Thursday, November 10, 2011

self.

In the midst of all this school and work, I feel like I've started to lose a lot of the things about myself that I love. The extra weight I've taken on in the past year doesn't help too much with that.

I've noticed that I have stopped identifying as an "athlete" or something who values exercise. I think the idea is still there, I definitely do VALUE exercise, I just might not do it.... at least not consistently.

At the core of all of this turn-around, this life improvement state, I've managed to move somewhat latterally. Sure, I've finally enrolled in school and sure, I'm actually doing well. I've somehow managed not to lose my job in the process and I've also taken the time to shake things up enough at work that some genuine change might happen with the things that have been stressing me out about it.

What's 10 pounds when the rest of that is going on?

Well, it's weight. And it's more than physical weight, it's mental weight.

As I move up the scale, I seem to be creeping down emotionally. I feel less confident, which allows my anxiety to take over more often than it does not. It creates barriers between me and my manpanion. It creates comparisons between me and other women, things I had an easier time ignoring when I felt really great about my body and my health.

I've been trying to recenter. I've been trying to revisit the times I was happiest and try to mentally arrange them to see the factors that must be missing now.

I know everyone says you have to live "in the moment." I'm awful at this, admittedly. I'd love to learn how, but I am such a planner, and ambitious to a fault, that it's dififcult for me not to have my eye on some prize.

The good part is, one thing that I recognize, is that I was happy when I was taking care of myself and being active. Most of my best memories from the past 2 years all involve moving. Cartwheels, square dancing, two-person-bike-races... momentum.

I am experimenting this week, with block-walking. Each time I feel stressed, regardless of the weather, I will suit up and walk around the block. I think the fresh air will help to clear my head and get a new perspective, plus I'm moving instead of reaching for the gelato.

I'm hopeful this will assist in breaking some [bad] habits and building a new one.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

chug chug chug.

My posture is still awful, but I have achieved a new milemarker in my return to a healthy lifestyle: the gym.

The gym.

I hadn't set foot inside my gym since August 4th. Between getting ready for school and then being IN school, I didn't feel that I had the time to make for a "real" workout.

But I changed my expectations.

What is a "real" workout?

Why shouldn't I just get there, 12 times at least, to earn my discount. My health insurance isn't tracking whether I spend an hour lifting weights, or put in serious effort on the StepMill. They, like SCIENCE, simply want me to move my body at least 12 times a month.

Well!

I can do that.

This month, November, I pledged to earn my discount again. Today is the 8th and I have been to the gym 3 times. That is ALMOST every other day, which is a good track record considering I was out of town this last weekend, and will be out of town next weekend... and the weekend after. Because I've been out of the "intentional exercise" game for some time, I'm easing back into it. I've started couch to 5k again, a program I've never actually completed despite having run several 5ks. I began at week 1, which I am going to be on day 3 of when I head to the gym later this evening. I'm not as physically out of shape as I had thought, proven by the ease of week 1. This is assuring and encouraging.

I have been putting in little more than 30 minutes at a time in the gym, which - to me - doesn't feel like a "real workout" but my opinion is slowly changing. I am moving more than I was before, even if it's only by 30 minutes, and this is a vast improvement.

On the excusing side, I've started to forgive my insatiable appetite after I learned that your brain uses a LOT of your daily calories. It makes sense, then, that because I am intentionally using my brain - all the damn time, and way more than I used to - I'm hungrier. I suppose this makes sense in the way that if I suddenly started training for a marathon, I'd be hungrier. My brain is the one running this time.

My solution to this, though, is that I need to keep healthier volume snacks on hand. I need to find a good back up for cheese and crackers, ice cream and other not-so-healthy snacks.

I'm thinking popcorn, the best seasonal fruits, and low-cal hot cocoa. We'll see if I can trick myself into snacking well while I study.

What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

coast.

I had to call my gym the other day to figure something out with my billing cycle. In doing that, I was surfing around in my online profile and membership information and noticed that I haven't been to the gym since August 4th.

That's a really long time.

I've been in school, I've been working, and I've been slightly active. I ride my bike (sometimes... not as often), I climb stairs, I walk to the market, and I go dancing with my manpanion, but I have gained back everything I lost during the couple of weeks when I was working hard.

I'm still at the weight that I've maintained for the last year.

I need to get to the gym.

What would you do if you only had 30 minutes to work out?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Whew.

I haven't had the time to update, really.

Between work, which is really picking up, and school, which is steadily crazy, and my semblance of a life, which is sporadic at best, I've been scheduled out.

With "life" being super hectic, I haven't been focusing on my goals. I have been cooking for myself, however, but many times skipping "real" meals and opting for too much of a tasty snack. SmartPuffs, specifically, have become a major crutch. Luckily, even when I eat the whole bag, it's still equivalent to a "normal" healthy meal in the range of calories, though it does not put much nutrition into the mix. It has some protein.... sort of.

I have a healthy bag of excuses, all of which are acceptable to me, but are enabling me to continue down the path of stress eating - a habit I still haven't been able to squelch in the dozen years I've been working on it.

WHY is food so powerful? Why is it so comforting? Why can't I just take a hot shower instead of inhaling a bag of delicious cheesy curls?

Well, I can.

I'm simply choosing not to.

...though it doesn't feel like a choice when it's happening.

I feel like I don't have the TIME to choose to do something else. Where I'd opt for a brisk walk in our newly chilly MN weather, I honestly can't spare the half hour, because I need it to read and take notes on a piece of the chapter that I need to understand, or I need to edit a paper, or respond to a reading.

I'm halfway through my first semester of college, and I've gained about 2 pounds, but it's the same 2 pounds I've been losing and gaining for the last year, I'm just not really losing it again these last 3 weeks.

A couple of holidays are coming up - which is always dangerous for us Westerners. Halloween involves tons of cheap and readily available candy, and Thanksgiving means a GIANT meal, many times over.

Halloween is less terrifying. I'm not a very big fan of chocolate, which rules out most of the leftover fun-sized treats that coworkers pawn off on the office. As long as I don't buy any thing (Swedish fish, for example), I should be good.

Thanksgiving, however, lasts about 3 weeks. Between one side of my family gathering on the 19th of November for a weekend at my sister's cabin, Dinner with my Dad on the actual Holiday, and a weekend at Paul's family cabin... I have a lot of strategizing to do.

Everyone contributes something, so I can control the health factor of my own dish. I chose stuffing, which is typically the scariest thing on the table (for me). However, there will be pie. Dozens of pies. Pumpkin pies, which are my Achilles heel. SO DELICIOUS.

What do I do?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Failed Relaxation

Yesterday's #30daysofgood challenge was to RELAX.

It sounded like such a great goal, one I could easily accomplish in small increments. However, I wasn't able to accomplish it, and that fact alone has been bothering me.

When I received my email from GOOD in the morning, stating the days intent, I immediately found a space in my schedule and entered in time for a walk. By the time that task rolled around, there was simply too much else to do.

I ended up running around like a chicken with my head cut off all day, and when all the work and (most of) the homework was done, I was cooking dinner for myself and my manpanion while he did his homework and we both scrambled to get enough done so that we could square dancing.

Now, I could try to fit square dancing into my RELAXation goal, but square dancing isn't all that relaxing. In fact, it's pretty good exercise. There's a lot of bouncing and twirling and more bouncing. Some day, I'll have to wear my HRM to a square dancing night so I can report back an accurate calories burned count.

There are, however, some ways in which I can tie square dancing into my RELAXation goal. For one, it was social. I saw a few friends I hadn't had time to schedule in, and we caught up. I also got to get in close and be swung around by my manpanion, something that - while not relaxing at the time - provides a sense of relaxation during this transition period of becoming adult students and losing a lot of the time (which was still infrequent) that we could spend together. So, having time to be close to him to carry with me when there's a large gap is extremely relaxing.

Also, I got so tuckered out by dancing around for 2.5 hours, that I fell asleep instantly upon hitting the pillow, and I slept like a baby.

So hard, in fact, that I slept through my alarm - something that hasn't happened to me in about 5 years.

I somehow managed to get up, get ready and get out the door, making it to work 17 minutes later. That makes me feel like a champ. Of course it helps that I was able to drive to work, and I'm only 3 miles away from my office, but still.

As for the food intake, I didn't have time to track my dinner last night, so I'm not quite sure where I ended the day. I need to enter a new recipe into SparkPeople's recipe builder and determine the exact calorie content, but when I tracked my last food, I still had 800 calories left to hit the BOTTOM of my goal. Pair that with square dancing and I'd assume I came under that.

Because I overslept, I didn't allow myself enough time to eat a real breakfast, so I grabbed my coffee and a banana and ran. Not without packing a pear and a hardboiled egg for an emergency snack when I inevitably become ravenous around 10am.

The evening is packed with homework, but I've rescheduled my walk into the late afternoon and I'm going to try to put some priority into this. I haven't been very active (save for square dancing and riding my bike), and I feel the need to allow my muscles to MOVE.

We're having a crazy Indian Summer here in Minneapolis, are you still playing and working outside?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

first weekend on track.

Sunday is drawing to a close. The sun has already set here in Minneapolis and a new week begins tomorrow, signifying the end of my first week keeping my eye on my eating habits.

I have to say that it went splendidly. Even though I encountered a potential roadblock yesterday when I accompanied my manpanion and his 4 year old son to a 5 year old's birthday party at Grand Slam. This place is like a more active Chuck E. Cheese, so.. it could have been worse.

I made time in the morning to be sure to eat a healthy and filling breakfast while I studied. I selected my fail-proof Scottish Oats with a dab of honey and some almond milk. Picking at this around 9am kept me sated until around 2:30pm when we finally ate. This was one mistake: I should have brought a healthy snack along, because after bouncing in a castle, hitting 65 mph baseballs (seriously! I played baseball on a boys team as a youngster), and Dance Dance Revolutionizing without eating since 9am, I was starving. The party was serving pizza (eeek) and I managed to stuff 3 pieces into my mouth before I decided that I was full. I had, however, been full since the first slice as I don't care for pizza very much (I know) and I don't typically enjoy melted cheese (I KNOW).

I tracked each slice, and also the small square of cake I decided to indulge in, which really was hilariously small. The moms in the group looked at me like "Who are you kidding? What are you trying to prove?" but I carried on with my extremely comical bite of cake. It was exactly how much I wanted and it tasted better because of it.

After such a heavy lunch, I was feeling a little sick as I studied into the night over at Paul's house. Around 7:30pm, he brought me the most perfect plate of food to ensure I still ate something, but intuited that I wouldn't want anything more than exactly what he brought me, which was essentially what I'd been dreaming about the entire time I was reading about Perception and the Senses (Psychology).

Red and Yellow Peppers, Pluot, Kiwi, Rice Crackers with Brie

I hadn't really communicated with Paul much about my decision to keep a stricter eye on my food, especially because last week's decision wasn't really a decision to DIET, or restrict anything I was eating... yet. I just wanted to develop the habit of tracking all of my food intake again, which is something that correlates with healthier eating for me. I'm proud to say he noticed on his own. Just look at that dinner he brought me! It was a perfect accompaniment to an afternoon of heavy eating and because he provided such a healthy meal, even with the cake and pizza I still came in under 1600 calories for the day. That's without counting any of the calories I bounced off at Grand Slam.

I'm really looking forward to this week and reinforcing my habit of tracking all of my food.

Are you looking forward to anything in the upcoming week?

Friday, September 30, 2011

truckin.

I'm still truckin' along. While I never expected to form habits in such a short amount of time, I've lost sight of my goals OFTEN this week, but somehow always manage to draw myself back in quickly, which is a very nice change.

A friend of mine posted about Good's 30 Day Health Challenge. It's not a diet, it's not a pledge to exercise daily, it's simply an email - every day for 30 days - to remind and instruct you to do something healthy. They mentioned something about naps.... so of course I signed up.

Now I'll have some new daily tasks throughout October, and perhaps some of them will be so wonderful I'll add them to my current goals (of posture and food tracking).

Speaking of October, it's going to be CROCKTOBER. More about that later.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

habitual.

Good morning. I'm writing to you from a highly uncomfortable office chair, one in which it is hard to practice my good posture. However, I'm conscious of the fact that it's difficult for me to sit up straight, which means I'm participating in actively sitting up straight, which means this goal has lasted at least 2 days.

I'll drink to that!

Coffee... I mean. I'll drink coffee to that. Because it's 7:00am.

A typical day for me, lately, has been waking up at 5:05am, doing my normal "morning routine," heading into work for 6 hours, attending a class, returning home to finish up 2 hours of work, and then, with the few hours left before I fall asleep at my desk, I start tackling homework. My schedule, as determined by Google Calendar, keeps me going from 5:05am until at least 10pm nearly every night.

My strategy for eating smart during busy weeks in the past has always been to choose a day with a block of time, cook cook cook for all of those hours, portion things out and freeze them. This way, if I take dinner out of the freezer when I leave the house at 6:00am, all it requires is a quick zap in the microwave at 7:00pm when it's finally time to eat it.

Because that has worked for me in the past, I'm trying it again. Yesterday, I simultaneously studied and simmered a giant pot of delicious chili. I braised a chicken breast and then seared it in honey and cinnamon to be eaten with carrot cashew ginger soup over basmati rice. I pre-cut peppers for easy snacking. I moved all the fruit to a bowl in the front of the fridge, freed from it's out-of-sight dungeon in the crisper drawer.

While I was doing all those healthy practices, I neglected to actually EAT a healthy dinner, instead choosing to break for an hour to meet my manpanion, his son and his father at the Midtown Global Market a few blocks from my house. My attempt to order this spinach salad I love was thwarted by a language barrier I couldn't navigate, which was a surprise to me because I frequent this booth within the market on a regular basis. That language barrier made me feel like an asshole, and has instantly motivated me to learn Spanish. How I've gotten this far without knowing more than nouns baffles me. Anyhow! Healthy plan thwarted, I decided to go for a Vietnamese noodle salad, because nothing else sounded good and Taco Tuesday has to be a thing of the past.

As it turns out, Sparkpeople says that the noodle salad was a pretty good choice, especially given the amount I ate, which wasn't much, because I was talking a lot [another GREAT weight loss strategy].

I walked myself home, but not without buying a slice of bread pudding from The Salty Tart, which I instantly regretted. I later ate the piece of bread pudding, which I did not regret at all. I overestimated the amount of calories and fat in that sucker, just in case.

I've been tracking my intake for 2 days now, and [with honesty in my tracking] I am falling around 1400 calories a day. That's good! That's maintenance! I've been satisfied and not "trying" to be in weight loss mode, so that would explain my ability to stick to this weight for such a long period of time.

Now... the cuts.

How do I cut? Where do I cut?

I can cut calories, sure, or I can exercise more. I love exercise, I do. I really do. But especially now, when I can barely find the time to write in this blog or cook a real dinner, I don't have a lot of time. I've been attempting to fit it in where I can lately, walking to the store, biking to school, getting off of the bus a few stops early and hoofing it. I realize this isn't a long term strategy for weight loss, but it's a pretty great habit to be forming for a long-term healthy lifestyle, so I won't discredit it.

I have not set food in my gym for the entire month of September.

How do you get in workouts when you literally can't find the time?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Is this on?

I haven't been here in a while.

Here is figurative, and also literal, as I couldn't quite remember my last post in this blog. I knew it was a rampage, I knew it was a soapbox speech, but I couldn't remember the topic.

I reread it this morning and I'm still proud to have written it. I'm still proud to have come to those conclusions and to have had the guts to write them here, even if no one ever read them. I still think there is so much fucked-up-edness in this weight loss community.

But I only want to help.

One thing I have learned in the last year is that I can't help anyone if I can't help myself, and the fact of the matter is that I weigh EXACTLY what I weighed back when I wrote that speech. I wasn't giving any attention to actually losing weight, but I was learning to how to eat in moderation, obviously, because I have consistently kept my weight right where it was.

I didn't track my food, and I even ...forgot.... to exercise.

I enrolled in college. I started school after being out of the game for more than 10 years. I got so busy I started forgetting to eat, and that was making me GAIN weight. (Weird, huh?)

Now that I have a lot of my study habits figured out, and I've consistently been getting A's on EVERYTHING I've done in school [hooray, me!], I feel ready to start adding in little habit-changing goals to help me kick-start my journey to a healthier life for my body AND my mind.

My strategy is to start small. Very small, even. The idea is to create goals that are very motivating to me RIGHT NOW: so that I will focus on them intently.

People usually make goal lists to sustain through a certain concrete period... like... the month of October, for example. But it's September 26th, and I want to do this, so I'm just going to do it. There's no point in waiting till October, we all know that drill.

"I'll start on Monday."

Well, not for me. So, here is a list of goals I am going to focus on right now. It's going to become a game, much like that game "I'm going on a picnic" we all used to play in Kindergarten. I will add a goal, and then I'll add another goal and continue working on both, and so on.. and so on.

Goals
  • Concentrate on posture.
Right now, I am noticing how slouchy I've become. Because I am in school now, I spend a LOT more time sitting than I was generally accustomed to. I spend a lot of time in class, in an uncomfortable chair, taking notes. I spend a lot of time hunched over a bar stool in my kitchen, trying to read hundreds of pages. I'd like to make a conscious effort to sit up straight and engage the muscles I have.

  • Track what I eat.
While I'm not ready to drastically change my eating habits, I am ready to get a truthful estimate of what I'm already doing. Keeping a tab of my calories and food consumed has always helped me to make better choices as a whole, and you can't know what needs to change until you know what "is."


And that's it. Those are my focal points for this undetermined amount of time, until I feel prepared to make bigger changes. Ideally, I'd like to make these two goals a habit, commit them to memory - like in the picnic game - before I add something else to the mix.

So, I'm off to track my breakfast while I sit up straight.

What goals are you working on today?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Ideas

I've been playing with the idea of starting a new blog, mostly because I currently associate this one with a ton of negative energy. It's not so much the blog, per se, but some of the people and events I tie in with having had this blog. Quitters (like me, though I've never actually quit), defeatists, people who are scared of food.

For the last year, I've been attempting to just learn to eat. Eat correctly. Eat healthfully. Not focus on crappy "diet" food like fat-free ANYTHING, because that rarely exists in nature outside of your produce aisle or the farmer's market. And I find myself wondering, as I browse through blogs on my blog roll, what people are actually putting in to their bodies? Do they know? Do they even care? Or is the end result just to be smaller or perhaps even "thin?"

I can't be a part of that community anymore. I find little to no difference between eating your problems and eating a bunch of plastic to redirect your problems, because you know what? Those problems will still be there when you're thin. I am 100% living proof of that.

Sure, losing the weight will give you some confidence to start solving them, but sometimes it's one or the other. You can "diet" or you can leave your relationship. You can "diet" or you can go to school. Focusing on both is near impossible, UNLESS you start forgiving yourself and understanding that FOOD is not the enemy. NOT SOLVING YOUR PROBLEMS REASONABLY is the enemy. Not dealing with feelings is the enemy. Eating to not feel empty is the enemy.

You see, the real problem with being an overeater is that you can't quit. And yes, I have the balls to compare it to alcoholism, smoking or drugs. I've had problems with all of those, not necessarily personally, but with directly connected people that I love and see on a daily basis. When you're a smoker, which I am, you can quit and be done. It won't be easy, by any means, hence why I am still a smoker, but smoking serves absolutely no purpose for your body. It is a stress reliever, but so is taking a walk. There are replacements. There are substitutes. You do not NEED to smoke.

You NEED to eat.

You must eat, every day. You must fuel your body. So when overeating becomes a problem, you cannot escape it. Oh, some people try. Starving themselves on diets of <1000 calories. Well, that's a problem too, because our bodies need calories to function. Our bodies need REAL food. They need fat. They need protein. They need those things to make our blood move and our legs function. You cannot be scared to eat.

I associate less and less with weight loss bloggers. While I have weight to lose again, I tend to resonate more with those in maintenance. Those people who are just eating and eating healthfully. Who have accepted that exercise is now a part of their life and will always be because that's just the way it is. Some of them even enjoy it. Some of them even eat REAL FULL FAT CHEESE (gasp). And so I associate with them because I will not beat myself up if I go out to eat and order the burger. You know why? Because burgers are delicious and all I have to do is eat a little lighter the next day to even things out, and I can do that. Because I can't have everything I want, and I'm mature enough not to throw a fit about that. If I had everything I wanted, I'd also have a whole lot of things I don't want: like heart attacks.

SO. While this post is targeted at no one, I beg you to think about what you're doing. If you think ANY of this ends when you hit goal weight, you're very sadly mistaken. At most, you can add back 400 calories a day and maintain your weight. That's not a lot. That's like a scoop of ice cream, friends, not a whole pint. You'll NEVER get to do what you once did and not suffer the consequences. Can you handle that? Can you eat fake cheese and processed diet bars every day for the rest of your life? Can you pronounce the laundry list of ingredients in those things?

It's time to wise up and move on.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Security Breach.

After making the gym a habit again, I fell off track for a few days.

You see, I give myself the option, I have a rule. I MUST at least GO to the gym, scan my card and be ready to workout. That means changing into my clothes. If, after all of that, I still don't feel like working out, I can leave. It almost never happens and I generally put in at least a half hour of cardio on days I'd rather take a nap. However, there were a few days last week when I simply scanned and run.

However, my wonderful Manpanion joined me for BodyFlow on Monday, kicking me back into the gym habit. He's working on gaining more flexibility and BodyFlow is a wonderful combo of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates. It was nice to share fitness with someone, as this is something I typically prefer to do alone. I don't like being on someone else's schedule, having to leave when they want to leave or having to make them leave when I do, so a class was a perfect beginning for us. He doesn't belong to my gym, but I have a plethora of guest passes so let's see if he wants to come back.

I have a few goals for the week, the biggest one being such a simple thing: WATER. This winter I really struggled to get my daily water in. Even though winter in Minnesota is dry and cruel, I would much prefer coffee or something warm to water. Now that the weather is warming a little, it seems like an easy time to get back in this habit, so I've set a few goals. The easiest being that I must drink a full glass of water in the morning before I can have my coffee. That starts me off on the right foot every morning. I plan to continue this mini trick throughout the day, having a full glass of water prior to my morning snack, before lunch, before any other snacks and of course before dinner. That gets me pretty close to the goal right there.

I tend to not count the water that I drink during my workouts toward my daily goal of at least 8 glasses of water. Do you?

Last night I had a weird triumph. I went over to the Manpanion's house to share an old recipe with him for the "Taco Tuesday" tradition he is building with his son. My mom used to make us this giant pile of fat called "Taco Pie." It is the ultimate comfort food and it was very rainy and gross yesterday, perfect for comfort. We worked together to put all the elements of the pie together, popped it in the oven, read a book and when the table was being set, I opted to go home instead. I basically ate a bowl of M&Ms for lunch yesterday and KNEW that I could not resist the Taco Pie if I had tasted it. It felt strange to dip out of a dinner I helped make, but that's the beauty of living alone! I can go home!

And home I went. I had a dinner of two blood oranges and a mug of tea and I went straight to bed at 8pm, beaten with exhaustion. I'm proud of my choice, even though it stole away some time with the boys I like so much. One mini-step toward my goals that they support anyway.

Today, I've worked out a meal plan to help stay on track, my gym bag is packed and already in the car.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Laundry and a Rant.

Last night I stayed in to get a few things done around the house.

I organized my office, which has been a monkey on my back for a few months now. I've just been making piles of things that have no rhyme or reason and I can't find a damn thing when I need it, which is ruining my high efficiency. Tackled. Done. Organized.


I also had to do laundry, which ended up being a small NSV (non-scale victory) as it was 80% workout clothes and 20% underwear and the only pair of jeans that currently fit me. That means I'm doing a good job.

I made myself a little dinner.





Organic Field Day Linguine with Asparagus and fresh Parmesan. Poached Egg. Greens with oil and vinegar.




I also made it back to the gym today after my sudden rest day on Tuesday. I did some more strength training, but a faster version of my "real" workout. A different one. It involves many squats and lunges, but is just less focused on using heavy weights. It's more of a toning strength training session using a medicine ball and lot of my own body resistance. It was still difficult, especially on sore muscles, so I felt accomplished.




As I sat around in my PJs catching up on some blogs, I can't help but find myself outraged by the amount of weightloss bloggers using terms like "shameful" or "horrible" or any of these outright negative adjectives about being overweight. How do you think that feels to someone reading your blog who has not yet begun their journey to get healthy? You're basically telling all of us who are overweight that we should feel terrible for where we are...


Guess what?


That doesn't work.


Shaming and demeaning and beating yourself up doesn't get you any closer to healthy


You know what does? Loving where you are. Accepting it.


Appreciating your body for even it's simplest of functions like pumping blood or breathing air.


If you can't accept where you are, you'll never get to where you want to be. Acceptance and love gives you the power to make real change. You might think I'm stupid for saying that, but it's true. I know a thing or two about this after a decade on this journey.


Get positive or get out of my blogroll. I will be deleting many blogs in the near future if this trend continues.


Ending note: I accept all of you where you are. I wish you would do the same for yourself and everyone else.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Losing.

It's a gray day here in Minneapolis, which is a strange change from the delightful, sunny, 70 degree weather we've been enjoying over the last few days. It's not to be unexpected, of course, it is April, and we are expecting MORE SNOW this weekend, but for some reason it feels ominous.

I skipped the gym yesterday as my muscles were feeling explosive, ready to burst out of my skin at any second. Getting back into strength training is very important, though painful. I have lost so much muscle memory over the last year. It's amazing to me. But today I'll be back at the gym and back at the resistance training, working my way back up.

I had a mild slip up yesterday, ending my dinner within my calorie limits, but sneaking back into the kitchen and inhaling a bag of yogurt covered pretzels. No particular reason. I wasn't even hungry. It just felt like something to do.

I've been battling some emotional demons, feeling down on myself, and for whatever reason stress eating is still such a big thing. I stopped, with about 1/4 of the bag left, and put it away. I tucked myself in and tried to focus on what and how I was feeling. I didn't really get very far into it before I drifted off to sleep, but the little pieces I can remember landing on had to do with some fear and some lingering resentment in one of my relationships. I hope I can spend a little time thinking on it today, getting closer to the root and beginning the process of letting it go.

The rest of my week is blur of multi-colored calendar items. Some of which are fun, some of which are a whole lot of work, and others are fitness related. I'm looking forward to Saturday, which will be a nice with "the girls" getting mani/pedis and drinking at a local watering hole. I plan to indulge in a diet soda, as the next day is another friend's birthday party, which mainly consists of the world's largest Bloody Mary bar. I'd far prefer to indulge in my mani/pedi and skip the booze Saturday to build up a delicious bloody on Sunday.

That's the plan for now, and hopefully I can stick to it.

I have been hitting the very top range of my calorie limits each day on SparkPeople. I think that upping up the fitness efforts I've been putting in over the last month is making me hungry. Which is to be assumed, I suppose, as I'm forcing my body to exert large amounts of energy, I need to replace that energy somehow.

I had a miniature epiphany yesterday, of something so simple. Given the low range of my calorie limits, I can eat 3 meals of around 300 cals, and 2 snacks at around 150 cals. Why didn't a realize this before? It's easy! Now I just need to actually plan around it.

I've been attempting to eat intuitively, just listening to what it is I *REALLY* want, and eating a reasonable portion of it. It's been working, but it is landing me in the top tier, and the scale is showing nothing, though I can already see that my clothes are a bit looser and my body is a bit tighter. It is time for me to start planning my meals. It is something that has worked for me in the past. I wanted to be less restrictive this time, but it's clear that in order to RE-lose the weight, I'm going to have to have rules, strong ones, and when the weight is gone is when I will work harder on learning to eat intuitively, maintaining my weight, rather than losing.

Losing is the hard part.

Well, maintaining is the hard part too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

UpLifting.

I did it.

I lifted. I lifted a lot. I strength trained HARD. I was sweating buckets and grunting and pushing myself harder than I have in a very long time. It felt amazing.

I'm sore as all hell, already, just 7 hours later, but I wouldn't trade it. I know that this is going to be the thing that jolts me back to feeling strong, and that's what I want and need right now.

I will admit, and confess, that I accidentally rewarded myself. Over-rewarded myself this evening. I went to a going-away party for a friend and didn't know there would be a free spread. I had a drink, which I had planned for, and passed up another though they were free. But the food I wasn't expecting. There was a cheese plate, my weakness. I try not to keep cheese in the house because it becomes a free for all, as if it will go bad in a matter of minutes and I need to eat it all immediately.

Overall, I didn't do too bad, considering the circumstances and how nuts I was known to go in the past (way back when). I tracked every morsel and I am now even for the day. I ate back every calorie I burned at the gym, and that's fine. Muscle keeps burning those calories and the more that I continue to strength train the more I am stoking my metabolism to make room for little guilty pleasures like a cheese plate.

I feel amazing.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Strength.

I just spent about an hour readying my Strength Training worksheets. Though I've quit Weight Watchers I am still a really big fan of their "Activity Worksheet." I've uploaded it in a .jpg form so that it can be shared. Simply click "Expand to fit page" when you go to print.




Using Fitness Magazine's online site, I found a whole bunch of new Total Body Workouts. When I first started losing weight, Fitness Magazine was my favorite thing to find in my mailbox. Each month I would have new routines to focus my efforts on, which always kept the results pouring in because I was never bored, continually switching it up and challenging/confusing my body at every turn.

Today I created 3 of these worksheets, each with a different strength training workout.

Since I've been back to the gym, I've been avoiding picking up the dumbbells again. Honestly, I couldn't tell you why. Strength Training was BY FAR the biggest catalyst of the change in my body; and not only that, I really enjoyed it. Feeling and being strong is such a giant piece of my personality. Perhaps that's where the intimidation steps in. I'm not as strong as I once was, and my fear is that I'll never get back there. It's irrational, then, of course, that I wouldn't begin to at least try to get there, as every single day that I avoid re-building my muscles is a day that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So.

These little sheets are color coded and ready for my use because after all, "failing to plan is a plan to fail."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Reminder.

I am doing an awful job of updating regularly.

The important part is that the "real" work is still getting done, and since my last update I've made a few important changes.

After many many many years and many pounds lost, I have decided to dump my unfulfilling relationship with Weight Watchers. Like any relationship, it was something that worked for me once, and despite exhausting all the options, no longer does.

I had joined SparkPeople many years ago to supplement my Weight Watchers membership, but never really used all the resources they provide... for free. Instead I continued to hand over my money to WW and follow their program, which is fantastic, by the way, for some people. But last week, after realizing I hadn't been tracking (because I told you guys) and hadn't logged in, hadn't used a WW recipe and hadn't been doing a thing in relation to WW, I decided it was time to cut the cord. Stop paying them for being my "back up." And I moved to SparkPeople full-time.

I have been following SparkPeople for about 9 days and it is new and exciting and helps me to keep track of things that are important to me: Fitness AND Nutritional Information. All of it: calories, fat, sodium, carbs, etc etc etc. No more counting "points" I know longer understand.

I have been charging full-speed-ahead with my fitness routine, promising 30 minutes of cardio daily and generally putting in at least 45 minutes at the gym. Sooner or later I'll increase that time, but for now I am doing due diligence to simply get to the gym whenever I can. I have been averaging 6 days a week and I am celebrating that accomplishment even as I type this.

Also, because it's April, just like last year I am participating in #30daysofbiking, a collaboration project of a couple friends of mine encouraging any and everyone to ride their bikes daily for 30 days straight. This helps me move a little bit more, doing something I'd already be doing, but having a goal to do it regardless of how I feel. It's the 8th and I haven't missed a day yet. Hooray.

Now that Spring is here, have you made any changes?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

EiEiOh.

I didn't even touch on the billions of other things happening in my life, that are perhaps a source of joy feeding into the ease of this last month's eating and exercise.



My totally amazing manpanion (boyfriend, but a better word) have surpassed a year of dating. My project to be single for all of 2010 failed somewhere around March. No problem though, because this man has infinitely inspired me to make so many amazing changes. He's challenging in a positive way, and he brings so much joy.




I am going "back" to school. Those are the wrong terms, as that may give you the impression I have already been to college, received a bachelors degree and now I'm going back to pursue a new passion. No. I skipped that whole college phase of life and went straight to work. And while I've been wildly successful in my own mind, having gotten where I am with no education after High School, I have way bigger dreams. So I'll be headed TO school in the fall, starting that college phase a decade too late (Whatever. It's never too late) and taking way longer than it would have had I gone straight after graduation. I'll be working full time and schooling full time, which ought to make the rest of my life interesting in comparison. I'll have to become a genius expert in organization. In about another decade I should be starting a PhD program. That's after I get my BS and Masters degrees. And however long after that, I'll be a doctor of love. Literally. I will be studying human relationships and sex, to be a practicing and continued research doctor. I am interested in lifting the blanket of shame this culture cultivates around sex, specifically in and for women. There are a variety of paths I'm interested in. Sex and Pleasure after sexual trauma. Finding sexual confidence through body changes (weight gain, having a baby, et al), the options are endless, and it's still a far way away. Those 2 things really drive the every day. My life is neat, and I am neat by comparison.


***************

Special Edit for Jen and Alexa. I mentioned on Twitter this morning that I "had photographic evidence" of what a year of living on the 3rd floor has done for my booty. They questioned as to why I would have photographic evidence.


Well, dear readers, this time last year in a bout of flirting there was a picture email game with my manpanion. Like HORSE in basketball, but with photographs. Tit for tat, if you will. Either way, noticing the date, I decided to take a similar picture, though it's a slightly different angle. Red = 2010, Stripes = 2011. Round and out there and by MY definition, a little higher.


Sir Mix-A-Lot would totally want my number.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Going Going Going.

Things have been going great.

Honestly.

It seems odd to say because despite paying for Weight Watchers online last month, I never opened it.

I stopped tracking.

Most of us who've been "around the block" when it comes to weight loss know that tracking your food intake and accounting for it in some way (be it points, calories, etc) is one of the biggest factors in weight loss, and I AM still trying to lose weight.

But you know what? A month has gone by and my clothes are fitting better. I've been getting to the gym on mostly-daily basis and my spirits are at an all-time high. We could say it's because the snow blanket has mostly lifted and allowed us a glimpse at spring. I could say any number of things, but I know the root.

When I am "dieting" I feel trapped. When I am "dieting" I judge what everyone else is eating, comparing it to my plate and either feel shamed or smug. When I am "dieting" it doesn't feel like a choice. It feels like a list of rules. A list of things I cannot do and cannot have.

The reason Weight Watchers has always been so appealing to me (and worked very very well at one point in my life) is because it's dieting without "dieting." It teaches you to eat within normal limits. Well, now I know all that.

I know what I can and can't eat.

What's left is the choice to do what's best for my body.

In the last month, I have listened to my body. What I want to eat at what time. Even when it's an entire chocolate bar, I eat it, and then I listen some more. When I was "dieting," that chocolate bar would be considered a binge. And that binge would trigger more binging because I'd already done it, so why don't I just make it count (aka make it worse). Now, that chocolate bar satisfies a craving. A craving which is perfectly normal. And because I really listened for what I wanted, that craving was satiated. It's gone. The chocolate bar was consumed and I went on with my life. And if I listened hard enough, I realized that I was a lot less hungry at my next meal, and I cut back.

Intuitive eating. I never thought I could get here, and I am certainly no expert. The scale hasn't moved more than 2lbs, but my jeans are sliding on rather than using the jaws of life to pull them. And... I'm happy. That's all I've really wanted.

This can take another 30 years if need be. That's fine. As long as I'm making the healthiest choices for MY body, I'll be happy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Good Morning.

It's been a while.

Last time we talked, I was planning how to stay on track after a disaster of a Superbowl party, but a massively successful Valentine's Day.

And then... I got sick again.

Really really sick.

Can't even play on the internet sick. For a week. And then another week (though luckily I was back playing on the internet) and finally well enough to go back to work. However, the last 3 weeks have contained a lingering cough and feeling of general malaise.

Pneumonia probably. I wrote my doctor an e-mail (THE FUTURE) and she prescribed me some antibiotics to knock the junk out. It's my 5th day and it seems to be working well.

I have been to the gym every day this week. Enough of the Minnesota snow has melted that I felt comfortable bringing my new(er) bike out to ride around, so getting places is a lot more fun now. I roasted a chicken. I made beef stew. I mashed sweet potatoes. I cooked up the most delicious dish which I am sharing with you here:


Pork Medallions with Ginger Pears and Chutney

/4 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1" slices
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp canola oil
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
2 tsp grated peeled ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup mango chutney
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried

Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a nonstick skillet over high-heat. Arrange the pork in the skillet in a single layer so that the slices don't touch, in batches if necessary; cook until browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the meat to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the remaining 1 tsp oil to the skillet. Add the pears, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the pears are tender and golden (5 minutes). Add the chutney, broth and thyme. Bring to a boil, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Arrange the pork on a platter and spoon the pear mixture on top.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trudging along.

Well, just as I'm getting all set for my weigh-in tomorrow morning, I get a little email alert from MyMonthlyCycles.com reminding me that TOM is coming today. That's fine, because while I had a minor freakout that the scale is not going to accurately reflect the work I've done in the last week (which is a lot of awesome work), I read this article, reminding me that this is a long term goal. A very long term goal. A life goal, really. And I have my whole life to complete it.

However, this week, I'm super proud of myself. Despite the fact that I've had a difficult time sleeping, and have been way too busy to get to the gym, I did make time for what has become a priority: preparing healthy meals.

I knew that nearly every moment of this week was scheduled out, so I took Sunday night and a little bit of Monday afternoon (the only hours I had free) to prepare for the week ahead. I slow simmered some bison on the range in some vegetable stock and red wine, later adding to it: beets, carrots, a sweet potato, a rutabaga and some garlic. After all that stuff was in there, I tossed it in the oven and left the house for a few hours. When I got home to take it out, everything was just falling apart, in a good way. ABSOLUTELY delicious stew. Amazing. I portioned it out into single servings after entering all the ingredients into the Recipe Builder on my plan managers for Weight Watchers. I labeled each portion with the points and tossed half of it in the freezer and the other half in the fridge.

I also made one of my favorite Weight Watchers recipes: Cranberry Pear Chicken. I portioned it, put it in the recipe builder and labeled it.

I grocery shopped for good snacks: snap pea pods, carrots, apples, pears, bananas, bell peppers.

I bought Scottish Oats for breakfast only to find that not only are they a billion times more satisfying than instant oatmeal (and easier to prepare than steel cut oats) but they are lower in PlusPoints as well! I made a batch for the week, portioned it out and labeled it. All I have to do for breakfast is pour in a tiny bit of almond milk, microwave and eat.

Being that this week contained Valentine's Day, I bought 3 very delicious, very gourmet chocolate bars from the co-op. I broke them down into portions (weighing them on my food scale) and put them in snack bags, labeling the kind of chocolate (Crystalized ginger in Dark Chocolate, Cherries and Almonds in Dark Chocolate, and REALLY REALLY DARK CHOCOLATE) and the amount of PlusPoints in the serving. I broke half the bar into 1oz servings, and the other half into .5oz servings so that I can easily decide if it's a "little chocolate" time or "a lot of chocolate" time.

Last night, a friend who's having a rough go of it simply needed to run some errands. She doesn't have a car and REAL grocery shopping (the kind busy people need to do) can be difficult on the bike. So we took my car to Trader Joes, where I don't often shop as I'm attempting to be more of a locavore these past few years, to pick up a few things. She is Gluten Free and Trader Joes really does a great job of labeling their GF items so they're easy to find. Plus, it's cheap and she doesn't really care. So..

2 heaping bags of food for her later, and a handful (literally) of items for me, we were done. Not without stopping into the liquor side for a few bottles of wine, however. Riesling FTW.

I have stayed at my points target every day this week because I knew I would not have much, if any, time to exercise outside of walking a little further or running up and down my 3 flights of stairs to get things done.

Regardless of what the scale says tomorrow, I know I'm on the right track again, having massively recovered from falling off the wagon on Superbowl Sunday.

How did you do this week, especially if you celebrate Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rewards!

My friend Kassie at Fat Athlete is brainstorming her reward for breaking out of the 200s.

I got to thinking about the fact that I haven't rewarded myself yet in this new bout of weight loss.

My highest weight for the regain was 170lbs. My most recent weigh in was 161.4lbs. That means I've already lost 8.6lbs! That's great. ...but it means I missed my 5lb reward, so I'm going to go ahead and order that today.

Want to know what it is? It's kind of boring.



Tweezerman Tweezers!

I'm Italian, and as such, I totally have whiskers. I also have unruly eyebrows and coarse hair that often breaks off with the crappy tweezers I have. So, I've been meaning to get a pair of these for YEARS but just kept forgetting. Tweezerman offers free sharpening, so it's incredibly valuable. Great tweezers for life!

And it got me thinking that I should be pretty close to my 10lbs goal if last week's Superbowl party didn't put me too high up there that I won't lose it with my hard work this week. Then I decided I needed to make up rewards that I'd be excited to work toward. I never really did this during my first bout of weight loss.

10lbs: New HRM to replace broken/old/gross one.

15lbs: A new kitchen knife!

20lbs: Running Shoes!

25lbs: THIS adorable bra and panties set from my favorite website that carries small band/big cup sizes like mine.

30lbs: I don't know....

GOAL: I don't know!


I'm thinking GOAL reward needs to be pretty huge. It had always been a trip to Costa Rica to go to a Surf Camp I really really want to go to. I also really really want to learn to surf. It's also a yoga camp. It's also a super healthy eating camp. It seems like a perfect reward. Problem, it's about $2000 without airfare. So... $3000 reward? Not at all in my budget.

Can you help me brainstorm those last two rewards? Do you have your rewards set? What are they?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Packers win, I lose.

I did a very poor job managing my intake at the Superbowl Party. So much so, in fact, that I ate up all of my Activity Points and all of my Weekly Points Allowance, and then some.

I ended the night with 8 points in the hole.

Yesterday, I went to the gym and cranked it up. I earned back 6 points, leaving myself -2 in the hole for the week. Staring at that little stupid red number sent me into a panic, because I've been doing so well. What to do when panic sets in? Eat of course!

Man.

It's been nearly 8 years on this WL journey and sometimes my responses are still the same. Though, I will credit myself and say that at least more often than not... they're not.

So, I went on a little binge yesterday, and lost track of how much I scarfed down. I tried to track it to the best of my memory, but we'll just say I totally screwed the week up. But it's just a week. One week in the grand scale of what is not really even 1/3 of my life so far on this earth. I have plenty of time.

This morning, I've kind of decided that given my response to that little red number, I may skip the scale this week. Knowing I've probably gained, I just want to continue to stay the course. Get back on track and hopefully see a tiny bit of improvement next week when I jump on.

You can judge that however you want. I don't care if YOU would get on the scale anyway, I'm not you and you're not me and we don't do things the same way so I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't tell me what to do unless I ask for your opinion.

I WOULD, however, appreciate some new meal ideas. Whenever I need to stay the course and be REALLY on point, I like to cook something new. It feeds back in some of the excitement that fades knowing there is no wiggle room.

So.. if you have simple recipes with minimal ingredients (or a lot of things I would have on hand) I would LOVE to hear about some of your favorite meals.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Because I need reminding.

I'm crabby today.

I woke up too early, disrupting what was already a pretty awful dream.

I got to the gym early before it got crowded (yay) and worked really really hard for an hour (yay).

Returned home, made a super delicious and healthful breakfast of egg whites + leftover salmon cakes with fiery bell pepper salsa. (yay) I had an apple. (yay)

With all of this Yay Celebration going on, what the hell is my problem?

I'm not totally sure.

I realized though, that I'm just feeling tired, literally, and lacking some motivation. I thought it would be a good plan to remind myself where I've been and where I've been. Yes, I said that twice. I've been at my heaviest adult weight and I've been at my lowest adult weight. I'm currently sitting somewhere in the middle. 40lbs below the heaviest and a little less than 20lbs above goal weight.





The interesting part is that when I think about either of those weights, heaviest or lightest, there's a trend - confidence. I felt sexy at both weights. I felt strong and capable. That's the missing puzzle piece right now. I already feel defeated.

I'm hoping that a little napping and relaxation today will take care of that.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Spicy Chicken

Yesterday Missy asked for the recipe to my Spicy Pulled Chicken leftovers I used in my Lunch Tales concoction, so here it is:

  • 1 pound uncooked boneless/skinless chicken breasts (I usually use thighs because they're cheaper and more flavorful)
  • 4-8 large garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • 2-4 dried ancho peppers (I LOVE spice, so I do not seed them and use 4, but if you just want a little smokey bite, use 2 and seed them)
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cilantro
Place chicken in a single layer in a large nonstick skillet, cover with water. Add cilantro sprigs (5-6) and 1 peeled clove of garlic. Cook chicken breasts over medium heat until no longer pink in the center (10-15 minutes). Remove chicken from pan and let cool; reserve pan liquid.

Shred cooled chicken and set aside. Pour that reserved cooking liquid over dried ancho peppers in a medium bowl. Cover and soak peppers about 10 minutes.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add remaining unpeeled garlic cloves and roast in pan, turning frequently until blackened in spots. Remove to a small bowl and when cool enough to handle, peel them.

Place peppers, garlic, tomato sauce and cumin in jar of a blender (or small bowl if you have an immersion blender, which is what I use) and blend on high until smooth (4 minutes generally because of the peppers). Pour mixture into a sauce pan, add chicken and heat through.

BOOM. Done. Yum.

SO good in so many ways. Taco salad, fajitas, on nachos, with black beans on cottage cheese and SO many other ways. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Lunch Tales.

Throwing together some lunch with the leftovers I have.



Polenta rounds. 4 of them. Weighing in at 5oz of cooked polenta (3 PointsPlus)
Avocado. 1/4 of a regular sized bad boy. (3 PointsPlus)
Spicy pulled chicken, 2 oz [and 1 more that I ate while waiting for polenta to broil] (2 PointsPlus)
1/4 cup cooked black beans (1 PointsPlus)

Total = 9 points plus, but totally filling and a good mix of carbs, protein and good fats. YUM.

Did it.

Well, I went to the gym despite my Fat Day, knowing that if I didn't go, today would be a Fat Day too. It is, but not because I went to the gym.

Remember I promised myself I only had to do 30 minutes? 20 of moderate effort and 10 of strenuous effort. I did that, plus 15 more. Getting back into the swing of things after being KNOCKED ON YOUR ASS with sickness is pretty tough. I really struggled through what is usually my simple, lazy, hungover, first day of TOM style workout. Anyhow, did it. Done.

The Manpanion offered to feed me last night prior to a birthday party we were attending. I reluctantly accepted, knowing that he's been trying really hard to pare down meals and understand how Weight Watchers works. He did another AMAZING job, feeding me a meal that totaled to only 4 PlusPoints! Nice work Manpanion!

Because he did such an amazing job, I got to have a really delicious beer at the Birthday dinner and I held a baby - which was a fantastic and terrible idea. We visited this baby the day after it was delivered in the hospital. I was on about day 12 of the sick at that time, feeling well enough to be out and about but knowing better than to hold a baby or really be near the newborn baby. So I have been patiently waiting like EIGHT DAYS to hold this baby. It was everything I wanted it to be.

Tonight I have Broomball, which is my new favorite way to get in my activity. Running on ice has to be worth at least double the Activity Points but since my HRM is broken and I don't "earn" a new one until I've lost 15lbs, I couldn't tell you.

My, what a boring, clustered entry.

I know half the country is covered in snow right now (HAHAHA), so I wonder how you're getting your activity in while you're all stuck in your homes?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fat Day.

I'm having a "Fat Day." These days are few and far between for me these days, which is great. I haven't felt fat since I pretty much was "fat," however we're going to describe that.

For me it was being 5'2" and over 200lbs. That was "fat." I'm just a hair over 160 now and while I'd love to be closer to my goal weight (138) I usually think I look pretty fabulous. Or at least feel fabulous, and look like I can accomplish all the things I can. Like bench a billion pounds and run miles without stopping. Those are things I couldn't do when I was "fat."

I think I'm having a "fat day" because this sick is still hold on, though intermittently. I haven't been exercising for the past 2 weeks, save for Broomball and that trip to the gym. I feel lazy. I feel squishy. I feel totally unmotivated.

I'm going to change that however. Or at the very least, fight it. I've planned a trip to the gym for immediately after I complete my office hours today. I promised I'd put in 10 minutes of REALLY HARD EXERCISE and I can slack the other 20 minutes I've promised myself I'd do. 30 minutes, moderate and intense. I can break those 10 minutes up into 2 minute increments if I want, it just needs to add up to 10 huffing-puffing-wish-I-was-dead style working.

What do you do when you fall out of step?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Meatcups.

HOW FREAKING CUTE ARE THESE?

I'm going to lighten up this recipe later this week and make it for my favorite boys.

Ultimate adorable portion control.

Lazy Workout.

My "triumphant" return to the gym was pretty tame. This illness has moved itself into my lungs as of... about 6 days ago and it's set up a pretty strong camp. This rendered me useless for anything cardio, and sapped my energy in the strength training department.

I met my friend/co-worker David for a 6:00am workout at the YWCA. We walked around the track quickly to get the heart rates up in a simple way due to my plague. Then, on to the weights. I'm already sore. Literally. David always pushes the limits because he's a gigantic dude. 6'2" and about 250lbs. Clearly we're not evenly matched.

I fell off the "clean eating" wagon yesterday, but reigned it back in quickly and even got in a little bit of activity walking through a foot of snow for half a mile on our way to the Art Sled Rally, which is a annual event in my neighborhood.

I'm starting to wonder if I have pneumonia. This is my 16th day of being sick. That's a really long time. When do I go to the doctor? Yikes.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Back to it... slightly.

That illness really knocked me out. I am still sick, believe it or not, but have been back to work for 2 days and even played broomball last night, so I'm back in it.


I weighed in this AM and was pleased to see that not only had I lost the gain I found last week with TOM and the sick, but had lost an additional .8lbs with it. Woohoo! We're on a roll.

I'll be back with a better update, but I just wanted to hold myself accountable for the weigh in and celebrate a bit.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

SSS.

SUPER SUPER SICK.

So so sick.

I finally caught a cold this winter season and it is overcoming me. I did fine the first day, the 2nd day I was so bored that I succumbed to boredom/stress eating. I had a million things to do but without the energy to do them, I slipped and let my energy fall to every easily edible thing in the house. Anything to numb the pain.

I know better to do this, but I am in foreign territory here. I haven't been REALLY SUPER SUPER SICK since moving into my own place last January. I am not used to having no one around to take care of me in some way. Trips to the store, bringing me a cup of tea, etc. Not used to living around. Even though he offered, I denied the manpanion access to me in this situation. I don't want him to get sick and I feel so gross that I just don't even want the company.

Tonight I went out for some miso soup because I had a workshop to attend that I'd been looking forward to for months. Miso and tea and then the 2 hour workshop. I powered through, but I feel disabled now.

I have been sitting here thinking about how much I don't want to weigh in tomorrow, but I'm not going to play that game. I will take my massive salt/TOM/binge induced gain and be just fine with it and watch my progress continue as I keep going.

Time to sleep.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yowch.

It seems I have returned to blogging regularly enough that I get to do my first womanly post of 2011. That's right, TOM. Yesterday was my first day and boy oh boy did it get the best of me.

Well, the best of the prepared-for-TOM me, anyway.

I hit up the bulk bin at my co-op, thus allowing me to purchase small amounts of the snacks I knew I was going to reach for. I needed something salty, something sweet and something indulgent. I grabbed a scoop of yogurt covered pretzels, agave gummy bears and dark chocolate covered almonds.

The key here is the twisty ties. I HATE THOSE THINGS. I tie up my little bags with them and then I don't even want to open them. After the initial super-tight-twist, they're a pain in the ass. I spend the majority of my days untying ridiculous knots and typing, so by the time I want a snack, I don't want to work for it. I don't want to untwist the tiniest of stupid twisty-ties. I hate those things. I'm repeating that for effect.

SO! It's actually a strategy. Because having those bags of delicious all sealed up with twisty-ties means that by the time I'm going into one for an inappropriate amount of whatever is inside, I have enough time to make a better decision or just get frustrated and throw the thing back into my snack basket because I can't deal with the damn twisty-ties. I'm serious. I realize this is a really stupid neuroses to have, but I have it and sometimes it works in my favor.

You may be wondering why I would go out and buy dangerous snacks during TOM? Well, the thing about binge eaters like myself, is that we generally have something in mind that we actually want to eat... and a small amount of that actual thing would suffice and we'd be satisfied of that craving. However, because we try to keep temptation out of the house, we'll just eat everything else searching for something that might satisfy in that same way. It never does. And then we've eaten everything else too, so you're still going to make a trip to the grocery store because now you have no food. It's preparation.

I went a little overboard on them either way. I had 8 of the dark chocolate covered almonds after dinner, which were rich enough to make me feel a little ill. I was already starting to get a scratch in my throat (I am finally getting sick, after every single close friend has caught at least 2 colds this season, and my manpanion had one for nearly 3 weeks, I stayed safe. My guard has been dropped and I'm affected now) so the chocolate made that pretty uncomfortable. 8 of those was 11 PlusPoints. Not too bad. But then, I went on a gummy bear rampage. I ate that whole bag. I had 2 oz, which was everything I bought, semi-knowing this would happen. 2 oz of the agave gummies was 6 points. Not too shabby. So, I wasted 17 points on sweet stuff that I didn't really need minutes before passing out.

It happened. I've washed my hands of it. Now I just have less of my Weekly Points Allowance to play with today and tomorrow, which probably won't matter much because when I get sick, I just want to sleep and drink tea all the time.

Generally, I still workout during TOM as well, but yesterday I was not into it. I gave myself a pass. I still went to the gym, but only to scan my card and pick up a CityPages and walk back out. It's the cheaters way to be sure to get the discount. I would happily have made up that off-day today, but now that I am coming down with something, I will back off. It's important to me to get my health back up and also not to infect anyone else. If by Friday I'm feeling top-notch, I will go and do something light, like a bike or just walking on the treadmill - just to get my blood moving around.

I'm at work now and desperately wishing to be in bed, beginning the rest that I know will knock this cold out of the park. However, I managed to give myself a stomach flu last week and missed 2 days of work, so I'm afraid I'm going to have to power on through this time as I'm behind.

Tomorrow will be the more difficult of these last two days in the office. (I only actually go in Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 6:30am to 12:30pm. The other 2 week days are spent working exclusively from my home office, as well as the afternoons Tu-Th are also finished up there). When office hours are over tomorrow, I need to stick around for an hour finishing up odds and ends and then force myself into a meeting that rarely has anything to do with me or my program but is mandatory by our Executive Director. After that, I'll have approximately 2 hours to relax my cold before meeting up with a friend for Happy Hour and attending a workshop.

When THAT is over, I will go home and sleep forever. Possibly even through Friday, just so that I can get over whatever has taken up residence in my throat.

So I'm curious about your TOM. Do you do anything different to prepare? Do you still exercise?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Off topic.

To further my reach and against my better judgement and sense of decency... I'm bringing this here plea over to this blog.

My manpanion is a nominee in a Hotness Contest, which is exactly as it sounds.

If you're bored and have a minute, please vote for him here. It involves creating a sign in for Vita.mn, a local weekly newspaper here in Minneapolis, which you never have to deal with again.

If he wins, my own hotness is validated because he chooses me, and he's winning a hotness contest. Plus, he's freaking hot. Amazingly hot.

SSssssSSSssssssssizzling.

Your help is appreciated.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ouch.

My legs are screaming in pain.

I got myself together and made it to the gym, though the way this lazy morning went, I wasn't really sure it was going to happen.

Last night, I had a double date with one of my new(er) friends and her husband. We had cocktails at The Bradstreet and then hit up The Seville, which is a Gentleman's club. Yes, real wives and girlfriends support entertainment of this matter, don't judge. I bought my manpanion a lap dance, and after a while we drifted to a nearby dance club and sweat off a ton of calories.

I had given myself permission to "splurge" a bit on the evening because lately the manpanion and I haven't been going "out." He has been so incredibly supportive with my return to weight loss. Last week, we met up for lunch at One on One Bicycle near his office. The owner is a bike friend of mine and he lets us brown bag it in his cafe because I am such an excellent coffee consumer. We used the time for me to explain all the ins and outs of the Weight Watchers program... BECAUSE HE ASKED. He asked how it worked, he asked how to determine PlusPoints and how he could help build us healthier meals. We played around in the Plan Manager and I explained how Activity Points and Weekly Points Allowances work. It felt so great to not only be supported in my goals, but to have someone who eagerly wants to help.

So last night, the manpanion made us dinner. Small portions of amazing salmon, cooked with oil, snap pea pods, carrots and a delicious spicy glaze of sesame oil and sriracha, which is totally my favorite condiment in the world, and a GIANT bowl of fresh fruit. I had banked a ton of APs at the gym earlier in the day by running, walking, using the stepmill and lifting some SERIOUS weights. I ended the night using 17 APs, which I totally had. I got to splurge within my budgeted points! I felt extremely accomplished.

This morning, we laid in bed forever. Had french press coffee and homemade waffles with pineapple rum compote and blueberries (another splurge, but it was brunch, so it was totally worth it) and then laid under a down comforter on the couch just talking. By the time 4:00pm rolled around, I knew I needed to get my butt to the gym because tomorrow is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the YWCA is closed and I am GOING to earn that health insurance discount.

I had it in my head that I'd take the lazy route, which to me means the elliptical. I mostly think that machine is bullshit. It's great for people with injuries or just starting to get fit or exercise, but for the most part, it's very low impact and doesn't do a whole lot. It is my lazy way out. I had decided to do the lazy girl's workout, but when I got on the machine, I decided to do a hill climb and cranked the resistance up even more. I was dripping sweat by the 10th minute and by the 30th, when I was done, I kind of wanted to die.

Climbing that hill after all the squats and lunges I did during my strength routine yesterday, in addition to the leg press (I can press 220lbs!) my hamstrings were ON FIRE. ON FIRE. It kind of felt literal. They were burning and aching and throbbing. I spent extra time stretching to cool down since I was only putting in 30 minutes compared to my usual 60-90 minutes.

I had a fabulous weekend. I'm excited for what this week has in store.

Is your gym closed tomorrow? What's your fitness plan?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Catching up.

It's Friday night.

I've already swept, scrubbed and mopped the floors. Cleaned the tub. Did all the dishes. All the laundry.

I turned down a delightful dinner invitation from Jen to stay in line with my goals to clean the house, eat dinner at home and save more money. Also, it's snowing [again] and people in MN still don't know how to drive.

After all of that, I had time to catch up on some of the blogs I love reading. Here are some really worthwhile reads:

Alexa at My Tale of Two Cities writes about "The Boyfriend Weight."

Calorie Count blog touches on "tasting" and "picking" while you're cooking.

Lorrie, The Token Fat Girl, answers some really tough questions about her weight loss journey.

The DailySpark shells out 8 totally delicious sounding stew recipes!

I found an article that will help me with my Pull Up goal!

Progress!

I lost 2.4lbs this week!

I'm excited, enthused, ecstatic and ready to hit the gym.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Teenagers.

Something struck me on Monday when I was returning home from my workout. I pulled up at the same time my ridiculously kind but somewhat downtrodden neighbor, Frank, was warming up his truck and scraping the thin layer of ice from the windshield. He saw my car coming and started waving excitedly and as soon as I got out of the car we had a very nice conversation about the week ahead, the weather, isn't it crazy, etc. A few minutes in to it, his kids came out of the house. They're probably 13 and 16 respectively. Sourest faces you've ever seen.

The kids looked at their father in disgust, for seemingly no reason, yelling demands at him to "Get going." I've seen them treat Frank this way a billion times. I often want to grab them and shake them and tell them that their parents give them everything they have! How can you treat them that way?

..and then I had a really tiny but pretty massive revelation.

My mind is a teenager and my body is the parent.

In the same way it "wouldn't be fair" for me to not go to that party on Friday just because no parents will be there, it "isn't fair" that I can't eat cake all day and not lose weight. I can lay on the couch all day instead of exercise, much like a teenager might lay on the couch and not take out the damn trash. It doesn't take that long, just do it.

My body provides everything for me. A house for my bones and guts and heart. It allows me to move from place to place, like work, or play. It literally keeps me alive. That's its job.

Just like a parent.

I've always envied that parent/child relationship where it's all hugs and smiles and deep conversations. Best friends with a parental twist. I want that for my body.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Lifestyle.

After my last blog post on goal setting, I wanted to let Ann's comments really sink in. They're totally reasonable and valid, especially if you really want to be dedicated to weight loss, but sometimes life gets in the way, and that is just [my] reality.

I tried to picture my ideal lifestyle, or the kind of person I want to be, and settled in quite comfortably on the fact that the reason I have gained back some of this weight is because I absolutely am, and want to be, a social creature. The odd thing is, as we get old(er), social outings turn more and more into calorie consumption. Coffee, happy hour, dinner, etc. In the dead of winter it's hard to convince a girlfriend to join you for a -20 degree walk with the dog. It's even harder yet to convince the jet-setters to come play a game of broomball.

My professional life requires me to attend a lot of networking events. I can certainly choose not to indulge at these events, but that's genuinely not what I want to do. I know I can strike a balance, and it's a learning game. I'm going to fail. A lot. And I will learn from it.

I'll learn that I think miniature desserts are adorable and I want to put them in my mouth. A bunch of times. 10 times. And then I'll learn that 10 mini cupcakes amount to a gain on the scale when coupled with a few glasses of wine and some cheese and crackers. And then I'll learn that next time I can still have a mini cupcake, but we'll leave the "s" off the end, and I can still have a glass of wine, but I'll take a few sips and set it down and have a conversation because really, I'm there to further my career, not drink free wine and stuff cupcakes down my throat.

The compromise I have dedicated myself to so far on this new leg of the journey is cooking at home more. I have eaten at home every night this year, which is pretty good considering we're nearly 2 weeks in. I've enjoyed getting back into cooking and learning how to cook for one. Well, technically just still cooking for 4 but learning the proper techniques to freezing the leftovers and remembering that I have a freezer full of brightly colored and labeled leftovers at my disposal when the fridge is starting to look bare.

Not only is this helping me with my weight loss goals, but it's also saving me SO much money. When I start to run out of food, it doesn't mean an emergency trip to the grocery store, because I have about 25 meals in my freezer at any given time. All I need to do is pop them in the fridge to thaw and by dinner time, a quick heat up and I'm set. The only thing I need to purchase regularly is a ton of fruit, mixed greens and my favorite yogurts and cottage cheese!

My ideal lifestyle mixes being a homebody with being a social creature in moderation. Learning the techniques to let indulgences feel like indulgences and not the every day routine. Burgers are not for Monday through Friday, they are for Friday, and Friday only, and maybe only every 3rd Friday if at all.

I definitely think eating out is important. I get all sorts of ideas for my cooking through eating at different restaurants. I truly enjoy and savor food when I am out, versus my tendency to scarf it down in front of the Housewives when I'm at home. I also love eating out for the opportunities it provides Date Night with my manpanion, whom I don't live with. We do all sorts of active things, but the 2 of us LOVE to eat, and there's no sense denying that.

How do you balance life and weight loss? Where are your areas that you simply won't compromise because you know it's important to learn this as a long-term lifestyle over a quick fix? Do you still eat dessert every night, enjoy a soda a few times a week or grant yourself permission to drink a glass of wine in the bath?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Goal Setting

I have been working on updating my blog to fill it with more current information.

I want to do something with my recipes page, but I'm stalling because it feels like a big project and I have plenty of other things to focus on right now.

...like goal setting!


I need to finish setting my weight loss and fitness goals for the year!

So far I have a few that you can find here. You'll notice there are a few slots for "TBD" (To Be Determined) because I haven't figured them out yet.

Can you help?