Welcome

Welcome to my blog. The purpose here is simple: to chronicle my thoughts, actions, plans, and goals in getting healthy in the year 2012. Feel free to look around and offer encouragement or suggestions.

Friday, February 25, 2011

And Today's Excuse:

There are some days where the cosmos is screaming at you, "don't push it!" Today is one of those days. It started out innocently enough. I awoke early (having foregone work yesterday evening due to illness) with the intent of getting my car inspected so I can renew my registration. I arrived at 8am only to be told that it would be practically half a days wait and it would be better to come back tomorrow. So I drove back home where I kept forgetting why I walked into various rooms. The wind blew out my window screen and I feared my cat fell out the window (I found her just now, she did not fall out the window, but was spooked by all the wind and was in hiding). I debated for about two hours or so if I should go to the grocery store. It meant driving across town to the Whole Foods because I wanted a very specific cereal which is pretty much just sold there and some organic milk. After deciding it would be worth the drive to satisfy my craving I got in my car and was almost immediately hit by another driver. I mean I got maybe a mile from home. I'm still marveling at the fact that I managed to drive 12 years without an accident and have had two in the last three months. This one was not my fault, thank goodness. Anyway, after dealing with that I was determined to get the stupid cereal that drove me out of the house in the first place. I managed to maintain enough spirit to set up a mild flirtation with the very tall, very cute cashier, then I returned home. And after getting all my groceries settled I tripped upstairs and managed to skin my knees hard enough to draw blood.

So I am not leaving the house today, because clearly the universe has it out for me. I mean I bloodied myself on my own stairs. I am very clearly meant to spend the rest of today in bed and try again tomorrow.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

It's the Little Things

Things like being able to run up a flight of stairs without getting winded make me feel incredibly proud of myself. Why, you ask? People run up stairs all the time, you say? To that I respond, people might run upstairs all the time but I do not. I could barely walk up a set of stairs without huffing and puffing prior to my 2011 endeavor. I, my friends, have come a long way in just the two months I've been regularly exercising. If my improvement isn't an incentive to continue, I don't know what is. And honestly, even if I'm destined to remain larger than average, knowing I have improved my health and ability is worth all the hard work.

I went to the gym this morning and really worked out hard. I needed to because I skipped yesterday. I don't really have an excuse other than I really didn't feel like it. Usually I can overcome those sentiments and hit the gym anyway, but yesterday I just ... didn't. Another reason to hit the gym? The two chocolate iced Krispy Kremes I ate in this morning's meeting. At our monthly meetings our boss brings in doughnuts. Usually I'll have one and call it a day, but this morning the first one was so good that I couldn't walk past the box without getting another. So not only did I work my butt off in the gym, I am watching what I eat very closely for the rest of the day. I am also severely limiting my portions for the rest of the day in hopes of counteracting my earlier slip up.

On another note, I have been feeling really restless recently. I'm having a harder than usual time sleeping. I've not slept well since I entered adulthood (insert my mother's ever present suggestion: sleep study!), but lately it has been really bad. I'll sleep for maybe three or four hours and then just be up. At best, I get about two hours more rest before heading off to work. At worst, I never get back to sleep. I've been trying to avoid the use of sleeping aids, but I am really going to need some help if this phase doesn't break soon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Surprising Progress

I fully expected to backslide last week. Due to the death of my grandfather I haven't been motivated to do much but sleep. As I stepped on the scale yesterday I expected to see a number beginning with three, but instead I found that I finally broke past 298, if only by a little. I weighed in at 297.4, showing more progress than I have since February began. It is a pleasant surprise.

I return to work tonight after taking a few days for bereavement, and though my heart may not truly be in it yet I plan to return to my exercise regimen in the morning. This small progress will hopefully inspire me to push myself once I get to the gym. I want to try to make 295 by the end of February and it's going to take a lot of hard work and discipline. I've already talked myself out of a soda binge and cookies; the week has barely begun.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sad News

Don't worry. Although I seem to have hit a rut with my weight loss plan, weighing in at 297, everything is still going well. Frankly, I'm not that concerned because my body fat percentage is down a little and my hydration level is up a little, indicating a slight increase in muscle. This is good. I have been lax about drinking my water and I can feel a difference in my body because of it. I've started fresh this week and have so far been back on track. I went walking with friends on Saturday and had a really nice time. I enjoyed both the company and the change in scenery, if not the cold wind. We talked about making it a regular thing and I really hope we do. I went to the gym this morning intending to work out for an hour, but I cut it down to half because I was tired and my legs still hurt a little from all the hills I conquered over the weekend.

In the end I'm glad I did cut my workout short, because just after I left the gym my father called to tell me my grandfather had died in his sleep last night. I don't take my phone with me to the gym, so had I worked out the full hour I would have missed his call and honestly, that's a horrible voicemail to get. Not to mention I likely wouldn't have gone back to the gym for a while. I strongly associate location to emotion. Now I need to concentrate on making myself eat at least a little. I tend to starve myself, albeit unintentionally, when I grieve.

In fact I tried something new this morning. I got some shad at the fish market, which was full of roe. Shad roe is apparently a delicacy, so when the man at the market asked me did I want to keep it I said yes, please. I actually forgot about it until the middle of last night (I put it in a drawer in my fridge and for me out of sight is truly out of mind), so it needed to be cooked. This morning I basically poached it in butter, oven baked it, and served it over rice. It was interesting, but honestly after the bad news it could have been the most fantastic meal in the world and I wouldn't have noticed. My first impression was that it was kind of like salty meat grits. I made myself eat half and saved the other half for when I'm in a better state of mind to really taste it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

But I Went Anyway

I'm proud of me today. In spite of a pile of "valid" excuses, I went to the gym anyway. I could have said, "It's snowing and I should get home in case the roads or slick." Or I could have gone with, "I have to be in to work early tonight, so I need to get home and get to sleep." Instead, I went with "Go anyway." I'm glad I did. I got to watch the snow fall for a little while. Over the course of my hour, I watched the snow stop. I ran the fat burn program on the elliptical, which requires maintaining a lower heart rate than I usually have. That in and of itself was a challenge. The machine actually cut off once while I was trying to keep my heart rate at 130. I take this as a sign I need to stick with cardio for now. Clearly I still have a long way to go before my heart is where it needs to be.

I just really thought about that last sentence. It's scary. When I think about the consequences of my obesity, on a personal level anyway, I never consider my heart. I think about wearing ugly clothes or being relegated to stretchy pants. I think about how I don't really fit in chairs with arms on them. I think about all the things that are, in the grand scheme, totally trivial. I never once gave a thought to what may be the most important organ in my body. I never realized, previous to this, how badly I was abusing it. Nor did it register how dangerous that abuse was.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Found Lacking

What is it that I lack you may ask? How about motivation. I seem to have used up my reserve. This is, in large part, specifically in relation to working out. I feel, at best, an ambivalence towards the whole gym thing. This does manage to get in the way of my goals. See I can't lose the weight without the gym. I can eat well all I like but that won't make a shred of difference if I don't stay active. I look at myself in the mirror daily and remind myself what the end goal here is. I remind myself that I want to be healthier. I remind myself that the gym is the price I have to pay. The pep talks, however, work less and less every time. SO I need to figure out how to bring back the momentum I had when I started. I'm thinking I need some kind of reward system. The trouble is coming up with a reward that isn't going to jeopardize my progress, because all the rewards I have thought up so far have been food based. If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to contribute.

Other than that, I am happy to report that my funk from last week seems to be over, for which I am overjoyed. Also, in spite of my funky, less than productive week I still managed to slim down by a pound or so. I had fully expected to have gained because I only worked out a couple of times last week. My challenge for today: go to the gym after overtime. I used overtime as an excuse yesterday, but no more! I cannot allow gaining my money to interfere with gaining my health.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Not My Week

Today is not a good day. I feel terrible. In fact, I've felt pretty bad all week. But on top of physically feeling bad, I am also in an unhealthy psychological place today. I recognize it for what it is, so I don't really validate it, but that doesn't change the astucious whisper in the back of my mind telling me I'm fat and unattractive and gross. It doesn't change the fact that seeing myself in the mirror at the gym today made me cringe. If I'm honest, this feeling has been creeping up on me all week, today that mean old voice in my head is just louder than it has been in a long time.

On top of everything else I'm having the keenest cravings for sugar. I did it to myself. On Friday I gave in to my month long craving and got myself a blueberry cake doughnut...okay and a dark chocolate filled doughnut too. But I didn't eat that one until Sunday. Then on Saturday I had cake. On Monday I helped myself to three chocolates at a friend's house. This is not to mention all the sodas and such I had over the weekend. I put my body back in sugar mode, which it hasn't been in for months. Now I'm paying for it. I mean some of these cravings are so serious I can taste them, literally. Like right now my tongue is heavy with the taste of shortbread cookies. I don't have shortbread cookies, and in an effort to curb this trend I am definitely not going to be getting some any time soon. It helps that I don't have much of anything sweet in the house and I'm too lazy to actually bake things this week. Hopefully this feeling passes soon because I know where the Ferrero Rocher's are hidden...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January in Summary

Before I get to my final summation of my first month "living healthy" I want to review a little of what's been happening lately. I went to my friend's baby shower this weekend in South Carolina. I roughly stuck to my diet and got plenty of flack for it. It came from a place of love, I know, but it was the first time I felt like I needed to defend my decision. Even though I know I'm doing it for all the right reasons, and I know why I've chosen to alter my diet the way I have, my friend made it seem silly and unnecessary. In the end I stuck to my guns...and my diet...kind of. I kept to my fish day and my vegetarian day on Friday and Sunday respectively. On Saturday, the day of the shower, I pretty much grazed all day. I did not maintain my soda constrictions. I have a friend staying with me this week so I'll likely go over my allowance of meals out as well, being I've already used them all while travelling. I suppose travelling allows for special rules, but I'm home now and that just feels like an excuse. I haven't been to the gym since Thursday. I meant to get a work out in before hitting the road on Friday, but ended up running all day and never got to it. I didn't work out at my friend's place although I'm sure I could have squeezed in a good walk or two. I didn't even have the excuse that it was cold. On the way back Sunday I started feeling less than wonderful and yesterday I felt downright awful. I had intentions to go to the gym yesterday after running a few errands, but started feeling nauseous before I even got close and just finished my errands and went home. Today, though, aside from a nagging headache, I feel worlds better. I fully intend to get in a good workout before I lay down to sleep before work today. I have catching up to do.

Now, a review of January. I entered 2011 at a weight of 315. I weighed this morning and I am entering February at a weight of 300.8 pounds. The 15 pound loss is well within my goals to lose 10 pounds a month. Although I am, of course, happy with my progress, I really don't think I put as much effort into my weight loss as I could have. While I've established a habit of working out more days than not, I don't always put as much effort into it as I know I should. I'm also concerned about this plateau I seem to have hit. I've been hovering around the 300 mark for the past three weeks, so I believe I've been doing more fluctuation than I have honest weight loss. I also have had several "special occasions" this month that have caused me to slip a little in my eating. On the other hand, I have noticed a difference in the hollow of my neck. This morning I caught a glimpse of clavicle, which I have noticed is the first sign of slimming in myself. My mother said she saw a difference in my face. While I would love to see more weekly progress, I have no intention abandoning my plan. In fact, I'm going to be even more vigilant about really sticking to it the way I originally meant to.