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Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

I’m kind of having a bit of luck with getting back into the habit of blogging regularly, because I’ve been stuck at home for two days now.  Consequently, I have lots more time to write since I’m not, you know, working.  On the down side, however – I’VE BEEN STUCK AT HOME FOR TWO DAYS NOW!

Let me be clear:  I love being at home.  I’d love nothing more than  to be at home full time every day.  However, I do not like being stuck at home.  I’d like to be able to leave at will – but of course, if I could, then I’d be at work.  But it just keeps snowing and snowing, the roads are crap, and of course schools are closed.  So here I am.

It’s not so bad, really.  I’ve had time to do my WiiFit body test and yoga (of course, I was up at 5 a.m. again, so I had that out of the way before it was even time to get up, but still) and to read some blogs, and to do a little cleaning.  One problem I have re-discovered, though, is food.

When I’m at home all day, structure tends to go right out the window.  I suppose it’s because I’m out of my normal routine, so it feels like a free day, as though I don’t have to worry about what or when I eat.  Normally, that throws me way off schedule and off-plan, but I’m fighting really hard to stay on both today.  I’m just getting back into good habits and it’s critical that I not sabotage them now, especially as I am feeling really good about how I’ve been doing.  Also, my arbitrary six-month goal deadline helps me to feel a sense of urgency that keeps me a little more focused.  So I’m really trying hard – but I’d forgotten how difficult it is.  It doesn’t help that there’s more “bad food” in the house than usual right now, because E.D. is still recovering from wisdom-teeth removal and I stocked up on stuff she can and will eat.  Mostly, that equals crap, unfortunately.  So far I’m doing all right at leaving it all alone, but again, I’d forgotten how hard it was.

So I know that I’ll need to really plan carefully and be prepared for this, when I’m at home full-time.  I’ll need to be prepared for the difficulty and the temptation; be very mindful and aware that a change in routine does not cancel out the need for healthy habits.

Yesterday went really well, and I was extremely pleased.  I stayed on plan with food.  I did a treadmill workout during the Biggest Loser.  I stayed at low speed – 3.0 for most of it – and almost zero incline, and I only did 30 minutes.  It isn’t much, compared to what I used to do, but right now I’m trying to establish my limitations.  I didn’t have any joint pain at that level – I did have some back pain, but it was minor.  I was careful to stretch and took a hot bath afterward, both of which have been critical in the past for avoiding excessive soreness and inflammation.  And today I felt fine.  Now, the last time I had a real problem was at 3.5, with a little more incline, and I think I went for about 45 minutes.  So I’m going to work my way up and see where the cutoff is.  I did notice that at 3.0, I noticed some stiffness in my hip joints, so I suspect my upper limit for speed is going to be fairly close – at least, until I’m back on the medication.  I am also hoping that regular yoga is going to give me a better range of motion in my hips, so maybe I won’t have that problem.

It’s going to be a long process and I’ll probably be constantly making adjustments for the rest of my life.  But at least I’m working toward it.  I feel good about having done both the WiiFit yoga and the treadmill, and I feel great about my nutrition.  I did great with water as well, so all in all, it was pretty much a perfect gold star day.  I’m hoping today will be another; it’s gotten off to a good start.

One of my dilemmas has always been whether or not to get up early to exercise.  On the one hand, I need the exercise time and love starting off my day already having worked out.  On the other hand, I am so chronically sleep-deprived that I eventually end up doing more damage to my health through sleep loss than I make up through the exercise.  So my plan is this:  if I’m up anyway, as I was yesterday and today, then I’ll go down and work out.  If I’m not, then I don’t worry about it, I’ll do my evening workout as planned.  At the rate I’ve been going lately, that will mean I’m doing a morning workout at least two weekdays if not more, which is not a bad percentage, but I won’t lose any more sleep than I already am.

So that’s the plan, and so far, so good.  And now it’s time for lunch, which I need to carefully orchestrate.  Peace…out.

Oh, and as an afterthought – the Biggest Loser?  Not many thoughts on it; too early to really tell much about it.  Except that I was disgusted by the total lack of class in the opening sequence, particularly the part where they superimposed the words “Have you got the guts?” over a picture of one contestant’s belly.  I was actually offended, and that’s not that easy to do.  I’m not sure why; it just seemed crass, insensitive, sensationalist, and without any legitimate purpose.  I know a lot of people believe that pretty much sums up the show in general, but I do believe in what they’re doing.  I just wish they wouldn’t lapse into such idiocy at times while they’re doing it.  Oh, and I love the little Orange team mama from Ardmore, Oklahoma (been there, and have family there, BTW).  She’s a firecracker!   Can’t wait to watch her in action.  She and Jillian make a great team, I think.

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Well, today is actually Day Two…but it’s just begun, and I’m actually going to be talking about Day One (yesterday).

I’m sitting in my kitchen, snowed in with a couple of kids who’ve been paroled from school for the day due to the same snow that’s preventing me from getting out of my driveway to go to work.  There are two of your three strikes…the third is a crushing headache that’s keeping me from functioning at a normal level.  One part migraine, one part sinus infection, and about a million parts sleep loss and stress…it’s been brewing for a while but didn’t really hit me full-strength until yesterday.  So, while I wait for my medication to kick in, I thought I’d write a quick summary of my week so far.

I’m not much of a believer in New Year’s Resolutions, but I can’t deny that the beginning of a year is a pretty decent time to re-evaluate where you are, where you’re headed, and how you plan to get there.  For me, it’s been an opportunity to take stock and realize, with nauseating dismay, just how far I’ve strayed from the healthy lifestyle I had been living.  Last year brought a lot of changes and stresses that I won’t go into right now, and I pretty much let myself be totally derailed.  I kept telling myself I’d do better once I wasn’t so stressed – but that’s a complete cop-out and a massive self-sabotage to boot.  Stress never goes away, it only changes form, ebbs, and flows.  If you use stress as a reason not to succeed, you guarantee failure, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

I have a host of reasons to be healthy.  The usual suspects – my family, whom I adore; my own self-respect and self-value, etc.  I also have a few that are a mite less common – an autoimmune condition that is only going to be worse if I ply my body with sugar and other simple carbs and the chemical-laden crap we know as processed food.  Excess weight will make the pain and reduced functional capacity worse.  I’m also perimenopausal – which I attribute in large part to the erratic quality of my nutrition and activity levels over the past couple of years.  So…it’s only going to get more important, every day, to take proper care of myself.

So I’m renewing my focus on the great trinity of healthy living:  proper nutrition, healthy levels of activity, and sufficient, good-quality sleep.

Yesterday was Day One.  It was…interesting, as Day One of any new habit-building process always is.  I did really well for the majority of the day in terms of nutrition.  I did have a lapse mid-morning when I mindlessly plucked a mini-Reese’s cup from a co-worker’s candy dish and ate it, not even thinking about what I was doing.  The fact that I could do that without it even occurring to me that it was a problem is a good indicator of how far I’ve gotten, mentally, from where I once was.  Still, it was only one, and I realized eventually that I shouldn’t have done it and made a note to be more alert and conscious of what I was doing – which is totally the point.  One mini-Reese’s isn’t going to hurt anyone – but mindlessly eating anything is a huge, giant, blood-red flag of danger…or should be.

After that, I did beautifully, up to a point.  My water intake, although forced, was adequate.  I ate according to plan…during the day.  Unfortunately, the headache that had set in early yesterday morning only got worse and worse, and by mid-afternoon I was having a hard time staying upright.  My wonderful husband took pity on me yesterday evening and went to get dinner from KFC.  This was good, because cooking would have been excruciating, but also bad, because naturally I ate KFC for dinner.  Not on the plan.  Not even in the same universe as the plan.  So that was a deviation, but I’m not beating myself up too much for a couple of reasons – I wasn’t capable of doing much else, and (shockingly)  when I put all the information into the food tracker, I wasn’t as far over my limits as I’d expected.  I was about 300 calories over – not great, but not as bad as I’d expected – and well within limits on fat, carbs and protein.  So all in all, not a total train wreck, just a minor fender-bender.

Now, I am well aware that nutritionally speaking, KFC is not okay regardless of what my number totals were for the day.  Nutrition honestly can’t be reduced to numbers in a column, no matter how much we’d like to try.  Dinner was a wash, nutritionally, and I acknowledge that.  But under the circumstances, it could have been worse, and I’m not wasting time or energy on feeling guilty.  Guilt is the most worthless emotion there is, in my opinion.

Activity yesterday sucked, though.  Mostly because of the headache, partly because I was extremely stiff and achy.  I’ve noticed a distinct connection between the arthritis flares and my hormone levels, and right now things are bad.  I’m also off the Enbrel, pending resolution of an insurance issue that I have been assured is only a miscommunication and will be cleared up – but meanwhile, I’m unmedicated and definitely feeling the effects.  So I didn’t feel well, and I didn’t move much.  That is something that I have to get a handle on – I am going to have more days when I don’t feel well than when I do, and I have to get into the mindset of exercise as a panacea to those issues, rather than something that will exacerbate them.  I’m working on that.

Today, I’ve tried to start the day off right.  I woke up at 4 a.m. unable to go back to sleep because of sinus problems.  I got up, did some heat/ice therapy, and then went downstairs to hit the WiiFit.  The body test came out great, way better than I’d have expected – I was 28 today, which was sort of awesome – and I did about 20 minutes of yoga.  Not a lot, but all I could manage before the headache started to get worse and I figured I should lay off.  I’m hoping to be able to do a lot more by tonight, when hopefully the headache will have abated.  If not, well, 20 minutes is a start.  I need to remember to log that on Sparkpeople.

I did discover that some of the nutrional information is waaayyy wrong on the nutrition tracker at Sparkpeople, so I’m trying to input my own information wherever I can, when I know it.  That’s going to be a long process but it’ll be worth it.

Tracking is something sort of new.  I haven’t done it much in the past, because I’ve used meal plans where I know exactly what the values of the foods are.  I think, though, that since I’ve drifted so far from the right mindset, tracking will help me to stay focused and be really regimented until I get back into proper habits.  It’s not so much that I need the information as just that I need the focus that will come from spending significant time each day inputting that information.  It’ll keep my head where it needs to be.

Today, I’m going to devote to the third facet of the trinity – sleep.  I’ve been horribly sleep-deprived for weeks now, from the stresses of holidays and putting the house on the market and getting college arrangments made for ED and various other things.  Today’s 4 a.m. wake-up was an example of another reason – my sinuses tend to get really bad in the early morning, and once they wake me up, my mind kicks in and I can’t get back to sleep.  I plan to get back to progressive relaxation techniques and meditation to try to combat that hamster-brain effect.  Today, though, the medication is definitely going to take care of any wakefulness…so maybe I can at least get my body some rest.

In fact, I can feel the medication kicking in right now.  Combined with the snow that just…keeps…falling, it’s making me very sleepy, so I think this is it for this post.  Hopefully, Day Two is going to go much better than Day One.

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Happy Friday!  God, I am so glad this week is nearly over.  It’s been…bizarre, to say the least.  January is always a crazy month but we seem to have packed more than the usual amount of insanity into just the first week.  Hopefully next week will settle down some.

I feel great today.  I’m still riding a high from my workout last night, and I haven’t missed a morning’s yoga yet, which always makes me feel better.  I’m very happy with how things are going, though I have got to work my meditations in.  I missed yesterday’s.

At the same time, I’m trying to sort of temper my enthusiasm, because it seems that starting off so strong leads to a loss of motivation when that enthusiasm starts to wane.  So I’m trying not to jump in so eagerly and do too much at once.  I’m trying to view this not in terms of results, either, though I am still weighing in daily.  I’m trying to just look at it as habit-building.  I know that’s what I have to do, and the only thing that is going to keep me at this long-term.  So I’m trying to just step back, take a deep breath, and pace myself.  It’s hard, when I feel so motivated and strong, but I know it’s the right approach.

One of the things I’m excited about is a new challenge on Jillian’s website.  It’s called the Destination Me 2009 Challenge, and what I love about it is that it integrates everything.  You have a food goal, a fitness goal, and a “life” goal, because it’s not about an ultimate weight, it’s about the changes you want to make in your life.  That’s exactly what I’m trying to do, so I’m actually participating in this one.  I don’t care if I win – though how cool would it be to fly to L.A. and get a “beating” from Jillian herself? – but the process is going to be really good for me, and help me stay on track.  I’ve added the Challenge Road Map to my Vision Board (it’s the yellow paper on the middle left side):

vision-board1

so I see it every day.  I love that there are mini-goals (which I set) to work on each week or two that will advance me toward my ultimate goal (which I also set).  This is sort of the way I like to do things anyway, but it’s very cool that it’s all sort of organized and laid out for you to help you plan.

I just feel that right now is a really important time for me to take control of my life.  Last year was very haphazard and difficult in a lot of ways.  I didn’t feel that I had much control over anything, and to be honest I didn’t have a lot of desire to try.  It just felt like it wasn’t worth the effort.  I know a lot of that was emotional and chemical, and I am really beginning to grasp the underlying physical reasons for that, but it’s still a feeling I want to avoid.  Right now, I’m coming off a vacation that gave me some much-needed time away from a lot of my stressors, and in a situation that makes it necessary for me to really be careful about my health, so what better time could there be to really get things together?

My life may change enormously this year.  Things are occurring, even as I type this, that may mean my life will turn upside down this year, in a simultaneously good and difficult way.  If it happens, it will be a wonderful thing for my family in the long term, but it will entail big changes and lots of effort in the short term.  For the past six weeks or so, I’ve been holding my breath, waiting to see if that will happen, as though I can’t make changes or get myself together until I know.  That is ridiculous.  It is nothing more than a pathetic excuse to be lazy and self-indulgent, and avoid taking responsibility for myself and my world.

So that needs to stop now.  No matter what happens in the coming year, I have got to do the right things for my body, or I’m going to have major problems.  And I need to put the same focus and determination into the rest of my life – work, relationships, self-awareness and accountability – because that’s the only way I’m going to be happy, strong, and centered.

So that’s my theme for this year.  Responsibility and Focus.  Two things that have not, I fear, been strong points for me.  But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past two and a half years, it’s that people can change.  People can grow and improve and become more than they were.  It has to come from within them, and nobody else can do it for them…but they can do it.  I can do it.

On that note, I hope that everyone has a strong, healthy, peaceful weekend.

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I have a confession to make.  I’m happily married, but I’m also in love with another man.

Well, okay.  Not a man, exactly.  More of a…well…sort of…a vampire.

A sparkly vampire.

There’s something very, very wrong with a 36-year-old woman who is happily married with two beautiful children dreaming about a vampire.  [Even a sparkly vampire.]

But then, I guess it’s not so bad.  There’s a shirt at zazzle.com that sums it up perfectly:  I’m married.  He’s fictional.  This can’t possibly backfire.  🙂

Haven’t read Twilight yet?  Well, you’ve got just under two weeks before the movie comes out.  My advice?  Don’t read it now.  If you do, I suspect you’ll hate the movie, because there’s no way it can possibly measure up.  Personally, I’m going to keep them completely separate in my mind and not even compare, because I don’t want to hate the movie.

Or you could just skip the movie.  Because more and more, I’m seeing this as a complete must-read.  I just finished reading it for the third time, this time reading it aloud to my 9-year-old, and I’m more fixated and obsessed and enraptured over Edward Cullen than ever.  More, I’m enraptured by the whole Bella-Edward story.

It’s not a book.  It’s an experience, and I want to share it with the whole world.  I’d compare it to Harry Potter, but honestly, as much as I loved Harry, he never came close to this level of obsession for me.

And now I’m going to shut up about Twilight.  I’m sure there are other things to talk about.

~crickets~

~crickets~

Have I mentioned how much I love Twilight?

Oops, sorry.  Okay, seriously.  Quick update, then back to work because I’ve lots to do-dah-day, as Rolie Polie Olie’s dad used to say.

The weekend was…short.  Saturday I worked pretty much all day, while also helping YD with her project on Greenland.  (Anything you wanna know about Greenland, I can probably tell you.  But trust me, it’s not all that interesting.  Okay, some of it is but if you aren’t into ice, skip it.  Just take my word for it.)  I got lots done, but lost a whole day at home.  It’s a trade-off.  You can’t be everywhere.

Sunday, I cleaned, did laundry, and spent some more time in Greenland.  Not literally.  Though I am feeling a bit blubbery so I’d probably fit right in with all the whales and seals.  TOM showed up FINALLY on Sunday morning, or possibly Saturday night, I honestly don’t remember and it doesn’t matter.  He’s finally here, thank God.  So hopefully I can start taking off some of the weight I’ve put on the past week or so I’ve been waiting for him.  I’m down some as of this morning already, so I feel good about that.

Eating was surprisingly good over the weekend, a few slipups but not too bad.  I haven’t exercised at all and I’m feeling the lack – no wonder I feel blubbery! – but I’ll get back to it tonight or tomorrow night, depending on how much pain I’m in.  I believe I’ll try to do at least a little bit tonight regardless, because there are some light things I can do that will help the pain rather than increasing it.

DH has been amazing – he’s been working out regularly even though I’ve been slacking, and he simultaneously puts me to shame and makes me very proud.  He’s losing weight, too, visibly – so I suspect there’s some jealousy in my near future.  🙂

ED has an audition with the Light Opera Guild tonight, and I’m trying to work up some nervousness for her.  I can’t, though, because I’m just too tired to stress over much.

That’s about it for me today.  Lots of stuff spinning around the brain, but very little of it of any relevance or interest to anyone but me.  And now I must go daydream some more about Edward Cullen get some work done.

Peace, out.

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At least I got the week number right this time, right?  🙂

In the past week, I netted a 0.5 pound loss.  Not what I’d prefer, but I’m not remotely disappointed.  It wasn’t the most perfect week.  Very good in many ways, but not perfect. This one, so far, has been much better, and I plan to keep it that way.

My only real struggle is going to be Saturday night, when we’re having a slumber party for YD’s birthday.  There will be pizza.  There will be some form of cakelike substance.  There will, no doubt, be chips and cookies and whatnot.

But perhaps not.  Let’s see.  I can buy the ingredients for them to make individual pizzas.  That’s always fun, and I will just not make one for me.  I’ll have salad or something.  There’s the pizza problem taken care of.  Cake…well, gotta do the cake, but perhaps we’ll do ice-cream cone cupcakes and, again, they can decorate their own.  Another fun activity, and I just have to restrain myself from nibbling on leftovers as they never eat all of theirs.  Instead of chips, I can pop a ton of popcorn, because that’s not too unhealthy and I won’t eat too much of it.  And instead of cookies, I’ll have bowls of fruit out.  Juice instead of sodas…

Yeah.  This could work.  We’ll be going to the movies – High School Musical 3 comes out Friday night, so that’s the centerpiece of the party – but we’ll only be getting popcorn there, too, and I am (shock, gasp) not that much of a fan of movie theater popcorn.  Sunday morning, I’ll have to make something terrible for breakfast (come on, pancakes or cinnamon rolls are always a staple of slumber-party morning-after breakfasts at our house) but I don’t struggle much with breakfast; it’s my easiest meal of the day.

And as for exercise?  Heck, how can you get better exercise than a HSM Dance-A-Thon?!?  We are so gonna rock the house.

A healthy party that doesn’t seem like a healthy party.  I will trick them into doing healthy things and they will never suspect!  Mwahahahahaha….. (that was an evil laugh, BTW.)

S.L.A.P.  And if you recognize that, you’re as big a MizFit fan as I am.  🙂  (Or possibly you’re actually MizFit.  But that would only apply to, like, a very small percentage of potential readers.  Like, one.  Reader, not percent.  Um.  Anyway.)

In other areas…I’m being very careful with my food, and very diligent with my workouts.  Tonight is The Biggest Loser, so big workout night for me.  Tomorrow night will be my night off, because I can tell my body’s ready for one.  Then I am going to try very hard not to have another night off for a while.  Saturday, I hope (not plan because my plans never work out) to get my workout in super early, so it’s out of the way and I don’t stress over missing it because of the party.  That will depend on how much party prep I get done Friday night though.  If I have to have a night off on Saturday, it’s not the end of the world.  I’ll just feel better if I don’t.

I’m feeling pretty good about things.  The healthy mindset and habits are becoming well-ingrained again, and I feel that I’m settling in for the long haul.  Not crazy-gung-ho passionate, but steady and committed and (most importantly) consistent.    Goalz?  I haz them.  (Too much icanhascheezburger.com for me, clearly.)

So here’s to a great, consistent, steady, productive week.  Hope everyone has a wonderful one!

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Happy Monday!  (No, that’s not an oxymoron!)

I’m feeling particularly chipper this morning, which is sort of unlike me, but I have plenty of reasons.  The weekend was wonderful in a lot of ways and I’m surfing the momentum in hopes of making the week great as well.

DH, YD and I spent the weekend at the cabin.  I had planned to make it a very active weekend, getting out and doing a lot of things with YD, and that worked out a lot better than my plans usually do.  Saturday we decided to check out a local park not very far from the cabin; we wanted to ride bikes and maybe walk some.  We’d actually intended to do this at the campground, but it was actually pretty full so we went to the park instead.  This ended up being a great decision, as the park has a long loop road perfect for biking, with very little traffic, so we rode that and stopped for a while to play at the playground:

…which was fun.  Then we finished our ride and headed for our real find of the day:  a FitTrail!

If you’ve never heard of these (you probably have) they’re walking/running/hiking trails that have, every few yards, “stations” where you do various exercises.  This one was definitely hiking – it was in the woods, which I love, unpaved (unless you count a three-inch leaf carpet as paving, which I sort of do) and absolutely gorgeous.

I promise, I did the exercises too, I didn’t just make YD do them and take pictures of her.  🙂

I couldn’t even estimate the distance; no pedometer, because we were just out having fun.  It ended up being an awesome workout though, which was very cool.  We met a couple of friendly local dogs while on the trail; sorry, I didn’t get pictures of them.  They were cute though.

Saturday afternoon we went up to the dam so that DH (and YD, some) could fish the tailwaters.

We spent a couple of hours or so there, and YD and I spent a large part of it on the playground.  No pictures of that either, sorry.  But I wish I had, because it had a very cool rock (okay, plastic rock-like stuff) climbing wall – only about seven feet high, but I’m afraid of heights, so that was perfect for me.  🙂  We climbed it about ten times and I forced myself to go up and over and down the opposite side – I know, it’s not very high, but it was a big deal for me!  There was also a zip-line sort of thing that we did over and over – BTW, if you spend much time with kids on a playground that has one of these, I recommend trying it out.  It’s a great pectoral workout, as I discovered the following morning.  Ouch.

Anyway…that evening was spent around a fire drinking tea (no s’mores for me, thank you) because it was cold.  Then Sunday we got up and all three of us went and did the bike-ride (walk in DH’s case, gotta get him a bike) and FitTrail again.  It was awesome fun.  I did discover, however, that I am still incapable of doing a pull-up.  Not much has changed since the days of the hated President’s Physical Fitness Test, evidently.

Last night, fearing I hadn’t done enough in the way of exercise to counteract my deviations in the realm of food (they weren’t horrible, but let’s face it, folks, potato soup is never going to be anyone’s idea of a low-calorie option, at least not the way I make it) I spent forty minutes on the treadmill.  Nothing to watch on TV so I resorted to my trusty iPod – and realized how much easier it is to run when you’re listening to music that gets you jazzed up.  Laugh if you will, but that Hannah Montana’s got some rockin’ beats.  🙂  But my very favorite was “Animals” by Nickelback – I ran for the whole song on that one, as well as “Next Contestant”.

I think I ended up running about 25 of the 40 minutes, which is definitely an all-time high for me.  High in more ways than one – it felt awesome and (interestingly) at no time did I feel out of breath.  I was running faster than I usually do, too.  I think it demonstrates how much of my difficulty with running is psychological – if I’m paying attention to the music, I don’t seem to have many problems…

So it was a great weekend for physical activity.  And at my official Monday morning weigh-in, I am down a total of half a pound from last Monday.  I’ll take it, all things considered.  (Remember, I had a less-than-perfect anniversary evening and the weekend wasn’t exactly perfect either.)  No gain over the weekend, no loss.  I’m good with that.  One of the reasons, as I was telling someone today, is that I can feel the changes in my body.  Dropping numbers on the scale are nice, but there is nothing, nothing better than the change in how your body feels.

In other weekend news, ED had stayed at home so that she didn’t have to miss her voice lesson.  This was only her third lesson with this lady (or was it fourth?) so she didn’t want to skip it.  I’m glad she didn’t, because her voice teacher (who has, in the past two weeks, told her both that she is a joy to work with and that she – the instructor – is going to have to find harder songs for ED) told her that she wants to enter ED in a competition in early December.  She said she wouldn’t normally do this with a new student, but ED is such a quick learner and has enough skills that she wants to go ahead and start getting her out there.  That made ED feel pretty good, and I feel pretty good for her.  As I’ve mentioned before, this woman is an amazing voice instructor, very knowledgeable and very skilled and just amazing to be around.  I am so pleased with how it has gone and very thankful for the decisions we’ve made in this area in the last year.  You never know how things are going to turn out, but this seems to be a winner.

And last but certainly not least, I am a great-aunt!  Again.  But it never gets old.  🙂  My niece Ashley gave birth at 4:44 this morning to a precious little baby girl, Chayla Harmony.  I am so excited for her and very grumpy that I can’t be there to hold her.  I’ll post pictures as soon as I have them, but I just had to crow a little.

And on that note, saga over.  Have a wonderful week, everyone!

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Well, it’s Friday again.  Hard to believe another week is past.  I’ve been so busy that it’s literally flown by.  Okay, not literally.  It didn’t grow wings.  But it went by really quickly.

It’s been a good week overall, though it’s had its ups and downs.  Last night was pretty cool; I ran on the treadmill for about six minutes, which is about four minutes longer than my usual max.  Not fast, but steady.  DH was doing the “long” run on WiiFit and I ran with him.  It reminded me of something I tend to forget whenever possible – most of my limitations are self-imposed.  I can run, I just really don’t like to and I generally choose not to.  But it’s nice to be reminded that I am capable of it.  I need to make myself do it more often, because if there’s one thing that will short-circuit weight loss efforts it’s getting too comfortable in your exercise routine.

I had a great workout last night, but was up 0.2 pounds today.  I’m actually not too disappointed by that for a few reasons.  One I particularly want to mention though is this – it’s an amazing post by Lynn, who is in herself, of course, amazing – but also check out Cyndi‘s comment, which is number 49.  This really made me sit up and take notice of how I’ve been thinking about my efforts and my results.

The thing is, during the time period that I’ve been working to become healthier and lose weight, I’ve also been working on getting out of debt.  Working hard on it, in fact.  So my life has a double focus and they’re both all about self-control, sensibility, frugality and moderation.  And they’re very similar.

What this made me look at, though, was my own reaction to the number on the scale.  When I have worked hard, and I step on the scale and see no loss or a gain, I (like most people) tend to take it personally.  I’m no good, I’m a failure, I’m pathetic…it’s a direct reflection on my worth as a human being.  And typically, I start to feel discouraged and hopeless about the process, which generally means there’s a binge (or at least a major slip) somewhere in the very near future.

But when I check my bank balance online – which I do frequently, to make sure I haven’t missed writing in a transaction – I don’t feel that way.  If it’s down, I look at the transactions, make sure I have them all written in, and plan my spending accordingly.  If it’s a lot lower than I thought it should be, I find what I had missed, and yes, I probably kick myself a little for spending that money (if it was something non-critical).  But I don’t spiral into depression, and I sure as heck don’t go on a spending spree at the mall!  How stupid would that be?  Oh, I’m overdrawn (or really low), I am such a loser, I think I’ll go buy those $150 boots I saw the other day.  Or a new couch.  (Note – sure, spending money would make me feel better, which is one of the reasons I am in the situation I’m in, and one of the things I need to cure.  But even I am not that compulsive, that addicted, or that clueless.)  It would only make my problems much, much worse.

That being true, why would I do this with food?  If I’ve slipped, and it’s resulted in a gain or no loss, why would I think the rational thing to do would be to go eat a bag of chips?  That’s just silly.  The rational thing to do is to conserve – i.e., work out a little harder and be extra-careful with food –  just as I would with my bank account.  If I’ve spent too much, then I don’t spend till I get paid again.  If I’ve overindulged, I cut back a little until I’m back on track.

This seems self-evident, but nothing makes things “click” for me like analogies.  🙂  This, because of the work I’ve had to do on my spending habits, is a perfect one.  So this is what I’m focusing on.  I’m up a little – and I can easily, since I’ve been weighing almost daily, pinpoint exactly why.  I am not racking my brain to find that transaction; it’s clearly printed out on the screen for me to see.  I know where the extra 0.2 came from, and I pretty much expected it, so I just nod and go on.

What it does do, is tell me that I need to be extra diligent this weekend.  That’s really a good thing, because weekends at the cabin tend to be lazy, undisciplined times for me.  But since I know I’m skating on the edge of a “no-loss” week (I’m, at this point, down half a pound, but if I am not careful this weekend, that could change) I know that I need to be sure not to take anything overly tempting or unhealthy, and stick resolutely to my healthy meals.  Exercise won’t be a problem, as I plan to get out a LOT with DH and YD.  (ED, unfortunately, won’t be going with us; she has a voice lesson she doesn’t want to miss, so she’ll be staying here with my Mom.)

So I wanted to thank Cyndi for the insight, which has both put some things into perspective for me and helped me let go a little of my love-hate feelings toward the scale.  It’s just a scale.  I don’t hate the computer for showing me I’m out of money.  I don’t need to hate the scale for showing me the results of my own behaviors.  I don’t need to hate anything.  I just need to use the information wisely.  So while it makes me more comfortable with daily weighing, it also goes a long way toward removing the compulsion.  I don’t need to weigh myself compulsively, any more than I need to compulsively check my bank balance.  (I used to do that, too.  I’m much better now, though.)

Life’s all about learning.  I’ve learned a lot this week, and in my book, that makes it a great week.  Have a great weekend – I plan to!

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