Monday, January 12, 2009
- My husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. We've overcome a lot this year that has tested our marriage to the extreme. I will admit that I'd prefer this year be a year of learning to use what we've learned rather than overcoming even more obstacles.
- To celebrate we had a DELICIOUS meal that included London Broil, Spaghetti squash, a potato & green bean medley, a gorgeous tossed salad and a yummy cherry crisp. The best and most rewarding part is that not only did it not break my calorie budget for the day, but didn't break our financial budget either. I'm proud of us for making the healthy choice - for both our bodies and wallets.
- I managed to finish the entire WATP video, without having to modify or skip any movements. I've been doing it on and off for the past week or so, and the first few times I've done it were TORTURE. Keeping pace and performing the movements was really difficult. I'd do the entire video, but definitely not at the same pace as the people on the screen. The past two days I've managed to not only do all the exercises, but keep pace. I'm a little sore, but definitely feeling good about it.
On a not so happy note, I went to my doctor for a follow-up to blood work that he ordered last month. I was expecting things to be out of whack because of my PCOS, but the results still caught me off guard. On the plus side there is the added hope that once we start treating my Insulin Resistance the other things should start falling into place as long as I continue with my diet and exercise goals.
So on the downside, the only thing wrong with me was that I'm not anemic - on the upside, it's added motivation to keep myself on track.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
- Eating out compared to eating at home isn't as satisfying - well, for the most part. The 6' Turkey sub, Baked Lays and light Minute Maid Lemonade I had on Thursday was not nearly as satisfying as something I could have had at home. As I finished my sub I found myself longing for the gooey, grilled cheese sandwich (non-fat american cheese, 100% Fiber bread), cucumber slices and Vegetable Soup (Campbell's Select Light - 100 calories for the WHOLE can) I'd had the day before. That lunch left me so satisfied and happy after eating it. The subway just left me wanting more :|
I had the same experience with the Chinese food I had for dinner. Don't get me wrong it was good and I splurged, but the extra calories just weren't worth it. I think I would've been more satisfied with a nice grilled piece of fish, a yummy salad and a pile of veggies.
Now, the Olive Garden I had on Friday was definitely worth it - though it also brought me to the next lesson...
- I need to learn how to recognize my 'full' signals better, mostly when eating something that tastes really good. Case in point - on Friday friends took me out for a birthday dinner to Olive Garden. I splurged and ordered the Parmesan Crusted Tilapia and my gosh, I wasn't disappointed. It was so heavenly and delicious. The problem is that when I left I knew I was stuffed - I'd eaten too much. I remember as I was chewing feeling that 'full' sensation and thinking to myself, "I should really stop..." but then another more dominant part of my brain went "Good ... must eat..."
This shows me that I need to work more on LISTENING to the full sensation as I can obviously recognize it. I honestly don't know why I do that, other than in the back of my mind not wanting the deliciousness to end, y'know? Because, really - I just had my normal 3/4 cup of Cheerios and 1/2 cup of milk and I'm FULL. I can feel that my stomach is satisfied and I'm not really wanting to eat anything else right now. You're not going to tell me that I need that much more yummy, creamy, cheesy fish to get the same feeling.
- I really need to learn how to handle emotional situations better, in regards to food. I have a history of emotional, possibly even binge eating. All through my teens I'd come home from school and root around in the fridge to find something to eat. Sometimes it was a sandwich with piles of chips, sometimes it was just the chips, other times it was leftover - whatever it was, I'd come home and eat in front of the TV. When I was feeling bad I'd go for the sweeter or more carbohydrate heavy foods. Two to three hours later I'd be eating another full meal complete with meat, potatoes and vegetables. I'd eat to the point where I was stuffed. After I graduated I realized my attachment to food and started teaching myself not to drown my depression in bags of chips and left-over Chinese food.
I did well for a while until I went through another really bad bout of depression. I knew I was highly emotional and I knew I needed to be careful because I'd lost a good amount of weight and didn't want it to come back. So this time, instead of burying myself in food I'd avoid it at all costs. I'd go most of the day without eating (granted, at the time finances were tight so there wasn't much TO eat) and when I did eat I'd graze. I discovered that the second I allowed myself to eat more than just a little bit, the dam would break and it'd be on. For a meal or longer I'd be back at my old eating habits - eating much more than I needed but relishing in the tastes and the feel of it.
While I've gotten better and usually manage to eat more than once a day (tracking my food is helping me a lot with this), I still find myself in the same dilemma when emotions run high. Yesterday was a very difficult day and was spent mostly in tears. I started the day off with eating a 100 calorie pack of Oreo crisps (which are DELICIOUS, btw) and when 9pm rolled around I hadn't had anything more. I knew I needed to eat but every time I went into the kitchen I was struck with either nausea or wanting to eat everything in sight. By the time I did finally eat, I know I ate more than I should have in a sitting. I just couldn't make myself only have a little bit - I had to have it all. Thank goodness it wasn't anything worse than steamed chinese vegetables, chicken and shrimp with the sauce on the side. However the fact remains that I ate all of it (except maybe 1/4 cup of the rice) and a large bowl of soup as well.
Calorie-wise the day obviously wasn't outlandish, but for containing one meal and a snack, it was definitely too high. I just don't seem able to find that middle-ground when it comes to eating during emotional/depressed moments. It's either feast or famine. Feast because my mind wants to dive right in to the satisfaction of piles of good food and famine because the other part of my brain doesn't want to undo all the good.
Again, another thing that I need to work on - but it's helping me realize that while the weight gain is being caused mostly by medical issues, I have some mental obstacles that I need to work through to make my efforts actually amount to something.
- I need to learn how to make myself active even when my emotions are running high. The act of working out yesterday was torturous and I only managed a portion of what my daily goal is. The two days before weren't much better. It seems that when tired or emotionally drained I can't make myself move. I start feeling helpless and thinking that there's no point. I really found myself so discouraged. I know to help this there are two things I need to learn. The first is how to get myself up and moving even when everything in me doesn't want to. I'm really not sure how to do this because my first instinct when I don't feel well is to just relax. The second thing I need to work on is how not to feel completely discouraged and like I should just give up if I allow myself a day off due to illness or other circumstances. I need to teach myself that one day (or even two) doesn't mean I've ruined all my hard work. I need to learn that it's not the end to all my efforts - it just means life got in the way and I may not meet my weekly minutes goal. It doesn't make my accomplishments previously any less wonderful or mean that I can't just get myself back on track.
- I also learned that I still need to learn how to deal with eating out. I'm so concerned about being able to make healthy choices that it almost ruins the thought of going out and enjoying a meal with friends. Granted, as I said, I think that many meals eaten out would be more satisfying home-cooked, but for times when they're not I really need to work on not letting the guilt keep me from being able to enjoy the experience. I don't know if that means allowing myself one 'cheat' day each week, where while I still strive to make reasonable choices I don't allow myself to get angry if I have some movie-theater popcorn or a couple of bread-sticks or something else. I guess I'll have to figure it out as I go along. I'm pretty sure that I'm still too early on in trying to create healthier habits to really test myself like that - but unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) for me, my Birthday, my husband's birthday and our anniversary all happen in the first month of the year. If nothing else, it means I've got some time before faced with the next big set of temptations.
Here's hoping this week comes with a few more positive lessons. :)
Friday, January 09, 2009
The 300+ team I belong to has set a really useful task for this first week of the year. What they challenged the members to do was to set goals (or resolutions, if you like) for 2009 - but instead of leaving it at broad, far reaching tasks like "Lose 10lbs" or "Drink less", we were challenged to break it down into medium-term goals and then finally into short term goals or strategies that will help us get where we want to be.
So, I present to you my list for 2009 - it's a bit incomplete due to not really knowing what our financial, working or living situation will be 6+ months from now - but so far I'm pretty happy with it. Knowing myself, I've decided that each month (save for the first two months) I will focus on at least 4 tasks that will have me adding good habits or changing the bad. Once a month is over, I plan on continuing with that month's habits, but adding new onesAs I go along, I may make changes here and there - depending on my progress month to month. If I decide I need to add or take away goals, or increase the challenge I'll do so as time goes on.
Here it is for all the world to see, so they can both hold me accountable but also encourage me and celebrate when I hit my goals.
LTG: To be out of the 300's by December 31st, 2009
Medium Term Milestones
1. By the end of April weigh below 320
2. By the end of August weigh below 310
3. By the end of December weigh below 300
Short term strategies/goals:
By 2/29/09 I will lose 14lbs by (timeframe 1/1/09-2/29/09):
- Track calories eaten daily, no matter what - to keep myself accountable.
- Get 10 minutes of strength/flexibility exercise daily.
- Get at least 150 minutes of cardio in each week, preferably 30min 5x's a week.
- Drink at least 64oz of water daily.
- Learn how to make smart choices when eating out.
By 3/31/09 I will lose 7lbs by:
- Get 8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Get 20 minutes of strength/flexibility exercise daily.
- Learn how to accept temptation in moderation
- Cook at least one, healthy, vegetarian meal a week.
- Use the complex gym once a week
Reward: New DS game & Massage
By 4/30/09 I will lose 7lbs by:
- Get at least 180 minutes of cardio in each week (preferably 30min/6x's a week)
- Keep daily fat and carbohydrate intake within suggested ranges.
- Drink at least 80oz of water daily.
- Use the complex gym twice per week
- Eat out 1x or less, cooking all meals at home
Reward: YMCA membership and/or Massage
By 5/31/09 I will lose at least 3lbs by:
- Get 30 minutes of strength/flexibility exercise daily
- Keep daily calorie intake in the 1200-1500 range
- Eat at least 2 small, healthy snacks every day
- Have a homemade smoothie for breakfast once a week.
- Use the complex gym or Y three times per week
Reward: Massage and/or new workout clothes
By 6/30/09 I will lose at least 3lbs by:
- Get 210 minutes of cardio in each week (any combination desired)
- Use the complex or Y pool 1x per week for water walking, water aerobics, or swimming laps.
- Eat at least 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Drink 96oz of water daily.
Reward: New cookbook
By 7/31/09 I will lose at least 3lbs by:
- Try at least two new exercise classes or videos this month
- Reduce fat and carbohydrate intake to the low-end of the daily range
- Limit consumption of white potatoes to 2x's this month.
- Use the complex gym or Y 4 times per week
By 8/31/09 I will lose at least 3lbs by:
- Take a weekly (or bi-weekly) yoga class or yoga video
- Swim for at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week
- Limit consumption of bread to 2 servings per day
- Increase water to 112oz per day
By 9/30/09 I will lose at least 3lbs by:
- Swim for at least 30 minutes 4 times per week.
- Have a homemade smoothie for breakfast at least twice per week.
- Have 10 minutes of meditation/relaxation time 3x's a week
- Complete at least half of my TaeBo workout 2x's per week
By 10/31/09 I will lose at least 3lbs by:
- Go for a 15 minute walk with my husband at twice per week
- Limit sandwiches to 3x's per week
- Try one new core-strengthening class/video
- Try at least one new vegetable or fruit once a week
By 11/30/09 I will lose at least 3lbs by:
- Go for a 15 minute walk with my husband at least three times per week.
- Take a pilates class or get a new pilates workout video
- Do not eat any meats, except for chicken, fish and dairy
- Cook at least two healthy vegetarian meals per week
By 12/31/09 I will lose at least 3lbs by:
- Go for a 30 minute walk with my husband at least twice per week.
- Try one new cardio class or video
- Eat at least 12 servings of vegtables daily.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
While I was having a conversation with a friend about exercises and the Boot Camp Videos we're both doing, she mentioned that she loved the exercises, especially her new ball. I stopped short for a moment before honestly replying that I hated them. Unfortunately for me, it's not just an exercise to increase physical endurance, strength, etc - but it's also an exercise of pain.
Along with my weight I've also go problems with my back (bulging discs, pinched nerves) and my legs (thanks to the back!). It's one of the reasons why exercise and just being generally active has not been a big part of my life for a while. It hurts for me to get out of bed in the morning. It hurts for me to walk up the stairs carrying groceries. It hurts just walking long distances. I'm not talking fatigue pain or my legs being sore - I'm talking sharp stabbing pain that makes you want to double over until it goes away. Sometimes me legs give out on me, sometimes I get dizzy - I could go on, but there's really no need.
The main point is that right now, I hate exercise. I don't feel energized while I'm doing it and really don't feel that much better, physically when I'm done. I don't get high off endorphins that make me want to go out and do even more. When the video is over it's all I can do not to collapse right there on the floor.
However, there is something I do love that comes from the exercise.
I love KNOWING THAT I DID IT.
I love the fact that when all the grueling kicking and walking is over, I can be proud to say that I exercised. I love being able to say that I got my 30 minutes in. I love being able to say that I completed the Boot Camp Day 3 Video, even though most people would balk at someone my size even attempting it. To me, the knowledge that I was able to do the exercise is a much bigger reward than anything physical I get out of it.
I do wish I'd had this realization earlier. I wish last year that I'd known it was okay NOT TO LIKE exercising, to dread it and find it a painful and draining experience. It was okay not to be super enthusiastic about trying to stay upright for 30 minutes on a treadmill or be dancing my way through the weight room. It's perfectly fine to be relieved when it's over and you don't have to worry about it for another 24 hours.
The feeling of just being able to say "I did it" is really all that has to matter. The pride and confidence it creates for me is greater than any physical endorphin rush an hour of spinning could possibly give me.
Plus, the joy I feel at being able to say "I did it!" won't dissolve as the endorphins dissipate and the soreness kicks in. :)
Friday, January 02, 2009
The doctor put me on a new prescription for the arthritis in my neck and back. I've been on it about a week now and I have to say, I do NOT like it. The past three days my back/neck/shoulders have been hurting really badly. Today, I finally broke down and took my coveted Aleve, even though I'm not supposed to because of possible stomach issues. I know it's bad, but I had to try something to take the edge off. I'm still hurting now, but think that a hot shower and moving around a bit more might help.
Despite being sore, I did manage to get the kitchen clean, pick up the livingroom and vaccuum the entire main floor of the house (no stairs - Ray can handle that). I'm hoping that if I keep on top of it every day, it won't get so overwhelming that it all just starts piling up again.
I'm having to fight with myself to eat real meals lately. Due to tight finances, I've gotten myself into the habit of not eating much during the day. Because of the new medicine I'm on and other supplements I'm taking, I *have* to eat when I wake up, which in turn is resulting in my being hungry halfway through my day, as any normal person would be (I think it's called 'lunch'). I know I need to eat it, but in my mind I just want to wait a little while longer, a little while longer - because if I don't eat it - that's fewer calories that go into my body and more food we have to last until the next pay day.
Today I've been good though. I had a bowl of cereal and a hard boiled egg when I woke up. Then I had the left over turkey burgers for lunch - though I probably should've only had one (even if I didn't put them on the buns). Now I just need to overcome the obstacle that is dinner.
It looks like the meat of choice tonight, unfortunately, is going to have to be hamburger patties. I'm considering breaking them up and sauteing them with .... something or mixing them into the canned sauce I have in the fridge and having it over pasta. My mind just cringes at the idea of having pasta, because I know it's bad for me - but again - finances are tight and 2lbs was just over $1.50. This week I don't even have a good selection of frozen vegetables - I've got mostly canned, another not-so-healthy choice.
I'm really not looking forward to the red meat, and it's definitely not on the little 'diet' sheet my doctor gave me, but I don't have much of a choice. Then again, neither is the pasta, but again - I'm kind of limited with what I have to make a meal out of for this week - and probably the next two weeks as well.
I'm not going to think about that right now - instead I'm going to go soak in a shower and then work on getting dinner ready for Ray, who should be home in about an hour.
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