Friday, December 30, 2011

Two Great Workout Apps

R got me an iPhone for Christmas.  He has this knack for buying me electronic gizmos I see no need for, but soon realize are absolute necessities.  It started with my pink RAZR years ago.  *Sigh*  I loved my pink RAZR, and held onto it for years after it became obsolete.

Then it progressed to XM satellite radio.  Could not live without this now. I got the home kit the next year, and it made my work life infinitely more bearable.

So, now I have an iPhone, and I love it.  R keeps telling me I'm going to run out of my data plan before the month ends.  Anyway, I've found two apps that I just love, and I'm really enjoying playing with them utilizing them in my workouts.

The first is Moodagent.  This one is free.  Yay!  It allows you to choose from a range of moods, and then it customizes a play list from your iTunes to fit that mood.  You enter whether you're feeling sensual, tender, happy, or angry (or a range of those) and then you select the tempo you want.  You can also select one song from your list and then have it create a playlist of songs similar to that one.  It's fabulous!

In general, I tend to prefer more mellow, soft rock type stuff.  However, when I'm walking, this doesn't work.  So, I've found myself in the past skipping 15 songs in a row before I get to one that's appropriate for my workout.  This handy tool eliminates all that.

I'll give you one little hint though.  If you're like me, the songs that are perfect for working out to, Moodagent considers "angry."  I was having a hard time getting just the right mix, until I jacked the "angry" all the way to the top.  Then it was pouring out Lady Gaga, Madonna, Bon Jovi, and P!nk.

The second app I'm loving is called Quick Sleep, and it was 99 cents.  It's designed for ummm...sleep...Hence the name.  But I'm loving using it for yoga.  It has a selection of sounds, everything from thunderstorms to wind chimes, to New York at night from a rooftop.  And what's neat is, you can mix them!  So I can put in say a cat purring, a flute song, and waves crashing, and have a nice relaxing yoga soundtrack.  Fun!

So there you go.  If your New Year's Resolution involves getting more exercise, and having fun while you do it, I highly recommend both of these toys!

Monday, December 19, 2011

And Then Panic Set In...

I'm doing really well with my exercise lately.  I've been walking probably five days a week, and I'm really enjoying it actually.  I'm adding a little bit more distance every couple of weeks, and I'm probably doing about 2 1/2 miles now.  I walk around my neighborhood, so I don't know the exact distance.

I'm also going to yoga regularly, the easy class once per week and the harder class once per week.  I feel so much better when I go, and I'm getting to where I look forward to it, instead of having to force myself to go.

Anyway, I'm finally getting into this good routine, and I'm looking forward to some time off work over the holidays.  I've been thinking about how this break will be really good for me, a time to re-focus on myself and my health, etc...

Then, at class last week, my yoga instructor (whom I adore.  Have I told you that?) informed us that she's taking a family trip and will be gone a whole week and a half!  As in, three whole classes will not be in session.  And she's entitled to have a life.  But seriously, I felt this sense of panic rise up in my chest when she made this announcement!

I've been doing soooooo well!  And her class is like nothing else.  I mean, I have yoga DVDs and stuff, but they are not the same.  Not even close.   I have one I've always really enjoyed, and the other day there was no class on Tuesday, so I made myself do the video.  (Yay for me!) It was okay.  Just okay.  I used to love this video, and now, compared to my class?  Eh.

So I guess this is my latest hurdle toward wellness, maintaining my calm serenity (stop laughing) while my yoga teacher is out of town.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Showing Up

I was talking with my mom the other day about our yoga teachers.  It's no secret that I adore mine and think she's fabulous.  And I've been making an effort to go at least once per week, even if that means going to the harder class.

I've been successful for a month straight now.  Yay!  But some days it's sooooo hard to drag myself out of the house.  Somehow when I was leaving work (maybe even leaving work a little early!) to go, it was easier.  Now that I'm working at home a lot, and now that class is later in the evening, it seems like a huge effort just to make myself GO.

Mom said her yoga teacher has something she says at the start of every single class.  "Congratulate yourself for showing up on the mat today."

I think that's fabulous!  Some days I really feel that way.  Like making myself SHOW UP is such a huge accomplishment.  Whatever I do beyond that point is just gravy.  And it applies to more than just yoga class.  Sometimes just showing up for work is the best I can do.  Some days showing up the kitchen to fix dinner is huge.

So whatever your day entails, congratulate yourself for showing up!

Most awesome song I heard while working out:  Glee cast version of Defying Gravity.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Beautiful Lines

I just got the nicest compliment after yoga class tonight.  I have been diligently going to the gentle yoga class on Thursday nights for several weeks, but my teacher has another commitment for this week, and next week is Thanksgiving of course.  So, I decided to go to the intermediate class on Tuesday nights for these two weeks, just to stay in the habit of going.

I knew it would be hard.  And what's sad is, I used to go to the intermediate class all the time.  Twice a week if I didn't have to work those nights.  And I got pretty good at it.  Then I slacked off.

Now the gentle class is more my speed.  But I was determined to make it through tonight.  My teacher told me to go as easy as I needed to, modify poses, etc...  I think I kept up pretty well though.  It was certainly more strenuous than the class I'm used to.

So, after class she asked me how it was.  I was telling her how hard it was, and this woman came up to us and told me, "You have really beautiful lines in some of your poses."  I was dumbfounded.  She said, "Especially in your triangle.  I was just looking at you and thinking you look just like the pictures you see of people demonstrating the pose."  And then my teacher said, "You know, I noticed the same thing tonight!"

I was in shock.  Here I was saying how hard the class was for me, and this woman I don't even know comes up out of nowhere and compliments how well I was doing!  Yay me!

I'm definitely going next Tuesday.  And who knows, I may keep going to both classes once my gentle class starts up again!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Whole Truth

So, I wasn't entirely honest with you all when I wrote that post about giving up caffeine and trying to get off my sleeping pills.  I didn't lie.  I just didn't tell the whole truth.

You see, there was a bigger reason I gave up all that stuff.  I was pregnant.  I'm not anymore.  If you want all the details on that, you can read about it here.  The point of this particular post is reflecting on all the healthy changes I made during those few weeks and what I plan to do going forward.

There's nothing like finding out you're pregnant to make you re-evaluate every single aspect of your life.  Where you live.  Who you interact with.  Your job, your car, your beauty products, your medications, and of course, your diet.  I've heard other people say this, but honestly, I don't think I ever lived as healthy a lifestyle as I did for those few weeks when I was pregnant.

Sure, it was hard.  Mostly the quitting sleeping pills thing.  The food thing wasn't too hard for me, because I really started craving healthier stuff.  I wanted water, I wanted fruit, I wanted nuts.  I didn't want candy or cookies or chips.

My prenatal vitamins didn't make me nauseous, as I've heard so many women say.  And I easily started walking 30 minutes almost every morning, not for me, but for my baby.  I knew that moderate exercise reduced the risk of many complications, and it results in a healthier baby.

So, all these things I should be doing for myself?  I didn't.  But when somebody else came along (however briefly), it was super easy to do all the right stuff.

And now that I've had a miscarriage, I really couldn't wait to have a big cup of coffee and an Ambien.  Okay, not like one after the other.  You know what I meant.  But I didn't do that.

I've decided that whether for me, or for some future baby I might have, I need to be as healthy as I can from this point forward.  I gave up all the medication.  I gave up caffeine.  I got into a walking and yoga routine.  I got into the habit of eating healthier foods.  I took my vitamin every single day.  And I can keep doing all those things now.

It's a little harder, because my cravings have turned back to their more "normal" state.  Like we have only two pieces of Halloween candy left.  And we only had one trick or treater.  One.

Still, I'm doing my best to keep up with my pregnant habits, even though I'm not pregnant.  I planned to live that way for 9 months anyway (more if I was successful at breast feeding).  So why stop now?  Don't I deserve it as much as the baby?  Yes, I do.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'm Alive!

I had an insane week.  Monday wasn't too bad, but then Tuesday I ended up working 13 hours, because I started early to make it to an out of town meeting by 9:00 a.m. and then I had to teach a class that night that lasted until 8:30 (and was out of town).  Then Wednesday I left bright and early to drive over two hours for work, then did my thing and spent the night and drove another 30 minutes for another work, before finally driving 2 1/2 hours home Thursday evening.

I was exhausted.  And I really just wanted to go home, change into my sweats, and crash.  But, yoga is Thursday nights.  And I'm trying to go every week, if I can.

I drove and drove, looking at the clock, and trying to decide whether I'd even make it in time.  Then I tried to decide whether I'd actually leave the house again if I went home to change first.  And I realized I had sweats in my suitcase that I could probably just change into at the community center.

Yet...soooooo tired.

Anyway, ultimately I decided to suck it up and go, without going home first.  I changed clothes, paid my fee, walked 4 laps around the indoor track, then headed into the yoga room.

And about five minutes in, suddenly I felt better than I'd felt all week.  I kept thinking, wow, this is amazing.  I felt like hell for three days, and then five minutes in this class, and suddenly I feel like I'm alive again!  I felt great by the end of class, and I felt pretty good the rest of the evening.

Remind me of this later this week.  Because I have to do the same thing again, almost.  The two days out of town part, heading home Thursday, just in time for yoga.

Do you know how many songs there are titled, I'm Alive? Like way too many.

This, of course, is the best one:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cold Turkey

I've recently made some pretty drastic changes in my life involving making healthier choices.  I've had terrible insomnia for about five years now, maybe six, and I've resorted to taking a variety of sleeping pills.  Sometimes prescription, sometimes not.  Sometimes just a melatonin supplement.  But on a typical night here lately, I was taking an Ambien, and Ativan, and a melatonin every night just to get some sleep.

I know this isn't good for me.  And I know I was addicted to them.  Not like physically addicted so much as psychologically addicted.  I was terrified I couldn't sleep without them.  And being terrified is not conducive to a good night's sleep.

So, I spoke with my doctor, and she recommended that I cut out, or at least strictly limit, my caffeine intake.  I don't think I drink a ton of caffeine compared to the average person.  Most mornings I'd have either one cup of coffee or one diet soda.  Maybe a cup of hot tea on the weekends.  And then most afternoons I'd have a diet soda.  So, two drinks per day.  If I was at some crazy boring work thing and just dying to make it through, I might have an extra soda or two.

The doctor also recommended that I take a walk outside right after getting up each morning.  Not so much for weight loss or health as for helping my internal clock re-set itself and know that, "Hey!  The sun is shining!  It's time to be awake now!"

Oh, and she told me the whole spiel about waking up at the same time every morning and going to bed at the same time every night, even on weekends, blah blah blah.  We've all heard it before.

So, I don't recommend that you do this, but what I did was rip the band aid off all at once.  I quit the caffeine and all the sleeping pills cold turkey.  And I spent about 48 hours not sleeping AT ALL and suffering from terrible headaches, nausea, etc...  This probably would have been much more bearable had I weaned myself off everything more slowly.  But hey, it's done now, and I survived.

I'm also walking 30 minutes most mornings.  Probably five per week.  If I have to be somewhere early for work, it just doesn't happen.  But if I'm home, or if my appointments aren't until later in the day, I get up, eat something, check e-mail and phone messages, and then take my walk.

Now the same time every day thing?  Well, sleeping in is one of my greatest pleasures in life.  So, I'm not adhering to that too strictly.  Some mornings I have to be up at 6:00 for work, and others I can sleep until 8:00.  And on the weekends, I seriously look forward to not having an alarm.  But, for the most part, I'm making 8:00 my "regular" wake up time, and I can deal with that.  I know that's not reasonable for a lot of people, but when I work from home and don't have be "at work" until 9:00, it's doable for me.  And now that I'm off all this stuff, I've been waking up on my own about 9:00 on weekends anyway.  So, I'm not straying too far.

I have to say, I do feel better.  I still have a terrible time falling asleep.  Like some nights it takes me 3 hours.  But I do sleep some.  And I've gone through this thing of having crazy nightmares every time I do sleep.  (Which, again, doesn't really make one motivated to fall asleep!)  I think because Ambien tends to prevent one from dreaming.  So, I've got it all backed up or something.

But I'm proud of myself for sticking with it, and for the progress I'm making.  I haven't slept without something, even  if just a melatonin or 1/2 a Unisom, for years.  And now I'm taking nothing. Yay me!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Toficken, or Seiticken, or ummm...Well, it's just NOT chicken.

I tried another vegan meat substitute the other day, and I wanted to share the results.  What I used was West Soy Chicken Style Seitan.  I'm providing a link, just so you can see what it looks like in the package, but this is not where I got mine.  I got it at Whole Foods, and I didn't pay that much for it.

Anyway, we like a lot of stir-fry type dishes, and R's favorite is Pad Thai, which he actually makes more often than I do, and he does an awesome job.  We usually use chicken, but sometimes use cubed firm tofu.  We decided to try the chicken substitute this time.

The verdict?  Well, it looks like chicken.  It comes out of the package in pieces that look just like shredded white meat chicken.  And it tasted okay.  Not exactly like chicken.  I think what bothered me was that the texture was a little rubbery.  Not bad, but definitely not chicken.

I asked R, if he had not known it wasn't chicken, would he be able to tell?  And he said no, probably not.  But I think I would have known.

My opinion is, I still prefer to just not eat meat at all, than to eat fake meat.  I'd rather have the cubed tofu, or even just have the rice or noodles with veggies, and not try to pretend I'm eating chicken if I'm not.

Also, I'd like to share that I was driving to the store this week and seriously craving meat.  I was thinking of all the types of meat I might like to buy, hamburger, chicken, a nice beef roast...When I drove right up on a chicken truck.  And I was stuck behind it, following all those pathetic looking chickens.  Dirty, crammed in their cages, staring at me with their beady eyes.  And I just thought, ugh, I cannot eat one now.  EG doesn't eat poultry for this very reason.  She just thinks it's gross.

Then I passed the truck, and I swear, came upon a pick up with the back full of goats, and a TURKEY.  It was a conspiracy, I tell ya.  I got to the store and bought some tofu.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It Sneaks Up On You

Maybe I'm talking about the days - and how the weeks fly by and if you aren't paying attention - and before you know you've lost track of an entire month.

Or maybe I'm talking about the meals - and how summer turns into Ice Cream Fest '11! Or how bad habits pile on top of each other. And how one bad food choice can lead to another one - and soon you are having daily "treats" or "cheats".

But really - it's all of these and more. We used to have a yearly wellness exam that would occur at our workplace - it included all the blood numbers and helped you to reflect on your daily choices and how they add up to changes that you can't see. And then our insurance changed - like 2 years ago. So for 2 years I have lacked this formal self-reflection.

So I finally broke down and went to see my primary doc. Who greeted me with these words...

Dr: So, Regina I have not seen you in almost 2 years. I see you've gained 20+ (I blacked out the real number) pounds since I last saw you.

R: Ouch.

I'm awaiting the results from the blood work - but with cold hard facts like 20+ pounds...I'd be a fool to think they will be good. But this is kind of how it happens - the weight (the budget, the days) just sneak up on you and then you are kind of floored about how you got so far off track.

And I want to believe that it doesn't require a boot camp to get back on track - but regular doses of intentional choices - which sounds about as exhausting as boot camp - only it never ends. So while I await the dreaded numbers - I'll see if I can't start to get back on track with some good choices. I'm not sure that a yearly look at the numbers will be enough to keep me on track - it would seem that quarterly check-ins would be more regular to maintain the focus. How do you keep your focus? What keeps you going?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tempeh and Gardein and Daikon! Oh My!

I usually post my Project 52 updates on my other blog.  (Well, honestly, I usually don't post my project 52 updates, but whatevs.)  However, I met a goal from my list that seemed more suited to this blog, so I'm sharing about it here.

22.  Visit Whole Foods and buy some vegan meat alternatives.

My mom visited recently, and she is exploring a mostly vegan, mostly organic, mostly raw food diet.  (I know, right?)  She asked me if my local Wal-mart Supercenter has much organic food, and (after I laughed) I told her it has some, but not a lot.

Then I remembered that I'd put this goal on my list, and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to make the trip.  I knew she would enjoy this outing much more than R would, and it would allow us to get more things that would fit into her diet.

And Whole Foods is awesome you guys.  It's expensive.  But they give out a lot of free samples, so maybe it evens out.  It just made me happy to be in there.  Whole different sort of people than my local Supercenter I'm planning to go more often, whenever I'm in that area.

So, one of my main objectives on this trip was to purchase a variety of Gardein products, because I've heard Ellen DeGeneres talk so much about them, and they are not available within a 60 mile radius of my home.  I had more trouble finding them than I thought.  So, just FYI, if you're looking, there are a lot in the frozen section, but there were some items in other sections too.  I sort of thought there would be like a "Gardein Area" but there was not.

Anyway, the only item I/we have tried so far from that lot is the Boneless Buffalo Wingish Thingies (not the official name).  And honestly, I wasn't much impressed.  They looked like chicken.  I'll give them that.  But taste like chicken?  Not so much.  They didn't taste bad.  Just not like chicken.

R did eat them though.  But there isn't much he won't eat.  Brussels sprouts.  He won't eat them.

So, anyway, we have a couple more products to try, including some tempeh that is supposed to mimic ground beef and some chickenish kind.  But so far, I'm more leaning into the vegan diet by eating actual real non-meat foods.  Like beans, nuts, grains, veggies, etc...  I'd rather eat a real bean than a fake wing.

That said, we did try one of the recipes from The Kind Diet while Mom was here.  Mostly.  It was for a vegan stir-fry, so it was sort of a "make it up as we go" thing more so than strict recipe following.  But, at Ms. Silverstone's suggestion, we used organic brown rice and some organic daikon and leeks we had picked up at Whole Foods.  And it was good!

Leeks aren't that exotic, but I'd never cooked with them.  They are a lot like giant green onions I think.  The daikon I'd never heard of before reading the book.  It's a white root, and it tastes kind of like a mild radish.  Only bigger.  And apparently you are too cook them, rather than eat them in your salad.

So there ya go.  My trip to Whole Foods, and my first adventures in vegan cooking.  Daikon and leeks are a go.  Fake meat substitutes, so far, not getting my vote.

(Oh, and you might notice my ticker has gone down a couple more pounds!  I don't honestly know what to attribute this to exactly.  Swimming a lot?  Eating less meat?  Either way, I'll take it!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Diets Can Make You CRAZY!

Of course, I am not speaking from experience - as you can see from my ticker (which is moving in the WRONG direction) - I am CLEARLY NOT on a "diet".

However, recently, I have decided to torture my dog - oh, I mean - improve the health of my dogs by adjusting their food servings based on the weight they SHOULD be. It's not shocking that we quickly found we were overfeeding. Isn't this a big part of many of our weight problems? It's not WHAT we eat - but that we've been eating 2.5 servings per meal.

So, we began adjusting their food. For one of our poochies - this meant only getting 1/2 CUP of food for the whole day. I swore they were going to starve. And they agreed. They would quickly devour their food and then look at you like you were insane - they even developed some mind games to try to trick different family members to believe that they had not yet been fed.

The good news? No one starved to death. Their energy increased. Our oldest dog even has the energy to toss her food around and pretend like it is alive. They've played more and they've actually lost weight. Well, ONE of them lost weight.

I discovered just the other day - that the OTHER dog - who shall remain unnamed - may have been caught sneaking food out of the dog container. I couldn't figure out why she looked heavier, but clearly - she's been snacking! (let this be a reminder that good meal servings can be sabotaged by snacking)

So while most of the results were good - I did notice that the dogs were flirting with insanity. When it is food time - it is FOOD TIME! There is no joking around. There is no distraction that can take their mind off of it....they will rip your hand off if you offer them a grape, a shred of lettuce, or heaven forbid - a dog treat! Food is very serious business to a dieting dog and they may paw your leg until you bleed if you don't take the hint.

Still hoping to find the "diet" that doesn't inspire insanity....(for me and the dogs).

(Dogs pictured are not mine - when mine are crazy there is no time to grab a camera!)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

You may or may not know that Clueless is one of my all time favorite movies.  You also may or may not know that my mom shares this love.  And that we both admire Alicia Silverstone.

I knew that Mom was going to a book signing to hear Alicia speak, but I had no idea this was coming to me in the mail:
"As if!"

I teared up a little when I opened it.

Anyway, I haven't finished the book yet, but I did finish the "meat" of it (ha ha!  That was a little vegan humor).  So I feel like I have enough information to share my review of the book.  I haven't started reading (let alone cooking) any of the recipes yet.  That will be a post for a future week.

Let me start by saying I am not vegan.  I'm not even vegetarian exactly.  I've said for years that I could pretty easily give up meat though.  I just don't eat much of it when left to my own devices.  But I do love cheese.  Mmmmm....cheeeeeessseee...

And I do love animals.  So, the meat-eating thing is something that bothers me if I think too much about it.  I generally prefer my meat to be as far from looking like actual meat as possible.  I'd much rather have pepperoni say, than a pork chop.  I'd eat a hot dog over a steak any day.  I don't like cooking meat, and when I do eat meat I'm really particular about picking out any "weird things" that might be in it.  Like say gristle and fat and stuff.  Anything that would remind me that this thing I'm eating was alive once.

So, I went into reading this book with already having the attitude that meat eating is something I'm not terribly keen on.  Though I was clinging to my cheese for dear life.

I do share Alicia's views on kindness to animals, saving the planet, being green, and so on also.  I have heard that giving up meat is one of the best things we can do for the planet, because of the energy and resources used in meat production, and because of the waste it produces.  But I didn't know the full details before reading this book.

She also has some thought provoking things to say about dairy.  I guess my theory has always been, no animal had to die for me to eat this cheese.  Cheese is okay.

She says it's not.  In fact, she says the dairy and egg industries are more cruel to animals than the meat industry.  I'll spare you the details.  Mostly because I'm not quite ready to fully face it myself.

She also says that there is a reason many people say, "I could give up meat easily, but I can't give up cheese."  (How did she know?)  There is a chemical is cheese, and all dairy products, called casein.  Casein breaks down in our bodies into a morphine like substance.  So it makes us feel really good.  Like a drug.  Cheese is addictive basically.

Who knew?

I'm still not quite ready to give it up.  But I'm leaning toward eating less for now.

While I embrace most of the concepts discussed in the book, it left me with this feeling like I really don't know what I should eat now.  Kind of like the movie Food Inc.  Did you guys see that movie?  It started out talking about how bad the meat and dairy industries are.  Then it goes on to explain about genetically modified corn and soybeans.  And it left me thinking, "What on earth CAN I eat?!"

This book lists these "top five vegetables"
kabocha squash
leafy greens

Okay, at least I know what a leek IS.  Though I am not sure I've ever eaten one.  I know for darn sure I've never purchased and cooked one.  I have no clue what kabocha squash, daikon, and burdock are.  (Neither does spell check.)  Let alone where to purchase them in my rural Midwestern town.

And I thought I was cool with the "leafy greens."  Until I realized she doesn't mean lettuce.  She even specifically says spinach isn't great for us.  I mean, if spinach isn't healthy, what else is there?!  (FYI, it's because it contains oxalic acid, which interferes with calcium absorption.)

She goes on later to say potatoes aren't great either.  Which isn't as big a shock to me.  But seriously, if I'm giving up meat and cheese, can I at least still eat potatoes?  Apparently I'm supposed to be eating a lot of "sea vegetables" instead.  Which, again, aren't abundant in Missouri.

In Ms. Silverstone's defense, she does spell out three levels of embracing The Kind Diet:  flirting, going vegan, and becoming a super hero.  So I guess I'm deep in the flirting stage.

I'll keep you all posted on any recipes I try from the book, and my continued thoughts on being "kind."  Because I do believe that "anything you can do to draw attention to your mouth is good."
The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alert the Media

I may have figured out the only good thing about this heat.

My interest in food is pretty much extinct.

I'm finding the idea of most food pretty repulsive. Cereal for supper sounds reasonable. I am thinking of starting a smoothie diet. (with yogurt not ice cream-for the record)
In my new job, in our new building - with no central A/C - I am showering in the morning (as is my normal routine) and then 10 minutes into my day - I'm wondering why I even bothered with make-up, hygiene or hair styling.

I'm trying to make the most of this momentary "break-up" with food. I figure that even if I am eating odd foods - if I focus on limiting sugar, boosting fiber and focusing on calorie free drinks - then I hope to make some progress with the scale. Sadly, I can not bring myself to embrace salads. I'm kind of gagging just thinking about the idea of eating one. Yuck.

Do you find your diet changing with the heat?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Too Damn Hot

Hot enough for ya!? Have we not heard that enough lately? Really it's at the point for me where it's almost too hot to even move. So this makes exercise a more than usual difficult thing. The air conditioner in our house has been on the fritz. The air conditioning guy told us last week that our central air is on it's last legs, so we have to make the major investment of buying a new one. The prices range from anywhere from $5,000 on the low end to $10,000 on the high end. I think we will settle for something in the middle. However, not having an extra $10,000 in my back pocket means a home improvment loan. This is not necessarily a bad thing. With the improvement of the new system we should see a good return in cost AND the home loan will enable us to get our screened in deck finished and the trees trimmed. So I guess I'm kinda down with this senerio and the air conditioning guy said he would keep our system running until the new one is in.

However, in my world there is no relief. The powers that be, here at work, seem to think it's a good idea to turn the air off over the weekends. Never mind that we have people here who work on the weekend and millions of dollars of equipment that need to be cooled. Anyway, when I come to the office on Monday it's almost unbareable to be at work and usually by Friday it's a normal temp. Except for this week. It's been pretty aweful all week and I have my fan on in my office pointing toward me. I know it could be worse, I could be in Iraq but you get used to what you get used to.

AND.. have you noticed that people are much more cranky because of the heat? I think I've had little arguements with at least 2-3 different people at work.

So to get back to my original thought. It's too damn hot to exercise. I'm doing yoga once a week and I have been outside playing with my son either early in the morning or in the evening. Isn't that enough for now? Somehow I still feel guilty that I'm not doing more but... IT'S TOO DAMN HOT!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Do You Know What Makes You Feel Good?

I read an interesting quote in Yoga Journal the other day.  I don't subscribe to this magazine, but it was in the quarter pile at the library, and I picked up an old issue.  It was a bit too intensely yogish for me, but it was interesting to read for a change of pace.

Anyway, the quote was, "Researchers have found that humans are generally pretty bad at predicting what will make them feel good over time."  The article was about how we always want more than we have, and we think having this one thing, or one life circumstance, or one person, will make us happy.  Then once we achieve a goal, it doesn't take long before we're wanting the next thing.

But I thought a lot about it in terms of our physical well being.  At any given moment, I probably would predict that sitting a little longer, sleeping a little later, eating another piece of chocolate, or having another Diet Coke would make me feel better.  And in the short term, those things do make me feel better.  But in the long term, taking a walk, going to a yoga class, eating some fresh fruit, and getting out of bed on time make me a happier person.

Why is it so hard to make those positive choices that will make us feel good in the long run? Why are our bodies and minds created so that the easy choice, the choice we instinctively want to make, is the one that's ultimately bad for us?  I'm sure it has something to do with prehistoric man needing to roam the earth fighting mastodons.  But I don't run across many mastodons in my day to day life.  Do you?

Come on human body, evolve already!

Anyway, it's been something to ponder.  Whether a choice will make me feel good in the moment, or in the long run.  What things always make you feel good in the long run?

(Lest you think I'm being too hard on Yoga Journal, take a look at this pose.  An entire eight page article in this issue is devoted to how to properly do this pose.  It's called Parivrttaikapada Sirsasana, or "revolved split-legged headstand."  No thank you.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Have You Met Me?

I've been lying to myself - and to you too. I keep coming up with "action plans" that are not true to myself. I'm not feeling the focus on weight loss. Don't get me wrong - I still want the number to shrink, I'm just lacking action. You could describe my current plan as "let's try to be healthy-ish and not get any worse". How many times have I told you I was going to keep a food journal? Total lie. Okay, so maybe I MEANT it every time I said it. But I clearly am not following through.

I have tried Sparks. I have tried paper. I have tried some cool app on my phone where you take a picture of the bar code and it automatically knows all the nutrition info about that food (great app if you eat food with bar codes - I usually don't) - all of these for one reason or another do not work for me.

I also keep saying that I will take my break in the fitness center. LIE. I paid my membership a year ago and I've not been there since. I don't take my break at work - so you can see the problem here. I have "Mom Guilt" at the end of my workday and don't want to spend an additional amount of time away from the kiddo. (I know, take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Blah. Blah.)

So, I'm going to stop acting like I haven't met myself - and I'm going to stop making the plan that I THINK I should be following. And I'm going to just start doing it my own way, k?

I will write nothing down. Let's face it - with a new job, job stress, and crazy life - I'm doing good to remember to EAT at work. Much less write it down. I'm going to CONTINUE to pack good food to eat at my desk. I will be BETTER at remembering to eat it. I do pledge to be MINDFUL when I am eating so that I don't accidentally devour a small village without noticing. (This will be more challenging at home than at work.) I will also limit the number of tempting foods that come INTO my house. I'm setting myself up for failure if I have ice cream, baked lays, and bagels all at my finger tips....see the calories adding up?

I will build exercise into something that I will actually DO. Right now, this means gardening (irregular as it is), swimming, occasional walks, and when desperation strikes - I will start what I shall coin the "TV Exercise Plan". I'll get up and move (in some random kind of way) during one commercial break per show. Small stuff adds up right?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Excuses, Excuses...

Well here I am back with my second blog post in a row. I think I deserve a big ‘ol pat on the back for that! My diet is doing pretty good. I’ve lost about 5 pounds (in three weeks) and I feel healthier. I don’t have that bloated feeling like I used to have after eating. I try to stop eating once I feel full and take my time to eat. (example: we ordered pizza for dinner one night, instead of my usual 3-4 slices, I had 2 because I felt full after 2) I will say I’ve slipped now and then and had bread or bread product for lunch but nothing nearly as I have had before. I tried doing the salad thing but… here’s a TMI moment… it made me very gassy. I think I can do salad but just not every day and with a variety of dressings. I’ve really got to figure out a more diverse diet if I’m going to keep this up.

Here is my big problem with weight loss; I have no desire to exercise. In the past I really got into exercise and even enjoyed it a great deal. But I just don’t have a desire for working out right now. How does one get that desire or make themselves do the work? I think the diet part of things is going well because I’ve always been good at denying myself things. I was vegetarian for 8 years and had no problem doing it. I know it’s completely psychological and maybe I need to approach it from a different angle. I can be very self deprecating and unfortunately I see that trait forming in my son. So, I REALLY need to change my attitude before he gets as bad as me. On the exercise front I’ve been busy the last month with redecorating my bathroom and landscaping my backyard so that is a convenient excuse for not exercising as well.

July is a new month and really the start of my son’s summer vacation since he was in summer school all of June. So, the challenge of finding time to work out will be even greater now. I will also have to feed him lunch instead of doing my own thing on those weekdays we are at home together. So, I hope I don’t backslide on the diet either.

Anyway, any encouraging words or suggestions on how to get my butt motivated would be greatly appreciated. (Btw, I haven’t changed my weight loss ticker because I can’t remember my stupid password.)

Have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Is This News to Anyone?

I recently read an article in Good Housekeeping that says all that advice about getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends, is a bunch of hooey.  They used to say you can't "catch up" on lost sleep by sleeping in on weekends.  This new study has found that's not true.

Seems they allowed a group of people to sleep only four hours a night for five nights, and the participants were found to be less alert.  (You don't say?)  Then they allowed them to sleep up to 10 hours the sixth night.  After a good night's sleep, the participants had large gains in alertness and reaction times.  (Shocking!)

Is this news to anyone?  Because I could have told them that I'm a completely different person when I'm allowed to sleep in.  And we hear stuff all the time about not getting enough sleep being one cause of weight gain.  I firmly believe that if I could just fall asleep and wake up according to my own bodily clock (which would mean going to bed about 1:00 a.m. or so and getting up around 11:00 the next morning), the world would be a happier place.  Well, at least my world would be.

Alas, most of the world doesn't share my night owlish ways.  And I find myself struggling to get enough sleep while getting up in time to make a living five days a week.  So, my doctor has prescribed me various forms of sleeping pills.  I'm telling you, I've tried them all.  The only thing that's worked for me is Ambien.  And it has some undesirable side effects (such as amnesia, but whatever...  Who are you again?).

On my most recent visit, the doctor prescribed me something else.  Something he said I hadn't actually tried yet.  He warned me that it might make it difficult for me to get up in the morning.  (Like I need anything making it harder for me to get up in the morning?)  But he assured me I'd sleep through the night, which is something I swear I haven't done like since I was a child.

It was Trazodone.  100-200 mg.  And I'm here to tell you, my advice for you is, do not take this.  EVER.

He told me to take one to two pills at bedtime.  So I started with one the first night.  And I laid awake for hours.  Then I finally did fall asleep, and slept like a log until 11:30 the next morning.  At which point I got out of bed, made my way to the couch, and there I stayed the rest of the day.  (This was a Saturday, thankfully.)

Since I didn't have so much luck with the falling asleep on one pill, I took two the following night.  And I still laid awake for hours.  I was making R as miserable as I was, and I finally broke down and took an Ambien on top of what I'd already taken.  (Which I am by no means endorsing.  As you will soon read.)

I slept.  I slept until after 1:00 Sunday afternoon.  When I woke up and spent the next hour sicker than I've ever been in my life.  R wanted to take me to the doctor.  I refused to leave the bathroom floor.

When I finally could stand of my own accord, I made my way to the couch, and that's where I spent the remainder of Sunday.  I didn't feel sick anymore.  I just didn't feel much like moving either.

So, I shoved those pills in the back of the medicine cabinet, and I'm back to Ambien.  Some nights I only take a 1/2 pill.  And if I have more than two days off work in a row, I can get by without any, assuming I'm free to stay up as late as I wish, then sleep as late as I wish.

Anyway, I'm telling you, if you have the same issues I have, don't take Trazodone.  Run far away.  While you can still run.

Friday, June 17, 2011

PEZ is NOT a Food Group

When it comes to food - I have a one track mind.

Which CAN be good...... you know, if I'm stuck on something like my favorite baked oatmeal, or if I happen to be on a kick where I can't get enough salad.

But if something happens and my taste buds are yelling out for something like pizza, or ice cream, or bagels, or something equally as evil - that's a recipe for disaster. See the thing is that when I HAVE these things that I crave it's not enough to have them ONCE. I like to have them again and again.

So it was dangerous times when I found PEZ as I was checking out at my favorite local store. I LOVE PEZ. I remember getting it as a child - always with one of those silly character tubes. My brother and I would keep a watchful eye on each others inventory - we didn't want to finish too soon (and have the other still enjoying their treat). But you also did not want to let it linger around too long - or it might be hijacked by some nearby family member (or dog) when you got distracted. Heaven forbid you EVER lose the PEZ dispenser in a coat pocket or purse or under the seat in the car - you would want to KNOW that at least there was no precious PEZ left in it.

So there is a stack of PEZ. Not the crappy packages that have 3 Lemon packs and Orange packs. NOPE. We are talking prime 100% quality flavor PEZ packs - strawberry, raspberry, grape, oh my!

I'm an adult. I can buy candy. I can control myself. Right?

Well, here is a clue. IF after buying large quantities of PEZ candies - you instantly begin thinking of where you can stash them (glove compartment, work bag, in my desk - never ON the desk, but hidden in the lower drawers, the top shelf of the spice cabinet) - well then, you MAY have a problem.

I would like to say that this is the end of my sugar addiction story- but it is not. Shortly after that there were holidays - the kind that involve candy sales and more importantly - AFTER holiday candy sales. Where one could pick up a whole box of Fun Dip for like $.75. So I bought them all.

I consumed them in record (crazy-obsessed) time. The logic (or lack of) still is hard to comprehend. I seldom drink a soda - a single serving soda - because of the huge amount of sugar involved. But here I was eating 3-4 Fun Dip packages in one sitting.

Clearly, I can not be trusted. Also, I may or may not be the basis for Dr. Oz's recent topics of sugar as a highly addictive drug.

I'm happy to say that I've been Fun Dip free for a few months now. I did however, just find my secret stash of PEZ in the glove box last week. I haven't opened the package. I can savor it as long as the seal isn't broken - but I'm sure that once I take it from it's safe container - their outlook will not be good. I'd give them 48 hours.

Do you have a sugar addiction? Is it one food group? Do you find that indulging once leads to a stronger craving? And have you found a way to enjoy your favorite foods without needing a rehab vacation to recover?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Elizabeth's Back!

My Turn! Well many of you... well, some of you... well, maybe one or two of you, may be wondering why I haven’t posted since January of 2010. Yeah, I know unbelievable and inexcusable. To put it in summer concert terms, life in 2010 was pretty much a Crap Fest. Yes, I said Crap Fest 2010, with a capitol C and a big ‘ol fest! This has a great deal to do with why I didn’t post or have anything weight wise to post about. My exercise and eating habits went completely out the door. I can proudly announce that I didn’t gain any weight but I certainly didn’t lose any either. I pretty much stayed where I was. (Considering the 5 deaths of friends and family, my dog getting brain cancer and dying on Christmas Eve, my job being cut and several friends losing their jobs as well.) I think no change in weight was a great accomplishment. Although when I look in the mirror I can see the stress and strain of the past year, which is why I’ve rededicated myself to a new regime of eating healthier and exercise.

One of my big food loves is bread or really any starchy food. For the past week I’ve cut out eating any starchy foods during the day (Breakfast and lunch) eating mostly veggies and fruit. For dinner I eat a normal meal with my beloved starchy foods on the menu. As far as my exercise routine… well my intentions were good but my body did not comply. I fell last Thursday and fractured my pinky and scraped up my knee really bad. So riding my bike, which is my favorite form of exercise, has been left in the garage. I know I could probably walk but motivation has left the building without me.

I’m really hoping that getting back into blogging again (with two fingers and a thumb on my left hand) will keep me honest with myself and do the things I’ve been neglecting to do for the past year and a half. My God! It’s really been a year and a half! Kick me in the ass if I haven’t blogged again in 3 weeks. Seriously!

Monday, May 30, 2011

How Can I Keep My Job from Making Me Fat?

I've been pondering today why healthy living is so much easier for me on weekends/vacations.  Seriously, I've been off work for three glorious days, and I've happily eaten normal portions of healthy foods (okay, a small amount of cake, but I swear, normal portions of cake, and only once per day).  I've also managed to do some form of exercise each day.  Maybe not a full on workout, but I push mowed the yard, went for a long walk, and did some yoga.

Do you think I'll be able to keep it up once tomorrow comes around?  I hope so, but I'm not holding my breath.

And this is my list of excuses reasons:
1.  Lack of sleep makes people fat.  It's been proven.  And I'm so not a morning person.  Work day means alarm clock day, and that means I didn't get enough sleep.
2.  Stress.  Work is stressful.  I eat more, and make less healthy food choices, when stressed.
3.  I travel a lot for work.  And I realized today, not only does this mean that I end up grabbing something at the quick store or a fast food option, but it also means I eat more in the morning, because I'm trying to keep myself from being hungry later.
4.  Working all day means I usually don't have time or energy for exercise.
5.  Stress.  I know I said that already, but I think it bears repeating.

So, what am I going to do about it?

1.  I don't know about the sleep thing.  I just don't do well when I have to get up early.  Left completely on my own, I'd go to bed about 1:00 a.m. and sleep until about 10:00 every morning.  My work schedule can be somewhat flexible sometimes, but I don't think an 11:00 to 7:00 schedule all the time would make my boss or my boyfriend very happy with me.  But maybe I could get away with it sometimes?

2.  I'm still pondering whether the amount of stress my job causes me means I need a new job.  Or whether I just don't do well working.  Or whether everyone's job is stressful, and that's just life?  But I suppose I can take some steps to lessen my stress.  Stop and take deep breaths more often.  Get up from the computer for a few minutes every hour.  Try not to expect people to be sane?

3.  On the eating on the road thing...I guess I should probably stop eating more in anticipation of maybe being hungry later.  That's kind of silly.  Plus, I could pack a little cooler with healthier snack and meal alternatives.

4.  Once upon a time I had a plan of doing little five minute bursts of exercise during my work day.  A few push ups here, dancing wildly to the radio there.  In my defense, my work duties changed so that I'm very rarely actually in my home office anymore.  But I'm hopeful that things will calm down soon, and then I can start this up again.  And I do get a 30 minute lunch break.  Now that the weather is nice, I could take a short walk during that time and still eat a sandwich.

5.  It just all comes back to the stress for me.  And I'm not doing so well handling it.  But hopefully it will get better.

What do you do to minimize the stress in your job?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's On My List

Dear Readers,

I have been away for a long time. You were on my mind more than I can begin to express. You should know that the guilt of my silence has weighed heavy on my scale- and my mind.

I wish I could tell you that I was off solving the worlds problems. Or was so busy shedding pounds that I couldn't sit long enough to type. Or that I found a way to sleep the pounds away. Or that I discovered a way to make TV viewing a cardio event..... Alas, I did not. I was not.

I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time in a long time. And I quickly remembered why I have a love / hate relationship with the scale. He says ugly things...and that is no way to start the day.

But if you are still out there. And you are still on this journey, I wanted you to know that I am too. So with this message - I can cross this (Must Let Bloggers Know I Have Not Yet Become A Super Model Skinny Bitch) off my list. Let's get back to business, mmm'k?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Like Stuffing Ice Cream in a Baby

The other day I witnessed something pretty disturbing.  I was in the presence of a fussy toddler, and her mother kept shoving food at her every time she'd cry.  And junk food at that, ice cream, cookies, chips.

Now, I know it's frustrating when babies won't stop crying.  And I know it's hard to be a mother.  But I also know that our relationships with food are formed very early in life.  And what this child was learning was, "When I'm upset, I'm supposed to eat junk food."

And it wasn't even really working.  She'd eat the food, then she'd scream more.  And then it got to where she would turn away from the food.  But her mother kept trying to give it to her.


Eat junk food.


Feel bad anyway.

Get fat.

Feel worse.

It's interesting to me that when R and I are responsible for feeding his daughter, I make an effort to feed her healthy foods.  I make sure she has a vegetable.  We eat at the dining table like human beings.  Yet I'm responsible for feeding myself all the time, and I don't always make good choices.  And I eat dinner in front of the television every night.

It's easy to see patterns when it involves someone else.  And it's easy to know what to do to fix it.  But when it's yourself, somehow it's much harder.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Reason to Take Baby Steps

(I forgot to include my little daisy icon last time I posted.  Sorry!)  Several times in my long and illustrious weight loss career (stop laughing) I've had an experience where I got all gung ho and jumped in full force with a big exercise regimen.  And then I got sick and stopped.

While I know for sure that this is a real phenomena in my own body, I'd never realized there is an actual scientific reason for it.  I didn't even realize it happens to other people.  I thought it was just me and my out of shape self.

Then I read an article the other day about how doing extreme amounts of exercise does, in fact, suppress the immune system.  Thus, making one more likely to suddenly get sick.  (And in my case, give up the exercise.)

Here's an article about it.

Turns out that even athletes, who are used to vigorous exercise, often experience this immune system suppression when they drastically increase the level of intensity of their work outs.  So, I'm just saying, for lil' ol' me, who's used to sitting 16 hours a day, suddenly walking three miles five days a week is a major increase.

So, I'm taking it as another argument for making changes to one's health habits a little at a time.  And this is why I started walking again a few weeks ago, and just did a couple blocks for a few days.  Then I added another block or two every week or so.  (No, it's not because I'm lazy.  Or because I'm just that out of shape.  Well, maybe that's part of it.)

Today I did about 20 minutes all together.  Yes, that seems small, but it's a start.  And I don't want to get sick!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Dog Who Shares My Walks

No, it's not one of my own dogs.  Usually.

See, Daisy is a puller.  And Daisy is freakishly strong.

Rudy doesn't pull much.  And if he did pull, he's pretty little, so it's not like it's a big deal to keep him under control.  He used to flop around at the end of his leash like a fish, but he got over that.

Anyway, I feel bad that I don't take them when I walk.  And I know there are things you can do to teach dogs how to walk properly.  (EG just had a puppy graduate at the top of her obedience school class, so she assures me, it can be done.)  But when I just want a nice walk, it's too stressful to take a dog who's likely to drag me through a neighbor's yard against my will.

So, I go it alone a lot of times.  And when I do that, there is a neighbor dog who often joins me.  He's a very sweet yellow lab, and when he sees me nearing his house, he runs out to greet me.  We have some petting and ear scratching time, and when he's done with that, he takes off walking, looking behind to make sure I'm following.

We'll walk on that way, and every once in a while he'll stop and ask for more ear scratches, and I'm happy to oblige.  When I turn back towards home, and we get close to his house, he'll trot off back from whence he came.  It's very neighborly.

I hadn't been walking much lately, so I hadn't seen him for a while.  But today when I went out for a stroll, there he came, running out to greet me, tail wagging.  We did our thing for a few steps, but then something happened.

Someone started yelling for him.  I didn't understand the name that was being called, but clearly, he did.  He immediately took off running for home, without so much as a wave of his paw.

I watched him racing toward the chain-link fence surrounding his back yard, and I had a moment of thinking, "Oh, dear.  He's trying so hard to be good and go home, but he's confused as to how to get inside the fence."


I watched this big yellow lab climb a chain link fence.  Just moseyed up to it, and paw over paw, climbed it as easily as you or I would climb a ladder.  Probably more easily.

I'm so glad my dogs don't know how to do that!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Why Did Everything Get so Hard?

I don't know what happened to me, but my whole plan of just relaxing and letting the pounds fall off isn't going great.  Somehow the relaxed philosophy that was working so well for me has turned into stress the F*&# out and watch the pounds pour back on.

Work got a little crazy.  I spent more days on the road than I'd like, and that led to being tired and pissy and eating to make myself feel better.

I did go to yoga this week, but I hadn't been in three weeks.  And it was hard.  Really hard.  And this was the "gentle yoga" class.  Ugh.

The weather is warming up though, so I'm trying to get back into walking to the end of the road and back during the day.  Maybe that will help.

I actually like cold weather and winter, but even I was getting tired of the snow and the freezing temperatures and no sunshine.  I'm hoping that spring arriving will put a "spring" back in my step.

How have you been doing?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snowing and Sniffling My Way to Fitness

I'm still here.  Me, Janet, of the pink daisy icon.  My fitness efforts have been somewhat sidelined by massive snow storms (yes, stormS, plural) and a nasty sinus infection.  So, when I've felt like making it to yoga or going for a walk, the weather hasn't necessarily been cooperating.

I finally went to the doctor, after my "cold" had been hanging around (unwelcomely) for 2 1/2 weeks, and I found out it was a sinus infection.  I've been on antibiotics for just two days now, and I'm feeling much better already.  It's easy to forget what "well" feels like when one is sick for so long.  Breathing is awesome.

I have gone to yoga twice since I posted last.  I didn't feel great, and it was a struggle, but I went.  I have to constantly remind myself that I never regret going to yoga.  No matter how awful I feel or how badly I want to stay home, I always feel better after yoga.  Usually I feel better during yoga.

I have been sticking diligently to staying OFF a diet and following my new mantra, "Eat what you want when you're hungry.  Feel what you feel when you're not."  I'm mostly doing pretty well.  I've had a couple instances of eating more than I knew I physically needed, then feeling bad (physically) afterward.  But not too many times.

Mostly I'm starting to learn when my body wants an orange and when it wants oatmeal.  Sometimes it wants Girl Scout cookies, and I've let it happen.  But when it's not a "treat" or a "punishment" I only eat one or two.  There have even been some times when I've stood in the kitchen looking here and there for what my body might want, only to ultimately decide, what it wants is water.   Go figure.

What has your body wanted to be fed lately?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Not -So Steller Start

In keeping with our system to end author confusion - the star girl will always be me, Regina.

This week I was successful 6 days in wearing my pedometer. And as I would have suspected, my steps per day are way too low.

I was completely NOT successful at dragging myself away from my desk and into the fitness center - which, to right across the hallway. Boo, hiss - bad girl. I know. There are some free Zumba classes going on this month. And as additional motivation -several of my new co-workers are involved in fitness challenges OR are looking for a buddy to attend aqua aerobics or other classes with it seems that I should have plenty of excuses to get with it.

I also did not transport my workout bag with me. Nor did I designate the play-list that will make me shake my groove thing while I am on the treadmill --or maybe that music will just help to distract me.

I've had a lingering headache with some random waves of nausea this week. Generally these feelings don't motivate me to get up and move about a bunch. But I'm sure this will pass and then I'll have to get serious.

On a good note. I had not weighed in for a long, long time. Regardless of feeling like I had overindulged during the holidays - I found that my weight was surprisingly very close to the same place I last found it--I think this is confirmation that if I continue what I am currently doing - I will not see a decrease in my weight. (duh, I know) But also that I seem to be at a natural plateau.

And while I would LOVE to see a smaller number on the scale (or on my jean size) - I am also satisfied with an absolute limit that I will not exceed.

I will enter my pedometer numbers in some kind of chart form at the end of the week so I can track that progress. Also, I was not so good at the food journal - though I find the threat of recording everything helps me to think twice before devouring a treat. For Android users - I did find FatSecret Calorie Counter - it offers a barcode program where you can use your camera to read the nutritional info on things you eat. The first disadvantaged I noticed is that it is really hard to enter homemade food - which I'd rather eat than pre-packaged food, so I'm still searching for my perfect fit. I may just be a paper girl and that's okay too.

Hope your week was much more productive than mine...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Who's Who, My Pants, and Crazy Dancing

I love that this blog is a collaboration and gives readers a look into the health and fitness journeys of more than one woman.  We each have our own lifestyles, preferences, and struggles, and I hope you can relate to one or more of us as you follow our progress (or lack thereof!).  But it has bothered me for a while that it seems to be confusing keeping straight whom is posting what.  It says at the bottom of each posting "posted by..." but you won't see that until you're done reading a post, if you even notice it at all.

So, I've created the little pink daisy icon at the left, and I'll put that at the start of any post by me, Janet.  Then you'll know who I am.  Or something.  I hope.

Anyway, I was saying the other day how I haven't updated my ticker in a while, partly because I'm refusing to step on the scale and let that number define how I feel about myself for that day.  I know I'm making positive changes, however small.  I will step on it eventually, but for now, no.

Regina suggested I create some new system of measuring progress, like how my pants feel.  Well, this morning I tried on a pair of pants that I had picked up at a garage sale right toward the end of my previous job (late spring, early summer).  They ended up being a little snug on me (you know how garage sale clothes buying goes), but I kept them, because they were cute, and I figured it was something to strive for.  This morning, the pants fit.  Just fine.  Yay!

I'm fighting a little cold, so I haven't been doing much exercise.  Plus, I've found that my new "work at home" job is awesome in a lot of ways, but not so much for squeezing in my lunchtime walks.  Theoretically, I set my own schedule and could do whatever I wanted.  But I find it works best for my life if I work 9-5.  And I'm entitled to a 1/2 hour lunch, paid, so I tend to take that time to lunch.

But, I've realized that sitting at my computer for hours on end is sucky and not good for me, mentally or physically.  And I've come upon my new workout plan.  I'm trying to get up every hour or so and do some sort of little exercise.  Today I danced wildly to one song on the radio (one perk of working alone is that no one can see me act crazy), did a set of lunges, did a few yoga stretches, and walked a short distance down the street when I went out to get the mail.

It's working for me in terms of schedule and mental focus.  I'll keep you posted on how it works in terms of actual fitness results!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Different New Year's Eve

I spent my New Year's Eve differently than I usually do this year.  Partly because I've been sick, so hanging out in public just didn't sound fun at all.  We were home, on our sofa, snuggled with pups, playing Mario Kart and watching movies on Netflix.  It was really kind of awesome.  We toasted the new year and were in bed at like 12:05.

But the biggest difference was in what I ate.  Or didn't eat.  And what I resolved, or didn't resolve.

I cannot remember a New Year's Eve when I wasn't stuffing myself with every forbidden food on the planet, because TOMORROW starts the diet!!!!  Every December 31st in memory, I've had that whole "Last Supper mentality" because I knew, after that date, I couldn't eat THAT food anymore.

I'm not thinking that way lately.  I've been reading Women, Food, and God by Geneen Roth, and I just finished reading Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi.  The messages behind both of these books have really started to sink in with me lately.  There is no food that is forbidden.  And making them forbidden is really the problem.

Geneen Roth says, "Eat what you want when you're hungry and feel what you feel when you're not."  If we're eating food when we aren't physically hungry, we're trying to satisfy some other need.  I do that a lot.  And I haven't completely stopped doing it, but I'm trying to feel my feelings and at least be aware of when I'm trying to use food to make me feel better.

Portia de Rossi started down the path toward anorexia and bulimia because of unrealistic diets forced upon her as a child model.  Once she stopped labeling foods as good or bad, and started giving her body what it really wanted at any given time, she reached a normal, healthy weight, easily.  She even stopped going to the gym and started walking her dogs and riding horses instead.  She made a comment in the book something like, "How often do you see fat people walking dogs?  And how often do you see fat people on treadmills?  Which one seems to be a healthier thing to do?"

I'm far from the end of my journey.  And I haven't updated my ticker in a while, mainly because I know I'm making healthier choices for my body, and I don't want that number on that scale to make me feel good or bad about myself.

But I know this much.  I didn't pig out last night.  And I didn't diet this morning.  And I feel really good about that.