Monday, February 02, 2009
First, I've got to say that I am absolutely AMAZED by the outpouring of support that I've received from all the ladies at the 300+ Team. Seriously, I was blown away by the people who have gone out of their way to check on me, offer support, suggestions or just a virtual hug and understanding about my situation. During the hard times this past week I've been able to look back on the comments and SparkMail that I've received and at least feel a little bit better. The problem isn't fixed, but it somehow helps knowing that there are people other than my husband and I who are praying that things work out.
That said, this has still been a really difficult week. I feel like I have fallen off the wagon, so to speak, in regards to my eating patterns and exercise habits. The combination of the stress of wondering if we'll still have a place to live in 3 weeks, having Ray home 24/7 and dealing with my body adjusting to a new medication (Metformin) just really took the wind out of my sails. The house managed to fall apart in a short period of time, putting me in a mindset where doing housework seems overwhelming again. My energy level has been extremely low, making it hard to eat when I should and even harder to get my exercise in like I should be. I let myself get somewhat lazy with my meal planning which resulted in higher-calorie meals than I wanted.
On the plus side I did manage to stay within my desired range (though not my goal range yet - dammit!). I did manage to get some form of exercise in almost every day this week. I did finally get my vacuum fixed so I can get back on top of the vacuuming and Ray did clean the kitchen. The sink is full again, but after I clean out the dishwasher I should be able to get it back in working order.
My energy levels are still REALLY low and I think this is because of the Metformin and what it's doing to my blood sugar levels. I'm not sure if it's pulling them too low, which is resulting in me being fatigued, light-headed and dizzy or if it's simply my body trying to adjust to having lower or more even insulin levels on a regular basis. I'm going to definitely continue to tough it out as it's only been about 2 weeks since I started and I know that's not enough time to get a clear picture of how it's affecting me. On the other hand I worry that I won't be able to get my follow-up blood work that's needed at the end of February to be sure that my body is handling it okay.
Truthfully I wonder if by changing my diet and slowly introducing exercise (oh, and losing weight!) I started controlling the insulin problem naturally and maybe didn't need the Metformin. At the time of the initial blood tests I hadn't been doing anything close to what I'm doing now.
On the other hand, with due dates looming ever-closer I'm afraid that my diet is going to wind up suffering so for now the Met will be a good thing to have. I'm really not sure how we'll be able to continue eating the way we have with our limited funds. Carbohydrate-heavy foods are SO much cheaper than the fruits, veggies, chicken and whole grains I've been eating. I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out, it's just going to take some creativity on my part. I guess, on the plus side, I've gotten good at it. Though, here's hoping that Ray either finds a job quickly OR I get approved for food-stamps quickly. That will help somewhat with getting the healthier foods in the house. Even if it's only like $70/mo ... I can use that to buy bulk meats, freeze those and then just have to worry about purchasing the perishable items that wouldn't last that long.
I'm pretty sure that come to tomorrow morning I will either show no loss or a gain for this week due to everything that's been happening. I've got really mixed feelings about it and am struggling REALLY hard not to feel ashamed, deflated and hopeless. I've had a week where I only lost a pound and I've had months of my life where I've stayed the same or gained. I'm trying to remind myself that either way, it won't be the end of the world and it just means I'll have added reason to get back on track with renewing my motivation and making the RIGHT choices as opposed to the easy ones.
I am proud of myself though - throughout all of this stress I have not given fully into any emotional over-eating. I did have some chips this week, during which point I discovered their my 'gateway' food - but I didn't completely over-indulge. I also survived a Super Bowl Party on Sunday. I did allow myself to have:
1/2" corner of a gluten-free carrot cake
1 Chips Ahoy cookie (it was white chocolate :\)
1 full slice of pizza (gluten free crust, gluten free sauce, cheese, 1.5oz of chicken, tomatoes and onions) and the toppings off the other two slices (chicken is how much was on all three)
1 medium apple (approximately)
3oz total of cheese
So not the healthiest of days, but I didn't go overboard. I could have easily had a plate full of Doritos, all three slices of pizza, several cookies, a whole piece of the carrot cake and the caramel sauce with the apples instead of the cheese. All-in-all I'm proud of myself though I'm probably going to be regretting it when I step on the scale tomorrow.
Anyway, I have to be off to bed. Ray has an interview in the morning and hopefully a few more calls will start rolling in.
Thank you all for your support, prayers and encouragement. I know I haven't replied to people personally, but I have read every response and every spark mail that I've gotten. I've just been in a bad funk the past week (understandably) but hope to start easing myself out of it as I start figuring out what our next steps will be.
Good night and I hope everyone has a successful week this week. :)
Monday, January 26, 2009
First, an update on me. This past weekend was a whirl of helplessness, anger, depression and panic. Right now, 3 days later I can still feel myself on the edge of tears. On Friday my husband called me at about 10am, in tears. At first my heart stopped because of how he sounded. He'd been feeling sick most of the week and I'd been extremely worried about him. I was terrified that he was calling because he was sick and something horrible had happened. It was only after a moment or two that I was able to understand what was making him cry in a way I'd never experienced in the three years we'd been together.
He'd been fired from his job.
I've been out of work and looking since September due to downsizing, his was our only income other than my unemployment. My heart began beating again, but I felt my world quickly crumbling around me. I held it together, telling him I would be there to get him as quickly as possible, threw some clothes on and headed out the door. Knowing the silence of the ride would do me no good I called my mother, but got no answer. So then I called a friend who I knew was at work, but hoped she'd be able to talk me through the drive. I broke down a couple of times at a few lights as I tried to figure out how I was going to keep our world together, but was coherent enough to drive safely.
When I finally got to my husband he'd walked about a quarter of the way home. I made a U-turn, pulled off to the side, opened the door and let him get in - at which point he broke down again - crying that he was sorry. Again, my heart was breaking and I did my very best to hold it in and comfort him. We both couldn't fall to pieces at the same time and while this was our tragedy, I knew it was hurting him so much more than me.
The rest of Friday was spent in a haze of disbelief as I came to terms with the fact that I had no idea where we would be in a week or two. Our finances have been balancing precariously since I was laid off - but we'd finally gotten them to a point where we would be able to handle them. Silly me for thinking things could glide along so easily, huh?
So here we sit three days later and I'm still feeling helpless and just a little bit hopeless. I don't know what we're going to do and wish it were as simple as setting goals for weight loss. Unfortunately, the reason I turned my focus to weight loss in the first place is because I have so little control over the entire employment situation. I can't control who sees my resumes, who reads them, who decides to call me and give me a chance. I can't control whether or not someone feels I'm qualified for a position or is willing to speak with me even if my resume doesn't show enough 'traditional' experience compared to other applicants. I can't control the fact that for every one job there are a minimum of 100 applicants trying for the same position.
That said, I allowed myself to lose control of those things which I could control this weekend. I barely had an appetite and found myself struggling to eat as I should. I found myself falling back onto the easy decision of not exercising as much rather than just getting up and doing my 10 minute videos. Mentally, emotionally and physically I was just so exhausted that I let myself off the hook and choose easily instead of right.
Now I find myself back at square one - or maybe square one and a half, since the videos weren't quite as hard this week as when I first started. Still, I have to get that part of my mind back where it needs to be. I need to focus on maintaining and hitting my daily goals no matter what. I have to find a way not to let circumstances overwhelm me, no matter how much all I want to do is break down and cry. I have to remember that having control of SOMETHING is better than having control of nothing.
It's not going to be easy, I can feel that already but I'm going to try my best.
So prayers, good wishes (and job leads!) are appreciated and welcome. I have no clue where we're going to end up, but I'm praying with all my heart that it's someplace good and not worse. I know they say that every door that closes opens a window someplace else - I just hope we can find that window soon enough to benefit from it, you know?
Now, in other news - I weighed in today and despite my lax efforts last week, I still managed to drop 4 more pounds. This brings my total weight loss to 20lbs since I started my journey. This also means that I've managed to lose over 5% of my original starting weight.
It's definitely a wonderful accomplishment - I just wish I could find it in my heart to fully celebrate it. It's a milestone I thought was so far out of reach. I'm now over halfway to my first goal of 35lbs by May 1st which would put me at a total weight loss of just about 10% of my original starting weight.
For once that number seems like one of the few goals that ISN'T out of my reach. In an odd way that, at least, is somewhat of a good feeling.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
So first the good news - I weighed in yesterday and lost 3.6lbs last week.
I've officially lost 16lbs and am only another pound and a few ounces away from having lost my first 5%
That's such a good feeling. Not only that, but I'm only 19lbs away from my May 1st goal and, for once, it actually seems like it's within reach. I just need to keep pounding away and keep up the pace.
On that note, however, I've noticed myself dragging the last 3 days or so. I'm not really sure why so I started looking at my nutrition logs. The past 3 days, and the last two especially, my carb intake has been really low. Now, don't get me wrong - I want to keep it low, but I think it's below the level my body needs to function.
So I think my goals this week will be:
1) SNACK - yes, I may be a fat girl, but I need to learn how to snack. I'm falling into a pattern of not eating breakfast until noon and then either not eating lunch, or eating something small and then dinner. That's it. I can't sustain my level of activity (low as it is) on so little food. So my goal this week is to pick up several snacks for myself and my husband. The trick will be getting enough and separating them so that Ray doesn't eat them all. He's a guy and needs more food, so if I don't watch it he'll take that out of my half of things. He doesn't mean to and I think he also doesn't realize that it triggers other problems for me. I operate the best when I know I've got enough of something so I can have some whenever. When supplies start getting low I either want to gorge myself on things to make sure I get my 'share' or I avoid eating it so I can save it for a 'special moment'.
Again, it's another mental block I have - a theme with me, I guess you could say. I need to find a way to not only stock our shelves so that's not a problem, but explain to him how it effects me without him getting upset at me. That seems to happen more often than not because his opinion is to not worry about anything and get over everything.
Blah - anyway... so goal 1 is the snack thing.
Goal 2: Hit my calorie goals, dammit! I need to stop having days where my calories only hit 1000 or 1100. I know I feel good at at least 1200 and sometimes even 1300. I need to work on getting at least a bare minimum. I upped my calorie limit to try and give myself the mental permission to go higher without feeling guilty, so we'll see how that works.
Goal 3: Carbs - eat them. I need to make sure I keep my percentage at 45% and above for my daily carb in-take. I know the suggested percentage is 55%, but for someone with IR that's pushing it. I think a max of about 52% is acceptable with a goal being at LEAST 45%, but not every day. I need to work on cycling my days if I'm going to allow myself to go that low.
I just know that I've felt the difference the last couple days during my workouts. The jog from the mailbox to my building wasn't as easy tonight as it was on Friday. It's not because my legs are sore or my hips hurt - it's because I'm not finding the energy.
So those are my goals, outlined for all the world to see - on top of my other goals.
On the plus side, I've been doing pretty good with my other goals so I have every confidence that I can meet these ones.
On a totally unrelated note, keep my husband in your prayers - he's in the running for a new job which would get him out of his current crappy company and into a higher salary. Both of those would make this whole journey that much easier.
Okay, time for bed. I hope everyone's having a good week and I'll talk to you all in a few days!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
It's about 11pm, my husband is knocked in bed (allergic reaction to dinner so he's doped up with benadryl) and I'm preparing to wind down and join him shortly. Of course this time of night is usually a reflection time for me and the normal result is a journal entry of some sort. Since we just got in from walking the dogs, of course SP and my progress since I renewed my interest in the site are at the front of my mind.
I think this week has been a period of adjustments and tweaking for me. Last week I started setting myself good goals and habits that I want to adopt, this week has been a process of fixing them so they work for me. Some items that I've been adjusting:
My food intake: Spark set my initial calorie goal for the day at between 1800 and 2100 calories. Now, I understand the reasoning behind it, but after watching what I eat and how I feel after eating I made the decision to adjust it because, for the most part, I was just not coming close to hitting those goals. The only time I really did were on days where I was eating out and not following my normal eating pattern. Those days I was left feeling over-full and not really comfortable. My 'normal' day seemed to fall somewhere in the 800 to 1100 calorie range, which I also realized isn't a good thing. So instead of setting a lofty calorie goal (that I don't really think was completely necessary) I lowered it to a more reasonable 1200-1500 calories. I'm proving to myself that I can hit that mark - now I just have to hope that I continue to see a loss, otherwise I'm going to be fighting a very difficult mental battle with myself.
I don't talk about it much, but in my mind I equate weight loss with not eating. Obviously that's not a healthy mindset and many people who do think like that have eating disorders - though most aren't as fluffy as I. I have learned differently however there are still circuits in my brain that connect the two concepts together and when that happens things can get difficult. I am determined not to let that happen. I'm really hoping that at my current calorie goal, as long as I don't let it go to the high-end too often, I'll be able to continue losing at a healthy, steady pace. I just know if I'd kept it at the higher range and saw a stall or a gain, I would've have launched myself into a very bad place mentally.
My exercise: So, I'm doing the Spark Boot Camp with dim hopes of possibly winning a prize. Really that's not my motivation - I'm doing it because the push it gives me to exercise is excellent. It makes me feel like I have an assignment I need to get done and if I don't, there WILL be trouble! I've been doing really good with the strength training portion, but really struggling with the Cardio. I know I shouldn't be too hard on myself because I am just starting - but that thin, active person buried under all the fluff is really roaring to go. In order to please her and the fluffier side of my personality that gets winded if she walks up and down the stairs too many times, I've been compromising by taking small steps to try and kick my Cardio up a notch.
I started off with a goal of being able to do the full 1 mile WATP video without modifying it or slacking off during any part. It took me a couple of cycles, but I finally managed it. The next thing was to try the 2 Mile segment, and Oh eM Gee it was definitely harder, but I managed to get through it - granted, it's only been once, but it was only two days ago! I've also been doing something else - jogging.
Yes, those tremors that were reported in the Central Florida area were really just me trying a bit of jogging, and actually enjoying it just a little. We started off small with the dogs by just jogging in short spurts on our way to and from the mailbox. The dogs enjoyed it (well, Fluffy did - Snickers not so much) and it wasn't too horrible. The next step was to try and do it for a longer period of time, so I tried doing it from one stop sign to the next. After feeling like my lungs would burst the first few times I was ready to add more. As of tonight I not only speed-walked TO the mailbox, but jogged most of the way back. :) Sure it meant that my husband was left walking the dogs for most of the time, but my god did it feel GREAT.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not RUNNING by any means. I'm doing a nice slow, controlled jog so as not to damage already weakened ankles or nerve-damaged legs. I know my limits and am working within them. Mostly I'm just trying to make myself get out of my comfort zone and realize that there are indeed things I can do that the negative gnomes in my brain have tried to convince me I can't. Another minor accomplishment is that I can now do the Boot Camp Cardio-Kickboxing video not only without sound, but I can keep up with Coach Nicole's movements. I still modify the jumping-jack jabs (HELLO, I live on the second floor and would rather the downstairs neighbors not be afraid of the roof collapsing), but I'm keeping up speed-wise and even doing better with the roundhouse kicks (meaning my foot is actually leaving the floor for the medium and high level kick!).
Overall, I'm very proud of myself and hoping to continue making myself proud as this week winds to a close and the next one starts. Maybe one of my goals for next week will be to get over my feelings of being self-conscious so I can actually speed-walk or jog with the dog when I take them for their first walk (with me) in the afternoon. Of course a starting point for that would be to continue jogging or walking fast even if there's a car coming or people outside on my nighttime walk, huh?
Ah the joys of low self-esteem and the feeling that everyone is watching you. Unfortunately I know that's going to be a much larger hurdle to overcome and it'll take time, but I'm sure I'll eventually get there.
Okay, I think I've rambled enough - I just really wanted to document the progress I felt I was making as a reminder down the road when I'm feeling discouraged (because I KNOW it will happen).
Oh, and the fact that I'm almost at a 15lb loss - you better believe I'll be celebrating when those last few ounces are gone. :)
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