Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Enough Already

It has been a really tough summer. I am still working with my dietitian and exercising, but really we have been on hold mode with the weight. And that's the good news. With all credit to the dietitian, whenever things go off the rails, she has me analyze my week and pick out some really good things when, to me, everything looks pretty dark.

So from the last six weeks, THE GOOD:
1. I maintained my ritual of exercising in a structured way (classes) three times per week.
2. I brought my lunches most days and generally kept with my healthy eating plan.
3. I am working on increasing fluids (mostly water) and cutting out sweetened soda entirely.
4. I have managed to maintain my weight.
5. I have tried to be active most weekends and do something good for me each of those two days.

The stuff I need to improve:
1. Eat less sugar. I tend to snack, especially at night, on sugar. Ice cream is a big one. I have managed to cut it way back in the last week and I need to keep that up.
2. Blog. It really, really helps. I need to remember that I am blogging for myself. For me. As a way to get my feelings out, examine them, deal with them and then let them go. I need to treat this as a release. I can't worry about what people will think of me as I struggle. I will not lose weight each and every week. I will not be perfect (it doesn't exist). I can't expect that of myself and I can't allow myself to be discouraged by what I think others expect of me. I can't live up to that. I can try my best and learn to pick myself up when I fall and keep going.
3. I need to take better care of me. And here, I don't mean the big stuff like diet and exercise. I mean the little stuff. I mean taking the time to respect myself enough, to care about myself enough to pamper myself. And to stop thinking of the basics as pampering myself. To move that mental image from one of indulgence to taking care of basic needs. And I am talking, for the most part, about basic needs. I am talking about blow drying my hair when I shower. (It takes 20 minutes to do that). I am talking about keeping my finger nails well groomed so that I don't get hangnails which get picked at and infected. I am talking about getting pedicures on a regular basis. I am talking about getting my pants taken in and hemmed so that they don't look like they are two sizes too big. I am talking about wearing makeup (even just a little) everyday. I am talking about caring about the image I project to the world, not because I care about what the world thinks of me, but because if you project a better image, you actually feel better.
3. To not be so grumpy. And I have been grumpy.
My BIL has been really sick, and the hospital he is now in is two hours away and we have been going to visit alot and it is exhausting. I only have two days on the weekend to take care of errands and take care of me and when one ends up as a trip to the hospital, the other becomes a trip to the gym and groceries and in there, there is no time for me. To relax.
The other problem with the hospital run is it ends up meaning both lunch and dinner in restaurants, and as good choices as I try to make, it is never great.
I have been really grumpy this summer. I feel like the summer is over and I have not had a chance to enjoy it. We never went away to the country. We never even rode our bikes. We never had a picnic, we never hosted our annual summer party. We didn't get to do any of the things we love to do. I was resentful. I was angry. I am also grateful that my BIL is well on the way to recovery and is in a rehab facility to help regain his strength. He will need at least one more surgery but at least the doctors are optimistic.
I decided about a week ago that I needed to let the anger go. Be done with it. I saw a therapsit many years ago and she was a big advocate of letting things go. Deal with it, accept it, acknowledge it, but let it go. I decided to listen to her voice in my head and move on. I was only hurting myself (and my marriage by being so angry all the time) and I needed to move on. So I decided from that day, I just would. I am not perfect. I am not happy all the time. But I decided that in order to feel better, I had to start living like I felt better. And so I did, and I do. We did not go to the hospital this past weekend. We stayed home. I slept. I saw some friends. I cooked and cleaned and slept some more. I reconnected with my husband. We played alot of Bananagrams. (a great Scrabble type game if you don't know it.) I sat and watched it rain and enjoyed the peace and quiet. It felt good.
And so I am back to blogging. I am trying to turn this around and get kicking again on my weight loss.
I will do this, I will.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

On Track

I am on track and on the whole feeling pretty good.
I am doing great on the water challenge and am trying hard to get at least 60oz at work in so that whatever I have with my breakfast and dinner will be bonus and take me way over the 64oz that are part of the challenge.
I went to aqua fitness last night and the good news is the pool was really clean. The even better news is that the instructor is really good. She comes up with awesome workouts that are not repetitive, pretty challenging and makes the time go by really quickly. She also walks around the pool and corrects your form. She is standing on the edge looking in but still manages to correct form and technique. I think she is great. The ironic thing is that I have slacked the last three weeks and didn't go but found out yesterday that the last two classes had actually been cancelled so really I only missed one and can beat myself up a little less about it. I would have been mighty peeved had I rushed to get there for nothing. I felt great in the water and then couldn't believe how tired I was after. It was incredible.
Food has been okay but not great. It is my next challenge to take on. I fully intend to work on planning a weeks worth of menus on the weekend. I think it will help a lot.
I will do this, I will.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tired today

I am really, really tired today. I have low iron and have not been taking my supplements because of the stomach issues they cause and I think it has finally caught up with me. I am really tired. I will get back on those supplements and try to get some extra rest over the next few days.
I did great on the PEWC water challenge on Monday, but yesterday was a really busy day and frankly, I forgot about the challenge, so my water consumption was really low. I will get back to it today.
I brought my gear to go to aquafitness tonight. Really looking forward to it. I hope the pool is cleaner and clearer than last time. If not, I am debating calling the public health people and reporting the gym. Is that terrible of me?
Brought my lunch again today and am still taking the stairs at work. Things are just chugging along.
With hubby back at work, I need to meal plan better. We both get home around 6:30 now and if we want to fit in a workout, we need to be able to make quick dinners. I need to meal plan for that to ensure that not only I have ingredients in the house to work with but also recipes and a plan of what to make. What is your go to quick dinner? I am planning on spending some time this weekend to come up with a list of quick dinners and then shopping for the ingredients I need to be able to make them. If I have a list of 15 or so, I can work them into my routine and always be prepared. I really like to eat a hot dinner, so it becomes a challenge as many quick recipes are either salad based or pasta based, both of which I prefer not to eat.
Goals for today are to hit my water target and go to Aquafitness.
I will do this, I will.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Week, New Energy

I had a great weekend. Hubby and I went to a really nice restaurant on Saturday night for a belated birthday dinner for me. It was so nice to be out, just the two of us, in a relaxed but nice atmosphere for an experience we wouldn't otherwise do. It was a blind tasting menu and it was awesome. Had lots of new foods, lots of new combinations and really enjoyed the experience. I rocked on the diet front yesterday and worked out on Saturday, so I feel really ready to rock the week.
When I bought groceries this weekend, I really tried to plan breakfasts so that I would have high protein options for the week. I find a high protein breakfast keeps me fuller longer and sets me up for a good day. So I bought some LF Mozzarella, some smoked fishes (I grew up on them, so for me they are bfast food) and lots of eggs. This morning we had smoked fish and scrambled eggs, delish!
For lunch today I brought lots of sliced veggies and a chicken breast. Yogurt, hummus and some fruit for snacks.
I also joined the Positive Effect Water Challenge put on by bloggers Kenz and Sean. It asks you to have at least 64oz of water per day. I do hit that target on most days, but some days, especially when I am busy at work, I forget. So from today, I will track my water. I think I will also use that as the kick I need to track my eating.
Hubby hasn't been working for quite a while and while the financial hit has been hard, the fact that he has been home has taken a ton of pressure off of dinner. He has been making dinner most nights and that has freed me up to go to the gym and take better care of me. Well, we think he found work. The place has long hours and everyone works shifts so if the job works out, as a general rule, he won't be home til around 7. This will change our schedule but I am thinking it might be in a good way. Hubby is a runner and runs 7 miles on the treadmill everyday. This takes him about an hour and he is pretty good about ensuring he runs everyday.
With his new schedule he is planning on running after dinner. I plan on joining him. It is so much easier to wrokout with company. This will mean lighter dinners and then a workout. I plan to use the elliptical while he is running. I figure I will start at 25-30minutes and try to build to 45. (I started at 10). I will still go to my class at the gym on Sunday and will do my big workout on Saturday. The more I workout, the easier this weight loss will be. I hate it, but am resigned to do it. Maybe over time, I will learn to tolerate it. Eventually, maybe even like it.
I will do this, I will.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Counting Calories

Logic (and science) say that is takes 3500 calories to equal one pound. So if you consume 500 calories less than normal each day you will lose one pound per week.
I know, nothing earth shattering here.
For my height and weight the calculators for BMR (the number of calories I would burn if I stayed in bed all day) is approximately 2300. Take off the 500 from that and we are at 1800. So to burn one pound per week my maximum calories are 1800. I know that exercise and moving around burns more, but for the sake of simplicity and perhaps burning more than one pound per week, let's keep this simple.
My dietitian would like my target to be 1600 which gives me 200 calories to accommodate the occasional indulgence and hungry days.
So 1600.
Now the hard part. That means I need to track my food. Really track my food. Keep a diary and write everything down. I DON'T WANT TO!
There I said it, out loud. I don't want to! I have said that before on this blog and I am saying it again, I don't want to. Do I sound like a seven year old, annoying child yet, no? ok, I don't want to. Now? Yes, Ok, enough!
I heard a dietitian on TV say that unless you are willing to write down your food intake you are not ready to lose weight. But here's the thing. I am ready to lose weight. I am ready to do the work. I am ready to take better care of myself. BUT I can't convince myself to count calories. And, the most frustrating part, really, is I have no idea why.
I keep thinking and thinking and thinking about why and the only thing I can come up with is failure.
I am afraid that if I track and still don't succeed then I have to blame myself for failing. Up to now, I have been on a diet, exercised, read a lot of books and really, deep down not been able to say that I have given it my all. If you don't track and weigh everything and count calories and go to the gym, can you really say you are giving it everything you've got. And if you don't give it everything you've got, it's not a failure if you don't succeed, it was just a bad attempt.
So, if I track and really give it my all, what happens if I don't succeed. What happens if I fail. What happens if I want a cookie here and there. What happens if I get cravings for chocolate. How do I figure out how to add them in to the 1600 calories and not feel deprived.
But then, should I feel deprived? This is not supposed to be easy. I read Sean's blog and he is a huge advocate of eating everything you want but in moderation and counting it towards your daily total. He has lost over 250lbs. He is giving motivational speeches now.
But he is not me, and I am not him. I suffer from Migraines. Horrendous, crazy migraines and they are absolutely triggered by food. If I eat the wrong things, too little, not frequently enough, artificial things, too many nuts, too much citrus, raw onions, bananas..the list is so long it is exhausting to think about.
So what do I do, if I start to track and I just can't manage to get this right. Then where does that leave me? What do I do then. Because then, I would be out of options. And that, I can't deal with. I can't deal with the hopelessness that that triggers. I just can't.
So, I need to turn this around in my head. I need to be confident that it will work. That I can survive on 1600 calories and not get sick. That I can add exercise to that and readjust if needed. That I can have good weeks and bad weeks but all in all I can lose one pound per week in a healthy way and get to goal. It might take me longer than some others, but I can do this and I will not fail.
I will start tracking on paper and try to figure out how to use Spark and then try to track on-line. I will try to buy groceries this weekend that will make meal planning easier. I will try to reframe the conversation so that I start to believe that tracking is just another tool in my tool box and is not the last option that I have.
I will do this, I will.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Still Struggling

I am still out of my groove. I just need a mental break. So I am trying to eat well, listen to my body, respond to it kindly and nurture myself right now. I am not so concerned about total calories and hours of cardio or any such things. But I am still trying to make good choices and the weight I gained over the last weeks is coming off.
But I am worried that if I allow this to go on, I will gain back what I have lost and lose my way. So I am trying to kick myself to stay on track. Not get too far derailed and lose momentum.
Sound confused, cuz I am. Just not feeling it right now.
I have joined spark people to track my food and use it for motivation. I am still working on setting up my page and being able to interact with other people. I think I am going to give myself till Friday for my mental break and then kick back into gear. I have plans to exercise on both days of the weekend and I will cook and prepare so that there is good, healthy food in my freezer for the weeks to come. I think giving myself a time limit for my break will keep it in check. I am not bingeing, I am not going crazy, but I am not 100% on plan. I am not really sure how I feel about that. I am happy to have the freedom, upset that this is my reality and frankly, in a bit of pain. I have not yet figured out where the pain is from, but I am starting to think that it might be sugar related. I have arthritis in my joints and they were soooooo much better when I was 100% on plan. Now that I am not so careful, and after a weekend of eating too many desserts, I have to say, I am quite sore. It is quite a shock to me. I had no idea that sugar can cause inflammation. I have done a little research in the past few days and have come to learn that the problem could in fact be sugar, so that is another motivation to get back on track.
My office is having a big golf day, summer party tomorrow and I plan to take part in all of the festivities and enjoy it. We are going through a heat wave here and so I am concerned that I will wilt in the sun and end up with a migraine. I intend to stay hydrated with both water and a sports drink and stay away from alcohol but that is another reason why I am saying get back on plan on Saturday. I know it should be now, this instant, but really I am just not into it. On the whole I have good choices in my lunch and good choices at home for dinner, but the whole package isn't wrapped in a pretty bow right now.
The bow will come.
I will do this, I will.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A great weekend

I took a few days off from work and went home for the weekend. It was my birthday and I wanted to see my friends and parents and spend time at home.
It's funny how no matter how old we get, who we marry, what city we choose to live in as adults, for some reason, the city in which we grew up is home. And it was really, really nice to be home.
I had a blast this weekend. Spent some really good quality time with my friends, caught up with them. I have been friends with some of them since kindergarden and others since my teen years and it was great to be able to sit around a table together and it feel like I saw them yesterday. We are so comfortable with each other that time stands still. There is no awkward silence, no weird moments. Just really comfortable love and acceptance. It felt really good.
And, I chose not to worry so much about my eating. I tried to make good choices when I wanted to and enjoy my splurges when I made them and deal with whatever the result. So I have a little work to do, but on the whole not too bad. I am up two pounds from last weigh in, with 2 days to the next weigh in. I am quite happy with that. I lost all of the hormone weight and will lose these two pounds once I get back into my routine. I am not at all concerned.
I am back home, in my adopted city, feeling recharged and refreshed and am excited to keep at this for the summer.
I will do this, I will.