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.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

Jiggity jig. I went to visit a friend this past weekend. The plan was to visit her and her newborn. We planned to get her out of the house a little, play catch up, and of course I had to meet and play with the new baby. Little did I know I was going to take a short trip back to my old life as well. First, it made me realize that my old habits DID indeed constitute an "old life." I've been sitting here thinking "oh, I haven't changed all that much," but this weekend proved me wrong. For one, I realized I had fried food for the first time in so long I couldn't even remember. In fact, I was worried that it may upset my stomach, but luckily it did not. That pretty much confirmed this nagging suspicion I've had that I utilize olive oil a little too often in my cooking. Note to self, tone down the oil. For another, we ate out almost every meal. We literally made one meal out of six. I had to insist on making some veggies, because I realized I hadn't had a vegetable (onion rings so don't count) since Thursday. It was Saturday night at the time. The rest of the meal was grilled out burgers and hot dogs. Lastly, this might have been the least active weekend I've had in a while. I spent a lot of time alternating between a restless inactivity and utter exhaustion. I'm just pointing out some things I noticed that really highlight the differences I've made for myself. I feel like I'm leaving the impression I didn't enjoy myself, when I had a fantastic time. My friend was very accommodating to my various food "days," even taking me to a fish joint when she really dislikes seafood in general. She made an effort to make sure I had options on my vegetarian day in spite of not really knowing what that entailed. The poor choices I made were my own fault, but I feel like that's an entirely different blog.

On a totally different note, I've started seeing a chiropractor. My first adjustment was on Friday morning, before I got on the road. I've long suspected my back was out of alignment, and this was confirmed in the x-rays he took. Man, I've got troubles, none of which I'll go into now, but I will say that the x-rays showed me things were worse than I suspected. Why is this relevant? It may impact the kind of exercises I'm allowed to do. I didn't even think of it during my Friday appointment, but he handed me a list of do's and don'ts which basically said I needed to get my exercise routine approved. That makes sense, as I don't want to undo all of the chiropractor's hard work each week. I don't think I'm doing anything damaging, but I am concerned he might make me tone down the weights, at least as pertaining to my torso. My next appointment is tomorrow, so I'll keep you guys posted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recommitting

I have a confession. I've been bad. Really bad. I've become incredibly lax lately. I recognize in myself a dangerous contentment. My clothes fit again. I feel human again instead of some huge blob. I'm willing to look at my own picture again. There's an incredibly loquacious little devil on my shoulder. It tells me I've done good enough. It tells me things are only going to get more complicated from here on out. It asks me if I really want to toss my entire wardrobe (as if I'm anywhere close to having to do that) and start new. What I have is so cute on me, it says. It promises me that maintaining at this point will be easy, and I won't have to kill myself in the gym anymore. I must admit, I've been tempted by the sneaky little git.

Last week I allowed myself to extend my exercise hiatus. I let life stand as an acceptable excuse to only exercise once. I assured myself I was too busy. All lies of course, but what is done is done. This week I'm back in the gym. I've reunited with my TurboFire. My body thanked me with a release of endorphins the likes of which I haven't experienced before. For the first time I can honestly say I enjoyed the way I felt after my workout. No, you read right. I said I enjoyed it. That may be the only admission you get out of me so commit it to memory. Don't get me wrong, I in no way regret my "vacation" but I do recognize that I let myself drag my feet in coming back to what I need to be doing.

I haven't only been bad about my exercise. I've been sneaking myself food. That mouthy minion I mentioned whispered to me that I've been good enough to give myself rewards. Since I wanted them, I agreed, not seeing it for the trap it was. I found myself sliding off of my "don't cook it don't eat it" horse. I found myself letting more prepackaged foods pass my lips, telling myself that they said things like "all natural" and "organic" and "whole grain" and so they must be okay. Then I found myself eating cupcakes...on several occasions. I stopped keeping track of how many times I ate out. I let myself figure that if I couldn't remember it, it must not have been good enough to count. I've rationalized with myself that if I purchase a precooked meal at the grocery store it wasn't really eating out; it was more like grocery shopping. The only thing I haven't let myself go on is my soda rule. I've been deceiving and cajoling myself and for my troubles I've undone nearly a month's worth of progress. Forgive me readers, for I have sinned.

So I am here and now reaffirming my commitment to me. I hereby promise that I will cook my own food from only the freshest natural ingredients (side note: I am so glad to see a little variety at the farmer's market finally after the dearth of winter veggie options. If you haven't been, you should totally go.). I hereby swear to faithfully and consistently exercise with no excuses permitted. I furthermore aver that I will no longer allow myself to trip over my own complacency. I WILL reach my goal. Take that to the bank, baby!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ugh, men...

Being a woman is pretty awesome. We get to dress up, or dress down, or barely dress if we want and nobody seems to complain. We can wiggle out of some sticky situations with a small application of charm. People buy us stuff and vie for our attention. Nine times out of ten, if you ask me, I love being a woman. It's just, in my opinion, more fun. But every now and then I envy the male creature. This morning was one of those times. There's this guy who is there every morning working his butt off on the elliptical. I've been watching him for a couple months because of the fact that he goes so hard. I was trying to figure out how he does it every day without compromise. Anyway, I really saw him today without a machine blocking my view and this kid has lost half of himself! In like two months. And he was NOT a small dude. Don't get me wrong, he's still a little fleshy, but he's made some serious progress on the weight loss front. On one hand, great for him. On the other hand, I'm bitter. Not that he can help it...he's a man. It's just how they are designed. As a woman, I'm built to retain fat. Sad, but true. It's a prehistoric back up system to ensure I can nourish my infants during times of starvation, fat lot of good it's doing me now. Thanks Nature, good looking out. I'd love to have the ability to make a few small changes and see almost instant results. Would I trade that for the ability to charm my way out of traffic tickets? Maybe not.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Aaaaand BREAK!

Anyone who knows me knows I have a limited attention span. It's a shortcoming I've identified and try to work with. I've discovered over the years that I'm just not good at the long haul. I lose interest, become easily distracted, and eventually completely jump tracks and head off to do something else. As a way to prevent a potential derailing, I utilize the "take a break" concept. It works for me. When I get that, God-if-I-have-to-get-up-and-do-this-one-more-day-I-may-scream feeling I take a break. I do it at work. I used to do it at school. Now I've applied it to my "living healthy" regimen as well. I mean, I've done good. I've been relentlessly pursuing weight loss for the last four months non-stop. That is a personal best for me. I don't think I've done anything but breathe for four months straight before. And I have 30 pounds to show for it; or rather to NOT show for it. But I ran out of steam. The idea of going to work out on Monday literally made me sit on the floor. I'm not even joking. So I decided to give myself a rest week. It's an exercise hiatus. It's a vacation for sanity. I've already decided that any backsliding will be dealt with next week and accepted as a reasonable consequence of my health holiday. I'm at least attempting to maintain my eating schedule, although I've made some really poor choices, thus far. But that, too, I've decided to let go. I'll give myself a week of indulgences and start fresh next week. This is not to say I'll be diving face first into any chocolate mousse or consuming whole gallons of ice cream anytime soon, but if I happen to allow myself a few things I've been denied, so be it. I'm also taking this opportunity to catch up on some sleep, as I've been totally knocked out pretty much all week. This is good. I may have mentioned it before, but I don't sleep nearly as much as I need to. I'm already beginning to feel ghosts of the urge to hit the gym, something I never thought I'd feel much less commit to print. I think this break is going to be just what I need to revitalize my flagging enthusiasm.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

April in Summary

April was a little disappointing, at least as far as the scale is concerned. I began at 290.2 and ended at 284.2 bringing my total weight loss for the month to exactly 6 pounds. While disappointing, this is not surprising. I've had a lot of setbacks this month, most of which have been mental. I've slipped back into my habit of not eating. As a consequence my energy levels have been down and I haven't been giving my all in the gym or at home with my TurboFire. I haven't been sleeping, which means as a whole I've been less active due to the fact that when I'm not working or working out I'm lying in bed trying to sleep. I've been trying to get rid of The Lazies, but they just won't go back to wherever they came from.

But I am not one to dwell on the negative. April brought with it some accomplishments as well. Thanks to the suggestion of a friend, I started measuring myself and know that, at least since the 20th, I have lost an impressive 5 inches around the hip/belly and 2 inches around the circumference of my bicep and also my thigh. I also notice a large improvement in my heart rate. I had to put in effort to get my heart rate above 120 at the gym the other day. That used to be my walking around heart rate. I haven't been struggling with cravings for sweets as badly as I have been, which, considering my incredibly persuasive sweet tooth, I always count as success. While I still struggle to get a full 2 liters of water in daily, I have been improving on my intake and I haven't been indulging in other beverages as often. In fact, I find that when I drink all of my water I don't want other beverages.

On to a subject I've been wanting to post about since Thursday. I want to talk a little about guilt, shame, and regret as they come to dieting. I don't have them. I'm not big on guilt and shame as a general rule, but especially not concerning the food I eat. My philosophy is that guilt and shame are pretty much pointless emotions. Considering the commission of one's actions, one obviously had ample reasons, be they good reasons or not, to commit said actions. Only when the consequences are negative does one think to regret or feel guilty. What good does that do? It certainly doesn't turn back the clock and change anything. It doesn't actively work to correct said negative consequences. Shame and guilt accomplish absolutely nothing but making one feel wretched, and nobody has ever been motivated to admirable actions because they felt wretched. As for regret, I have far more consequential things to regret than any meal I've ever eaten. Why waste all that energy on something that is done and gone and probably brought me joy? I refuse. I bring this up because of a meal I had with a friend. I may have mentioned my coworker with whom I'm cutting back on carbs for at least 2 weeks. Well she took it into her head that we should go have a meal at IHOP because she wanted a Colorado Omelette and figured that fit into the diet. Technically, considering the thing is a massive pile of meat and egg and cheese, she was correct in that nothing in it was forbidden due to carbohydrate value. But once we were there and she ate her omelette she began to feel guilty. She began obsessing over how many calories were in her meal. She began planning to skip future meals to compensate. I myself ate the omelette and the included pancakes with relish and never looked back. It was good and it was what I wanted. It was one meal out of a week of meals, and as long as I didn't develop a Colorado Omelette problem, I saw no issue with indulging. I guess I wonder if guilt, shame, and regret necessarily need to play a role in weight loss? It seems like the general consensus is yes, but I personally disagree. Is it not better to actively change your habits based on information and conscientiousness than to reactively change because of guilt or shame or regret or any combination of the three?