Monday, July 30, 2012
So, the olympics are in London this time around. My favorite city. And that's saying something as I generally detest cities of any kind.
While I wish that I could be there, packed onto the Tube, stopping off in Chinatown for dumplings at Jen Café, cheering mildly with the other Londonites, I do get a kick out of watching the BBC coverage online.
I feel oddly inspired. Not that I plan on taking up shotput or long jump anytime soon, just that viewing fitness at such a high level makes everyday fitness seem less daunting.
So, for a brief moment of inspired Olympic fever, check out these few links on the athletes health and fitness:
Olympic Diets www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/ol
How 8 Top Olympians Eat www.huffingtonpost.com/eatingwell/ol
Inspirational Quotes from Athletes www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/in
Saturday, July 07, 2012
This past week has been very challenging for me on my new fitness journey. I've done well, but I don't really feel well.
The whole last week was SO hot, even here is Nova Scotia, that working out became a challenge not just because I have a hard time getting off my butt or because the workouts were physically challenging, but because moving took so much more out of me. I generally HATE the heat, prefer autumn to summer and never hang out in the sun. Each dumbbell curl felt like 3 and my normal walks with the family became practically like torture. Still, aside from one or two modifications to my floor workout and one shortened walk, I did each day as planned.
During this past couple of weeks our dear, sweet cat, Forrest, who has been with us for a very long time, was rapidly spinning towards the end of his life. A bought of kidney illness led to the general failure of all his bodily systems. He had gone from healthy, loving, energetic and fit to lethargic, nauseous, sad and disconnected in no time.
On July 4th, Independence Day to this American Ex-pat, Forrest passed away into peace and freedom. My husband and I had been unable to prepare ourselves for this loss. Forrest has been a part of our relationship since the very beginning, ever since my love moved form Canada to Massachusetts to live with me and brought his sweet kitty with him. We simply could not imagine our family life without him. And, we still can't.
Such a painful thing really tested my resolve and sent me into a desperate "fill that void" food craving mode. I wanted cake and soda and big bags of chips and I wanted them NOW! We did have homemade fries and burgers made of local beef planned for that day but once the kitty passed away, we buried him lovingly and we just felt that we had to get out of the house, get away for a while.
My conscious decision was to celebrate Forrest's life with a trip to the local Japanese restaurant. We followed it up with a stop at local farmstand for ice cream in fresh made waffle cones. It was a sad and happy day, Forrest has gone to kitty heaven and we are grateful for the time and love and laughter that he gave us.
Because of our foodie celebration, I was WAY over my daily calories. But, it was the first time in 21 days that I'd been over and I knew I was going over consciously. Next day I was right back on track.
The loss of our kitty friend is, however still very raw and very close. I am fighting comfort craving a whole lot these days. I persevere as best I can.
One positive note to make is that in the past week, despite great challenges, I have shed another 1.5 pounds! I know that Forrest would want his Mama to be healthy and to keep her body fit as best she can for the rest of our family. So, for that, I am proud.
Friday, June 29, 2012
So the other day I had a disagreement with someone that I love very much. This always comes as a surprise to me, finding myself hurt by or hurting someone that I only have good feelings towards. Someone that is a close ally and a sacred blessing in my life.
Oddly enough it was over food, which just goes to show that when you dedicate to making a change the universe will push the very buttons that challenge that change the most. Is it a way of testing your will? I'm not sure. But mine sure was tested.
I was heading out the door to run errands, all hyped up and emotionally wounded, looking for a "quick-fix" outlet for my pain. It, of course, manifested as hunger - a deep, screaming desire- and I saw myself very easily reaching my hand out toward the McDonalds Drive-Thru window. And that vision felt GOOD people! Really good! It was too good in fact, I just began to salivate and shake and couldn't wait to make it to the car and get going.
It was pain in so many forms.
So, instead, I decided to send someone else out to do the errands. This, alone, took lots and lots of strength. Like bench-pressing an elephant. I knew with everything in me that I could not run the gauntlet of take-outs joints and make it safely to my destination that day!
While most would see this as a victory, I myself am left to wonder if my "quick fix" for every pain and disappointment in life is always going to be food? And if simply visualizing "naughty" foods will always bring on the shakes and violent salivation? Why can't salad or yogurt get me aroused like that?
Fast forward to this morning and I am once again on an even keel emotionally. I had a veggie omelette for breakfast. Something in my head said "add another egg." That's because a 3-egg omelette has always been my norm. But, guess what? Two works just fine as well. No toast or butter, just a cup of tea and some strawberries on the side.
I do allow myself indulgences... homemade pizza, fresh & local hamburgers, a slice of cheesecake, one ice cream cone, etc., but I really enjoy doing them mindfully. I like to choose the splurge ahead of time, think about it and work out my daily calories so that it doesn't put me over. Somehow that goodie tastes better this way. :-)
Little victories, one step, one meal, one emotion at a time.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
So, the baby and I went downtown today to get more tortilla chips for our veggie chili. It was a grey and rainy day, always a bit of a downer, but we had already accomplished a 5.5 mile walk in the morning.
For some reason I was feeling hungry, even though I'd already had homemade oatmeal at breakfast and a hearty bowl of chili for lunch. Grocery stores grab me and pull at my core sweets-n-treats monster.
The "hippie" grocery store that we were at sells salads and all that healthy ready-made food, but they also sell gourmet cupcakes, european cheescake slices, organic sodas and hot chicken enchiladas. OMG! So hard to pass up!
I was so near to "rewarding" myself for the morning walk with some cheesy-spicy-chickeny goodness and then I remembered how hard I've been working and how bad I would feel seeing my Spark Calories go over for the first time since I joined.
Still, CHICKEN ENCHILADAS!!!!! "Eat them, eat them...yum, yum, yum" said my impulsive, forceful inner child.
What to do?
I never, ever say "no" to myself. How did I manage not to buy it?
Well, my mindful "witness" reminded me that the old pharmacy next door has an antique scale that costs only a nickel. I haven't weighed myself since starting the new fitness approach, eating within my calorie range, walking 3 times a week, doing my weights workout regularly and getting off of that hunger-inducing prescription I'd been taking.
Curiosity about my progress temporarily distracted me from the grocery market gauntlet. "It's been 3 weeks....how much weight have I lost?" I said to myself.
Now, in past years, the one and only time I had a trainer, I did lose 20 pounds in one month once. But this approach has been so gentle, a big change and rather difficult at times, but not as painful as I'd imagined. So, I figured I may have lost 2 or 3 pounds.
I redirected the stroller toward the front door of the grocery market, walked out into the parking lot, down the road a bit, into the tiny, cramped pharmacy. I parked the stroller, dug a nickel from my pocket, slipped off my shoes and stepped onto the scale. Okay, moment of truth, I thought, fearing that I could have even gained weight...as sometimes happens. Plunk...down goes the coin, up goes the scale arm.
Dun-dun-dun....and....so....I've lost....EIGHT POUNDS!!!
"No way! I lost eight pounds?"
Well, it must be true, because this is one of those actual hanging weight scales, tucked into the back of an old 1920's pharmacy building. And it's the same scale I weighed on 3 weeks ago.
Okay, so I was wearing shoes the first time, but that's the only difference.
That means that eating less and moving more really works! LOL! I lost 8 pounds! I haven't been this light since before my pregnancy last year. Wow!
So, what about the enchilada "reward" I'd been planning? Well, I was too impressed by my success to go that hog wild. I celebrated with a sweet black tea, splurging with REAL milk and actual SUGAR instead of soy milk and agave syrup.
Hey, ya gotta live a little, right?
Saturday, June 23, 2012
My journey before SparkPeople...
1976-1996: I was so thin in my youth that my family used to pick on me for being "skin & bones"
1987-1996: At the same time I always though I was FAT because I wore a size 3 and my best friend wore a 1
1995-1997: Gained 20 pounds in the first 2 years of college, reaching 145
1998: Spent 6 months in Mexico and then Scotland, losing 15 of the said 20 pounds; down to 130
1999: Went back to the USA and got into an abusive relationship, gaining 50 pounds in one year; 182 pounds
2001: Left that relationship and went to Europe for a Masters Degree, where I started walking and cooking for myself, losing 35 pounds in one year; 145 pounds
2002: Departed my Masters Program when my teenage step-brother was shot and killed, coming home to the comfort of take-out food
2002-2005: Finished my degree by correspondence and then got a series of desk jobs and spent thousands of dollars on take-out over the next 2 years, eventually ballooning to 210 pounds on my 5-foot frame!
2007: Met the love of my life who introduced me to vegetarianism, after which I lost 50 pounds in 6 months
2008: Plateaued at 160, unable to lose more weight on diet changes alone...I hate exercising
2010: Temporarily went gluten-free before my wedding and my skin cleared up beautifully
2011: Got pregnant 6 months after my wedding and managed to walk an hour a day for the first 5 months, which slowed the weight gain
2011: At the 6-month pregnancy mark it all went out the window, childhood comfort cravings had me abandon vegetarianism and bodily discomfort planted me on the couch for most of the remainder of my pregnancy
2011: We had a traumatic 51 hour labor and numerous breastfeeding set-backs, post partum depression effected me badly and the take-out window became my friend again
2012: Now baby is 8-months old, we are done breastfeeding, I weigh 184 pounds and I need to find more happiness, good health, energy and self-discipline in order to be a better Mom and a sexy wife
So, I am now eating under 1600 calories every day, walking for 2 hours, 3-4 days a week and doing a 79-Day Fitness Challenge workout 3 times a week using Fitocracy to track my progress.
It is difficult, always getting myself onto the mat for my workout, finding time and energy with baby needing me constantly, but so far I am on day 9 and have managed to keep going!
I don't see any results yet. I am still hungry all the time and tired all the time, but my husband says that parts of me are beginning to look "tighter." I hope that's true because this journey is, so far, very very HARD to keep on.
For my family, for my career and for my self-esteem I must keep going!!!
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