Sunday, March 28, 2010
Today was Spring Cleaning. My husband and I went through our closets and drawers to mend, discard, or donate any clothes that no longer make the cut. At times it was pretty funny because we had on mismatched outfits. For instance, at one point I had on brand new, white tennis shoes, a black, knit skirt, and a pajama top. My husband was sporting a suit jacket, shorts, and slippers. It was like dress-up for adults, making an otherwise dull task of sorting and organizing really kinda fun.
While trying on clothes, I was also pleasantly surprised to find that my tops seem to be fitting better and that I have a bit of a waist again.
I found some cute clothes I forgot I had because they've been buried in the bottom of my dresser or at the back of my closet. I also came across my all-time favorite suit. It is a pale pink, silk suit that I just love to look at and can't wait until the day that I can fit into it again. Turns out I need to lose 10.5-11" from my bust before the jacket button will close. Game on!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Sometimes life can be quite a ride. I was so happy and at peace yesterday morning. I had a meeting in the late morning so I decided to walk the mile and a half to get in a little exercise, too. It was raining and windy enough that I had some trouble controlling my umbrella. But I had the thought that after weather like this, I'd really appreciate a sunny, warm, and calm day, which made me appreciate the rainy day for providing that contrast and making me feel so alive.
Then came this morning. I woke up with an acute appreciation that the one year anniversary of my lay off is fast approaching and I still don't have another job. I had something of an emotional breakdown today. I'm feeling better now, but earlier today I was not okay. However, instead of eating to sooth, I looked at pictures of the kittens I'm planning on adopting and looking at pictures of a trip to Alaska that I took with my husband several years ago. Remembering our great trip helped to recall good feelings and the kittens helped me to look forward to something in the future. The pictures didn't make everything better, but they did take the edge off. Here are a few pictures from the Alaska trip that I particularly enjoy:
Friday, March 26, 2010
Today illustrated to me just how far Iíve come in the short span of about a month. I attended an all-day training with breakfast and lunch included. I ate breakfast before I arrived so I had a cup of decaf and walked past the muffins and danishes without a second thought. At least until I sat down and realized how uncharacteristic that was of me, or at least of the old me. Lunch consisted of make-it-yourself sandwiches, potato salad or coleslaw, potato chips, cookies, and soda, sweetened tea, or water. The old me would have had a tuna salad sandwich, potato salad, a cookie or two and the sweetened tea. But! The new me had ice water and a ham and cheese sandwich sans mayo. The old me would have felt deprived to be eating just a sandwich; the new me actually considered taking one of the cookies, but remembered that a sandwich would be perfectly filling, and it was. I didnít feel deprived at all. The training ended at 2pm. As I left the conference room, coffee and cookies were just outside the door. I just kept walking because I wasnít hungry. It was a decision that was made without any real thought.
I really believe that Iím not eating as much because I CAN eat more if I want. Iím ALLOWED! Iím being kind to myself and, in exchange, I can CHOOSE to eat healthfully and not feel deprived. Tonight I had a smaller dinner, so I treated myself to a frozen banana, 4 frozen strawberries, a splash of almond milk, a dash of vanilla extract, and a sprinkle of stevia all blended up until it was like a frozen ice-creamy treat. I squirted a little whipped cream on top and enjoyed every bite.
I know that I will have tough days in the future and during those days I may not make the best decisions about what I eat. But my relationship with food today demonstrates a huge change, and for that reason it is so amazing to me. I cannot remember a time when I didnít eat the cookie or feel deprived for not having eaten the cookie. I know my relationship to food is moving in a whole new direction, because I donít recognize myself. The new me truly is a new me.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
This week marks the fourth week in a row that Iíve exercised five or six days a week. I notice greater flexibility and strength. My husband told me that Iím looking more toned. All good. Whatís even better is I donít think about exercising; I just do it. I have time set aside each day to exercise, so I put on my work-out clothes and go. Iím noticing that as exercise time approaches each day, my body is almost craving to exercise. What a change from a month ago!
After I was laid off from my job, I thought Iíd use the extra time to get exercising and get into shape. Not feeling motivated in pretty much every area of my life, I seldom made it to the gym and each time seemed like such an effort. For about 10 months I think I went to the gym maybe once or twice a month if that. But then something changed.
I still donít know what exactly happened a month ago when I just started exercising daily. I do know, though, that this is the easiest time Iíve ever had to lose weight and get in shape. Iíve got a long way to go yet, of course, but it seems like less effort is required. I'm doing more, but struggling less. I'm no longer trying to do; I'm just doing.
So whatís different? My mental outlook. I am, for the first time probably in my life, not fighting myself. Iím not beating myself up. Iím not constantly on my case about what I ďshouldĒ be doing or what Iím doing wrong or what I can and canít eat. For the first time in my life Iím being kind to myself on a consistent and continuous basis. Iím finally taking care of myself properly. Maybe before I cared so much that I had to do everything perfectly that Iíd end up giving myself mental whippings. Now, I still care, but at the same time I could not care less. And it seems to be working.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
On NBC News tonight, a story aired about a recent studyís conclusion that, statistically, more mature women who are overweight or obese donít lose weight by increasing exercise alone and actually need to increase activity or they will experience weight gain. Apparently, this finding did not apply to younger women or more mature women who were more fit. The conclusion was that a calorie-limiting diet was needed to lose weight, but exercise was also important for weight loss and other positive health benefits. (I think Iím remembering this correctly). This seems to indicate some kind of difference in metabolism between younger, thinner women and older, heavier women.
After hearing this newscast, I was feeling somewhat discouraged. It seemed to confirm my suspicion that losing weight this time isnít as easy as when I was younger. But then I thought about when I first started changing my lifestyle beginning in February. At first I didnít change my diet. I started working out 45-60 minutes a day, five days a week, and focused on limiting my eating to when I was hungry as opposed to eating for non-hunger reasons. In the first two weeks I didnít lose weight. However, I also noticed that after exercising, my appetite was much stronger. Is it possible that when exercising, but not monitoring caloric intake, a person will naturally eat more to make up for the calories burned through exercise, thereby eliminating any calorie deficit that may have resulted from the additional exercise? Once I started monitoring my calories and keeping them within my daily caloric range, I started losing weight. Is it possible that those heavier, more mature women in the study just ate more, too, once they started exercising? I mean, if they were already overweight, that indicates that they probably werenít monitoring and limiting their caloric intake on a regular basis. However, perhaps leaner women are in a habit of watching what they eat and, therefore, would be less likely to make up for the additional calories burned through exercise by eating more.
Maybe Iím just thinking this way because I donít want to believe the studyís findings. But Iím hoping Iím right.
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