Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I was starting to feel mentally wrung out and the more wrung out I felt the more I emotionally ate. I let dramatic family members and work stress leak into my healthy home life that I had worked hard to build. I watched as the scale started climbing up instead of down. The result was 18 pounds gained and a whole mess of PCOS symptoms returning. I have been so angry at myself but the more I got angry at myself for not being able to control the eating, the more I continued to eat. It was a self abuse cycle and it needed to stop.
So I made some changes...
I signed up for a 6 week beginners yoga workshop. Yoga helped me fight anxiety, panic attacks and stay a non smoker. It helped me learn to love my body and it was helping me build strength. But when I started emotionally eating in May, I walked away from it. So I committed myself to walking back into my practice once a week for 6 weeks.
I cooked a healthy home made meal and noticed the difference it made in how my stomach felt and how much heart burn I got.
I signed on for a challenge between my mom and her husband. Whichever couple loses the most weight in two weeks gets a prize.
I made it a priority to get to bed early and get 8 hours of sleep.
I popped in my Boot Camp DVD and realized how much fitness can be lost in two months. I was sweating and hurting the whole way through it but I survived and I felt determined to not lose my fitness again.
I realized that healthy eating is not something I am forcing myself to do to lose weight, I realized it is a choice to make every day because my PCOS and genetics can't handle me filling it with junk anymore. I realized that the headaches, horrible periods, back pain, hip pain, ankle pain, fatigue and acne was just my bodies way of saying "we can't live like this anymore," instead of my bodies way of punishing me like I always thought before.
It is okay to get off track, as long as you slide back on that track!
Monday, April 07, 2014
When I was a smoker I used to come home from a long day at work and immediately light up a cigarette. I would chain smoke on the front porch and tell my husband about my day. By the time I was done, there wasn't time for exercising or doing anything but eating dinner before heading out for my nightly before bed cigarettes. My husband called me the Queen of one more, I would smoke a cigarette, he would get up to go inside and I would beg for one more. It was a pattern I had perfected since the day I handed him his first cigarette one very stressful day the first year into our relationship. I was lucky if I crawled into bed with my face washed or picked out my clothes for the next day or did the dishes or even went to bed at a decent time. When friends came over I would have them come out to the porch to smoke and chat with me, sometimes for hours. If they were non smokers you could see the discomfort in their faces but the understanding that this was my addiction. You truly don't realize how time consuming and inconvenient smoking truly is till you stop doing it.
I couldn't breath when I was a smoker. Walking down the block winded me. It was a struggle to exercise. I sometimes had to put off smoking until after I worked out because my lungs felt better that way. I often used it as an excuse not to workout. I would say, I need a cigarette because I am FREAKING OUT before I can work out. During lunch time, my coworkers and I would walk to get lunch and it was pure torture for me because all I wanted to do was sit down and chain smoke. I wasn't even very good at eating. Every break was made for smoking as many cigarettes as I could get in. My clothes smelled which made me super self conscious, my teeth were yellow and my skin looked different. I would spend my last $5 on a pack of cheap cigarettes over eating, over gas in my car and over anything else. I can't tell you the amount of debt I put myself through because I decided I would go to any measure to buy a pack of cigarettes, even when I was dead broke. Smoking is truly an addiction and breaking it took a lot of strength I wasn't sure I even had. But I knew with all my heart in order to run I was going to need to quit smoking, I knew in order to help my PCOS I was going to need to quit smoking, I knew if I wanted a baby eventually I was going to need to quit smoking. Above all I knew that in order to be a good role model for my niece and nephew and all the other kids in my life, I was going to need to quit smoking.
I never truly believed this time would be different when I quit 6 months ago. I just kept taking it each day at a time. I spent the first week really going through the works, sweating every single night to the point where my pillow was drenched when I woke up. Tossing and turning. Feeling wide awake at night. Twitching. Grinding my teeth. Then the anxiety sunk in and all of a sudden I couldn't eat or sleep or even make it to work. I used up all my vacation time and sick time because I was so full of anxiety. I blamed quitting smoking. I cursed quitting smoking. But I kept not smoking telling myself it would get better. My husband would listen to me threaten to smoke and ask me gently to give it one more day. Always one more day. Eventually I figured out that the anxiety had always been there, I was just using smoking and emotional eating to cover it up. They were just band aids in the end though, no matter what, I was going to need to find a better way to deal with the anxiety, a solution, not a band aid. So I continued to not smoke and started a yoga routine instead. Eventually I started working out again, eating healthy and then I signed up for my first 5k. I kept busy. I moved a lot and rarely sat down long enough to listen to that voice inside of me plea for one more cigarette.
My days are so very different now. I come home from a long day at work and I go for a walk or go to the gym or go for a run training session. I talk to my husband while we are exercising or while we are in the car. We chat while we make dinner or while we are watching a little TV. I spend time playing with my animals and opening my windows for fresh air. I have time to put a load of laundry in or sweep the floor or do the dishes. I have time to take a shower and put moisturizer on my face. I have time to read my book and still get to bed at a decent time. Sometimes I come home on the really hard days and I crawl back into bed with my animals and my book while the husband makes dinner. I have traded smoking on the porch for a glass of wine, sweet cuddles and a good book.
Thinking of food. Everything tastes different and better. Okay maybe not EVERYTHING tastes better but a lot of food tastes different. I have been trying things I used to hate and am shocked that I am starting to like them now. Kalamata olives, Greek olives, Blue Cheese, Brussel Sprouts. All of these things I used to hate and now I am actually starting to really like.
I used to spend hours talking on the phone. There were days I wanted to smoke but sitting on a porch was boring, so I would call everyone I knew. I would talk for HOURS on the phone. Before I knew it I hadn't had dinner or drank any water or cleaned up the house or even said hi to the dogs, I had instead smoked an entire pack of cigarettes on the porch. I don't think I really talk on the phone anymore and if I do it is for a short chat before I get off the phone. I find that texts or emails are easier for me these days, I just don't enjoy the phone like I used to.
I don't know how the two are related but I was much more of a dramatic person when I smoked. I would get all worked up about so and so and talk about it while smoking for HOURS. Every tiny argument with my husband meant I had to call someone and complain about it while I smoked. Every non thoughtful comment or disagreement or stupid stuff I saw on FB was a chance for me to smoke and complain. Not only that but I spent a lot of time on FB because it was something to do while smoking on the porch. Every day I would sweep away mounds of ashes gathered around my favorite chair and have to wash my hair daily because of the smell radiating from my blonde curls. Every day I would get caught up in some dramatic event. Maybe it was because I had a LOT OF TIME to over think while sitting on that porch chain smoking. Who knows. But I have noticed now that I am a lot calmer of a person. I don't get worked up anymore over stupid drama, I stopped sending emails when my feelings are hurt, I stopped wanting to discuss every disagreement. Instead I have learned to keep arguments between my husband and I. I have learned that not everything everybody does is a personal attack. I have learned to simply not over think every little thing and above all I have learned to keep busy with my own life.
Because now I have more time for the things I love doing. Knitting, gardening, run training, going to lunch with coworkers, spending time with friends or family, movies, date nights with the husband, shopping and taking my furry loves for long walks.
There are so many other benefits on my list. My skin looks healthier, my hair looks healthier, my teeth are whiter. But I think the best feeling was watching my PCOS get better. After the initial withdrawals, suddenly my PCOS was steadying out. I still have a lot more work to do in order to get it more stabilized but for the first time in a long time I have a steady period. And it has been that way for 4 months now. Smoking was truly aggravating my health condition in ways even I couldn't understand till I quit.
I feel better. Smoking those cigarettes used to drain me. I would feel lethargic and exhausted. I would feel oxygen deprived and so sleepy. But now my energy stays consistent most of the day. I find that I hate the smell of cigarette smoke or being around it. I find that I no longer really want to sit with my coworker while she smokes.
I still have twinges of cravings though. Every once in awhile I will have a bad week, I will have a bad day and my first solution will be to smoke again. I will reason with myself, I can always quit again, one cigarette won't make a difference, I will be fine. But then I remember what Allen Carr's Easyway Method for Women said and I will remember that smoking did NOTHING for me but cause more problems in my life.
I didn't use pills or patches or e-cigarettes, I had tried all of those things and they never worked. I just quit one day and every day after that I chose to stay a non smoker. Once I got past the worst of the anxiety and withdrawals, I realized how much I loved being a non smoker.
So as I celebrate 6 months of being a non smoker today I celebrate 6 months of freedom from a 13 year addiction I was starting to think I would never kick. I am celebrating feeling better, looking better and truly testing how strong I am. I am celebrating actually feeling like a non smoker for the first time since before I started smoking.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Last week I was sick, so I didn't start my Couch to 5k running program but that is okay because I started it this week, on Sunday. I still have 4 1/2 months to train and according to the C25k program, it should only take 9 weeks. We shall see.
The first day of running the husband and I did 30 seconds of running with 60 second rests. And I discovered something about myself, I hate timing myself. Seriously. I was fine running 60 seconds until I had to time 60 seconds and suddenly those 60 seconds became the longest 60 seconds of my LIFE. I usually stopped around the 30 second mark feeling deflated, which is how I ended up doing 30/60's instead. So I came up with an alternative, I like running to markers. Which means, instead of worrying about timing, we decided to train using mileage because my ultimate goal is to run 3.1 miles aka a 5k (scheduled for August 2).
How does this work, we walk the same area by our house. We know that all together it is 2 1/2 miles (I also have a MapMyWalk app that helps me track this). We run on a path that is split up by major roads that we need to cross. The first section is rockier, so that is our walking warm up. The second and third section is when we start walking with alternates of running, I have markers like I run from one tree to the other and I keep track of how far I ran last time (so I can push myself the next time).
The husband mostly knows how long it takes him to run to certain points so he also tracks this himself (without letting me know till after our run). Plus I listen to my body (based off an article I read for beginner runners), another way of training is to run till your breathing gets really heavy, then walk till your breathing starts getting steady (not completely but starts) then start running again.
I didn't have high hopes yesterday, actually I started off my run not wanting to do it and grumpy as heck. My lower back and left IT band were killing me from work. I had worked a 9 hour day and now I was going to run, I felt so moody. BUT once I started I discovered that this new style of training is working because I had the best run of my life yesterday. Seriously! I did amazing. I was covering more ground and pushing myself further than ever before. According to the husband, I am at 60 seconds, so I am right on track with the C25k program. Not bad for this 312 pound beginning runner.
(These are my ugly runner faces, I am part Irish, everything makes me BRIGHT RED)
At the end of our run/walk there is a hill. Yep a dreaded hill. Ya'll know I hate hills. I walk down it knowing I have to walk back up it every single time. But the last few times I have ran up it (slowly) and this time I decided to sprint up it as fast as I could. Not only that but I decided to sprint up it a few times. Why? Because I want to get over my disdain for hills and it is AMAZING for the legs. Plus the whole point in exercising is to get comfortable with doing things outside of my comfort. Being comfortable is what got me above 330 pounds, being uncomfortable has helped me lose 23 pounds so far.
I can still feel the runners high and I am actually really looking forward to tomorrows run training. Today is my dreaded rest day (duh duh duuuuuh), so I will be cleaning the house tonight instead of strength training or run training.
READ MORE and FOLLOW MY WEIGHT LOSS STORY at http://findingaskinnierme.blogspot.com/
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