KITTY775   16,064
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Starting over again

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I restarted my goals today. It was time. I've been on a bad trajectory for the past few month, bad eating habits, not enough exercise, weight climbing. I having been posting to my blog, either, so it's about time I started again.

I've been reading though. I've been on Spark People every day for 326 days, even when I'm not doing anything else. I've been there because I have been trying to keep the connection with my weight loss goals, even though I haven't been doing anything about them.

This week was the clincher for me -- the big, embarrassing reminder that I badly need to lose weight.

I'm a newspaper reporter and editor by trade, have been for 22 years. One of the most exciting things I cover as a reporter is wildfire. And we had a doozy of a fire this week -- Conflagration Act big. Over a thousand firefighters in town big.

I was fine the first day, before everything became official. I drove out to the fire scene, talked to people whose homes are at risk. Tried to tell their story of this frightening experience.

The next day, when the state authorities rolled into town, was another story.

To cover the fire firsthand now, with new rules in place for safety, I had to have the same basic clothing as the firefighters: fire-resistant shirt, pants and boots, and a hard hat. Normally, reporters can borrow clothing for the fire. Firefighters come in all shapes and sizes -- almost. None were as big as me, so I had to send a junior reporter to the fire in my place.

Bottom line is, I'm tired of feeling my life being shut off by fat. I'm tired all the time. My joints ache. I get out of breath way too easily. I'm really not healthy enough to do too much of anything. Next year, my husband's best friend is getting married in New Zealand. We are supposed to fly over so he can be best man and I am worried I won't be able to fit in a plane seat. It's expensive enough to fly without having to buy an extra seat for my big butt. Not to mention how mortifying that would be.

It's sad when every time I want to do something I have to ask myself "Is my big body able to do that?" I've always been someone who likes lots of different experiences, which is one of the things I like best about my job. I don't just have to sit behind a desk for hours everyday (although some of that comes with the territory). Sometimes I get to go out and experience the things I'm writing about. At one time in my life, hiking into the wilderness or wading into a stream was part of the fun. Now I have to ask myself if my knees and ankles can take it, if my heart can take it, if I can fit into the places I need to go.

Fortunately, I've found a way to exercise that isn't limited by all of that. Swimming and water aerobics are a really good workout. I haven't been doing that much in that regard lately, but I got back into the pool today for the first time in a long time and it felt good to work my muscles to fatigue.

Wish me luck. I'm going to need all the encouragement I can get.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KITTY775 8/25/2013 10:49PM

    Thanks for the encouragement, everyone. I'm rooting for,you, too! emoticon emoticon

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SUCCESSN2014 8/25/2013 4:18PM

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AJR2013AJR 8/25/2013 3:47PM

    Just take it one day at a time! Swimming is a cure-all; once you plunge into the cold water, all the stress just goes away! Make time for exercise everyday.....the rest will follow! emoticon emoticon

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FITK34 8/25/2013 3:12PM

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HOTPINKCAMARO49 8/25/2013 2:32PM

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Baby steps toward a new life

Monday, January 07, 2013

I was inspired by 111BUTTERFLY111 and her New Year's blog about goal-setting. But I have found myself struggling and thinking over the course of days about how to set my own goals. Establishing goals does not come that easily to me.

Of course, I have my big goal. Lose all this weight and go on to live the fabulous, energetic and athletic life I originally set out to have before I allowed this huge weight barrier to get in the way. But getting from here to there just seems to stretch on into infinity. It's such a LOT of weight to lose. Don't I just keep doing what I am doing until I get there?

I know the answer is yes AND no. Do I need to keep exercising more and eating more healthfully and moderately? Yes. But I know I need to set a few guideposts from here to there to help me along and to help establish habits that can serve me just as well after I have lost the weight.

But trying to think about what those should be has left me slightly mystified. It just hasn't been my habit in the past. When people have asked me at job interviews where I want to be in five years I have always mumbled something about doing my job with increasing responsibility. I realize that must have sounded very uninspired.

So I guess the best way to get better at setting goals is to practice. So here are a few to start with:

1. Celebrate incremental weight losses with a reward every 10 pounds. I bought myself some new walking shoes after the first 20 pounds, so maybe the next reward should be a new swimming suit for my water aerobics.

2. Say one good thing about my body every day. Today, for example, I am happy to see that I am recovering enough to exercise after I hurt my back last week. My body still has good recovery capabilities.

3. Exercise five days a week for 45 minutes or more.

4. Drink at least eight glasses of water for seven days straight.

5. Try at least one new fitness activity this month.

6. Stay within my calorie limits for seven days straight.

Ok, that's a start. I wish I were a little more creative, but baby steps, I guess. Now to figure out where I want my career to be in five years.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODS_TEMPLE 1/7/2013 11:45PM

    I'm like you. Just can't think of goals I want to set.

You did pretty good for your first try! emoticon

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RG_DFW 1/7/2013 7:57PM

    sounds great!!!

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Like a vegan

Monday, December 31, 2012

My husband gave me that look when I told him I think I need to follow a vegan diet. The look said, "We are meat eaters."

It is true. I like a good steak or a hamburger with cheese and lots of mustard. I enjoy chicken, cheese, yogurt, baked goods with whipped cream on top. But I am learning that my body doesn't like them as well and I am starting to think all this itching and what not is its form of rebellion.

"I never thought I would be married to a vegan," my husband said the last time I brought up this thought. Well, he wasn't then and he isn't now.

I'm not ready to take that big a leap all in one giant leafy bite. I don't know if I ever will be. Veganism, for me, isn't a political statement. I think people are meant to be omnivores. We are part of the food chain. That said, I definitely like the idea of leaving less of a carbon footprint.

But it do think there is some pretty compelling evidence that eating vegan is better for you, reducing heart disease and diabetes risks, as well as the risk of some cancers.

But trying to go cold no-turkey is pretty much a guarantee of failure in my personal experience. Admittedly, it works for some people. My friend Skip and his wife, faced with a cancer scare, quit smoking cold turkey, substituting outdoor recreation for their former unhealthy habit.

That's not me, though. I am not good at self-deprivation. Somewhere deep down inside I get scared somehow that this is forever and I will never, ever have another (fill in the blank) again!!!! That is when that deep down part of me gets anxious and starts looking for whatever it can stuff in its gob.

So it's baby steps for me. I have combed various websites that offer vegan recipes with something other than kale and tofu. I hate them both. I have found quite a few and have already tried some of them with varied results. Curried potatoes and cauliflower? Blech! Mashed potatoes and cauliflower? Yummy (although that is where the "almost" comes in because I use sour cream). White bean and tomato pasta from this website? Excellent.

I have traded coconut milk and rice milk for cow's milk, which is no sacrifice at all, because they both taste really good and cow's milk causes stomach problems. I wish I had opened my mind to them earlier.

I'm not expecting my family to take the plunge with me. I think that would just be a recipe for resentment. Instead, I am making some of my vegan dishes as side dishes and giving them the option of meat with them.

Today, for example, my husband is making spaghetti with meatballs. He will keep the meatballs for himself and I will have just sauce and pasta. It works.

So far that system has worked pretty well, excepted with the curried cauliflower and with my attempt to sneak sweet potato into potato latkes.

The thing is, some days I am just not willing to forego that slice of cheddar. Or turkey on Christmas. Or buttered wheat toast. And rather than letting a sense of deprivation eat away at me, I would rather give in and have a little taste once in a while than go whole-hog down the road somewhere when my defenses are low.

So I am not a vegan, but I am trying to eat more like one. And I feel better for it. The itching problem has subsided quite a bit. It had become easier to keep myself within the calorie range, in fact, sometimes it is hard to get all the calories I need. Beans, nuts and lots of vegetables do a pretty good job of filling you up.

If I want to have a little cheese once in a while or add meat to the stir fry on occasion, I know I am still eating much less meat and dairy than in the past.

I am making progress and to prove it I just reached my first big weight loss goal. I am willing to cut down on meat to make that happen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KING_SLAYER 1/1/2013 6:29PM

    I believe that the bottom line is that each of us has to do what works for us as individuals. If cutting meat out of your diet alleviates certain ailments the same way that cutting cow's milk did, then cut it out!

So many vegetarians/ vegans that I have met are so militant about their choice, even the ones that never took a stand on animal cruelty or used that argument for vegetarianism. I think they just like to buck the trend and show how 'cool' they are! lol

Anyway, eat the veggies, occasionally have some cheese and meat if you feel like it. It's your life, the choice should be up to you how you live it!!

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KITTY775 1/1/2013 8:32AM

    I will give that a try. Thanks for the tip.

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GODS_TEMPLE 1/1/2013 1:35AM

    I'm not a vegan either, or a vegetarian (can't stand most veggies) but I do like Boca Flame Grilled Veggie Burgers. In fact I had one tonight.

I am however lactose intolerant. I used to drink soy milk, but found I preferred Almond milk. I love sour cream, but it sure doesn't like me, so I use Tofutti 'Better Than Sour Cream'.

We all do what we have to do where our health is concerned. Hope the itching continues to get better. A friend of mine had an itching problem and discovered it was caused by caffeine. Now she drinks decaf, and no more itching??? emoticon

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A growth moment

Monday, December 24, 2012

I think I am growing a bit in my willingness to be accountable for my weight.

Let's put it this way, I've been having a bad week -- REALLY bad -- as far as diet is concerned. They have been rolling out the holiday cookies at work and I have done a poor job of limiting my intake, not to mention Christmas parties where I have overindulged from the food table.

I have felt like a stuffed Christmas goose and I have been more puffy from water retention, plus long holiday deadline hours have made it much more difficult to get to the gym. I still managed four days of exercise, but on the days I needed it most, I couldn't go and didn't have the gumption to work out at home.
So where is the growth moment? I'm getting to that.

Usually, after a difficult time like that I simply refuse to look at the scale. It is my form of denial, which, when started can go on for weeks, months, even years, based on past experience.

But I didn't do that this time. Instead, I marched up to the scale at the gym and got on, even though I knew that my eating would translate to a weight gain. Sure enough, I was up five whole pounds this week. Ouch! I can console myself that it is mostly water weight and will probably come off as fast as it arrived once my eating habits improve, but mainly I can console myself that I held myself accountable for lax behavior. So there was my growth moment.

I can also console myself that I am down a full pant size overall. I can not only fit into the black pants that were my goal, but also into the old jeans that haven't fit in close to a year.

And I can recommit myself to getting back on track with the goal of eating only healthy foods within my calorie and sodium ranges for the coming week.

That should round out the year well and get the new one started on the right foot.

By the way, here is a flavorful way to boost nutrition and cut a few calories from holiday mashed potatoes: instead of just potatoes, mix equal portions of cooked potatoes and cauliflower. They blend up just as smooth and are even more creamy in texture than just potatoes, and the flavor is mild but amazing. My family likes them better this way than regular potatoes.

Merry Christmas to all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 12/25/2012 11:50AM

    Merry Christmas!

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GODS_TEMPLE 12/24/2012 10:02PM

    emoticon You did good, and will do better in the future.

Have a very Merry Christmas! emoticon

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JULESJET 12/24/2012 9:55PM

    Congratulations on your self growth!
That's great that you can see progress in your mental state even when you haven't been as "good" as you wanted to be.
Good for you!

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Up to scratch

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I promised to report back on that diet-related itching problem I was having. It has been over a week and I do believe moderating my diet has helped.

It is hard to know exactly what has been successful though, because I was so extremely desperate to reach an end to the itching I tried several different things at once. A true scientific inquiry might have resulted in more specific results, but I think my approach meant quicker results, Which were more important to me. Things I tried to do to correct this problem included reducing the amount of fruit I eat each day and increasing the vegetable balance because I had read somewhere something that suggested that a less acidic diet might help this itching problem.

I also had read somewhere that shrinking fat cells release toxins that the fat has stored to protect your organs. Those toxins come from things like air pollution and also from toxins In animal-based foods like meat and dairy. The idea is that the animals ingested toxins in some way and then they pass them onto you in their flesh. So I reduced the amount of meat and dairy products that I've been eating substantially. The idea was that if my fat cells were releasing toxins then at least I wasn't adding more toxins to the mix through animal products that I might eat.

I also reduced the amount of wheat and sugar products I ate, because I've had problems with itching from them as well. I had already eliminated those and was still having problems so I don't think they were the cause of this most recent itching issue.

The result was a pretty restrictive diet for a while, but within a few days the itching started to diminish. Now I am starting to add foods back to see what might be causing the itching.

Flour and sugar are definitely an issue. I have been struggling with the pre-Christmas Sweets and special foods. As a result, some of that itchiness has come back.

I do really think that limiting my fruit consumption and my meat consumption has helped a lot. I do recall previous times when I've eaten a very heavy meal that I would also have this itching problem. That would point pretty well toward an acid issue because both fruit and meat are on the acid side when you're thinking about an acid-alkaline diet.

Has been exciting to have such quick results. And as much as I thought I would, I really haven't suffered much from the reduction in fruit or meat. I just substituted in more vegetables for the fruit and beans and legumes and nuts for meat.

I have read other people who are dieters and have had the similar itching experience. I really hope that my experiments will help others who are tormented by itching.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODS_TEMPLE 12/22/2012 3:50PM

    I hope you continue to do better each day. Just reading about itching makes me itch! emoticon

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JULESJET 12/22/2012 2:24PM

    That's really interesting and very informative! I had never heard about the fat cells releasing toxins as they shrink... now I know! Thanks!

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RG_DFW 12/22/2012 2:00PM

    Stay with it and keep posting for us!

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