Sunday, March 29, 2009
So today was day two of my Spark to 5K program. I've got to admit, it was a lot harder than day 1. I'm not really sure why either - the times, distance and everything are all the same. I think part of it has to do with my left ankle. As a kid I fractured *both* ankles a couple times each and have a long history of sprains, twists, etc. I found tonight that while my legs were okay, my left ankle felt like I had a knife in it during the jogging intervals. I think I may be forced into investing in some sort of ankle brace, though I've a feeling that better sneakers would also help. I'm also sure that running on concrete isn't helping either, but unfortunately my options are limited. Other than the street or sidewalk, my other option is the beach - HOWEVER - I'm not a morning person. Getting my butt out of bed early enough to make a beach walk/run feasible (it's starting to get hot and muggy here in FL now...) probably isn't going to happen.
Though, the more I think about it, I may try and make a point of doing at least one day a week at the beach. Getting up early now and again is good for me. (ah the joys of being unemployed).
Pain aside, I did finish today's walk though I did skip the final interval of jogging. I kept my walking pace up, so I still feel that I benefited from the walk. I figure anything that helps increase my endurance at this point is key, especially since it looks like I'll be doing either a 5 mile or 7 mile walk come April. I like to think in my head that both those distances are completely within reach *walking*, but there's a little voice in the back of my mind wondering how far that really is. I guess as long as the group I'm with isn't determined to speed walk the whole thing, I should be okay. I do know that I probably won't jog any of this first race - probably won't attempt that until July or August when I've had more time to build up my jogging abilities. Might even be later in the year than that but I WILL make a goal of walking/jogging a 5K before the end of the year. As long as I'm able to sufficiently alternate between walking and jogging I'll consider it a goal reached.
After I returned home after my walk I was feeling tired and jello-legged, but otherwise okay; until I went into my parents' house. Since our kitchen is still inoperable, we use their kitchen for cooking. So Ray was over there preparing dinner when I got back after my walk. While we were sitting in their living room waiting for the chicken to finish baking, my mother asked if it was normal for us to eat this late (it was about 11pm). Ray and I both said yes. We got into the habit of eating later/going to bed later after I got laid off and his hours at worked changed. He'd work until 10 or 11PM at night, so it wasn't unusual for me to be preparing dinner around midnight.
At this point she begins giving nutrition advice, falling back on the ancient 1980's belief that you shouldn't eat after 7PM period, no matter what. I responded, telling her that was actually a misconception based on outdated dieting belief. She still insisted that eating after 7PM is bad for you because your metabolism slows down and it causes you to gain weight since your body magically holds on to those calories. Again I attempted to correct her, explaining that there's no magical hour after which human metabolism just slows down; it all depends on the individual's normal schedule. Yes, if you normally go to bed at about 10PM, then you probably should avoid eating anything heavier than a light snack after 7PM. The reason isn't because your metabolism slows down, but because with less than 3HRS before you go to sleep, your body may not properly process the foods. I explained that since we are in a habit of not going to bed until well after midnight (last night was about 3AM), that eating dinner at 11PM wasn't going to have a detrimental effect on our digestion or weight.
Now, the 1/4 gallon of chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup that Ray just ate could have an effect on HIS ... but then again, nothing seems to make him gain weight lately.
Anyway, back on track, after I tried to explain to my mother that she was misinformed for the second time, she simply responded with a very snarky, "Think what you want, but you're wrong."
At this point I got up from the couch and came back over to our apartment. Partially to cool off so that I didn't start an argument at 11PM at night, but also so I could use my 'google-fu' to verify that I actually had a clue as to what I was talking about. After 5 minutes of research and cool-down, I went back over and kept my mouth shut.
Honestly I'm not sure what annoyed me more, the fact that my mother was taking a know-it-all position on the idea of eating after 7PM or the fact that not more than a month ago she made statements about there being nothing wrong with eating at 9 or 10PM at night, since none of us have pressing engagements the next morning (she's disabled, my dad's unemployed and pending disability and Ray and I are unemployed). Even my dad tried to call her out on the latter, but of course she wouldn't hear any of it.
I will say that I'm amazed this was the first time we almost clashed over nutrition, which is amazing for us. I'm also impressed that it hasn't gone beyond nutrition into diet, exercise and weight. Well, that's not true - my mother loves to drop little quips about how she's never hungry, how she's lost so much weight, how none of her clothes fit. If it were a case of my mother having actually worked for the loss or was supportive in a positive way of my efforts I don't think it would bother me so much, but with her it's more an act of 'look at me! look at me!'. So I usually just nod and then try to change the subject when she starts talking about her loss. I'm sure I could drop pounds if I was on several medications and barely eating most of the time. In fact I've done it, minus the several medications, in the past but I didn't learn anything from it.
This time around I'm doing it the right way, learning what I need to do for my body to get to a healthy weight and to remain healthy. I want to walk away from this experience with habits that will stick with me and not erode or disappear because I lost the weight without really 'trying' last time.
Okay, in an attempt to end this on a positive note - I'm pretty sure that we'll be able to finish our kitchen tomorrow. That means I'll be able to get it organized and, in turn, organize and clean the rest of the house. I REALLY hope I'm able to find a way to make space in the living room to do some workout videos. I need to find something that focuses on strength training as opposed to cardio, and hopefully won't require a lot of space. I've probably got enough room for me to lay out a yoga mat and lay down, but that's about the extent of it. I also downloaded some Cardio Coach tracks to see if I can add them to my walking program - I've heard really great things about them. Just hope I can find ones that will work without having access to a gym.
Friday, March 27, 2009
My mind's all over the place so I'm just going to break this down by subject.
So, April 2nd is when registration starts for the 09 Fall semester. I got my packet from Daytona State College (which is really Daytona Community College ...) in the mail yesterday with some additional information and the form I need to get my HS transcript (which they insist they need...). All was looking great until I went to order my transcript from my old community college. Apparently there's an outstanding charge of $372 from books I bought and my parents 'paid' for, with a rubber check apparently. Great, because I have an extra $400 laying around. I'm really bummed about it but talked to Ray and we're going to suck it up and find a way to make it happen the second or third week of May. Once again I find myself wishing I had some profitable 'craft' that I could do and sell to help offset that cost. Asking my parents would be like talking to a wall .. well, with my mother at least. I don't want to put my dad in a position like that - they're not much better off than we are. It's a set back I wasn't expecting but I'll find a way around it. Of course this one makes me worry about running into more along the way that will prevent me from being able to start school. I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed and try to stay somewhat positive.
I want my biggest worry to be which program I decide to pursue to get me where I want to be.
- The Kitchen -
So, we had to re-do the kitchen in the apartment we moved into. Well, we've had to do a remodel on most of the house truth be told, the kitchen is just taking MUCH longer than planned. We thought we were all set to finish things up and then this weekend ran face-first into a huge problem. The old sink doesn't work with the new cabinets. This was a screw-up on my part. We got a cabinet that's designed for a double-bowl sink (which is what the old one is) so I didn't even think to measure things. Yeah, well that was stupid because while the bowl of the sink fits, the clips or something don't fall in the right place. Sooo ... we have to get a new sink, and one that will fit is going to run us about $80. Crap. So it's going to be another 3 weeks before we're able to have one.
Then today we started trying to put up our shelves, so we can at least get the kitchen mostly put together, and Ray's original plan wasn't working out quite right. The walls in this house are crap - in the kitchen we have one wall that's like ply-wood thin covered in a fake tile covering and then the other is wood paneling that peels easily. So the act of screwing shelves in that will actually HOLD things is kind of scary and a project in and of itself. We have support beams, but the first one we tried putting up cracked completely. Then he tried doing it without and ran into more problems.
So tomorrow we try again. We're going to attempt to pre-drill the holes into the support beams and then attach them to the walls. Then we'll try attaching the shelves. Keep your fingers crossed that it works - otherwise it's going to be a while before we can get *that* done because we'll need to get different wood for the support beams.
So, this week sucked for me in regards to weight-loss, though I'm not really surprised. The scale barely budged, but at least it moved right? I know it's because my eating has still been off (having a HELL of a time eating more than twice a day and Ray's been cooking so ... things have been higher-calorie than normal) and I really haven't been moving much.
Still, I'm determined to meet my goal of being under 300 by June no matter what I have to do. So today I started my Spark to 5K walk/jog program. I've got to find another form of exercise for the other days of the week, but I'm not sure what that's going to be. I can't go swimming because conditions aren't safe at the beach right now. I honestly can't do a workout at home because I have NO room in which to do it. The only room that might have enough space is the kitchen and that's upside down and a mess right now. I could still walk on my 'off' days, but I'd like to find something else.
I might just say screw the space and have Ray find my exercise ball and start doing some stuff in the living room. I can at least use it for some limited exercises. I just need to go through the Spark videos and find things I can do standing up or on the ball without too much floor work. I just need to get creative ... too bad my creative juices haven't been flowing much lately.
I have been SO tired lately. I'm not sure what's causing it - whether it's my eating, lack of activity or the Metformin I'm on. :\ I'm leaning towards the last option, which kind of sucks because I'm not sure what I can do about it. I don't want to stop the Met as I believe it is starting to help some. I think I just need fix my vitamin routine ... as in, actually find them all and start taking them. I know that Metformin can leech b-12 from my system, so I need to take those and I should be taking my daily vitamins anyway. We'll see if that helps any.
Those are the main things on my mind right now ... there are a couple of other issues floating around in there, but they're not really meant for public consumption just yet.
Here's to another week and here's hoping that things start working out the way they're supposed to.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
So, like many other Americans I was watching The Biggest Loser tonight, and as usual I found myself feeling inspired and motivated as I watched the players struggle through this week's obstacles.
For one thing, like I told my husband, if it weren't for the fact that I'm currently dealing with cramps that have me doubled over in pain, I'd be ready to go for a jog tonight after watching them do their half marathon. Truth be told, as I've built up my endurance (slowly, very slowly) I've been wanting to challenge myself. Right now I've got two major exercise 'dreams'. One would be to be able to take some exercise classes - like kickboxing or even some sort of dance aerobics (if only to prove to myself how uncoordinated I really am). Obviously, with finances where they are this dream is pretty far out of reach, but that doesn't stop me from looking. The other is I want to do a 5K. I have no illusions that I'd be able to actually RUN the whole thing, but I'd love to try jogging/walking one. My challenges in doing that are I have no clue how I'd go about signing up for one and then if I did, I don't know people. You're supposed to get donations for those sorts of things (at least I'm pretty sure you are) and even as a kid I sucked at doing fundraisers for school. I don't have a network of friends or family I can go to and ask for money and I'm certainly not the type to go up to strangers and request that they donate. I suppose it would be easier if I was working or belonged to a group that I could get to do a walk, but alas neither of those are situations I'm in right now. I guess for that one I'll keep doing my research and see what I can come up with. The rate I'm going, by the time I DO figure something out, I might be able to jog most of it. :p
Another thing is, with my first weight-loss goal hovering so close and within reach, I find myself pondering OTHER weight loss goals. This for me is unheard of - with any sort of 'goals'. I'd gotten to a point in my life where I decided, flat out, that I'd stop setting goals and having dreams because something always happened to get in the way of reaching them. This weight loss journey, however, has helped me start changing that philosophy. I'm not really sure I can explain how, but somehow being proactive about my health and my weight is helping me resolve in my mind that I *can* actually accomplish things in my personal life if I'm willing to put in a little effort.
So in honor of putting in effort, I've been utilizing the handy tools that SparkPeople provides to see what other goals I could conceivably reach if I keep working at it and stick to my new lifestyle choices. Keeping in mind that I *know* I'm eventually going to hit a plateau in my weight loss, it's still very motivating to know that I could be BELOW 300LBS by the end of JUNE. That's right, June, not September or October or even January ... by JUNE. In half a year I could reach the goal I gave myself all of 2009 to reach. That right there is enough motivation to keep me from going back for seconds or stopping at McDonald's because it's an 'easy' option.
Even better than that? If I can find a way to encourage my body to continue losing between 1 and 2lbs a week for the rest of the year, I could start 2010 weighing somewhere between 238 and 278 ...
REALLY? SERIOUSLY? Are you kidding? You mean to tell me that *I* could be below 250lbs in less than a year?
You can't imagine the bells and whistles that sets off in my head (the good kind!). You want to know the really FUNNY part? It doesn't seem like an unreachable goal to me! No, seriously.
Eight months ago if you told me I'd have to lose 100lbs before I could do XYZ, I would've looked at you and laughed and then secretly cried 'knowing' that was NOT going to happen and XYZ was completely out of my reach. Eight months ago I would've simply turned away and found another way to at least get to Z that wouldn't require me to do something as HUGE as lose 100lbs - because that would take FOREVER! I could never lose that much weight in less than 3 or 4 or 5 years. My body just wasn't built like that. I've always been fat and can't lose weight.
But now I'm standing on the cusp of having lost almost 1/3rd of that amount in just a little over 3 months.
That means I've got 2/3rds of the distance to go. Now, the number crunching part of my mind starts chewing on that and things start clicking in the area of my brain that says "That's do-able!". Even more so when I start thinking in terms of I'm over halfway to the half-way mark. Come the end of the this month I'll have 15 more pounds to drop before I hit the half-way mark to a 100lb loss. 15 pounds? I can handle that! If I can find a way to keep my calories and nutrients at the right range and beef up my activity (I've been SUCKING with it lately), I could hit that 15 within 2 months or so if I'm good.
And guess what? That 15lb mark puts me just THREE pounds away from my goal of being under 300lbs. Three more measly pounds and I'll be tipping the scales at a svelte (LOL yeah, right ... SVELTE :p) 299.
It's just ... my mind totally starts racing and boggling when I consider the POSSIBILITIES and, even more, when I realize they're actually POSSIBLE and not some stupid pipe dreams.
Yes, I realize my body is eventually going to stall out and I may go months without losing. Mentally, I'm prepared for that despite my excitement over these lower numbers. However, knowing these lower numbers are within reach will (hopefully) go a LONG way in helping me find a way to break through those plateau barriers. Whether it's adjusting my calories, cutting back on carbs, dedicating more time to working out, going higher intensity, etc ... I don't care. I'd really like to think I'd be willing to do it.
The funny part is even though I sound so gung-ho and determined, I've still got that little voice in the back of my mind laughing at me. It's reminding me of friends that I've been watching on their own weight-loss journeys who haven't come close to the lofty goal I'm setting for myself. That voice is telling me that I'll be *lucky* to break and remain below the 300 mark through the first of next year. That voice is telling me that there's no way I could possibly get even close to 250 or 240 before the end of the year. That voice is telling me that there's *no* doubt that as soon as I get below 300 the loss is going to slow dramatically and then stop. That voice is telling me that the first 30lbs were the 'easy' ones and every pound or half a pound after this is going to be a struggle.
That nasty little voice is persistently telling me "No, you can't. Just be happy with meeting your one goal because that's going to be as far as you get."
It's really hard not to listen to that voice, but on the plus side the other voice is being just as persistent and slightly louder in it's jubilant celebrations and encouragement that "Yes, you CAN hit those numbers. You were once a healthy, active (albeit still fat) person and you can be there again! Now that you're actually trying, you can get PAST that and be even healthier and more active. Just because other people have stumbled, slowed down or stopped does NOT mean you're going to. You will reach those goals, even if it's a few months later than planned."
It also really helps that I at least have my husband's support with it. When I tell him that I *could* be 238 by January 1st he gets excited and tells me that I can do it. When I sit and look at the girls on TBL breaking the 300's, the 250's and the 200's he squeezes my hand and tells me I'll get there. He may not always be the most sabotage-free supporter, but all-in-all he tries his best.
And really, he's right. Looking at my lifestyle and habits I'm on the road to being that healthy person, that Spark-super-star who can drop 100lbs. The eating part is the easy one for me, once I learn to eat enough I already understand the nutritional keys that work best for my body chemistry and conditions. I haven't dealt with emotional over-eating or binging in ages - it's always been over-indulgence and not truly understanding how I need to eat to make my body lose weight. The big obstacle is the damned activity. I'm working on that slowly and as I make even the smallest amount of progress I see it having huge results. Running (or in my case jogging) is one of the best ways to burn a lot of calories. I realize that for my IR I need to get strength training in there as well, and I'll work on it but for right now the jogging seems more within reach. It's something I can do and get done quickly (LOL) and I don't need a lot of space or equipment to accomplish it. I'm not looking for TBL weight-loss results, I know that's not going to happen in the real world unless I'm willing to make working out my job (which I'm not). I do believe that a loss of 1 to 2lbs a week is do-able with my jogging and other normal daily activity (as long as I'm moving).
I don't know - I know this has been a long, rambling post and probably skips here and there but I had to let it out.
For the first time in a long time I feel like I could actually get someplace with a goal I want to reach. For the first time in ages I feel like I could blow that goal out of the water.
I've got to admit - it's kind of a nice feeling.
And now, it's time to go curl up with a pillow because the angry, spork-wielding gnome in my pelvis is getting frisky again. :|
Monday, March 09, 2009
Things are still upside down, but we're slowly getting things back in order. I've got a fridge full of healthy foods (though, as usual, I'm missing snacks .. DOH!), though I don't have a kitchen in which to prepare them yet.
Next week we get the final cabinet for our kitchen and then we can put it together. I've got to say, I *CAN'T* wait to have it put together so I can use it. Having to go to my parents' to cook and take showers is causing unnecessary friction with my mother.
So much friction, in fact, that she threatened to kick us out for the first time yesterday. Yes, I say the first time because I know that threat will come out again down the line. It's her favorite thing to do when she gets worked up into one of her hissy fits where everyone is against her and she's the hapless victim.
It seems to have blown over for the moment but to be honest I'm still upset about it. I'm just giving her a wide berth and not talking to her unless absolutely necessary.
My eating is still out of whack, but I'm slowly trying to get it under control. My goal is to try and keep my meals under 500 calories each, perhaps slowly tapering back down to between 300 and 400 calories. I can't say that's necessarily for a weight-loss reason, as I've managed to continue slowly dropping weight despite the higher-calorie days (high for me = 1500+ calories). I think it's more a mentality of feeling more comfortable with my eating habits when my intake is slightly lower. I haven't quite gotten into the head-space where I easily accept that 1700-2000 calories will allow me to lose weight. :p I honestly can't say I think I'll ever get there.
On the exercise front - well that's almost completely non-existent. I guess on the plus side, the last two days have been the most sedentary in the last two weeks. With all the home improvements we've been doing, I've been up and moving around quite a bit on a regular basis. Starting tonight, however, I'm going to get back in the habit of taking walks in the evening. Having a yard to let the dogs out into has made getting the motivation for that walk very difficult. Once I get that down then I'll focus on some indoor workouts ... once I figure out what room will give me the most space for one. I'm thinking I should be able to set up my work-out map in the livingroom, then it's just a matter of watching my videos. I think I may look into downloading them to my husband's TakeTV so I can just watch them on our TV and not worry about the laptop.
I'm really itching to find a higher-intensity, more entertaining workout. I really wish I had the means to either join Curves or take a kick-boxing class. I'm considering going and checking out the YMCA. I know with our lowered income I may qualify for a lowered membership fee and it's worth at least looking into. At least with the YMCA I'd have access to some classes ... plus it was one of the gifts I promised myself if I hit my goals. So far I haven't been able to reward myself for meeting any of my small goals, so one slightly 'larger' reward could be nice.
If it's out of the question then I'll just try to find other alternatives.
The fact that I'm 6.2lbs away from first goal should help with my motivation either way. I have until April 30th to lose those last pounds ... I think I might actually be able to do that. It's kind of mind-boggling to have a weight-loss goal *so* close - it's also a bit unreal. There's also the fact that if I do the math, my year-end goal could come much sooner than December. If I'm able to get back into the swing of things and continue with my healthy habits, I could hit my target (299) by Fall, or sooner.
I'm obviously not going to get my hopes up, as I know I can easily hit a point where I stop losing or have a huge set-back. My goal is to obviously avoid that at all costs, but you never know what may happen two or three months down the line.
In job-news, Ray interviewed for a job last week and we're waiting to hear something back this week. It'd be nice if he got it - it's a short commute, decent hours and okay pay (though anything over $8.00/hr is good). He's also going to submit an application with the local Aldi on Wednesday since they're hiring for cashiers - at a guaranteed $10/hr, you can't really pass up the chance y'know?
Monday, February 23, 2009
Currently, 95% of my house is in a stack of boxes in the livingroom. The other 5% is scattered throughout the rest of the house. The movers get here in 3hrs ... OY!
The past two weeks have been long and hard - mentally, physically and emotionally. On the plus side that means I've spent a lot of time 'exercising' even though I haven't been in the mind-set to do anything structured. On the downside it means I'm exhausted and trying very hard to stay away from my breaking point. It also means that as far as eating goes, I've been making many more 'easy' choices than good ones. Having my daily routine completely out of whack and not being in a house with my normal food choices (spent most of last week at my parents' doing renovations on our apartment), it was very hard to stay within my normal food ranges. Things like whole milk, diet soda, chips and lots of take out (I never realized how much of it my parents eat...) have been eating land mines for me for almost two weeks now.
I've done the best I could, but know that I've been eating more than I should - and even if my calories haven't been that horrible (comparatively), my fat and carbohydrate intakes have been HORRIBLE. Hopefully over the next two weeks I can get that back on track - though it should be interesting since we won't really have a kitchen for 2-3 weeks, since my father plans on redoing it (cabinets are literally falling off the walls...).
I guess on the plus side, I have managed to lose *almost* two pounds in the last two weeks, putting me just 0.2lbs from a 25lb loss. Not bad - hopefully I'll be able to fully enjoy that 25lb loss once it appears.
Lief is still a real struggle for me right now - I'm just praying that being in close proximity to my mother won't be as horrible as I'm imagining. I may be an adult and not living under the *same* roof, but I have serious doubts that either of those things will matter much to my mother. She's the queen of the guilt trip, drama and manipulation. I'm hoping the fact that I can retreat to my own 'home' will help, but just have this fear of her either standing on the back porch yelling or pursuing me to my door in her electric wheel chair.
That, or not understanding my routine and having expectations of what I should be doing and when. I swear to god, I'll go insane if she doesn't allow me to get back to MY routine. I don't care if it involves me sleeping in until 10 and not doing much outside of the house other than letting the dogs out, and then Ray and I not eating until he gets home from work. It's my routine dammit and as long as I get what I need to get done, it really shouldn't matter when I do it.
...Can you tell I have 'mommy' issues? She's just a very damaging part of my past that causes a plethora of worries and stress whenever she's re-introduced into the picture in any capacity other than a phone call or once every few month (or better yet, once every year) visit.
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