Tuesday, December 09, 2014
I'm back. I've been away for months...and before that I wasn't really participating. My weight is now higher than it was the first time I started SparkPeople, and while it's not at an all time high, it's close. I'm two pounds away from the BMI "obese" category. That's a fact.
So, while the seasons say it's not an ideal time to lose weight (in Chinese medicine, this is a time of gathering and keeping resources), it's also clear that holding excess weight is not healthy for me. I'm going to reframe that Chinese medicine idea and instead notice that gathering and keeping resources can mean many things! Resources are things that are helpful...and warm, nourishing, healthy food is a resource! And so is being active and allowing myself to feel that sparkle that comes from moving my body.
I'm also aware that the last time I was here actively, I tracked my food for about a week (staying within calorie range) and the scale did not budge. I thought (ha ha!) that plateaus and middle-aged "stuck" were for other people, but that was wrong. A tool I'm going to apply to this is *patience* -- and awareness that eating healthy food is worthwhile, even if the scale moves slowly.
The next thing I want to bring into my awareness is...*awareness*! I am currently investing in myself personally and professionally by participating in a two-year program in Hakomi, which is a mindfulness- and somatic (body)- based psychotherapy program. My goal is to become a practitioner. Clearly, I am the ultimate testing ground for the principles of mindfulness. I have been an erratic meditator, although I practice the principles of being present when I am counseling, coaching, making music, and dancing. However, I have not been practicing mindfulness principles with myself or my eating habits at all, and that is a goal I am here to begin.
One thing I know about myself is that I can jump into jackrabbit panic starts here on Sparkpeople...and then let them disappear. I don't want that to happen. My plan is to *re-read this blog again and at least one other person's blog and write another blog tomorrow* (if my power does not go out...big storm on the way). I know that changes come one step at a time.
Because I am not certain of the electric power situation, I'm not going to commit to tracking today (no internet = no ability to access Sparkpeople) but will instead commit to *drink at least five glasses of water or herbal tea today and to eat at least five to nine fruits and veggies today.*
I'll also *eat at least one meal in mindfulness today* with no distractions.
Last, as my title indicates, I'm here for company on the journey. I am so thrilled to see so many of you still here and participating. I'm aware that both *offering and receiving support* is essential in this journey, so I'm here to do both. I plan to *log in to Sparkpeople at least once per day.* See you on the path.
Friday, July 04, 2014
For five days I have been on track with food tracking, staying within calorie range (between 1,200 and 1,500 per day) and doing modest aerobic exercise every day and strength training (to ďfailureĒ) almost every day. Result? ZERO movement on the numbers on the scale, and I mean NADA. And, no, I donít feel stronger, either (muscle vs. fat).
Is this what middle age is? Is this insulin resistance? Grrr! Panic! In the past, when I have made efforts to reign in my eating and dial up my activity, the weight has started to come off almost immediately.
But, let me be more scientific about it: Hereís my analysis of my food intake:
ē Carb and Fiber: I am not overeating carbs...in fact, SP thinks I am eating too little of them (around 90 or so a day vs. SP 135 minimum). But Ė My fiber intake is a bit low, so maybe some higher fiber carbs Ė like an apple, broccoli, chia seed, or oats Ė could help. Iím already eating beans almost every day and lots of green leafy veggies. The only sugar Iíve consumed has been in the whole wheat bread Iíve eaten (and tracked) which has some brown sugar in it. Itís almost gone, so I wonít buy it again. Instead Iíll find one of those sprouted whole grain breads that doesnít have sugar in it.
ē Protein: I AM getting enough protein Ė around 75 per day vs. SP 60 minimum. Sources are: mostly eggs, fish, beans, and some dairy and nuts.
ē I am eating more fat Ė olive, coconut, fish, and dairy -- than SP thinks I ought to, so maybe dialing it down to their maximums could help. Iím at averaging around 77 compared to SP recommended 60.
ē Fiber: I am not getting quite as much fiber as SP recommends Ė an average of around 22 vs. their recommended min. of 25, so maybe dialing this up will help. See carbs above.
ē Water: I have slacked off a bit on water intake, and will amp this up and will make sure at least one of my drinks is green tea (which I am told helps with lots of things, including metabolism) and will also make sure at least two are my medicinal herbal teas (which I have also slacked on).
ē Medicines: I take about 1 tablespoon (half ounce) of herbal tinctures per day in the form of alcohol and have not been counting that in my calories. Itís only 32 calories, but it should be counted, so I will. I should also count the fish oil I take at night, which adds to about 45 calories. What a drag that I have to count calories for things I donít even LIKE! Ah well.
Exericse: In addition, whatever it is, apparently, I need to amp up the exercise. I have been exercising every day, but when I ran the report, I noticed that my distance was on a slight decline, so Iíll focus on going a little bit further, rather than turning around earlier.
State of mind/stress: Iím aware that being stressed makes it harder to lose weight. Iíve been stressed my whole life, I think, and certainly have been stressed for the last several years in terms of career and relationship (or lack threof). More exercise will help, I think.
Emotional eating: I have tried to stay aware of triggers for emotional eating and make different choices when I feel the impulse. There are moments, hours, and spans of time when it is difficult, but I have so far stayed away from emo eating. Iíve substituted measured quantities of w/w bread and measured quantities of cheese for some of the nastier things I have an impulse to eat. Bread and cheese is not the healthiest choice, but itís kept me away from worse things for now.
Sleep: I seem to have a funny relationship with sleep these days. On one hand, I say that I *like* sleep and want to sleep more, but on the other hand, I tend to stay up too late, which cuts into the productivity of my day. Goal: REALLY get 8 hours of solid sleep. That means going to bed most days by 10:30 p.m. and being asleep by 11 and getting up at 7.
I feel better about eating healthy foods and exercising, but I am NOT happy that my weight is not shifting.
Thanks for listening.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Did 3 (count' em) days of staying on track with food (tracking and staying within limits).
Have I lost an ounce?
Darn this middle-aged-ness!
Nothing for it but to continue.
I've been a bit of an exercise slacker because of the heat and humidity, but maybe I'll treat myself to a swim this afternoon....although, looking at the thunderstorm forecast, maybe not. Sigh: It's too hot for me already, so I'll just walk down the hill (1 mile) and back and call it done for today. I already did 20 crunches, Pilates 100, and my pathetic 10 modified pushups.
Update on my words to myself from my last blog:
A) Remember that drinking water is part of the plan! I let myself get dehydrated, and if I
had been drinking water that certainly would have helped
UPDATE: The heat helps with encouraging me to WANT to drink...plus I bought bottles of "Runa Clean Energy Zero" on sale -- it has both caffeine and antioxidants -- and no calories or artificial sweetners. I like it!
B) if I really, really think I need something, let it be bottled water!
UPDATE: See above.
C) Keep driving PAST the grocery store and the gas stations. Yes, it only takes a moment of will power 'cause once I'm past the shop I'm on the way home to a glass of tea.
UPDATE: I DID it on Monday which is a day I teach and I have often let myself fall prey to vending machines at the schoool or stopping at the market on the way home at 9 p.m. -- but I DID NOT. I kept driving home. Yay me!
Sunday, June 22, 2014
I'm proud of myself because I stopped eating the day before yesterday. Not altogether, of course, but I'm noticing that even if I eat a lot at one point during the day and feel freaked out about it, I can just stop and let that be enough for the day. I can also let myself wait to eat until I actually do feel hungry again (the old rules on never skipping breakfast are apparently out the window; new rules have to do with periodic fasting).
I did okay yesterday until...(drum roll)...my usual downfall, which is coming home late at night and thinking I need "something."
New solution: A) Remember that drinking water is part of the plan! I let myself get dehydrated, and if I had been drinking water that certainly would have helped B) if I really, really think I need something, let it be bottled water! and C) Keep driving PAST the grocery store and the gas stations. Yes, it only takes a moment of will power 'cause once I'm past the shop I'm on the way home to a glass of tea.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
It's clear that emo stress, perceptions of overwork, being alone, and evening are the challenge times for me.
When I'm feeling upset, angry, bored, stressed, and/or tired I have a tendency to reach "Stuff I Oughtn't Have." And just the fact that I am heavier than I want to be and and feeling kind of old and unattractive, and that I am worried about some health issues that are certainly related to eating makes me start with a baseline of stress.
I certainly understand why the Overeaters Anonymous folks say "HALT." (Don't get too Hungry, Angry, Tired, Lonely). I just looked up some ways to use HALT (i.e., reminders...as if I didn't know!). Here's what I'm reminding myself: http://www.sharecare.com/health/nutrition-
So: On one hand I'm feeling like s*** and discouraged because it seems like it's going to take a very serious focus on my part to get the weight off (again) because this postmenopausal metabolism seems to have no room for error...and I'm not sure where I can find my "comfort" if I completely stop all the behaviors (i.e., eating behaviors) that I find take the edge off when I'm stressed.
What I've concluded is that I need to do MORE emotional comforting of myself when I am stressed (see article above) and also need to learn how to be with emotional discomfort without wigging out. Hmmm... This is also leading back to my Hakomi work where mindfulness is the key. I'll be focusing on being present to the discomfort without having to have it be different than it is. That, in itself, sometimes transforms the discomfort all by itself.
So my new commitment is to practice mindfulness in my daily life -- especially when I am feeling pressure. My new mantra needs to be "check in, don't check out." So I'm going to check in and do what I can to first notice myself and then, if needed, give myself something appropriate to help me (i.e., a break or a walk or a nap or a glass of tea or a call to a friend). I'm also going to make a practice of simply noticing and being with any of those HALT feelings -- leaning into the thorn -- without having to have them be different.
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