Friday, December 30, 2011
A break from the normal "this sucks" blog. *lol*
So I've spent the majority of my time planning lately. I'll be the first to tell you that New Years Resolutions, in their traditional sense, do NOT work. However... (I hate starting sentences with "however") I think planning is extremely important to set yourself up for success. Even if it weren't the first of the year coming up, I'd still be planning and setting myself up for the next month because, yes, I'll admit, I think this month was a total wash. I didn't get much accomplished as far as my weight loss/fitness goals were concerned, and it had little to do with the holidays and more to do with what I just happen to be going through right now. So January 1st or November 1st, I'd be sitting here doing the same thing - planning for a positive, healthy, and successful new month.
That being said, there is a certain air of "fresh start/clean slate" on the upcoming month just because it is a new year (and will mean another birthday in just over a week). So, go on and make those NY Resolutions, I'd say - just make them reasonably. And don't waste today or tomorrow. Yes, I know, you'll "get started" on the first, and if you really want to stick to that, that's fine. But use the next 2 days to set yourself up better. Log everything you eat - yes, even the crap. Log and journal and plan, plan, plan - because it will all help you make a better start out of the upcoming month/year. I haven't had "successful" days this past week, at least not in my regular terms of speaking about the whole "healthy lifestyle" thing. I've eaten crap, and too much of it. But I've logged it all and I've started to get my arse back in gear with cooking every day and I'm taking small walks on all of my breaks at work. Each time I log something, take a walk, plan a meal, cook something new, I'm setting myself up for my "fresh start" on Sunday.
What have I learned?
Well, last night I had the first "Okay, that is ENOUGH!" moment when it came to eating the crap. It's been a LONG time since I've gotten to this point. I felt the effects. And I hated that even more than my "loss of willpower" over the candy floating around my house. Know what I'll be doing tomorrow? CLEAN HOUSE, baby! This stuff is finding it's way out of my life for now because I know I'm having a crap time controlling myself around it. (Just think what would have happened if I had "waited" until January 1st...I would've set myself up for failure right there.)
I've also caught the cooking bug again. (Thank goodness!) I've been making crockpot meals, recipes I've found online or ones I've simply "made up" (a skill I learned this year and really does work wonders). I'm starting to feel that pride again in cooking something I know that I made - something in which I know every single ingredient, down to the last dash of salt. This is what "eating clean" is to me. Eating meals that I've cooked, with simple and controlled ingredients. (We can argue how this isn't exactly what they mean by "clean eating" but what does it matter if it works for me?) I'm starting to use recipes and adapt them to cut down on the calories or fat, increase the amount of veggies in them, and otherwise make them less greasy, more healthy, more filling, and less "guilt-ridden." (I'll let you know when I finally find the holy grail - a great tasting, healthy version of Mac-N-Cheese.)
I'm back to drinking my 8 minimum cups of water a day and have been taking my supplements. All these little things add up. I'm also getting my body used to walks again. Sucks that I have to resort back to this, but I know in my heart that people have lost ALL their weight doing nothing but walking. Hopefully one day I'll be able to go back to my KickArse AmpedUp Workouts, but until then, I will walk and adapt every other exercise to make it work with what I've got. "Do what you do."
I've also taken this time to re-evaluate what 2011 meant to me and have come to feel pretty proud of what I've accomplished. I no longer say, "I ONLY lost 20 pounds." I now say, "I lost 20 pounds this year!" Because I went thorugh a lot of crap, and in the past I know that I would have simply given in and given up and would have to say that I gained those 20 pounds instead of losing them. I like this route better. And I learned a crapton about myself too, which will help me mentally adapt to the next phase of this journey. (Because I now see my journey in parts or phases, and 2011 was part of the in-between phase I usually have. Last time that "phase" lasted 5 years and I gained 50 pounds over those 5 years. This time I hope to look back and remember that it only lasted 1 year and I LOST 20 pounds.)
So, yes, I've been planning. And eagerly awaiting the new year to "unveil" my plan to everyone. *lol* This morning I thought, "How friggin' stupid is that?" THAT is something that doesn't require waiting to do...as starting your healthy lifestyle doesn't require a set date, neither does unveiling my plan - jotting it down, proclaiming it to the "world" so I'm held accountable. So, here it is...in all it's glory. And please keep in mind that I know fully well in my mind that this plan probably will change from time to time, depending on my back/hip issues...so I've given myself back up plans as well.
JANUARY 2012 WORKOUT SCHEDULE
1/1 - off
1/2 - 1.5 miles & 30 Day Shred
1/3 - ZumbaLite & ST
1/4 - off
1/5 - ZumbaLite
1/6 - NTC (adapted as needed)
1/7 - 3 miles
1/8 - MY BIRTHDAY!! (off)
1/9 - 2 miles & 30DS
1/10 - ZumbaLite & ST
1/11 - off
1/12 - ZumbaLite
1/13 - NTC
1/14 - 3 miles
1/15 - off
1/16 - 2 miles & 30DS
1/17 - ZumbaLite & ST
1/18 - off
1/19 - ZumbaLite
1/20 - Elliptical & 30DS
1/21 - 4 miles
1/22 - off
1/23 - 2.5 miles & 30DS
1/24 - ZumbaLite & ST
1/25 - off
1/26 - ZumbaLite
1/27 - NTC
1/28 - 4 miles
1/29 - off
1/30 - 2.5 miles & 30DS
1/31 - ZumbaLite & ST
* This schedule allows for 2-3 days of ST per week, plus 5 days of some sort of cardio. I've reclaimed "Zumba" as ZumbaLite to remind me to keep it light...but if Zumba starts messing with me again, I'll have to sub it out for the elliptical machine, and I have no problem with that because they both burn a lot of calories. I'm also going to try 30DS, but I don't think I can do it every single day right now. I may not even be able to finish level one right now, but dangit I vow to at least attempt to do as much as I can of it every single day I've got it scheduled.
* Also, you'll notice I've simply put a mileage number for my old "run" days. If I get back to feeling like I can run (and get the go ahead from the doc) I will try to run part of these. If not, I'll walk it. And on those long days, I'll do what I can - take a break - and then finish my mileage later. Even if that means a LOT of short 15 minute walks (15 minutes seems to be my breaking point right now), that's what it means - that's why I scheduled them on Saturdays!
JANUARY 2012 FOOD GOALS
Allowed High Calorie Days
* Jan 2nd - I'll be home from work with the boys and am thinking this might be our one "eat out" day that week
* Jan 8th - My birthday! We will certainly be eating out that day (hopefully) and I have my eye on a vegan chocolate cake with vegan "buttercream" frosting - not because of dietary concerns, but because the best cake/cupcakes I've eaten in my life have been vegan. *shrug* Maybe my body just likes them more...
* Jan 15th & 22nd - Both Sundays, which I think will be my regular HCD, unless there's a special event or something
- Again, this whole "high calorie days" is a tester type thing. When I started losing weight in 2004, I used to think it a horrible idea to weigh in more than once a week. But last year I started weighing in every day and I noticed it takes the sting out of the numbers for me. I feel somehow better about my progress by "checking in" every day, and starting my morning on the scale reminds me that I have a job to do, that I have a goal I'm reaching toward, so I need to be on the ball each and every day. (Now, I'm not promoting this. This works for me. This could be disasterous for you -- some even say it can lead to eating disorders! -- but I gotta do me.) I'm hoping that this "high calorie day" thing will break me from binges that last a week because I've been trying so hard to be "good" for months and I just can't take it any more. I want to "lessen" that feeling of "all or nothing" and know that if I want a friggin' cupcake, I can have one...and it doesn't mean I have to starve all day to do it. I'll have it on my HCD and then move on. I have no clue if this will work, but it won't hurt to try, right?
Other food goals:
On days not HCD, I need to stick to around 1700-1900 calories. (Haven't found that sweet spot yet, so I'm just going by nutritionist recommendations and what I know about what my body does when I have "successful" weeks.)
Only eat out 1-2 times per week. This includes special occasions and lunches, so no making special "exceptions" for these. If I grab a Subway sub on Tuesday at lunch, then I've used up one of my "eat out" cards.
When eating out, be mindful of what you're ordering! Since I know about cooking now, I know a lot of what types of oils, butters, and sauces pack a calorie punch right in the kisser. So I'm going to be mindful of that and try to order wisely.
Make meals at home. Of course, since we'll be eating out less, that means I'll be cooking at home more. This is why I've been testing out the whole "slow cooker" method of making dinner to see how well that will work into our lives. Right now, it's looking good! I can give myself a "night off" from cooking, while still enjoying a warm home-cooked meal. I think we'll be using our slow cooker 2-4 nights a week in January!
Make healthy lunches for work. This is something I've been working on. I do not enjoy/get filled up on/like the taste, cost, or sodium in those TV dinner type meals. When I eat these, I end up hungry an hour later. No lie. They can say it's got tons of fiber and whatever else, but my body just soaks it up (or maybe just gets rid of it...TMI?) and I'm hungry again. It just NEVER seems like enough. So I need to keep making my own lunch. Something I KNOW will fill me up and keep me going. Of course, this part has always been lacking for me. If I can make enough food the night before, I can usually swing some leftovers. But I live in a house with 3 males - one is 31 and works stocking shelves all night so needs a TON of energy from his food (=eats a LOT), another is 12 (=eats a LOT! *lol*). (The other one, my 9 year old, is still a picky eater and rarely finishes the scaled down portions I give him anyhow, so I can't totally blame this on him...it's just the oldest 2 in the house hogging the food.) This means that, try as I might, sometimes there just AREN'T any leftovers to be had. So I need healthy, quick lunch alternatives other than the fall-back salad and ham sandwich. (Feel free to give ideas!)
Get some healthy snacks going! I'm going to limit myself to 2 healthy snacks at work. Of course, I'm here for 10 hours, so the first snack can be small, but the last one needs to carry me through (especially considering I workout after work). I need to make sure to pack things like my homemade peanut butter and other things that might "stick" to me and give me the fuel I need to round out the day.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water EVERY DAY!
Take my supplements. (Right now I'm taking B-Stress Complex, Potassium, and Glucosamine. Maybe that will give my body the help it needs to REALLY heal. I'm already feeling a little better after just 3 days of it.)
REWARDS FOR JANUARY 2012
Okay, so this month my rewards are based off my exercise, because we've discovered that exercise keeps me motivated. If I find this is making other areas (like eating right) slide because I have that "well, if I just workout..." mentality, we'll switch things up. My rewards are on a sliding scale, trying to get me toward consistency without demanding immediate perfection.
There are 22 workouts scheduled in January 2012.
If I complete....I get.
22/22 - A full makeover - new outfit, haircut and color, mani, pedi.
20/22 - Haircut and new clothes
18/22 - Haircut and a new pair of jeans/pants
16/22 - Haircut and a new shirt
15/22 - Haircut
(I need a friggin' haircut! *lol* For serious. I will be SO mad at myself if I don't make it to the lower level ... *lol* But I have faith in myself that I will. I'm already "shopping" for my new outfit. The only thing scaring me is that pedicure...I've never had one and I have REALLY ticklish feet.)
At least 1 "daytrip" or weekend excursion with the family. I've got my eye on Ohio Caverns for January, but if we can't swing that even a movie and lunch day on a Sunday could work wonders!
Get crafty! I think engaging my creative side helps me too...plus, when you have a hobby you spend time doing something other than thinking about food! *lol* I'm thinking I'll either knit myself a pretty scarf (I LOVE scarves and hats...and I don't know how to knit hats yet...) or I'll get together my recipes into a family recipe book. Other crafty ideas I've had: frame a picture of my own, scrapbook my journey thus far, a new coupon organizing system, paint the living room and do house repairs (even that can be "crafty" for me).
So there it is. The plan for a new month, a new year on the calendar, a new year in my life. I'll be turning 31 and I want to start off the year on the right foot. As for NY resolutions and all that? I've decided I'd like to lose 52 pounds in 2012. That's all I got. That's my goal. One pound a week. That's totally doable...and will put me around the 250 range, which is super close to the gym-set goal for me of 230. Oh, and I'd like to get into some new (smaller sized) clothes for sure! I'm ready to save up and go shopping again! *lol* (I love buying new clothes when I know I might go down a size...makes it more fun to shop and see the progress of my hard work reflected in the mirror!)
So what's your take on NY resolutions? Are you making any? If not, are you planning for next month or just "flying by the seat of your pants" into January?
Thursday, December 29, 2011
I did so well yesterday. Woke up in the AM. Had 1/2 a bagel with my homemade peanut butter (which, compared to the other stuff is not only better for me but less calories). I drank my coffee. I was feeling good.
On my first 15 at work, I stood around outside reading for a while before I thought to myself, "I could be walking." So I walked back and forth twice outside in front of my building. It wasn't much, but it felt good to move.
On my lunch break, I did 4 back and forths (or maybe 5?) after eating my 1/2 turkey sandwich (seriously, this thing was big enough to count as a full sandwich) from Hubs. Again, it felt good to move. My back didn't hurt too much, though I was starting to feel it on the last little back/forth.
I repeated the first 2 on my last break. I stayed away from candy all day. I chewed gum. I ate a protein bar for one snack. I felt more in control than I have in a while.
And then I went to the gym...and everything fell apart. First I got annoyed by the pre-jumpers. If you aren't a regular gym-goer you might not understand but all the gyms start to pack in the numbers around New Years as people make those blasted resolutions. It's a tough first couple months for us regular gym-goers because we're just waiting for the fall out so we can get back to our routine, which, believe it or not, does not involve waiting for you to finish your 1 of 4 total workouts for the year on the machine we almost always use on this day at this time. *sigh* I know it will be worse in the next couple weeks, but I always start to notice a little pre-NYE push from those people who don't want to be seen as jumping on the NYE Resolutions bandwagon (but really are). To make it even better (*dripping with sarcasm*) right now they're bouncy chicks at the ripe old age of like 12 (okay, maybe they're 17) in their teeny-tiny shorts and sparkly tanks in full makeup and hair done. *rolls eyes* I'm sorry, but I could never consider the gym the place to meet someone. I know people do but...ugh. I'm there with my battle face on, my headphones in, ready to put my entire attention and effort into my time there and make it count. I'm not flitting around all half-hazard on the treadmill, making sure my boobs look good as I blast through 10 seconds at 6.5 speed, just so the dudes (who, btw, are NOT paying attention) know I can go fast and look hot doing it.
So, yeah, there was a little annoyance at the lack of treadmill space, but I just went with it and figured I'd pound it out on the (stupid) track upstairs. (For the record, we don't have one of those fancy tracks. This thing is tiny...someone once told me it takes 17 laps to equal a mile...which means you're going around and around so much I almost get dizzy. Plus...it isn't level. There are bumps here and there. That track kinda annoys me...probably mostly because, if I'm not going to be on a treadmill, then I want to be outside on the pavement. Sometimes I *hate* that I have to check in at the gym to stay in my insurance program.)
But the real kicker was that, while I was only scheduled to WALK at a somewhat brisk pace (and, in my defense, I was going kinda fast - around a 15-16 min/mi pace...fading the whole time, though) for 20 minutes...and I nearly died. After 5 minutes I was feeling it, but I knew that was from the "resting" (or "slacking off"...however you want to look at it) I did the past couple weeks. After 10 minutes, I was just reminding myself that I was halfway there, but could tell I was slowing down no matter how hard I tried to keep up my pace (all the while cursing because I really, really, really wanted to run). By 15 minutes though, the pain in my back was causing significant problems. I wanted to stop, but I had promised myself 20 minutes, so I limped my way through the last 5 minutes and felt dejected and stupid that I had just completed a whole 1.22 miles in about 21 minutes. *rolls eyes*
I know you all are going to hurrah me for getting out there, but I'm so friggin' frustrated still. Just a month or so ago I was running 5 miles. Now I want to die after WALKING ONE MILE?! *bangs head on desk repeatedly*
What's worse...I'm having that nagging, "What's the friggin' point?" ghost haunting me. I asked the Chiro this. I explained that I'm frustrated because I've worked SO hard to lose over 100 pounds and now I'm less mobile than when I was 100 pounds heavier. And then he said what I figured a doctor would one day... "Well, sometimes it's not because of your weight. After losing over 100 pounds, I doubt this issue was caused or is affected by your weight." And while part of me doesn't believe him, part of me was laughing hysterically. Remember all those doctors, year after year, problem after problem who attributed every damn thing I had to my weight? *snort* I kept screaming inside, "Surely every single problem I ever have cannot be because of my weight!" I knew it was mostly a cop-out. And now, straight from the horse's mouth, there it is. "This probably wasn't because of your weight."
I get it, I do. Go with the most obvious solution first. Girl is fat - girl has back problems = girl's back problems could most likely be caused by her being fat. Yea, apparently not.
Still, as funny as that is to me, it's still frustrating to feel like I'm back at square one. Over a year done here with consistency, sticking with it. I never disappeared for more than a week. I took only 1 full week off from exercising. Sure, I wasn't perfect, but I kept getting back up time and time again. I kept fighting. And there I was last night, walking that track, sure that every new little thing in there was staring at me thinking it was my NY resolution to finally lose weight and doing whatever pathetic thing she could, them all thinking that they'll outlast me at the gym...not knowing I'm a regular. And while I'm walking, pathetically, my body is feeling like it's day one too. And I hate that feeling. I've lived off the "It doesn't get easier, you just get better" motto for so long and now I'm faced with "and sometimes you get worse" crap.
So, yeah. Another stupid rant from me. Sorry about all these. I know how annoying it is to hear it, but it's more annoying to live it, trust me.
I followed my stellar day and pathetic performance at the gym with a tiny binge session last night of some of the sweets we have, and felt horrible for it. All before AND after I'd eaten the dinner I had prepared, telling myself not to eat out, to control my food, and I'm shoving down carmel corn and sugar cookies like they're going to run away or disappear. I even ate one of the buckeyes that I, surprisingly, no longer care for and a no-bake cookie that sucks. No, make that 2 of those crappy no-bakes. (I lost my recipe and the one I found online was NOT right.) *bangs head on desk again*
Today is another day. I'm going to attempt a better performance. I packed my gym clothes again. I plan on going out in a moment to take my first 5 minute walk. It may not do much in the way of losing weight, but at least it makes me feel like I'm trying.
Put the pulled pork in the crockpot before I left this AM, so dinner is taken care of...just need to make it through this day with only what I have on hand (cassoulet for lunch, a banana, and a granola thin) and then resist the temptations at home. Gotta break the cycle. Gotta stop eating my frustration. And, sorry, but I gotta keep venting here in order to have any hopes of doing that.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
...of 2011! Can you believe it?!
I popped on here today not to tell you about the disappointing visit I had with the Chiro (he has no clue, but is trying a few different things - one of which is putting me on potassium supplements and asking me to just walk for a while) and how it makes me feel. But, you all already know (if you've been paying any attention at all) how I feel about that, so we won't even go there. (I'm to see how I feel and call him when I need him. He spoke some scary words about possible MRIs and injections and such and I cried like a baby and apologized for doing so. blah-dee-blah-blah...)
What I came on here to do was to bring you a report on my new food processor. Two words -- LOVE IT!
Yesterday alone I made homemade peanut butter (going to make almond butter next!) and used it to chop the onions and carrots and mash the beans for my Cassoulet. Couldn't be happier! The peanut butter is SO good. I added a little honey so it's a touch sweet, just like they make it up in Amish country. I tried to figure out the calorie count using the Spark generator and it's hard to gauge considering I'm not quite sure how many servings I have there. I used about 2 cups of peanuts and have a good bit of peanut butter from that...so I guessed around 24 servings and got a totally happy figure back. We'll have to wait it out and see, though. Maybe I'll try to guess a little better when I get home and have it in front of me. Either way, slapping a bit of that on my 1/2 a bagel this morning was pure bliss next to my fresh ground coffee. NOM!
I've been eager to cook again with all my new toys. (I also got a new sharp knife - which was great for cutting the pork last night...was like cutting butter almost! and a huge cutting board! YAY!) I'm finding recipes I like or making them up as I go along and then I'll adapt them to suit our nutirional needs. This week I just kinda went with the recipe as is, and then I'll rework it next time.
Last night was the ever famous Cassoulet. My family LOVES this dish and it's seriously packed with yummy, hearty goodness.
*note to self - buy more Herbs de Provence
This morning, I stuck in the crockpot the frozen meatballs I made with Ethan last night. Didn't take too long to make, really, so that was nice. Was also nice that I could make one part one night (the meatballs), and then put it together the next day - cuts down on prep time.
(I'd show you a picture of our meatballs, but my email is being wonky right now.)
*I've checked the nutritional information for these. The only adjustment I made last night was to use wheat flour instead of white to coat them before popping them in the freezer. Each person will get 4 meatballs for about 324 calories, 21.6 g of fat tonight. That's a LITTLE high considering we'll be sticking them on our spaghetti...so I need to adjust a bit. If they turn out good, I'll try lean ground turkey next time and cut down A LOT on the calories and fat.
Here's the recipe for those:
Tomorrow night we'll be having Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Now, let me preface this by saying that I have ALWAYS hated barbeque sauce. That may be somewhat un-American of me (and thank goodness I don't live somewhere like Texas!) but I just never liked the flavor. At least it's kept me away from things like wings and pulled pork before... but this week... well, it's another test for us.
Couponer that I am, I can't miss great deals. One of my great finds was barbeque sauce for around 50 cents a bottle. So I've had two of those sitting on the stockpile for a while now. Pork was on sale this week so... yeah, here we go! The Bull's-Eye website (the BBQ sauce I got) has a recipe for something just like I was about to try to make, so I'll be adapting part of that. This one will be a bit of an experiment for all involved...so I'll have to let you know how it goes.
Friday we'll be having Chicken Parmesan - which I expect to be nothing less than amazing. It's a little high cal, so we'll have to see next time where I can cut back...we'll also have to see how filling it is. If I eat less chicken, I can make smaller portions and thus lower the calories without altering a thing. We shall see.
It's another slow cooker recipe...here you go:
And.... *bangs cymbals* ...just what is our festive meal to round out this year on Saturday?
Look, I went to the store a few weeks back and they had boxes of taco shells (name brand) marked down to 1.39 per box. On the box, was a coupon for $1 off any product by that company. Considering they last for like ever (we're not going to even think about how right now)...my stockpile now contains about 20 boxes of taco shells, which I got for .39 cents each. Thankfully, my entire family loves tacos, so this is a perfect fallback food. Whenever they have ground beef, chicken or turkey (I've used all, the boys don't care either way) on sale, we add in a taco night. This week, ground chuck was on special, so Taco Night it is. And it had to be Saturday because I needed a night when I had a little more time to cook it.
I'm looking forward to finding more great recipes for the family and adapting them to the healthy diet (or finding ones that are already just healthy). I'm always looking for new things to try and especially love having "themed" nights where we do (Americanized versions of) dishes from other countries/regions. We have our New Orleans night when we chow down on our Jambalaya (thinking of trying Gumbo too..though finding recipes for that is maddening...there are SO many versions!). We have Mexican night with our tacos. We do French night (and Mommy annoys everyone by answering their questions in French and asking them inane questions like "Quelle heure est-il?" and "Quel est votre nom? Je m'appelle Esther." (Yeah, gotta love that French minor...doing great things with that these days! *lol*)
What's your favorite dish to make? Got a recipe that is always in your/your family's rotation? SHARE PLEASE! (Especially if it uses a food processor at some point...because I like using my new toy! *lol*)
Tonight I'll be headed to the gym to have a walk date with myself. I've thought about maybe adding in some boxing too. Will give me some core work and make me sweat without being too over the top. Will have to see how I feel later. Other than that, doc says drink lots of water (I think he noticed the inflammation too...or as us girls feel - BLOATED!) On Monday I weighed in at a hefty 9 pounds higher than the day before. YIKES! The number stayed the same yesterday. (No time to weigh this morning though.) I can feel it too. Maybe it's the junk that's been finding it's way to my mouth lately, maybe it's the not working out thing, but either way, Momma's body is swollen like a fat mosquito. Lots of water and a bit of moving about should help that out.
The best news is that I didn't wake up this morning wanting to scream, like I have for the past, I don't know...MONTH. I'm feeling a BIT better...and I'll take a bit better over no better any day.
(And, for my own record, yes, I took my potassium supplement today. Also started taking a B Stress Complex hoping it will help the constant headaches I've been having.)
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sure, we could attribute my emotions to the pretty number I found on the scale this AM (301.8), but that really isn't it. Honestly, it was because I was just able to be in the moment and enjoy myself and my family.
Let's get this out of the way. That number? Could be a total fluke. My body and the scale have them. Still, good or bad, I will keep recording every Sunday's weigh-in.
Yes, the pain is still there.
No, I haven't been working out.
And, no, I wouldn't call my diet lately "healthy"...but, I've tried to be conscious about it. I've enjoyed my treats in moderation. At family gatherings, I try to stick to eating my proteins first and trying to limit the amount of foods that, while tasty, I know hold a lot of fats. And, more than anything else, I've been listening to my body. Yes, there have been days when I've only eaten twice...and while I don't recommend that (especially for the way my body usually works), I've noticed that some of the "heavy" meals around this time of year fill me up for a while. Don't get me wrong, I'm not stuffing myself until it hurts - not anymore. I keep telling myself -- this is NOT the last time you'll see this food. In fact, with my new-found skills in the kitchen I'm fully aware that I can make these tasty dishes whenever I want. Better yet, I can usually alter them to better suit my dietary needs.
Still, I'm not calling it a total victory. I'm sure I'm losing muscle mass right now while my body rests, but I'm trying to forgive myself for that. When I end up driving home in tears because I'm in pain just from surviving the day, I know that pushing myself through a workout is likely not a good idea right now. Like I said, I see the Chiro on Tuesday, and I hope that really helps. On my own I've been trying to stretch and rest as much as possible.
As much as I hate to say it, I've been looking to the new year as a new beginning. I know how cliche this is. I know how much the easiest thing that ruins a "diet" is a Monday. I'm not going crazy as a final "last meal" type effort to end the year, though. I'm just trying to relieve some of the stresses I put on myself and reformulate a new plan for the new year. Sometimes the best times for me are the times I spend planning. And any good plan takes time. This way I'm able to evaluate what I WANT to do and formulate it into a plan that works with what I CAN do.
I've got a rough outline for my workouts for the month of January, and an even rougher outline for February. The goal is to work out 5 times a week, 30-60 minutes each day. At least 2 days of ST with cardio, and the rest of the days with cardio alone. I've got written down some workouts like 2 runs a week (just to get myself back into it), Zumba (heavily modified, of course), and 30 Day Shred. The thing is, all 3 of these things are things I cannot do right now without serious pain. That's going to mean that I'll need a back-up plan just in case any of these things are things I don't think my body can take at the time. I've considered just making fitness time goals, but I really want to burn some calories this year somewhat consistently. I think I'll make a list of different workout options and how many calories each will burn - a sort of workout playlist that I can choose from each workout day (that may actually be a good idea - to make a playlist for each workout...hrm...).
Other than my workouts, I'm ready and willing and able to get my cooking/food/nutrition back under my control. I have to try to figure out, again, how this will work for me. I can't devote a lot of time to cooking most days because I leave the house at 7am and don't return until around 8pm or later. Plus, I have kids that need to be in bed at/around 9-9:30pm...so dinner can't take that long to cook or they'll be up until 11pm every night and, while they'll eat nutritiously, they won't get any sleep. Can't sacrifice one for the other, not if I don't have to. So my options are:
1) Find healthy meals that cook in 30 minutes or less. (Maybe I can prep the ingredients the night before to help cut down on time.)
2) Batch cook on the weekends. (It has worked in the past, but it makes for very crazy weekends, which make me sleepy and tired for the week...it's like non-stop go, go, go...and I'm finding that I really need that downtime.)
3) Find meals I can prep and then either Hubs/kids can toss it in the oven or sits in the crockpot and cooks all day.
I'm not sure what the best option is right now...but I'm considering my options. Through my girl, KITHKINCAID, I found a blogging site where this girl cooks like EVERYTHING in her Crockpot. My only problem is the hours spent away from home...too often things overcook because I'm not there to control it and because it's hard to cook in the AM when I'm exhausted so I'm a "put it in at night" kind of girl. The last thing I cooked turned into toxic waste...so I have to figure out my timing OR...I've already spread the word around my family that I REALLY want one of those programmable slow cookers for my birthday (in a couple weeks). A girl can dream, right?! Would certainly solve some problems. Of course, I could combine the idea of prepping ingredients the night before, tossing them in each AM, and then have the boys turn it to warm when they get home at 3pm or at some set time. In that regard, I've picked 5 Crockpot recipes for January to try.
One thing I KNOW will help is the 8-cup food processor my MIL got me for Christmas this year! I was so friggin' excited. She said she remembers the day she came over and I was in my Chicken Salad craving phase. Instead of submitting myself to the sodium and unknown ingredients in pre-made chicken salad, I thought it'd be brilliant if I made it at home. Of course, when I got to the point of shredding the chicken, I sat for over an hour with two forks shredding all my chicken by hand. A tedious process and certainly showed my commitment to healthy eating! *lol* Now that same recipe will be done in NO time. Chicken is already on my shopping list...time to find an amazing, healthy chicken salad recipe! I'll also be able to make great hearty soups now, plus I'll have a quick way to chop up things like onions and green peppers, which, oddly, have made their way into the majority of my favorite recipes. (Who knew? I use to avoid these like the plague until I discovered that, when cooked right, they taste AMAZING in yummy, healthy dishes.)
I also haven't quit my idea of the "Year of Adventures" but I've retooled it. A few months ago we took a day trip with some of Shane's family to caves in Kentucky. I had so much fun that day and it was a great way to "travel" without spending a crapton of money. Plus, looking forward to trips keeps me going. So, I'm thinking, what if I plan a weekend/day trip each month for my family? Maybe include some extended family and/or friends now and again, but I'm not going to work too hard at that. I'm learning how much I crave the companionship of my boys (including Hubs). I traveled too much without them this year and it made me long for them. I've got a few ideas for "trips" already. Green Bank, WV where they have a ginormous telescope which would delight Logan to no end to see/explore. The Ohio Caverns, which I visited as a kid but the boys have never seen. The Serpent Mound in Ohio which, again, I've visited but my boys haven't. Plus, I'm trying to plan my last week of training certification in DC around their school schedule so we can find more things to explore while we're there. (Now I have a great sushi restaurant in Chinatown to take them to! *lol*) I want to plan fun, active trips that will keep us going - things that interest us and maybe even educate my children in some way.
Finally, I'm thinking of adding in a high calorie day each week. NOTABOUTTHEFACE does this, and it works for her. I've avoided it like the plague, afraid that I'd just go nutters that day...but I once felt the same way about weighing in every day once upon a time...now I do it by second nature - and it's taken the sting out of the numbers on the scale for me. My body acts like a crazy person on the scale sometimes, and I've learned to accept that. Plus, I get to keep an eye on when I'm doing well and when I need to readjust. Maybe the high calorie days idea would keep me focused the rest of the week and, after a few weeks of adjustment (I'm guessing), stop me from seeing "High Calorie Days" as binge days. It's all an experiment...and I'm just toying with the idea for now. I'm working on thinking about whether I want to consider what's an acceptable "high calorie day" and what is not...I'm considering everything.
Another thing I've been planning? Rewards. Honestly, I suck at this. I tend to guilt myself out of my awards, even if I earned them. I find a way out of them, telling myself I wasn't perfect so I get nothing. Instead, I've considered giving myself "levels" of rewards. For example, for January, I have something like 21 scheduled workouts. If I get all 21 in, I get a full makeover. Hair, nails, a new outfit, even color for my hair. The reward then cuts down as my commitment wanes. If I only get 20 in, I get a partial makeover. If I only do 19, I get even less. But only if I REALLY slack do I get nothing. (I think the lowest it goes down is like 16.) I think this might break me of my idea of perfection, which still spurring me on to doing the best I can.
Planning is my friend.
But all that was done a day or two ago. Today, I just lived in the moment. It started Friday, actually. I've been taking care of myself - skin, hair, nails. I know that goes a long way to boosting my confidence in myself, which helps in other aspects of my life. I've been enjoying my kids, cleaning my house, doing what needs to be done without stressing myself over every tiny detail. And it's been a great mood booster. Sometimes I'm just way too hard on myself.
Friday, I got my nails and makeup done, picked out the outfit I wanted to wear and that made me feel good, and met my mom in Parkersburg for Christmas. (Her gift to me? Wireless headphones! SQUEEE! I'll review them and let y'all know how it goes when I finally get out there again. I wanted them for runs, so I don't have some stupid, crazy cord tucked in my shirt annoying me on runs. I can just stick my phone in my pocket, put the headphones on and GO!) I had a great time visiting with my mom and my brothers, and my oldest brother's new fiancee (she's been with him for years, though and she's fabulous!).
Yesterday, I managed to take a nap, woke up in time to shower and pick out the outfit I wanted to wear and that made me feel good, before heading up to my MIL's to celebrate Christmas with her. (Present? My food processor (and other fun stuf)...I'm sensing a theme here! *lol* One of my favorite special gifts was a mug that says "The Multitasking Mom" with my name on it...I felt like someone was noticing and appreciating all my efforts!) And then we came home and I got the whole clan rallied together to clean up the living room in record breaking time so we could all celebrate Christmas morning around the tree in a stress-free environment. (I wish I could get them to do this more often.)
And then, today...I actually slept in past everyone except Logan. This NEVER happens for me on Christmas (though...I must say, I was up super late because falling asleep was an issue...). We opened all our presents and I was thrilled to see how happy my boys were with all the great gifts I picked out for them. Everyone enjoyed their presents and then we popped in one of my HP blu-rays (Got the complete set!! YAY!) and I made a huge breakfast - a dozen scrambled eggs (a little overkill, it turns out...Joey got the rest *lol*), bacon, sausage, and biscuits (and I even bought myself the reduced fat ones...hey, any way I can help myself...). I ate sensibly, but didn't over-stress or deprive myself, and that gave me the energy I needed to even clean up and do the dishes so none of my boys had to lift a finger. (Which I know they were grateful for...and which cleared space for my new toy...and Hubs' new toy, which I'm equally thrilled about - a coffee grinder! *lol*)
I got myself all primped again - even redid the nails and did the toes too! - and then headed over to Hubs' uncle's place for a final HURRAH! to the Christmas festivities. I got some books, which is awesome because, large as my book collection is, the amount of unread books has been dwindling quickly and I was just thinking how I needed to restock! *lol* I got some wonderful compliments (his family is always filthy with them - no matter what my weight, his G'pa has told me every single day since I met him that I am absolutely beautiful and keep getting more beautiful every single day. He gushes over me and - I admit it - it feels fabulous! ;) ) and was conscious of my food intake. I had some ham, a little bit of scalloped potatoes, a bit of the baked beans, about 1/4 of a cup of mashed potatoes (maybe...we were scraping bowl, I admit, or it would've been a bit higher) and some of my MIL's famous homemade noodles. (Now that is one food I cannot make whenever I want so it'll be a cold day in hell when I turn them down! *lol* They are, hands down, the most amazing noodles I've ever tasted - and I grew up visiting Amish county in Ohio and feasting on their amazing noodles, so I know good noodles!). And, yes, I had a piece of pie...but that was it. I got a small piece and enjoyed every bite (again, MIL's famous Graham Cracker Pie, which I also cannot make and will not turn down - especially after missing it on Thanksgiving this year!! *lol*), and then I was done.
Why am I telling you all this? I don't know. It's so blissfully....normal. After the crazy year I had, I needed these past three days of feeling comfortable around people and not worrying about how I was being judged. I even felt like I was showing off my new body...even though I "only" lost 20 pounds this year, I feel completely different. It's been over a year and it feels like real life now, not something I'm trying to fake. I keep thinking, with the horrible year I had (and yes, I realize that's relative...it could have been worse), I stuck with it and I'm ending the year with the same positive outlook on what's to come as I started this year with...sometimes I think that was the most important lesson I learned this year...and I probably needed it. I will probably look back on this year with thanks for how it set me up mentally and taught me to keep going.
As for the pain, it's still there. I still hurt. I'm surprised it hasn't gone away more, but I feel a tiny bit better every day. I'm seriously hoping that Tuesday's appointment will work out some of the remaining kinks, or at least put me on a path to doing that after I talk to my Chiropractor.
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. I hope that you have great plans, dreams, and goals for the new year. Just one more week left and the clock ticks over...and we get to spend most of the year wondering (and likely hearing theories on) whether we'll make it to this date in 2012. *lol* Either way, I tend to spend every month setting myself up for a life lived well and full and healthy and happy...even if I don't always get there. Sometimes trying is the best we've got...I cannot stop trying. For myself, for my family, and for whatever time I do have left.
And then, in two weeks, I will celebrate my birthday...not as a different person, but as a more confident version of myself. I'm breaking out of the confines of the shell I was forced into as a child. I've had to learn how to find my voice again. As I told my mother, you can say all you want that your childhood is full of "bad" things you should just "get over" but sometimes it takes a long time and a lot of effort to relearn how to value yourself when you're constantly forced to deny that part of yourself. How you're treated as a child can develop ideas in your head about what you're worth in life and teach a person how to treat themselves. Sometimes it takes not "letting go" but overcoming...and that, in itself, is a difficult process. It's become a huge part of how I treat my children. I want them to develop positive ideals for themselves. I want them to know when it's right to stick up for yourself and when it's best to push yourself and sacrifice that quick blissful moment of pleasure for a longer lasting pleasure that may take longer to achieve.
Okay, I'm rambling. It's late. I just needed to remark here for my own journaling efforts how it was that I had a happy Christmas. Too often I overstress and ruin it for myself. It's nice to know how to let go of all those ideas of perfection and just be in the moment. Weird lesson to have to learn, right? *lol*
Thursday, December 22, 2011
I keep walking forward, though it doesn't feel like I'm making much progress.
I have to accept that the scale is likely not going to change in the direction I want right now.
I'm having difficulty with my workouts, which ALWAYS affects my eating. It's one of the big "AH-HA!"s we discovered (I say we because I discovered it a few weeks ago in my 'last' official meeting with my nutritionist) this year.
If I can exercise, it boosts my self-confidence.
I feel like a rockstar. No amount of evil looks can "beat" me because I know what I just did or what I'm going to do. Exercise is my defense mechanism against the world. Suddenly all the pre-judgements I assume others make about me are made unimportant because, in my heart and because of my efforts in the gym, I know they are untrue. (And if you want to blah-dee-blah about how I shouldn't let what others think affect me, go for it, but it will fall on deaf ears. I've come to respect the fact that I cannot change who I am, what I can do is learn to manage it.) I smile as I walk by them looking at my stomach. I laugh in my head. Even a snicker or a joke doesn't touch me because I feel like I constantly have the comeback of, "I did XXXX today...what did YOU do." I know that even the skinniest and fittest looking girls struggle with healthy eating and exercise and it just humors me to think that some of them, while hating that I prejudge them as having it "easy" (And, yes, I am working on that...meeting you lovlies has helped me realize what a misconception it is), many of them are prejudging me as lazy or having given up. When I work out, I know it isn't true, so it simply bounces off me.
When I work out, my confidence is boosted.
When my confidence is boosted, I feel more able and ready to take on the world.
I don't worry about the stressors that might come up because I feel somewhat invincible. I did what I said I was going to do - which means that when it comes to other aspects of my life, I can follow the same path. That's especially true when it comes to healthy eating. The difference is night and day. If you were to watch me cook dinner after having skipped a workout (even if it's justified by injury), I will do it begrudgingly, angry, and bitter. Having done it might help a bit to boost my confidence, but it doesn't have nearly the effect that a good workout challenge met does. I stand there thinking about how tired I am, how sore. My head filters in all the excuses for me about how "hard" my life is because, and this is key, I'm actually just feeling guilty about that missed workout and I'm trying to make myself "feel better" about it instead of wallowing in that self-hatred over missing it. If you watch me cook dinner after doing the workout I set out to do for the evening, however, you'll find me sometimes whistling - whipping together a great dish, sometimes even without a recipe. My mind floats through all the wonders and joys I have in my life and how thankful I am to have the family I have, because I feel like super-mom, super-wife, and super-woman all rolled into one. Once again, I am invincible. Suddenly it doesn't matter that I had a difficult day at work, that I'm tired after a 10-hour shift and 2 hours driving. None of it matters...I'm still going because I set out to do it and I've proven that I'm true to my word.
When I workout regularly and as planned, my self-confidence is boosted, which makes the other aspects of healthy living almost "easy" in a way.
Eating works because I'm happy to do it. And all this snowballs into a positive force that I can get behind. When people talk about "motivation," this is what I think of...and it makes me laugh that they think it's something you just have or don't have. It's not. You have to build it, make it. And how do I make it? By doing what I say I'm going to do. By following the plan I know works. Being honest is SO important to me - and when I can check the goals for that day off the to-do list, when I know I said "I will do XXXX" and I do XXXX, that is when I feel like I'm finally being honest with myself. I no longer have to make excuses out of guilt and self-hatred because I've built up this wall of self-confidence and self-respect that doesn't allow those ugly nasties through/over/around.
It's not perfect.
It doesn't always happen.
But if I go back and look over my journey thus far - over what has worked, when I have "failed" or dropped off the progress, it all adds up to one thing.
Exercise = Success.
Now, this may not be true for all of you. I know there are people out there who can get by just eating lower calorie counts and not working out a bit and lose weight. I won't judge you on that. You are doing what you need to do. And while I firmly believe that a life without regular physical activity, even if it DOES lead to weight loss, is not a full life, is not making you as healthy as you could be or at all physically fit, I won't look down on you because you are doing what YOU need to do to get healthier. None of us are perfect. The most fittest person I meet and see, the ones who always seem to know what exactly to eat and when and workout religiously like maniacs and look fabulous and always seem 20 steps ahead of us? Honestly, they bug me. Because I know in my heart it's a bit of a lie. They MUST have bad days like the rest of us - they just aren't willing to fess up to them. I call LIAR...and, as I said, honesty is EXTREMELY important to me.
And, yes, I started out doing "chair exercises" for the most part.
I kid you not, 15 minutes on an In-Stride cycle (which I still have, by the way) while watching TV was the most I could get myself to do when I started back in April of last year. I was that out of shape.
But while my body seems battered and broken right now, it still feels like "athlete" to me. And the thought of putting myself back in the chair makes me want to disintegrate into a ball of dust. It feels like going backward. It feels like doing nothing. It feels fake and ...it makes me feel "FAT" again. I haven't felt "FAT" in a LOOONG time now...because of that self-respect wall and how "dirty" that word feels. I don't let that word in anymore. So to go back to what I did when I weighed over 400 pounds makes me want to quit, because it makes me feel fat. You can judge me all you want for this emotion. I know how ridiculous it may sound. And, NO, I am not saying the people who use these type of exercises to be successful are "fake" or "fat" or any bad words I would assign to myself if I were doing them again. Please understand, they provide a huge source of inspiration and garner HUGE respect for me. Because they are HONEST about what they can do and they do the best they can do at what they do. In my book, that makes them Awesome and Wonderful individuals who deserve the greatest amount of respect from ALL of us.
But... (and that's a big but) ...I just can't accept that. At least not right now.
That is what is honest.
If I do that...it feels like giving up every dream I've ever had for myself. And, right now, that might just kill me, sink my ship, and make me drown in my own self-pity.
So, while I respect all of you and your successes and appreciate your advice, please just know this about me.
Sometimes it IS all or nothing.
I've tried everything I can this ENTIRE year to change that...but I (obviously) haven't gotten very far. When do we stop trying to change who we are and just accept who that is and work with it? For me, that's been the past couple months. I stopped trying to change myself. I stopped trying to adapt to what works for everyone else and have reflected upon ME and what works for ME and what kind of person I am and what I need to do to work with that and work with the challenges and put it all together in a mess of crazy confusion that just seems to work.
Accepting all of this, I have also accepted that my goal of hitting 299 before the New Year is highly improbable. Not if I want to see the numbers that follow. Not if I want to be honest with myself and build myself up for future success. This is not the end of a diet. I am not 5 pounds from goal and severely desperate to see those numbers on the scale. This is my life, and I cannot ruin it for a few weeks with drastic measures just so I can have a moment of happiness that will fade quickly into regret and dread and may even harm my body more.
I have to let it go.
I have to be honest with myself.
299 will come. When it needs to. When I need it. When I'm committed enough to getting there.
And, very likely, after what I've learned about what works for me, it will come when my body is working again how I need it to in order to do my scheduled workouts.
And I don't mean a total all-or-nothing attitude.
I'm being realistic.
It's like a phrase we use at work, that is built into the law regarding persons with disabilities and their ability to perform a job (and the protections they are granted from other persons' perceptions about whether or not they can perform a job). Can that person perform the essential job functions WITH or WITHOUT accommodation. Can I perform the major essential functions of the routines I love, the ones that boost my confidence and rebuild my wall, with or without modifications? When I can, that's when this will work again.
Right now, the pain is almost unbearable. I called the chiropractor again and asked that they move up my appointment. I go Tuesday now instead of Friday.
And I will talk to CC honestly about what I'm experiencing and how it is affecting me both physically (I can't concentrate most days because I can't sleep most nights, which is, in turn affecting my weight loss as well) and mentally. I feel broken and if he can't figure out how to "fix" me, or at least give me a way to manage it, then we need to find someone who can.
Yesterday I consciously did not work out. I took it as a rest day and, instead, did some of my stretches before going to bed and tried to rest up. Because I knew that today I'm going to try to workout again. I cannot tell you if I will be in Zumba again or if I will try something else -- elliptical, treadmill, rowing machine, boxing, stair stepper, bike ...whatever. All I know is that I've promised myself 30 minutes of SOMETHING in that gym and I HAVE to do what I say I'm going to do. I just HAVE TO...for myself...to rebuild my wall.
It hasn't helped so far, this accepting my limits. But I keep thinking if I just keep trying it will. I miss feeling like a friggin' rockstar. (I can tell you honestly that walking out of a Zumba class before it's over with tears streaming down your face and not really sweating all that much because the moves hurt too much and you've modified so much that it makes it almost "lazy" as a workout does NOT make me feel very "rockstar.") I miss feeling like I could high kick someone in the face or punch them if they looked at me wrong. (Not that I would, but I like knowing I could.) I miss the feeling that I could chase you down if you tried to steal my purse or insult my children. I miss feeling like a size 4, no matter what the tag on my jeans say, because I just feel so beautiful inside that it resonates throughout my entire being. For now, I'm simply hoping and praying that one day, and if I keep trying, just sticking by this "JUST GET 30 MINUTES" and checking that off consistently, I will start rebuilding my wall and that will be ENOUGH. It's not as quick going as some of my killer workouts but, maybe....just maybe...if I keep it up I'll rebuild it with those tiny steps.
And please note that I'm not writing all this and telling you all that I'm in pain to have you feel sorry for me or even to justify myself to you. I do it to justify myself to me, and to understand. I want to look back later and be the girl who says, "OMG! I remember how hard that time was...and I made it through and look at me now!" I'm hoping by talking it out it will both let me understand, process, and move through it, but also will stand as a living testament one day to what I came from, what I worked through, and what I triumphed over. Because I fully intend to triumph over this.
And, yes, I know there are others out there who have it worse than me. Please understand that I'm not appreciative of that. I tell myself that all the time to make it through difficult runs and workouts. I do many of my workouts for them - dedicated to those who cannot and wish they could. It keeps me in check. But also understand that I am not them, that is not my life and not my journey and those are not my struggles. I can only work with what I got. I know the person with no shoes should remember there are people with no feet...but if I've got my feet and I don't want to lose them via frostbite, I had better stop feeling sorry for the guys with no feet and start finding myself some damn shoes to protect these babies. Somehow, I think that's what the guy with no feet would tell me. He'd tell me it was hard, but he triumphed over it and learned to deal, but I don't think he'd look down at my feet and smile and say, "Yay! You'll be joining me soon!" He'd look at my feet and say "Get some DAMN shoes, ya idiot!"
I'm off to find me some shoes.
To rebuild my wall.
To work with what I've got.
And to pray that one day I'll look back after passing this storm and be proud of making it through. Because, no, this isn't the toughest challenge someone could face, but it's been one of the toughest for me so far in my life. Working through it will make me stronger...and I can't wait to show you my muscles on the other side. ;)
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