting quite a few gold stars, only one red, and no days without stars at all.  I feel good about that.  Monday was a gold star day, though I struggled with that.  See, we went out to dinner because by the time I made it home, I was too exhausted mentally and emotionally, as well as physically, to think about cooking.  My wonderful DH very kindly and lovingly agreed to take the family out, exhibiting a level of compassion and understanding for which I am truly grateful.  Not only because I didn’t have to cook, but because it meant a lot to me that he “gets it”.  🙂

So we went out to eat, which is always a minefield.  I chose a steakhouse, because I know where I stand with steaks.  Heh.  It only remains to order the appropriate healthy sides and abstain from appetizers and desserts.  Dessert is not really my weakness…but appetizers are.  And I was starving, which is never good…and shell-shocked…and I caved a bit.  The kids wanted cheese fries, which is one of my favorites; we ordered them; I ate some.  I was not very proud of that.  I did not decline the bread when it was offered (though I didn’t eat any; I just ate Brennah’s crust because she won’t.)  I did not order the fat-free ranch, and I did not get it on the side. (Though that was just an oversight, and I did pick around it.)  In short, I didn’t do any of the things that I have learned to do in order to minimize potential damage when eating out.

Despite all of that, when I sat down and figured up my calories, I discovered that I made it neatly within my range for the day.  I am still not sure how I feel about that.  I mean, it’s great – but I don’t feel that I did it “the right way”.  I lucked into it, sort of.  Okay…to be fair, I didn’t eat a lot of the cheese fries (not nearly as much as I wanted in fact!), and I did pick around the dressing, and I did only eat about half the steak, and I had steamed asparagus as my side.  But I still felt that I had “cheated” and didn’t earn my success. 

I had a wonderful workout and I definitely got in all my good stuff, so I ended up having a gold star day and had to have an internal debate over whether I really deserved it because I did indulge.  But…

A healthy lifestyle, I have to keep reminding myself, is not about being perfect all the time.  It is about finding ways to make life as healthy as possible, and changing habits.  And even though I did splurge some, I completely recognize that I made far, far better choices than I once would have, and even my indulgences were limited.  So when the numbers add up, if I know I’ve done most of what I need to do, then I’ve earned the star and I’m taking it.  🙂

Ditto yesterday.  It was a pretty awful day in most respects, but I was strong with my food and I did my workout.  I did have a piece of chocolate candy (140 calories worth of it, in fact) and that was bad, but it fit into my calorie allowance and as binges go it was pretty minor.  More importantly, I did it mindfully – I didn’t grab it thinking, oh, it won’t be that bad, I’m just going to eat it; I looked at it, I thought at it, I checked the calorie content and figured whether it would fit, and I made a conscious decision to allow myself that treat.  That is the real change I’m trying to make here – not to be perfect and eat only healthy, nutritious food all the time, because I know I won’t do that – but to think about what I’m eating, to really keep my head involved and know what I’m doing before I do it.  If I can do that, then I know that most of my choices will be healthy – not all, but most – and that’s the goal.

So though I have not been perfect, I have had some gold star days and I am proud of where I am.  This is a very hard time for everyone in my little world, and if I can stay strong through this then I’ve made some real, lasting changes. 

On a happier note, my daughter has decided that she’d like to do yoga with me.  My daughter hates exercise even more than I do, and I’m pretty excited that she’s doing something for her health.  It’s also nice to share that with her.  She doesn’t like my morning routine ( mostly because it’s early in the morning!) so we are going to try the evening one and see how that goes.  She may not decide to stick with it and that’s fine; that’s her decision, but I am really glad she’s giving it a try.

I’m also excited after hearing Jillian say that boxing burns 450 calories in half an hour, last night on TBL.  I will grant you that boxing with the Wii does not involve a bag and so the calorie burn is probably lower, but that’s still a HUGE bang for your buck!  And it’s tons of fun.  I can’t wait to do it tonight.  It’s supposed to be my rest day, but I really want to do it.  By then I may be too worn out anyway…we’ll see.  In any event, I will definitely start using it for my cardio day.  🙂

Hope everyone is having a great week; I need to catch up on reading and commenting.  Have a great Hump Day!

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Okay, I lied.  I’m not presenting any science here.  Come on, I’m not a scientist, I’m just somebody who loves to eat.  🙂

But I did discover something this morning that was interesting.  I was in a terrible place, very low, exhausted, drained, miserable, emotionally bruised, you name it.  (I’m better now though!)  I didn’t even WANT to eat.  But I made breakfast as usual because I’m determined not to be derailed – and as I was taking a bite of the low-sodium bacon, I noticed something.  Even though I wasn’t hungry and really wasn’t enjoying eating, something about the taste and the texture was just amazingly wonderful.  And I literally knew when the endorphin rush or whatever it is (I really need to re-read You: On A Diet) from that occurred.  And it all sort of clicked into place.

My particular brand of emotional eating isn’t because food is my friend…or because it never rejects me…or because I’m striking back at someone…or because it solves anything…or because I subconsciously want to stay fat because I’m scared of the world seeing under all those layers of squishy armor.  My emotional eating is, pure and simply, because it makes me feel better.  There is a literal chemical reaction that improves my mood.  The rest is just excuses and justifications, ways to rationalize something that is actually a very simple, logical, physiological reaction.  It’s orderly, it’s logical, it’s predictable, and as such it is controllable.   And wow, does that make me feel better about it.  It’s not some mysterious metaphysical occurrence that is random and at the whim of some God of Whipped Cream…it’s natural and obeys very definite physical laws.  Which means I can do something about it

Okay, maybe this shouldn’t be such an epiphany.  I read the damned book.  I got it, or I thought it did.  But sometimes it takes an actual experiential correlation to make it all really sink in.  Like a physics experiment – you can do the equations all you want and you get it intellectually, but it doesn’t really burn itself into your brain until you actually see the little car rolling down the ramp.

So, sort of an interesting light bulb for me today.  Just thought I’d share so you could all frown in bemusement and go, “What exactly is she smoking?”  🙂

Anyway…the weekend was rather bizarre.  I’m sort of glad it’s over.  It was traumatic in its own way but I think I’ve come out of it in a better place, because I’ve recognized some tendencies in myself reasserting themselves, and I have taken steps to set boundaries to keep that from happening.  Whether it will work or not remains to be seen, because as noted before I have little control over this situation, and it’s sort of dependent upon others’ respecting those boundaries.  I am choosing to believe it will be okay though.  I am choosing to trust the relevant party, because I owe the relevant party that.  And I am pretty happy with the fact that I have made enough emotional progress in the past five years that I now know when to say, “enough”.  I know when I’m starting the slide and I am getting much better at stopping it.

For example…last night, for the first time in a long time, I had a panic attack.  I was able to control it; I’ve gotten pretty good at that over the past twelve years.  But it was a big wake-up call for me (literally – at 1:30 in the morning) and told me it’s time to get myself rebalanced and centered.  As a result, though, today I am very fragile and unsteady – my emotions are always a mess for a couple of days after one, which explains why I was so insane when I was having them nine or ten times a day.  But it just means I have to do some extra self-care today, which I will.  Just wanted to forewarn everyone in case I get all sappy and maudlin in my comments on people’s blogs – if I start going, “I love you, man, I don’t know what I would do without you” you have permission to gently disengage and pretend you don’t know me till I’m back to what passes for normal with me.  🙂

But I do appreciate you all, your comments and support and encouragement and cheerleading are so invaluable.  Thanks…and I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday!

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Sunday…Rest Day

Today is my official rest day, and boy am I glad.  I am whipped. 

Last night ended up being a really late night for a number of reasons, some of which had me pretty emotionally worn out too, and I was up at 4:30 this morning for a couple of reasons.  (One of the team members at Target let slip that they were releasing Wiis today, and DH decided he’d like to have one, and I magnanimously agreed to go line up at 6 a.m. to get one.  I was going to get up at 5:00 but the cat woke me up at 4:30, and I just stayed up.)  By about 10:30 this morning, I was toast.  So I stuck it out as long as I could and then took a lovely two-hour nap that felt like it just scratched the surface of the sleep I needed.  😦  But I’ll try to get to bed early tonight to compensate.

I had a great workout yesterday and did great with food despite my daughter and her boyfriend testing my resolve with their pizza and chips.  Two of my favorite sins, right there.  I did have a taste of the pizza – literally one tiny bite – and I had about four of the chips.  Figured it into my calories, too.  🙂  I’ve gotten very religious about that, and I’m fairly proud of that.  I ended up having to fill in calories at the end of the day because I was under, though not as far as I thought I was because I’d forgotten to write down some of dinner.  But it all came out in range even after factoring in the forgotten calories, so that’s good.  I do need to pay closer attention, though, clearly!  (And I was pretty proud that I didn’t fill in those calories with a slice of pizza, though I did think about it!)

It was a chaotic day and I didn’t feel that I was that much in control of things, and I think that’s part of the reason for the horrible cravings I had.  That, and my schedule was off so I didn’t eat meals right on time, which meant I was pretty hungry by the time I did eat.  But it’s encouraging to know that I can have a day like that now and still stay on plan.

Today’s been chaotic too but so far I’m on target with meals and calories.  No workout is good and bad, because I’m tired, but I’m also sore and I know I’ll be more sore tomorrow.  I will make every attempt to get in some yoga this evening, because I know that will make a big difference.

Mentally and emotionally, I’m out of sorts because there is just so much going on around me that is out of my control but definitely affects me.  I have always hated that and it makes me irritable, uneasy, and generally just bitchy.  I am very much a creature of habit; I like for things to be settled, stable, and to have a normal routine.  I feel safe and in control then, and I like feeling safe and in control.  🙂  I don’t like feeling that I am at the mercy of things I have no control over whatsoever.  It makes me cranky.  So I’m struggling with that today and trying to get my feet back under me, so to speak, and get life back on an even keel.  It has got to happen in the next day or so or I am going to be impossible to be around.  I can already feel that…

So there’s a lot going on, and I’m trying not to let any of it interfere with staying on plan and being healthy.  But again, I’m really glad it’s a rest day.  🙂

Next weekend the family is going to the cabin and I really really can’t wait.  I am ready for a few days away to just chill out, recharge, and feel good about things.  I haven’t had a chance to do that and not rush back to get to work or whatever, in a long time, and I’m excited.  It’s something else to work toward.  Next Saturday is a cardio day, and I need to figure out how I will get in an hour of cardio – I suspect a long, fast walk is in order! – and Sunday will be a rest day, so that could be really enjoyable.  I don’t have to haul weights up there or anything.  It’s going to be nice.

I’m just rambling.  I need to shut up and go do something, I’m not sure what, but I know there are plenty of things that need doing.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!

———-

Oh, and by the way, I did get the Wii.  🙂  I’ve already tried out the boxing, which is the reason I personally was enthused about it, and it’s pretty awesome.  It could be a great little workout if I could pry the controllers out of my 8-year-old and 16-year-old’s hands.  heh.  I’m looking forward to doing it though, and some of the other really physical games.  I don’t do video games as a rule but this could be really good for me, and it might get them active too which would be great.

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Quick addendum:

 I measured my body fat again today, because I forgot to yesterday when I weighed in.  And while I am now absolutely certain that my original measurement a few months ago was wrong – I think I actually was looking at water percentage, hehe, this is what happens when you try to peer at the scale without glasses or contacts – I know that last week it was definitely coming in at 35.5%.  And this week, it is at 33.5%.  I am somewhat deliriously happy about that.  🙂

But not as deliriously happy as I am about my calves.  I went ahead and measured today since I didn’t yesterday…and they are down to 15.75.  That is one and a quarter INCHES!  Un-freakin-believable.  My calves never get smaller, at least they never have.  But by golly, now I know what my body’s working on!  And it’s the one area that I’ve always hated and despaired of being able to change…

And that’s all.

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Okay, you know how the contestants on the Biggest Loser get those T-shirts that have their “motivational phrase” on the back?  Like, “to finish what I started” or whatever?  Well, I figured mine out last night, halfway through my second of three one-minute planks (thanks, Carole Dawn, for pushing me through that, because I would NOT have done it otherwise!).  “To Look Like Jillian”.    🙂

Okay, realistically I know that I am probably not EVER going to look like Jillian.  And really I’m okay with that, because that woman is beyond ripped.  She looks great, but she’s beyond ripped.  But that really is sort of what I want – to have muscle definition in every part of my body; to be firm and strong and toned everywhere, and not to have excess fat sheathing everything.  I’m not pushing for perfection, but I am pushing for uniform definition. 

That’s a really long way away.  I have definition now in areas I have never had it before, and I am actually getting pretty darn happy with the way I look.  But that kind of visible strength and health are still a ways away.  I am getting there faster than I’d dreamed possible, with Jillian’s workouts, but it’s still in the distance.   But I have a goal to strive toward, and it’s better for me mentally than a set weight or a clothing size or whatever.  Because, you see, I’ve never been there, and I have no idea what my weight or clothing size or waist size will be when I do get there.  It could be 150 pounds or 130.  It could be a size 8 or a size 4.  I strongly suspect it will be in the neighborhood of 140, 145 pounds and probably still a size 8…but I don’t know.  So I’m more comfortable with a goal that is a combination of behaviors and visible results.

And of course the analogy is flawed, because that is my goal, not my reason for doing it.  🙂  My reasons for doing it are varied.  I want to be really healthy, more than anything, for once in my life.  I want to be able to do things I have always been afraid to do like hike up mountains and climb rock walls. (That really is one of my long-term fitness goals, to get into wall-climbing.)  I want to know that if I hit the roller coasters with my daughter, I’m not going to die of a heart attack halfway through one of the long drops.  (And that one may never happen because that’s more psychological than physical!)  I want…I want to be the best “me” that I can be.  I don’t even know her, because I’ve never been her, but I have a feeling I am really, really going to like her.

I want to be little and cute, sure…but that’s only a small part of the equation.  I want my kids to be proud of me…I want my husband to be proud of me…but most of all I want me to be proud of me.  I want to know that I am stronger than I ever thought, that I can do things I was afraid to even try, that in fact there is really no limit to what I can achieve if I just do it.  I’m learning that, slowly, through this process. 

I want to be 45 years old and know that I’ve got another 30 years in me, all things being equal.  I want to ripen, not age.:-)  I want to know that I’ve given myself as many years as I can possibly wring out of this life.  I want to start every day knowing that in some way, I am going to grow and embrace the world.  That’s not always possible, but…I can strive for it.

And right now, I want a cup of hot tea and a hot bath, because it’s cold in here.  I’ve done my meditation today already (can you tell?!?) and I’m working out later…and in a little while I need to make breakfast and start on sifting through tax stuff.  But for right now, I’m going to go pamper myself a little and reflect on what I really, really want.  Besides, of course, to look like Jillian.  🙂

Happy Saturday, everyone!

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Intermission!

Okay, I’m taking a moment because I really need to get some stuff down for my own future reference, despite my chaotic freakin’ day.  🙂

Weigh in today was pretty happy.  I had sort of insanely hoped for a massive loss but I recognize that even what I came up with was really great and I am very pleased.  I definitely want to be back to my all time low next week though, which is great motivation to keep pushing really hard.

Which is what I have been doing.  I have been really focused, really organized and borderline fanatical.  🙂  I’m okay with that, because it not only works, it also feels good.  I have a concrete plan, some great tracking techniques, and I’ve been really focusing on being controlled and sort of going back to basics.

My calendar is sort of the flagship of my tracking fleet.  In support of that I have some little sheets I made up with a spreadsheet of my daily goals, by week, so I can check off what I’ve met.  Then I have my weekly goals to check off too.  I also have my handy-dandy little Happy Bunny notebook (it says, “Ok. I’m perfect.  Now stop staring.”  I like a little attitude sometimes!) in which I faithfully and religiously record every bite, sip, nibble, gulp, or inhalation that passes my lips, together with the calorie count therefor.  I total up the calories and then decide if I get to check off THAT check mark…etc.  I also write my weekly weight and, when I take them, measurements, in that notebook. 

It is a bit tedious at times carrying the notebook around with me, even though it’s only about 5″ by 6″ and exceedingly cute.  Well, it’s not the carrying, it’s the writing.  And obviously, if I get stuck eating at a banquet or something like that, I am going to have probably less luck knowing exact calorie counts.  (May I just say, here, how much I luuurve CalorieKing?)  But for the time being, and for most times, it works really, really well.

I have found, today, that I am actually going to be struggling to meet calories.  Well, that’s not such a big problem as it gives me room for my tea, which is good as I was craving some.  But it’s interesting.  When I can leave the blasted Valentine’s chocolates alone, I actually run under my range.  Not good, any more than being over is good.  So I am adding a little whole-grain bulk to dinner, which is good as I typically work out about an hour after dinner so that’s a good time to add calories.  We’ll see how that works.

I ended up leaving work Wednesday afternoon with the most bizarre viral whatever-it-was I’ve ever had.  Fever of 102, the worst body aches I have ever had bar none, complete enervating exhaustion, and the tiniest little bit of nausea.  The nausea never got worse, but the rest lingered till late yesterday afternoon.  I seem to be all better now, though I am still a bit less energetic than I’d like.  It was really bizarre.  DH had it on Sunday and Monday, same wierd combination of symptoms with no real “typical” manifestations.  I just hope the girls don’t get it, it hurts.  But I’m glad it’s over.

So hence my lack of a blog yesterday despite the fact that I’m trying to do it every day to stay focused.  I am going to make a serious effort to write this weekend too as it really helped last weekend.

Also, I am working out with a friend tonight, as well as tomorrow.  I am really hoping to get in both the circuit and the hour of cardio as we did last Saturday.  In fact, I’m not sure but Saturday may be my “straight cardio” day for this week.  Which means I will have to substitute a circuit, but I could plug in yesterday’s since I was sick.  That could work out well.

Anyway.  I’ve had a really, really awesome week as far as staying on plan, and I am looking forward to another one next week.  And I probably just jinxed myself.  🙂  But I really, really want those gold stars – God, it would be nice to see seven in a row! – and I really, really want to be back to 162.   So we shall see!

Happy, Happy Friday to everyone, and I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

____________

Oh – another addendum:  I do love reading everyone’s blogs, but there are one or two that I can’t comment.  I do have a Blogger ID but it won’t work for some reason, although I definitely have the right password.  😦  Most will let me use Open ID but some don’t give me that option for whatever reason.  So if I haven’t commented, know that I probably am reading but just can’t navigate the technical landscape effectively enough to tell you how great I think you are.   But I do!  🙂

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