Thursday, September 12, 2013

Today starts the next few days of craziness - let's see how I fair!

Today:  Finish making decorations for a cake, get to farmer's market, make dinner, get older son all set for their game tonight - feeding him early, getting him back to school, picking him up, making sure his homework gets done, start putting Sunday School boxes together.

Friday: Get food for Saturday's event, make homemade ice cream, get to another farmer's market (different days have different vendors, so I can get different food - kind of a pain), organize and clean house for Saturday's event, go to the gym.

Saturday: prep food and cook food, have a meeting in our house with lunch served, make a 3 tier cake, ice it later in the day, get ready for first Sunday School of the year (a party), make dinner, etc.

Sunday: finish cake, get to Virginia early for setting up for Sunday school and setting up cake, go to a Sunday School Committee meeting, hold Sunday School, drive home, start canning process of tomatoes, make dinner. Collapse.

My history has been that whenever I'm dealing with cake, I get nervouse or something and end up eating more. Maybe the stress of it or maybe just being around all that sweet smelling food does it, I don't know.

But as busy as I will be the next few days, keeping eating on track will be hard. Even last night, when I was tired and working on cake decorations, I nibbled a bit on a couple chocolate chip cookies. Why? I have no idea! I had done great the rest of the day! All in all it was a nothing gained, nothing lost day, but the plan is to LOSE these days, not gain!

It's the sleep that might get me. I need to be sure to get some good sleep despite the crazy schedule. It might not sound like a ton, but every one of those things can and will take longer than I expect they will. Isn't that always the case?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thoughts on a blog post about Fitspiration Photos

First, to get the gist of this blog post, you need to read this first (and it's linked article it leads off from). It's fairly short, so not a big time commitment to read it.

So, it goes off on these photos and sayings, fitspirations:

OK, first, let me address the first three beyond what the linked blog writer has to say. He says it well, I just have my own thoughts on it too, of course. So, this:

Somehow, and I don't know how or why, there has been a trend of hitting exercise HARD. So hard in fact, that you reach a breaking point. Pain is good. Work through pain. Don't give up. Exercise so hard that you can't walk the next day. Workout despite being unable to walk, etc.

Seriously? Do we need to be on the verge of crawling and puking to call it exercise? How long do you think most people can sustain that and will sustain that? Do you need to do a workout called Insanity to feel you are getting a good workout? It's nonsense! Ok, maybe for some people, it's what they need - we all do need different things, but there is too much of it.

What about moderation? If the options are doing things like Insanity workouts or nothing, most people will opt for nothing. But what about walking daily? Every daily walker I've met is in decent shape! How about swimming laps? Riding a bike? Doing Zumba? Hitting some weights or doing Pilates?

If people did any of these activities daily (mixing them up especially), they would be active and would get fit. Their blood pressure would go down, Cholesterol would go down and blood sugars would regulate better - even without adding in any form of dieting. We just need to get off our rear ends and DO something, but it doesn't have to be HARD to the point of breaking. Those messages are harmful!

Now, the 4th and 6th pictures - the one with women's amazing bodies. Again... as the blogger said, these bodies are THIN bodies, so saying that strong is the new sexy and still showing THIN strong bodies is still saying that thin is the ideal.

And yes, sure, being thin and fit is great, but fit should be first and fit does not mean having to look, or needing to look like a model because most of us, no matter how fit we are, won't look like that!

I've detailed in another blog post,  about looking at others who are fit and their imperfections. Yet, I think most of us get this idea that we will look like a model if we just get thin enough or fit enough. I have seen exactly ONE person at the gym that wasn't 20 years old that had a beautiful, perfect looking body - if you think flat chested can still be perfect looking. I think it can, but many do not.

I have seen a few that look pretty darn good, but I'm sure if you ask any of them, they would tell you their trouble spots - men and women. Now that I do a lot of strength work in the man's cave in the weight room, I hear the men complaining about weak this or flabby that. I see men and women doing crunch variation after crunch variation trying to get that perfect abdomen, but they still don't get it.

How about, healthy living is the new sexy instead? But then no shaming if people have a vice - a need for a daily chocolate, or a daily diet soda, or drinking on weekends, etc. Can we have some moderation too please?

And then there is the 5th fitspiration, "Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated." Yes, there is truth in that, surely. Some unfit, lazy people think that even moderate exercise is obsession because they can't imagine ever doing that, but it's not obsession, but dedication to regularly working out. But there are also obsessed people.

Last night at the gym there was a young man with a great body. I see him there quite often. Someone commented to him, "What? you got here at 6? Dude, the place closes in 4 hours. You'll have to stop early." Hmm... was that a jab? Or was it a truth? Did this young man spend 4 hours in the weight room several times a week? Is that dedicated or obsessed?

What about those who take 2-3 classes a day and throw in a run. Is that dedicated or obsessed? Where is the healthy line? Do we know?

But, another thought... do we somehow think that we are lazy unless we hit it every, single, day? Not taking days off for vacation or for illness? Yes, I have read over and over about people going to the gym while they had a fever or were vomiting. People telling others to go hit the gym despite being unable to breathe properly because of a bad cold. Really, is it necessary to push ourselves so hard even when our bodies are saying to do otherwise? Are we lazy if we give our bodies a few days of rest to heal? Is the fear of losing a tad of strength or stamina that bad that we are willing to do things while we are ill or injured? Is that healthy? Why can't we say, "I can take a few days off." Are we really afraid we will never go back? And if you never do go back, what does that say? Maybe it's laziness, but maybe it's something else.

So yes, I think there are some obsessed exercisers out there. If you can't rest, then something is up. It is not just dedication, it's something more.  And conversely, I don't think it's fair to think of someone as lazy just because they don't hit it as often or as hard as you - again... that whole shame thing going on that we as humans are wont to do.

Of course, maybe I was lazy for taking so much time off, but I think my reluctance to take it easy while being injured also led to more problems and even part of my depression.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

On the way down at this weight, I felt so thin. On the way up, I feel so fat

Perspective, perspective, perspective.

I feel huge. None of my clothes fit me. I had to buy a few things over the summer to get me by (as I was at my thinnest last summer when I bought cothes). I look at my fall and winter wardrobe and I won't be able to fit ANY of it. I will need to buy a few interim pieces while I go back down.

My cockiness of getting rid of everything is biting me in the butt, but if I were to do it again, I would do the same - not keep fat clothes.

But I feel huge. TRULY huge, but at this same weight coming down I felt so svelte. My perspective has changed. Even though I was at the higher weight for decades, I got used to the lower weights realllllly fast.

I guess it's good that I hate this weight and want to get out of these numbers, but it's also not good to feel so "yuck" about my looks. And I HATE that I have to go buy some bigger jeans and shirts - even if I can find them used. I hate the idea of taking up room in my dresser and closet with them! And I stare at all my beautiful clothes are that are 2-3 sizes too small for me.

I KNOW I will get back down into those sizes. Of that I have no doubt as I am back on track and have the motivation to do it, but it will take time and all because I stopped caring there for awhile.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A weekend away and how I faired

This weekend we did a whirlwind trip to three universities for my son's college search.  We headed out on Friday late afternoon and go home early evening on Sunday.

My eating went like this:

Friday - spot on. I had a small breakfast, a low carb, smallish lunch, and a quick, healthy dinner. That's it. All was good.

Friday night, I got a bit too little sleep. Went to bed a bit after midnight and was wide away by 7 am.

Saturday: I had a nice, big, low carb breakfast of eggs and bacon (and coffee). I had a protein bar for lunch, and a salad with a roll for dinner. The day involved lots of driving and lots of walking. Ended the day with  some cheese, a bit of fruit and a few crackers. Too many calories for the day, but not by a lot and the choices were good.

Sunday. Again, a bit too little sleep. I had a good, low carb breakfast, a slice of banana bread (equivalent) then a HUGE lunch of much more carbs than I usually have because I had fries and bread with the sandwich, but also a lot of protein. But then, after another 3 hours in the car, I grabbed a Snickers at the rest stop to help me stay alert. Then, when we got  home I ate 6 Oreo cookies. I was exhausted and therefore, all restraint went by the wayside. Way over the calorie count and carb count for the day. Exhaustion won out over reason. But... even with caving, it is still far less "caving" than I was doing. I did stop myself, but not before doing some damage.

And today it is Monday. I am pooped, to say the least. Again, a bit too little sleep and the weekend rush has taken it's mental toll. I need a vacation from the trip! But, I have a will of steel. I can tell it will be OK today - especially if I sneak in a nap!

So, the weekend didn't go quite as smoothly as I planned with eating, but nothing outrageous either. Now just to get back with the program again.

Friday, September 6, 2013

How a couple of days can make such a big difference

For the last couple of weeks or so, I've been feeling myself come back on line. I would eat really well until the end of the day, and then would raid the snack drawer. I was getting more physically active, etc. But I still caved at temptations.

The last 3 days (yes it's only been three days). I was 100% on track and not tempted by anything in the house. How is it that for months I could not pass by the snack drawer without grabbing something awful, but now I can? I couldn't go to the grocery store without buying kettlecorn, etc. Then, like a switch, I'm 100% on plan again. I get into the snack drawer to get my protein bar and I'm not even tempted by the Oreos or chips. I went to the store yesterday, and walked right by the kettlecorn, even though I was hungry at the time as I was late for lunch.

What does it?

Ok... part of it is sleep. My sleep was pretty horrible a lot of the summer because of back issues. I hurt my back pretty nastily in June? (or was it May?). That was the true last straw that put me into the downward spiral - where the exercise went by the wayside as I was having back spasms from a muscle injury. I hurt it at the gym and then sleep was difficult in all positions except being on my back, so I never rested fully.

Awwww.... Melissa, that was the true problem. Lack of quality sleep always does me in. Throw in an inability to exercise (besides walking, which I did all summer), and I also lose a mood lifter and appetite suppressant.

Look how all the stars need to align right for me to stay on track. Well, most of the stars need to stay aligned and the sleep one is crucial.

I had a fitful sleep last night as I wrenched my back at the grocery store a bit with lifting something and felt those same muscles tense up. They still aren't quite healed - close, but not 100%. I don't feel the temptations, maybe because it's an isolated night and not a chronic lack of sleep.

And, some people with depression sleep more - not me. I sleep less. Go figure.

But... I did get brave and stepped on the scale this morning. I had stepped on it a month ago when I was beginning to feel a bit more uplifted, but that was temporary, and I slipped even further into the abyss. Then it read 215. The last month was BAD with food, so I was expecting to see at least 220. It read 217.4 and I was happy with that, as it's also the time of the month that I tend to weigh the most with hormonal weight gain.

I'm not going to look at it as all the work I have to redo. That's not productive. I will just work my way back down. Goal is 170. I feel good at that weight and it's maintainable. Anything lower and that is great, but not necessary.

Shaking my head as I have a lot of work to do, but this is a lifelong thing. Not a quick fix. As always, fitness is the key and for the past couple weeks I've been regular to exercise again - light,  but at it - riding my bike and lifting weights. I'll add in some aerobics this coming week.

Another true sign that my will is strong again is that I'm bringing food with me on a trip this weekend. We are driving to visit some colleges for my oldest son. I want to limit food damage as much as possible (especially carbs), so I will bring my staple of apples (yay to the farmer's market having Honeycrisp apples!) and peanut butter with me to have as a backup for either breakfast or lunch if the alternatives aren't good. We'll be walking for hours both days alternating with long car rides, so that will have to do, but I'm not taking this weekend trip as a time to pig out. That desire to treat my body right is 100% back and it hasn't been that way for over a year. I was just successful at mostly keeping on track up until May.

Weigh-in 217.4

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Unfortunately, it can be assumed when I'm away, it's not good.

I try to be very honest and transparent on my blog because I think that is important. Too often in the world we just show the face we want people to see and not what is the reality.  And as I've said before, that doesn't work with weight. We wear our weight. It's visible to everyone, so it is obvious to everyone that we are struggling with something.

I was convinced I would be able to keep the weight off and not regain. I had learned what worked. I learned what my triggers were. I had figured myself out. What I didn't know would happen was that I would fall into a depression.  And like other times I've fallen into a depression, it's only when I'm out of it that I can see it.

So, for a few months I simply didn't care. The thought of skinny feels better than food tastes left me. For awhile, I was able to keep up the exercise at least while my eating was a mess, but then with more injuries, I totally fell apart.  All bad habits crept back in and I gained weight quickly.

And then as I saw the weight piling on, it made me feel worse, etc.  Depression is such an awful thing and I run into it every few years.  I can probably name the triggers - job ending in a weird way, rapid weight gain whenever a little break happened, no new job prospects, winter doldrums, injuries making me feel bad and slowing me up, not knowing what I want to do for career, and who knows what else. But.... For the most part my life was great!  Yet, something pulled me down.

I look now, out of it, and realize I was truly stuck. I did nothing all summer long. I had all these plans for finishing decorating the house, going to museums with the kids, college planning and visits with my oldest, etc. Instead I spun my wheels. I started many things, but didn't finish anything.

I think what finally got me out of it was cooking. I found a way to cook that didn't involve eating. I canned. I canned tomatoes, pickles, jams, apple butter. My husband thought I was nuts, but it woke me up. I was able to be creative without being tempted to eat the creations.  Then one day, I realized I didn't want to grab Oreos or white bread (stuff like that is always in the house). I wanted to get back to the gym. I wanted to ride my bike.  I wanted to start caring abut my body again.

So... For everyone who looked toward me as "she can do it". "She will be and stay successful."  Well, it didn't turn out that way.

I have no idea what my weight is, but I gained a lot. I don't want to step on the scale until I am well under way with good habits again. Right now it's all about re-establishing the  good habits again.

I had forewarned my husband that it would be a life long battle, but I got him really worried and sad... Which of course made me sad and more depressed.  It's such a vicious, vicious circle. Depression sucks and it sneaks up so slowly, that you are unaware.  I guess I'm lucky that it is rare for me and short lived, but I wish I could avoid it all together!

So, I am back. Admitting problems is the true sign that I am back. I am not expecting any miracle fast diet. I'll take it slow and steady like before and hope that next time I run into stumbling blocks, that I will handle it better.