Tuesday, March 02, 2010
I've been on edge for the past week or so, and I've just about had it. Last Wednesday, I got the shocking news that my cousin's wife was killed in a workplace accident. Thing is, it was the kind of workplace accident that makes the front page of Yahoo news. See, my cousin was married to Dawn Brancheau. It seems like only minutes after I got the phone call from my dad relating the horrible news, I found that groups were using her death for their own amusement or to push their agenda forward. Honestly, I haven't made up my mind about the captive animals debate, but these people aren't winning my support by putting out a message that reads to me like, "This is what happens. We told you so! And oh, yeah, we're sorry she died, I guess," And as for the bored teenagers on Facebook with their disgusting jokes, well, I think "special place in hell" just about sums it up. And now I've seen horribly intrusive pictures of the funeral all over the place and my dad tells me that some photographers tried to take pictures inside the church.
So, since February 24, my mental and emotional state has been about 90% negative. I'm angry. I'm disgusted. I'm sad. I'm worried.
It's emotionally draining. And it's definitely had an effect on my weight loss goals. I haven't worked out. I've barely kept track of what I was eating. I haven't cooked. I've had fast food that I didn't really put any thought into. I had a freaking Big n' Tasty value meal for dinner last night!
And you know what? I'm done with that. I haven't been working so hard to give in to this now. Time to get back to doing the work. I'm allowed to be sad and angry. I'm not allowed to let it take over my life.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
This week, I feel like I've taken a giant step backward, even though I still seem to be moving forward. Last week, I was all about declining paczki, "food is fuel," and getting to the gym regardless of how I felt or what time it was. This week, I just feel lazy and gloomy.
I think it started over the weekend. I went to my parents' house in Northern Michigan, where they don't have high-speed internet and don't exactly eat healthy food. I had a follow up test to my thyroid scan in Ann Arbor, so I was able to get away early and fulfill something I'd promised my mother: fried walleye from Krzysiak House in Bay City. While I was there, I also picked up some house-made kielbasa (3.5 pounds!), a loaf of homemade bread (white), and some kruschiki (angel wing cookies). I was in full-on Polish food mode. And Polish food isn't exactly light. We had a cookbook called "Polish Cooking for Americans" and I swear every recipe had either sour cream, butter, or sausage. So dinner was fried fish, french fries and the slice of apple pie my father served me without asking if I wanted it.
On Saturday, I went skiing for a couple of hours and felt fantastic. Skiing felt better than it has in years, and I spent most of every run making strong, short radius turns. I quit when my knee started getting sore, because I didn't want to push it. Right now, running is more important than skiing and I don't want to miss one because of one turn too many with the other. I tried to eat reasonably healthy, but I ate too many fried foods and not enough complex carbs or plants. I honestly don't think I ate a vegetable all weekend.
I did make sure I got home in time to get to the gym and run on Sunday. But I honestly have no idea what I ate that day. So much for mindful eating! I doubt it was anything too bad, but I don't remember. On Monday, I made a family Polish recipe in the Crock-Pot and found a way to make it healthier than we always had. I also stayed at work late and decided I was too tired to workout. I didn't pack my lunch because I hadn't had time to shop. On Tuesday, we had a lunch at Mitchell's Fish Market and I felt mostly virtuous all day with the food. Stayed late again, bought some groceries, ate leftovers, and instead of going to the gym, I went to Target and bought a TV for my bedroom. "I'll go tomorrow night," I thought. On Wednesday, I had a pretty healthy lunch from the cafeteria at work, but preceded it with a piece of birthday cake. And at the end of the day, just when I was planning to head home while it was still light out, for a change, I got news that my cousin's wife had been killed in a pretty shocking and terrible way, so I spent a few hours looking at news reports and message boards (her death is a pretty big news story). And after all that sadness and shock, I just couldn't make myself go to the gym.
So, here I am, struggling to stay on track and trying to find a way to get back to where I was last week. I don't have any plans for the weekend other than extreme housework, so I should be able to refocus on mindful eating and intentional fitness. I can't do it today, but I can commit to it tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
I honestly don't know what that book is about, but the title "Eat, Pray, Love" pretty much sums up what's on my mind today. Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten period leading up to Easter. It's one of two fast days during Lent, the other being Good Friday. My friends who are Hindu or Orthodox Jewish laugh when I describe a Catholic fast day. Since Vatican II, fasting is described as eating one meal, preferably at midday. You can also eat two snacks ("collations") which, combined, cannot equal the main meal. You must also abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent. A Catholic fast seems to be less about fasting and more about being hungry enough to think about it and the reasons for it.
So, today is a day of mindful eating which is a little more mindful than usual. Besides being a fast day, it's also a work day and a C25K day for me. Exercise is not recommended on a fast day, for obvious reasons, but I think I can make it work with minor modifications. For breakfast this morning, I had a banana and a Kashi granola bar. I did not have coffee, but allowed myself plain hot tea. For lunch, I had two ounces of tuna on wheat, and an orange. I will have dinner before going to the gym, and it will be oatmeal, an apple and possibly some baby carrots. I know I will be short on nutrients today and I'm consuming about half of my minimum calories. However, this is not a regular practice. It happens today, and tomorrow I am back to regular mindful eating, which seems to involve me eating healthy food, and a lot of it!
If I start running and feel like the lack of food is affecting me, I will stop running. If I get hungry before then, I'll have a glass of skim milk (liquids are okay). But I think I'll be okay. And while I'm being okay, I'll think about Lent, what it means to me, and how I will use the next 46 days to develop good habits and be a better person.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
"I'm too tired."
"It's too late."
"I'm too busy."
"I have to run errands."
"I didn't eat yet."
"It's cold out."
"There's a TV show on tonight that I *really* want to see."
"I DON'T WANNA!!"
And that, my dears, is my version of Mardi Gras this year. No pączki , no Hurricanes, no King Cake, no fastnacht, no pancakes. Just trying to get all of my fitness excuses out, because starting tomorrow, I can't use them any more. For Lent this year, I'm giving up making excuses to skip exercise.
I would celebrate most Shrove Tuesdays with a prune-filled pączki. Instead, I am taking my last opportunity to make an excuse to skip my workout. I'm partial to that last one. Today, I just don't wanna!!
Monday, February 15, 2010
I had kind of a "lazy, but not lazy" weekend. That is to say, I started out the weekend working late to get part of my project done, then went immediately from dropping off my laptop at home to changed and at the gym in about twenty minutes or so. I think I got there at about 8:30 and left at 10:00. I seem to recall seeing Lebanon entering the BC Center during the Opening Ceremonies during my final cool down. I had an extremely satisfying C25K session- I'm still on week 1, but advancing to slowly get through week 2 tonight. I tacked on about ten extra seconds on my last interval just to see if I could. No side stitches, no shinsplints and very little knee pain (it probably helps that I slowed down and put on a knee support). Afterward, I did upper body and core strength training, stretched and walked on the treadmill for ten minutes to really cool down.
I got home pretty late and proceeded to watch the entire Opening Ceremonies program, which meant I was awake until 3:00 AM. Uh-oh! That threw off my entire day on Saturday! I woke up late, lazed around, made myself a Selfish Day treat for breakfast (a homemade version of Kona Cafe's Tonga Toast, which I really, really shouldn't have eaten), and then went back to the gym for lower body strength training. It's the first time in ages that I have worked on my lower body and I needed it. I have to admit that C25K is giving me a good workout and my leg muscles are getting stronger without strength training, but to protect my joints and improve my form, I need to get a more balanced training program for my legs and back. Here's the problem: I may have pushed a little too much simply because I felt like I could. Did I really need to do 20 reps each of the adductor/abductor? Or quite so many one legged calf raises on a step? Probably not. In fact, I suspect I shouldn't be doing the latter at all, just yet. Not only are calf raises on a step classified as an advanced exercise, one legged is identified in the "make it harder" paragraph. Gotta walk before you run, right? So I'm kind of paying for my ambition now. Two days later and my calves are still sore. My inner thigh, too, but I can deal with that. I'm really hoping that sore calves won't affect my run too much, because I'm determined to move on to week two tonight.
After my workout, I had further Selfish Day treats of filet mignon with red wine and mushroom sauce, asparagus, and brown and wild rice, accompanied by not one but two glasses of wine, two chocolate covered strawberries and a tiny chocolate tart. It was probably a very good "fancy" dinner, nutritionally. Although to be really good, I should have omitted some of the butter in the sauce, one glass of red wine, and left dessert at one chocolate covered strawberry. I don't know, because I didn't enter it in my nutrition tracker. Shocking, I know! However, it was meant to be a special, indulgent day and I made a conscious decision to set aside, but not forget, my healthy goals that day. At least when it came to food. Obviously, exercise was not skipped. It's funny- I usually buy myself chocolate, books and pretty things like shoes, jewelry or makeup for Selfish Day. I once bought myself a PS2 for my version of Valentine's Day. Another year, I just happened to need to buy a new car on February 13th. This year, I had lean beef and strength training! (And banana stuffed, deep fried french toast, but who's counting?!)
I spent the actual Valentine's Day taking care of my sister's kids so she and her partner could have a day to themselves. My exercise for the day consisted of chasing around a three year old and losing to my 13 year old niece at nearly every level 1 game on Rayman Ravin' Rabbids TV Party for Wii. Lots of fun, and I'm pretty sure 2.5 hours of waving Wiimotes and nunchuks around like a crazy person counts as cardio. I had a very light breakfast, a heavyish lunch (pizza and salad) and a healthy dinner (baked fish, rice and broccoli). And when my sister offered me a packi to take for Tuesday, I virtuously said, "No, thank you." Prune-filled might have tempted me, but I wasn't breaking my diet for lemon or raspberry.
So this morning I am facing the week with new resolve to get back on track with the nutrition tracker, mindful eating and being the best me I can be. This weekend was fun, but it's time to get serious! And now that I'm writing this blog entry, it seems kind of silly because I can only see two real slip-ups in my usual plan: I didn't track everything and I ate the freakin' Tonga Toast. (Seriously- two slices with syrup was over 1200 calories. That's a big slip-up.)
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