Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Increasing my upper calorie limit and some of the other metrics seems to have helped in one sense. I did not have that crashing sleepiness after eating which made me more productive at work - a real win.
I also did not feel hungry nor have bizarre cravings, despite the plethora of Girl Scout cookies at work!
Somehow, I got in 10,468 steps, even without my lunch time walk. I still felt very sluggish and my knee feels as if it's about 4 times too wide. I tried a new exercise (squats). WOW, are those hard! I am so out of shape! I do the hip flexors almost every day and can tell that they are helping to improve my balance.
However, the day ended badly. I blogged last week mentioning a coworker and friend who was feeling sorry for herself and how that made it hard to interact with her at work. She is also the person helping me do my graduation stuff. Today, she had a bee in her bonnet and wanted to get working on it after we'd talked earlier and agreed that I was going to write what I wanted. She started telling me what the etiquette rules are and what needs to be said. I had already said I wanted something more personal, more me. I was a bit perturbed and it showed. I was rather tart and instantly regretted it.
I have one more week of this quarter and two papers to write. I cannot get my head around graduation 13 weeks beforehand...That's no excuse and I feel terrible for snapping at her! Some of that may be due to my hypoglycemic dip. I never see those coming and, by the time I do, it takes a few days to fully recover...
I did not tell her about that - I was afraid she would think I was offering an excuse and I didn't want her to feel disrespected...My stomach hurts! In the past, that would have triggered the need to eat an entire sleeve of Ritz crackers and fully sugared root beer. But food is not the answer to an emotional stress...
Sunday, March 14, 2010
After looking forward to Sunday morning most of the week, I am a bit deflated. I felt thinner, I felt as if I were making significant progress. The feedback this morning was disappointing. Down half a pound (still better than last week's 2/10ths, but not what I was expecting.) The tape measure continues to give measures that mystify - down an inch here, up a quarter there, a very mixed bag. Net change - down half an inch.
So, fighting my old, preSparkPeople self, I am not going to give in to that voice in my head that is saying I'm not trying hard enough, I am failing, etc. I am, instead, going to ignore the disappointment and that voice ("shut up!") and try somthing different this week.
Over the past two weeks, I'd been getting a message to change some of my fitness goals because I am working out much more than I did when I started. The message said something about changing calories and I was initially hesitant to do that. Part of that is the still-tentative relationship I have with exercise. If I change the calories, that means a commitment to exercise. The supportive feedback on the message boards and from SparkFriends was not enough to assuage my inner feelings. This morning, I am stunned, hurt, disappointed and.......I just don't know what to think.
So, I am going to do what I call a 10% experiment this week. I raised my calories and most other nutritional metrics by 10%. We'll see if that makes a difference. I figure that's a more healthy attitude than some others I could have chosen. The other thing it does is make me commit to maintaining if not increasing the exercise. Slacking off on that is not an acceptable option.
I have my new pedometer that works! I have my free weights! I have a DVD for beginner Pilates mat work! I have a DVD for hula! (I just need to find room to do those...!)
Maybe this will also address the crashing fatique that immediately follows eating!
I welcome feedback/input/personal experiences from my SparkFriends on this topic! What have you done? What did you learn?
"Beware the Ides of March" you unwanted pounds because I am going to keep pressing on!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I was laid off from job #2 at the end of October 2009 and, aside from the significant impact on cash flow, getting used to having weekends off has been slow in coming. I have worked 2 or 3 jobs for most of the 20+ years I've lived here. Recently, I have found myself looking forward to the weekends, even though nothing else has changed.
That may be attributed to the influence of SparkPeople! I find myself waking up early to get on the site and start my day right. I look forward to the opportunity of getting in good exercise time. Today was a gorgeous blue sky day and very cool, which made for great walking weather.
This morning, I logged on with my cup of coffee and my Maine Coon, Juneau, decided to be very cuddly! I spent a while with her which I loved! In the past, I have sometimes been so zoned in on what I needed to accomplish because time is of such a premium that I have not, as the saying goes, taken time to stop and smell the roses.
I didn't get everything done that I wanted to do, but, except for an odd period in the afternoon, it was a great day! I had my usual breakfast (Kashi cereal!) and then we headed out to do the errands. I meant to grab a piece of fruit and water to take with me, but forgot. I bought a bottle of water at the store (only 50 cents!) and we had Subway sandwiches for lunch. I had suddenly gotten very hungry and knew I would not last for the drive home and time to prepare something. This week, I've noticed that immediately after eating, I am exceedingly tired. Today was no exception. I came home and immediately headed for a nap.
When Bill came to wake me up, I lay there thinking that I did not want to move. I was so tired that I had the thought I could just die right there. Not sleepy, just so lacking in energy. I thought about going far over on my calories just to see if my energy level improved and, as I lay there, thought there was no way I could take a walk.
After a while, I did get up. One of the things I bought this morning was a new pedometer. Wanting to try it out made me get out the door and start walking. The pedometer works! 1.7 miles and over 5,000 steps! I love the charge that I get out of seeing those numbers! I marvel at that - I bought a pedometer years ago, could not figure out how to use it and gave up.
In a continuing quest to figure out what I should be doing, I read some of the posts on the nutrition fitness board. Coach somebody suggested I change something in my exercise and nutrition so that the site would recalculate the amount of calories I should be consuming. I made those adjustments and no recalculation occured. I think I will have to experiment. That has elements of being out of control (maybe just between my ears) and I am unaccountably uncomfortable with that. When I was on diets, there were all kinds of creative reasons and ways to game the system. This, however, is not a diet, so I am not interested in essentially cheating myself. But, the stronger element is the need to figure out why that fatigue happens, not just for myself but for my employer. I am a borderline hypoglycemic, so maybe I should make some adjustments along those lines. Interestingly, the walk revived me. Ahhhhhh!
During the walk, I encountered one patch of rough pavement that almost made me fall. I did not fall! My balance IS improving! Not only that, the lower back pain was very slight and only towards the end of the first half of the walk. I sat for about 30 seconds and we continued. It did not recur on the way home. We walked the longer way home and, as we walked, I reminded Bill that when we used to walk, I would reach for the nearest fence or light and hang on while my lower back protested. I am SO glad that is in the past!
I absolutely cannot wait to weigh in and pull out the tape measure tomorrow morning!
Friday, March 12, 2010
I was born early, due in early June, born in March, back in the days when premies had less of a chance of survival than now. I was born early because of an attempted illegal abortion. I am blessed in that the damage was minimal and physical. I learned to walk when I was four years old and wore a leg brace practically from birth until just before my 10th birthday. When I was 14, I had surgery to stretch my left Achilles tendon so that I could walk with my feet flat on the ground. (I'm repeating that part, I know.)
For most of my youth, I did not let the minor handicap slow me down. I loved to run even though I knew I looked funny doing it. I wanted to play like the other children, but there has not been a sport invented (that I've tried) where I succeed. Years of physical therapy gave me the idea that exercise was a four letter word that got stretched. After the surgery, I wore a leg brace until Valentines Day just before my 16th birthday. Fortunately, I was not exempt from PE while in high school, so I was forced to remain active.
Fun things happened along the way. Coach Kerr helped me "walk" across the monkey bars when I was about 10. He lifted me up and stayed with me, making sure I did not fall. I was not allowed to go on them without supervision. I did not understand that that was because I did not have the arm strength or the reach to grip one bar and then another. I ignored the rule one day when he was home sick and fell from the bars. I was winded, believe you me!
In high school, I could run very, very, very fast, but only for a very, very, very short distance. I challenged my PE teacher that I could beat her back to the lockers, She accepted the challenge and I ran my hardest and fastest. I could hear her with me most of the way. In retrospect, I think she let me win, but I was completely euphoric at the time!
I got smacked right between the eyeballs with a basket ball. I was watching it fall through the net, not even thinking that I would get hit. That was the end of my playing days. I could not keep up on the court, so I became the scorekeeper.
I loved tennis, but was, as usual, not good at it. As Billie Jean King said, it was just fun whacking the yellow fuzzy ball! Tumbling was not fun - flexibility was not and is not yet a word one would use to describe me! I loved the trampoline, but was eventually barred from that for safety reasons.
I love to watch baseball, but I could never play it or softball. The eye-hand coordination or lack thereof made it impossible for me to connect bat to ball. I did connect ONCE when I was about 11 and I was so shocked that I stood stock still, forgetting to run to first base! I think they let me take that base!
I love swimming, but I am not good at it, nor am I strong. When I was a senior in high school, we got to go swimming at a public pool. I had done some low dives but it was not until our last day of swimming class that I screwed up my courage to climb the high dive. (fear of heights). I had visualized making the dive, but I had not visualized walking out to the end of the board, feeling it move, prior to the dive! It took me a long time to walk out to the end. My teacher would not let me turn around. I dove and, midway down, decided I was going to do something really fancy. What happened was the world's largest, longest belly flop! I was completely winded! My teacher dragged me to the edge of the pool where I clung until air returned...I was red from head to toe!
After high school, through the Youth Conservation Corps, I had the thrill of working on an archaeology dig in southern New Mexico. We slept in WWII army tents, cots, blankets, ate K rations and had to build the camp even before we could start the dig. Digging post holes for a fence in kalichi (gypsum) in New Mexico summertime was one of the hardest things I did. Even today, all the things I did that summer made it the most physically challenging job I've ever had, but I loved it! My grandfather was an anthropologist and then THE premiere expert on New Mexico natives, so the archaeologists let me do some things that other students did not.
During the two week gap between the end of that job and the start of college, I visited my best friend and stayed at her house. One night, running through the house as your mom always says not to do, I made a wide detour around where the footstool should have been and fell right over it. The lights were off and the fall shattered my right elbow, split a bone in my upper arm and broke my wrist. And, yes, I am right handed!
I started college with my arm in a cast, not the thing a music major double majoring in voice and piano needs. To make a long story short, it took more than a year and 5 operations to repair the breaks. I ended up having to change majors and my dream of being a music therapist was over.
Through the years, I liked to think of myself as a stubborn Norwegian (I am of Norwegian+almost everything else extraction) and that I did not concede any physical limitations.
The truth is something different. While I have long known that I have limitations, I have railed against them in small ways. Visiting a friend years ago, she took me to her church and, proud of the new equipment, offered to let me ride the lift from one level to the next. I declined. She was proud of me. I have been afraid that, with advancing years, natural aging would start to narrow my abilities even further. Fear of one day having to use a cane, a wheel chair, have haunted me for a long time. I used to visit my grandparents in Santa Fe. When I first met them, we would go out to eat, run errands, go to the opera (they decided to expose me to all kinds of culture that I would not have otherwise experienced). As the years went by, they cut back until all they did was sit in their recliners. Sometimes they even slept there because it was too much effort to go to bed. It broke my heart and I determined that I would not concede that much.
However, it did not help me overcome my long held attitude about exercise. I have always hated doing anything, even the things I can do! That is changing.
That is changing!
I don't love exercise yet, but I miss my lunchtime walks if I don't do them. I even want to do more. Tonight, I used my new weights. Not for long, not for a lot of exercises, but my arms and shoulders feel worked out. Not sore, but tired in a good way. I KNOW someday those "batwings" will be gone! WOOHOO!
Overcoming my attitude about exercise is still not accomplished fact. I know that I need to move in order to achieve my goals, but there are daily reminders and limits. An unexpected pain, inability to execute or reduced result - it's very hard to be patient!
Looming over all this thinking is the knowledge that I lost only 2/10ths last week. I've pledged to lose 30 by the end of June and I want to lose the entire tonnage by the end of September. Nervous about hitting a plateau, I have mixed feelings about my upcoming weigh in, EVEN THOUGH the scale does not rule me. I also dare to hope once in a while that the number will be great because I feel thinner this week.
I'm wondering if I should move out my goal date and dial down my expectations of X pounds per week lost and approach my exercise with an also dialed down approach. It is out of the question for me to consult with anyone - money is just not there. I can but try. Exercise will continue to be an experiment in the short term. At the same time, I am resisting old thought patterns. "Are you nuts even thinking about running a half marathon next year?" "You haven't even started running!" "You can hardly handle walking and stairs." "You'll fail at this, too." Those messages do not boom through my brain as they used to, nor are they constant and automatic. Progress.
But, if I dial all this down and back, is that more realistic? More than anything else, I want to succeed. I truly do care less about dates than the end result. By the same token, the spectre of becoming my chairbound grandparents is also there.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
After yesterday's turmoil over whether or not I was on target, on track or even eating the right amount of food, today was calm with moments of joy and euphoria. My self-talk on the drive to work was reiterating my concluding thoughts from last night - that I was just going to take it one day at a time.
I parked on the other side of the complex of buildings at work and walked the long way around to my office. My left knee told me as soon as I woke up that stairs would be out of the question, but I did not let that deter me from the hills, I just took the elevator when I had to. The slopes actually seemed to ease the pain of the back of my leg and knee, which validated my decision not to be a potato today.
Lunch time was my now usual walk followed by a prepared meal that tasted better because of the walk. It was a very cool day - the cold front is coming from Alaska (where I used to live!), but the blue sky was absolutely exhilarating!
A coworker stopped me in the hallway this afternoon and asked if I've lost weight! I was floored! I answered affirmatively. I had been walking around all day just feeling thinner which was a great novelty. Last week, I had a day when I felt as if I blew up in about 5 minutes for no reason (No, it was not salt!) So I reveled in the novelty of feeling as if things were happening...
I talked again to my friend about SparkPeople. Someone else had told her about it a year or so ago and that seems to carry more weight for her than my testimonial, but I can also tell from her comments that she is not ready. I told her I am not going to push her, but I will be a cheerleader or offer other support when she's ready. I'm back to being a living example and not much else for her. It hurts to see her so unhappy, so unhealthy and so much younger than I am!
But, if SparkPeople and the internet were around when I was her age, I don't know if I would have been more ready...No judgment, just wishing my experience could shortcut some of her lesson.
The 1 Day Challenge for today was to get 30 minutes of continuous exercise, but I didn't achieve that. I hit 17. But I ended the day with 48, a new personal best. That was all walking. I still need to do more strength training...
I ended the day just under the top numbers nutritionally speaking. I would prefer to have a little more room, but I had less hunger through the day, so it worked.
I stopped at a store on the way home, looking for the exercise DVD that SP advertises and the pedometer that I really want. The store, advertised to have both, had neither. It was not an essential purchase, so I shall survive. On the way home, I found myself thinking about some interpersonal issues in a new and stronger vein of thought. Who knows how broad the SP influence on my life will be? What an exciting journey today!
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