Sunday, March 16, 2014
I've been noticing some changes in my body lately. Pants and shirts that were too tight are fitting again. I can pull my yoga pants up smoothly over my hips instead of needing to tug on them. I have an easier time getting up from the floor (I am a preschool teacher, so I am on the floor a lot). I have a lot more endurance for walking, trampoline jumping, and working out on the Gazelle. I'm really happy about this progress!
Right now, I am retaining a bunch of water, like I always do when I am premenstrual, so I am not getting cranked about the scale. I always go up 3-4 pounds, stay there for a bit, then quickly drop them and a pound or so more a few days after my period starts. I've realized that this is my body's regular pattern, so I just go on eating well and exercising and resting when I'm tired, and not worrying about the scale.
I am feeling more and more comfortable with my approach to getting healthy as time goes by. At first, in January, I was finding myself getting worried and stressed about food: was I eating too many carbs? Is it really okay to eat cheese? Should I make all my lunches vegetarian? Am I going to bloat up if I eat a bagel? I've stopped worrying so much about that, and giving myself permission to eat what I am hungry for and to stop when I am not hungry. Do I eat too much sometimes? Yup. Does that mean I am a failure, doomed to be fat forever? Of course not. I'm learning as I go, and mistakes are part of the process. I would never expect my preschoolers to just sit down and write their names perfectly every time they try. They are going to omit letters, write letters backwards, and scribble on the paper. That's part of the process of learning to write. I've let go of expecting perfection and quick results. I remember, back when I joined SP in 2012, thinking that I needed to set a specific weight goal within a specific time frame (lose 80 pounds in a year, for example). Trying to get healthy and lose weight in that mindset was stressful and anxiety-producing for me and I gave up. That approach works for some people, but not for me.
The other thing that does not work for me is counting calories every day. I HATE counting calories. It makes me paranoid and anxious about eating. I don't want to be afraid of food. I want to eat and be healthy. Some people find counting calories very helpful and that is great; I do not find it helpful, and there is no way I am doing it for a lifetime, so I am not going to do it now. I am logging my meals on another site a couple of times a week, to see if I am eating enough and getting enough nutrients. So far, I have been managing to get in the ballpark of where I should be eating, so I am going to trust my body and follow its signals. It might take me longer that way, but I'm okay with that.
I have about 350 fitness minutes this month, which is great. I bought a Gazelle last month (yeah, that weird Tony Robbins cross-country ski infomercial thingy) and I really love it. It was actually a lot more strenuous than I thought it would be. At first I could only do about 10 minutes on it, but I am up to 30 now. I can also balance on it without the handles, which is good for stability and the core. And I can watch Hulu and Netflix while I work out! Bonus! The other thing I like about the Gazelle is that it is my first real investment in my fitness. I have always had a really hard time spending money on myself because I have felt like I am not worth it, so spending $120 on a piece of exercise equipment was a way of telling myself that I am worth investing in.
I'm still loving the mini-tramp too, and walking, now that it is finally warming up. For strength, I'm doing Pilates, yoga, and bodyweight/stability ball/ resistance band/dumbbell videos. I like strength training.
Here's to a great week for all of us. Get out there and kick some a$$, in whatever way that works for YOU!
Saturday, March 08, 2014
It's been about 10 weeks since I've started this latest effort to make some positive changes in my life. I'm feeling really good about the progress I've made, not just on the scale and in the mirror, but in my head. I remember writing a blog post a few months ago about having a hard time being nice to myself, but I am finding that a lot easier now. I've been thinking about things that I like about my body and my personality, instead of constantly criticizing myself and wishing I was different. For the first time in my life, I actually like myself.
As far back as I can remember, people were always telling me I was too big. I was the tallest kid in my class, all through elementary school, and everyone commented on it. I have four older brothers, all of whom are at least 6 feet tall, and adults were always saying, "You're going to be just as tall as your brothers." It made me feel like a lumbering giant, when I really wanted to be short and small, like my friends. My sister and I were both early developers, needing a bra in the fifth grade and getting our periods around age 11, and we were both horribly self-conscious about it. All I wanted was to be skinny and flat-chested like my friends. I remember being in 5th grade and getting weighed and measured out in the hallway with the other girls. I was mortified that I stood at 5'3" and weighed 115 pounds.
All through junior high and high school was self-conscious about my size. When I look back now, I know I wasn't overweight, or even unusually tall (I hit my adult height of 5'7" in high school), but I always felt like I was too big. My mother freaked out in a shoe store when I needed a size 10 shoe. She said that she was always in pain in high school, cramming her feet into shoes that were too small because she refused to wear anything bigger than a 61/2. She seemed weirdly proud of this, and was irritated because I refused to do the same. I hated discomfort more than being "too big."
I got my first real boyfriend in high school, and ended up marrying him 10 years later. I knew that marrying him was a bad idea, but I felt like I was pretty much stuck with him, so I did it. He was constantly criticizing me for being too big, eating too much, and not exercising enough. He was always pointing out skinny little women and airbrushed photos of celebrities as examples of what I was "supposed to" look like. I lost about 30 pounds at one point during that marriage, but gained it all back and more. After my daughter was born and I placed her for adoption, the ex and I got divorced and I really began to gain weight. I've put on about 80 pounds or so over the past 9 years.
Lately, I've really been thinking about that weight gain and trying to figure out why I gained so much and held on to it all this time. I think part of it is because it has felt safer to be overweight. If I have all this extra weight on me, then I don't have to worry about being worth something. It makes me sad to admit this, but the weight has helped me justify hating myself. That is terrible. I am done hating myself.
Even if I don't lose another pound, I will like myself. I will tell myself nice things. I will appreciate my legs for being strong and carrying me around. I will get a nice haircut because I deserve to look good. I will do physical activities that I enjoy because it is fun and makes me feel good. I will buy shirts that fit and not hide in big clothes. I will not apologize for being a tall woman with a big frame and size 11 feet (yep, they kept growing. Sorry Mom! ). I will not beat myself up for making the agonizing decision to let another couple adopt my daughter.
I am DONE hating myself, and it feels great.
Friday, February 28, 2014
My fitness goal for February was 600 minutes...just logged another 15, which brings my total this month to 750 minutes!! Go, me!
Thursday, February 13, 2014
I got sick this week, for the first time in months. It's some kind of chest-cold virus thing with lots of congestion, nose-blowing, sneezing, and now coughing. I felt bad enough to call off work on Tuesday, went back yesterday and regretted it (especially since my co-teacher was not in because her son got sick), and today we are off because of snow. While I appreciate the extra day to rest up, I am getting anxious to get back to exercising again. I've done some slow walking and a little ST this week, and I can't wait to be able to exert myself without going into a coughing fit. We just got about 8 inches of snow, with more on the way this evening, and I am dying to go shovel it, but my husband put his foot down and said no. I know he's right, but I still want to go out and shovel. I will settle for some lower body ST and maybe a little slow walking and gentle bouncing on the trampoline. And if it makes me cough, I will stop.
When I first realized I was getting sick, I felt a little panicky about not being able to exercise. I have gotten into a good place with exercise the last few weeks, and I didn't want anything to mess up my momentum. I can remember times in the past when I had been exercising and losing weight, then got sick, had my plans disrupted, and ended up falling completely off track and giving up. I don't want that to happen this time, so this is my plan while I am recovering:
**Do some kind of gentle exercise each day until I am feeling like myself. By "gentle exercise," I am thinking stretching, light housework, easy walking, and ST that doesn't get me breathing heavily (which leads to coughing)
**Drink lots of water and tea
**Use some of my rest time to continue to build motivation for making healthy choices (look up new workouts, read blogs, listen to podcasts)
**Think of this week of being sick as a learning experience. I am in the process of learning how to make fitness a part of my life. Getting sick is also a part of life, so I need to learn how to modify my fitness plans when I am sick, and how to get back on track when I am feeling better.
**Respect my body's need for rest.
My goal is to let my body have the rest, water, and healthy foods it needs to kick this bug and get back to normal. Instead of being irritated and angry at my body for getting sick, I am going to take care of my body and help myself get well.
Saturday, February 08, 2014
New sneakers! Finally, a pair of shoes that don't kill my feet, so I can actually WALK again! I am loving it. The ball of my foot on the right is pain-free, and the plantar fasciitis flare-up on my left foot is getting better. Hallelujah. I have really weird feet. I have had no luck finding a comfortable pair of women's sneakers. First of all, I have really big feet, size 11, which some stores don't even carry. And second, My feet are wide across the toe, but narrow in the heel. I could not find a single pair of women's sneakers that didn't squeeze my toes. I finally started looking in the clearance room at Super Shoes and found a pair of men's Merrell sneakers that fit perfectly and didn't look overly guy-ish. And the best part was that they were marked down from $109 to $49.99! I love bargains.
Now that I can walk in comfort, I have been alternating 2-mile walks with walking/jogging on the trampoline. My dog is really old, but still loves to walk, so I take him on a slow half-mile first, at his pace, then I drop him off at home and go back out for another mile and a half. I listen to podcasts while I walk and the time just flies by. I love it.
Today, when I was shaving my legs in the shower, I put my foot up on the side of the tub and noticed my calf muscle was much more defined and kind of popped out a little. The mini-tramp is working the crap out of my legs and butt. Everything just feels stronger. My next goal is to get a strength training routine going for my core and upper body. I like strength training, so I am looking forward to it. I have been using some light weights on my trampoline, doing some presses and bicep/tricep work while walking on the tramp. I have to be careful of my right shoulder because I get rotator cuff pain if I push it too hard.
I am close to 300 fitness minutes this month. Last month I made 600. I will try for 700 this month. Now that I have my sneakers, my step count has gone up. My goal last month was 7000 steps a day, and I am doing well over that. I'm going to raise my goal to 8000 steps a day and see how I do with that.
I'm feeling good, and I hope you are all feeling good too!
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