Sunday, June 17, 2018

Kindness goes a long way: Encouragement

I had an active and fun weekend. I got a bike ride in, a lot of walking and a run too!!!   My eating while not perfect was within my range.  I am happy with how it went down.  I had a reminder about how important our words are though.


We had a really lazy day on Saturday. Neither of us had much energy, so we spent a lot of time in the couch just relaxing.  I did play around on my computer a bit and did some work.  (Mostly I worked on my recipe site which is a complete work in progress...I am slowly moving recipes from my now defunct site. I have quite a few entered and have been linking them, but it’s coming along very slowly!  I will be updating those pages and doing new pictures as time goes by...right now I’m just trying to get it all moved into one place.  My recipe page  on this site also has the link).  We also got the bulk of our errands out of the way!  (A few more popped up throughout the day as we chatted. So Sunday  we had to stop a few more places.) Around 5pm in Saturday we decided that we needed to do ‘something’ so that we wouldn’t  feel like total slugs!  We decided to hop on our bikes and ride the local trail near our house..it’s paved (boo) and right now really short (double boo...but they are working on extensions yay!)


We did make our ride a bit longer by checking out where they are working on expanding the trail (no sir, we did not go past the fenced off area and ride off road/in construction zone.  Never! Wink wink!). We also took a complete tour of our apartment complex on our bikes. When we got back to our building we rode through the breezeway and went into the grassy area behind us.  I decided to try to mount my bike like a boss!  I want to learn to stand beside my bike with a foot on the pedal...push off and on that movement motion throw my leg over the bike and ride away.  I want to look badazzzz!   Still don’t get what I’m talking about?  Standing still on the left side of the bike...place your left foot on the pedal and hands on the handle bars. With  the right foot on the ground push yourself and the bike into a forward motion and swing that right foot over the bike...land it on the right pedal and keep pedaling off into the sunset (aka down the trail).  I was able to do it a few times...but I’m really rough and choppy!  It will probably be easier on pavement but right now the perceived softness of the grass/dirt gives me comfort!   I will be practicing this more!


The cool bike mount method was awesome, but the real victory is not my badazzz way to mount a bike.  The real victory was the ride itself.  The trail has some inclines.  As we rode the trail and would hit a downhill section  I kept thinking to myself ‘well this is going to be yucky on the way back when I have to climb’. But on the return trip I kept waiting for the uphills...and while I would feel myself pushing harder on occasion, I never felt the abject misery of any of those dreaded inclines!   Did my ‘push myself’ post from last week where I rode out of the saddle and way out of my comfort zone more help?  Is it my walks at work helping?


I don’t know...but I was happy!!!  And yes....I rode out of the saddle some more on that Saturday ride!  I’m going to build these legs into legs of steel!


On Sunday morning I went out for a run when I got up.  I am slow.  Sooo slow! I’m not sure, but walking may be faster!  Hahaha. But I did it...and time and miles on my legs will bring improvement!

We were still feeling wiped out on Sunday.  So instead of going on a long bike ride we instead went to the zoo to get a bit of walking in!



While our running I had an interesting experience.  I was running and passed (in the opposite direction) this guy.   He gave me words of encouragement but reached out and patted my arm.   Yes!  He touched me!   It kinda freaked me out a bit.    But his kind words were really uplifting.    So it was a combo freaky thing /nice thing!    I told Jason...his words were ‘I don’t like that he touched you.’   That’s my protective boyfriend!   (I don’t run on the local trail...it’s too secluded for Jason’s comfort!!!!  Even though years back I ran even more secluded places!  I actually appreciate the fact that he cares enough to worry and ask me not take the risk!).  And yes...I had pepper spray with me! I read two or three blogs one day last week that talked about pepper spray while running....I figured the multiple warnings/reminders should be heeded.  So...I bought a new canister (I know mine were all bought before I met Jason...so older than 3 years) and actually used it!


So even though I was freaked out by the touch.  I was ‘touched’ by that mans encouragement.  It made me think about how often we remain in our own world and fail to say a kind and/or encouraging word to someone.  How often we fail to encourage our fellow humans.  And while I don’t want to be physically touched....the words really made me push through my run to do the best I could! It was a wonderful reminder that I was doing what is right for my body!   It reminded me of my encourager while I was doing the C25K training.   I saw this same guy almost every days. He didn’t say anything...until the day that I ran my first 20 minutes straight and that was the day he chose to tell me how good I was doing.  His words gave me the boost to do something that up until that moment had been impossible!  I needed his words!   I did thank him on a subsequent day!  I also had an ‘angel’ one day while running while I lived at my parents house....But seriously....our words have the power to encourage.  They have the power to make someone smile.  They have the power to take away pain.   Use your words to uplift!    (Just don’t touch the stranger while you are giving them your uplifting words!  Lol). And I thank my ‘angels’ that have made wonderful comments while I’ve been out there working it hard!  

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Courageous Lion: fighting fear

I was recently reminded to be fearless.  It  wasn’t said to me in the realm of weight loss, but it still nailed me on the head pretty squarely.  I was reminded about how I have let my fears hold me back so many times.  I don’t lose weight because of my fears.  I lose weight because of my fears.  I allow my fears to stop me from doing things that would be healthy for me, emotionally and physically.   I can quickly drown in my fears and I don’t want to be like that!

 

Let me start by talking about what sparked my thoughts about fears this week.  At my job we have recently started a “huddle” in the mornings before it gets busy.  Each person has a few minutes to present something to the team.  We are encouraged to be creative.  I like to bake, so for my last inspirational moment, I shared a quote and provided cookies. One girl wrote a poem for the team, we’ve played games, eaten donuts, drank virgin mimosa’s and been given candy.  The other day there was an inspirational thought that we have to believe we can do it and be it ..that is the first step to success .  The presenter then handed around a basket with some candy in it.   (A  Three Musketeer if you are interested in knowing…and yes, I love Three Muskateers so yes, I ate it!)  The candy was wrapped in a slip of paper.  When we unraveled our paper to get to our candy we received a word.   That was what we were to strive to be.   My word?  

 

Fearless!

 


WOW.  The presenter couldn’t have planned that one better.  I have long struggled with fear!  It can be debilitating!   Many times I have allowed fear to keep me from doing something.  Many other times I find myself paralyzed with fear, but I force myself to do it and low and behold I survive…and find that it wasn’t bad.  And what’s even better?  When I push through my fear, I come out so much stronger!  I did this when I flew by myself for the first time many years ago.  I wasn’t afraid of flying, but going by myself scared the dickens out of me.   I wanted to see my brother and his family bad enough, I did it!  I look back now and ask, Why was I even fearful?   I was petrified of running a race with no one there.  I begged people to run with me. I begged people to go spectate.  But to no avail.  I almost didn’t go because of my fear.   I’m so glad I did it...it’s my best run to date!!

There was also a time when I realized that I was totally afraid to lose weight.  I wore my excess pounds around me like an armor.   I used my weight as an excuse for everything.  “Oh, I didn’t get that promotion because I am overweight.”  “I can’t do that because, well…because I’m overweight.”  Things that didn’t go right in my life?  It was obviously because I was overweight!  Right?  Absolutely not, but in my warped sense of thinking I certainly believed it.  “My ex-husband cheated on me, didn’t love me, etc …it was obviously because I was overweight.”  Seriously, I believed it!   Excess weight was a convenient scapegoat.  And I wore it around me like an armor.    How so?  Well, if I lost the weight…would I have to face the truth?  Would I have to face the truth about my marriage. (Well that should have been done a lot earlier!)  Would I have to face the truth about my capabilities?  Why yes, I would….and I didn’t like it.  I was so afraid of losing because then I would lose that safety net….I would lose that excuse for why my life wasn’t what I wanted it to be!

I figured out the fear. Or so I thought.  I lost the weight.  I faced my fears.  I took responsibility for my errors and stopped blaming everything on my weight, even when I regained!

So why in the world did this single word on a piece of paper throw me for a loop?  Why did I feel like I was going to cry every time I looked at the slip of paper?  Why indeed?   The fear has crept back into my life.

In my weight loss journey ....I fear I will fail.  So I sabotage myself...and thus I DO fail!   I have other fears too...some pertaining to weight loss but most not, and I let these fears rule me!

How does one stop allowing fear to rule their life?  In my experience it really is just recognizing that this fear is irrational and forcing myself to do it..even as my knees quake and nock together with fear!!!

Now is the time!  It’s time to stop dreaming, kick those fears in the arse and start living!!!!

Happy Father’s Day!!!!

I miss you daddy!




Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Chaos Be Gone

This is been an interesting week thus far. In some ways I feel like a complete failure. In other ways I feel totally in control and on top of the world. It’s crazy how weight loss and this journey can be so conflicted at the same time.

For the first time in a long time, I feel totally in control and on top of the world with what I’m doing in regards to my eating. I am consciously making wise choices. I am consciously making healthier choices. I am not over eating. I have even done really really good with the after work snacks and with the evening sweet treats. When I say really good, I mean that most days I have not indulged and when I have it has been managed and in moderation. That’s an awesome feeling!  I like feeling in control and so often my eating is out of control and it that gives this feeling of chaos to my life. I like this control.

I’ve been consistently walking...not quite active exercise but movement nonetheless!   I enjoy my break time walks!  Yesterday I saw babies!

In the midst of these really good strong feelings of control, pride and peace,  I find myself feeling despair. I told you these emotions were conflicting and off-the-wall!

So what am I talking about when I say despair? My weight. My calories have been in line with where I want them to be. True, they may be at the higher end of the range that I have set up for myself. (I am aiming for anywhere between 1200 and 1500 cal a day.) Even at the higher range I should be still able to lose a pound a week… Strictly by the numbers. Yeah, that’s not happening this week. My weight is actually up higher than it was last week at this time. I can rattle off the excuses… The monthly ick was here, I accidentally allowed myself to get dehydrated on Monday, I’m battling sinus issues, it’s my age or any number of excuses. But I don’t care about the excuses. I want results.

I did have one day where I was super high in my calories… But one day should not cause me to gain 5 pounds! And that one Day? I was only about 500 to 600 cal over my budget.

So I vacillate between happiness over the control and despair over the weight gain. Yes, I said 5 pounds!

So what’s the plan? Well first and foremost, I want to retain the control. That means I’ll continue tracking, I will continue being in control of my eating versus letting the eating be in control of me. As for the wait. I am going to try to work on cutting some more carbs out of my food intake. I’m going to try to have more lower budget days… Meaning I am going to try to be at the low-end of my range on more days. And maybe, just maybe I’ll get this exercise things started.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Crystal- success story

“I struggled with my weight for most of my life,”  Crystal told me in an email.    She would lose some and then gain some, but it wasn’t until she went through a really bad time in her life that sent her into a deep depression that she really lost control of her weight.  It was during that time that she hit her highest weight.  It wasn’t until she ended up in the hospital that her eyes were opened.  During the 5 days in the hospital she lost 20 pounds and that five pounds made the difference.  She noticed an increase in energy and a difference in how she felt.    It was  the wake-up call she needed.  She wanted to feel better and she knew that losing more weight would give it to her.  Her journey had started.

 

I have known Crystal since we were young.  We were in the same school/class in second grade.      We lost touch for many years but recently connected through Facebook.   A few weeks ago when I saw her post something about her weight loss success/progress, I knew that I wanted to feature her as a success story.  She graciously accepted my offer to answer some questions and her weight loss success story is one that shows true perseverance!

 

 

What sparked you to begin to lose weight??  My weight loss journey began when I ended up in the hospital for a bowel obstruction in 2005   I was in the hospital for 5 days.  When I left the hospital I was down 20 pounds.  I immediately  noticed that I had more energy and felt better with that twenty pounds gone.  That difference was enough to make me want to continue to lose weight.

 How much weight have you lost in pounds? As of yesterday, 151 lbs


What was your starting clothing size?  28 Your current size? It varies on style of clothing but average 16. 

  

What plan did you follow to lose your weight?  (ie weight watchers, slim fast, a plan of your own creation...) The first thing I did was to  cut out soda. I immediately lost an additional 40 lbs. In case you missed it, that is 40 pounds in  just a few weeks!  I rarely drink soda anymore.  The other thing I have done is to simply watch what I eat.  I don’t deny myself anything, including goodies.  I found if I tried to cut something out completely that  I would go over board when I indulged. Now, if I want a candy bar, ice cream or snack cake; I will  go ahead and have one.  I've learned everything is allowed in moderation. It's become my mantra. 

 Have you reached your weight loss goal?  If so, how long have you been maintaining your weight? No, I want to lose about 30 more. I've had some ups and downs. I was fluctuating back and forth about 30 lbs for a while but for the last year I've only been fluctuating about 10lbs. 


 Do you consistently track your food intake (via online or paper form) I found doing so stressed me out to much and I would relapse.

 

How often do you weigh yourself?  At least once a week... sometimes more.

How did you come to that choice for how often? Never really thought about it. 

 

Do your exercise regularly?  If so, what do you do?.  Other than running around like a mad woman at work, I do not exercise. 

 

  Do you have any words of advice for someone that is just starting out on this journey of weight loss and health?  You have to make a decision for yourself... no one else really matters. It sounds a little self-centered, but it is along the same lines as you have to love yourself before you can truly love someone else. You will have ups and downs just like everything else in life. It's not an easy road, but it's worth every bump to see yourself transform. Be patient, you may not see the transformation for a while, but it will happen.  Also, make sure you talk to your doctor if you are thinking of trying a diet plan. 


Crystal is a true success story!  Thank you Crystal for sharing your story with us.  You are an inspiration to everyone.  You are doing an amazing job




Monday, June 11, 2018

Smash the zone

Oh my what a weekend. I experienced quite a bit of success.  No measurable success, but definitely some events both in my eating and in my exercise that brought me peace, clarity and motivation.

First of all,  Happy Monday!   How did that sound?   Did I sound sufficiently positive?  Because when I woke up, the first thought was, why can’t it still be the weekend???    It wasn’t until my shower that I realized that it has been well over a year and a half since I’ve had a vacation.  Yeah, I’ve had a day off here and there, but a real vacation? Away from work and a sufficient time to recharge?  It’s been at least a year and half!   I didnt use my vacation at the bank last year...I knew I was switching jobs, and I chose to cash those days in for an extra paycheck. The money helped make the job switch with differing pay periods  a much easier transition.  But right now I’m second guessing that decision.   The good thing?  We are planning a vacation week!!  The bad thing?  We are talking October! 

This week my eating was pretty good. There was the night that I consciously made an effort to not eat a sweet treat. I actually didn’t missed it and did really good. That is my eating victory!  We were talking about the sweet treats, and we are in agreement that on weekdays that we will not be eating the sweet treats, that will be a weekend indulgence. So Thursday or Friday night I will be in the kitchen making and baking something fun. This will  actually work out well, because we are typically more active during the weekends so the extra calories will be burnt!  This is a good change for us. I did tell him that this was going to be a rough week going without any sweets in the evening… The sweet/sugar addiction is going to be screaming to be fed. I know we can do it and get past it though.

On Sunday it was rainy, but that was OK because we had my nephew’s birthday lunch to go to and we had to stop by Jason‘s parents for a quick visit also. We did hit up a geocache and enjoyed seeing this turtle that  We suspect was laying eggs.

We Got a nice bike ride in on Saturday. We saw some great big turtles sunning themselves.

And the deer were out drinking water and showing off their beauty for us.

During the ride, my legs felt strong.  That is how I know that the lunch and break walks  are doing me good. But, while getting out to exercise and ride my bike is a good thing, it is not the victory that I alluded to earlier. My victory came in the revelation that I had while I was riding and the fact that I enacted upon it. I have talked in the past about upgrading my bike this summer. There are certain aspects of mountain bike/trail riding that I will have to learn once I get my new bike. So I started to think about what I can do to be ready for this new bike. What skills can I learn? What aspects of riding do I need to work on to better myself. I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately. The conclusion that I came to was pretty much endurance endurance endurance. Basically get on the bike and ride. I need my legs to be strong as all get out so that when I get the bike I am ready to learn new skills. Yeah, there are a few little things that I can work on in the meantime, like handling the bike, a new cool way to mount my bike and other little things like that. But endurance is what I need. So we were out this weekend and I was riding putting miles on my legs and I started thinking about the endurance. Trail riding requires a lot of time out of the saddle. Sometimes it’s climbing and sometimes it is just easier for bike handling. (Yes I’ve been watching a lot of mountain bike videos with Jason.) Riding with endurance is important, but I need to get also get used to riding out of my saddle. I admittedly am a cruiser. I like to sit down on my bike and just cruise down the canal towpath. On the canal you don’t need to stand up, so I don’t. But on Saturday, I realized that I need to push myself and get out of the saddle.  It might be uncomfortable. It might hurt. I might not like it… At first. But I realized that if I want to improve, I need to push myself out of my comfort zone. Guess what? I didn’t stand the whole ride. But I started every half-mile or so I would stand up and do 10-15 rotations on my feet. Boy did my arthritis kicking in! Surprisingly my muscles were fine. And each time I did it I pushed myself for a couple extra rotation.  I was out of my comfort zone, but I know I was improving my body and my fitness.

And that my friend was my revelation. The greatest results come when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone. The comfort zone might be eating a dessert every night, and pushing yourself is breaking that habit. The comfort zone might be sitting in the saddle and peddling your bike and never standing up. The comfort zone might be sitting back in a state of obesity and never trying to better yourself. We all have comfort zone, but if we long for change and reformation, we have to smash those comfort zones and push ourselves further.   I took steps to smash the comfort zone..thatsounds like a pretty good victory to me… 

Friday, June 08, 2018

Tips to combat closet eating

Have you found yourself trying to hide the king size chocolate bar wrapper  from the candy bar you just ate in your car?  Do you find yourself rushing to the kitchen when you’re alone to gobble down copious amounts of chips or cookies when noone is looking?  If yes, then you may be a closet eater.  Closet eating is when someone eats normally or even scantily when in front of other people but when alone your eating is out of control.  This can happen out of embarrassment or guilt....but it doesn’t matter what the reason. It’s a negative behavior that  can derail your weight loss!



There is no magic pill or solution to avoid combat eating.  But with the following tips and techniques you can combat this unhealthy habit!

**Take care of the hunger so that You’re not even tempted to walk into the kitchen.   Identify the problem times and try to avoid being really hungry during that time period.  For me it has been the first few minutes when I get home from work.   I started packing an extra piece of fruit to eat in the car on the commute home.   


**Find an activity to do to help fill that void of time where the closet eating is likely to occur.  Pick up a hobby.   Instead of eating, if your hands and mind are both occupied with a different activity you will be less tempted to eat uncontrollably.  Hobbies?  Running, biking, fishing, crochet, scrapbooking, woodworking.   Anything that strikes your fancy!


**Don’t start!   Don’t even start with the ‘first bite’. One bite when alone usually leads to multiple bites until a full meal worth of calories of closet eaten food is eaten.  Avoid snacking  alone...period.


**Journal the closet eaten food! Tracking your food gives a level of accountability.   It somehow becomes real when you have to actually write/type it all down.


**Find an accountability partner. Find someone that you can be totally honest with and share your struggles.  Find someone that will build you up when you struggle but also give you tough love when you need it. 


** Most importantly, forgive yourself. You will struggle and have slip ups.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Instead, forgive yourself.  Stop looking back at your failures but instead look forward. To making better choices.


Closet eating can have a negative impact on your weight loss. But if you are a closet eater, with these techniques  you can still have great success with your weight loss!  

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Out of the ‘closet eating’

This has been an interesting week.   No, I didn’t run a marathon…or swim the English Channel.  No, I didn’t set the world on fire with my weight loss.  No, I didn’t do anything earth shattering.  But what I DID do was make some discoveries about myself….I my friends, am a closet eater.

 

First let’s talk about my exercise.  I have managed to continue to walk on my breaks and my lunch at work.  That nets me about 6000 steps…and I can usually make it to 7000 -7500 steps with my evening movement once I get home.    That’s not enough.  I’m missing the mark on my 8000 step goal.  I can sometimes walk in the morning before work, but that depends upon the traffic and if I actually make it to work in time to make a lap.    So my steps have been lacking.  BUT…I am walking!   So while not a victory, it’s at least not a colossal failure!

 

That said, I did get some pictures taken of the lake where I walk….




And my ‘exercise trauma/drama for the week was my Thursday Lunch walk.  I was smiling at the beginning.


 But then I twisted my ankle…….and if that wasn’t enough, a bit later I choked on a grape!  But I continued to walk and even pushed my steps a bit further than normal.

So my weight???    Up from last week by about a pound or two.  I woke up thirsty today...not a good sign for the numbers on the scale!  And well...the monthly water retention is right around the corner!!  (Edit:  I posted this ‘Friday’ weekly summary and within 5 minutes realized that the dates looked wonky!  Oh no!  It’s only Thursday!   Talk about disappoint, two more days of work versus one!!  I thought about taking the post down...but decided to leave it up.  Who knows...I might post again tomorrow and make this a four post week!!) 

 

Next up my eating?  I would love to say that I abided by the ‘rules’ that I set forth a few weeks back.  (8000 steps and available calories before I would allow myself a sweet treat at night.”   I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t make this goal…..I did not make the step goal even once.  I did however manage to keep my calories under budget….BARELY!   My top end of the range of calories is 1500….and Wednesday night AFTER I ate my cookies I put in my food for the day…I came in at 1497 calories.  Talk about squeaking by!  

 

But that brings me to my subject of this post.  My eating habits.

 

On Wednesday I made a vow that I was NOT going to eat any cookies.  I made the vow to my friend Julie via an email.  We talked about our significant others and how we were going to resist, even if they sat there shoveling cookies into their mouths like they were a starving Santa Claus.  It was a vow…it was set it stone and written down…No problem.  Right?  Yeah…well…….2 small chocolate chip cookies that night.   I still at least came in under the top end of my caloric range…but seriously…where was my will power????

 

My big problem was the after work snack.  I get home at right around 6PM.  We usually don’t eat until 8 or so.  I have been finding myself gravitating to the kitchen as soon as I get home on some days.  I dig out a handful or chips or pretzels and I indulge.  If it’s only a pretzel stick or two it’s not bad.  But some days I shovel food into my mouth like there is no tomorrow.  Why are some days bad snack days and some days are not so bad?    This week I figured it out.  I am a closet eater.

 

I got home on Wednesday evening,  Jason’s work van was there but he was nowhere to be found inside the apartment.  A quick glance in the den (aka bike bedroom) revealed his bike was missing.  I had a fleeting moment of throwing on my running clothes and heading out for a run.  FLEETING!  Instead, I moseyed (it was a fast trot actually) to the kitchen where I indulged in some chips and dip...some pretzels and dip…..and then to round out the festivities the last handful of Cheetos in the bag.  I finished up just as I heard Jason’s key in the door.  Yeah, I probably would have continued to eat had he not come home.  In fact, had he BEEN at home, I KNOW that I would have only had a small handful of chips.  I indulged because there was no one there to see me.  I’m a closet eater!  

 

 Luckily Jason usually beats me home...so closet eating isn’t an issue every evening.  However, that said I know I can’t rely on ‘never being alone’ to correct my issue.  So I’m working on some plans and ideas to combat this issue of closet eating.  So stay tuned for a future post!