Sunday, August 30, 2009
That's not mine, that's Nietzsche's. I first heard it, at least part of it, when I was a tiny girl secretly watching the R-Rated movie "Coming to America" with my brother in our South Minneapolis basement. He was 12 and I was 10, we managed to rent it from our local Mr. Movies when a "bigger" neighborhood boy took a job there. This was a small community, with a drug store on the corner that still allowed people to have "tabs." ...it's a Starbucks now, and the Mr. Movies is a yoga studio. *sigh*
Even in the midst of ridiculous movies, starring Eddie Murphy in multiple roles, I was able to gather something useful, a lesson. Sadly, a lesson I might not have learned until now without this movie, as I preferred RL Stine to Sartre.
This is what I've been focusing on this week.
When I've been "hungry," I wait. I grab a glass of water, I journal about what might be going on, and ultimately decide within 10 minutes if I'm actually hungry or not. This is not something I never learned how to do and is by far the hardest struggle of weight loss success.
I figure, in the grand scheme of things, learning to "walk" is really learning to decide when or if to eat. Are you hungry? Check yes or no.
Learning to run may very well be what you decide to eat, an equally difficult battle this day and age with delicious food everywhere you turn and food scientists working diligently to decide exactly what you'll want so you'll want it so often they can retire in the Hampton's.
Climbing is a different story. The exercise. Moving more. Physical fitness if you will. Allowing your body to reach it's full potential. We were built to walk across this country, building things and hunting and gathering. Instead, we rely on modern conveniences and have everyone and every thing do it for us. Live like your ancestors - use your strength.
And finally, to dance. The dance is life. How can we balance the other three gracefully with limited uncoordinated moments? How do we "get it all together?"
That's the beautiful part.
Everyone hears different music. Everyone has their own rhythm.
This post went in a completely different way than I meant it to, but I'll let it slide.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
We all know the importance of support. We need to know our friends and family are behind us, or at the very least, if they're not, there is some form of community, somewhere in our lives (online message boards, Weight Watchers meetings) cheering us on and encouraging us to get where we need to be.
One of the biggest reasons I was able to be so successful early in my weight loss efforts was because I had a partner. A sponsor if you will. Someone who knew what I was going through and was going through it herself.
Her name is Jessica, and I consider her to be my dearest of friends. For the first 8 years of our friendship, it seemed that no matter what was going on in our lives, they were so eerily similar that we felt like some weird twisted twin. We could go months without speaking and pick right back up where we left off. We were both fired for the first time ever on the same day. We broke off long term relationships within 24 hours of each other. We both started working in the nonprofit sector. Through all this, as I gained weight, naturally so did she.
When I made the decision to RE-join Weight Watchers, she supported me. When I started losing, she joined too. We talked almost daily about "points," fitness, snack ideas, and all of the snarky people we didn't like on the 20-somethings message board.
Every step of the way, from celebrations to struggles, she has been there to listen and offer educated advice as a person who's been there, went through it, and saw the end result. Jessica reached her goal almost a year ago on October 17th, 2008. She has been an inspiration - maintaining that weight and her fitness routine, every day showing me it can be done.
She's still there, every day, to hear me out when I'm struggling, push me when I'm not pushing myself, set me straight and remind me what I'm work toward. We've built better habits around our relationship, discussing our choices before ordering, sharing food, (trying to) keeping track of drinks. She is just as responsible for my weight loss as I am, and I could never thank her enough.
Who is the sponsor in your life?
If you don't have one, seek one out. Do you sit next to the same person at your meeting weekly? Take it to the next step. Find someone who can fully support you, and you will find that the journey becomes that much easier when you have someone there to remind you that "it's just hard work."
Thursday, August 27, 2009
This is another one.
Last night at my meeting, even before facing the scale and the inevitable gain, I decided to purchase a new food scale. I recently got rid of my old one. It had stopped working more than 9 months ago, but I liked to see it sitting on the kitchen counter, unused, so it appeared to other people that I was still "doing what I'm supposed to do."
I confessed this to my leader.
Well... sort of.
Either way, any time I spend my money and make a significant investment in a tool or gadget that will help me in this journey, I tend to stay on track for a good chunk of time. This morning, I weighed my yogurt and the cereal that goes on top of it. Surprisingly, I am pretty right on with both of those portions.
My goal this week, other than to track absolutely everything, is to weigh all of my food. Even if it's prepackaged, just to get a handle on what certain portions of things look like and also to build around the habit.
I am proud to say that I tracked everything I ate yesterday, including that second bowl of ice cream (which I weighed). I can feel that I am ready to be back in the game. The reality of the short amount of time I really need to dedicate to this is finally setting in. I am less than 15 pounds away from goal, and if I really concentrate, crack down, I will get there quickly.
Tonight is a Zumba night, and I plan to take the dog to Minnehaha by myself in the afternoon and take time to really climb around on the hills. The neat thing about my dog is that he's extremely loyal and somewhat of a rescuer. He always goes up or down a hill first, but only a little bit, and then turns to wait and make sure I take my path safely. I have slipped before and he has cried and tried to nudge me back. He's an all around Lassie kind of dude.
Weekend plans are starting to shape up, and we can't decide if we should go camping or just spend time here doing the things we love to do. Eli will be back in school soon, which means that the weather is going to start to wane. Whatever we do, it will be based around activity.
I hope everyone is doing well getting back on track, staying on track, being off track, etc.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
We had such a great time. It's been a very long while since we did anything active together other than hiking with the dog and Eli. He stopped coming to the gym about 6 months ago and despite hundreds of invitations, he hasn't gotten back there.
Climbing yesterday was difficult, but I am obviously incredibly improved from the last time I was there. My arms were strong but my hands got tired quickly. The sense of strength and empowerment was overwhelming and I'm so happy we were able to do that.
Later last night, after the climb time, we met up with our friends Jessica and Joe at one of our favorite restaurants to eat at on Sunday and Monday nights. They have a secret service industry special where everything is 50% off, and we've been going long enough that most of the servers already know who we are and don't ask if we're "in the industry." I stuck with a relatively safe drink, a horrible choice in appetizer, a good choice for dinner and then accidentally ordered dessert like I always do - and didn't get enough help eating it.
I still feel pretty great about my day considering I had a really filling and low point breakfast and lunch, and kept it pretty tame at dinner after burning 800 calories scaling walls.
All in all, pretty fantastic.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Kelly C and I made it to the very top. It was breathtaking.
Tomorrow I am hoping to make time to get to Vertical Endeavors with Justin to do some more climbing. That is one activity I'd love to get into more. I feel like my arms have so much more strength than when I used to go for fun in Duluth. I'd love to take an adventure vacation with some real rock climbing elements built in to additional hikes or mountain biking. I think that would be a blast. I'll focus on that after my big GOAL surf trip.
Friday, August 21, 2009
After reading more about the event, I knew it was something I had to go to. a) My friend Kelly's husband is the Executive Director of the organization, therefore, I must show support. b) There was a Swanky Soles competition. A picture of the shoes you wear to the event is entered into a contest to win fabulous prizes.
Fancying myself somewhat stylish, I wanted to go.
I had a plan, at least mid-day. I got some exercise in - not much, but enough to convince myself I could have at least one treat. Instead, I had about 20. Literally. I can't even track the indulgences I had last night. The good thing is that I know why.
In the last week, since I returned from Colorado, I have been home only to sleep, quickly buying stand-by meals from the Co-op because I know their points value. My palette was bored, I was over-tired and over-stressed, basically every feature in the HALT saying (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). I was set up to fail from the minute we arrived.
I'm not chalking it up as a failure, although I really didn't need that second piece of cake, but rather a lesson. For the next month or 2, I truly need to avoid events like this. It's not that I can't have them in moderation when I am maintaining, but again, I need to get it in my head that right now - I'm not maintaining. I am trying to lose.
I AM TRYING TO LOSE.
Between this event, the event 2 weeks ago at the Fresh Fest, and various others, I have shown limited amounts of constraint, so I am barring them from my schedule for the time being. No free food. Free food, for me, is never actually free, because it means I'll be paying for another month of Weight Watchers. Another month I don't hit Goal or Lifetime. Perhaps if I think about it this way it will register.
Good things came from the event however, a friend and I were in the top 5 for the Swanky Soles contest out of nearly 50 entries. Neither of us won, but we had some pretty stiff competition. I also got a chance to spend some time with said friend, a newer one I don't know too much about, in a relatively non-group situation, which was helpful... and fun! My summer vow to meet more people has been going swimmingly, though has left me exhausted from too many social obligations.
I am happy to hear the weather in MN is going to be fabulous this weekend, and I'm already plotting how to get back on track with activity. I still have 2 of the 5 lakes to walk around, and many biking miles to get in. I might need a partner, or multiple partners, or a fan club, cheer team, etc.
I have 10 days to complete my August goals, and I WILL do it, I just need to figure out how.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The opposite in fact, I am feeling very very alive. My long weekend in Colorado was somewhat of life changing experience. Having never been to the mountains, my initiation was made among a group of highly esteemed new friends. This group has really come together over the last 2 years.
The trip itself, what with traveling as a group of 8, was quite taxing on my secret anti-social side. This is a side "this group" doesn't know too much about, as I know them in both professional and personal ways, but definitely on a highly social butterfly assumption. I spent a lot of time plotting when I would be able to just be alone with my thoughts, soaking in all the beauty and seriously clean mountain air.
If only I could grace you with pictures. I'm sure it's nothing most of you haven't seen, I'm not a very well traveled person. This year, I feel incredibly lucky to have taken 2 trips within the continental US. I know I leave this trip a different person, which feels weird to say, but there were many conversations had that opened new doors and shut old ones, smashing barriers and just general bonding.
Things I accomplished while on this trip:
- I didn't die on my solo plane ride and my bag was not lost.
- I taught Nick how to roll a cigarette and salsa dance.
- I had a great debate/conversation about the argument to raise kids religiously.
- I found a 3.5 mile hike to be incredibly easy and desperately wanted more.
- I cooked a meal for 8 and didn't hear any complaints.
- I broke a plate, spilled bacon on the floor and wine on the carpet.
- I had a Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter (my favorite) in Colorado where it is made.
- I slept on a bunk bed that felt like a rock.
- I got a manicure and a pedicure.
- I managed to razor burn my legs so bad that I bought Preparation H and slathered it on. (it worked by the way)
- I watched my good friend Nicole get married!
- I danced with 2 men I didn't know and also started a "strut train."
- I learned a lot about how good marriages function.
- I sat in an outdoor hot tub, in a bikini, in front of strangers, in 42 degree weather.
- I watched and simultaneously helped my friend Steph break her foot. (seriously)
- I made it home safe.
From a weight loss standpoint, I did quite horribly. I'm not going to lie, this was a vacation for me. I ate and drank too much of everything that was available to me. I made bad choices before even considering the good ones, and I found it hard to be active while traveling as part of a varied group.
The hike we did go on was like a Kindergarten version of the hike I had envisioned in my head, though we did have to reassess when we realized the varying levels of fitness involved in our group. I also managed to get up on Saturday morning and put in a miniature work out at the hotel "gym," which involved 15 minutes on a Stairmaster and a short jog around the campus, and a miniature workout on Sunday morning at the condo, which involved my new jump rope routine, some random kickboxing and 4 laps around the condo community. The altitude at that location was still pretty new and I had a hard time getting much done or really pushing myself, so I gave up. On Monday we were helping Steph with her broken foot and trying to ease the illness that comes with percocet on an empty stomach.
We all made it back ok, though I had vowed not to do much emailing, etc while there out of respect for my traveling partners, because of this I missed notice that my co-worker and good friend Allysen's dad passed away. The service is tonight, so I will be missing my Weight Watchers meeting, which genuinely may be a good thing considering my gain last week. I know it's a bad frame of mind to think "sweet, I have a whole week to make up for it," but.... sweet. I have a whole week to make up for it.
I have been back on track since yesterday, when I was finally able to completely control my food intake again. I'm headed back to work for the first time, as I took yesterday off from office hours, opting to stay with Steph during the day. She mostly slept, so I was able to get a lot of work done from there, and also helped her shower and took her to a doctors appointment and the grocery store to get some essentials.
All in all, I'm doing and feeling great. I am back on track, and I feel rejuvenated. I know that I am just a few small steps from goal, and I'm going to take at least one of them this week!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Last night was my weekly Weight Watchers meeting. My weigh-in was about what I expected, I gained back my entire loss from last week. I attribute this to the Minnesota Monthly Magazine's Fresh Taste Festival. I ended up getting free tickets through Twitter, thinking it would be a great opportunity for Justin to do some networking with local chefs. He mostly chickened out because those kind of things don't come easy for him, and I didn't want to do it for him that time. He needs to learn, at some point, to step out on his own. It was a raw deal either way, because he didn't get what he wanted and I ended up eating about 150 points worth of deliciousness.
During our meeting, however, we were chatting about "cravings" and discussing strategies on how to satisfy that little voice that just won't go away. My reoccurring craving is always peanut butter. I love peanut butter and I could sit down and eat it all day long. I rarely try to fake myself out of this, because generally when I want peanut butter - I really want protein (that isn't chicken). I typically slice a banana in half length-wise and spread a tablespoon on each side. It's delectable.
What do you tend to crave? What speaks to you from the fridge and won't stop until you just allow yourself to have it?
The reason I have been so distracted this week is because I am preparing to leave for Colorado tomorrow morning. I have been packing and repacking, desperately trying to force my things into a carry on, I am, after all, only going to be gone for 3 days. But the itinerary calls for too diverse a schedule and I am going to have to bring 2 bags. We are swimming, hiking, lounging, and going to a formal wedding. I promised myself I would bring my jump rope and a strength training resistance tube and also my fitness shoes in addition to my beautiful red Cole Haan pumps for the wedding. It's just too much, plus now that my hair is short and completely unmanageable, I require an arsenal of styling tools to accomplish anything beyond "JBF hair." (Consult urban dictionary if confused)
I've been struggling lately with the idea that I am so close to my goal and I simply can't get it together. One one hand, I appreciate that I have taken the time to adapt the plan into one that works with my lifestyle. I am a busy person with many social engagements that revolved around food and drink. I believe that being too restrictive leads to a sense of failure, which then leads to quitting. On the other hand, I am just about 10 pounds from goal. If I simply cracked down, just for a period of time, I could get there and then I would be able to simply maintain as I've been doing.
I am motivated more often when I realize that in just 10 pounds and 6 weeks maintenance I am eligible to apply to be a leader. This has been my goal for the last year, and it still holds firm in the forefront of my mind. I try to be a voice to other people I know who are currently going through Weight Watchers or their choice eating plans, commiserating with the struggle and offering sound advice that's applicable to their lifestyle. I love doing this because not only do I get that "helper" badge I'm always looking for, but it's empowering to the both of us. There is something huge about helping someone see the light, or find their way, or at least put down that 3rd slice of cake.
I appreciate all of you for the advice you continually present here, in your emails and comments and in your own blogs. The community of support is truly the biggest tool anyone can have in their weight loss efforts.
How do you find community in weight loss?
Thursday, August 6, 2009
This is totally insane to me. I can not remember a time when I've weighed this little. My driver's license has always said 150 because it seemed "normal" enough to not be a ridiculous lie when I was 175, and I was simply too lazy and embarrassed to change it when I renewed again at 200lbs.
Now it's a lie in a totally different way.
On that, does anyone put their exact weight on their driver's license? I would think it was really weird to see like "118" or "123" instead of just rounding up or down to "120." Anyway...
The happy part is I get to have my eyebrows waxed before the wedding. That was the final detail I was freaking out about, so I'm happy to have that out of the way.
In other news, I bought a new speed rope yesterday that came with a video to teach me how to do awesome jump roping tricks. Someday, I'll make a video (when I can actually do them) and you can see how ridiculous I look. Jump roping is such a fantastic exercise. It's high intensity and low impact for maximum results. They say 10 minutes of jump roping is equivalent to running one mile.
Get out there and JUMP!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
...like the entire box of Snicker's Ice Cream Bars.
....or 3 chocolate covered bananas.
.....or a "serving" of yogurt with a "serving" of granola. (both supersized, and I actually had 2.. of each)
I've been lying to my tracker again. I often wonder what the point of even writing it down when I'm lying to myself. Secondly, why am I lying to myself. In the end, I know what I ate. The scale will know what I ate, and no one else NEEDS to know what I ate. It's not like my WW tracker is a big juicy diary of all my intimate secrets.
...or maybe it is.
Either way, despite the tone of this post, I'm actually feeling very motivated. At this point, where I am, 2lbs lost or gained makes an absolute visable difference in my body. And at this point, in my life, I really am shallow enough to push myself this week before I embark to Colorado with a group of people I don't know very well. There will be pools everywhere we are staying. I only own a 2 piece swimsuit.
Catch my drift?
I'm not worried about the fact that there will be men there. No no. Moreso that there are 6 of us ladies. Ladies judge harshly, and secretly in their heads. I do it. I know everyone does it. I also know that none of these ladies will care what I look like in my stupid 2 piece swimsuit, but I will most certainly concoct an entire reason why they're "staring at my thighs" when they're actually watching the gorgeous sunset.
It's a stupid reason for motivation, but it's working.
Also, yesterday, I officially decided that I was bringing 2 DVDs and my resistance band to Colorado. The hotel we are staying at on Friday has a fitness room. I'm not sure what that entails yet, but I am pretty positive I will be one of the first people awake. I never sleep well in strange places. I will get up early and utilize the fitness room. I hope to convince people to hike on Saturday. I know at least 1/2 of this crowd are big into adventure and activity, but I'm not sure about the other 1/2, so we'll have to go with majority, or I'll have to go off on my own.
At our condo in Silverthorne, there should be good running trails and a DVD player. One of the DVDs I'm bringing is Biggest Loser Yoga that I got from Jessica. I've still never done it, but it seemed like something easy enough and not TOO weird for me to do after I get back from a run (which most likely won't last long, as I have NEVER been in an elevated area). I just want to prepare myself as much as possible to get lots of activity in. I also want to relax, yes, but this wedding is going to be amazingly delicious --- and an open bar. Open bar is dangerous. Open bar means lots of points.
But there will be DANCING!
There are lots of opportunities for me to burn calories, but only one time for me to watch my friend get married. I promise I will relax, I'm just in the preparation stage of it, and it's starting to freak me out.
All is well. I'll be back with an update on how my weigh in goes tonight.
Monday, August 3, 2009
I didn't focus very much on the GHGs, but more just staying within my points and adding little bits here and there of the foods I have been gravitating towards lately. If I plan for them and eat the actual serving size I am hopeful that I will be satisfied and knock off the binging I have been taking part in lately.
I also made a small grocery list of produce that I need, mainly fruit, which is what I'm trying to keep my snacks to this week.
This disappointment portion stems from finishing up my cleaning shift at the studios and finding my head feeling like a helium balloon. I don't know if it's the heat today, not eating enough or what, but even before my bike ride home I had to cancel my walking date with Jessica, which I was very very very much looking forward to. I wanted to come home and relax for a while. I might call her later in the evening and see if she's still up for it. However, if I'm not feeling up to it, I'm satisfied knowing I burned 927 calories mopping stupid studio floors today. If you ever want a weird alternative exercise, find a cleaning job. You'd be amazed how many calories you burn washing windows, wiping mirrors and shuffling a mop back and forth across a floor.
In Colorado news, which is the biggest thing on my mind lately, I have been extremely blessed by an amazing surprise. My dad called me last week and told me that my Grandma wanted him to give me $50 for my birthday. I immediately sat down and wrote her a thank you note because that's what I do. I love sending people cards, letters, trinkets, etc. I probably spend 100s of dollars a year through the Postal Service, but I'm ok with that. Within the thank you note I wrote her a little update letter about what's been going on with Me and Justin and Eli, etc. About my Colorado trip and how much that surprise money will help me pay for it without having to sacrifice much else, etc. So today I was talking to my dad, telling him my victory story of negotiating a really amazing price on a set of new tires, installation and rotation and balancing and he mentioned that my Grandma got my letter and wants him to give me another $100. [My grandmother is old and my dad handles her finances, in case you're confused.]
On one hand, this is the coolest thing ever. It basically just paid for my weekend condo stay, as well as my portion of the rental car. On the other hand, I am WAY too old for my grandma to be sending me money for my birthday, and I've actually been telling her this for more than 10 years, but she is stubborn, so I will continue to take it. I love gifts.
Everything is really coming together nicely.
Now, if only I can shake one stinkin' pound so I can get my eyebrows waxed....
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I also got in over 250 stairs from running up and down carrying boxes, so that's a plus.
After the moving, Justin, Eli and I took Jack to the Minnehaha dog park. I wore my pedometer and got in about 6.3 miles towards my Run/Walk/Hiking goal.
This morning I am contemplating biking to Lake Nokomis and jogging or walking around it. The sun is out, and it's supposed to get stormy later so if I'm going to seize this opportunity, now is the time to do it, but I just can't seem to muster up the motivation. I need to tap into it somehow. I don't know what's wrong with me.
Our plans for this afternoon were to go canoeing on Lake Calhoun. Actually, those were our plans for yesterday but it was awfully windy and the air had a slight chill. The forecasted weather for today was 83, sunny and only very mild wind. Now the forecast has changed to 40% chance of rain with isolated thunderstorms and 20 mph winds. Not exactly ideal canoeing weather. It's hard trying to plan fun things to do on weekends around the weather. Eli doesn't quite understand that just because we are adults, it doesn't make us magicians who control the way the outside will be. I guess I'll just have to wait it out.
I've been overplanning for my trip to Colorado in 2 weeks. I am the kind of person who needs to have everything in order to feel comfortable. Not only that, but I'm just incredibly excited about being able to go. I made an appointment to get my haircut, I'm going to work very hard for the rest of my week to shed at least 1 pound so I can get my eyebrows waxed and get a pedicure. I borrowed a book I've been wanting to read for a while from a friend, so I'll have that while I'm sitting at Denver International waiting for the rest of the Minneapolis kids to arrive and pick up the rental car. My friend and tailor Stephanie is going to shorten the straps on my beautiful new dress so that it fits properly (I'm a petite but often shop regular sizes and just have her make them fit) and yesterday I got everyone's butt in gear to find a place to stay. We'll be staying here. It's a good thing too, with the 4 bathrooms, because we are 6 ladies and 2 guys, so we will need the extra mirror space.
I've been thinking a lot this morning about my free time and how I choose to fill it. I'll admit that a lot of the time I sit around doing nothing, mostly brainstorming about my next big project because I'm chained to the house keeping watch over sleeping little people and dogs. Lately I've been craving more freedom and less schedule. I suppose that's what summer is usually like, but as summer's end nears, I feel like I've wasted a lot of time and opportunity. I feel like I've neglected to nurture a lot of friendships and I'm nervous that its too late.
I want to be closer to the people in my life. Getting older frustrates me. I feel like it equates to less fun, but I know it doesn't have to be that way. I know I'm never going to be 16 again with all the freedom and good times that entails, but I wouldn't want to be. I know things now that I wish I knew then. I feel like I make good decisions, but I don't want to make them all the time, and that is why even though this trip puts in a damper in other things we were planning to do, I'm going anyway because I'm listening to my gut. My gut tells me I need to be in CO when Nicole gets married.
So, I'm going to spend a little time on the porch planning out the rest of the week in meals, and then I'm (hopefully) hopping on my bike to go knock out a couple of goals. 1 lake, 3 miles Run/Walk/Hike, and 8 miles biking.