Tuesday, June 08, 2010
A few weeks ago I posted about Day 3 of what I hoped would be a new regimen of exercise and nutrition - and of course promptly began a spiral of exercise interrupted by pain and diet interrupted by mindless eating. The result was weight gain and a little sadness, culminating in a rather doleful post on Sunday about my backsliding. The downward curl of that trough has passed, though, and I'm gliding back on upwards in the normal ebb and flow of an ordinary life. This quick turnaround was vastly aided by having my Spark People community, with it's fountain of inspiration and support, from which I could sup as needed. And so, courting the fates once again I am ready to post about a brand new Day 3.
First a little back story -
In 2005 I had a terrible fall that exacerbated a tender back I've had ever since I was 20. As Boomerdom has settled in so firmly throughout my 50's I've been prone to lower back issues and that fall - and a subsequent visit to a very bad chiropractor - really did a number on my spine, leaving me with permanent nerve damage in one arm and, evidently some sciatic issues as well. I'm still groping around to find the best exercises for me to do that will strengthen me without compromising my spine. Thank goodness I actually like exercise, which means I'll continue to seek - but I'm not there yet. Next week I go for my annual check-up and I am going to ask for a course in PT because I know there is a good team at our local hospital and I think I need some advice on what and, more importantly, how. But the bald fact is ... I have painful "health issues".
Weird. I never ever thought I would have "health issues" but eh. There it is. Not an end, merely a challenge.
I began listening to the audio book "South Beach Diet Supercharged" last week and felt both exhilarated by the promise of ABetterLifeWithMagicDiet and deep sadness at the thought of bidding things like bread and watermelon goodbye. The conflict - unreasonable hope and unrealistic loss- didn't do much to help me deal with an already out of control eating spiral. NOTE to Bess - watch what you listen to.
I seriously toyed with going on the SB diet but eventually rejected at least Phase I because it is just too severe for my emotional state. I do NOT want to stop eating grain products - even for 2 weeks - and there is no way I am passing on watermelon just as the melon season is beginning. No Way.
I do want to eat fewer processed grains - flour products are my go-to gobble when I am famished - and I do want to be a little more honest about eating whole grains. I don't usually choose them over the refined grain products because [A.] it takes longer to cook them and [B.] Himself really balks at things like whole wheat pasta and rice. (though I can get him to eat brown rice)
So. I spent Sunday pouring over the SB Diet recipes, knowing that they would be heavy on the whole grains and light on the saturated fats. And I decided that I would spend the next 4 weeks eating ONLY whole grains and cutting back to 4-5 servings a day. I'm also doubling my vegetable consumption. I really like vegetables but I've been eating only 2 or 3 servings a day - because the extra 3 or so servings of grains, especially processed grains, really rather filled me up. The other thing is that, for 4 weeks there is to be no BLTing of sweets. I'm not a major sweet eater - I don't lust for cakes or pies, I can always pass on a donut, a cookie now and then can tempt me in the afternoon, but candy is almost never within my radar. Still - I'll pluck the after dinner mint out of a bowl or nibble a piece of this or that - and the truth is - I don't always remember each little Bite, Lick or Taste. I may THINK I'm not nibbling my way through the sugar bowl - but I don't actually know. In fact, if I am actually wondering about Think vs. Know I Think I Know ... I am eating a lot more sugar than I realized.
Eliminating sweets from my diet, though, does not depress me the way even the idea of crossing off grains in some form or another does. And being depressed over something I'm doing is NO way to create a healthy life. If I can only eat whole grains, that's okay. I like them too.
So here is the new game plan - on which I am happily celebrating Day 3:
One less serving of (only) whole grains a day
Twice the vegetables (4-6 servings)
ZERO added sugars
Let's see what 4 weeks of that does for me. With a starting weight of 168 let's see where I am on July 4 - an independence day goal for sure!
Sorry about the length of this post but the truth is this is the first time I've actually written out what the game plan is. It's good to actually SEE what I'm committed to. Once again - having my friends to share my thoughts with has really been a bonus for me.
THANKS AGAIN Y'ALL
Monday, June 07, 2010
I knew you would be - that's why it was so important to confess my backsliding and move on. That's just what I did yesterday. Got in some good exercise. Plotted out some healthy meals for the week. Did the weekly grocery shopping. Tracked my meals.
All in all - it was a perfect turn-around day. And as if the weather gods decided to reward me, the air cleared, the temperatures dropped and the wind died down. This morning was crisp and fresh with dew. I took the dogs out for a sweet little morning walk and since the weather is supposed to stay this way all day, I'll take them again when I get home. I know there are more beastly days ahead - this is, after all, Summertime in Virginia, where you can have 98% humidity and a drought. We haven't had one yet and if it just rains when the corn tassels we'll make a good crop.
Even the stars are in my favor as Mars moves out of Leo and into Virgo - I am promised lots of energy. In fact, I'm even told that it was Mars pushing me to be honest and sincere. Just read this from Mr.Horoscope:
You may never know the full extent of your potential because the more you achieve, the more you will then be able to accomplish. Be inspired by this thought. Be inspired too, that the current conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus is taking place in the part of your chart that governs 'honesty and sincerity. It's through these noble qualities that you can now be freed from a sense of helplessness or hopelessness.
Well. I certainly don't feel helpless or hopeless. Thanks y'all. You're the best.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
The past 2 weeks I have found myself eating everything in sight. Eating too much. Eating when I'm not hungry. Eating when I am hungry. The result has been embarrassment and frustration and disappointment. Embarrassment because I know that the only honest thing to do .. and the only thing that will help me fight and conquer this problem is to 'fess up here. It would be SO easy to just blog about something else or not blog at all and then say I was busy (which I am - so who isn't?) But that would be telling a big fat lie to all of you, who have been such good support for me through the past months - and though I might be able to lie to myself now and then, as I hold the peanut butter jar in my hands - I can't do that to people who have been so good to me.
And that surprises me in a way - this commitment to others when I can't seem to commit to myself. but then my interaction with others is always measured and deliberate - I have to log onto SP and then actually click on the Post-a-Blog button. when it comes to deluding myself - well - that can be done in the twinkling of an eye - or the opening of a refrigerator.
That's where the frustration with myself kicks in. Because even though I've made bad choices in flash decisions over the past 2 weeks - I'm pretty sure I can remember that moment - each time - when I could have chosen to make a better decision. I didn't gobble my way back up to 168 lbs insensibly. Just about every time, I had at least a moment of opportunity to act differently. I just didn't.
Disappointment has to do with not reaching a goal I'd set last year - to wow my doctor at my next check-up - which will be in 2 weeks. Oh - I will be a little lighter than last year but not enough to talk to him about medicine changes.
So. Where does that leave me - besides squirming in tighter waistbands.
You know - it really leaves me where I always am - right here and right now. Right in the present moment. Nothing in the universe will allow me to change what has happened up to now. There are no guarantees about tomorrow, even if planning can help us feel more secure about where we'll end up. There's just now.
And now, just for today, I can eat a healthy diet. I can (maybe) get in some exercise ... it's freaking hot and humid this week - an unusual 99 degrees for June. I have to do the weekly grocery shopping this afternoon and I can certainly plan out all our meals for this week and make sure every one of them is a healthy sized portion of optimal food. I can acknowledge my disappointment in my recent performance
And I can move on.
And out of this whole 2 week debacle I have found one sweet glimmer. Though I did eat too much and when I was not hungry - I always recognized it when it was happening. I can't truly call this craving because there was always that moment of choosing - of deciding. Bad decisions, I'll admit, but I can't really claim I was Out Of Control. I was just being a brat - and while I don't like brats or bratty behavior - this seems like an infinitesimal movement but at least it's progress.
Okay my friends. I begin again. thank you for being my kind and non judgemental conscience during this difficult time.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
I got a trophy from SP today for consistency. I like to check in here every day and, if I do nothing else, spin for the log-in points and update my status. But I have to laugh about the consistency award because ... well... perfect attendance has never been important to me. My mother used to say "everybody needs a day off and if you need one just ask and I'll write a good note to school for you. just don't pretend you're sick when you're not." the confidence that gave me, knowing if I needed a day off I had it, was so powerful it carried me through most of the school year. My mama was pretty smart, as well as a lot of fun.
One of the funniest essays I've ever read (from one of the funniest southern humorists I've ever known) is in Celia Rivenbark's most recent book:
It's the first one in the book, where she describes booing the child with the perfect attendance award at school - since she's the one who brought her germs to share with all the rest of the children. Remember - it's satire - so the hyperbole is what you're supposed to be laughing at.
Still, while I am not a slave to routine I am aware of the value of practicing something consistently - that is how you become good at things. If it's something you like to do you'll practice more and get better, if it's not, you can still get good enough that either you can zip through unwanted tasks quickly or figure out better ways to do - or best of all DELEGATE - them.
Interestingly, there are often unexpected rewards that come from doing something consistently and one of them was revealed to me yesterday. I hadn't been to the gym all of May. I was working out at home with Powah Yogah and never felt like going to the gym. But yesterday just felt like a gym day and once inside it felt like an elliptical day. I figured since I hadn't used that machine for a while I would be good for 10 minutes. Imagine my surprise when I barely broke a sweat at 20 - which is all the time I had. The machine monitors your heart rate and I was steady at 130 which, for my age and weight, is maximum. It was a piece of cake - with no surprises later in the shape of seized up muscles.
Wow! I had no idea this was happening to my body. What a hidden reward.
Now - if I can only get consistent about my daily caloric intake - man I would rock!
Off to the city today for a family consultation with Mama's rehab center.
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