Tuesday, February 14, 2012
I am proud of myself as I did really well today unlike yesterday where I just slacked - not doing any exercising and chomping down on anything not tied down after midnight. Well, it's past midnight now and I have no urge to snack. The feeling of fullness throughout the day, despite not eating as much as I used to, may very well have to do with all the glasses of water I've been drinking. I can't manage 8 glasses a day but I do drink at least 4 glasses and those glasses are huge.
This morning I went to the YMCA for some exercise. I had not exercised in ages so I decided to join an older adults strength training class. To my dismay, I saw no one younger than 60 and I'm 47. I worried that the class would be too easy and not challenging enough but I figured some exercise was better than none so I decided to go through the class. To my amazement, it was tailor made for me. I had been inactive for so long that the slow pace was a good easing into the exercising program.
Slow the class and movements may have been made but my body still had a nice work out. We worked out with weights and stretch bands. There were also 15 minutes of low impact aerobics. I didn't break a sweat but I could still feel the stretch of the muscles being used. I really enjoyed it a lot. However, since I felt that I had not had enough cardio in the class, I decided to ride the elliptical for 5 minutes and the treadmill for 15 minutes.
The treadmill was easy enough but that elliptical was a pain and I could barely complete the 5 minutes. I watched as two other Y attendants pedaled away with grace on the elliptical without missing a beat. I wonder how they could ride that machine for long periods without stopping to take a pant as I was doing every five minutes. This was my first time using it so that may have been the reason for my body's rejection of it.
Tomorrow I will be going to a more advanced class called Totally Tone which is supposed to strengthen muscles through props such as balls, bands, weights, etc. I'm looking forward to it. Since I don't anticipate heavy aerobics, I may do some swimming before I head back home.
As for food, I managed to stay within the caloric intake today! Go me! And I have 750 calories left over but I'm not going to eat the kitchen down to make up for it. The less calories I eat, the more weight I lose so I'm happy with the lot of calories left over. I also drank my 4 glasses of water which helps with the hunger pangs. Today, I drank two cups of coffee with half and half cream and sugar. For lunch, I had a Weight Watcher's spaghetti meal and for supper a small salad with a slice of King Cake as a treat for being good all day.
I was also somewhat productive in other areas. I dyed my hair with a semi permanent hair color to color out some gray. The pharmacy did not have the shade I usually use so I went one step higher, figuring the color would essentially be the same. Nope - my hair is too dark. Now I look goth - all I need is some heavy black eyeliner and black lipstick to complete the look. I also cleaned my side of the bedroom and unpacked from our hotel trip. Overall, I had a good day in which I accomplished all of my goals, except for one, job hunting. But I'll do that one tomorrow.
Take care, my fellow friends and have a good night.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Soon I shall be going to the YMCA with my husband, John, to transfer his membership over to me as he is not using the facilities for health reasons. I am quite excited about this as this will give me more exercise options than what I have at home. I plan on going three times a week and I hope I can maintain the discipline to keep up with the routine.
Today, for lunch, I had a gianta Swanson's Fried Chicken dinner which contained 1030 calories. It also had corn, potatoes and a brownie in there. I have effectively used up all of my fat points for the day but still have about 230 calories left in reserve. That means it's going to be yogurt for supper. Why did I eat that, you ask? We rarely buy those kind of fatty foods, opting usually for Weight Watchers and it was a real treat to eat a Swanson's meal and fried chicken is my favorite meal. Due to the rarity of eating this kind of food, I decided on this treat. As I mentioned, I take medication which induces hunger and weight gain so I will make sure to eat that yogurt after I take the medication.
This leads into the discipline dilemma. We can track all the foods and water in our system, write in our blogs, join the communities and make a concerted effort to detail our future efforts at exercise. This is not an easy program. It is not a criticism but a notation that it takes some savoir faire and tutorials to familiarize one's self with SparkPeople. I've done all that and have yet to learn all there is.
Wouldn't it be awful to go through this effort just to give it up because it's too hard? Or because you are too hungry? Or just plain hate to sweat? Life is a sorry excuse without strong self-discipline and one might as well avoid the preparation of a healthy journey such as the one we are all undertaking if we don't muster our self-discipline. Are we always going to have it? No - but don't give up on those days. Just mark the day as a bad one on the journey and do better the next day. This is the thing about life. The journey doesn't end until you die and life is full of second and third chances. So if your discipline is not so good today, know it will be better tomorrow. Mine wasn't great yesterday. I exceeded my calorie count but today I am more determined to get back on track. The Swanson meal was not a lack of discipline but a treat - which we all deserve. The yogurt is going to be an exercise of discipline which I know I can accomplish. And, if I'm still hungry after that, I can eat a small amount of flavorless popcorn with a dollop of soy sauce as a snack which is not fattening as I'll still have a few calories in my repertoire after the yogurt.
Remember: discipline, discipline, discipline in everything in your life. You are not a failure if you fail to exercise it occasionally but your life becomes a waste when you allow your unhealthy indulgences to overcome your better judgment. As for me, because I see my role as part inspirational - I plan on being brutally honest as to when I have a "bad" day so you all know that you are not alone.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Instead of moaning about my weight and troubles, I thought I'f list a few things for which I'm grateful. I obtained this idea from another blogger and thought he had made some good points about not forgetting the blessings in one's life.
1. I am very happy with my husband. He has been with me through rough and tough times and I very much appreciate his support. He knows how to dole out the empathetic and tough love as the situations calls for. I am grateful for our 16 year marriage.
2. This one may sound bizarre. But when I resigned my job two years ago, it was an ugly parting between a former friend of a co-worker and my boss and I. I was in a deep depression for a long time and spent too much time writing harassing e-mails to them which they seemed to read and take in stride, amazingly. Sometimes I kick myself for what I did as I likely botched my job references. But here's the kicker: I acquired a lot of wisdom from this situation. l learned the value of work ethic and plowing through the day even if you're not up to it. I learned what behaviors of mine could have changed the situation. I learned that the work place is not a place for fuzzy relationships among other things. I learned a lot about myself. For all the wisdom and self-awareness I acquired, it was all worth it.
3. Having my shelter and plenty to eat despite being unemployed. My husband, John, is not rich but earns enough to keep us in vittles and our house is paid off so we won't ever be homeless. I am grateful for this blessing because others are living a lot more vicariously.
4. I am grateful to my family who have always been there for me. There might have been some periods of estrangement but those never lasted long. So many friends have come and gone in my life and I am grateful for my family's stalwart support.
5. I am even grateful for my weight gain because, through this program, I will learn the value of self-discipline and how to take control over my weight loss through the various trackers. If I can manage the wherewithall to lose 50 lbs the healthy way, there is nothing that could ever stand in m way.
6. I am grateful for all my hobbies to keep me from becoming bored such as Facebook, Sparkpeople, journaling and reading. I am an avid reader and, so long as I remain so, I will never be bored.
7. This is petty but I am grateful for the Investigation Discovery channel which showcases crime shows 24/7. True crime is my favorite genre and I am glad to have found this gem.
8. I am so grateful for the opportunity for having seen most of the world, including Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Amsterdam, Austria, Germany, Lebanon as well as many places in the US. My only dream has been to see the world and I'm well on my way to accomplishing that dream.
9. I am grateful for my intelligence and my open mind. Sometimes when people argue religion or politics, they only do so to prove they are right and those things can get heated. However, I debate or argue, not to win, but to learn and expand my horizons. There have been many a time my mind has been changed because I am willing to think outside of the box.
10. I am grateful for all the interviews for jobs I've been getting. Sure, they haven't led to employment but, considering the number of applicants for each job, I still consider it an honor when I'm chosen for an interview.
Friday, February 10, 2012
I am officially obese at 192. Years ago, I used to be a beautiful size 6, had an easy time finding jobs and always received second glances by men. Now, I feel invisible and, despite the many interviews I've had for jobs, I have not been hired. I can't help but feel that my weight plays a factor in this. Truth is - men do most of the interviewing and, all qualifications being equal, they will hire the younger and more attractive applicant.
Don't get me wrong. I don't want to lose weight so I can meet some jerk's standard of beauty and be hired, I simply don't feel healthy at my weight since I'm only 5'3. My hips are starting to rub together now and itch and my feet have swelled to the extent that my shoe size has doubled. I also have spent thousands of dollars in new clothes as my weight increased. I've even gone to Good Will because I could not afford to spend so much on money on clothes as I rapidly gain weight.
However, there is a good partial reason for my weight gain other than lack of self discipline. I suffer from bi-polar and migraines and need to take Depakote to control both illnesses and weight gain is one of its side effects. People have gained up to 50 pounds on this medication. Despite my doctor's saying that Depakote has only a limited weight gain and that I need to exercise more (he's right about that though), I honestly believe that, but for the Depakote, I'd be at least 30 pounds lighter. However, since medication non-compliance is not an option, I will continue to take it while taking control of my weight. I may never go back to the size 6 again - but a reasonable size 10 would be good enough. What I like about this program is that it's realistic about the time it takes to lose weight. It will take me about a year and a half to lose it but the realistic time goals are good because this gives one enough time to develop good eating habits and not feel the pressure of losing weight quickly. I did not gain the weight overnight nor will I lose it overnight.
I close with thanking this program for giving me hope and for being free as I have no money to spend right now. I think that discipline in using this program to track food and exercise will make all the difference. One is really not aware of how much one eats until it is written down. Thanks Sparkpeople for the program and I will spread this through word of mouth!
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