Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Several Sparkpeople commented on my blog posting from yesterday, which I always appreciate! One says she has increased her calorie range and is losing weight, another said that, because she is short, Sparkpeople's site doesn't calculate all that stuff correctly. I am under 5 feet tall, so I immediately started looking at calories 101.
It involves math! My head hurts! Seriously, by my calculation (which must be wrong), I should be eating far below the 1200 calories a day threshold! I am confused, deflated, uninspired and almost, not quite, but almost, feel like throwing in the towel! (Some kidding and some grains of truth here.)
I did not get to take my wonderful lunchtime walk. I had planned to attend the company Toastmaster club meeting, but work kind of exploded on me and I did not leave my desk except for meetings today. That's not entirely true - I walked as much as I could in between tasks, but I did not get dedicated walking time.
In an effort to combat the crashing lack of energy during the work day, I ate little snacks throughout the day. That did help, did not solve it, but it sure left me with next to nothing for dinner. And, it was the usual very few calories left, need lots of protein, need fat and close to the top on carbs. What to do with that? I really try to keep things in balance and just can't seem to get it, either with my physical body or with all the rest of this. Inside joke -my balance is actually improving!
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
I had other thoughts on my mind for today's blog as the day slowly worked its way to evening. When I came home, logged in and started posting activities, I was surprised to receive a comment in my friend feed that I had gone over 1000 fitness minutes. I had not realized that! What a thrill! (For a minute - ha!) It was nice to have the comment in the feed - I am still not used to the level of support found on this site.
When I started, the idea of doing any exercise was just a boat anchor of thought in my mind. I have not arrived, far from it, but I actually regret it when something prevents me from my lunchtime walk. Imagine! I just marvel at the idea. I am still amazed at the things SparkPeople do and still wonder if/when I will do those things. Running? DVDs with scary-sounding titles? (meaning they sound hard to do and painful!) Weight training? Still dabbling.
Last week, I got a message for about 3 consecutive days in red letters advising me to change something about my calories because I was over for the week. I have not done so because I don't feel secure in the idea that this really is going to stick. With my pedometer difficulties, I am about ready to give up on that idea, even though I did enjoy seeing the numbers climb. (it's kind of like getting instant Spark points for walking!) I lost the first one, the one I bought seems to be possessed and the current one fell apart today after losing my steps. Before noon, I was almost 5000 steps and the next time I looked, I had two! The cover of the pedometer came off while I was looking at the 2 in amazement.
I was also thinking about switching to soda from coffee in order to save the calories from the 2%. Then, like a lightning bolt - I have not been recording my soda (always diet, one or two cans a day) and what that impacts is the sodium. The next thought was, perhaps cutting out the 2% is not a good idea. I have tried to cut below 2% and just can't cope with the taste. On the other hand, I do need calcium. I am not sure what to do and did not find a solution online today. I LOVE cheese, but that's a food I have to be very careful with because it calls my name.......So I had some lowfat yogurt in the afternoon.
I still find myself far too tired. I wonder if I do need to eat more. but the 1200-1550 range seems more than enough. The red letter notice last week seemed to say that my activity level requires more calories. That's counter-intuitive to me because I am not losing much weight. Adding more calories after losing only 2/10ths of a pound? I am not sure about that!
The other side of that coin is, if I did raise my calories, I MUST exercise and I am still skittish about that commitment!
I shared with a friend at work today about SparkPeople. She said she's been using a nationally known program since August and has lost only 15 pounds. I did not share everything I think about why she's stuck because this is the beginning of what I hope to be an ongoing conversation. She does not want to go to the gym with her boyfriend. (She works fulltime, goes to school and has a munchkin) I suggested she put her little boy in a stroller and walk around her neighborhood for 20 minutes. She said there's a park nearby and I said that the walk and park time will do two things - give her some exercise and some quality time with her son. Whether she does anything along those lines remains to be seen. I am not going to pursue her about it, but I did share my success in just over a month - just over 10 pounds gone and about 7 inches gone. I will continue quietly setting my example by walking around the campus, carrying my water bottle and using my food scale. She has seen me walking and doing those other things, so I hope the seed is being planted. I could tell by her reaction that she has not seen the weight change and that's ok. I am not doing this for recognition, I am doing this because I believe the alternative is a shortened life and a less-than-acceptable quality of that life.
So I will keep exercising, even if it is "just" walking and the occasional set of hip flexors, push ups and other moves that I cannot name! Yes, I am still a rookie! I am still amazed and still reluctant to call this a permanent change. I know my past! For now, I am taking it one day at a time. Today, I drank the water, have eaten within range and actually liked my walk. Tomorrow, I hope to do the same thing...And Thursday and...
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
It's probably a defense mechanism that I need to think about sometime, but not tonight. My life has been compartmentalized for a long time, at least I thought so. Work in one mental box, home life in another, distant family in another and the few other relationships in yet another.
Perhaps I should not be surprised with the encompassing aspects of SparkPeople to find the barriers between theses boxes starting to give. I won't be able to address this in one blog, but I have to make a broadbrush stroke attempt to touch the first layer.
At work (box #1), I received an email from a coworker who is also a friend. She said that I am lucky because I have about 200 Facebook friends. She has just recently set up her account and does not have many responses to her invitations. Her email went on to say that she is depressed, has increased her depression meds and is having a pity party. WHAT am I supposed to do with that?! This is one of those times when it does not matter what I say, it won't be the right answer. We did have some reasons to talk about work today, so I could not compartmentalize as effectively and my concern for her emotional stability tore at my ability to concentrate on my own tasks. I'm not blaming her - that's my issue.
This same friend wants to do something to celebrate my birthday and is not allowing me to deflect her interest in doing something. My birthday falls on the weekend before finals and I start the next class immediately afterwards, so I don't want to spend money and take time away from school right now. Her financial situation is better than mine, but not much, and I don't want her to spend money on me. Her birthday is later in the year and it will be my turn to match whatever she does. Sigh...
She had, unbeknownst to me, made plans for us to go to Yosemite over Memorial Day weekend. At the time that she made the plans, I was not planning on taking a class next quarter, but circumstances have changed. It means a couple of days off from work and includes camping at Yosemite, a hotel night in a town that has a casino and is a bit much for me to handle right now both in terms of time and money. When I told her that I will be in school then and that I fully anticipate that the teacher will slam us with major homework, her answer was that I could bring it with me. I know from experience travel and study do not mix well!
This weekend, I learned my "adopted" mom is in the hospital having suffered a "light" stroke. I am very concerned for her. I also take it as a sign (for lack of better description) that I should not "spend" my vacation time right now. Because Mom Angell is not an immediate family member, if, God forbid, she dies, the trip to Missouri for her funeral would be from vacation time, not bereavement. When I told my friend today that I was concerned about the possibility of having to buy a black outfit and an airline ticket, she said rather tartly that people do not die from strokes. If I wore dentures, they would have fallen out! I doubt she realizes how painful a remark that was to hear. At the time that I said it, I did not realize what a blue funk she is in or I would have said nothing.
This showed me that I am continuing the lifelong habit of "stuffing" my own feelings in favor of being the strong person for others. No wonder I don't reach out for help! Or at least, I did so very timidly prior to SparkPeople. Fortunately, I did not literally stuff myself! It did not even cross my mind! Woohoo! Progress! The divorce of food from emotions is continuing and deepening.
I finally had class tonight. The judge returned our midterms and I was very unhappy with my grade. I passed, but not with a grade I like. Fortunately, I have two chances to bring the grade up - the final exam and an extra credit project. Both are papers and both are due in two weeks. I had not anticipated needing to do that much work, but I hate leaving points on the table, so I will do as much as I can. I was almost mobbed on the way out the door by a couple of students. One wanted me to email my notes to him (he is always late by at least 30 minutes) and the young lady asked me to repeat the two assignments several times. Of course, I answered patiently, but I am always amazed by her questions and wonder what she does during class when he's lecturing. He repeats himself at least 3 times when he says something he wants us to get...At the same time, I was so unhappy with the midterm result that I had to really work at focusing on the lecture! I should not be so hard on others. The older I get, the more I remind myself that I don't know the whole story. The reminder helps, but the internal dialog is still hard to shut off...Something else for me to work on.
I wore my pedometer today, one of several. The one I bought seems to work just fine for miles, but not for steps. The other pedometer seems to be ok. As near as I can tell, I walked for 4 miles today with over thirteen thousand steps. That was with a nap at lunch time and a nap before school. Usually, I walk during those times, but I was so tired today!
I'm not quite sure where I was going with all this, but I'm winding down! I feel rather overwhelmed, tired (not sleepy, tired in an exhausted sort of way). I did have fleeting thoughts of chocolate or other sugar before class, but I had a Boca burger sandwich instead. Without completely conscious thought, I am starting to address stress without stuffing my face. When I realize I'm craving something, I do think about what is going on. But, when I am in the middle of a stressful situation, I don't think about bingeing, which is a novelty. That's probably a subject for another blog.
Perhaps I should have titled this "I Need a Long Time Out!". I'm still a little discouraged by the miniscule weight loss this week and the inches lost, but I should be grateful that I have not yet plateaued. I am really nervous about that! In the past, when I hit a plateau, I stayed there for a very long time. That discouragement makes tracking, measuring, exercising, drinking water - managing my lifestyle change - something of a drudge. I really need to snap out of that attitude, for certain!
I think I will adopt a couple of things this week: act as if until it is. And - one day at a time. The 30 pound pledge is too far, how much farther is the total! Today is just about over and I can handle tomorrow with grace and help from others. Lastly, I will continue to look for reasons to be positive. I feel stronger, I feel better and I like the way my clothes fit. I'll start there.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Saturday, my favorite boss found me on Facebook. The last time I saw him was late summer 1986, but he had a huge impact on my life. I was floored to be reconnected with him!
In the midst of that euphoria, I found out that my "adopted mom" is in the hospital having suffered a light stroke. She's in Missouri and I'm in California. Her daughters are with her. I am praying for her recovery and that I don't have to buy something black and an airline ticket.
The scale surprised me this morning. Down 2/10ths. At this rate, my pledge of 30 pounds by the end of June is a real challenge! I am just a tad discouraged. But, what this tells me is that I cannot slack off on measuring (eyeballing won't do) and I'm going to have to exercise through the pain. The water has not been a problem, which is a bit of a surprise. Along with the micro weight loss, I lost inches in some places, gained girth in other spots, so it was a strange accounting. The net difference is just a hair under 2 inches lost.
I broke down and bought a new pedometer as an early birthday present. It seems too sensitive, so I don't trust the step count. The day was slightly overcast, but it was a great day for the Baylands walk. We walked a different path and I was unable to get a lot of speed up because of the terrain. What I did notice was that, if I were not losing weight and exercising, I would have fallen several times. My balance is improving. Trying to keep my balance on that trail gave me plenty of a work out! It's kind of hard to explain, but I felt all of the muscles working to keep me upright, my heart rate was up and it felt like a good workout...I look forward to looking back at this blog soon and laughing at thinking that this is a good workout. To do that, I need to move my exercise bar a long way down the road. Today's walk was over a mile.
Tomorrow at work, I'll have the stairs and hills and the campus at school tomorrow night. I should be able to get lots of walking in! I can't imagine that I am looking forward to that! ME! Thanks, SparkPeople! You're helping me change my life!
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Usually I post my blog midday or in the evening. It's morning and all I've had so far is the required first cup of coffee (a Rwandan bean). The past few weeks, I have walked more, I've used the stairs and, on occasion, flirted with free weights and exercises such as pushups and bridges. The only thing, besides walking, that I am doing consistently are the hip flexors.
But, I've missed a few days here and there or done less than I wanted or intended to do. I've become a bit discouraged by the results of my walks. It's taking longer to burn the same calories and longer to get my heart rate up. I feel like a slug!
I find myself mentally slipping into my old attitude about exercise, which may be why I have not committed to a program of strength training and have not started my running program either. It's not quite guilt, but something akin to that. The fact that I have started neither despite intention weighs on me. I feel anchored somehow and know I need to break free from whatever is holding me back.
Part of it is money, but that's an excuse. I don't have the money for running shoes and the shoes I have are completely inappropriate. I want, I want, I want - I hate wanting things this much! I want some exercise dvds (pilates, yoga, basic stuff), I want...I am just tired of that whine in my head!
Part of it is the unknown. Moving my body is not easy, not fun and those strength training exercises are boring. Will it get better over time? Do I have the patience to stick with it long enough to see a difference? What if I can't run? What if, as with walking, I hurt myself and can't do anything for a day or so? What if I fail AGAIN? Why am I letting this old litany hang over me now?
Everything I'm reading about women, age and obesity should be enough inspiration for me to get off the couch and out the door! Hence, my decision to blog this morning! Now, time for breakfast, shower and out the door for my wetlands walk!
Sparkle Saturday, Everyone!
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