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ReAssessing and ReVising: Challenges, Excuses, and the Challenge of Excuses

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm writing this for myself, and it's going to be long, so don't feel obligated to plow all the way through it!!

I've been thinking about this for several days now, and putting off writing this blog because I am finding the whole thing very difficult to deal with.

There is good news: I decided on Saturday to try on some of my winter clothes that haven't fit for several years to see how close they were to being usable again, and the answer was: almost all of them are wearable right now!! I have done a lot a laundry the last two days, since they had gotten rather dusty sitting there waiting for me.

On the other hand, I have been feeling very guilty about my failure to meet the standards I have set for myself. I've fallen off the wagon and eaten in restaurants several times when I really could have and should have avoided it, and I haven't been going to the gym or doing the walk/jog thing for the Turkey Trot. I haven't met my goal of being at 205 when I leave for my vacation (it is going to be more like 209), and I could have if I had stuck to it a little more compulsively.

And so, I have been reassessing my strategy, making some revisions in my goals for myself, and admitting that while I do make way too many excuses for why I absolutely have to do things that I know are not in my best interest, I also have some legitimate challenges. I am having trouble sorting the excuses from the challenges, and admitting to myself that one of my challenges is expecting too much of myself, which leads to me making excuses to not do what I know I need to do, which leads to disappointment and the potential for failure.

So, a new set of goals for myself for this week:
1. Challenge: Two physical injuries which I aggravated by refusing to stop with the whole exercise thing for a while. After several days of rest, my foot is better, although the shoulder is still painful.
Excuse: It's too tempting to go back to my default position lying on the couch because "I'm hurt".
Reality check: I'm leaving on vacation on Saturday, it is going to be physically demanding, and I need to be in the best shape I can be.
Plan: Listen to my body. Do what I can do without pain, and rest the injured parts when I need too. At the same time, get up off the couch and do something. I'm not so injured I can't do anything.
Take along a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, and my bathing suit. The hotels we will be staying in sound very Americanized, including a couple Radissons. Wouldn't be my first choice, but it is a tour. The good news here is they are likely to have swimming pools and gyms available.

2. Challenge: For two weeks I am going to be eating exclusively in restaurants, and the woman I am traveling with (a co-worker) has said several times when I have turned down donuts, etc. that she brought to work that I need to eat, because she is going to eat anything she wants while we are traveling, and she doesn't let it go.
Excuse: I am bad about saying I have to eat in a restaurant because I'm: tired, stressed, don't feel like cooking, don't feel like doing dishes, it's getting late in the evening, I don't have time to cook before the meeting, etc.
Reality check: I really do have to eat in restaurants for the next two weeks.
Plan: Order carefully, watch portion sizes, and ask that food be left off the order if necessary (if they bring the bread or the chips and salsa, I am going to eat it, no question).
Pleasantly but firmly continue to tell my traveling companion that I am not hungry, and really don't want any more food.
Take a journal, and in the midst of raving about the scenery and what I am experiencing, contine to track my food and exercise.

3. A longer term challenge: I have been having trouble scheduling in my new exercise program, often staying up way too late because it is the only way I can see to fit everything it.
Excuse: Again, it is way too easy to use this as an excuse to return to the comfort of my couch.
Reality check: I want to start doing this, but I am not willing to give up anything but my job, and that is not a financial possibility.
Plan: Over the rest of this week, I am going to write out schedules and plans for how this is going to work. More good news: I have realized that it really is possible to "overtrain" and that I was doing it. I went back to the gym today and rode the stationary bike only to realize that when I have allowed myself sufficient rest from exercise, my knees and hips don't hurt. Really, for someone as unused to exercise as I am, three times a week at the gym is probably reasonable for now, with a walk (or a walk/jog/shuffle) between times. I am going to plan a personal trainer into that once I am back home, but not until my PT says I am ready for it.

4. Another longer term challenge: I need to be planning my meals ahead of time better, and tracking the food BEFORE I put it in my mouth.
Excuse: " But I don't have time!!" Which leads to "I have to eat out tonight because I don't have anything to eat at home." You see where this is going.
Reality check: I often decide at the last minute to try a new recipe, only to realize that I don't have all of the ingredients, which means I have to go back to the grocery store, which takes even more time, and is a major source of temptation.
Plan: Between now and Friday evening, make a meal plan for the first week I am back home, including a shopping list. Put the shopping list in the car. Leave it there until I get back home.
Schedule a time into my weekly schedule (see above) to do this meal planning. Schedule time to do the cooking and clean up. Make at least two big batch, freezable recipes each week, so there is always something to eat so I eliminate several excuses for eating in a restaurant.

5. Challenge: Expecting myself to be perfect when I set a goal for myself.
Excuse: " I didn't do it today (or this week), so why even keep trying?"
Reality check: Nobody is perfect, not even me.
Plan: Do what I can. Admit it when I have over-goaled myself and allow myself to back off a little. And keep going, even when I am feeling frustrated and disappointed in myself, even when I gain weight instead of losing it for a week, even when it would be easier and more comfortable to just stay the way I have been for the last 63 years. So let it be.


Good news/bad news

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Went to the Physical Therapist today, and the good news is that she says I may have a small tear in my rotator cuff, but as strong as my arm is, she thinks it is mostly tendonitis. That means it will probably heal faster, and I don't have the threat of orthopedic surgery hanging over my head. Yes!! She gave me some exercises to do at home, and wants me to come in twice a week for awhile. I told her I have just gotten into strength training, and want to get back to it. Of course the answer was "Not yet!!", but she said that as I get bettershe will talk with me about which machines are most useful, and which to avoid. I gather that some of the "fitness" machines only "fit" you for more injuries. That will be handy information to have. It is another expense in an already over-expensive year ($25 co-pay each visit!! Ouch!!), but I think it will be worth it. Plus, she put a TENS unit on me, and that along with the stretching exercises seems to have already helped the shoulder pain.

On the other hand, I forgot to take my foot brace with me this morning (couldn't seem to get organized for some reason), and was on my feet more than usual, and my poor sore foot is REALLY sore tonight. Need to go get an ice bag to put on it. Consequently, I didn't get my Turkey Trot Training done today, and no "cross-training" again today either. I've put my foot brace and my hiking boots in the car, so no ready excuse tomorrow, assuming I get off early enough to do it before going to stay with my granddaughter. (Sigh. But it gives me a chance to hang with her a little more than usual, too.)


Life is what happens while you are making plans.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Doing pretty well today. Too low on calories again, and I didn't get over to the gym to even ride the bike for a few minutes, but oh, well.

My son-in-law is out of town this week, and my daughter is in evening classes, so I am sitting with my 11 year old granddaughter tonight and Wednesday, and tomorrow we are going to go out for a "girls' night out" since Lawrence isn't around anyway. And of course I am going to miss choir practice on Wednesday, and have Messiah rehearsal on Thursday, and swimming and then my granddaughter on Friday, so I'll have her part of Saturday as well, and so the week is just going past without a pause.

I am going to get in my Turkey Trot Training tomorrow between work and dinner with "the girls", but didn't get the "cross training" SparkPeople recommends "three or more times a week" today because I got off work so late I was worried that my granddaughter was there alone. She is OK for awhile, but it was turning into too long of a while. I'll work on the cross training on Thursday, since Wednesday is likely to be a long day at work again, and I will need to get to my granddaughter ASAP.

In theory, I am on the second week of Stage 2 of the Spark Diet, but it has to do with meal planning. Really, what's to plan this week? I am eating whatever comes to hand at the time, just trying to make it a fairly healthy choice. Last week was the same--I wasn't home enough to really "plan" anything.

I also have to admit that I do not understand how to use the meal planner thing effectively. It gives a different entree every night, all of them recipes that make several servings, but never seems to accomodate the left-overs. I know I can change it around, but don't see how this is better than just sitting down with a cookbook and planning it out so the left-overs get used up eventually. I seem to waste so much food because it goes bad before I can use it up as it is.

Anyway, next week is not going to be much better in the "meal planning" range, and then I go on vacation, when I will eat whatever is available wherever I am, so it seems to me that Stage 2 is just going to have to wait until at least mid-October, and all those other e-mails are just going to have to pile up and wait for me to get to them.

Hidey-Hoo. Such is life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNIE924 9/20/2011 8:18AM

    It sure sounds like you have a very busy week ahead of you.

As for the meal planner, I do use it to track my nutrition, but I don't use the suggested menus. I add my own choices. Like you I need to be able to incorporate leftovers into my week. I often will use a recipe from Sparkpeople which can be added so easily to the nutrition tracker. Spark recipes is also helpful in figuring out the calories, etc. for my own favorite recipes. Using the built in recipe calculator is a great option. I often tweak my recipes to make them lower in calories, sodium and fat and enter the results in my own private cook books.

Just a few suggestions that might help you. I hope you don't get stressed about being on stage 2, just do the best you can with the time you have and you will see success.

Take care and have a great day. emoticon

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Feeling a little more like myself.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I "took the day off" today, decided not to go to church, and instead just spend some time here getting things sorted out. I didn't get all that much sorted, and in fact spent much of the day napping, as I did yesterday afternoon. I finally realized today that part of my problem this last week has been that I have been in pain from my shoulder (torn rotator cuff, according to my doctor), and that I am simply not sleeping well because of the pain. I did figure out yesterday that I can do the stationary bike at the gym without impacting my foot or shoulder, but that puts my knees and hips in pain fairly quickly (arthritis). Aging is such a fun experience.

This morning I woke up and lay there thinking that my foot is feeling a lot better after a few days of rest, and that somewhere in this house I had a foot brace from when I had plantar fascitis a number of years ago, and that it might support that poor old bony foot. Dug it out, put it on, and found that I could walk without pain. So I signed up for the Turkey Trot challenge, and went out and did the first day's worth of training--walking 4 minutes and jogging 1 minute for 5 times. Got all the way though with almost no pain in my foot, although I am going to follow the program and NOT do that tomorrow again already.

I'll tell you, that is definitely aerobic exercise when I add in those little jogs. It doesn't help that I live on gravel, and the uneven surface is a challenge even for walking. And I have to admit it wasn't much of a jog-more of a fast shuffle.

Anyway, I'm back on track, and feeling more in control of myself and of my situation again. Amazing what a little sleep will do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LHLADY517 9/19/2011 5:53PM

    Be careful and don't try to do too much too soon, But keep moving.

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OAKBORN 9/19/2011 11:47AM

    Just move your feet a little faster and if that is your jog, that is your jog and nobody can tell you it's wrong! It's the movement that counts and it does get easier over time! Trust me, I KNOW!

emoticon emoticon

You are working it and I am so proud of the progress you have made! Every step is just one step closer to your goal and ever-better health!!

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MSKINGER 9/18/2011 8:44PM

    Glad you're able to exercise some ... but be careful! I'm going to look into the Turkey Trot challenge now, too - because of you.

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stopped talking, started nagging, still not listening

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yesterday, I was talking to myself, and giving myself some really good advice. Unfortunately, I still haven't listened to myself, and have consequently went from convincing to nagging. I have GOT to get it together again. Now, I will admit that today was unusual. I started out OK, but then went with my friend to pick up the final packet of information for our trip in October, and mentioned that I had to find some new bottoms, and that all anyone seems to be carrying right now are pants. I'm sick of pants. I want to wear skirts like a girl for awhile. Mary suggested we stop at a shop perhaps a hundred yards from the travel agent--and sure enough, they had skirts, and I ended up buying two, plus a blouse. Now, these are obviously "vanity sized" as a recent blog put it, because I was down not one, but two sizes from what I have been wearing, so that part was fun, if not very realistic. But...by the time we quit shopping, it was 6 PM, I had to be at choir at 7 PM, and I realized that I was near where a favorite restaurant recently relocated, so I went there. I thought I ordered carefully, but when I put it all in the tracker, OMG. To add to the distress, I didn't manage to talk myself into going to the gym after choir practice, so I don't even have the with which to console myself. Damn. OK, Barbara, get it together, or we are going to have a knock down, drag out type FIGHT!! Tomorrow you WILL keep on track with your food, and you WILL get to the gym, and you WILL furthermore get something done around the house, like you have been promising me you would. So get out there and DO IT!! Jeez.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OAKBORN 9/19/2011 11:44AM

    I so understand! I have been fighting a similar fight!

But two sizes! I don't care if it's vanity sizing or not, it's DOWN TWO SIZES! Can't beat that with a stick!

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