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Progress isn't necessarily shown on the scale first.

Monday, February 27, 2012

For Christmas my brother and sister-in-law gave me and my sister (and our significant others) an evening at Boca, a very upscale restaurant here in Cincinnati, on a date to be determined by coordinating our schedules. That day was this past Saturday, 2/25 (its really hard to get Saturday reservations). One of my goals here at SP was to be so accustomed to eating a healthy diet that I would make healthy choices at the restaurant.

About two weeks before the event, I started looking on the Boca website at their menu, so that I could start thinking about how I wanted the evening to go. Well, I got completely unnerved by their rich foods with sugars and potatoes and sauces and so forth. I posted a 'help' message on the Cincinnati Team message board, hoping someone had been there and could advise me on what to do. Best advice: exercise that day and the day after, eat what sounds good (within reason) and enjoy the evening (and the brussels sprouts are a must-have, even if you hate them - which I do). So I tried not to think about it for a while; just concentrated on my daily menus and workouts. But...

On Friday, the day before the dinner, I started to panic. I felt that I had made some progress, although the scale didn't show any loss. I could feel that I was using muscle instead of joints when I moved and I *thought* my clothes were fitting a tiny bit better, although without the scale moving I wasn't quite sure. The week before, I had worked hard at forcing myself to ignore the numbers on the scale and just keep at it. It would have been so easy to just say, "Oh, forget it". So when I felt there may have been some progress (screw the scale!) I did NOT want to blow it at some fancy-schmancy dinner!

So on that Friday, I posted another 'help' message on the Panic message board; what should I do?!? I'm afraid! I don't want to screw this up! Thankfully, I received some quick responses with much the same advice. Do the best you can, enjoy yourself, and remember one day does not negate the entire program. So, my husband and I reviewed the restaurant's menu together once again, and made some (soft) decisions about what looked good without going too far out into left field.

The time came to get dressed. I had a pair of black slacks and a choice of three tops to put with them (no way was I going to buy another outfit at this size!). My wonderful husband, daughter, and son (this particular son NEVER lies to me about my appearance - even if I want him to) chose the red and black top. Now, the last time I had tried any of these on was at Christmas. At that time, I would never be caught out in public - alive or dead - in two of them, and the third I had worn to a cocktail party with one of those full-body "undergarment" Spanks things that smooth out the back-fat rolls. All three choices were made of that T-shirt-like, soft, clingy fabric that is totally unforgiving. Decision made. The red/black - IF it fit. I got dressed, looked in the mirror, and couldn't decide. All I could see was fat. Rolls (plural) of fat into which the fabric settled. That's all I ever see. I went downstairs and asked my husband. No, you look very nice - no I don't see fat rolls. Yeah, well he lies to make me feel good about myself all the time. So I asked my son. Him: 'You look nice, Mom. That was the right choice after all.' Me: Really? What about all these fat rolls around my bra strap? I have an undergarment I can put on to smooth them out. Him: 'What fat rolls?' Me: HUH? Him: There aren't any. Me: Are you sure? Him: Oh, for God's sake. You look nice. Go have fun ! So I went back to the mirror. Oh, I could MAKE the rolls show up if I tried, but just standing there...Well, I'll be darned...I look kinda good...SO. We went out to dinner, I had salad, veggies, and fish (Yes, the brussels sprouts were divine!!), and of course creme brulee (oh, well, its my fave). Did not feel bad about a single thing that went into my mouth, and the portions were NOT distorted, so I also did not feel as though I was going to explode. I was relaxed, and I had a great time!!!

But wait! There's more! So the next day - Sunday - I was trying to decide what to put on to go to the park for a walk with my husband (didn't want to put on workout clothes for a walk with him) and reached for the corduroy pants I had purchased to wear Thanksgiving day. When I bought them, I wasn't sure what size I would need (ordered from a catalogue), so I ordered both a size 18 and a 16. When they arrived, the 16 was way too small (couldn't even pull them all the way up), but I decided to keep both anyway, and HOPE the smaller pair would fit before the end of winter. Well, with Saturday night's success, I thought, why not give the smaller ones a try? Guess what! They FIT!! And not just "for a little while, but I'll have to take them off when we get home because I can't really breathe fit", but I wore them ALL DAY with NO discomfort. HAH! Take that, scale!!!

There are more ways than the scale numbers to track your progress. Find the one that will make you dance around the kitchen while your family smiles indulgently at you. The one that allows you to go out to a very nice restaurant without feeling self-conscious the entire evening. The one that motivates you to eat fruit salad and a piece of whole grain toast for breakfast the morning after a rich, wonderful meal at a VERY upscale restaurant. For me, there is nothing more motivating than pulling something from the back of my closet and having it fit.

Next up: West Side Story. Goal - perhaps something new to wear? Or maybe I'll go shopping in my closet. The next day, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Goal: fit comfortably in the seat at Music Hall.


Controlling Energy Levels

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Ever have one of those days when you just don't feel like doing anything? Yeah, me too, and today is one of those days.

I woke up this morning with absolutely no energy at all. Its gloomy and cold, and all I could think about was curling up under an afghan and reading a book. I should have been cleaning, looking for a job, and exercising, but I was playing around on the computer instead. The heck with my chores! Who needs a clean house, anyway? A job?!? I'd much rather win the lottery. Exercising? I missed yesterday so who cares if I miss today, too? I am certainly NOT going to walk outside today - its much too cold, and it would take so much effort to find the appropriate clothing, and I feel like you-know-what, so why bother? Then I started thinking about "grazing" through the snack cupboard, but decided to make a menu plan and track my nutrition for today instead. Well, when I finished figuring out all the healthy food I'm going to eat today, I started feeling guilty about not getting *some* kind of exercise, as well.
So, I quite literally dragged myself up to the third floor, telling myself I only had to do 30 minutes on the treadmill, then I could quit. I didn't even have to walk fast, just move a little bit.

A few minutes into my "workout", one of my feel-good songs came on the mp3 player, and I picked up the pace to walk with the beat of the music. Then, as I started to sweat a little, I also started feeling better. So I picked up the pace a little more. About half way through my session, I thought maybe I ought to get on the stationary bike for a few minutes in order to make up for missing yesterday's cardio. I ended up doing another 30 minutes! Then I remembered today is my day for strength training, so I went downstairs and immediately got started working my way through those exercises. By then I had worked up quite a sweat, so after stretching I sat and had another glass of water while I logged into SP and recorded my workout. But then the really interesting thing happened...I found I couldn't sit still! I got up, cleaned the kitchen, dusted and vacuumed the basement family room and office, and mopped the kitchen floor! Then I took a nice, hot shower, and am ready to fix myself some soup for lunch.

When you're feeling gloomy and cold like the weather, and sluggish and lazy, FORCE yourself to get up! Get moving and get your heart pumping! Not only will your mood lighten up with all the edorphins bouncing around in your head, but you'll discover you do have the energy to take care of things you may have been avoiding doing. Then you can spend the afternoon doing what you really want to do - I'll be reading - guilt-free!!

Hope you all take control of your own energy levels today!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PERKYPAT2 2/26/2012 11:57AM

  Hi Susan,

I just found your blog - and I LOVE IT! I can't tell you how many times I have felt exactly the same. It's as if you were telling my story - the first part anyway ! However, I don't have the energy to do everything you did, but ... maybe I could manage 30 minutes on the treadmill ...Thank you for the support!
Have a great day!

Comment edited on: 2/26/2012 12:04:31 PM

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