Thursday, January 02, 2014
In an ideal world I would love to cook every day, fresh wholesome meals from foods that I purchased - so that I would know where the food came from and that it was fresh and nutritious. In an ideal world I would not have to work and I would not have a 45 -60 minute commute one way (and that is on a good day). I would have lots of time for all of the cooking that I would do. But our lifestyle is such that it is not always possible for me to cook at home. Sometimes it seems like months pass before I can even get to the grocery store (let alone the Farmer's Market or the local produce shop). Sometimes we don't get home from work until it is well past our bedtimes. And sometimes my husband, who doesn't care for healthy wholesome eating, just wants to eat out, or he wants a plate full of white spaghetti with Ragu from a jar...not ideal but certainly ever now and then I will accommodate his tastes. So, I do the best that I can. For example, I often will cook up a big batch of steel cut oats and I will freeze it in single container portions. Then I can just pop one out of the freezer for my breakfast when I need to. Sometimes though, I end up resorting to convenience foods. I can't stand instant oatmeal, but I have found that the Quaker Real Medleys don't seem quite as fake to me. And in reading the ingredient list, it doesn't seem quite as nefarious as do those little packets of instant oats. I'll admit though, they do have some sodium and sugar added, so they aren't all that innocent! But, when the going gets rough, sometimes I am happy to have those little containers of oatmeal. Another thing that I have discovered is pre-chopped veggies. Frankly, they are pretty expensive so that isn't always the best way to go. If I lived in an ideal world, I would buy lots of red, yellow, orange and green bell peppers and I would chop them up and freeze them so as to always have them handy. But, in the real world, I have discovered that the frozen bell pepper mix from Trader Joe's does come in handy on a night when I am in a pinch to get some dinner on the table - and it adds desperately needed veggies to our diet! I know that a lot of people are purists and only believe in eating at home and would never use convenience foods. I respect that. Please respect me. My situation is not the same as yours. I work hard, play harder and it is a hard balance for me to achieve. I try to make wise healthy choices and I think that I do a respectable job of it given my situation. I eat six or seven times a day and most of the time I take home cooked meals with me to work - I am not always chowing down on food from a box that I got at the store! But I am doing my best and I think that using certain convenience foods CAN be part of a healthy lifestyle.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
I got a new purse today. Yay! I usually buy one bag and carry that one around for about three years. I tend to get a nice one since I will be using it for a long time - lots of my friends change their purses with their outfits but I just don't have the time nor energy for that! So back a couple of months ago the zipper broke on my bag. I wasn't planning on a new one yet and certainly I hadn't had this one more than a couple of years. Plus, I like to buy a nice one and it just wasn't in the budget right now. But I was so worried because it wouldn't zip and I was afraid something was going to fall out. Well, my husband had to cash out some of his vacation pay and he told me to get a new purse with it! It was on sale and I am very happy to have it!
Friday, December 27, 2013
Wow, so much has happened during this past year. And a big big thing for me....a 365 day log in streak - yes, one year ago today I started logging in daily. Here is how it all happened. On November 27, 2012, I had surgery called Nissen Fundoplication. It is surgery for the lower esophageal sphincter - not a common surgery, it is done for those with severe acid reflux disease. My gastro doctor actually defined mine as severe regurgitation disease. It was affecting my health and getting worse. Once he recommended surgery I waited a long time but as my health got worse, I decided I needed to do it. So I had that surgery. Commonly after the surgery there is a pretty good weight loss - maybe 20 pounds. I think it is different for everyone. But I also had heard that just about everyone gains it back. I had my surgery and within a month had lost the 20 pounds. I was starting to get scared. Two things - I didn't want to gain the weight back, and I also was afraid my body would go into starvation mode because I was having a really hard time eating after the surgery. This surgery is accompanied by lots of swelling so swallowing is difficult and I constantly felt full even though I was eating little. I was off work and decided I needed to start tracking calories. Years back I had been on SparkPeople but hadn't utilized it fully as I was also doing Weight Watchers at the time. I didn't remember my password or user name but I figured that all out and the rest is history. I randomly set my goal weight at 145 because that is a weight that would put me out of the overweight zone and it wasn't far off from 140, a weight that I had been and maintained for short periods in the past. After the surgery my doctor recommended daily walking and I started out as soon as I came home from the hospital. I was very weak and my husband accompanied me. I got as far as the next door neighbors' house and I had to turn back. But by the time I started sparking I had built up to a mile. It was winter and cold but I only missed a couple of days when the rain was just too much. I started tracking my calories daily and at first I had the hardest time getting in the minimum 1,200 calories - thank goodness for (real) whipped cream on pumpkin pie, that helped me get my calories up. I had to eat six or seven times a day, very small meals and even then I would be short on calories. But I made it work and my weight loss started to even out to about two pounds a week. I continued to exercise, and started a boot camp challenge. I was so scared at first to do that - I thought it would be way too hard for me - but I found that the ten minute videos were very doable and offered modifications if needed. In January my DH and I decided to go to a national park and do some hiking - which I was able to manage just fine! When I went back to work I walked every day at lunch time. I remember back then that I didn't go as far and some of the hills seemed pretty challenging. March came along, and we did some more hiking in the National Park. I did a summer shape up challenge at the fitness center at work, and did very well at that - it was based on exercise minutes. Exercise had become a way of life. I realized that I needed more strength training and so even though I was terrified to do it, I started going to a Power Sculpt class at the fitness center at work. Yes, it is challenging at times, but it has been beneficial to me. I go twice a week. I started going to step aerobics and in late August I started doing a Couch to 5K training program. I am taking a lot longer to master this than most but I am still proud and happy of how far I have come! In late August we took some vacation time and we visited some state parks for hiking, rented some bikes, and generally had a fitness week. And I reached my goal weight! Wow, this is so incredible and I am so happy and proud. Last time I tried to lose I got within about ten pounds of my goal and I just gave up and gained it all back and lots more. This time, success! Don't get me wrong, the fight is just beginning for me because every time I have lost in the past I have gained it back. I have to keeping working for this, exercising every day, tracking every calorie. If I can keep it off for two years, the likelihood of keeping it off goes up. If I can keep it off for five years, chances are that I will keep it off for good, but it will probably always be a struggle for me. I like to eat and I like to eat big portions. I get overwhelmed with busy-ness and I let things slide - eating junk food and not exercising. I have to keep that in check or it will come back and bite me! One thing about this time around is that I have found such wonderful support here. It is incredible. There is so much encouragement, empathy and understanding - and some accountability too! Two years ago I was in so much pain and pretty much just sat around on the couch all winter long. This winter - I walked five miles yesterday, I did Hot Yoga two days ago, four days ago I did running/walking intervals. I have come so far and I don't want to go back. Here is to 365 more days of Streaking! Cheers!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
I don't know really what my good weight is. I was a fat baby from a family of fat people.
Of course I outgrew that somewhat. But when I was around age five my mom secretly started watching what I ate. She didn't tell me because she didn't want me to develop a complex. Even though we didn't know much about eating disorders back in those days, she was smart to think of this. Probably her awareness and a growth spurt helped me grow out of that childhood pudginess.
So I stayed at a pretty reasonable weight until I got to my early teenage years. Then I quit growing taller and started growing wider! I think that by the time I graduated from high school I was probably around 170 pounds, and I was only 5'5 with a smallish frame, so that was too much for me.
I lost two close friends the summer before college and I had a hard time with that. I think that the stress of that and the yucky food at college were ultimately the reason that I lost weight. I got down to about 140 and stayed there for many years. But I was also not a healthy eater and lacked vitamins, so I was often sick. I had bronchitis, pneumonia and during that time my acid reflux really flared up. I married and kept the weight off for a few years. I was a voracious exerciser and eventually I incorporated healthier eating into my diet. I was pretty obsessive about what I put into my body! My body was firm and I was very fit. Then I went through a divorce, moved to a new town and found a new man. I was soooo very happy but I was also pushing myself too hard, not getting enough sleep, not exercising, and eating whatever. Over the years, the weight came back on. Eventually I was back up to the 170 - 180 mark.
I tried Weight Watchers and I lost the weight. I got to 140 pounds and was exercising a little, though not as much as I did back in the earlier years. But I felt good and am now a lifetime WW member.
I kept that weight off for while and once again I changed careers. I got a job where I liked what I did, but I didn't fit in with the company so well. I was working a lot and I guess I was pretty stressed and I ended up gaining a whole lot. I can blame a lot of things on that - the job, lots of venti lattes, many other things. I was going to YMCA most days and working out but I ended up putting on so much weight! I got up to about 220 pounds this time around. Yikes! I got a new job (with a company that I LOVE) and they had Weight Watchers at Work, so back I went to that. I got back down to 150 pounds. Yay! Still not back to 140, but I was feeling good! I wasn't exercising too much though.
Then we went through some hard times. My sister-in-law got really sick and in 2009 she passed away (only 34 years old). One of our beloved kitties got the same kind of cancer she had and he died too! We were devastated. We moved to a different community and the long commute took a very hard toll on me. That year I said I was going to enjoy Christmas food and not care about calories. I enjoyed it all right! The weight started to creep back on. Then I got a promotion and I was working long and hard hours. I gained and got back up to 220 pounds. Weight Watchers wasn't working for me anymore. I just couldn't bring myself to do it and when I did, it didn't seem to work very well (they had changed their program).
Finally at the end of 2012, I decided that enough was enough. I don't want to get older and not be able to get around and do the things that I love. So I set a goal of 145. That seemed good for my 5'5 frame and it seemed doable. I completely changed the way that I eat and I exercise six days a week now. I got to 145 in late August and I feel great! I do a variety of exercise and I am on a SP maintenance team that is very encouraging. The question is, should 145 be my final weight? I am actually down to 140 now and I am considering that since I have been at that weight and kept it off for most of my 20s and for part of my 30s and 40s, is that really my "happy" weight? I am trying to figure it out. Since during a lot of the time that I was eating so much I didn't exercise (and my second time of WW I didn't exercise) I am still very flabby and so I continue to work on strength training and exercise. If I lose the fat but build up the muscle, will I maintain the weight? It's so hard to know. We are all different and how are bodies will react to certain exercise and activities will not be the same for anyone. So today I changed my goal weight from 145 to 140. My plan is to continue to eat well and exercise regularly. If I do this, there is no doubt that I will maintain my weight.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
My closet is shameful. There are clothes in there from size 8 to 20. I even have clothing in Rubbermaid tubs. I am ashamed to think about how much I must have spent to acquire all of these things. I can't even find clothes to wear because it is such a disaster. So, lately I have been working on organizing it. I have a short attention span so I can only spend a little bit of time on it before I get bored and restless, but I am trying to commit to at least an hour each weekend, more if I can. I don't don't know why it is taking so long. I think it is partly because I just don't want to face it. Frankly, I would like to simplify my life and get rid of all of it and just have a few basics....not just in my closet, but in my whole house. The house looks clean and organized on the surface but apparently my husband and I have "Stuff-itis" and there is too much of it here. I wish that I could take about three weeks off work and get organized.
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