Sunday, April 01, 2012
March was all over the place. I had about 2 weeks of allergy issues and some blues that came with it. Of course, this was in the latter part of March right after I had surpassed the 50 pound weight loss point and was feeling very strong. I was a little afraid of losing momentum and backtracking. Although I did have a few days of of overeating and missed a week at the gym because of the massive allergy attack, I snapped out of it pretty quickly and returned to the gym last week as soon as my energy returned.
This past week was probably the best workout week I had in March, but that is pretty pathetic considering I only got to Jiu Jitsu twice and did no strength training or running. Now that the allergies seem to be tamed, I want to return to going to the gym at least 3 days a week (3 days of Jiu Jitsu and 1-2 days of Muay Thai) and running 3 days a week.
I am going to take another stab at Cathe Friedrich's Shock Training System staring in April. For those who are not familiar, here is a link to her website cathe.com/sts/ and to a review blog I wrote about the program www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4340707 . It is a 3- or 6-month progressive strength training program. I will need to be a bot more disciplined to get through it. I have used the excuses that it takes too much time and that it requires a lot of equipment, but neither are valid excuses. This type of hardcore strength training will help my martial arts training and will give me lots of lean muscle mass to help blast off some more fat. I may end up doing a bit of a hybrid program incorporating STS, but either way, I am going to start this week. My workout schedule will include the following each week:
Yoga, stretching, or "moving meditation" every day; moving meditation is simply fluid-like stretching
Jiu Jitsu at least 3 days/week (these workouts are 1-2 hours)
Muay Thai 1-2 days a week, either in class or bag work (about 1 hour each)
Running interval workouts 3 days a week (about 30-45 minutes each workout)
Kettlebells once a week (any length workout)
Cathe Friedrich's Shock Training System for strength training (3 days a week, about 1 hour each workout)
I feel the most energetic when I'm working out in this manner, so I need to be more disciplined. Despite not being the most disciplined, I am noticeably stronger (I hear it from my Jiu Jitsu pals a lot recently) and I am improving in Jiu Jitsu. The guys at Jiu Jitsu have also noticed my weight loss and are very supportive, although they have always treated me like an athlete.
My eating has still been all over the place. I have done a lot of stress eating over the past few weeks. I think I'm really burnt out from my job, because the stress eating has been after work. I am trying to focus on the week I have off in May and that there will be some reprieve soon, and just try to hang in there in the meantime. My goals for eating in April are to have more readily-available healthy foods so that I am less prone to turn to ordering food or shoveling in junk. I haven't had cereal or protein bars in the house for several weeks, and I now realize that both of these tend to save me from stress eating because I can grab them very quickly and allay emotional eating. I do make a lot of homemade foods, but when I don't have something made and ready, and I'm actually hungry, and I am stressed...well, you know the rest. I need to get back to being diligent about avoiding wheat and having more food readily available. This will require some more planning on my part as well as having a few convenience foods on hand so I can grab something quickly when I am truly hungry.
Come to think of it, I have not been meditating at all over the past few weeks, so it's no wonder I have been turning to food for comfort. So, in April, I will meditate every night (anywhere from 5-30 minutes) before going to bed. I was feeling a lot better when I was consistent with meditation; I guess I got caught up in stress eating and kind of forgot about it. Hmmm, and just when I could have used it most...
Okay, so I suppose I am ready to talk about the boyfriend. I have alluded to him or mentioned him here and there over the past couple of months, but haven't really talked about him. There are a couple of reasons for this. First off, I wasn't really looking for a relationship. I had a profile on OKCupid and would go on some dates with guys if they wrote to me. Nobody was very promising. I was looking for some casual fun perhaps, but I couldn't picture being in any kind of serious relationship. I had become rather jaded and cynical after my string of loser jerk "boyfriends" (or whatever they were) and had kind of given up.
In mid-December I received a message from a guy and so I checked him out. He could write coherent sentences, seemed intelligent, enjoyed writing, and seemed decent enough. I figured it couldn't hurt to meet the guy. We met at a wine bar near my house. In walks a 6-foot tall, well-muscled guy in a long trench coat and a fedora. After talking with him for only a short while, it was clear that he was very, very smart. I felt very comfortable with him. I am not going to lie, there was not any "love at first sight" or any major sparks; I thought he was just all right. I was in a place that was too cynical regarding dating to have any feelings like that. We had a nice first date and at the time I felt neither here nor there about seeing him again (again, too jaded...).
Now, to backtrack a little, romance was another area of my life that I allowed to be overtaken by my weight. I blamed my weight for the fact that I was not meeting a decent guy back when I was really trying to. They were all the same guy: arrogant (without any particularly great traits to back up their cockiness), uncaring, and usually had some sort of addiction. They were all the same guy. Now, I am NOT bashing men, not at all. I know lots of great guys and have a ton of guy friends. But when it came to dating, I built a wall around myself that would no one could break through even if they were interested in me romantically. In my eyes I was too fat, too unattractive, too unlovable. Depriving myself of a good man was another way to punish myself for being overweight. I settled on these jerks, feeling lucky that any guy was giving me the time of day (and they seemed to exploit this fact). Over the past year or so of taking a good, hard look at myself, I came to realize that my weight was an excuse for not letting a good man near me.
"Perhaps love is the process of my gently leading you back to yourself."
-Antoine de Saint
I knew in theory what I was looking for--a smart and kind guy who was also autonomous, their own person. This time, I was determined to be a little more patient, with myself and with him. Rather than pinpointing some minor perceived flaw and running for the hills, I tried very hard to objectively address any concerns with him. I have been trying hard to assess whether the concerns were really about him or if they stemmed from my own insecurities. Any time the thought crossed my mind that I wanted to stop seeing him, I stopped and assessed why I was feeling that way. They were all fear-based reasons.
We started out pretty slowly. I didn't hear from him for a week after our first date, and he sent me a text on Christmas day. I didn't see him for about another week. Our second date was the best date I had ever had. We spent most of the day together. We didn't do anything major--we had coffee and chatted, went to his friend's house, and went out to dinner. It was more the way he treated me that made it special. For starters, he didn't seem embarrassed of me. He introduced me to his friends right off the bat. He wasn't hesitant to be affectionate with me in front of others. I always felt like the guys I had dated tried to keep me a secret and I had never really met their friends or family.
We continued to see each other once or twice a week, which was fine with me as I am a person who does like to spend time alone. However, when we spend time together, I feel like we complement each other. I have always felt like I am a "whole" person and have never been prone to seeking out a relationship to find someone to "complete" me. However, I am starting to see the value of having someone who adds that special something and who I can ask for help if I need it (and hopefully help him in return). He makes me a better person by helping me find myself in ways I haven't before. For instance, he is the one who introduced me to meditation. He has been supportive about my weight loss, too; I never thought I would talk about SparkPeople or weight loss with a guy I was dating, but I didn't want to hide any part of myself from him. He is also making an effort to eat more healthfully and exercise more. It is in these ways that we complement each other, although both of us were already whole people to begin with. He doesn't "complete" me, but he is helping me become a better person--and isn't that ultimately the point of a relationship?
A lot of this is still new to me, because even when I have had long-term boyfriends, they just added stress to my life. I am still getting used to the idea that a guy I'm dating may actually not be mean to me. Sad, I know, for a 33-year-old woman, but I credit SparkPeople, and oddly enough, my Jiu Jitsu guy friends for getting to a point where I can have a healthy relationship. The guys at the gym have been a combination of a good example of what nice guys are like as well as a sounding board for my confusion. They have helped me build my confidence like never before, both in body and mind. The exploration I have done over the past year and a half or so on SparkPeople has made me the healthiest I have ever been. I am now in a spot where I can let a nice guy in.
We have been dating for a little over 3 months and officially use the terms girlfriend and boyfriend. It is a young relationship, but I am enjoying it very much and am glad I took a chance. We are even planning a weekend getaway in May, and I am looking forward to traveling with him.
So, enough of the mushy stuff. I hope everyone has a great April. Here are some parting words of wisdom to keep in mind during the splendid month of April:
Image from http://thechive.com/2012/03/27/a-little-in
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
Monday, March 26, 2012
I have no excuse. The weather has been incredible. I have a great boyfriend (I haven't talked a lot about him, but have been meaning to). I have cool friends. I have great buddies at the gym. As we all know, that doesn't always prevent us from feeling down sometimes. Actually, allergies have been known to be liked to depression, so I believe that allergies may be linked to the funk I have been in over the past couple of weeks.
I have just been "blah" this past week. Yes, I was sick last week, most likely from allergies, but beyond that I've just been feeling a bit down. I don't feel like socializing too much, including going to the gym for my martial arts classes. I know I would be fine once I get there, but getting up and getting out the door has been too much. I haven't been to the gym in over a week; today it was because I was just too tired to get up. I haven't worked out much at all over the past week except for a few walks with the dog. I just want to be a couch potato; I want nothing more than to plop down on the couch the moment I get up and watch T.V. all day, and overeat while I'm at it, apparently. This is unlike my personality, so I know something has got me down. I know I would probably be better off if I were doing more exercise, though; inactivity is really feeding into these springtime blues.
My eating has not been good--I haven't been tracking accurately and have been overeating a lot. Despite the binging, I was surprised to step on the scale today to find I haven't gained in the past 2 weeks. I have still been eating lots of fruits and veggies, drinking my green tea and water, and eating a lot of whole foods, but I have not been careful about avoiding wheat. I feel pretty bloated. Over the past few days, I have had a stronger desire to return to my healthier eating habits and will work hard this week to transition back to tracking and eating healthfully.
Anyways, I don't mean to be a downer, I just wanted to jot down quickly my thoughts about this past week. I am feeling better than I was a couple of weeks ago, but have not had the energy to really focus on eating well and working out hard. I can't even muster the creativity to say something clever or meaningful in this blog. I will have to experiment with what will give me an energy boost while dealing with the allergies. Well, here's to a new and improved week!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I am not someone who has ever had any particular seasonal allergies, but I have been hit very hard with hay fever over the past week. It seems like a lot of people have been hit hard with allergies thus far this spring. I have been a sniffly, itchy-eyed, lethargic mess. My workouts have gone a bit to the wayside and I skipped the gym today. I made it in Monday but "only" did an hour of Jiu Jitsu and that took it out of me (I normally workout 2-3 hours on mixed martial arts training days).
I have still been fairly active over the past week, but my body clearly needed some rest. I was finally able to sleep a lot today and feel a bit better. I have also been taking loratadine and using eucalyptus and tea tree oil for aromatherapy. I try to avoid drugs whenever possible, but I need to hit these allergies hard with some antihistamines.
Now, allergies are no excuse for the binging I did this week (ordering from my favorite pizza place), and it goes to show that I still battle with balance (either eating well and working out, or not doing either particularly well). It was "only" 2 days of poor eating, but it could have been avoided with a little forethought. I am low on food at home and need to get to the grocery store.
Not much else to report--I've been resting whenever possible. Nothing exciting this week.
I'm already out of steam. Now...*sniffle*...could you please pass the tissues? Ah...ah...ah-CHOO!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
My good SparkPal MUSICALLYMINDED asked in her blog today whether we are on this journey to lose weight (especially for vanity reasons), or to gain health? My honest answer is that it is for both reasons. I do look better now than I did 50 pounds ago, but that is also because I look much healthier. While the scale may not always move in the right direction or may stagnate for a while, choices that are good for health can be made every day (as she shows in her Good Choices blogs). I have taught myself patience so that I don't get too concerned about the vanity part, but I am happy when I am losing weight. It usually means that I am doing well with making healthy choices.
Check it out and let Tracy know what you think:
Monday, March 12, 2012
This week I celebrated finally surpassing the 50 pound weight loss mark (see yesterday's blog). It took 15 months with lots of ups and downs. I have been fine with slow weight loss (and am an advocate of losing slowly), but reaching the 50 pound loss point has been a major long-term goal for me because 50 pounds officially feels like A LOT of weight lost. Crossing that line makes me truly feel like I can reach my goal of losing 136 pounds.
My workouts this week were pretty good and I hit it hard. I like my more laid-back approach to training now. My main training tool is a 75-cent spiral notebook where I write down the workouts I plan to do for the week, then I check them off and enter the day I did them. I am consistent enough about working out that I don't need to schedule which days I do certain workouts; I do them on the day that is most appropriate for my energy level and time. Tailoring my workout plan according to my energy level and time has allowed me to work harder during my workouts because I'm doing them when my body thinks it's best, not when I think I "should" be working out.
I was much better about tracking this week, although I seem to do fairly well with intuitive eating recently. There have been days when I have tracked at the end of day and I had eaten when I was hungry and until I was satisfied, and was spot-on. I know that ultimately I need to track, though, partially for tracking the calories, but also to make sure I am getting enough macro- and micronutrients.
This past week I had a couple of splurges (yet still lost 8 freaking pounds--go figure). They were splurges, not binges. My boyfriend enjoys baking and so do I, so we baked peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies. In the past, I would have probably eaten about 1/4th of the dough, and probably 10 cookies before the time the cookies were even cooled off. This time, I just enjoyed spending time with my boyfriend as well as the process of making the cookies. Of course, I had to lick the beaters, and I had a cookie right out of the oven, which was what I really wanted. I took about a dozen cookies home and planned on having 3 of them; the rest are for the guys at the gym. Having those cookies in my house used to stress me out. I had the ones I planned for and was satisfied with them. That has been an ultimate goal, to not just stop eating, but to be truly satisfied with the food. After all, the point of eating a treat is to feel happy about it, so I am very excited to have reached the point where I GENUINELY enjoy having "just one." I feel like I am starting to have the mindset of a lean person. I will be blogging this week about some of the sensory integration work I have done to help me overcome my food cravings.
This week I plan on keeping on truckin'. I am in a great place and will hang here for a while. One major goal I have this week is to finish and post some of the blogs that have been rolling around in my head.
Have a great week!
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