Sunday, June 26, 2011
It has been a month since I have written. Things are going in the same way as last time I wrote, with a slight reprieve for summer. We are continuing to parent Robert, and learning a lot on the way.
My goal to go into maintenance mode for a while kind of backfired. I think I looked at it as permission to eat more, and the scale is showing the difference. It's so hard to know how to balance everything. I have had to let so much go to do this parenting thing, but I can't let go of SP as much as I have. I have still been tracking almost every day, but the calories are creeping up. I was also out of exercise for a week with a knee tweak (better now).
So now I am going to try another reinvention where the goals are kind of the same as previously (trying to not be too focused on the weight loss, mainly), but to pay attention to what I'm doing, try and keep my spark attitude through my days, not as a burden, but as a necessary element of life.
We have taken a few trips, and have a few more planned, which has also been distracting and allowed me to play havoc with my goals. The next trip with the kids (Robert and his brother) is this weekend, a long weekend in Memphis.
So from today until we get back (Tuesday, July 5th), here are my goals:
Work out 4 of the next 5 days (Monday through Friday).
Off working out Sat and Sun
Work out Monday and Tuesday
in range Monday through Friday, tracking every day.
I'm still trying to figure out how to be in Memphis and eat out without going over. Also difficult is the nightly manager's reception in our hotel with free drinks and food. Hello, Satan.
We are mostly taking our own food to eat for meals, so it won't be terribly difficult, but the 2 or 3 means we do eat out will be a challenge.
And mostly, I just want to be aware everyday. When I am not aware, one of two things happens: 1. I overeat or beg off working out OR 2. I do a great job, but assume I'm doing a terrible job because I'm not paying attention. Neither one is very good for me.
So mostly, awareness is what I need.
I'll try to let you know when I get back from Memphis.
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
It has been an incredible time of transition and learning. Suddenly becoming a Mom to a 16 year old from a completely different background than me has not been easy. At the same time, it has been the best thing in my life in so many ways; well worth the steep learning curve.
I took a cue from a fellow SPer, JULIEIRENE, who has also recently adopted a child. She talked about the importance of reassessing goals to reflect the reality of life. It made so much sense when I read it. I had been driving myself crazy trying to keep my life the same despite this new, incredible change. It wasn’t working. I started to not do well at all. 2 weeks ago it kind of all came to a head in the middle of a workout. All these feelings of anger and resentment and loathing. It was pretty intense, but it helped me come out of the fog I had been in that said, ‘keep going, keep driving, don’t stop’.
So fortunately my body led my mind to where I needed to be. We have reassigned importance to a lot of things, and deemed a lot of what we used to be doing ‘nice but not necessary’. We also realized that we were pouring everything out for Robert, and ignoring ourselves and each other, which was not a good recipe for sustainability.
One of the things that I have had to refocus is my health goals. I intellectually feel very good about the new goals. I think they make a lot of sense and are both do-able and healthy. But emotionally I am having a hard time catching up. I let my negative voice go rampant for a few weeks, and it is now having a hard time going back into the chamber I keep it in (a very small, controlled, well-guarded space). So I have to go back to ‘acting as if’ and just having faith that the goals and decisions are good and try to let the belief follow. The voice says things like, “what does it matter if you change goals, you haven’t lost a pound in 6 months anyway. Changing goals will just mean you gain weight back instead of maintaining” and “we all know THIS is the real you, lazy and not disciplined, it was just a matter of time…” and “you’ve just been waiting for an excuse like this to ease up anyway”.
Accompanying this voice is some sabatoging behavior (why is it that peanut butter is like crack to me?). I KNOW that I am picking it up just to give that negative voice more power and to feel bad about myself because that’s kind of how I’m feeling anyway (does that make sense).
Eating is actually going better, the floodgates that I blogged about a few weeks ago are mostly shut down, just a trickle now.
So these new goals are:
Cardio workout 3x/week (2 Turbo Fire and 1 run)
One stretch or strengthening workout per week
2 days off
track every day, and try to eat within range
write in my journal or blog once a week
There are other goals about time alone and time for my marriage as well
what I am giving up:
weighing. I am going to try to eat in range and not weigh until June or so. This is to let go of the drive to lose weight and an attempt to focus on the things that keep me centered and keep me healthy
working out 6x/week in the Turbo Fire program
weekly time writing blogs
funny, writing it out does not make it seem like such a big shift, but it does feel like a lot of pressure off
and writing out my negative thoughts is always so helpful.
Because the TRUTH is that
Although I haven’t lose, I haven’t gained one pound
I am SO much healthier than I’ve every been
Doing strength training has toned me a lot, and I feel strong
It is important to realize that the inner work is still there and still important
We just adopted a homeless child with a lot of issues that we are taking on as our own. In a whole life kind of way, things are going really, really well. And it the broad spectrum of life and God and love, the world is much better with me being a 184 pound, healthy source of love than getting to 157 pounds.
It’s hard to let go of the drive of it (getting to my goal weight) even though I would encourage anyone else to think of it all as a process and to focus on being healthy.
So send some positive energy or send a prayer my way.
What I have not given up is reading all of your blogs and catching courage from all of you. You all make me feel hopeful. It really is amazing.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Here we are in April.
It has been a rough few months. I'm not even sure how to easily describe them, and I'm not sure what I want to write, but I want to write something since it's been so long.
You may or may not remember that in February, we took custody (of sorts) of one of the kids living in our house of hospitality (like a homeless shelter but with a different philosophy of living with instead of providing for). Mom (who is dysfunctional and difficult) still lives upstairs on our 2nd floor with her 2 other kids. The oldest has been with us for 2 months with minimal contact with mom.
We have never been parents, so this has been a HUGE transition, to say the least. The good news is, this young man is fantastic! He is so easy and wonderful—he is easy to like and to love and has only added joy to our lives. We love having him. Conversely, having to negotiate things with his mom has been gutting, miserable, and difficult. It has been one of the most difficult things we’ve done. And throw in there my 40th birthday, my partner’s 35th birthday, and a few other random things that knock routine off kilter, and you have a few not balanced months.
But what I really want to talk about is how this has affected the priority of health in my life. I’m not even sure how to title or categorize them. They aren’t ‘bad’ and ‘good’ things, or even things I would change, because I really did the best I could. So I’ll just say, here are the ways my life did not reflect my priority of health in the past 2 months:
--While I did not binge for the most part, my filter was definitely off. I need that filter so much. For others it may seem too black and white, but when I open the tiny little hole of possibility in my mind (‘sure I can have just a little peanut butter…’), the flood gates are soon to follow. I can’t have it both ways, I can’t do a little. So while it may not look like an all out binge, it does look like extra peanut butter, me deciding that eating some cheese with my pretzels is a good idea, having a mixed drink (when I usually reserve those for special, planned occasions), etc. So the filter was off and my brain was prowling around for whatever I could eat next. I tried a few times over the past 2 months to turn the filter back on (usually on Monday mornings), but I kept slipping and then just feeling like I could not get my feet under me, and tried to figure out why I couldn’t get my feet under me. It just felt like too much.
--I didn’t track. I mean, why track when I know I am eating over 2,000 calories per day, right? And if I don’t track, there’s not much point in getting onto the SP site at all.
--I took several days off of exercise. The filter also protects me from justifying days off of working out, so with the filter off, exercise was easier to let go of.
--My mind was mostly turned off to how I was eating, just knowing I’d eventually get my filter back on, but it is amazing how removed I can be from what is going on.
Now, here are some things I feel really positive about in the past 2 months:
--I was compassionate with myself. I didn’t freak out about how I was eating, or turn on myself (too much) to berate what was going on. I even managed to realize that I was doing the absolute best I could under very difficult circumstances.
--I never felt like this was it. That is a big deal. It took me a long time on SP to feel any level of confidence that I was, in fact, different. But even though the past 2 months were my roughest on SP, I never thought that I would be gone for too long. I never thought that it was all over, that I’d go back to my previous ways. I knew, even deep down, that I would get my feet back under me again. That’s pretty amazing!
--Even though I took more days off of working out than normal, I kept working out overall.
--I really keep realizing that this is a life journey, not a sprint. This is part of it, and I don’t need to freak out about a time line or particular weight goals. I am healthier now than ever, and I need to keep walking the journey.
That is a rough one a little bit. I only lost 10 pounds in all of 2010, and really started 2011 with the thought that I would get to my goal weight. I weigh 185.6 yesterday, which is more than I weighed last October. That is difficult for me, but not incredibly difficult. I want to get to my goal weight (28 pounds away), I really do. And I will. But it is not my primary focus. My primary focus is that my heart is healthier than every before, my knees don’t hurt. I can squat in the garden this (and last) year when before I could not. On and on goes the list of things I can do now. That is my focus.
So where do we go from here:
--I made a chart for myself of the primary goals for the week (getting back to basics, for real). They are:
track daily, eat in range daily, no unplanned snacks or extra food, plan the amount of wine daily and do not drink more, exercise 6 days/week (still doing Turbo Fire), and NO cheese or peanut butter (to help shut down that open filter/flood gates). That’s it, pretty simple. But it has felt impossible to do for the past several weeks. Now it seems faceable, albeit difficult. And it is difficult.
I am on day 3 of the chart, 2 days 100% successful! No promises, but I do feel committed.
In other news, I am back riding my bike to work. I had not ridden since I was attacked while riding home last October. I am taking a different route, and it feels great!
This is so long, but seemed important to write. Thanks for reading it. I hope to keep you updated.
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
My blogs usually don't stray too far from SP directly related things, but today seems like a good day to make an exception.
part of the reason I don't delve into other areas of life too much is that my life feels hard to explain (it probably isn't, but that's how it seems sometimes).
this week jenny and i became guardians of a 15 year old boy (man? male?). we have temporary guardianship currently, but it really may become permanent. It's a pretty big thing.
So first a brief back story--
jenny and i have spent the last 15 years as live in volunteers at a house of hospitality (a homeless shelter with more heart) for 35 homeless women and children. The women stay at the house for 6-12 months then move on.
3 1/2 years ago, Jenny and I opened another house 2 blocks from the main shelter, the goal of which was to provide long term hospitality for one mom and her kids. Since we opened, we have had the same mom and 3 kids, now ages 12, 14, and 15 (he'll be 16 next week).
The Mom, for a lot of good and understandable reasons, does a lot of damage to her kids. It has been devastating to be witness to the effect this has on her kids. In a nutshell, she sees them as burdens to her, and treats them more like she is their older adolescent sibling than a mom (worries about them taking her stuff, getting in petty arguments over who has more food, etc). It all comes out in really hard ways.
She and the 15 year old, Robert, have always had a hard time getting along. He is a normal kid, doing annoying but normal 15 year old things, but she sees him as purposefully trying to ruin her life. I’m not even kidding.
She has been so hard to live with that we've thought many times about asking her to leave. But we always come back to the fact that it is not so hard that we can ignore the improvement that living at our house has had on her kids. So we've kept going for the hope that it will make any difference to them. She and Robert get into BIG fights every few months, he stays on our floor (we live on the first, the family lives on the 2nd) for a week or so, and then he goes back up. She is unwilling to get counseling. Robert is in counseling at school.
They had another big fight 2 weeks ago and he moved back in with us for a week. This time it's different, though. His mom does not want to see him, does not care, she says, what happens to him, says she's done with him. In fact she says if they lived on their own, she would have kicked him out.
So we have joyfully taken him and are now responsible for him. I can't tell you what a great kid he is. He is a great kid with issues stemming from being homeless most of his life, but he handles it with so much grace it's unbelievable.
So there you have it. Welcome to mother hood!
So I went this morning to do my usual goal setting for the week, and I just lacked the heart. I have been working out every day (6 days a week), eating within range every day except the one day a week that seems to slip by me---this past week it was the day that his mom told us she was done with him which prompted a wee bit of emotional eating (but not too bad) and a strong vodka drink. I am still doing what i need to do, but I also am feeling like i need treats! Not a lot, just a few little treats throughout the day, and it is tempting to think, "Oh I just accidentally took custody of a troubled 15 year old and I still have to deal with his really unpleasant mother, so it's Ok if for one week I have an extra glass of wine or little chocolate treat. So it's a little hard to proceed. I don't want to eat a whole cake, but by god I want a piece of it.
So I’m working on that. I know getting into the ‘I deserve’ mode can be very harmful. And I know that some treats do indeed make me feel better and some (most) make me feel worse. But mostly this situation just feels so big, that other things don't seem like such a big deal. I know, danger will robinson.
I’ll be careful. I will be intentional. I know that.
So there you have it. Any advice on sudden parenting or parenting a 15 year old? I’ll take it!
And my February plan is still in effect to not change my calorie range and to trust that SP knows what they are doing. I was disappointed, however, to see 185 on the scale yesterday. But press on I will.
have a good week,
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