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?