Sunday, November 30, 2014
I can't believe New Year's Day 2015 is just a few weeks away! 2014 has passed so quickly, it's nearly a blur, especially the last 11 weeks. Unfortunately, part of the reason this year passed so quickly was that life seemed to be constantly enveloped in stress and uncertainty. On the bright side, because of that additional stress, I shifted my priorities, gained a new perspective on life, and a new appreciation for everything that really matters. So, even though life is still stressful, I'm grateful for each new day.
SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER UPDATE:
We decided we wanted to sell our house, but before we could list it, there were a few thing that needed to be done. Because of my husband's work and travel schedule, I was the one that had to complete everything on the to-do list. Painting a few rooms, baseboards, and cleaning out closets and the garage didn't seem like it would take very long or that it would be too much for me, but I was wrong. My days were long and physically exhausting. So, I had to let go of my September fitness goals, and I didn't bother setting any new goals in October. My only fitness minutes, consisted of walking with our dog, on his mandatory twice daily walks, (average daily total 5 miles). Normally I don't count walking our dog in my fitness minutes, but since it took all the energy I had left to walk him, I counted them. I tried to hold on to my nutrition goals as long as I could, but by mid September, because of all the clutter the painting had caused, I couldn't even find my kitchen. I was surprised how quickly I noticed negative changes in my health, from all the restaurant foods.
It was mid October before our house was ready to go on the market, and by that time my *precious* body was screaming for attention. The joint swelling and muscle pains I had been dealing with earlier in the year, had returned with a vengeance. I was a complete mess. Even my husband, who has never had any health issues, was complaining about how rundown he felt, since I stopped cooking for us. So, we decided to reboot our systems, with a new Whole30. Eating W30 clean, isn't that different from our "ideal" normal eating habits. The big differences are no alcohol at all, no sweeteners of any kind, and no dairy. The rest of the avoid list, we do our best to avoid anyway. Today is day 31!
What made this Whole30 special is that we survived Halloween, 19 days away from home, an early Thanksgiving celebration with my husband's family, my birthday, and Thanksgiving, while eating W30 clean and without ever feeling deprived! My husband and I both feel so much better. Weight loss is supposed to be the "added bonus" of completing a W30 and not the focus. So I haven't bothered to weigh myself today or take measurements. I honestly can't remember if I took measurements when I started. If I did, they're someplace "safe" out of the reach of realtors or potential home buyers. Actually, one of the best things to come out of us, listing our house, was that I had to put our scale away. Out of sight. Out of mind. My addiction to that thing has finally been broken. But, I did weigh myself on my birthday, since in the past, my birthday has always been a big goal date for me. That was 10 days ago. To my surprise, I had lost 12 pounds! I did a quick happy dance, and then shoved that thing in the closet where it belongs. I won't bring it out again until New Year's Day.
Unfortunately, I'm still dealing with some muscle and joint issues. I have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow, and then a follow-up appointment with my orthopedist on the 10th, to discuss the results. He said if his suspicions are confirmed, I might need surgery on my right knee. A scary prospect, since my right knee has always been my "good" knee. I'm not going to think about it, until I have to think about it. But, I haven't had to scream once in the last two days, which is a BIG deal, since for the past 9 weeks, I couldn't go an hour without an exclamation. Maybe my W30 is still helping my body heal itself. Fingers crossed.
After 30 days on the market, a fluke contract issue with our realtor, allowed us to be granted an unconditional release from our contract. So we took our house off the market. That has alleviated a lot of stress, since our CA house hunting had not been going well. Our plan is to enjoy the holidays with our families, deal with my knee issues, and then decide if we want to list the house again in February. We'll see. To allow us to stay here, my husband would need to find a different job that eliminated all the traveling he's been doing these last two years. I'd rather live in a tiny CA apartment with him, then our beautiful house alone half of every month.
DECEMBER CHALLENGE: Stronger than Yesterday!
CANNIE50's Precious Body Challenge : www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
30 DAY NUTRITION CHALLENGE: Follow Wahl's Veggie Protocol, and eat Primal clean.
30 DAY FITNESS GOALS: Until, my orthopedist gives me permission to do more, my daily fitness will continue to only consist of walking our dog twice a day (min. of 5 miles daily) & Tracy's Mat Workout Arms and Abs 4 days a week.
PERSONAL REMINDER: There is no magical shortcut.
On my birthday, I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead 2. If you haven't seen it, especially if you loved the original, wait until you can watch it for free. It's not worth the rental fee. Although it still tried to shine a light on the health benefits of juicing, the message that really came across was that drastic unsustainable diet changes, don't work. Since filming the original, Phil Staples (truck driver guy) has gained back all his weight, and Joe Cross regained and struggles with 30/40 pounds. It was sad.
I've been seeing the word "set-point" popping up a lot lately, when referring to why it's so hard to lose weight, and so easy to put weight back on. It seemed like a meaningless buzz word, until I watched this short YouTube video, The Quest to Understand the Biology of Weight Loss,
www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i_cmltmQ6A Researchers controlled the subjects weight loss, and tested all their hormone changes and metabolism changes as they lost weight. Conclusion... Whatever diet & or exercise plan you follow that allows you to lose excess weight, you need to be prepared to continue for the REST OF YOUR LIFE to keep the weight off, because the human body's natural survival response is to help restore the weight that was lost.
Success is not determined by reaching a goal weight or size. Success is having healthy diet and fitness habits become my default setting.
I'm ready to finish 2014 (and the rest of my life) strong. One day at a time.
Monday, September 08, 2014
As usual, our house was dark and quiet this morning as I walked into our workout room at 4:00 a.m., but as I switched on the light, something in the middle of the floor caught my eye. A baby snake! Southern Nevada, has bark scorpions, brown recluse spiders, and rattlesnakes! YIKES! Since baby rattlesnakes, don't have rattles it's harder to tell them apart from a "normal" snake, not that there's anything normal about finding a snake in our house. This was definitely a first. But as the snake tried to find cover, it was not moving like a normal snake, it was moving like a sidewinder rattlesnake. OMG!!! Long story short, I corned the snake and "blocked it in" using some of our weights, and ran to wake my husband. It took us a while, but we were able to get it out of our house and release it back in the dessert where it belonged. Maximum heart rate achieved. No morning cardio necessary.
Just for fun, I googled "spiritual meaning of snake encounter" and came up with this.. When the snake spirit animal appears in your life, it likely means that healing opportunities, change, important transitions, and increased energy are manifesting. I find that meaning VERY interesting.... All of the above apply in our life right now. My husband and I have been at a crossroads. It's been necessary for him to travel to California on business, more and more often and we've been trying to decide if it's time for us to move back to California full time and if we do, if we should rent or sell our house. (I'm now leaning move & sell!) I've also been dealing with health issues and working hard to find answers and to heal myself with proper nutrition and exercise.
SEPTEMBER UPDATE & GOALS:
I've been here before. It's September and there are only 16 weeks left until New Year's Day, 2015! The problem is that these next 16 weeks are always the HARDEST and most STRESSFUL weeks of the year. Normally I plateau, gain weight, or worse... feel like I want to GIVE UP. But THIS year IS and will be different because of my health issues. This journey is no longer about weight loss, looking good in a swimsuit, or fitting into a goal dress. It's about healing my body. No matter how bad I may feel on any given day, giving up isn't an option.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE: Stronger than Yesterday!
30 DAY NUTRITON GOALS: Continue to eat Whole30 Clean, with Wahl's Paleo Plus twist.
In July, my SparkFriend CCVINE, blogged about the book, The Wahl's Protocol. I can't thank her enough. I have been feeling SO MUCH better, since adding the Wahl's veggie protocol (9 cups of veggies a day: 3 leafy greens, 3 color, & 3 sulfur rich). For the Bahama Mama team's Stronger than Yesterday Challenge, we're required to replace one meal a day with a healthy green smoothie, which has made getting in all those veggies so much easier. (So far, I'm down 6 pounds and 1 inch everywhere.) This month I'm adding the Wahl's Paleo Plus lower carb twist. My new carb goal is 50-100 g per day.
30 DAY FITNESS GOALS: Practice Chaturanga Pushups daily: Tracy Anderson Method 6 days a week
While looking over my page, I found an old note I had to write to myself for one of the DONE Girls challenges. I'm posting it again as a reminder that the most important promises are the promise I make to myself.
I haven't forgotten the day I promised myself that THIS would be the "last time" I "tried" to lose weight. The day I declared I was done hating my body; done putting my life on hold until I reached a certain weight. The day I decided that I was DONE Being the Fat Girl! Today, it feels like that day was so long ago and yet it also seems like it was just yesterday. These last few years have passed so much faster than I ever imagined. So much has changed. Everyday I'm amazed by my commitment to this process, the strength I've found inside myself, and my determination to reach my goals. I've finally realized that every new day is a gift. A brand new chance to love, laugh, and live life to its fullest.
There have been many days that have felt hard, and self-doubt has tried to creep back in, but I continuously remind myself that this journey is not about perfection. It's about discipline, endurance, adaptability, and discovery. I've learned to take this journey, one day at a time and one choice at a time. Each new day, I'm building momentum and getting closer to my goals. Today I feel energized and optimistic. I absolutely love feeling this way. I'm so proud of myself. I hope these feelings grow stronger with each day and that next year, when I go back and read this, I'll be proud that I kept that promise I made so long ago, to make THIS the "last time" and that I've kept every promise that I've made to myself since.
Monday, July 07, 2014
An accountability confession:
UGLY: I haven't been Sparking much, since March. I've been struggling with my scale, and feeling frustrated and ashamed. I long for the old days, when a bad week meant my scale hadn't budged, or I had only lost 1 pound. These past few months, If I got on the scale at the end of the week, and I hadn't gained, I was actually doing a happy dance. The frustrating part... It wasn't because I had "fallen off" that mythical wagon. In fact, I was doing everything I could to hang on tight. Doing EVERYTHING that used to work, eating Whole30 or Paleo clean and working out like it was my job; but it just wasn't working anymore. By the end of May, I felt like jumping off that stupid wagon, and letting it run over me.
BAD: Over that same period of time, I started struggling with other issues too... indigestion after most meals, insomnia, or waking up at 3 a.m. and not being able to fall back to sleep, fatigue, mental fog, forgetfulness, muscle stiffness, and visible muscle swelling around my knees, ankles, forearms and wrists. Needing Spanks to fit into my sweats was frustrating, but needing help to get off the floor after a workout was frightening; so in June, I finally went to the doctor.
GOOD: I've been assigned to my primary care provider for over five years, but had never even met her, because before these issues, the only doctor I've needed to see was my OB/GYN. So, when I asked for help, I wasn't sure what to expect. Well, as it turned out, my PCP is fabulous! She spent a lot of time with me. She made me feel heard, not judged, and she was extremely empathetic. Maybe because she's in her early 50's and struggles with weight too. Anyway... She ordered a zillion blood tests, and was able to rule out a lot of scary things, like lupus, arthritis, and Cushing's etc. In addition many of the normal health markers doctors usually check were great, including my blood pressure, and resting heart rate, but my lipid panel was freaking FABULOUS! --- Take that paleo critics! It IS sugar and grains NOT fats or red meat that cause high LDL and triglycerides.
The bad results... My thyroid panel was abnormal. My FSH, Estradiol, & LH levels all indicated menopause, which instantly made me feel OLD! And, despite the fact that I'd been taking a daily calcium supplement, which contains 1000 iu's of Vitamin D. I was vitamin D deficient! According to my doctor, vitamin D is extremely important and a deficiency can cause A LOT of different issues, including thyroid disfunction, muscle pain, insulin resistance, fatigue, depression, and infertility, just to list a few. And apparently, it's more difficult than you might think to make vitamin D, naturally. Who knew?
PRESENT: My doctor currently has me taking 10,000 iu's of vitamin D a day, and I'm feeling A LOT better. Unfortunately, it hasn't alleviated all of my muscle issues. So the next step is an appointment with a Rheumatologist. In the meantime, at my doctor's suggestion, I've implemented major changes to my "healthy" eating. I've had to eliminate some of my favorite veggies including sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower (which have been staples, since going Paleo) because they contain goitrogens and thiocyanates that can disrupt normal thyroid function. Due to the insulin resistance, caused by my lower estrogen levels and vitamin D issues, I've been told to restrict my sugar intake, which includes high sugar fruits. I know that most of us believe that a healthy lifestyle SHOULD include sweet treats, because we don't want to EVER feel deprived. (Maybe that's because research has shown that sugar is as addictive as heroin.) But, the truth is dealing with this health scare has dramatically changed my perspective. Right now I feel like I DESERVE to be healthy, to feel good, and to be pain free. So, my current mantra -- nothing tastes as good, as healthy feels. Lately, I've also been watching YouTube videos to help me not want to eat sugar. My favorite slightly technical one ... FAT CHANCE: Fructose 2.0 www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceFyF9px20Y A less technical one, if you're not into the science is THE SECRETS OF SUGAR www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDaYa0AB8TQ
So whether like it or not, my body has changed, and I have to accept that from this point forward, to reach my goals, I will need to work much harder than before to see any results; but that's ok. Everything changes, and this is just a new phase in my life and in my journey, a new opportunity to practice Self-love. Including Self-love Step #6: Forgive yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.
It's been a struggle, and has taken a lot longer than I thought, but now, with these new changes to my program, I'm finally moving forward again. Three pounds down, but unfortunately, I now have 25 to go.
JULY CHALLENGE: Stop the madness and take care of myself. No excuses. No exceptions.
30 DAY NUTRITION GOAL: Complete another Whole30. Eating Whole30 clean will give me more energy, help boost my immune system, and the structure of the program, will help eliminate the residual sugar cravings. Today is day 7.
30 DAY FITNESS GOAL: With my muscular issues, exercise is even more important than ever. My doctor said, "Move it or lose it." You don't have to tell me twice. I love fitness. I've re-started Tracy's Metamorphosis program, which includes muscle restructuring and dance/rebounder cardio. I know, Tracy doesn't like you starting over, but one battle at a time. Today is day 1 of Level 2. I'm doing the ab and arm workout from Tracy's Mat Workout DVD, just to get in some extra arm work. Oh, and I've also started the Rip 60 program, which is an 8 week program similar to TRX. Today is week 2 day 1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCqAlbdu6Yk I also walk at least 45 minute twice a day with my dog. My Sunday active rest day, includes, walks, swimming, hoop practice, and Yin yoga.
To all my SP friends, thank you for being a constant source of inspiration & support, and for helping to hold me accountable. Without having to answer to you, I probably would have given up this time.
Monday, February 03, 2014
January Jumpstart Challenge
RESULTS: I'm happy to report that January was a complete success! I completed my nutrition goal, a Whole30; and despite a daily mental struggle I completed my fitness goal, Jillian's 30 Day Shred. I also completed all my Tracy Anderson workouts (which I LOVE) In the process, I lost 8 pounds and a total of 8 1/2 inches.
New for February.... Bahama Mamas Team
Fall In Love February Challenge
MAIN CHALLENGE: Loving ourselves isn’t a one-time event. It’s an endless, moment by moment ongoing process. Commit to doing your best to do something loving for yourself, however big or small, for the next 28 days.
Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love. (From Psychology Today)
I've chosen to work on the following three steps.
2. Act on what you need rather than what you want. You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.
3. Practice good self-care. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.
6. Forgive yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.
BONUS CHALLENGE: Self Improvement. It isn't hard to feel good about yourself when you accomplish something. Trying something new, learning a new skill, or even overcoming a bad habit makes us feel better about ourselves. Set aside some time this month for a Self Improvement project.
I've decided to work on my flexibilty by adding Yin Yoga practice.
NUTRITION GOAL: Eat Primal/Paleo clean at least 5 days/week.
FITNESS GOAL: Complete Tracy Anderson's Meta program.
Monday, January 06, 2014
with a new challenge, for extra accountability. The Bahama Mama team is doing a 30 Day January Jumpstart Challenge, Jan 2nd - 31st.
MAIN CHALLENGE: Set a 30 Day Nutrition Goal. I've decided to do a Whole30, whole30.com/ . I completed a Whole90 last year, and it was the BEST thing I've ever done for myself. Eliminating sugar, is what I anticipate being the most difficult aspect for me, since I am a sugar addict, but it's also what I'm most excited about and it's what I NEED.
BONUS CHALLENGE: 30 Day Fitness Goal or Streak.
Fitness has always been the easiest part of this lifestyle change for me. I LOVE so many things, that it's hard to find time to do everything I want to do. It won't be a challenge unless I get out of my comfort zone, so I've decided to do Jillian's 30 Day Shred. (I started it on Dec. 9th made it to day 16 and stopped. This time I WILL finish it.)
I can't give up, my normal fitness program, because I LOVE it. So, I'll still be doing Tracy's Meta Muscle Restructuring & her Mini Trampoline workout. I'm also doing the arm portion of her Mat Workout, at least 4 times a week. No matter how often I do it, it still makes me feel like I'm going to die, but in a good way. If want to improve the shape of your arms, you should check it out….
Free Arms: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWrLU1vt_ds&
Arms with Weights: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjUrQhDOe9M&
Today is day 5, of the challenge. My Whole30 is going great! On the Fitness front, I'm definitely counting down the days, until I don't "have to" do the Shred. It's fast and a great workout, but I don't love it.
“The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.”
- Arnold Bennett
"With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
May each new day of 2014 be your best day!
Happy New Year!
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