Sunday, February 02, 2014
Whoops, so much for blogging regularly.
(Oooof, cat-breath in the face. Thanks, kitten. We have cone-head kitties wandering around now, and climbing on my lap - they were spayed on Monday and have only today been allowed out of their basement prison. They're still not allowed to lick their stitches, hence the cones, but my gosh they were stir-crazy! Not being allowed to run and play much is good for recovery but makes kitties NUTTY! This is them a couple of days ago:)
Other than cat-breath, things are good.
I'm fully embracing my "maintenance" / balance decision, which means I've been pretty slack lately. I'm still getting used to the feeling that it's okay to relax, that it's not laziness, it's a conscious choice. I'm 10 lbs over my lowest weight (which wasn't terribly low to begin with), eating what I want, and working out two to four times a week - although that level of exercise really IS laziness, and I'm trying to be better at that. I'm aiming for five days a week.
In fact I'm now trying to get into doing yoga at least every other day. Rachele is being a great inspiration, and I've signed up for a 21 day beginner plan on yogajournal.com. It may end up being too easy, I've only done one day so far, but maybe it'll be just right on days I don't want to do anything at all, and will be a good way to get into the habit. My regular instructor (the one who leads the weekly class at my office, that I've been participating in for almost 5 years) also asked us to set a goal for our 2014 practice, and mine was practicing more regularly and working on the calming side of yoga.
Finding time to exercise is my biggest hurdle, particularly due to my commute (just over 1 hr each way) and the short winter daylight hours. It's pretty much got to be on my lunch break or after dinner, so I'm running a couple of days a week at lunchtime from my office, and yoga is one of the few exercises I can do after dinner and before bed when I'm kind of winding down. I ought to get back into weights too, that might not keep me from sleeping if I do it late, but I haven't had much motivation. So yoga it is. Let's see how it goes!
My eating has been so-so, some cookies, lots of veggies; I need to keep on that. The naturopath visit that I mentioned in my last post went alright - I did have a ton of yeast in my blood, as expected, so she put me on a yeast cleanse (which basically was just a capsule twice a day which was predominantly oil of oregano - made for very pizza-saucy burps). I think it did make a difference, I experienced the "cleansing effects" she described before I started. I saw her again for a follow-up visit today and she says I'm doing well, should finish up and we may do a liver cleanse next month. She's all for the increase veggies, lots of water, all those good habits I should be doing anyway. She's even got me on a greens drink, as of today. Yum / ick. Can't decide yet. It's good for me.
Life's kind of stressful right now: work is challenging (I'm managing my first full-sized project of my own, the client is super touchy, and I seem to keep getting on his bad side; I'm also jugging some other deadlines at the same time), money is tight (renovations on our house have gone kind of crazy, lots of little expensive things keep coming up, and the schedule keeps dragging), the kittens are adorable but require a lot of time and attention, and we're paying more attention to friends with families, trying to figure it all out. I've also had what I guess is a cold this past week: lots of headaches and dizziness, due to a bit of ear congestion. It's a lot of stuff going on, so it's a relief to cut myself some slack in the weight department. Being healthy, balanced, and working on reducing stress is what I need to do. More yoga. More exercise in general. More water, more veggies. It's nice to be focusing on "more".
Wish me luck!
Also, from my husband's work staff party, which was Great Gatsby themed:
Helloooo legs! Three cheers for slacking off!
Monday, January 06, 2014
It's only January 6 but I've been sticking to my fitness plans so far! I went for a run at lunch today - it was a beautiful grey day on the Vancouver sea wall... the sky looked like it had been dunked in milk. I should've taken a picture, but my phone never does it justice (especially through my waterproof/impactproof case). Dunked in milk... like... an oreo cookie?
Oh, cookies. Max was talking about sugar addiction tonight, and while I'm sure I'm not addicted (mmm-hmm), it sure has taken effort to get away from my holiday eat-sweets-all-the-time routine. I am having a live blood analysis (yes, you heard me) on Thursday as part of my naturopathic initial check-up, and I don't want my blood to be full of sugar. I had my blood looked at a few years ago (as a freebie at my friend's clinic grand opening) alongside two of my girlfriends' blood samples. I was a total skeptic, but the differences between our samples were really apparent and while mine was the best of the three of us, you could see little blobs of yeast floating around in my bloodstream. I'm not prone to yeast infections or anything, but the analyst said it was indicative of a diet with a fair bit of sugar in it... which was bang on. Even in my healthiest phases I eat a lot of fruit. So for the next few days (at the least) I'm trying to limit my sweets to a reasonable amount (i.e. one or two small items per day, maximum). It's definitely more challenging than the exercise part of things... but then, wasn't that always the way!
In other progress, water intake is doing so-so, nutrition is great (except for wrangling those sweets), exercise is great, sleep is pretty great, and my mood has been WAY improved. A coworker that I don't even talk to that often mentioned that I was in a great mood this afternoon, and I blamed it (probably accurately) on the run I'd been on at lunch. I remember the way Max used to say (oh so kindly) at the end of the two weeks off I'd take after half marathons, "I think it's time to exercise again." I would get so cranky! I wish I'd realized how much better I'd feel once I got active again a long time ago. It makes such a difference.
Let's go, let's go, let's go!
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Happy new year, my sparkbuddies! Much love and best wishes to all of you. I'm back with a blog. Hopefully back more regularly in the future, too, yes indeedy.
Wrapping up 2013:
My weight was steady all year, kicking off 2013 at 164-165 and ending the year at... you got it: 164-165. Most of the year I was around 163, with a high of 166 and a low of 161-and-change in the summertime. How unexciting. I suppose it's a small triumph. Maintenance is good!
My nutrition and fitness have been pretty "meh" as well. Not spectacular, not too bad. I ran somewhat fitfully... trained up for a 10k in April, ran sporadically through the summer, then I re-injured my foot at the end of September and have only just been able to run-walk again recently. Strength training has consisted exclusively of my physio exercises (necessary for postural problems including tension headaches and muscular imbalances in my upper back) and even that was pretty irregular. My shoulder blades were behaving better at my last physio appointment, but I haven't been very good at keeping up those exercises. Water intake has been shoddy: some, but not enough.
I did get a fitbit in September and have been wearing it most of the time. However, it really doesn't have much value for weight loss without tracking my food, which I only did part-time, and it's only a tracker - it can't make me exercise more unless I choose to use it as a motivational tool. Which, unless you haven't caught on to the theme of 2013 yet, you'll be able to guess that I did not. We also adopted a pair of kittens about two months ago, who have been a great distraction and way to spend time in the evenings (which I might otherwise spend exercising).
So 2013, you were a bit of a snooze.
Plans For the New Year:
2014 is going to be so different! Where 2013 was a yawn, 2014 will be a WOW! I'm tired of being uninspired. I miss exercising and the strength it gives me. I refuse to let my commute be my excuse - there IS time to exercise and plan meals if I make it a priority. Motivation has been lacking, but despair no more! I have a plan! A couple of years ago, my impending wedding was able to motivate me to really get into shape and reach my lowest weight (about 10 lbs lower than I am now). The wedding was motivating as it was tangible, and I've been missing that. I'm hoping this will do the same: Max and I are thinking about starting a family sometime in the coming year or two, and I'd like to get my body strong and fit again before then. (For those of you who know me outside of Spark, I ask you to kindly keep this on the down-low, particularly as I have many work colleagues on my Facebook - please don't say a thing where others can read it!) Any advice during this phase of life is greatly appreciated (feel free to SparkMail me). Fit-for-family goals aside, I'm also hoping that my SparkFriends will keep in touch and keep me accountable. My downfall seems to be forgetting my health goals and making poor choices without thinking about them... keeping my goals at the front of my mind by staying in touch will help a lot. My fitbit chicas are great at this!
OF COURSE I have a plan. You know me. Here are my plans for the short- and medium-term:
Water Intake: jack it back up. This should be a simple goal; I know what to do. One glass first thing in the morning, two water bottles at the office, water with dinner. That's easy.
Nutrition: Max's new year's resolution is to eat more veggies, which I'm 100% on board with. We are meal planning again, so we shouldn't be scrambling when we get home from work. (Not that there's anything wrong with scrambled eggs for dinner...!) My mum gave me a gimmicky collapsable silicon lunch container (with two separate sections and a spork!) for one of my Christmas gifts, which may be handy - I've no shortage of tupperware, but a "fun" lunch container is a nice pick-me-up. I have leftovers of a spinach salad, a couple of baked chicken thighs, and some steamed squash packed for tomorrow's lunch already. I'm going to aim for solid nutrition and do better at avoiding sweets (I know I'll have to when I'm someday-pregnant, so I may as well get used to it now, when I'm pre-cravings!) Today at a big new year's lunch, I didn't have any chocolate or cookies, despite staring past a tiered tray of sweets for the long conversations that followed lunch. Willpower is a muscle - I need to exercise it!
Exercise: Speaking of exercise... I plan to ease myself back into running and strength training, and add a little more yoga into my life too. My physio exercises as well as strength training the muscles that support running and prevent injury will also be included. It sounds like a lot, but if I aim to do a little bit of something every day, I'll be on my way. I'm considering morning workouts (although I shudder to think of getting up earlier than I already do) and plan to do a couple of runs per week at lunch time from the office. I've bought a few new exercise DVDs and have lots of space downstairs to work out. I even did a 20 minute zip on the elliptical trainer tonight - first time in ages! Every little bit makes a difference. I've got a calendar made up for planned exercise and a big poster calendar (freebie from work - I cut the advertising off) for completed exercise. I hope to fill that one up completely!
Sleep: I seem to be doing alright with my sleep - I just need to be mindful of sticking to 8 hours a night even when I'm adding all this exercise in... particularly if it gets down to morning workouts that drag me out of bed or evening workouts that may make it hard to fall asleep.
Challenges: Best laid plans and all that... I know that successful execution of any plan relies on having Plan Bs and Plan Cs and maybe even Plan Ds to address the challenges that threaten success. I believe a tight schedule will be one of my greatest challenges: I need to make time to exercise and plan/prep/pack my meals. If this means getting up early, then so be it. Keeping motivated will be another challenge: I plan to stay in touch with my support group (online, fitbit / facebook / text messages, Spark blogging) and share my journey with my husband. He's very supportive - I just need to communicate what I need from him, when I need help. Heathy dinners together (and planning ahead) will be a huge help. Keeping the goal of fit-for-family in mind should also keep me on my game. That said, keeping any of my health goals in mind is a challenge for me, particularly at work. It is easy to go ahead and have a treat at the office (there are lots, people are always bringing in treats to celebrate or for no reason at all) and swallow it before I even realize that it's counter to my goals. I plan to let my coworkers know that I've got a new year's resolution to eat better and hope I can deflect many of the treats. Practice makes perfect - or at least will make me more aware. I also plan to limit my work hours, take a lunch break (particularly for runs or walks) and minimize overtime. Work does not need to be an obstacle. My commute time is a chance to connect on Spark (squinting at my iPhone) or read/relax (so I can put my evening to better use, without feeling that I never have time to read/relax).
Alright, how's that? Anybody want to poke some holes in my plans, so I can figure out a Plan C? Tips, tricks, advice from those who have been in my place, getting fit before family? Cheer me on, please - now and throughout the coming weeks. I'll try to post more often, even if it's just short blurbs to track progress!
Hugs! Happy new year! Let's go!
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
This entry is much the same as the last. I'm making slow progress. To sum up:
I'm tracking consistently, which is a great victory.
I'm still overworked and overstressed, which is a problem. My wellbeing is suffering for it, as is my motivation, energy level, and willpower. I am hoping that I can recharge in the scraps of downtime (evenings, weekends) and just push on through until I get past these deadlines. It's going to be a long slog. I'm not liking it much. Hopefully I can get more help at work after this round of deadlines. i'm not holding my breath. In fact, I should be doing some deep breathing.
My nutrition is middling... some good choices, some bad choices. Generally my calorie range is acceptable, with a moderate deficit. I should be losing weight slowly. I'm not, but I should be. I need to keep up that deficit. I also need to work on choosing more fruits and veggies and cutting out the treats.
I'm not drinking enough water, particularly early in the day. I need to get back into the habit of having a glass of water first thing.
I haven't stepped up my running the way I'd planned in my last blog. My 10k race in early October is approaching, and I don't think I'll be ready. I'll be able to do it, but I'll be really sore, hopefully not injured. I was going to go for a run on the weekend but didn't get around to it (busy Sat / lazy Sun) and today I was just too tired. My stomach was upset, my body was tired, I hadn't fueled or hydrated enough for a lunch run, my head hurt too much for a 6:30pm finally-got-home run. I am worn out. My tank is empty.
I have been doing my physio "homework" for my shoulders/upper back. The moves aren't getting easier yet, but that takes time, as I'm working my weakest parts. I have not started doing other strength training yet.
I bought a FitBit One last Wednesday and have been wearing it since. It's SO MUCH more convenient than the BodyMedia armband. I'm enjoying it and getting used to the tracking and seeing what it can motivate me to do. My husband and I had been talking about getting a new scale, one that did bodyfat measurements and perhaps other features, so we spent a leftover wedding-gift Future Shop giftcard on the FitBit Aria scale. I've only used it once. It knows who I am, which is a little creepy, and kind of cool. Apparently I'm almost one third fat. I find that hard to picture. Although apparently 25% - 31% is "average" body fat... less than 25% is "fitness" level. Hmph. I have a goal to reach 28%. In time.
... ... ... my cousin is baking pies downstairs right now. It smells really really good.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
This week was a challenge. Work has been stoopid busy - I got a proposal all wrapped up and out the door (and couriered in on time!), managed to pass off one crazy-urgent-on-fire project to a coworker, and have made progress on the other big structural design project I'm working on. (Complex seismic design and soil-structure interaction are still pretty new to me... it's big and imposing and REALLY IMPORTANT I don't screw it up! I don't understand why engineers don't make as much money as doctors... it's about responsibility level, right? if a doctor screws up, one person dies. If an engineer screws up... a whole building can fall down! But let's not think about it.) Anyway. Work has been stressful lately, but I think it's getting better. I was in really bad shape a couple of weeks ago, when my jaw was out of alignment (due to neck/shoulder tension and overnight teeth-clenching). Every red flag that my body could wave was waving, with big banners printed with "I'm overstressed!" flying. Heart palpitations? Oh yes, so many more than usual. Headaches? Brutal. Neck and shoulder tension? Heck yeah. Cranky? Well, of course. It sucked.
But it's getting better. In fact, yesterday I felt high as a kite after my run - I did a fartlek run on the seawall, just picking up the pace and running til the next bend in the seawall, or to the concession stand on the beach, or the lamp post. (I kept it just shy of an all-out sprint, as I'm a little out of shape for that kind of speedwork out of nowhere!) It was exhausting and probably a little over the top, as I was a little light-headed on the way back to the office, but I felt so HAPPY. I was smiling walking around the office after. It was great.
It makes me want to run again. Really run. I bought new shoes a couple of days ago, too, so now I have a good current pair at work and at home, and I just have to remember to bring my orthotics back and forth for my lunch-time runs and my... yes... weekend runs! I'm planning to go either tomorrow or Sunday morning and start working my way back up to longer runs. I'm really only doing about 4k on my weekday runs, which seems so short when I used to do 20k and still have pep in my step after, but it's okay. We all run our own race, and right now, I'm just pleased that I've built up some consistency again, and my body is over that learn-to-run adaptation hump. My bunions still hurt sometimes, but I kind of think it may always be that way. At least the kinesiologist who sold me my new shoes independently confirmed that the last pair I got was working really well for me, and I ended up with the newer version of those. (Just as chunky-looking, with solid granny-sneaker soles. Sooooo not sexy. But they allow me to run, and that's really all I need! Minimalist shoes are for chumps anyway.)
Along with running, I'm also going to get back into strength training. For now, I'm going to start with my physio exercises and lots of stretching. I am going to get my back and shoulders back into shape (heh, "back" into shape) which will help fix the muscular imbalance, ease my tension headaches and allow my tight neck and shoulders to loosen up. I'm also working on my hips, getting my glutes to start working better and my sticky joints to scour out. It will take time, and I understand that, but I've gotten strong before and I can do it again... and perhaps I'll learn my lesson and be better about maintaining my strength and not quitting on my physio "homework" again!
The added bonus is that I'm ready to lose some weight and see a body shape that I like again... my sloppy upper arms in particular are starting to piss me off, and strength training will do both of those things! Or, if it doesn't affect the scale as much as my food choices will, it will make me look smaller. If there's one thing I learned last year, it was that strength training (with heavy weights) makes your body change in ways that dieting, cardio, and less-challenging weights never can!
So here we go. For the past couple of months, I've been running two days a week at lunch (about 35-40 minutes each including walking) and doing yoga one day a week. I've also been doing random bits of activity like paddling, housecleaning, and yardwork as the opportunities/necessities presented themselves. For the past week, I've been increasing the amount of water I drink and tracking my calories.
This coming week I am going to do all of the above, plus go for at least one run from home, being a slightly longer one, and I'm going to strength train focusing on my physio exercises at least three nights (shoulders/pecs, hips/glutes, some runner's strengthening, plus some core work).
Oh - it's also our one year anniversary on Sunday, so I may put on my wedding dress and eat a lot of currently-thawing wedding cake. I pulled the carefully-wrapped top layer out of the freezer tonight (it's a full 8-inch layer cake, three tiers tall, dark chocolate and cappuccino layers with dark chocolate ganachey-buttercream and latte buttercream under yummy fondant which my maid of honour beautifully decorated with royal icing. Nom nom nom!!! I can't wait to make one for that maid of honour's wedding next year!
I may not have reached my goal of fitting back into my wedding dress (by any stretch of the imagination) but I'm making progress: I've been back down to 163.0 for the last two days. That's very good news! Another half pound and the little fishie on my tracker will be 1/4 of the way! I just have to keep that fishie in mind when I'm faced with all this cake... mmmm.
Get An Email Alert Each Time MONICA_W Posts