Thursday, January 07, 2010
Oops, I completely forgot that I meant to post my starting stats for 2010--I guess I was focusing on what it meant to be uplifting and my weight is definitely not "up" lifting *grin* Seriously, I have this really strange reluctance to actually talk about my weight even here, even though I know tons of people who are in fact heavier than I am and I don't think badly of them, so why should I feel ashamed of my weight? And yet it's a feeling I can't shake.
It doesn't help, either, that I managed to put back on over the holidays 3 of the 10 lbs I lost, which if I'm being honest really frustrates me because I was really trying to do my best to be healthy while in the middle of holiday madness and I had thought I had done tolerably okay--not great, and I hadn't expected actual weight loss, but I hadn't expected to put on so much in so short of time. Especially since it took me months to lose those 10 lbs, and yet I can put on 3 lbs in 2 weeks? That seems most decidedly not fair.
But oh well, life isn't fair and I lost them once I can lose them again. And hopefully keep them off this time! By next Christmas I should be fitter, thinner, and generally active with better strategies in place so hopefully the holidays won't trip me up again.
Anyway, stats for 2010, as of Jan. 06:
Weight: 169.3 lbs
U. arm: 12"
L. arm: 10.5"
My official sparks goal is 135 lbs, which is on the highish end of my healthy BMI. I would really love to get back to the 125 lbs that I was before my hip problems, but I'm older now and my body isn't as cooperative, so I don't know if that's realistic anymore and I think I can be content with 135. My goal was never so much to get slim as get healthy, anyway, and I need to keep my true goal in sight.
As far as goals for inches lost, I really don't know what to shoot for. Maybe 32 inches in the chest (under bust) and (if I'm really dreaming) 26 inches in the waist? I don't know if that's realistic. I know women who had waists much smaller, but 25 or 26 is the thinnest I've ever been and I don't know if I'll ever get back to that point. Again, my goal is to be healthy and fit, not so much skinny, so I guess I'll play that part by ear.
But I am going to be in a wedding this September--I will never be able to show up the bride who I know will be so dazzlingly beautiful that no one will look at me, but if I have to go up there and stand in front of all those people--both friends and strangers--then I want to look good, dang it! And I want to be able to wear a swimsuit come summer without feeling self conscious or embarrassed, so I hope to shed those extra lbs!
Thursday, January 07, 2010
I recently joined a sparks team that focuses on helping members deal with stress because, wow, I could really use that. I realized as I posted an introduction to myself, including a few of the many stressers in my life in the last few years--that yeah, maybe it's not so strange that I'm stressed. I always have a tendency to over-commit myself anyway, because I want to do so much. I dream big, and in many ways that's a good thing. Dreams should be at least reasonably realistic, or you can overstretch yourself and frustrate yourself, but you shouldn't limit dreams too much, either. But add on top of that things multiple family members struggling with cancer, a major move at the same time that 3/4ths of my friends also moved (it was a fun summer, what can I say), my own health problems and an apartment that is only half unpacked, a good friend dealing with a divorce, multiple friends dealing with major mental health disorders, either themselves or in loved ones (is it something in the water? Though, seriously, I wonder if the economy is part of the trigger, because really, it was a roller coaster of a year) and an economy that is pinching a lot of people's wallets hard--just to start off, on top of normal stressers like grad school and the like--and well, no wonder I'm stressed. I'd have to be superhuman not to be, and well, I'm definitely not superhuman (wouldn't it be nice, though?)
I have a decent grasp already on basic coping strategies--things like regular exercise, talking to a trusted friend or family member, journaling (a favorite of mine. When I'm really upset or angry about something, I write these long emotional letters that I never intend to send, but get the thoughts out of my head and on paper where they are less likely to bother me), getting enough sleep (well, I try anyway, as I still struggle with insomnia), and so forth, but in the last 2 years I have really been struggling. It hasn't helped that the last two years I've been pretty isolated from my friends because of geography and rising fuel costs, while at the same time, while at the same time my "me" time got whittled away to practically nil--both of which I have been working actively in the last year to remedy.
So I joined this team, and have in my free time in the last few days poked around the team looking at resources available there, and I must say there's lots of great stuff there, and I am pretty excited. It seems to be a pretty supportive group, and one with a fair amount of resources at its disposal. But at the same time, I have a feeling that this group will challenge me to new levels.
One of the team goals is to post an "uplifting" post at least twice a week, and I'm kind of stumped by that. I don't know that I post anything uplifting, per se. I certainly lack the beautiful eloquence of some of my sparks friends, or the inspirational wisdom of others, or the witty humor of others still. What I do have is a stubborn persistence in doing my best to approach each day, each obstacle with a mix of realism and positive attitude, trying to be proactive in seeking solutions while not holding on to the past when it doesn't go well. I don't give up easily, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Can bulldog stubbornness and sheer grit determination be uplifting? Can muddling through life as best as I know how, and knowing that I'll make mistakes but trying to learn from them and move on?
I sure hope so, because that's what I know how to do.
Monday, January 04, 2010
Oops, I forgot one of the big lesson I learned early on:
7) When I started tracking my food, I discovered that I really had no idea how many calories (or how much fat, protein, carbohydrates, salt, etc.) was in my food. That I was eating too much was obvious, or I wouldn't have put on weight, but I found that my meals were wildly erratic. Some days, I would eat a small meal and have it be tons of unexpected calories! One memorable day was when I had a cup of Wonton soup, an egg roll (spring roll?) and a small amount of Sweet and Sour Pork, and my total meal was over 1000 calories! Most of which was in the Sweet and Sour Pork. I had no idea. But other days--far more than I would have expected--I wouldn't get enough calories. I still do that sometimes, if I don't track my calories in time to catch it. Last Saturday I barely got 1200 calories, and I'm supposed to get a minimum of 1300. Today if I hadn't tracked my calories, I'd have finished with only 1000 calories! Before I started regularly tracking my food, I'd regularly have days when I had 1000 calories, sometimes less! I really had no idea that I was chronically shorting myself like that, and that in the process I was probably messing up my metabolism so that when I did eat more--especially on days when I went way overboard--my body was madly storing up fat for later. Unfortunately, that may well be part of why I'm losing that extra weight so much slower than expected. Fortunately, the slower the weight loss and the more I can adapt to a real lifestyle change, the better my odds for KEEPING that extra weight off in the long run.
So now I try to track my food every day, early enough in the day that I can do something about it. I'm not always successful at the later--but I also have a better idea (at least some of the time) so I don't error as much, in either direction. Or when I do splurge (and let's be honest, I do sometimes), I do it knowing that it's a splurge ahead of time.
Monday, January 04, 2010
I wish I had some earth shattering, wise words to post as my first post of 2010, but unfortunately such wise words are rare and I'm still noodling about my New Years resolutions. And unfortunately it will probably will for a bit longer yet before I'm ready to post my New Years resolutions, in part because today was my first real day to even think about anything not-holiday related and I've spent most of the day playing catch up. Which will last a while longer yet, as there's so much to catch up on!
I had a busy, full, and wonderful holiday season--which won't be officially over until next weekend but is definitely winding down now. I have found though that I'm definitely looking forward to getting back into my routine (I had hoped to get back today, and I did partly, but I'm still not where I want to be). I even found myself missing working out, which if you had asked me that 9 months ago--or even 3 months ago--I would have laughed at the thought! Talk about a pleasant surprise!
So I thought since I'm not quite ready to talk about where I want 2010 to go, I would instead mention a few little lessons I've learned from 2009.
1) I am a sucker for the trophies that sparks gives out--especially the monthly ones, for things like fitness minutes or whatever. They seem to be a relatively new thing, and I didn't get that many especially while juggling holiday foo, but I find myself pushing to win them, and this is a good thing. I need to be better about not only setting goals, but rewarding myself for meeting those goals.
2) By the same token, I get pleasure at seeing my fitness minutes add up and I don't like seeing 0's--0's for the week, 0's for the month, and (oh horror!) 0's for the year. Today I clocked in my first 80 minutes of 2010, and it was a good feeling to no longer have all those 0's staring at me.
3) One of the reasons why I miss my old routine, including working out, is that when I worked out, it helped provide structure to my day--I would get up, eat, drink water, workout , come back and shower, have lunch, work/write while drinking more water, eat a snack, work on stuff around the house or relax in the evening, have dinner.... That regular exercise, food, and water not only was healthy in the broad sense, but helped keep my hip pain under control, seemed to help with my headaches (though they are still and always chronic), and maybe even helped with insomnia. Also, it put some order to what had, the last two and a half months, been an increasingly chaotic day.
4) I learned that my major diet issue is that I'm always so busy. I tend to get wrapped up in things that need to be done and forget to eat, or put off eating because I want to get something done, and then I get too hungry and tend to eat whatever I can quickly find, even if it's junk food. Having a firmer meal schedule has helped, though I eat most meals alone so it's all too easy to let that schedule slide, or to push off eating or forget all together (working out seems to help with that). I've learned some healthy meal options that are easy and fast to throw together, and we're buying healthier snacks for those instant-food-fixes, because no matter how hard I try to "keep" to my healthy schedule, it slips and if I have healthy food available, it helps. Now if only I did better when it came to fast food....
5) I learned I like yoga, and it helps. I haven't been able to do it every week--sometimes it just doesn't fit into my schedule, but I go when I can and I have found I really do enjoy it and that it helps a lot.
6) I get easily bored when working out--one of the reasons I like yoga in fact is that the teacher likes to mix things up a lot, which keeps it fresh. I am still exploring and experimenting to find new things that I enjoy doing (I got Dance Dance Revolution for Christmas! I'm so geeked! I haven't had a chance to set it up yet--and I have to clear out floor space again as the floor space I had cleared off got used for other things--but I'm so looking forward to it as a fitness option)
I'm sure that there were other lessons there two--2009 was a very stressful year for me in a lot of ways, and one that was full of a lot of changes, including moving, and a lot of firsts for me (first yoga class, first time painting a room, etc.) so while it was stressful it was also definite a learning experience. I can't say that I regret any of it, but I also hope that 2010 will be less stressful!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
* First, I had a wonderful extended Christmas with my family and my husband's family. We were incredibly busy, and on the road every day, but it was worth it to spend time with the family, especially the ones out of state who we don't get to see very often.
*Exercise--I made my yearly goal! I hit 10,000 fitness minutes over the weekend, one of the best possible ways--playing with my niece at the hotel pool while my parents were helping prep for the holiday party. So yay me! And I even hit it early, despite the fact that I missed 3 of my normal workouts because of the holidays. I just realized that I never did pick a reward for hitting that goal--I will have to think of something, as well as figure out what goal I want to set for next year. I want to hit at least 10,000 again (this year was not typical in so many ways, not least of which because we moved and a number of our friends also did, and I counted all those moving days toward my fitness minutes), but I'm not sure if I should aim higher than that. I want a challenge, but also something that I could realistically attain, even with Life Happening.
* Food--well, I haven't entered 4 days into Sparks because I don't even know how to record half of the things we ate over the holidays, but I can just about guarantee that things Did Not Go Smooth as far as food was concerned. I ate too much, too many rich things, and far too much fast food because we were on the road so much. And I have to laugh, because my family--normally so health conscious, even at the holidays--had almost no healthy foods this year! Mom forgot to put out the veggie tray, the salad arrived late (and after I had already eaten about half of my food) and most of the rest of the vegetable options were high calorie dishes like my family's baked beans (soooo good though) and green bean casserole. There were whole wheat buns, but I didn't see them until after I had already served myself a white roll, and I confess I still like white anyway so figured I'd treat myself for the holiday. Oh well. I had a good time, I tried to watch my proportions and limited desert options, but I know I over ate and ate too many rich foods. I recorded what I ate in my fitness journal, since I couldn't really access the website while away, but I doubt I'll bother updating it in sparks. Nothing I can do to change what I ate anyway, so moving on.
*I soooooo did not want to go to the gym today, since I haven't been in 5 days. Be proud of me, though, I went anyway LOL. I procrastinated and so left late, but better late than never, right? *grin*
It's been a whirlwind week, and I have just a few days to get a breather before hitting New Years and then the holiday party for a group of our friends. After this weekend, though, things should (hopefully!) calm down some, though.
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