Monday, January 14, 2013
I haven't been shy about the fact that I've devoted the first 1/2 of Whole30 to attempting to heal my heel (okay, my PF...same diff). After several days of lowered, but still there irritation and pain I've come to realize that it's as good as it's going to get for now without help from me. So I'm going to help it out.
Step 1: Stretching
The doctor (physical therapist) has assigned me 4 different things to do two to three times a day.
1) The golf ball roll.
I always heard a tennis ball was best, but she's telling me I need the hard and small golf ball to really get the work done. I have one in my bag with me always now. The idea is to roll my foot on it three times a day for however long I can stand so that I can break down the nasty collagen and build back up the good stuff.
2) The calf stretch.
I have to put my injured foot behind me, straight, and my other knee bent and then lean into the wall. This should stretch the muscles that run up my foot/ankle/leg, especially my calf. The stiffness in my leg is a bit crazy considering I haven't worked on in so long.
3) The calf stretch, part deux.
Same as above, except with my bad knee bent as well. This stretches different leg muscles and is just as important.
4) The arch massage.
Three times a day I'm supposed to massage my arch for about 30 seconds at least. This does the same as number one. The bonus? I use lotion when I massage and so my feet are getting softer already! *lol*
Step 2: Flexibility Through Exercise
I need to start out my workout routine with exercise that help improve my flexibility and do not require me to bounce or jump on my foot/ankle. Now if I could get to the pool or a bike, I would totally do that, but I simply can't work that out right now. Instead I'll be trying the following:
I have at least 2 yoga DVDs and I'm not afraid of getting more. I will try to take the bounce out of Yoga Meltdown (by Jillian Michaels) as well and use that for an extra HR bump if possible. (But if she stresses the foot too much, she'll be kicked out of rotation.)
I have one pilates DVD. I hate Pilates because it seems to be more painful than Yoga to me. But I will give it another try because it MIGHT just work out the kinks...if I can get past the initial OUCH stage.
- UFC Ultimate Trainer
I got this for myself as a gift for Christmas (a Black Friday deal!), but I have yet to try it out. I believe you can build your own workouts, so I think if I put in a lot of strength training stuff I should be good. My PT actually encourages lunges (even though they hurt me) because it might help increase flexibility in my foot/ankle.
- Strength Training
I have been at this long enough that I should be able to set up a routine. And my FIL has a weight set in his garage that I've been told I'm welcome to use. I may take him up on that offer because for right now my PT doesn't even suggest walking. I need something to build my strength back up.
Here's the thing - Whole30 has done wonders to debloat me and shrink me, but I can tell I'm all mushy inside right now. Two months off of my heavy duty workouts makes for a squishy Esther. I may not be able to do much of a calorie burn right now in my workouts, but I can build more muscle, which will help increase my all-over calorie burn throughout the day. So that's the plan. I gave the foot it's time...and it healed up quite a bit on its own. But Whole30 is not a complete miracle for me. I have to take steps to help reap the benefits. So for the next 16 days, that will include some strength and flexibility and stretching.
For now, there is no set plan other than to do at least 15-20 minutes every weeknight and to get my stretches done 3 times a day, every single day, even if they aren't evenly spaced out (my OCD sometimes keeps me from my task, I'm realizing).
1/2 of January is almost up. How are you spending your time?
Friday, January 11, 2013
Well, it seems lil 'ole me has been nommed as Sparkpeople's Motivator of the Day today. Uhm... *cough* ...okay. Thanks?!
For those new to this page, I wanted to give you a quick run-down on why I find this completely humerous, and yet somewhat special. For the real intro on me, I'm sure most of the stuff on my main page's info box is still pretty relevant.
I started Sparkpeople in April 2010 and had a fair bit of a good run there for a while. I dropped 80 pounds pretty quickly and caught the Spark and all that jazz and was doing quite well for myself. And then slowly but surely, everything started to unravel.
Not for lack of trying on my part.
Not because I was slipping or went off plan.
I was fighting harder than ever and still going backwards.
I went from running my first 5-miler in December 2011 to not being able to run hardly anything and, actually, barely walking throughout most of 2012. Nothing I did seemed to matter. I got stricter with my diet because I felt my exercise was suffering because of my mobility issues. I tried everything. I went up in calories, down in calories, I calorie cycled. There were only a few of my honest-to-goodness-goes-against-everything
-I-believe-in things I would NOT try. I took advice from about 50 different people. Sometimes together, sometimes separately. And still, the pain in my foot got worse.
I moved to the bike and the pool.
I lifted. I lifted heavy. I could deadlift and barbell squat with the big boys.
And still, it got worse.
I went to light, wimpy exercises.
I got frustrated because I wasn't even raising my HR enough.
And still, it got worse.
So now I'm with my second PT and podiatrist, who basically said that my bone structure in my foot is rubbish and this may have happened at any point, no matter the size of my body or level of activity. He even told me to expect arthritis at some point down the road, but told me that exercise and flexibility stretches might keep that at bay for a while.
So my long list of injuries throughout 2011 and 2012 began to grow:
a slipped disc in my back
chronic back pain
a tilted (or as I say, "wonky") pelvis
severe osteoarthritis in at least one (but probably both) knee joints
and now the plantar fasciitis in my foot, which caused a bone spur in my ankle
Good days are days when I'm not limping.
From October through the end of 2012, I was in one of the deepest fits of depression I've had in a very long time. Here, I had done all this work, and yet...I was no closer to my goal. I felt like nothing I did even mattered and felt completely cliche because, perhaps, I WAS meant to be fat all my life.
But, finally, by the end of December 2012, I finally slowly emerged from this very dark place.
(Hubs and I discussed my depression last night and he said he was actually worried about me for only about the second time in the entire time we've known each other...)
So on January 1st of this year, I gave myself a fresh start.
The past is the past and there is nothing I can do to change it.
I'm moving on and doing what I think will work for my body and what I like to do.
I'm doing things for me and trying to build my self-confidence to heights never seen before.
This year it isn't about the numbers on the scale, but the lightness of my soul.
So on January 1, 2013, I started my second attempt at Whole30.
Basically, it's a very strict diet plan and, yes, it cuts out entire food groups.
I would normally say this is a rubbish fad diet and no one should do it...except I'm not doing it to diet. I'm doing it to detox my body and give it a fighting chance at finally healing.
What's more, I'm vlogging the entire process over on YouTube:
Today, being the 11th of January, is my 11th day on Whole30 and a lot has changed in just 10 short days. I feel better about myself. My foot feels better. I can tell I've lost a lot of winter bloat already. My skin looks better. My stomach feels better. And I just feel more like a winner than I have in a long time...like since 2010 when I was still losing. Now fighting the problems facing me in this world don't seem like such a daunting task...and I even put myself out there more by making my own beauty channel on YouTube:
I put pages on Facebook, started a Twitter page and Instagram...trying to brand myself. And to date it doesn't bother me that the only people following me are my friends (most from Spark! LOVE you guys!!) and my family. (In the past it would have been enough to break my heart...but this time I'm doing it for me.)
In addition, I started taking portrait photographs and have had requests to do even more. So the branding will happen there again.
So it's funny to me that today of all days I would be put up as MOTD. Because of where I've been the past few months...and because of where I am today. Today I feel like I'm putting out the best me into the world...so I invite you all to join me. I don't promise sunshine and roses out my butt all the time (just check some previous blogs!) but I do promise honesty, sincerity, and, somehow, an utter unwillingness to give up on myself even though every sign points to the EJECT button.
I'm here. I'm awesome. Get used to it.
If you have questions on ANYTHING, feel free to ask...I'll do my best to answer either here or on YouTube in my vlog! ;)
Also, my other blog, which often has different posts and followed me through the tough times a little more, is over here:
Have a happy, healthy day! I'ma go eat some Whole30 approved soup! NOM!
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
First of all, Day 7 was fine. I ate a bunch of leftovers (and eggs, of course, for breakfast), so there are no pictures (I don't take pictures of leftovers *lol*). I cannot tell you how worried I was about the next day and I started early on the stressing over whether or not I'd manage and how sad I thought it would be to be so restricted on that day.
Day 8 - My Birthday
But do you know what happened? I didn't cheat. I did get frustrated, but I did not cheat or go off plan or anything of the sort. I questioned the waitress at lunch. I told her not to cook any of my food in butter or sauce - only oils. I asked about putting sauteed mushrooms and onions on my steak and she told me that they come precut in a sauce, so I told her to forget it. I had grilled veggies along with steamed broccoli. Do you want to know the best way to eat a steak with grilled veggies? Together. All the flavors mesh and things like grilled tomatoes make a perfect compliment to a not so great quality steak.
It was a rough day. I spent over 2 hours in the doctor's office/hospital and was chaged a friggin' hospital copay simply because the doctor sent us over to have x-rays done of Ethan. (This is all for Ethan's encopresis. Which, btw, has gotten better again because I'm eating Whole30 so he's not having unlimited access to a ton of dairy products at the house. Now what he eats at school is his deal...can't control everything.)
After that rough start, I barely made it to the Ulta store where I was set to have my brows done for my birthday. (If you have an Ulta store nearby and your birthday is coming up, ask if they have a Benefit Brow Bar. You get a free brow waxing/shaping on your birthday! It was my first time getting it done and my brow area is still a tad swollen, but I absolutely love the job my girl did! And it only cost me 5 bucks...for the tip!) After brows and such, we headed to lunch...and I seriously, nearly lost my s#*t over the rolls sitting in front of me and the fact that they had precut presauced onions and mushrooms. *sigh* I choked down my resolve and ate my steak (and couldn't even finish a 6 oz steak! Which, of course, meant Ethan got a few bites so he was quite pleased) and veggies (ate all of them).
After that, it was off to Michael's to sort out a mistake that had happened on Sunday which had caused me to be overcharged for something. I was dreading this part and told Ethan I wanted to get it over with before we continued on with what I wanted to do - shop at Ulta and Target. Thankfully, the guy at the register was super nice and even though I had to wait for a rush to clear out, once he started helping me I was in and out in 5 minutes. Not bad.
Did I grumble over the Purple Mountain Yogurt sign taunting me from down the way? Yep. But I didn't get any.
Did my heart jump a little when a girl at the Ulta store offered me a butterscotch candy for my birthday? Yes. But I didn't die.
I talked to my brow girl about what I was doing and she was the first person to be alright with it. "Well it just sounds like you're eating really good stuff still anyhow." *all smiles* I can't tell you how many people start a conversation right now with, "So what is this eating thing you're doing?" They think it's a fad diet, I know. I try to explain the WHY for me as well as the what so they understand that I'm not doing it to lose weight...though it would be a nice bonus. I don't want anyone to think this is a fad diet. It's the healthiest form of a cleanse I've ever seen...and it has opened my eyes as to the mass quantities of sugar we are consuming every single day.
Finally, after all the chaos, it was time for my real work to start. I say work because we're strapped for cash right now and so instead of buying everything I wanted at Ulta, I took notes on what I wanted, what shade was right for me, and how much it costs. That way I can look for sales or when I have some money I know what I want to spend it on. I'm trying to be smart in 2013...we'll see how that turns out. ;) We spent at least an hour in the store and I came away with 3 pages of notes and $50 worth of product...which was actually a good deal. (Okay the $14 bar of soap was not a good "deal" but OMFG if you could smell this soap! I have all of the MOR soaps on my list because they smell amazing! They even have one with Kale! I'm planning on pampering myself this weekend with a bath using my bubble bath (marked down from $4 to .99) and a lather with my new yummy smelling soap. It's my present to myself for getting this far in the Whole30 game.)
We FINALLY left Ulta and I headed over to Target to use a few coupons. Got an eyeshadow for 4.99 instead of 6.99 (it's a gorgeous plum color! Cannot wait to wear it!) and 2 packets of Baby Lips for 1.99 each instead of 2.99 (or 3+ everywhere else!). Ethan got a Coke. *face/palm* I can't fault the kid for wanting something other than water. I had only had my tea up until that point...
As we were headed home, I took a quick detour by the Kroger in town. It's one of the best Kroger stores and has a great health food section, but I couldn't find much of anything snacky to eat there either. Instead I ended up with some Brazil nuts and 2 packages of pre-sliced watermelon. That was my "cake" or sweet for the day - watermelon. (Well, that an an Asian pear last night with some almond butter. It was my birthday! I splurged! ;) )
A quick stop by Rite-Aid to pick up some prescriptions and some face cleanser and makeup (more sales and coupons!) was last on our list before home.
At home, Hubs cooked dinner for me just as he promised he would. He took me shopping the day before so I could pick out and describe to him what he could and could not use. He whipped up some steak strips with onions and mushrooms in the wok with some Olive Oil and steak seasoning. It was absolutely wonderful! And he tossed a bag of those Steamfresh veggies in the micro for a side. I told him his steak was better than the restaurants (it was a really good cut of meat!).
So, see...I survived my birthday without cake. I didn't even blow out a candle (okay, I regret that a bit...should have put a candle in my watermelon), but I did make a wish that the stress would be worth it. And I woke up today with less pain than I have had in a very long time. I win!
Ready for some photo fun?
Birthday nails! :)
Julep in Michelle (navy) and Sally Hansen Smooth & Perfect in Sea (whitish)
Headed out for the day. The eye makeup I got complimented on at Ulta. *big grin* It's a Wizard of Oz themed palette and I now love it! :)
Waiting at the doctor's office...for an HOUR before seeing the doctor. Then off to the hospital for an x-ray, for which he had to be admitted first as a technicality. It was a strange situation and I feel like I got duped out of 50 bucks. *sigh* Ah-well...if it makes my boy better...
Before and after brows. I really like them!
Hand swatches from Ulta shopping. I'm looking for the perfect red and I think I may have found it. BTW - those top right two...they are Liquid Lipsticks from Stila. They stayed there ALL day even after scrubbing with soap and water 4 times! If you want staying power, I can tell you where to find it. ;)
My many steaks. *lol* Don't worry...I'm having chicken for dinner tonight! ;)
At day's end. I'm 32 now and I'm feeling pretty alright about it. I think I might actually look younger this year than I did last year because I'm taking better care of my skin and because I'm eating well. Of course, there are a few trouble spots with wrinkles...like that spot above my nose between my brows. Ah-well...I can hide that well with makeup. ;)
On to day 9. Going to get some work done and see how tired I get throughout the day. Still experiencing some lulls and I'm hoping they go away...but it might be more the nature of the work I do and how I feel about it than it is anything else.
Oh, and I have an interview tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Monday, January 07, 2013
Check the vlogs:
Day 4 wasn't too awful bad. I was hungry something awful because the lunch I thought I had in the fridge was more snack size, so Hubs and I stopped at the market on the way home where I picked up some nuts, grapes, and a pound of ground buffalo. (Was trying to get some WV-raised ground lamb but they were out. *pouts*)
I made yet another soup. This one had ground beef, ground pork, roasted garlic chicken sausage, tomatoes, carrots and mushrooms.
Of course then someone pointed out to me that stewed tomatoes and Rotel (what I had left in the pantry) probably had sugar in them. Can't verify, but I'm about 99.9% sure they're right. *sigh* I honestly never thought to check. Trying to be more vigilant about that now.
Day 5 was a little more difficult and I was a little more cranky. I overslept a bit and then had to rush a bit to get everyone ready to go out the door to meet my mom in Jackson, OH...at a Bob Evans. *bites nails* Honestly, the worst part about Whole30 (but the fact that we are currently strapped for cash means this is also a good thing) is eating out is SCARY. You can only control so much when you're eating out. There are no ingredient labels and you have no clue if the guy in the back with the hairnet just cooked your lovely salmon filet in a pound of butter. You can ask some of the good waitresses and waiters for help, but we didn't have one of those that day. :/
So what did I do? One egg, over medium, 2 sausage links (edit: 3...I stole one of Logan's but he had a HUGE breakfast AND I gave him my biscuit AND he ate the rest of his father's sausage gravy. Seriously, having a 13-year-old boy is enough to make any woman go broke!) and a fruit cup (which to BE means a bunch of cantelope - which I hate - and a few grapes and pineapple slices). It was hard, I'm not going to lie. I was surrounded by all the things I love - pancakes, home fries (I actually tried to steal one of these from Hubs...it's a grey area to me...but I actually spit it out because it tasted like there was ant spray on it! EW! I made the girl take it back and bring something else for Hubs because him with food poisoning = hell for me! ;) ), chicken pot pie, banana bread, biscuits, sausage gravy. There was one point when Ethan turned to me and said, "My hot chocolate tastes watery. Mom, will you try this and tell me if you think it tastes watery?" I was surprised I didn't miss a beat and said, "Honey, I can't try that. Not even a sip." He looked at me confused and "sugar" was all I had to say to make him understand.
Slaying the sugar demon is HARD, guys. Super hard. I sure hope it's friggin' worth it!
For dinner we had our buffalo/bison burgers with homemade mayo. Secret? Homemade mayo is better than anything store bought. No lie. It's easy to make and tastes great and the only ingredients are eggs, red wine vinegar (or lemon juice), olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper. I don't have to worry about anything when I eat this because I know it's "safe". I also use it to make all of my salad dressings. The one I whipped up the other day? I just threw an avocado and a bit of water (as a thinner) into the food processor with some of the mayo and made Avacado Dream Dressing. (That's what I call it.) Tossed in a bit of basil for kicks. YUM! (That's what's on my salad.)
Before heading home to cook our burgers, though, I had to stop by the store for tomatoes and pickles. I can eat a burger without a bun, but without pickles? You have GOT to be kidding me! ;) Would you know that the first jar I picked up of Vlassic pickles had HFCS in it?! Can you friggin' believe it!? There is NO reason to put sugar in regular pickles. It should be cucumbers, vinegar, and spices. Done and done. Maybe something to make them last longer on the shelf, but NEVER sugar! EW! Maybe this is why I've never really cared for Vlassic pickles...
Day 6 was difficult too because we ended up eating out again. *sigh* It was honestly unavoidable. We had taken my MIL to the craft store in Charleston (I was looking for yarn, she was looking for beads) and we ended up spending so long at store #1 that we were all hungry after. Honestly, I would've been fine just pushing through until I could find (1) some nuts or (2) some fruit or (3) a way back home, but they all wanted to eat and we ended up at Wendy's.
What did I end up with? Their cobb salad without cheese, tomatoes or dressing. So basically - lettuce, egg, bacon, grilled chicken. You remember how I said you can ask your waiter/waitress to help you but the girl at BE wasn't helpful? Well the girl at the register at Wendy's totally was. We talked about how the chicken was prepared and she assured me there was no glaze on it. She said they would make my salad fresh to order without any cheese, no problem. And she let me look at their dressing packets (she was interested as well) and we discovered, yes...they all have sugar in them. When I handed them back to her and said, "That's alright, I'll just eat it plain." She looked at me in shock and said, "You can DO that?!" *lol* I hope I inspired her to not settle when eating healthy is concerned. The salad wasn't that bad, but I do wish I had something on it. Lettuce by itself just isn't my favorite thing...sorry! ;)
I made another soup for dinner. We had a turkey that had almost been picked clean. I picked the rest of it and stuck it in a pot with some carrots, onions, peppers, and andouille chicken sausage from TJ's. I also threw in a batch of home canned tomatoes from my MIL, who was also shocked to learn that there is sugar in anything cooked for you by a company that is canning things. Stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with seasonings, AND canned beets - all had sugar in them in some form or another. Fun, right? She handed me some she had canned and said, "Well at least we know there is no sugar in these!"
And then I found out there was evaporated cane juice in my chicken sausage.
Son of a nutcracker!? #(*&$*(&!#(!!!
Again, doing the best I can. Still, this spicy turkey soup was the best so far and I brought a bowl of it for lunch today.
I never intended to make so much soup on this Whole30 round...it just happened. Soup is quick and easy and filling and tastes super good. I put everything in a pot, bring it to a soft boil, and then lower it to simmer and leave it for about 30 minutes. Boom! Soup! And I've been using mostly Herbs de Provence in all our soups. I added a bit of cayenne to the turkey soup last night and it was just spicy enough to give you a tiny kick in the behind. All in all, the one thing I don't have to complain about on Whole30 is the quality of food I'm eating. Would I love to fall back on a slice of pizza or a bagel in the morning? Sure. But that's not because the food I'm eating isn't good. In fact, I'm eating quite well and nobody in my family is complaining (except Ethan...he hates peppers, onions and tomatoes and won't eat hardly anything I make, so he's doing the Whole30 PB&J challenge. I told him upfront I was NOT making two dinners and would not cook anything I couldn't eat, like rice or toast.)
Day 7 today. If I make it through I can officially say it has been 1 week.
How am I feeling? Meh. Alright I guess. Still getting a bit tired, but I think that might be my fault. Hubs remarked this morning that I got up earlier than normal (though we were still running late... *lol*). I'm walking taller...I did notice that. I think I might be a tiny bit smaller as well, but that could just be my mind making things up it wants to see.
I forgot to take a before picture when I started. *shrug* I don't want to focus that hard on it. I'm doing the vlogs and maybe we'll see some transformation there, but otherwise I know my weight and BF % and we'll use that as a measure of the weight loss stuff when this is all over. I think the only reason this is working this time is because it is NOT about losing weight for me. It's about slaying the sugar demon and regaining control over what I eat. Sometimes I feel like a slave to sugar, and is it any wonder with all the places they sneak it into our food? (Tomatoes and pickles, people!) If I could give anyone a "lesson" from thus far in the game. Don't assume anything - read a label.
One final note. Tomorrow is my birthday. I'm stressing a bit over that. Hubs is saying he'll cook me a steak, which he'll ruin if he cooks it (he doesn't believe in steak cooked any way other than charbroiled and chewy as all get out - and then he slathers it in steak sauce). Me? I want it with juices running out because THAT is my steak sauce...and I want grilled mushrooms and onions on it. I have a feeling I'm cooking tomorrow. *sigh* And no cake. Still not sure how I feel about that.
Happy day 7 everyone! (If you started NY Resolutions or January goals on day 1, you're with me in your progress. How are you doing one week in?)
Friday, January 04, 2013
The Photo Recap:
I managed to put on makeup and do my hair...kinda.
I had a lot of troubles focusing on...squirrel!
I had stomach cramps all damn day. Thank goodness they're gone now!
I couldn't stomach lunch, but did manage dinner and an Asian pear.
Best Asian pear ever.
Best 'throw together' dinner ever - even with lettuce as a base.
And I got to use up some of the lettuce we bought as filler food.
On to day 4.
I don't quite feel like I want to "KILL ALL THE THINGS!"
That might come later.
Felt pretty good this morning...but starting to get sleepy. Hrm...
And I'm stressing a little more about the lack of "whatever I want comfort food" on my birthday on Tuesday. :/ I'll get over it. I have to! No money anyhow since Hubs' latest check has vanished. *sigh*
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