Sunday, May 29, 2011
Weight Last Week: 319.2
Weight This Week: 316.6
Total Loss: -2.6 pounds
So how was I successful this week? I gave in and gave up.
Thursday was a rough day. It started out great. I was on a weeklong cycle of just pushing myself, trying to beat my perfections of the previous day. I failed more often then not, but I just kept getting up and trying again. It wasn't going well. I stuck to my diet mentality most of the week, and while I'd do pretty well during the day, at night I would fall apart. I wasn't seeing the results I wanted. The scale is a cruel beast sometimes. Thursday night, I had a binge. I hated myself. I hated the diet. I hated that feeling that everyone around me had it so much easier than I did. I didn't care anymore - I just wanted to drown myself with every "bad" food I had been restricting all week...all month....for almost a year.
Friday, I woke up and said I didn't effin' care anymore. Nothing was working, so why should I try? My weight had shot up again and I felt like killing myself in the gym wasn't worth it anymore. I had lost 1/4 of an inch in my neck and was more than depressed that of all the places I wanted to lose inches, my neck wasn't really my top concern. Don't get me wrong, I was loving that I no longer had that hump of back fat. My shoulders and the back of my neck were more firm. I wasn't able to pinch large globs of fat from that area anymore. Hubs even commented on how great my neck/shoulders looked from behind as he planted a gentle kiss there. Sweet, but annoying at the same time because all I could do was look down at my huge belly and think, "So when are YOU going to go away?!"
As our last Friday together sans kids (I don't work Fridays and he works at home, so when school is in session, we get blissful free babysitting from the public school system), I decided we needed to do something. We'd all gotten up early to take my oldest to the school for his field trip to King's Island, and then mulled over the idea of going ourselves. Problem was, Hubs hadn't slept. In an effort to restructure his schedule again (used to be the job he does at home works best when we starts around noon and works late into the night, but he's making a change that will require him to get up around 7am), he had pulled an all-nighter and planned on not sleeping except for a small nap sometime during the day. We chose not to go to King's Island. I knew he'd crash after being there for an hour and would be miserable, and I didn't want him to be miserable because it would shrink the amount of fun I could have. (And he noted again that I worry too much about how others around me are feeling and how that affects my moods.)
Instead, we shipped our youngest off to school on the bus and then Hubs and I looked for local day trips we could take. It was our last chance for an adult field trip before summer starts. We settled on visiting Blenko Glass Factory, a factory here in WV that still actually mouth-blows the pretty glass creations they make. It was about an hour and 20 minutes away, so we set off with the intention of visiting the factory and then having an amazing lunch at this great Mexican restaurant that my co-workers had turned me on to during a client visit a few months back.
The glass factory was fun, except for the fact that we arrived at the same time as a group of school children. (So much for an adult field trip! *lol*) Still, I got really interested in watching the process. I've always been fascinated by taking a glob of red, glowing glass, and then using one's own air to blow and mold it into a beautiful piece of glass work. After we had seen all we had wanted to see, we dodged the kids and stood back as they filed out and onto the bus. (Yes, we made a concerted effort to ditch the kids! *lol*) We walked around the factory show room and eyed various pieces we would have loved to have purchased if we had globs of disposable income in our various bank accounts. Finally, we left and headed to the Mexican restaurant across the street. We were hungry and I was excited to show him this little hole-in-the-wall place that makes the most authentic food I've been able to find this way north of Arizona.
We arrived 4 minutes before the place opened. Hubs looked at me and said, "Okay, so what do we do until then?" I glanced down the way and saw that the antique store a few doors down was open. "Let's go antiquing!" I said. *lol* Let me just say that we are not the "antiquing" type. Mostly, I just see the stuff as old. The only "old" things that would interest me are books - first editions or signed copies - or furniture - just because I know how much better things were built and the craftsmanship that has diminished as soon as the fast-food culture took on a burst of activity. Sure, I found some old books, but no first editions or signed copies of anything I was really interested in. And Hubs and I aren't in a place right now to purchase new furniture. We just basically killed time looking through things, as I kept an eye out for hidden pieces of my mom's china collection.
It turned into a bit of a giggle fest as we kept each other laughing with jokes. The place was full of hidden holes and nooks and crannies. (If you were a serious antiquing enthusiast, it would take you forever to make sure you didn't miss a hidden gem.) It looked like part of the old building used to be a house at one point. One of those old houses with tiny hallways and small rooms. As I walked down one corner, down a hallway and took a turn I was faced with an bathroom. For some strange reason they had put peanut packing pieces in the tub along with little baby dolls. My heart stopped. It looked like something you would find in a haunted house. There was a huge doll of an old black maid or something in the corner, smiling, with all these babies "drowning" in the tub. I jumped, and then laughed at myself as I tried to catch my breath and then rushed off to find Hubs. "I've got one more thing I want to show you before we leave." I explained that it was a tight squeeze through the hallway, so I was going to let him go ahead alone. I stayed back and just watched his expression as he rounded the same corner I had, went to take a step in the room and then jumped back. *LMAO* "Good," I said between fits of laughter. "I thought I was the only one who would take it that way." We laughed about it as we rushed out of the horror house...err, I mean antique store, and down to the Mexican restaurant for a pleasant lunch.
I looked at the menu without thinking about "healthy" choices. I picked what I wanted, ate until I was full, tried a bite or two more and then looked at him and said, "Okay...it's sad that I can't finish it because it is SO good, but I'm done." He was done soon too. (Though he totally ate everything on his plate! *lol*) I have to say that this place is a wonderful gem of a place. One of Hubs and I's favorite shows to watch is Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network. We love finding little places where the food is amazing and the service is great. This is one of those places. The salsa, you can tell, is made fresh. Hubs looked down and said, "There are bits of grass in here!" *lol* It was fresh spices, and the freshness can be seen in that the spices haven't broken down by sitting around forever. NOM!
After our adventure, he was exhausted. I drove to get myself a tea, bought myself a brownie at the decadent little hole in the wall bakery down the street from my work (another place that could fit on DDD). Coconut Isle tea with a splash of milk and one Splenda = YUM!. Add a huge brownie with chunks of chocolate pieces in it and you've got the makings of a perfect dessert. I pulled off a couple bites of brownie and then put the rest away, overwhelmed by how sweet it was.
After Ethan got home from school later, I gave him the brownie and he devoured it as only a kid can. *lol* We then set off to play tennis at the park...but the first stop was to be a visit with the exercise physiologist at the gym for our monthly meeting.
She asked how I was doing. I shrugged. "Let's get you on the scale, then we'll see how you're doing." HA! The scale? Yeah, he's going to say I suck major butt and haven't lost much weight at all for the entire year. She told me that last month I had weighed 323 pounds. I laughed to myself as she said "let's see how much you've lost" and then quickly shut up when she saw 323 on the scale appear. I almost snorted. "See?" I told myself. "All my work has been for naught. Same weight as last month." She tried to find something to say to encourage me. "Well, you didn't gain anything," she said, hopeful. "That's good." It's not good, I thought. This sucks. Then she looked at the print-out to see what else, if anything, had changed.
Imagine my surprise (and hers) when we realized that my fat mass had gone down, my fat-free mass had gone up, and my body fat % had shrunk from 51% to 49%. The previous month I had weighed the same, but had been fatter. Still, these numbers didn't do much to encourage me. "The weight on the scale doesn't matter," she told me. I interrupted her. "It DOES matter. I'm not saying that because I'm fat I have it harder than anyone else. All I mean to say is that the number on the scale determines what I can do. When the scale keeps saying 320 pounds over and over and over again, it just shows me that my life is still limited. There are things I can't do because of weight limits just because of that number on the scale." She nodded like she understood and then told me that she couldn't help me if I didn't bring my food logs in.
Whatever, I wasn't interested. I know how to eat right and how to not eat right. I explained to her that when I was PERFECT on all my low-end ranges, there was a possibility of me losing pounds, but it never lasted, and soon it shot up again. I told her that I had had a horrible binge session the night before, one the likes that I hadn't seen in almost a year and she reminded me that part of what was showing in that 323 pounds was that binge. I nodded. I know. I insisted once again that things weren't changing or getting better because my weight hadn't moved, and she tried to pull out my old print-outs to show me I was wrong...until she saw that I've been in the 320s since February. I smirked. See?! Listen to me. I've been fighting the 320s this entire year. I'm tired. I'm sick and tired of this BS, of never moving forward. Sure, it's great that my fat-free mass is getting bigger and my fat mass is going down, but that only means that my goal weight actually goes up...and each time it does I think, "So I'll always be the fat girl!" She finally looked at me and said, "This is the month, Esther. I can feel it. You're going to be in the teens next month." I shrugged and said, simply, "We'll see."
I was glad when it was finally over and Ethan and I could go out and enjoy the sunshine at the park. He and I rarely get time to spend just the two of us, and he rarely gets time to play tennis considering we only have 2 rackets right now and so the kids only get to play when either Hubs or I get tired and switch out with them. We spent 30 minutes to an hour at the park. I don't know because I didn't time it. I didn't want the pressure of doing a workout, I just wanted to live my life. We bought Long John Silver's to take home to Hubs and I ate that until I was full and then quit.
Saturday morning, I got up early. I ate breakfast like I usually do - 1/2 a bagel with 1 Tbsp. of natural peanut butter. I had a cup of coffee and then decided I was ready for my run. I went and got dressed and Ethan looked up and said, "Where are you going?" Logan was still asleep as his bus from King's Island hadn't made it in until 11pm and he stayed up another hour or so relaying the days events to Hubs and I. Hubs was still asleep as well - not unusual on any given day. (I'm not so sure how well this "resetting his clock" thing is working! *lol*) "I'm going for a run" I told Ethan. "Where?" he asked, with false innocence. *lol* I told him that I had planned to go the gym to run on the TM, but that if he wanted to run as well (he's trying to start conditioning for football), then we could go to the HS track instead. He put on his shoes and we were off.
My goal was simple - try to run 1/2 a mile. I walked one lap around the track and then took off jogging. The first 1/2 a lap was easy and felt good...and then it started to get hard. When I wound around the first loop, I thought to myself, "Please let me have this today, body. PLEASE!" I talked myself into every step, around each corner, and told myself that I would feel much better when it was done. My legs felt heavy and tired. I felt heavy and tired, but I kept going, envisioning the race course for the 5k I want to do in August in my head (Debbie Green 5k, the first 5k I ever did). I was coming down the big hill, I was winding left around the big corner where I first noticed my blister last year, I was making another corner and there was the race organizer telling me what a good job I was doing, calling out the time, cheering us on, thanking us for coming, I turned right and continued on, past the house where the lady who cheered for just me had been sitting and I finished the second lap for her and for me and for every fat girl that thought they couldn't run. When it was over, I breathed heavily. Ethan brought me my water bottle as I continued to walk. I took long gulps of water and tried to recover. When that walking lap was over, I went for another jogging lap, thinking - just one more lap...I can do this. I couldn't do it. I did a little over 1/2 a lap and then needed to start walking again, but I didn't let that get me down. "Next time, I've got that lap too!" I told myself. This was a time for improvements, not for beating myself up. There was no time limit to beat and no one was watching to see how I would do. I walked the last lap and then stopped at Ethan's request.
As we walked out into the middle of the field to stretch out after our run (I had made him do some sprints as what he really needs to work on are bursts of quick speed to chase down a running back), I noticed a football on the field. I looked around. Who put that there? I hadn't noticed it before. I hoped whoever it was wouldn't mind as I picked it up and Ethan and I spent about 15 minutes tossing it back and forth, working on his throwing and catching. I made him run a route, and then he made me run two! *lol* I got the brilliant idea to have him lead me through his football warm-ups, thinking most of them would be good stretches for after a run. I hadn't expected that he would say, "Okay, 10 push-ups." I did them as he counted them off. Full-on push-ups, not the modified ones I'd done all my life. "Wow!" I told myself. "The scale doesn't know it all does it? You're strong!" Then Ethan said 2 words that I thought might lead me to strangle him. "Okay," he said with a sigh. "Sit ups." Huh? Not crunches - full on sit ups. I watched him do one and then realized I had to try. "Let's just do 7," he said. *lol* There's my boy! *lol* I did my 7 sit-ups with amazement. I was stronger. My core was responding. I stretched out and I went home happy to have accomplished my goal.
I can now run for 1/2 a mile without stopping. 3/4 of a mile...I'm coming for you!
Later we loaded up the car and headed out to the Moonshine Festival in New Straitsville, OH. I had packed our little cooler with PB&Js for everyone as well as a few snacks, a few cans of pop and some water bottles. Not much to note about the festival. We never found our friends and couldn't call them because there's no cell coverage in the boonies. It was boring. Ethan rode some carnival rides and we all shared a bucket of fries (I actually didn't eat very many because they weren't all that great) and then we headed back home. Hubs and Ethan's tummies were upset and I wondered if the bad food I had let my family eat the past few days was affecting them more than me. Why was my stomach a garbage disposal that didn't much care if the food was healthy or not...while theirs was affected by the change? *sigh* Fat girl, party of one!
We drove home and I slept on the ride. It felt great to take a summer afternoon nap. When we got home, I worked on my coupon binder and watched Gnomeo & Juliet with the boys. Hubs washed the car. Then we headed off to Bob Evans. We were hungry, but wanted something light. I had a side salad and then ordered 1/2 a chicken sandwich and a cup of tomato basil soup. The soup was gross. I had about 3 bites. it tasted sour almost and they were stupid enough to screw up a good thing by adding cheese and croutons on top. They screwed up the chicken salad too, by putting it on heavily buttered and toasted bread. I begrudgingly ate it, really wanting some slices of wheat bread instead but not wanting to be a PITA. At least the chicken salad there is good.
So how did I lose 2.6 pounds this week? Well, I gave up. I gave up my diet mentality and went back to my intuitive eating. I let myself slide. I didn't care anymore about fitness minutes and calories counted. I just did what I thought was best and figured the results would be what they were - whatever. All this pushing myself hasn't gotten me very far and all I really want is to stop being so hard on myself all the time. So I gave in to my ideals of fun and life. I indulged when I wanted, I ate some "bad" things, but stopped when I was full. I don't know how many calories I consumed (I don't even really remember the Thursday binge) and I don't really care.
I'm tired. Tired of pushing myself to exhaustion. I want to live my life now, not wait until I'm skinny to do it because, honestly, I don't know if I ever will be. I have to learn to love who I am and my body - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I want to fight for the things that matter to me most - spending quality time with my family and running a mile without stopping. I don't want to beat myself up because the scale is a stupid jerk who just doesn't get it.
I'm not saying that eating battered-fried fish and french fries will help you lose weight. All I'm saying is, I needed to back off. I think I still need that. I've pushed for a year and I'm exhausted. I want to enjoy my life, not constantly berate myself for whatever I did and didn't do. So for at least a little while, it's about living, not dieting, not numbers on the scale. Sure, I'd love for them to go down, but I'm more excited about my mileage increasing. I'm more excited about being able to do push-ups without modification. I'm more excited about my flexibility and stamina increasing.
It's time to let go of the negative and work on the positives. And if that means that the scale wants to throw me back into 320 land...so be it. I'm ready to have a little fun and go buck-wild...it's just my definition of that has changed a bit.
Today, I hope to play outside again. I'm thinking a trip to the lake is in order because, really, I can no longer envision a Memorial Day weekend without a good swim (and I'm not all that crazy about crowded pools). I also need to work on the garden because I cannot WAIT for fresh bell peppers and tomatoes to put in my new array of homemade dishes. So between today and tomorrow, that's what my plan looks like. No calorie counts. No "don't eat this" rules. Just "Go - Do - Have fun!"
Have a great holiday weekend, y'all.
Total pounds lost with SP: 99.6
Total pounds lost from highest: 150 pounds*
Yes, I realize that now, but now is not the time for "Yay! I did it!" blogs. Now is the time to go have a life. Leave a message at the beep - I'm off living for today.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Got you there, didn't I? When have I ever had nothing to say?
*turns and tells Hubs to STFU*
I am sore today. Still.
Sunday was coupon madness (saved 39% on my grocery bill!). I took the boys to breakfast at Shoney's and didn't feel guilty about it. The problem, I think, comes in my reaction after. I was full...for like ever. More than full, I was distracted. So sometimes weekends mean binges, and some times I act more like an anorexic on autopilot. I get busy, I get distracted, I ignore my body. I know that isn't good and I'm starting to recognize how consistency is important. (BTW - I managed to do quite well at Shoney's. Had my eggs and hashbrowns and a slice of sausage. Ate a few bites of pancake and then I was done and I was good with that. I didn't feel like I needed to eat more just because of the cost of the buffet or because it was there. ...I wonder if it's because the kids were there but not Hubs...)
Monday was running day #1. I know I only promised to run once a week, but I can't help myself if I feel it. I ran on my lunch break and didn't run that far. I wanted to run at least 1/4 mile again, but I couldn't do it because of the hill I mysteriously landed on on my first running segment.
For the record, I abandoned C25k because it wasn't working for me. I fight with myself. I hate myself when I can't do what others can do. I feel like I've failed it twice. Don't try to tell me that you can't fail it - in my mind I can. So this time I'm trying this on my terms. The plan is to work my way up to 1 mile, then farther, by starting with 1/4 mile segments. I've finally reached 1/4 mile (and went a little over, actually) so I'm working toward a straight 1/2 mile run. And I don't mean I hop on a treadmill, run 1/2 a mile and then hop off. I mean I hop on the treadmill and warm-up until I feel ready (usually 3-6 minutes) and then I take off at an easy 4.4 pace and try to get my distance in before I feel like I need to stop running and walk again. If I feel up to another running segment later, I go back to it without worrying about distance but noting it for later. I usually do at least a mile total, but at least 1/4-1/2 of it running. I know a mile doesn't seem like a lot, but I'm trying to work my way back slowly. I don't want to end a run being angry or upset. I want the flying feeling and then I want to stop on the high. I still challenge myself, but I'm not going to push past my capability.
I also completed day 1 of the Rachel-Mac 4-day lifting workout - back and biceps. I felt strong and fit and ready to take on the world.
I went home and put on some water to boil. Once boiling, I added in some whole wheat linguine, cooked that for 4 minutes, added some chopped broccoli in the pasta water and let that cook for another 3-4 minutes. After it drained, I added a touch of olive oil to a skillet, added in my pasta and broccoli, as well as some frozen peas I had thawed out. I added pepper and a dash of salt and cooked it up a touch more with some Ragu light alfredo sauce. It was still a little bland (needs more pepper) but was a good, healthy meal - and filling too! Everyone enjoyed it and this will definately become a standby.
It was also the ONE day this week that I stuck to my eating plan exactly. I stuck a HUGE sticker on my calendar for Monday because I was so on task all day.
Tuesday I was sore throughout my arms and legs. I took about 20 minutes before lunch to do some yoga in my office. I'm getting closer to getting the dancer pose down, as well as this:
Advanced Downward Dog
I also did day 2 of the Rachel-Mac 4-day lifting workout - chest and triceps. Hubs was with me this day at the gym and he was even falling behind. I felt weak and unable to lift hardly anything from the soreness from the day before. After our workout, I got on the elliptical trying to get 30 minutes in. I did 10...and I barely got those out. I was SO exhausted.
My eating plan went down the crapper at dinner when we went to Carloni's and I had 1/2 a meatball sub, some handcut french fries, and a few slices of garlic cheese bread.
Wednesday (yesterday) I felt I had EARNED my rest day. Yes, I hadn't been great on my eating, but my body was SO sore and I needed my bath. I never got it. Instead, I went home and made baked chicken and vegetables (red potatoes, red pepper, yellow pepper, onions and garlic) with lemon pepper spices and (too much) salt (I discovered the too much later...:/).
Let me first say that when I got home I did NOT want to cook. First of all, it was hot and humid yesterday. We have no central A/C and are going the open-window route right now, so whenever we fire up the stove/oven the temperature inside our little home rises considerably. I warned everyone and they said okay and I cooked - thinking the whole time how much nicer it would be to sit in the A/C of a restaurant, wishing I had Chinese food in front of me, and all in all pouting about this gorgeous, healthy meal I was making, but still proud of myself for knowing how to make something like this now without a recipe. I call this a victory. I wanted to cop out, but I didn't. I stuck to the plan.
On the other hand, our oven is slow. Like SUPER slow. I think our oven was born in the 60's and it doesn't heat up like it's supposed to. Give me any recipe and I'll ignore the cooking temperature and turn my oven up to 550 to preheat (and likely to cook as well). Thankfully, I have one of the best noses I know and I can smell when food is almost done, done, and burning, so I generally tend to catch things even though cooking temperatures and times mean NOTHING to my oven. So I knew these large split chicken breasts were going to take a while to cook, and I was already really hungry since my snacks had been small all day (I ran out of yogurt and Luna bars - my go-tos for snacks *pouts*). So, stupid me, I sat down after dinner was in the oven and gave my growling stomach the first thing I found in the fridge that would cook quickly - a brat...on a bun...with ketchup. *face/palm*
And when dinner came out some hour and a half to two hours later...I ate it. *face/palm* Instead of toning down my portion, I just ate it. And followed it with most of a large dark chocolate Dove bar I had stashed in the fridge. I had eaten my portion, had a few chunks more, and then put it away, but somehow it ended up back in my hand as I watched The Goonies with my boys and drank a Cherry Coke Zero.
So, yeah, there were ups and downs there. I went to bed around midnight, instead of my scheduled 10:30pm.
Today? I woke up still sore in my shoulders, which sucks because tonight is day 3 of the lifting program - shoulders and abs. *face/palm* I'm hoping to still try and see if I can squeak out any sort of lifting tonight. I know that it hurts right now because this is new to me. I've been doing the program for 2 weeks, but I haven't followed all 4 days until this week. I need to get one week under my belt and show my muscles what they have in store because, as far as I've been able to tell, this is a pretty good routine for me. It works the muscles I need to work right now and I can already see changes from my half-hearted attempts in the past 2 weeks. (Hubs says my neck looks INCREDIBLE! *lol* Damn me for losing weight in my NECK right now... *runs off to measure*....yep, down 1/4 of an inch on my neck. *lol*)
I've logged my food for today, and even though I'm sitting here craving things like chicken salad and sushi, I know that I have leftover pasta from Monday in the fridge here at work. I'll eat that in a bit for lunch and then go from there. I went over my calories (by like 300! EEK!) yesterday, but I hope to stay on task today.
As for my workout? I might do a little warm-up if I get ready before Zumba starts, then I'm going to try to stick it out through the entire hour of Zumba, but if I can only do 1/2 hour tonight I'll be okay with that. (Just no wimping out for the sake of doing it!) I have to remember to take it easy and come back slow! I'll follow that with the shoulders and abs lifting routine (I know, at least, that I certainly need the ab work right now -- I've been sorely lacking on that as of late.) And then a good long stretching segment before returning home...where I hope to have already convinced Hubs to make Tuna Helper and some of our stash of frozen veggies for dinner. I need to not be thinking about it tonight. I need to have it not left up to me because I fear I'll end up at the Mexican joint. (My cravings are weird!)
And because too often I complain about what's wrong (which I do to get them out and discover my problems in the hopes of solving them), here is my top 10 list of things I love today:
1) Sunshine and warmth! I nearly got a contact burn from the pole outside I leaned against on my break. LOVE you sun!
2) Thursdays that are really my Fridays!
3) Getting work done! I'm a MACHINE at work! :)
4) Knowing that my little one is just one block down from me right now and the only thing stopping me from going over to cover him in kisses is knowing I'd have to pay to get into the place and I don't know if I'd find him in there. (I'll make up for it with kisses tonight!)
5) Looking forward to long weekends! While most people get a 3-day weekend, I get a 4-day one! I'll pay for it next week when I only get 2 days for my weekend, but I'm happy to have this mini-vacation time.
6) Garden planting. I really hope to get that done this LONG weekend!
7) Young Fiction books and audio books. Seriously, I'm realizing how much I like this genre, which makes sense that this is the genre would be of my first story (only partly written right now...needs filling out like MAD!). In my car right now is Eric Rex: The Search for the Truth by Kaza Kingsley (which was on clearance at Borders!).
8) My neck, shoulders and eyes. Seriously, I keep looking at myself going, "Not bad, baby girl. Not bad at all!" *wink wink*
9) Coupons! HA! I want to go buy some things cheap this weekend too. I gotta find all the great deals (I think I might go back to the store tomorrow to try to pick up another box of cheap hair color).
10) Cheap hair color! I got a light strawberry blonde color for 1.06 at the store Sunday, so this weekend I'm recruiting Hubs to help me color my hair, and I'm hoping that it doesn't turn my hair bright orange! *LOL* (If it does, I have a backup box of Auburn color - my natural color - under the sink and a stylist I love that can probably squeeze me in for a repair job.)
This weekend, the plan is:
* plant garden
* enjoy days off
* take a road trip (Saturday we're thinking of meeting friends at the Moonshine Festival in New Straitsville, OH)
* swimming!! (MUST put that ridiculously expensive swimsuit to use this weekend at a pool or the lake!)
* pray it doesn't rain! *lol*
* and RUN! (Saturday morning is the plan right now...praying for my 1/2 mile or at least .40 mile!)
See, I don't have ANYTHING to say.
You've all made me speechless! *snort*
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
An old Spark Friend just returned from a long hiatus and has been emailing me to reconnect. She asked me how I had been doing and, for some reason, I let my heart pour out to her. I'm including some of that message below.
Me? Not much. I got a promotion in February but things were pretty much the same for a while. Work has been both exciting and exhaustingly dull. I go from having a ton to do to having nothing to do with myself for 10 hours a day. I try to fill my time with fitness motivation, plans for my week, couponing, and workouts at my desk (when I can). I take walk on my lunch breaks or sit and read in the sun so I can pretend I'm not locked inside here 10 hours a day. I never realized how incredibly dull it would all be after the business of school + work + part-time job ended.
* It's true. For the past few days I've had nothing to do as I had finished my work and was waiting on responses to come back. My idle mind is not the best thing in the world. Somehow I work better when I'm busy and cannot think about all the things in the world that are bothering me. It's seriously immobilizing to be sitting here, staring at the walls and thinking, "So what shall I think about today?" because then the flood gates open and I allow myself every irritation I've been denying to surface. I must sound like a whiny brat lately from all the complaining I've done about general life, circumstances and every damn thing under the sun. Sorry for those who've had to suffer through that with me, btw.
I gave up my part-time position at the paper. It was getting to be too much - 15 hour days twice a month were starting to really take its toll. Plus, no matter how many full-time positions I put my name in for, they continually hired around me - turns out they don't really like to take on stringers full-time. It killed my self-esteem because even though I was getting kudos on my reporting and writing from my editor and other staff, I felt like I was expendable. So I expended myself. Sometimes I miss it, but mostly I feel glad to have my life back. I can't say whether it was the right decision professionally or not, but I never went to school to be a journalist - my love has and always will be novels, fiction, and publishing. Of course, where I live there are ZERO publishing jobs, and everything I've applied for in any state...well, let's just say I had ONE interview and I never heard back from them. I don't know if I'll ever get my dream job in publishing or travel writing. Maybe someday I'll figure out how to "make it on my own," so to speak, but right now I feel like I'm just treading water.
* I never realized how much this had left an impact on me. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I made the decision I made, and I do think it was the right one. But I'm stuck with feeling like I've abandoned all hope of ever doing what I have always wanted to do - publishing or writing. I know this is silly because a writer can write anywhere at any time (HP was written on the train, remember?), but my writer self struggles even more with feelings of inadequacy than the rest of me (which is saying something!). I don't feel like a good enough writer. I feel like I don't have enough of the tools I need, that I wouldn't even know where to start. And I know logically that this is rediculous because, even though schooling is not necessarily needed to become a writer, I have actually received a bachelor of arts degree IN Professional Writing. Someone, somewhere determined that I was good enough to receive this degree. Plus, I graduated #1 in my class in my department (English) which should indicate to me that I am more than equipped with all of the tools I need.
But when I sit down to write for real (not blogs), I feel like an imposter. "I'm not a writer!" I think. "No one will EVER read this, so why am I wasting my time."
I must get past these feelings of inadequacy, especially considering that I believe everyone in the world has at least 1 good story in them. Every single person has one thing for which they experience in a unique way and/or is the one story that only THEY can tell. Maybe I've set myself up with pressure to knock that ONE story out first, but don't most talented and best-selling writers release a lot of books before they ever find that ONE story? And don't most of them write even more that the world never even sees? One has to start somewhere, and I must find it within myself to simply start.
The boys are good. Hubs has been working out with me at the gym sometimes. It's great to have him by my side and hear him groan about DOMS (the soreness the day after) as much as I do. Misery loves company, right?! Just last night he came to the gym wearing a pair of jean shorts that he hasn't been able to wear since we got them from my step-father (who outgrew them as well). (And don't get me started on his inappropriate gym attire! *lol*) Logan is about to finish 5th grade and go onto middle school, which scares the crap out of me! *lol* He's getting to be more responsible and we're trying to give him the responsibilities he has earned. I see so much of both his father and I in him. Ethan, on the other hand, just turned nine, and while smart as a whip, he's just as emotional as his mother so some days you have to remind yourself that he's not still 5 years old. He's been taking gifted classes and will finish 3rd grade soon and move onto 4th, likely with 5th grade advanced math and reading classes. He loves to read and write like his mother and has even started by writing his first story that is longer than one paragraph. (I wrote my first story in 3rd grade too...I still remember it! :) )
* I also didn't realize that my kids growing up, while exciting me, also makes me a little sad. I still sometimes beg my little one to just sit with me a while. I take trips with just Logan sometimes and we talk to each other like friends, because I want him to know he can always tell me anything. But deep down I know that these times are fleeting - that, more than likely, they will both "hate" me at some point, think I am intruding into their lives, withdraw from me and push me out. And while I know it's all a part of growing up and a healthy part of learning to become your own person and grow into an adult - I'm so sad to think that one day, likely soon, I will begin to feel like I am not needed anymore.
Of all the inadequacies I struggle with (or the feeling of them), I have never doubted my skills as a loving mother. That's not to say that I don't fail them - I do ALL THE TIME. But that is part of being a mother. There is no real handbook, each child is different, and parenting is about a series of mistakes made and lessons learned and adapting skills from one child to the next in order to deal with the heavy stuff and mold incredible little human beings. When my oldest child was born, even though I had gotten myself knocked up and my mother and I had cried together over my disappointing her months before, in the hospital room as I was holding my little baby and somehow just KNEW what he needed and knew I would fail him and yet promised to do my best not to, my mother (the woman I most admire in my life) looked up at me and said simply, "I think you were born to do this, Esther. You were born to be a mother." And I knew she was right. It didn't happen how I wanted it to, but it happened how it was supposed to - and it has made me a different, better person. I'm scared to lose that.
As far as my weight loss, as you can tell from my page, I'm fighting my way to the 100 pound lost mark (yet again...which will be 150 pounds lost overall from my highest). That being said, it's been hard. When you start out as big as I did and then lose 150 pounds, and then you realize you need to lose about 100 more, the task seems incredibly daunting. I've been fighting this entire year for every single pound -- it's not easy anymore. I find myself going back to old ways sometimes, but most times I cheat within my boundaries (or so I think). Working out has not stopped the whole time, so while I have let myself slide on some of my eating habits here and there, the weight has either SLOWLY dropped or maintained.
I don't know if it's the daunting thought of still needing to lose 100 pounds more, or if it's a variety of other things. I still feel incredibly big and fat, even though I also feel fit, so I'm fighting a lot with trying to find a way to identify myself. Am I fit and healthy? Am I still obese and fat and disgusting? I cannot figure out what I am or how I should view myself, and I have no clue how other people view me most days. I struggle with feeling as if it's unfair that they might look at me and see "that fat girl" and not know the amount of hours I spend in the gym and the amount of time I spend sore because of it. It doesn't feel right to know that people will judge me by appearance when it doesn't match how I feel on the inside.
* Wow! Okay, well that is the most clearly stated expression of what I've been feeling lately that I've ever heard from my head. My heart is hurting and I'm confused. It's no wonder that I've slipped back into my HS mindset - I'm back to not knowing who I really am, what kind of person I am, how to identify myself, where I belong. I'm struggling to reshape myself into a different person and, just like my previous analogy of how this journey is like growing up, I've reached those confusing HS years when you don't know what's ahead of you, you have all these dreams in your hands but somehow you've already reached the understanding that most of them will drift away without ever being fulfilled. You're struggling with your childlike mind of wonder and dreams and your newly developing adult mind of realization and sobering reality -- but you're still hoping for the best. It's a difficult time. I never thought at the age of 30 I would both know who I am (emotionally, spiritually, politically) and have these solid formed ideas, and yet still struggle with figuring out where I fit and who I am (physically, emotionally, and as how I will continue to live the rest of my life is concerned).
I also struggled this year with injury. Turns out I slipped a disc in my back sometime in December or January. Every time I tried to run, I got extreme pain in the back pelvic region. I would rest it, it would heal up, and then I'd go for it again and the pain would return. I finally broke down and went to the doctor, who sent me to a physical therapist who discovered that the problem wasn't in my hips or pelvis, but the pain from my back seemed to be manifesting itself there. After a few weeks with my PT and stretches at home, I was turning in bed one night and felt a big huge POP in my back (even Hubs heard it...he still talks about how loud it was). We're hoping (about 95% sure) that it was the disc going back in place. I'm still in recovery mode, so things hurt sometimes -- like Zumba and running, ironically my two favorite things to do. I think the injury and recovery time really killed my self-esteem for a while and that might also be the cause for the stall in my weight loss. I just got cleared last week to return to running and Zumba SLOWLY, but holding back has never been my strong suit, so I'm still struggling with that.
One thing I did gain from that injury is a love for heavy lifting. I've got the best sculpted arms and shoulders that I've ever had in my life. Of course, this only adds to my insecurities and confusion because the top half of me doesn't really match the bottom half. I can walk in a Gap store and pick out a XL or XXL shirt off the rack and it fits and looks great on me. I can buy most XL stuff from Old Navy. But to buy shorts and pants, I'm still headed to the "fat" stores to pick out a size 24. Granted, coming from a 32 to a 24 is a great accomplishment, but I struggle with this horrible pear shape I'm confronting and the stomach that, while smaller, still brings most of the attention to my trouble area. Most days I try to ignore it and only look at myself in the top half of the mirror, but I fight with the feeling of wondering if this belly will EVER shrink away completely.
* I am completely proud of myself for recogizing that I struggled because of the injury - even top athletes go through this. AND I'm completely proud that I acknowledged what I had gained from this trying time. I fell in love with something else - with lifting - and that probably wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been limited in my running and Zumba. I hate to say that I needed this injury, but I guess that's partly true. And while my weight has stalled, my body fat % has decreased in the past few months regularly, and I'm gaining valuable fat-fighting muscle along the way. This road is not paved with gold. It is not paved with rocks either. It's more like cobblestones...somewhat organized, with a reasoning that is secure, but a little hard to walk on - just not impossible. You can run on cobblestones and while, if you aren't careful, you might slip in a crack and tweak an ankle, it's more secure than a rocky path that can send you tumbling. This is a balancing act -- as is recognizing the good and the bad parts of the entire journey.
So, yeah, that's me in a nutshell right now. I'm trying every day. I'm stronger, faster, and more fit than I have been my entire life. I can run (short distances right now...haven't yet hit the 1 mile mark), I can jump again, I love playing sports outside. I can't sit still from all the energy I have nowadays. But I'm struggling with both eating and my feelings that those around me who have lost 60-70- or even 100 pounds like me either look better or have reached goal weight already. I feel like I have to take this journey 3-4 times when they only need to go down the road once, and I have that whole 5 year old "IT'S NOT FAIR!" mentality sometimes. But I'm proud of what I've done and I hope that one day I'll be the greatest success story that *I* have ever known. I hope that one day I can look back and say, "I have done this amazing, incredible thing and I actually fit in with my peers" - something I haven't been able to say since the age of about 5. One day at a time, right?
* For all I've done, I still have that daunting task ahead of me, and it's sobering me to the harsh reality of just how long this will take. It's one reason I decided a while back not to say, "When I'm skinny" because I knew I would waste years not living in order to wait for that blessed day so many years down the road. Losing weight is hard for anyone. Losing 100 pounds is incredibly hard. Now imagine taking that journey several times, constantly losing, constantly fighting the demons inside, constantly trying to remind yourself that YEARS from now, not days, or months, or even a year, you will look back and say it was worth it. But for years it means being in pain or soreness, trying to find ways to push yourself and motivate yourself again and again. It's like trying to light a fire whose wood is already charred. You need new wood, new kindling, and that's what I work at every few months - trying to find something to reignite the fire within me.
I'm giving myself credit for continuing when it's hard and when results don't come like I think they should. I know the things I do wrong, but I also know that I can't live with a diet mentality for the next 2-3-5 years. I will break eventually. In order to keep going, I have to be okay with taking it slow. I have to be okay with having "bad" days now and again. I have to learn to live with every day without constantly denying myself everything I want or desire or crave. Sometimes we have to feed the immediate pleasures. It should be rare, as we should work toward diligence to feed the lifelong desires that dwell deep within us, but without a break from that due diligence now and again, each one of us is likely to crack.
It's also, likely, another reason why I always feel the need for a family 'get-away' once a year, and likely why my stress has been rising recently while facing the fact that I'm not getting that this year (unless things change in the next few days). I need to break from the hum-drum of every day life now and again to remember why the hum-drum is important. Life is a series of minutes, and the only way to get through the boring, dull, or even incredibly difficult ones, is to have the amazing, incredibly joyous ones to reflect upon in those trying times.
So, while life is stressful right now, I know a few things.
1) I can't go back. I've lost the way - and I'm happy about that! There is only forward.
2) The journey here was difficult, but I managed. And I can manage again.
3) Giving up = death. Giving up is not an option.
4) I must try to better balance the good and the bad. I must remember to mark every negative thought with a counter positive to combat the feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy that even my Sparky friends have been noting in my writing.
5) And I must not abandon my goals - be they losing weight, getting fit, running, getting healthy, or even writing and succeeding in life - just because they are difficult. I must retain hope that even if I die trying, I will know that I have tried. To have love and lost, and all that.
I can't go back again, but I can revisit what is important to me, and what has shaped me into the person I am. Maybe then I will have the focus to regain my strength and continue on.
BTW - I am not avoiding telling you that I was not perfect yesterday. I cut my elliptical time short because I was incredibly exhausted. I went home and we went to our favorite neighborhood pizza joint where I had some french fries, a couple slices of garlic cheese bread, and 1/2 of a meatball sub. I also did not do my PT stretches because my shoulders feel wooden and held together by those little stick pin claspy thingies, the little gold ones we used to put papers together with in school. I didn't even go to bed at 10, or 10:30pm like I had hoped. Instead I lamented the fact that sleeping only meant getting up and returning to work the next day and I waited until 1am to finally put myself down.
This morning was difficult, to say the least. There are DOMS like woah and a tired stupor settled over me. I have logged my food for the day and am hoping to follow through without too much trouble. Plus, I got some work in my mailbox yesterday evening so YAY! for something to do. No workout tonight. Going to either go to the park with the boys if it's nice, or simply stay home and do my home spa night - bath, pedicure, facial and manicure. And for lunch I'm walking to Subway to meet with a friend. Here's to hoping for a good day of recovery!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
"Good habits, once established, are just as hard to break as are bad habits."
- Robert Puller
First of all, good job! You challenged yourself yesterday and you discovered some things about yourself that you never knew.
1. You can now kill the stairmaster for 10 minutes (or more! ...who knows?!).
2. You can lift more weight than a lot of people you know.
3. You can tackle challenging situations like the lack of A/C in a hot, smelly, sweaty gym and the random influx of little boys (okay, teens) hogging every weight lifting equipment.
4. You can lift as much or more than many of those teen boys. *snort*
5. You CAN say "no" to your late night cravings.
Sure, many of those things you already knew, but had forgotten.
Many of those things surprised you.
So, now that you've built the solid base of one good day, what can you do to move on from here?
Again, you have options.
1) You can call it good and slack off today. You really busted your butt yesterday and were rewarded by the scale this morning. You ate in your ranges, you finished every bit of your workout (save 2-3 ST exercises you couldn't find a machine for *sigh*), you pushed through 10 whole minutes on the Stairmaster when you could previously only complete 3, you ignored late night cravings, you ran faster than you ever have, you got back out there and did the things that you know are right and it felt good. So, sure, rest and relax. You earned it!
2) You can use that one day of YOUR perfection as a solid foundation for the upcoming week, month, and year. You can use the confidence you built from doing exactly what you said you were going to do. You can remember that follow-through and all of the surprises you met and use today to see just how far you can take this thing. It's going to get hard...you know that. But, from your experience yesterday, you also know that you can make it through. Use the knowledge gained in yourself yesterday to build another wonderful day. Start a streak. Make it last. Show yourself that you are more than a one-hit wonder.
Is it any wonder what the right path is?
What reason would you have to give in and make this an easy day? You don't hurt, you aren't in any pain. You have minor soreness from pushing yourself yesterday - that's a good thing. It shows that you challenged your muscles. You aren't going to injure them by asking them to do more, you're going to stretch them out and make them stronger.
What do you even have planned for today?
Yoga at lunch? Great! You can stretch out those sore muscles and help them heal!
Day #2 of Rachel-Mac's 4 day lifting plan? Great! Working our chest and triceps will help us with our other lifting as well - and may help to conquer our challenge of losing just a tiny bit of the boobage that is spilling over.
Elliptical time? Great! It's been FOREVER since we've been able to do that one without pain.
Give up or move on?
One good day is great!
You pulled yourself out of a slump. You challenged yourself to more, and then stepped up to the challenge and blasted right past it.
But one day can never be enough to build a lifetime of good habits.
Habits take practice.
There is a U in both Failure and Success...but you can choose where you fit best.
If you want this...
...you have to work for it. You have to practice, to train your muscles to do more, stretch more. You have to prove to yourself over time and practice that you have the balance and core strength and flexibility...and the only way to build those things is through continual practice.
Besides...feeling like this last night...
...felt like victory. Don't you want to feel that again? Isn't time for another sweat bath - the best way to wipe away the feelings of negativity that have been rolling over you.
Really...this is a no brainer.
Just keep swimming.... (or sweating).
Monday, May 23, 2011
Hey, you! Yes, YOU, Miss I'm Too Good for Rules and Plans and Action.
You think lazing around on your butt all day eating hot dogs and pretending like it's okay because you skipped lunch is going to help you out of this mess? Come on! You know better than that!
You think putting in the minimal amount of effort and hoping to see the maximum results is a miracle worth waiting for?
Well, I have something to tell you. Stop your whining and get it done!
I can't baby you through this one. I can't hold your hand and tell you that it's okay, because it's not.
Harder than you ever thought it was.
Even though you've been here before, you somehow forgot the challenge you face.
The first 80 pounds were easy and you fought pretty well for the 90-mark.
But the 100 mark and beyond?
It requires blood, sweat, and tears to get to that point.
Not because you don't deserve it, but because you haven't earned it yet.
You've taken the easy road whenever you could.
You've gotten by by the skin of your teeth.
You hovered in the "just barely there" category and, yes, it worked for a while.
But moving on from here you have 2 options ahead of you.
1. Quit. Give up and just be happy you made it this far yet again. Forget how much you wanted more and just be good with what you got. Decide that you aren't worth the time and effort and give up now. Abandon all hope. Throw in the towel. Call the game on account of rain.
2. Fight harder.
And from these two results you will get one of two things.
1. The feeling that you did something, but the constant wonder if you could have done more.
2. The realization of every dream you've ever had - built from hours in the gym, hips shaked at Zumba, miles walked, run, and almost crawled, steps taken on the elliptical, pounds lifted - minutes, hours, and days spent earning your sweat.
I know you haven't felt like it lately, but I want you to know that there is hope.
There is a chance of moving on from here.
You CAN do more - you've been fooling yourself by telling yourself you can't.
You have more to give.
...and if you want to realize your dreams, it's time to start giving without worrying about the reward. It's time to just buckle down and put in the effort.
You keep telling yourself, "But I can't be PERFECT!" because you've forgotten how good it feels to strive for YOUR version of perfection.
Yes, you're right, you cannot be someone else's ideal of perfection.
And, yes, you're also right that you cannot do whatever someone else does.
But WHY would you want to?
You are a valuable, unique individual.
You have rare and unique gifts and talents.
You share some talents with others, but it's your own special blend or brew of those talents together that make you who you are.
And there isn't another one out there exactly like you.
So, no, don't strive for society's version of "perfection." Society doesn't know you or even care enough - they're too worried about themselves to care.
Strive for YOUR perfection.
And realize that your perfection will change.
Today you may not be able to do this, that or the other.
But with training behind you - hard work and discipline - you can strive toward a higher level of perfection.
Today perfection might be 1/4 of a mile run at the fastest pace you've ever run in your life.
Tomorrow, it might be 1/2 a mile.
One day it could be a 5k, 10k, 20k, marathon. But that's not what's important.
What's important is today's perfection.
What can you do TODAY?
- Use your "lunch" break as a source of exercise.
You sit on your butt all day. You're fully able and allowed to eat at your desk at any point during the day, but those 45 minutes given to you are given freely, without restrictions on what you must do with that time. Make it YOUR time. Go for a run! Get out there and do SOMETHING! Or have a peaceful 45 minutes in your locked away corner doing yoga. Whatever you do, don't waste that precious time on things you can do throughout the rest of your 10 hour day. Don't you remember how much you HATE wasting time?! Well then STOP DOING IT!
- Eat like you know you should.
You've logged your meals and snacks for the day. It is more than enough food. Cravings are simply the little devil in your head trying to talk you out of your perfection. Don't deny your body's real hunger by giving into false cravings. Food should not be a comfort in your life, but a source of fuel to fuel those hours you get to spend with a smile on your face - hiking, running, walking in the sunshine, hitting new goals, achieving new heights to your perfection.
- Hydrate yourself.
Unlike some people you know, you LOVE water. It's like life's blood to you. You can easily finish off a half gallon or more a day without even thinking about it. What's more, it makes your body feel right. You just simply FEEL better when you allow yourself one of the only things in this country that remains free (if you know where to look). You know that replacing it with anything else is not a proper substitution, because it only makes your body crave MORE water. So drink, up sister! Throw a little umbrella in that ice cold drinkity-drink and slurp it down like it's happy hour at the beach. YUM!
- Follow the plan.
You've got a great gym plan set up. You know what works. You're trying new things too! Plus, you have your old stand-bys back now that your back is healed. Don't forget how humiliated you felt by your injury. Do NOT take these moments of ability for granted, because you know what it's like when you're left without. Savor it! Enjoy it! Love every single minute of it! Get your body into shape and the rest will follow naturally.
See! You have a plan. It's all right there in black and white. There's no denying it now.
But I have to remind you that it is not going to be as simple as writing it down.
It's going to take work.
You might hate it sometimes.
You might want to cry or kick or scream.
It doesn't matter.
Cry your way through it and onto the tears of joy.
Scream out of pain until the screeching is from pride.
Kick like a toddler until you grow into a strong woman who can kick @ss!
I can't baby you through this one, but I can tell you one thing.
It may not be easy - but it will be worth it.
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