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The weather as a sad excuse

Sunday, January 27, 2013

So it was snowing pretty hard (and unexpectedly, as I hadn't looked at the forecast for today) when I finally decided to go to the gym, and I let it stop me, rationalizing that I really didn't want to go anyway. I mean, I'd sat around reading all day, a bit of laundry, a bit of lunch breaking up the turning of the pages, until around 5 pm, when big ten basketball took over for the evening. I watched Iowa nearly knock off Purdue, and then saw my Michigan Wolverines stake a claim to the #1 ranking, for the first time since 1992. And then, at 8, I decided I might as well go to the gym, as after last weekend's spasm of running, I hadn't done any more. So i got changed, and then went to close the bedroom curtain (no, I wasn't flashing the neighbors, I changed in the bathroom), and happened to glance out the window and saw my car under a decent layer of snow. So I go and open the door and look outside, can't really see much as the light is out, and stick my head out the door, and get pelted by a very fast falling snow. That's all it takes to dissuade me on a night like tonight. There's a Red Wings game on. I can do a spell on the old exercise FRICK! the blackhawks just scored to win in overtime, the bastiges! bike (real time blogging, dont'cha know?), and I've got this new exercise ball that I've been using as a footrest for the past 40 minutes, I suppose I should actually sit on the darn thing and stretch something now. And this resistance band, which I rescued, along with its mates, from a box I hadn't looked in during the past month, maybe I could do something with that, too. But first, a cookie. I'm grumpy about how the hockey game ended. Harrumph!

3 hours later edit: seeing descriptions of the weather as "it's raining ice out there" makes me think maybe I made the right call by staying in, after all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WHOVIANGIRL23 1/28/2013 12:03PM

    HAH! Real time blogging, isn't it fun? It's very entertaining to read as well. I can't say I use the weather as an excuse, because I work out at home. But... I use anything else as an excuse...

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SHRINKING_SARA 1/28/2013 10:40AM

    When the weather gets nuts -- just workout watching the hockey game. There's no reason you couldn't do strength training or core workouts -- Spark even has some great free 15 minutes videos to do just this. Plus even if its small, it gets rid of the demon in your head yelling at you to work out.

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GARDENCHRIS 1/28/2013 6:32AM

    it was raining ice! Same here in Illinois!

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RANDOMLY_HONEST 1/28/2013 6:27AM

    I also tend to use the weather ( and all the little sniffles that go with it) as an excuse. But even if you can't get to the gym, you can still exercise at home. If nothing else, march/jog in place while watching the game.

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KMM1123 1/28/2013 12:33AM

    At least you have the weather as an excuse to rely on. It's been absolutely beautiful down here and I still don't get out to walk very much. I really don't deserve to live in this climate. I bitch and moan when it's hot and humid. I whine when it drops below 70. And now that the weather has a special Utopian feel to it... I stay barricaded inside. I'm hopeless.


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When will then be now? Soon! (perhaps)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

BLC bloggy topic asking along the lines of ďhow are you going to feel when you get to your fitness/weight goals?Ē And the short answer is, ďHeck if I know!Ē (aka HIIK!, a very useful acronym).

The extended edition of this flick has alternate endings, one where I get to my (just defined on Thursday) goal of reaching a healthy weight as defined by BMI, and then deciding that Iím close enough to being under 150 and just go for that instead. Thereís a second ending where I reach that weight, and then think, hey, I should build some muscle, and bulk back up a bit. Might have to save that idea for a sequel. And then thereís the theatrical release where I reach the goal weight and then just maintain ad infinitum. Of course, since weíre in the middle of the movie right now, youíre going to have to imagine it as if we were in that scene from Spaceballs (0), watching the current action.


Then thereís the entirely different aspect of ďfitnessĒ goals, which entails, being happy with what I have (1), bodywise. That might be a longer term project, since thereís more mental baggage on that airplane than on the single prop ďsimply weightĒ puddle jumper. Itís perhaps not quite as complicated as the Dreamliner and its Ďsplodey batteries, but happiness for those with body image issue can be a moving target. So, where is that straight line, that I can hold up to the light, and say, ďYes, this is all rightĒ? (2) HIIK! Iím hoping that somewhere in one of those three alternate endings, thereís a boarding pass to this particular flight of fancy.

Itís part of the reason that I didnít start this trip with a hard and fast goal, that I wanted to lose THIS MANY POUNDS. For me, doing something like that would have been counterproductive, as in this particular endeavor, Iím better off with the open ended ďjust keep swimming, just keep swimmingĒ (3)Ö.I mean, ďjust keep trending downwardsĒ approach. That lets me shrug off the upward bounces, or the plateau that I may be coming near the end of. As long as there isnít that significant, and lasting shift upward, itís all good. Sure, there are physical benchmarks I have in mind (less belly fat chief on the list, perhaps), but the more that I think about it, it really does seem like a case of ďIíll know it when I get thereĒ.

And in saying that, maybe Iíve made a mockery of the entire HIIK! premise of most of this entry, that I havenít a clue of how Iíll feel when I reach my goals. It sure does sound like the bottom line is that all I want is to have my peace of mind (4). So when I get there, when the war against the scale ends, when the war inside my head (5) endsÖthatís when Iíll have achieved my goal. When I feel peace.

The songs/clips that flitted through my head during the construction of this post
0) Spaceballs: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdHGS

1) King crimson: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkWMf

2) Spockís Beard www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD-8o

3) Finding Nemo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxB_T

4) Boston: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaR2J

5) Dream Theater: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp4hi

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADZY86 1/29/2013 6:09AM

    I have no idea what my goal looks like either. I set a random goal weight, not based on BMI or anything like that, which I will reassess the closer I get. I think I am aiming for a clothes size though, rather than a weight. But who knows?! I agree with CLPURNELL: I'm hoping one day I will just be able to look in the mirror and say 'you know what, you look good, you can maintain this, stay right here'. Fingers crossed...

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CLPURNELL 1/28/2013 9:09PM

    The goal is as you have said is to find that magic spot where you look in the mirror and say you know what i am happy here. We all have to find that we guess by throwing around a number but in essence we are all looking for that self satisfying body image whatever that is.

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WHOVIANGIRL23 1/28/2013 12:15PM

    What do we do, we swim.. swim...

I'm with you on the HIIK thing. The "closest" I ever got to goal was 184 (And my goal is between 120-130, so not really that close..) and I know how wonderful that felt. But now that I've ballooned up to whale size, I feel like goal weight is unattainable, like I'll never get there. But, I'd love to know how it feels..

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KING_SLAYER 1/27/2013 6:34AM

    Great blog. I get what you're saying here. I do have a weight goal, but it was an arbitrary number that I chose almost 2 years ago. I think I'd feel better surpassing it by 10-20 lbs, but I want to hit that original goal before moving the goal posts further down field.

The mental baggage and body issues are the much more difficult tasks to wrap the head around. I know I'll never look like Daniel Craig or any other ideal that has been set before me, so when will I be able to accept me as I am? That is the much tougher question and the answer may take longer to find than any weight loss journey.

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Dancing through the ups and downs

Friday, January 25, 2013

A BLC teammate wondered aloud about losing some weight and then going into a self-sabotage phase, and as that's more or less been my story since jumping onto sparkpeople, I rambled on a bit about it.

I absolutely identify with her tale, because I've repeatedly gone through cycles of being good, and then coasting, or even going the wrong way for a bit. When I posted about the 2.4 lb loss the scale reported for the first week of the BLC (artifact, I'm sure...find out next week, I guess), I referred to it as "dancing", a pattern of 1 step forward, and a half step back that has characterized my whole SP trip.

In late September of 2011, I started at 205, and I dropped around 10 pounds between then and late November 2011. Then came Thanksgiving, and another weekend where I took a trip down to Chicago with friends (yearly tradition that had to be obeyed), and half that weight returned. I was down to 185 at the end of April 2012, but then came Craft Beer Week, and a trip home for my nephew's 1st birthday (huge party), and my own birthday (a couple nights out), and I gained back 7 pounds in May. You know, you could say I only lost 5 pounds from May 1 to January 16. But you could also just as accurately say I lost 12 pounds from June 1 to January 16. While other rebounds haven't been as dramatic, I have spent a lot of time re-losing the same weight that I'd already dumped once, and then got back together with. As with serial relationships, better to just get it over with!

With me, part of the relaxation phase is a sense that, "yay, I've accomplished something, let's celebrate!" Except the celebration isn't limited to just a day. Circumstances surely play a part, as with the multiple events in the month of May, but there's something more there. On occasion, I've realized that, yes, I'm sabotaging (half of) the good work that I've put in, but I really didn't care at the moment. Some of that, perversely, came from a new-found confidence, knowing that I now knew how to lose weight, in a way I hadn't put together before joining sparkpeople. Another piece is probably some latent yearning for the don't give a crap "food-lifestyle" I used to lead. It's just so much easier than paying attention to the details, y'know?

Look around this site, and obviously, I'm not alone in this bad habit of temporarily relapsing into the bad habits that brought us here in the first place. I'm of the opinion that everybody has different "relaxation phase" triggers, and it's absolutely worth putting in a little time to try and figure those out. After all, we joined up with the intent to turn things around, and having had some level of success, it (hello captain obvious!) doesn't make sense to go back to the old ways. And yet, we do just that, enough to moot a not insignificant portion of our good efforts.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JET150 1/27/2013 10:09AM

    It is hard to find other rewards when food has been your reward all your life, at least that is the case for me. And nobody wants to be the person at the celebration who draws attention to themselves by merely nibbling and sipping. And then there's stress. In the five months I was fully retired I lost about 4 pounds without even trying. In the year and a half since going back to work part-time I've gained 12. And it's not the birthday doughnuts and work potlucks. I can avoid those. It's me at home, at night. As you said, we think we've broken those habits to lose weight, but they never fully disappear I'm afraid.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 1/27/2013 1:44AM

    Lots of us have the same problem. The best thing you can do is figure out WHY. It's something I have a really hard time with :) emoticon

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ANDY_54 1/26/2013 11:10PM

    Well, I keep losing and re-gaining the same 5 pounds. It happens whenever I get close to the 160 mark. Why? IDK and it's frustrating. I really don't like the BL show, but I did see Jillian (of course) yelling at someone last week and trying to make her understand that she (the contestant) is the one standing in her own way. I get that same feeling--hm, maybe I just need to step aside?

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CLPURNELL 1/25/2013 6:05PM

    We all do it! emoticon

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LW8843 1/25/2013 11:03AM

    I'm bad at this. I've lost 38lbs since June 2012 and now I'm dancing with 1-3lbs. I go down and up and down and up...grr.

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BOSS61 1/25/2013 7:34AM

    Life of a Sparky is filled with may too many causes (and excuses) to celebrate. Next time there is cause for celebration, float away on extra Sparky water too. Two days later you will be living in the bathroom (once the salt comes off), but then, viola!

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GARDENCHRIS 1/25/2013 7:18AM

    so true ... but hopefully we "learn" new ways of coping each time and get better at this lifestyle change.

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CAMAEL100 1/25/2013 5:12AM

    As i said on the forum, I totally relate and am getting frustrated at this stage. It gets more noticable as I get nearer to my goal. But I am hoping the BLC will get me close to my goal so I can stop this up and down. It can get me down at times but I try to stay positive and think of how far I have come!

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STEPH-KNEE 1/25/2013 4:08AM

    I can totally relate to what you are saying here. I have some very extreme cases under my belt, like lose 40 pounds a few times in my life to gain it all back. And relosing the same weight (for me at least) is never as fun as losing new weight. I think that is why I'm a little "blah" in this whole thing lately. I may have lost 2.4 pounds this week (we are twinsies! ;)) but it only got me back to 214.4 which is a number I've seen a 100 times in the last 3 months. I feel like if I can get to where I'm losing "new weight" it'll feel more real and like I am making progress.

That is so great you have really been thinking about things, trying to figure stuff out and fixing it is always a good thing. It sounds like the month of May is a fun month filled with awesomeness (your birthday), but it sounds like this year you are really aware of this and I know that you can make it through May unscathed! You can do this, you've been doing this and you are awesome! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/25/2013 4:11:09 AM

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SISSIE21 1/25/2013 3:34AM

    Wow, so true. I actually relapsed and regained over 90 pounds! How did it happen? I stopped paying attention to what was important, my health. I 'celebrated' the weight loss with eating and used food to comfort during stressful times. This journey is now one to re-lose the weight and most important, learn from previous mistakes.
Good luck on your journey, I totally get it emoticon

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Donít think there is much of a difference, honestly

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Iím one of those people who are slow to appreciate differences in others who have lost weight, sometimes saying nothing lest I insult someone who hasnít actually lost weight. That tendency extends to my own self, in terms of not feeling like there was all that much difference in how I look from when I started this trip (September 2011) and now. I mean, I *know* there's a difference, between the scale telling me that 25 lbs have flown the coop, and the tape measure proclaiming a difference just since July (didn't measure at the outset, unfortunately), but...

I look at these two pics (the before is from October 2011, and the Now was something I posted last week) and, to me, there isnít all that much difference. I mean, sure, I could claim the face is slightly less roundish, but it's not something I'd comment on if I perceived that degree of difference in someone else.
October 2011:
January 2013:

I'm not entirely sure what to think about it. After all, I can pull pics from various points along that timeline to prove pretty much whatever I want; witness the profile pic I'm using now, which certainly caught me at a good angle. Bottom line, there's still a way to go in this rather open-ended journey. I hate to use the BMI healthy range (top end is still ~25 lbs away) as any sort of actual goalpost, but it may end up as just that. We shall see.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KMM1123 1/25/2013 11:56PM

    I can see a difference too. Of course this is your face we're talking about so it's only going to be a slight difference. Unless you happen to carry all your weight in your face - which you don't (thank goodness too because that would look weird).

And congrats on your 25 pounds. That's a nice solid amount of weight to have lost. Have you tried picking up 25 pounds of weight and walking around with it? If you're not noticing a difference in photos, you'll definitely notice a difference in walking around with the extra weight now that you've become used to weighing less.

I'm sure your knees are grateful they no longer have to deal with 25 pounds of additional gravitational pull. Wait, you're the scientist here - is gravitational pull the right terminology to use? Sorry - it's been a while since I've taken a physics class.

Anyway, in summation (another science-y word), I've concluded that whether you see the difference or not, you must try not to let it interrupt your journey. Keep pushing!

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CLPURNELL 1/25/2013 6:01PM

    I can def see a difference emoticon

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LW8843 1/25/2013 11:06AM

    I can see a difference in my own pictures but when I go shoping I still "see" myself as bigger. I pick up old sizes I wore and have to be reminded that those won't fit any longer.

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It's a moron, of the oxy persuasion

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I canít recall the last time I had caffeine.

I had a 12 pack of Coke Zero that ran out at some point before January 9th. I know this, because I went into a grocery store looking for a particular grapefruit package that was on a good sale, along with a few other things, and recall specifically deciding to not grab a replacement case. As they didnít have the grapefruit, I took a shot at the customer service counter, and they were kind enough to provide a rain check for the discounted price, and it is dated 1/9/13. I did go to my brotherís house the weekend after, and at the end of the visit, I had him check the fridge to see if he had any cans of Diet Dr. Pepper left. He did not, so, I drove home with the music turned up loud to stay awake (not that with my insomnia and night owl-y-ness, Iíd have any problems staying awake at 11 pm). After that, the past week and change? No soda pop. Iíve turned down any offers of tea or coffee.

For me, the interesting part is that I didnít plan on it at all. This was not an effort to cut down on pop, no try at reducing caffeine to see if itís playing a role in the insomnia. Itís just happened, because there doesnít happen to be any pop in the place, and I havenít ventured out to a grocery store in a couple of weeks, and I havenít gone inside a gas station even when I filled up the tank. And the weird thing is that I havenít noticed until now.

This is very strange, because last spring, I did explicitly try to quit drinking pop, to cut myself off caffeine. Part of it was a perverse, letís see if I can do this! challenge, and partly it was an effort to see if my wrecked sleep patterns could be tamed if I just reduced the caffeine in my diet. That experiment did not last long, as I spent a few days with a constant ibuprofen resistant low level headache. Eventually, I imbibed a caffeinated pop, and the headaches abated, and the experiment was abandoned with no further trials.

Itís an oxymoron, then, or perhaps a paradox if I want to be linguistically correct, that this non-attempt is succeeding, where actually trying to reduce/quit caffeine had such disastrous results. As the insomnia hasnít abated, Iím willing to declare that caffeine isnít the culprit. Have to get to the grocery store soon, and maybe Iíll grab some pop, maybe I wonít. Iíve proven, without trying, that I can exist without caffeine for a couple of week, for whatever thatís worth.

Title courtesy of echolyn, from the song "Mr. Oxy Moron", as seen from apprx 5:00 - 12:00 on this youtube video.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLPURNELL 1/25/2013 5:35PM

    Sorry lowering the caffeine didn't help with the insomnia.

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SHRINKING_SARA 1/24/2013 11:02AM

    Hey -- congrats for kicking caffeine! I did it for over two years, and am in a caffeine relapse right now. What I noticed was that I fell asleep quicker, but I also woke up a lot quicker. A quick glass of water was enough to get me up and moving!

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EJRANVILLE 1/23/2013 3:49PM

    Is the insomnia all the time or just occasional? I was having an issue staying asleep (would wake up middle of night and not fall back to sleep) and the doctor suggestined Melatonin. I get a bottle at Whole Foods (purple label) that is 3mg and I'm usually good for the night w/no ill effects the next day.

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