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Archive for March, 2008

Note to Self

Chocolate will not make my back stop hurting.  That is a myth.

It’s crazy how these cravings try to sneak in on you.  Hmph.

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Happy Monday, everybody!  As you can probably tell from the title, I am in a wonderful place today.  I feel incredibly blessed that this month’s PMS is the variety that makes me enormously emotional and sensitive but in a mostly good way.  🙂  I’m not as cranky and enraged as I normally would be…but I do tend to get a bit weepy over the silliest things, like my profound gratitude that WordPress lets me italicize with the same key-combination I use in Word.

Wow.  So anyway, I’m very happy today!  I had the most amazing (there’re those easy italics again!) weekend away.  I did absolutely nothing but lie on the couch, read, watch movies, and eat.  I did do my yoga, and I did walk, but I didn’t do my normal Friday workout (okay, I did some bicep curls and some crunches, but that was it) and I didn’t get my Couch to 5K in.  And nearly everything I ate was dreadful. 

Whew.  There it is.  They say confession’s good for the soul.  🙂  But actually…my soul isn’t feeling that heavy, because honestly the weekend was soooo good for me.  Not nutritionally, I will admit, but spiritually and psychologically, definitely.

So with the salt and whatnot, and little or no activity, I figured I’d be carrying around a few more pounds, and as you may know I was already up a mystery four-and-a-half.  So I thought, wow, I’m probably going to be nudging 170 again.  I stepped on the scale this morning determined to discover the damage – albeit with zero regrets – so I’d know where I’m starting with the Memorial Day Challenge.  (Please feel free to jump in and join Bex and me in the challenge, BTW!)

And discovered, once again, that there is clearly a severe gravitational anomaly located, evidently, immediately beneath my bathroom floor, and centered on the spot in which the Evil White Scale sits.  I’m back down to my all-time low, 162.

I mean, really, people.  How does this make sense?  Three missed workouts, innumerable added calories and fat and salt…come on.

Except I think I can explain it, actually.  First point:  I did eat junk all weekend – but I had made a conscious point of moving the only clock to a room I never go into, so I wouldn’t think about time (remember, this weekend was all about relaxation), so I ate when I was hungry.  And I ate only until I was no longer hungry.  So instead of a whole pizza and a bag of chips (which I couldn’t physically do anymore, in any event) it was a slice or two of pizza…and then, a couple of hours later, some chips…etc.  So I did eat badly…but not that much.  I also drank a ton of water…and I caught up on rest.  

Aside:  I can’t overstress the importance of sleep and rest, I really can’t.  I have found, time and again, that when I am high-centered on weight loss, some extra sleep can make all the difference.  I think that’s partly what happened here. 

And then you can factor in the small but undoubtedly extremely important fact that I started my period this morning. I’m sure that had something to do with losing the mystery 4.5.  Though it doesn’t explain why I saw no damage from the weekend, unless I would have been DOWN without the mystery 4.5…

But whatever the reason, I’m down again this morning, which does please me rather.  🙂  I know I didn’t earn it but I totally and completely do not care.  I didn’t earn the mystery four-and-a-half either, so I figure we’re even, Fate.  Heh.

I do feel completely rejuvenated today.  So often when we are looking forward to something – be it Christmas, lunch with a friend, or in this case, time away – it just can’t live up to the expectations.  In this case, it exceeded them.  I was comfortable, I slept great (which isn’t always the case when I’m on my own), I didn’t stress or think about anything from “real life”, and…I was happy, relaxed and eager to come home on Sunday to see my family.  And when I got there, they were happy, relaxed, and eager to see me.  I mean, you can’t beat that…normally when I’m away, I come home and everyone’s cranky. 

So I have been well and truly blessed.  I also had some insights over the weekend, which I’m not sure I can articulate (since this is already a novel) but…one thing that does stick with me is that I am amazed at how no matter how long I’m on this journey, I am still learning.  There is always something new around the bend in the road.  I am amazed and grateful at how much more beauty the world keeps revealing to me…and how much I continue to grow and learn.  Every time, I’m sure that this is the big revelation, there can’t be anything else as profound ahead of me…and every time, of course, there is.  It’s an amazing gift, this journey of self-discovery and personal growth and learning about the world and the people around me…and I’m stunned at how much my heart is capable of growing and holding.  Some days I’m sure it can’t hold another thing or grow another inch without tearing in two…and I’m always wrong.  Thank God.  🙂

So anyway…there’s my rambling insight for the day.  I will catch up with you all today, or I’ll try, but I hope that everyone had a MARVELOUS weekend and will have a fantastic week!

PS:  OH, and I finally got time to finish Passing for Thin, by Frances Kuffel.  I highly, highly recommend the book to anyone who’s…okay, anyone who’s breathing.  I’m not kidding.  It’s full of amazing, soul-touching insights for anyone who’s struggled with weight – but those insights are there for anyone who hasn’t, too, and might be even more valuable for those people.  Whomever you may be, you should read it.  Seriously.

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Happy Friday!  It’s been sort of a crazy week around here, and I think that this time of year there tends to be a lot of change and upheaval – much of it positive, but still a lot of change.  There is sort of an atavistic reaction, I think, to the change of seasons that creates a restlessness and a dissatisfaction with the status quo…at least for me.  🙂

But I am very happy that it’s Friday.  There has been some upheaval this week in my life, but for the most part it’s been very positive.  I am loving my new office – it’s easy to underestimate the importance of a defined personal space, but when you don’t have it you really learn how much you need it.

The scale is up that same four and a half pounds today…not a big surprise.  I can blame it on fluid retention – definitely partly true – and I can blame it on the fact that I should be about to start my period.  I can blame it on a lot of things but the sober fact is that I really haven’t done the work this week.  My eating has been sketchy; great some days, not so great others, with one really atrocious day.  I missed last night’s workout because I had a horrendous headache and couldn’t manage to work through it, though I tried…but I did my other workouts this week, so I guess that’s not the end of the world.

The bottom line is, behaviorally it hasn’t been a stellar week.  The scale has been up since…I can’t remember when I peeked, but it’s been all week, so I don’t think the last couple of days have had much bearing on it.  But that isn’t really the point.  The scale doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to, maybe because I’m pretty happy with the way I look, maybe because I’m really finally learning what matters.  I don’t know, but for whatever reason I don’t live and die by it.  But I do live and die by my habits, my behaviors, that I am working to change and build.  And in that sense, this hasn’t been much of a week.

The good news is that I’m not depressed by it.  It’s not stressing me out.  Even in the depths of my hormone-induced internal chaos, this just doesn’t really disturb me.  The thing is, it’s just one week.  And not even the whole week; I had a few really great days.  There is a part of me that just seems to recognize – finally! – that I’m not on a schedule…I’m not being evaluated for “health compliance” and I’m not going to get voted off the island for having a bad week.  Or two.  So…that’s a good thing, yes?  I’m actually pretty stoked by it.  🙂

I’m not going to sit here and resolve that next week will be better, either.  I am hopeful that it will – but I’m not hanging my happiness on it.  That’s then, this is now, and I’m not “wishing my life away” as my mom would say.  I’m going to enjoy right now as much as I possibly can, and let next week take care of itself. (Though next week the Memorial Day challenge starts in earnest, and I’ll be darned if I’m putting that off any more!)

That said, I am going to make a concentrated effort to be a little healthier today.  My allergy meds have me a little dehydrated so I packed a TON of water (well, carrying it, it felt like a ton!) and I’m packing away the fruits and veggies too.  I know I will need the complex carbs for my workout tonight, but I’ll worry about those this afternoon.  When I’m thirsty, which I am, I crave the fruits and veggies, I guess because of their water content.

Tonight I will be leaving for my weekend getaway…I’m going to our cabin, all by myself, and doing absolutely nothing all weekend long.  I’m not going back home till Sunday, so I’m getting two days of undiluted “me” time.  🙂  Can I tell you how happy I am about that?  I adore my family, but it is amazingly nice every once in a while to just be by myself.  I am a naturally very solitary person, so it does me a lot of good to have this time every so often.

Not to worry…I have all my workout equipment already in the trunk of the car, as well as everything I need for my Couch to 5K run tomorrow.  I hope I will actually do these things, though I have learned enough by now not to promise, because…that always jinxes me.  🙂  But I’ll try. 

I’ll have lots of time to read and think and write and just sort of be.  My wonderful DH burned my yoga video to DVD for me, so I can use it at the cabin.  My meditations are all on my iPod, so I can do those also…and I will have the time, the privacy and the quiet to do so. 

I can’t wait.  I am very, very excited about this.  I hope that everyone has as fabulous a weekend as I hope to have, and starts next week refreshed and rejuvenated and ready to rock.  Happy weekend!

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Happy Thursday, everybody!  Winding down the workweek…just one more day till the weekend.  Thursday, as I have said before, is one of my favorite days. 

I do want to continue to use my Thursday posts to focus on what I am thankful for.  Last week of course the universe handed me a powerful inspiration to be thankful for my husband and children…this week it’s a little more subtle, thank goodness! 

Moving is always an edifying experience.  You get the chance to clear out things you’ve kept for reasons even you can’t remember…you rediscover treasures you’d forgotten you had…and occasionally, you run across something that really makes you think.

One of the pictures that I had sort of hidden behind some things on my old desk was a really old one – about 34 years, to be exact – of me, as a very tiny little girl, having somehow managed to crawl into an upper desk drawer.  I’m little and blonde and grinning ear to ear at my own ingenuity…and, if I may say so, awfully cute.  🙂

When I was in therapy, one of my most profound “aha” moments was the time that my therapist got me to admit that I was actually worthy of love and respect and, frankly, oxygen, without having to be perfect or actually do anything to earn the right to be alive.  She did this by asking me what, exactly, my daughter (then about two) had done to earn my love and near-worship, and the oxygen she was breathing and the space she was taking up.  I reacted with indignation; she didn’t have to do anything!  My wonderful therapist made me examine that in detail…to the inevitable conclusion that simply by being God’s creation, by possessing that spark of life and magic and earth energy, we are special and wonderful and good.  And worthy.  She then asked me why that wasn’t true for me. 

Tears ensued, as they did in most of my “aha” moments.  I got the point.  For the first time, I really got it…that I, also someone’s cherished daughter, was not defective, not worthless, not ugly and stupid and mean and pathetic…that I was a decent, special human being with unique and valuable qualities, and that I didn’t have to somehow justify my own existence by a constant struggle for ever-elusive perfection.  It was a big, big moment.

When I saw that picture today, for whatever reason, it brought that moment back in its full strength and impact.  I looked at that little girl, so happy and fearless and inventive, and I was reminded that that little girl is still in me.  I am not a different person.  I have grown, and changed, and added…but I am still the same person, with the same intrinsic value and inherent worth, and the same endless potential.  It’s okay for me to love myself…and for others to love me; and there is nothing I cannot do if I make up my mind to do it and put in the work.

So my thankfulness for today is focused on my childhood.  My parents, who loved me and cherished me and who certainly didn’t do everything right – because they were human – but who never did less than the best they knew how to do for me.  I am thankful for having been raised to dream and hope and be and do and achieve.  I am thankful for the unquestioning and unconditional love that I was given.  I am thankful for the discipline that I was given, for having been taught indelibly the difference between right and wrong.  I am thankful for having been taught empathy and compassion…and perseverence and hard work.  I am thankful for having been encouraged to succeed…and allowed to fail, for failure presents the lessons we most need to learn.  (I know this now, though I didn’t always.)  I am thankful for the home and the family and the parents that God gave me, and who helped to lay the groundwork (beneath the fears and insecurities and self-doubt that life has piled on) for the strong, confident, capable woman I continue to become.  Thank you, God, and Mom, and Dad. 

And out of it all comes another six-word tagline – can I have two?  Because I really, really like this one:

I am still that little girl.

I hope that everyone has a beautiful, wonderful, happy Thursday, with much to be thankful for. 

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Late post…and a shortish one…as I’ve been moving offices all day.  My boss and I finally got assigned (um, sort of – innocent look ensues) decent locations so I’ve been knocking myself out to get us there before someone changes his mind.  🙂

(Actually I sort of suggested the move…and evidently caught Senior Partner at the right moment because he approved.  But it really was a good solution to a number of issues.)

Anyway, here I am in my lovely little new office and just happy as a clam. 

Eating has been dreadful today…I could make excuses and say, oh, for instance, that I’ve been too busy and out of pocket to resist the cravings…but the truth is, of course, that I just haven’t resisted them.  I could have.  I just didn’t.   I’m not overjoyed about that…but I’ll survive.

I do feel good about last night’s workout though…did my circuit, which was hard but not as hard as Monday’s – I think I’m getting some stamina and strength back – and then I did my Couch to 5K run.  It wasn’t as hard.  I’m not sure if I’m running slower on the treadmill than I did outside, or if the incline had more to do with it than I thought…or if it’s just the difference between concrete and the treadmill, impact-wise.  But for whatever reason, the treadmill just seems easier.  Of course, it could also be because I was very nicely warmed up, stronger than I was Saturday, had eaten better, and was wrapped up in The Biggest Loser so I didn’t notice the strain so much.  🙂  But for whatever reason, the run went well and I’m looking forward to Thursday’s.

I’m retaining lots of water, partly due to bad eating, partly due to the impending visit from the Red Goddess (I hope).  I stepped on the scale this morning (because I could feel how badly bloated I was, all over) and was up four and a half pounds from Sunday evening.  Um.  Wow. 

I’m not stressing over that either.  I know that’s fluid.  Nobody gains four and a half pounds in two days…I know my eating hasn’t been great but it sure hasn’t been four and a half pounds bad.  So I’m not worrying about it.  It’ll be gone soon…assuming I get my butt back on the straight and narrow.

I hate the last week of the month.  Even though I still have plenty of fruits and veggies, and absolutely everything else I need to eat right, I just have this mindset that “oh, it’s the last week of the month, there’s no food in the house…just eat whatever isn’t tied down.”  Completely false, and I really need to get that particular retraining done ASAP.  I planned much better this month and I have everything I need.  I just need to convince my mind of that.

And that’s about it for me today.  I’m going to try to go read some blogs…some I may not get to until tonight though as I also have some work I need to get done for tomorrow.

Cheers!  Hope everyone’s having a fabulous Hump Day!

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Me, in Six Words…

Cammy tagged me with the six-word tagline meme…and I’ve had to give it a lot of thought, because I’ve gone through an enormous amount of change and growth and learning these past couple of years…so…here it is:

EDIT:  A friend of mine pointed out that my saying was only five words, not six.  🙂  Which has got to be the first time in history that I was actually short on words…so I’ll fix it:

She lives, to always keep growing.

I’m still not sure how much sense it makes…but it makes sense to me.  🙂

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Ha.  🙂  Happy Tuesday, everybody!  I promise I won’t continue this kitschy little World Tower Tour theme all week.  Just for today cause, you know, it’s appropriate.

I’m sharing a brain, or at least a calendar, with Becky at the moment, because I have mad PMS this week.  The evilness is bad enough, but the cravings are about to kill me.  I consider myself very fortunate to have learned so much over the past two years about the difference between hunger and mindless food cravings…and I’ll be putting all that into play this week.  I’m not even craving anything specific…just food, and lots of it.  But no hibernating bear syndrome for me…I have a Goal now.  🙂  (I don’t do a lot of real Goals anymore, but Bex has very generously given me one and I’m determined to do my best!)

So…I shall try to be strong.  On that note, last night’s workout (the first “real” one in exactly a week) went very well…okay, no, honestly, it nearly killed me.  It wasn’t a hard one; lots of reps so it was long, but it wasn’t complicated and the moves were all ones I’ve long since mastered.  But it was hard; that week off took a lot out of me.  I guess being sick and not eating much all week probably didn’t help. 

But I got through it without dropping reps, and I felt really great about that.  Tonight is supposed to be my Jillian circuit and my Couch to 5K run, repeating Week 1, Day 1.  We shall see.  I want to do it, I really do.  I just have to make myself.  Hopefully having DH right there with me will shame me into doing it whether I feel like it or not.  🙂

Restarting workouts, when I have been off, has always been a very hard thing for me.  Exercise is not something I have ever loved or even liked, but I do okay with it when I am in the routine and my body is well-nourished and accustomed to moving.  When I slack, though…one or two nights doesn’t kill me, but a week is too long.  It makes it so hard, both mentally and physically, to get back into that groove.

It was discouraging last night to see how much ground I can lose in a week.  Exercises that were not hard for me two weeks ago were brutal last night.  I am reminding myself, though, that I will regain that ground as quickly as I lost it; I know this from recent experience.  I just have to keep plugging and I will be fine, and feeling like IronWoman, again in just a few days.  Meanwhile, I suppose sheer grit and refusal to wimp out will have to sustain me.  🙂  (This is when it’s great that I can picture Jillian standing over me, shouting at me to go ahead and quit.  Even a virtual ass-kicking is pretty motivating for me!)

The other thing I am struggling with right now, and will for some time considering the season, is my allergies.  I have horrific seasonal allergies, and even during the winter I fight with indoor ones.  This time of year, though, I have the indoor to contend with, as well as the outdoor allergies on steroids.  (The allergies are on steroids, not me…though I do have a steroid nasal spray that helps sometimes.)  I have medication that helps, but it also makes me very very groggy, which translates to even more difficulty with workouts and proper nutrition.  I just don’t take it, most of the time, and I do okay…not perfect, but okay.  But this time of year, that’s not an option if I want to be able to see, and breathe.  So that’s a thorn that will be in my side for the next few weeks, and probably right up until, oh, October.  Gah.  I’m determined to find a way around it, though, so I’m thinking through some possible aids to survival. 

One thing I’ve come up with is that the medication is very drying, and I’m sure a little dehydration is playing into the fatigue and drowsiness.  So I will make a concentrated effort to increase my water intake even beyond what I normally do, which is a lot; I am also going to substitute Gatorade during my workouts, unless some wonderful person here can recommend a healthier electrolyte substitute, because I’m not too sure about the nutritional aspects of Gatorade – I am a little uneasy.  So I’m open to suggestions on that front.

I’ll also have to really focus on getting enough sleep, which is always harder for me when the days are so long.  Sunlight really boosts my energy levels and I find myself not ready for bed at bedtime, particularly if I’ve worked out late.  I’m going to make a big effort to work out earlier in the evening, which shouldn’t be too hard as Younger Daughter – who needs a lot of attention and is the main stumbling block to this – will be outside a LOT with the longer days.  It’s probably also time to reinstate my evening Sleep Easy meditations as an aid to winding down.  Hopefully that will help the sleep problem.

And of course, eating the right things is the biggest need when it comes to getting my energy back.  Diana‘s post about the lazies is right on target…the sugar I had over the weekend has played a BIG part in my lethargy and difficulty with exercise.  Getting back to the basics and getting my nutritionals in, with no forays into the Land of the Chocolate Bunny, will help immensely.  (I went to the Land of the Chocolate Bunny this weekend…it is a beautiful place, but it’s like the island in the Odyssey with the Lotus Eaters.  You get all happy and lazy and you never want to leave, and you don’t even know it’s killing you.  I think Homer’s lotus was really a spun-sugar one, he just didn’t say that because, you know, it wasn’t politically correct in those days to diss sugar.)

Anyway.  That’s my plan, such as it is.  Not much different from what my plan has been all along.  Just sort of rededicating.  🙂

I hope everyone has a splendid day and a great week!

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