Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I finally hit on what I thought was a good idea for a reward: songs for playlists.
What, you may ask, has that got to do with the title?
My idea was this: I am working on a streak of sweeping the laundry room floor each morning. It's where the litterboxes are. You'd think we had 20 cats, not just 2, with the amount of litter that gets onto that floor.
And laundry room + litter = not such a great idea. The problem is it's always been one of the few rooms that a litter box just sort of naturally goes into.
Well, far too often I only vacuum in there once a week or even every couple of weeks, and that really just doesn't work. Cause inevitably you drop something on the floor in there. Usually clean laundry.
So I got rid of all my old goals I wasn't tracking anyway and I put up this goal. I decided that for every 4 days I sweep, I'll get one song. Works out to about $2.50 a week.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, as so many of my ideas do.
Problem? I was looking at Fitness' list of good songs for running. They listed "Live like you're dying", which I love. Perfect. Click. Listen to the rest of the songs in the album. Now I want the whole album!
So at the rate of one song per 4 days sweeping, I'd earn that album in almost 2 months. That is too long to wait for an album. So I'm sort of stuck. Guess I'll have to think about that some more.
Now let's actually get around to the title again. I hate repetition. I hate saying the same things over and over or doing the same things over and over. Which is why I do not, not in the least, enjoy housework. For me it's not house cleaning, it's house work. The irony being that right now it's pretty much my job.
Guess what? There's a lot of repetition in trying to lose weight, too. Planning meals. Exercising. Choosing healthy foods rather than comfort foods (most of the time, anyway). Drinking water.
So one day as I'm sweeping up the cat litter, wishing I was doing anything but, it occurred to me that there will always be cat litter. There will always be something I know I need to do, but don't want to.
I think there are 2 tricks to staying motivated to do the things you know you need to do, but truly don't want to:
1. Focus on the job at hand. Be present. As I reminded a spark buddy this morning, you can't wish your life away, and that's what you do when you wish you were doing anything other than what you are doing.
2. Focus on the results. I am much, much happier when there is less cat litter on the floor. Yes, there will always be cat litter, but the truth is it doesn't take me that long to sweep it each morning. A few moments discomfort for a better laundry experience isn't too steep a price to pay. Skipping a few desserts for more energy isn't too steep a price to pay.
And I am very proud to say I had no dessert after dinner last night. Oh, I wanted one, but I didn't need one -- and I didn't really miss it. I've also chosen fruit -- plain fruit -- for dessert more often lately.
There's nothing wrong with dessert. I still eat it. I just know I need to eat a bit less of it.
What will always be in your life? How do you conquer it? What tools do you need to battle it?
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
My eating habits over the years have changed so much it's almost laughable.
In college, I just ate. I didn't much think about it. There were the 3 am pepperoni pizzas -- frequently. The yummy fresh-from-the-fryer donuts. The box of poptarts in one sitting when I had no one to eat with at the dining hall.
As a young married, working long hours, standing on my feet, there was the salami subs and THEN the pepperoni pizza for dinner. Chinese take out. McDonalds. Can we say fast food?
Then one day I decided to join WW. Don't ask me why -- I couldn't really tell you. There was no aha moment. No buddy to go with. I didn't even know anyone who'd ever gone, but back then, it was about the only program out there. For the first time, I learned about what good nutrition could look like.
But I still lived off of frozen meals. Low fat this & that. Spaghetti squash with tomato sauce.
Then I did begin to cook most of my own food for breakfast & dinner. Lunch, however, was still often premade from Whole Foods.
And now, it's the rare day I eat anything I didn't make other than maybe sushi and my one meal out a week (most weeks). Couldn't tell you the last time I went to a fast food place, and seriously no longer even have the desire. Not even for fries. I no longer enjoy fast food fries. Don't like pepperoni at all, either.
But it's still easy to fall into the trap of I "should" eat this because it's low in calories or fat or whatnot. Because it's the latest healthy trend. Because I can't just eat whatever I want and stay thin.
Are you looking forward to your meals? You should be. If you're not loving what you eat, how do you think you'll keep eating it for the rest of your life?
Because there's no eating this way to you hit your GW then going back to your old habits. If you do what you always did, you get what you always got.
So you have to eat the things you love NOW. But you've got to figure out how to do it in a healthy way. In a moderate way. It may mean certain things are off limits at time, it may mean that you have to weigh and measure your food, it may mean that you have to keep trying new things til you find more healthy things you do love.
Last night I served me & my husband a vegan pasta alfredo. Cause that's what I eat before a race, and I want to make sure I don't actually have to make it before my race -- all I'll have to do is heat it up on Friday (of course, it's only my second race, but hey it worked for my first).
He eyed it with real suspicion. What is that? What's in it?
Then he tasted it. Of course, then he said the dreaded words. You know, "this would really be good as a side dish with some meat". Sigh. He just can't seem to get past the idea that a meal must include some sort of animal product.
But he did eat it. The whole bowl. Even the salad. That's progress.
We aren't that far from children. We have to keep exposing ourselves to new foods. We might not like it at first. Or at second, third, or fourth taste. But sometimes things really do grow on us, and before we know it, it's something we actually crave. Something good for us we like.
So look forward to your meals. If you're dreading them, start eating new stuff. But never stop experimenting & trying new things! More than once!
Monday, September 27, 2010
I love it when the universe aligns itself for you. It's so easy to notice the negative we have a tendency to gloss over the positive.
I stopped at Sports Authority last week. I need more running tops for cooler weather. Last year I tried running outside for the very first time I think in November -- my one & only time that year! This year I intend to be running outside deeper into the winter. But I need proper gear. I have some, but not enough.
I found 2 tops I fell in love with. One was just perfect -- it had everything I love: a half zip, thumbholes, and a pocket. The other was a sort of sweatshirt, also with thumbholes, and lots of zipper pockets.
Neither was on sale. They weren't going anywhere -- there were at least a couple of smalls & mediums in both. I left empty handed; they were both pretty pricey. But I went home and got online and found a decent coupon for the store. That was part of what I wanted to do Friday when I couldn't get out.
So I went Saturday. Next Saturday's race looks to be cool, which is why I didn't want to wait for a sale (plus sometimes when I wait for a sale, my size is gone).
I dithered about the sweatshirt. Wasn't really sure I'd run in it, even tho it says right inside running! In the end, I bought it.
And I'm glad I did, cause it was absolutely perfect for my early morning swimming date this morning. Lots of zippered pockets so I could stow keys, cell phone, license. Even a hoodie that sort of zips into the collar (and it was sprinkling this morning). I'm so glad I bought it!
Swimming was good. I found the pool without too much trouble. DH said the dogs didn't bat an eyelid when I left this morning, which is also good. They're used to me going out early to run, but not to the sound of the garage door opener early in the morning!
The worst part of it is that by the time I finished the high school girls were in the locker room. So there I was stripping for a bunch of thin high school girls -- everyone's worst nightmare, right? Well, of course it made me uncomfortable, but it's a small price to pay to be able to swim inexpensively!
Yeah girls, take a good gander (which they didn't, thankfully), cause you might look like this in 30 years!
I thought getting out of there might be difficult as there was a small army of parents dropping off their kids, but it wasn't a problem at all. Everyone seemed to want to turn into the parking lot I was trying to turn out of, so that made it easy.
I am so thankful that this is available to me! It will be harder to motivate myself as the weather gets colder & colder, but it's not the first time I've gone swimming (inside) in frigid weather. Just not so early!
On the bad news front, the pain in my butt seemed to be getting better, only now it seems to have migrated. I was doing lots of stretching for what I thought the problem was, plus making sure to squat rather than bend over (which I have a bad habit of doing), and it really seemed to be helping. Only now there are some new twinges.
I'm hoping the cross training with the swimming will really help clear all that up -- eventually. Just keep me ok til Saturday, and next week I planned a week off of running anyway!
So how bout you. Do you notice it when the universe aligns itself to give you want you truly desire? Do you spend time visualizing what you want (I do!)? Are you grateful when it happens?
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Not long ago I blogged about how we are all mammals -- that dogs do what they get rewarded for, and we do too.
Today I'm taking the opposite stance.
Yesterday, my cats caught and killed a chipmunk. They had just eaten their breakfast. They weren't hungry -- and they didn't really fight me after I took their "toy" away from them (it was still alive at that point, and I was hopeful that it wasn't seriously injured).
Yes, it made me very sad -- and angry at them, despite the fact that I know they were just being cats. Cats are hard wired to hunt, whether they are hungry or not, because you never know how long you might have to go between meals and whether or not the next hunt will be successful.
Ok, so in that way, we ARE like animals -- one reason it's so hard to lose weight is that we are hard wired to want to hold onto our fat stores in case of famine.
OTOH, cats don't eat because they're angry or sad (altho they may eat if they're bored).
Still, how many times have you had the urge to eat despite just having had a plentiful meal? Or the need for dessert when you're not really hungry? The feeling that a meal isn't a meal unless it's ended by a sweet?
Next time it happens, ask yourself if you're an animal. And if it offends you to be compared to an animal, maybe that's actually a good thing.
I said a prayer for that little chipmunk. I told him I was so sorry that he had to die like that. I took him away from the cats, and put him out on the lawn. I petted him a bit, told him how sorry I was, and then left him alone, hoping he was just stunned and would go off on his own. But when I went back to check, he was dead. I don't know if it would have been better to stay with him, or if that would have just been more scary for him.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
So my emotional stress didn't lead me to overeat yesterday, but I was hungry earlier than DH wanted to eat. Tried munching on some cherry tomatoes, which didn't do the trick. Managed to hold out to dinner.
Only problem was that I was still hungry after dinner & dessert (a planned-for dessert). I was going to eat a dark chocolate Hershey's Kiss. Just one. 25 calories. .5 WW points. I wasn't planning to log it, either, for the simple reason that I'd already eaten plenty for the day.
But I thought about it. Would it fill me up? No, absolutely not. Was I really craving chocolate? No, not so much. Did I truly need more food? Well, sort of, but I also thought about my goal.
I lost half a pound this week, even with TOM arriving on WI day. I will never figure out why sometimes I lose that week, and other times I gain. I didn't eat that great this week. Not terribly, but there were some BLTs in there. And no pushups. Sorry, dayhiker. Progress, not perfection.
One of those BLTs was a biggie: a bag of sweet potato & beet chips over 2 days. Not so much a bite lick or taste!
But that half pound got me to thinking. What if I lost half a pound every week? I could be at my GW in 20 weeks. Less than half a year. What if I lost 1 pound every week? I could be at my GW in less than 3 months -- by the end of the year!
I'm not sure I've ever really looked at it that way. Silly, but there you have it. It's kind of inspiring. I'm not sure how long I can hold on to that inspiration, but for now, I'm going to run with it.
Summer is over. Summer with its loose fitting shorts and skirts and dresses. Now it's on to semi-tight jeans, which don't let you get away with as much.
I know, without a doubt, that I still do want to lose those last 10 lbs. There are still photos of myself that make me cringe. And yeah, I know, there will probably always be photos of myself that will make me cringe no matter what my weight, but I also know that I want to be a size healthy.
Let me say it again, because it's important:
I want to be a size healthy.
What you believe, you can achieve (I've been collecting mantras lately. May change my sparkpage title to this).
I believe that I can be a size healthy -- and maintain it. All it will take is a little focus, and maybe half a pound a week. Ya with me?
Remember: progress, not perfection. Step away from the kisses!
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