Saturday, September 26, 2009
You'll notice my little ticker is steadily ticking in the wrong direction. I'm blaming it on PMS. Or PMDD. Or the two weeks a month when aliens take over my body, mind, and spirit.
Seriously, it's nothing for me to gain and lose 5 lbs. over the course of a month, and for that reason, I really get a more accurate view of my progress by weighing in at the same time montly. However, for purposes of this project, I felt I would be more motivated to stay on track by weighing in weekly.
So, I'm doing it weekly, and seeing what happens. Well, what happens is this. I started this project a month ago at 162.2. After recording losses for a couple weeks, I started creeping back up, and I'm now at 161.4. So, I feel like that 0.8 lbs. is a legitimate loss. While the scale may creep back down over the next couple weeks, I know it will creep up again a week or two later. But, I figure that if my weight at the same time each month is going down (however slowly) then that's progress.
I mean, I put this weight on at a rate of about 5 lbs. a year. If I can take it off at a rate of about 10 lbs. a year, that's okay. Yeah, I'd prefer 10 lbs. a month. But, with the tiny changes I'm making, changes I can live with for the rest of my life, I'm good with slow and steady.
Anyway, on with the next baby step. Actually, I've made a couple since I last discussed my steps, so I'm just gonna share the rest to catch you up to where I am in my plan.
I know I need more fiber in my diet. And, of course, the best way to get this fiber is through whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, I'm just not getting enough that way. Very few of us are. So, I bought a fiber supplement in the form of capsules, and I'm taking them each evening before supper with a glass of water. My thinking is, I need fiber, I need water, so that's good regardless. By taking them both right before supper, I'm hoping it will fill me up somewhat, and I'll eat less supper. I can't tell you if it's working or not, but that's what I'm telling myself. (I also had a theory once that I could eat all the chocolate I wanted as long as I drank enough water afterward, because it would wash all the chocolate out. That didn't prove to be the truth.)
The next thing is, I've decided that I don't like the way that body fat percentage is not going down. At all. In fact, it's going up, which is so not cool. So, it's time to add in some sort of muscle building activity. Now, you know I'm not going to go overboard on this. Plus, I read a great article a while back, one of the many things that helped inspire my baby steps theory, about a woman who made the one tiny change in her life of doing 2 minutes of push ups every morning. That's all she did. Literally changed nothing else about her lifestyle or her diet.
Over the year, she of course improved a lot in how many push ups she could do, how fast, etc... She saw a lot of muscle definition in her upper body. This is to be expected. What she didn't expect is that she lost 5 pounds. From doing nothing else but 2 minutes of push ups.
So, I'm going to one up her by doing push ups and crunches. I know, Janet's gone and lost her damn mind. I'm not doing them every day. I'm shooting for more like every other day, or even every three. And sadly, I cannot do 2 solid minutes of push ups or crunches at this point. So, my plan is to do as many as I can.
Regina and I have been discussing the merits of sticker charts for motivating children (and husbands). This reminded me that a few years ago I had a system where I bought a calendar and hung it where I worked out, then each day that I exercized, I put a sticker on the calendar. (Can you tell I am a teacher?) I found this surprisingly motivating for a full grown adult. Plus, it gave me a concrete record of what I'd been doing. I could look back and see, "Wow, I worked out 22 days this month!" Or, "Hmmm...I only worked out 7 days this month. Maybe that's why my tummy looks like it does?"
I'm not formally counting this as a step, more a way of keeping track of my current steps, but I've created myself a chart. On the chart I listed the date and check boxes for my water, fiber, vitamin, fruit, walking, push ups, and crunches. I need to buy some cute little stickers. I'll let you know how it works out for me.
For the record, today I did 17 push ups (on my knees) and 45 crunches (not full sit ups). I was actually pleasantly surprised at those numbers. I may not be able to move tomorrow.
Most Awesome Song I Heard While Working Out: "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross. I realize this is a gay anthem. And I'm not gay (not that there's anything wrong with that). I think it's just so positive and upbeat, and I love it.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I decided I need to put some vitamins in my purse so I have them to take when I eat out. That's what has happened every time I didn't take my vitamin. I wasn't home all day. And if I take my vitamin without food, it upsets my tummy. So, that small step will keep me in line there.
I went to yoga this evening, and it was fabulous. I swear, I've just felt wrong for about two weeks, and I can't put my finger on what's been wrong exactly. I just feel all out of sorts. Tired, out of it, no energy, no enthusiasm for anything. Like I just need to snap out of it, and I couldn't make it happen.
I got to the community center early again today, and I walked about 25 minutes before yoga. I'm getting more energy bit by bit, but I'm still walking fairly slow. However, today a few songs came on the iPod that got me moving faster. It was hard, but it felt good.
I even had a hard time choosing my Most Awesome Song I Heard While Working Out, because there were so many good ones. I settled on this one. Again, it doesn't illustrate discriminating taste in music, but I don't care. I love working out to "Don't Cha" by the Pussycat Dolls. It has the perfect beat for walking, and I just can't help but strut a little while it plays.
Anyway, that's not the best thing that happened. About 10 minutes into yoga it hit me that for the first time in weeks, I felt right. I don't think I can remember feeling so right in a long time.
So, whether the scale shows a loss or not this weekend, I know I'm on the right track.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Getting rid of these clothes would be nice in the fact that everything in my house would fit me - today, as is. Also, it would not be a cluttered reminder of failure. However, wouldn't it also be giving up a bit? I mean, if I'm discarding size 8 or 10 - am I not kind of saying "this is not for me anymore"? It feels a little like settling in where I am today- which I am NOT. And has anyone else had that moment where you wake up and suddenly NOTHING fits properly? Well, I'd like to be prepared to break out the skinny jeans.
Yes, in all likelihood - I know that I would want to celebrate my new body size with a new shopping spree. But even this has it's challenges - last time I was serious about weight loss I went through 5 sizes. That's a lot of retail therapy for my wallet to endure. And that was the "fun" stuff - don't get me started on the boob fluctuation - it's a sore subject. I could open a small Victoria Secret should the ladies ever decide to commit to a number / much less a letter.
So, readers - do you hold onto the skinny reminders? Do you let them go? And in case you are wondering - yes, I know the rule about "if you haven't worn it in a year - ditch it". Tread lightly. You are putting an expiration date on my hopes and dreams. And if this were the reverse problem- I'd have no issue at all dumping the fat clothes! (though it would hurt a little - it is most of my wardrobe)
Opinions welcome...garage sale pending.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I have had some successes (meager as they seem when I'm looking at the scale). I did make my trip to the bread store to stock up and did not buy even one snack cake (single or box variety)! I have discovered an easy way to enable my love for eating kiwi (cut in half and scoop out with a spoon- no more peeling! pure joy!). I have been fairly active at home - no "pure exercise" but running around cleaning is burning more calories than sitting so in my book it counts! And I do believe that I have avoided visiting any fast food chain for several weeks (though I think of you fondly and often). And now - for the failures, er, I mean challenges...
First, I discovered cookies and cream candy bars. Yum (though I soon discovered that they had trans fats in them- so I have since broken up with them). Reese's added a dark chocolate variety to their menu - yum. My son and my husband have birthdays this month - which involves food. Work has been in overdrive, and I've got so many personal projects waiting in line that I've just been spinning my wheels and getting no where. It's like there is not enough of me to go around - if I choose to appease my creative side, I fall behind on my life responsibilities. If I choose to work on un-cluttering, I'm soon drowning in day to day chores (like laundry - is there a support group for that?).
I thought all the stressful wear and tear was doing me good - you may recall the sudden plunge in pounds a while back. But no, all those pounds returned. Clearly, moderation is a concept that I have not mastered - in life or on my plate. So - what to do? I'm going to have to practice "realistic expectation" - which I (for the record) HATE! I'm going to make reasonable to-do lists (or at least MORE reasonable) and I'm going to try to recruit family members in some projects. (Mental note - I will have to then actually let them DO those projects without me micro-managing, criticizing, or re-doing them.) In short, I need to not only let go of the pounds and the stuff, but also the idea of perfection, control and quick fixes.
Which leads me to my "deer in the headlights" moment. Each year, we have a health assessment at work- they track BMI, weight, cholesterol, etc. Last year - I set the very reasonable goal of trimming down some weight. Well - they will be here again in a month and I will be hanging my head in shame that not only did I NOT trim any of that weight - but I took that number and GREW that much more. Yeah me! I am completely aware - that I feel overwhelmed and when I feel that way, the LAST thing I want to do is take "me time". So I'd be lying if I didn't admit that part of me wants to go on some insane crash diet - just to save face at this upcoming deadline. But I really don't have that kind of will power and I'd really like to not do something unhealthy just to have it undone a few weeks after I return to normal behavior.
So I'm really considering taking Janet's approach- taking baby steps (which is all I've been doing all along). This week - I'll focus on my to do list, doing one set of push ups at the desk and either committing to taking a 15 min walk during my break (which I will have to force myself to take) or with the pudgy poochies / son during the evening. That's not a lot - but at least it's a conscious decision to take steps in the right direction...surely the scale will reward me? So - I'm officially climbing back on the wagon and holding on tight! Wish me luck!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I'm a little bit concerned today with the way my entire day (or weekend) can be thrown off by a tiny little thing going wrong. I mean, I've had a rough week personally, a rough couple weeks actually. But I was okay, until waking up yesterday, I just felt wrong. I never really got myself out of the funk, and then I woke up today in another one (or still in the same one?).
Anyhow, I didn't walk Friday or Saturday, but I made myself do it today. And that's truly what it was, making myself. I wanted to just lie on the couch and watch a week's worth of Oprah and Ellen on my DVR. And I ate way too many honey roasted peanuts this afternoon. I bought a huge jar of them because they were on an end cap at Wal-mart, which is always a poor reason to buy anything.
I didn't eat any fruit yet today, and I forgot my vitamin yesterday. Oh, and I think I drank maybe half a glass of water yesterday, and way too many Diet Cokes.
So, I'm planning to start all over tomorrow and do better this week. Hopefully work won't be crazy, and the personal life will be peaceful and calming, and I'll soon be feeling like my
Saturday, September 19, 2009
You'd think I'd be all happy on this beautiful Saturday morning, but I think I got up on the wrong side of the bed (which was ANY side today, I swear). Rudy woke me up with his incessant barking, and that did not start me off with warm fuzzies.
But I got up and prepared to weigh-in anyway. My new scale persisted in displaying "E" no matter what I did. So, I tried pushing all the many buttons in a variety of combinations, to no avail. I took the batteries out and put them back in. Same thing. "E" over and over.
I dug out my instruction book. Yes, I kept it. I keep all instruction books. I have instruction books for my telephone, the stereo I bought 16 years ago, my appliances, televisions I no longer own, my lava lamp. If it came with an instruction book or booklet as it may be, I have it on file. This amuses X.
Anyway, no help there. I got on the website for the company. No help. I called the 800 number. No help. Well, unless you consider being placed inside an eternal loop of useless recorded messages to be helpful. In that case, it was quite helpful indeed.
Now, to get the full effect, you must know that I only weigh-in first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and empty bladder. So, while I'm doing all this troubleshooting on my fancy scale, I'm getting hungrier and hungrier and thus, getting pissier and pissier. Oh, and Rudy was still barking. And Beavis thought he was "being helpful" by purring loudly and rubbing himself all over my infuriating scale and myself. And I hadn't taken my allergy medicine yet, because that would have entailed drinking water, which would skew my weigh-in.
So, that's my morning, and my excuse for not updating my ticker. I ended up taking the (damn) scale back to Wal-mart this afternoon and getting a new one. So, I'll plan to weigh-in tomorrow. Hopefully it will be more productive than this morning proved to be.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Well, surprise, we got out of our meeting over an hour early! Then on the way home, X called me and invited me to go shopping (I know!). But I was strong and told him no, I'm actually getting home early, and I'm going to yoga.
Then, after I got home, of course, it's so tempting to just not leave the house again. And I actually had not quite an hour before yoga, which makes it even more tempting to just chill a bit and then end up never leaving. So, I decided I needed to just get my clothes changed and GO before I talked myself out of it.
Sometimes if I leave work a little early, I'll go on to the Community Center early and walk around their track. On days when it's really nice outside, sometimes I'll walk around outside before yoga. Today it was nice out, but somehow, I just felt the need to be in that environment with a bunch of other people who are health conscious and making positive steps toward fitness. There's a lot to be said for that.
So, I went on inside and walked inside. Well, here's the thing. The track goes all around the perimeter of the Community Center. Inside there's a basketball court and a weight area. So, basically there's a lot of men. A lot of muscly men. A lot of sweaty muscly men. Who are mostly about 19.
I'm schlepping my exhausted self around the track and just looking around, and everywhere I look is some guy lifting some enormous weight. Most of them were just sort of goofy looking, but a couple were really hot. Oh my. I realized this is one of the unsung benefits of working out at the Community Center.
I mean, I'm not hooking up with some 19-year-old (no matter how much he begs), but I can look, right? And honestly, I work with a bunch of women. There is just way too much estrogen in my life. I was really enjoying walking around in circles and basking in all the testosterone. It kind of made me feel alive.
Anyway, I walked about 20 minutes and then went on in to yoga, and it was awesome, as always. I went one week, then missed a week, then went today, and I could still tell that today was easier than last time. I was more flexible, and I felt a lot better about myself.
I asked the teacher if she's planning to add any more classes, instead of only doing Thursday nights. She said that unfortunately there are no spots available right now. Oh, well. I'll just look forward to next Thursday and
Monday, September 14, 2009
Anyway, one of my messages last week was this, "You don't take "baby steps" for the distance they cover, Janet, but to put yourself within reach of life's magic."
So see, The Universe is down with the "Baby Steps" plan! And I do really think it's true that the littlest steps in the right direction set bigger things in motion. It's not that walking 20 minutes today is going to make me lose 50 pounds. But taking that little step makes me think twice about how many cookies I eat later.
X told me this weekend that he can tell I'm getting smaller. I'm not sure how much to believe him. I've barely lost 4 pounds. But, I'm going to take it as a good sign.
Most Awesome Song I Heard While Working Out Today: "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins. This is in honor of Kathy meeting Kevin Bacon last week. Also, have you heard they are re-making this movie? I'm not sure how that's gonna be. It seems like such an iconic 80's thing.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I started out the week recovering from a bad cold, so I didn't have much energy for exercise, didn't eat properly, etc... Then, I actually had to get a colonoscopy Thursday, so I had to do this whole liquid diet "prep" thing the day before (and out of curiosity, I weighed that morning and the following morning, and I'd lost three pounds in 24 hours, but I felt horrible, plus it was completely temporary, so I do not recommend this program for weight loss!) and then couldn't eat much the next day because I just felt so awful.
Turns out, I'm fine, but I still don't feel right from the whole weird diet for two days thing. I didn't work out for those two days, and I've missed my fruit, haven't had enough water, couldn't even take my vitamin, totally off the wagon. Whatever tiny wagon I was on.
But hey, I figure I'm still about four pounds down from when I started, so I'll pick up where I'm at and move forward from this point. I did my water, vitamin, fruit, and my 20 minute walk today. I was kind of thinking about my next "baby step," but I really feel like I'm out of synch with where I'd been before, and I need to get back on that track before adding to it.
Hope everyone else had a great week, and I promise to do better this coming week. For sure, I've got to go back to yoga this week. I feel so much better (in many ways) when I do yoga regularly.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I'm still fighting a cold (and I'm determined not to let it win!). I think I got it from a co-worker (who insists she just has allergies. Yeah, contagious allergies, that she's given to me, and I've now given to X). I spent most of Labor Day weekend lying on my sofa like a lump. I did go to work today, but I was just going through the motions.
I managed to walk my 20+ minutes the last three days (didn't manage Friday or Saturday). And I've eaten my fruit and taken my vitamin. Oh, and I drank my water. I've had a lot of water. So, theoretically, I'm following "my diet." I can't taste much, so I'm not too tempted to overeat. Well, except ice cream. Because my throat hurts. It's medicinal, so the calories don't count.
I'll spare you the gory details, but I'm having a minor medical procedure this week which requires me to follow a clear liquids diet for two days. I'm not looking forward to it, but I can't taste anything anyway, so whatever. My next weigh-in might be a little skewed because of that, but we'll see.
Anyhow, I certainly hope that the next time I post, I'm feeling more like the 29-year-old I am at heart!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Anyway, I did weigh-in, and I'm down one more pound, so that's happy news. I wasn't sure how I'd do this week, because I ate a bit more junk than I had been. But I did walk every day (until I got sick), and I went to yoga once.
I'm really rather annoyed to be spending my Labor Day weekend laying around with a cold. I'm supposed to be out having fun in the sun and enjoying the last weekend of summer. Oh, well. At least I don't have much appetite. Maybe I'll go back to work Tuesday with another pound lost.
Friday, September 4, 2009
"The light within me honors the light within you."
Well, dear readers, I did in fact make it to yoga class last night. Yay me for even going! I must say, I could tell it had been a while, too long, since I'd done yoga.
I was thrilled to see my teacher, whom I adore. I'm not "friends" with her, I only know her through class, but she's just one of those people who has something special. I love to bask in her energy. She truly has a gift for teaching yoga, and I'm so blessed that she's decided to share it in my little podunk town. She teaches in a way that makes you aware of your own body, your muscles, your breath, your thoughts, and makes you completely oblivious to what anybody else in the room is or is not doing better or worse than you are. It's incredible, and something I've never before experienced in an exercise class.
We started in, and my poor body said, "Oh dear! What is Janet doing to me?! We don't usually do this." Even just breathing deeply at the start, my lungs protested, "Deeper? You want me to breathe deeper? Are you sure?"
But I'll tell you, about halfway through class, my body sighed, "Oh, yes, this is why we do this."
My muscles whispered, "Thank you. I needed that."
My spirit patted me on the back, "There you go. Feel better now."
I found myself even tearing up a little bit with gratitude for my teacher, my body and what it was capable of, my own determination in going back to class after all this time.
I wish she was teaching more often, and that it was on different days. She's only doing Thursday evenings right now, and I have to work a lot of Thursday evenings. I can't go next Thursday because of a doctor thing (more to come in another post), so it will be two weeks before I can go again. I need you all to remind me how good I felt last time, and make me go Thursday after next.
Tomorrow morning will be my next weigh in. I'm a little unsure what that will bring. I did manage to walk every single day this week, but I also ate a lot. I was pretty stressed out from various things, and it showed in my eating. Tune in tomorrow and find out.
Oh, and congrats to Regina who has already updated her ticker. What are you doing girlfriend?! We want details!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I bought a lava lamp last night. It was on sale. It's pink and purple. I don't care if I'm a 37-year-old woman. I needed a lava lamp. I'm sitting here watching the blobs slowly float up then slowly drop back down into a misshapen puddle. That's what I feel like most of the time. Not the going up part, the coming down part.
I don't sleep at night, then I don't want to wake up in the mornings. My feet hurt all the time, I think because of all the extra weight on them. My neck and shoulders hurt all the time, despite massages, stretching, vibrating and heating gizmos, creams designed to bring circulation, blah blah blah. My chest is too heavy, and it pulls on my neck. That's just all there is to it. I have freakin' dents in my shoulders from my bra straps.
My stomach hurts a lot, and I don't know what that's all about. My skin is breaking out like I was 15 again (If only I had the figure to match!). It is nearly impossible for me to lug the boxes of books and supplies that I have to for my work, because I'm just not strong enough. God forbid stairs become involved.
I used to walk about 3 miles a day easily. I even ran a 5K once. ONCE. When I started my walking up again a few weeks ago, I got winded doing 20 minutes at a slow pace.
ENOUGH! Enough of this nonsense! I'm not 80. I don't have an incurable disease. I just eat too much and don't move enough. This is ridiculous.
I'm going to yoga class tomorrow. I haven't done yoga in months. It's not entirely my fault. My instructor (who is AWESOME) had a baby and took some time off. Now, I know, I have six yoga DVDs at home, and I'm perfectly capable of doing yoga without her. But the truth is, I didn't want to. I hadn't been going regularly for months before she had her baby. It was almost a relief when she stopped teaching, because I didn't feel so guilty for missing class.
But she's back tomorrow. And I'm going. And I know I'll feel a lot better afterward. Here's to feeling like the bubbles going UP!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
For example, have you read a bread label lately? According to what I understand – foods that include enriched flour – of any color or high fructose corn syrup are to be considered “junk”. I challenge you to go to your local bread aisle and look at the labels and count how many – by this definition – are worthy to go into your body. Want to know how many there are at my usual stomping ground? Like 3! And they frequently change labels and products – so it's a HUGE ordeal to find an acceptable bread on EVERY trip.
Almost as irritating – is shopping for yogurt. It should not be this hard to shop. It should not be this hard to find a quality product – want to know how many brands offer yogurt without high fructose corn syrup (I don't care what the commercials say – Dr. Oz said Don't Do It!)? 3 brands. But on one of the brands – you can only buy certain flavors – so it's not like you can just give any yogurt label blanket approval, which makes it an even more taxing chore to choose your options.
And here is something that makes me stone-crazy mad. Half of your “trans-fat free” foods, likely have trans-fats in them. It's just an amount that the FDA considers “insignificant”. Which I think is a load of crap! I mean, if you have to list that a STICK OF GUM has 3 CALORIES!!!!!!! (And that won't KILL ME) How can you possibly accept that there are trace amounts of Trans Fats in my food? How can you think it is OK for me to perhaps eat items all day that are labeled as Trans Fat Free – and that a person could reasonably be consuming more than the “recommended” amount of Trans Fats – without realizing they were ingesting ANY? Mr. FDA, I am here to tell you – it is NOT acceptable. To demonstrate this fact I hope that someone, someday puts “insignificant amounts of poison ivy in your underwear” and let's see if it makes an impact in YOUR health and well-being, maybe then you can understand how passionately I believe you are currently supporting a lie. Shame on You, Mr. FDA!
But let us re-focus on the truth-teller, Dr. Oz.
Dr. Oz, if you are listening – thank you for sharing your knowledge. Thank you for letting me know of the many poisons that I am feeding my family and myself. Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. I'll be sending you my bill for Tylenol – my use has increased tenfold since I learned how “fun” shopping can be with you! It's a gift and a curse – all at the same time.
So for those who care to learn from my lessons learned – I now make a special trip to go to the Bread Store. They carry Pumpernickel bread at ½ the price of the regular store – it has NOTHING evil in it and is more pleasing to my entire family than any “wheat” variety that I have located. They also carry several of the “Natural” labels- but still read the labels. It is a pain to shop a specialty store (and a huge temptation to stock up on Zingers and Ho-Ho's) but when I go – I go BIG and I find it freezes quite well. For some reason, we are happier with the defrosting if you turn the loaf upside down on the counter – superstition? I don't know; it works for us. And when it comes to yogurt, I stick with the large container organic varieties in plain or vanilla, low fat. You can add fresh fruit and a granola bar for a kick-butt breakfast. Or you can eat it plain and add some dry cereal for a little variety (I'm fond of regular Cheerios or Rice Krispies). If you are desperate for a chocolate variety – you can also add a little sugar free chocolate milk powder.
Enjoy the tips and if you hear someone screaming in the bread aisle – it could be me, or someone else that is plagued with the knowledge! Anyone else trying to follow the Dr.Oz suggestions and finding it hard?