Friday, September 20, 2019

The work week struggled

I have come to the conclusion that my life is full and least during the work week!  Yup, what can I say about the work week?  Not much.  I wake up, yoga, shower, drive, work, drive, make dinner, watch an hour or so of tv, sleep.....repeat.  That is why our weekends are crazy busy with activity...we are cramming it all into the weekends!  Lol

I do typically hold myself together really well on the work weeks in terms of my eating.  It is easier because I am in a pretty tight and steady routine! So that is good.   But it is difficult because adding in anything else is difficult!  It’s hard to add in something after work because I’m exhausted after an 11 hour day (sometimes longer depending on how the commute goes).  Furthermore,  If something changes it throws the balance of what I do get done off!

The balance was thrown off this week.  I have been given the temporary task of training the new hire class.  That means that I am away from my desk all day.  The emails keep daily work is still there....the requests for my assistance are still pouring in.  My breaks and lunch historically get gobbled up as I attend to those things. That hurts me because my breaks and lunches are the times that I get outside and walk!  It is my little oasis of activity!  I tried to tell myself when I started this current class that I wouldn’t let that happen.  

But day one rolled around (yesterday...Thursday) and guess who didn’t go out for a walk?   Not one walk?  Yes, that’s!   My only salvation is that I am NOT a trainer that sits on my butt...I move around a my step count didn’t suffer yesterday.  I got the same or more steps.  But still, I like my walks!  So,   I am vowing to get out for at least my lunch break today!

The weekend is right around the corner and I am happy!  I am tired and need the rest....or maybe the crazy busy that the weekends usually are!  This weekend will be extra busy as we prepare for vacation because that is right around the corner also!!!

Happy weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Being a Female in a Male Dominated Sport

Mountain biking......this sport has been an interesting one to enter.   From spills and tumbles to pain and glory, this summer has been a crazy ride as I have entered the sport.  I have learned SO much and still have SO much more to learn.  However, I never thought about the aspects of entering a sport that is pretty much male dominated.  SO I am going to do my public service announcement to all you single ladies.....mountain can find a fit man out on the trails!  :-)

A few weeks back we were out riding and while we were stopped (at the hill that I call my nemesis) a rider came up on us and stopped to talk.  This guy ONLY talked to me and mostly just ignored Jason.  Oh yeah, it was that obvious.  It did NOT matter to this guy that I am wearing a ring......ok, it's a promise ring but there IS a ring on that all important finger!   I am nice (probably too nice sometimes) and talked to him but was happy when we said our goodbyes and we headed in the direction that we were travelling and this lecher headed off in his direction.  One hour later we ran into him AGAIN!  Really?  On all these miles of trails we had to run into you twice?   Once again he me and ignored Jason. Finally we moved on and all was good.   We talked about the leach and I have told Jason that if we run into him again...or anyone like him to not be surprised if I start talking about how it's so nice to be out with my husband on the trail.   I will be throwing in the phrase my husband constantly.  Because...well husband is a more strong word than 'boyfriend'.    Luckily he was on board with that!

So this past weekend we were out again and the first time we saw this new guy he just said 'hi' and complimented us on our bikes as he passed us.  But the second time he passed, he stopped to talk. This guy was fine and was not trying to poach on Jason's territory and spoke to both of us equally, so I didn't have to pull out the 'husband' phrases constantly.  In fact, this guy just automatically assumed we were married (you could tell from his comments).  But in the course of the conversation and through his final words to Jason, I realized just how rare of a breed that I am.  You see, I am out there with my man....and enjoying it!  (Yeah, I have to admit that I am starting to enjoy the rides...not the pain and the hard parts, but I am starting to enjoy this!)   I am willing to step into a sport that scares me to death sometimes.  I am willing to push myself out of my comfort zone to the point that I am starting to enjoy a sport that Jason loves.   This guys words that he muttered to Jason as we were parting..  "You lucky bastard"    

Right  now I'm feeling a bit 'good' and cocky.    NO, I have no desire to see the leach ever again..but it makes me proud of myself for being out there doing it!   And the second guy’s comment?  Yes, Jason is lucky  (how could he not when he has me ...hahaha).......but even more so, I am lucky to be with a man that has been willing to sit back and take the time to ride with me, a much slower rider.  He has sat beside me while I have meltdowns on the edge of a trail.  He has been the patient one.  I think I am the lucky one!  

As I ride more and more.  As I get to the point that I can kinda hang with the guys I am sure I will have more experiences and discover what it really means to be in a sport that is male dominated.  You see, I am doing something that most women don't even consider....and even more shocking?  I am doing it in my late 40's!  I must be crazy!

So single ladies...this is your public service announcement....get out and ride your bike!!!!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Weigh in Results

Another week in this weight loss journey is in the books.  I continued on much like normal for this past week.  However, I DID change my eating plan just a bit and let me tell you.  I was SCARED that I had messed everything up!!

As I wrote recently  I decided that I needed to change up my eating a bit.  That mainly meant that I would no longer be doing the 16:8 intermittent fasting and that I would be eating something at breakfast.  It also meant that I would be raising my calorie count on the weekends that I am riding heavily (and on the day after an intense ride).   I was confident with my plan.  I was pretty sure it was the right thing to do, but actually carrying out this plan really scared me.  I was super afraid that I would be upsetting the fine line of balance that I have achieved over the last few months.  You see, for the first time in my adult life I feel at peace and balanced in regards to my food intake and choices.  I don't feel guilty when I do indulge in a bit of a sweet treat. I also don't feel deprived when I do NOT indulge.  The indulgences are not everyday and not even every other day (or every third day).  I probably indulge maybe once a week.....and usually the indulgence falls on an intense workout day.   So you see, I didn't want to mess up that balance in my head.  But, of course I was also worried that it would backfire in regards to the numbers on the scales.

This past week’s weigh in should have been a lose week as this  was the lose weight week  on this new gain/maintain one week and lose the next see saw that I seem to be riding.  When  I went to step on the scales I just crossed my fingers that I lost!  I did!
I also went to see my family doctor this past week.  I had to have my annual physical.  But I also needed to talk to her about my weight, simply because I needed her to sign off on an appeal paper for my health insurance (so that I could reap the healthy weight discount on my monthly premiums).    She was happy with my efforts this past year.  She is happy with my plans and where I am at with my eating.  She concurs with my raised calorie intake plan.  She IS however concerned about my blood pressure.  It was elevated a bit. (I do have a touch of white coat  But all in all, it was a good visit.

So, This upcoming week is the week that I have been typically maintaining (or gaining).  This week is the TRUE test of my raised calories and breakfast experiment.  I've got my fingers crossed that I have found the magic solution to get this weight dropping CONSISTENTLY!  A weight loss journey is not for the faint at heart.  This weight loss journey is a constant battle to find the right balance, the right plan, the right everything.  I will keep adjusting and keep striving for my goals.  I KNOW that they are worth it!

Friday, September 13, 2019

The value of ourselves

I have always cringed when I hear someone say that they are losing weight in order to find their perfect partner.  They say that ‘if only I was thin I could find true love.”  These people talk about not being able to live a life and have friends because “I just need to be thin”.    Being thin becomes the holy grail!  Losing weight becomes the solution to all of their problems.  But I am here to tell you that the solution is NOT to lose weight.  The solution is to realize that your self-worth comes from within and NOT from our looks.
Self-worth starts with sitting back and realizing that who we are has so very little to do with the way we look.  It doesn’t come from how much we weigh or how we have styled our hair.  It comes from our personality. It comes from the intrinsic goodness of our souls.  It comes from the kindness of our words and the gentleness of our smiles.  (Or the flip side, it comes from the darkness and nastiness that burns within you if you are one of those people that are mean!) Who we are comes from our hearts and it is THAT facet of us in which our self-worth really comes from.   What the world looks at is only the outside layer.  It’s the skin that protects us.  It is just the packaging for who we are. 
I received the birthday gifts in the mail.  They were wrapped in the brown packaging that they were shipped in.  I kept staring at the packages as the date of the birthday drew nearer.  I knew I needed to wrap them.  I had the birthday gift wrap but I just kept delaying it.   Eventually (hours before the gifts were to be presented) I wrapped them in the festive paper.  Whew…I had done it!  But why?    I literally took off the original packaging and replaced it with a ‘prettier’ packaging.  Did it change the gift at all?  Absolutely not!  The gift was the exact same….it didn’t matter if it was a pretty package or a bland package.  It was what was inside the packaging that counted and mattered to the person that received the gifts.     At the end of that day when the gifts were opened, where did that pretty packaging end up?  It was in the garbage, it wasn’t worth ANYTHING!

Aren’t we just like the packaging on that gift? We can be in an overweight body or we can be in a thin body but does it change who we are inside?   Just like that gift it doesn’t change who we are.    We can wrap ourselves up in a pretty package.  We can lose the weight, restyle our hair, work on our tans and otherwise take care of any and all issues that we think we have with our bodies but what difference does it make?   We are the SAME PERSON no matter what we weigh!
This is a difficult concept to accept and to believe.  Our society has placed so much emphasis on our weight and our appearance that many people are focused on it.   Many people have been ridiculed for their weight (hair, acne, etc) and it isn’t easy to get over.  I get that.  But we need to step back and say ‘It’s just the packaging and those people are too shallow to see that the inside is the same!’
I did an experiment a while back.  I flat out asked people to say something about me.  I wanted to hear what people said. It was awkward because I felt like I was fishing for compliments….but I truly wanted to hear and to share what people REALLY think about me.  So here goes….
·          always available and ready to help
·          approachable and easy to talk to
·         Vibrant personality
·         Great training
·          amazing instructor
·         Awesome, biggest supporter, great listener, non-judgmental, persistently keeping goals in mind and strives for those goals
·         Inspirational
·         Always pleasant and treats you like a friend from the first hello
·         Pleasant and genuine
·         The real deal
·         Go get it attitude and meticulous and organized
·         Someone who gives her heart and soul to each task
·         Contains more creativity in her little finger than most people have in their whole body
·         Nice, sweet, helpful, friendly, outgoing
·         Loud
·         Outgoing and loyal
Not ONE person said anything about my physical appearance.  They all talked about my personality.  They talked about my work ethics.  They talked about my knowledge and my natural gifts.  Not ONCE did they say anything about my weight…..yet some of them have known me at my highest and lowest weights.  In fact, after I explained what my experiment was to one friend she remarked. “I don’t see people for their size but for their heart.  I don’t have fat friends….but I do have GREAT friends.”  That sums it up so perfectly.  
I once heard this remark.  It was in regards to someone that had made a bit of a negative remark about how someone was overweight.  The overweight person responded with, “I can lose weight and look great…my issue is totally changeable.  However, you can’t change your personality.  I can change and be thin and gorgeous….but you will still be mean and spiteful.  Honestly,  it’s you that I pity!”   How true was that comeback? 
Still think that the weight is important?  Sure, we all like a certain type of body, hair color or skin tone (just to name a few) when we are looking at potential partners.  But WHY would you be with someone that is so wrapped up in that one physical attribute.  What happens if that attributes changes?  Will they throw you to the curb like yesterday’s garbage if you gain a bit of weight?  What happens if you lose your hair through some horrible disease or accident?  Would they still love you then?  I don’t know!   I would NEVER want to be with a partner who says they love me but in reality only loved me if I was thin.  Love me fat….love me thin….love me with a curly thick head of hair or bald as a new born baby.  Love me in a variety of different ‘packages’ because the packaging that is me can change….but my heart remains the same!
So that said, I do want to say that it IS ok to try to change the outward appearance of ourselves.   It is perfectly ok.  There is nothing wrong with saying, “I am awesome just as I am…but I want to lose weight to make myself even better.”  There is nothing wrong with saying, “I like me but I would like to be thinner for ME”   Or you can be thinking, I love ME and it is quite ok to not love the packaging.  It’s ok to say “I would like to be in a nicer package.”  Just remember that It doesn’t change you are, it’s just the packaging… doesn’t change the ‘gift’ that inside!
I have been there.  I have totally tried to lose weight for the wrong reasons.  I lost a WHOLE BUNCH of weight once in an effort to make my ex love me.  He was always looking at this or that type of person and I tried my hardest to be and achieve what I thought he wanted.     I lost the weight.  But guess what?  It didn’t make him love me….because I just changed the packaging on my body and nothing else changed in our relationship.  He wasn’t in love with the internal facets of me….he wasn’t in love with my personality and quirkiness.  It didn’t work….you can change the packaging but that is all it is, just the fluff package.   Consequentially, I regained a good portion of that weight.  I had lost it for the wrong reasons.  I had not learned the valuable lesson of learning to love ME just as I am. 
Find happiness within yourself.  Think of your internal attributes.  Think of your sense of humor, your gentleness toward animals, your kindness toward the elderly, your vivacious personality, the way you try to help others….whatever makes you…..that individual you.  THAT is what is important.  The  packaging/external 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Trail of Tears Again

We had a fabulous time again this past weekend. Jason has turned into a bit of a wonderful motivator.   He is really helping me remember to push myself and keeping me motivated and moving. 

Our weekend started off with our normal grocery trip extravaganza. We typically end up going into three stores… Mostly because I’m cheap and we can get different things quite a bit cheaper at some places.  We went early and got all of our stuff purchased  and put away by 10:30 on Saturday morning. We grabbed the bikes and out we went. We decided to head to my favorite park and we decided to also take it easy and not really push ourselves too hard. I still pushed myself really hard.  There was one area that I have never even attempted, and I was determined to do it. I kept my head down and I was really chugging on.  I didn’t even tell Jason I was going to attempt it, I just kept riding toward the section and motioned him with my hand to keep going!  I was killing it until I looked up and forward and saw how much more I had to go to complete it.  At that moment my body just gave up....or rather my mind gave up and my body believed my mind!   No worries, I’ll get that one eventually. I have so many things that I need to conquer… And I will! It was a really good ride… And might I even say, it was a little bit fun!
We went home, and dropped off the bikes and within a very short period of time we were heading back out the door. We decided to walk all around downtown Frederick, the town where we live. 3 1/2 to 4 hours later, and my legs were toast! We moseyed through quite a few stores but the highlight (for me at least) was the open house at one of the old churches in downtown Frederick. The congregation for this church founded in 1784...that’s some age right there!  
Pipe Organ

We got home, showered and we had our weekly picnic… Grilling our dinner. I was one tired girl by the time we went to bed!!

On Sunday, I woke up and actually felt pretty good. I had a little stiffness maybe, but overall I was feeling pretty good. So we grabbed the bikes and out we went. Jason left the final decision of where we were going to bike that day up to me. I was so nervous when I suggested that we go to the trail of tears. Seriously, this trail has chewed me up and spit me out on so many occasions. Like here  Or here .    So, it is always with fear and trepidation that I go to the trail of tears. But, there was also a small amount of idle curiosity within me. You see, we had not been to the trail of tears in over a month. I have been riding religiously throughout that one month though. How would my body do on this trail. (And the trails that I do ride, are pretty difficult… Some of them are even ranked more difficult than the trail of tears… I just have some mental block to the trail of tears) but, I suggested it and off we went. Jason kept telling me that we didn’t have to do the whole thing and to not forget that it’s OK to walk. I hit the trail and I am proud to say that I made it the whole way out to the turnaround point without having to walk my bike over any hill!   I did still walk through the one feature… But I rode every other inch of that trail. There were sections that were hard for sure. But, they were not as hard as they used to be. Yeah, it kind of  shocked me to find it easier this go round!!!  I was so excited at the turnaround mark because I had ridden every section of the trail! I had not walked! I had not stopped to cry! 

  I was worried about the trip back though!   I knew I had at least an hour of riding to get back to the car!  I told Jason that I was worried and he reminded me that I can always stop to rest and I could always walk. I honestly fully expected to have to walk. I started back.  There were some sections that I was slow as molasses on the way back. But I am here to tell you, that other than that one big dip of a feature… I rode every inch of the trail back to the car! Yes, I surely did. So now for the really big announcement about the trail of tears… There were a few fleeting moments of fun-ness that happened. I’m not going to say it was all fun… I’m not even gonna say it was half fun… Because I would never admit something like that!  (Hahaha. Jason says someday I will admit it!).  But there were moments of fun for sure. I was flying on some sections… And I love to go fast! Am I ready to rename this trail to something other than trail of tears? Nope! Honestly, I think it will always be the trail of tears for me… Even though Jason insists that eventually I’ll call the trail of tears easy.

We dropped the bikes off at home at around 2 o’clock at home and since we were already sweaty and hot we figured why not go out for a hike. We didn’t go long or hard. Just an hour in the woods. Just enough to stretch our legs! By the time we were done… I was totally fried. Even Monday morning I was aching  something fierce. My biggest issue is the arthritis in my knees. But that’s OK, I know that I did good for my body this weekend!

We are killing it on the trails!   I just may become a badass mountain biker yet!!!

Monday, September 09, 2019

Weight loss and changes

Another week has passed and my official weigh in has been signed, sealed and delivered!

I was NOT overly happy with my weigh in this week.  It could have been worse...but it SHOULD have been a whole lot better!  I kept my food totally under control!  my calories were in line. I limited my carbs.  I didn't eat bad choices, I ate healthy!  There is NO reason!  (Ok, so my monthly 'ick' was arriving on the day of my weigh in....but really?)

Seriouslu,look at my stats!   Yeah, you can see my calories were a bit higher on three days.

But, look at it when you add my exercise in!

And then here is my weigh in results!

So this week made me really sit back and think about what I’m doing.  I talked a friend and got some advice. (thank you Donna)   I had already been thinking that maybe, just maybe I was eating too little.  I know...crazy right????    I have my profile on myfitnesspal set to a sedentary lifestyle.  That is true...because on the weekdays I work a desk job and I spend 3 hours in my car for my commute to and from work.  That is pretty sedentary!    But on the weekends, I am anything BUT sedentary.  I haven't been eating many of those extra calories either.... rather I only a few minimal extra calories. Is my body going into starvation mode?  I know I lose LESS (or even gain) the weeks where I am REALLY active on each weekend day.    My friend had a few suggestions but the one that I am trying first is to STOP the intermittent fasting.  If I am already  eating on the cusp of starvation (ok, I’m not close to starving....I'm completely satisfied...and obviously still overweight) maybe  that 16 hours of fasting is just emphasizing the 'almost' problem.  Maybe that long fast is just exacerbating the hunger and making it an issue.

On Tuesday I had a situation where when I started to think about it, it ALL made sense.  We had hiked on Monday and I had eaten a HUGE dinner......I felt stuffed (but I was still pretty close to my goal of 1550 calories....look above I didn't eat crazy!)     I woke up on Tuesday and within 10 minutes I felt HORRIBLE!  It felt like I was getting the flu!   I worried but got ready for work. I was fully expecting to have to go home half way through the day.  But then at about 8AM I heard my stomach growl.  What?  So  I dug into my emergency food and broke my fast early with a power bar.  I felt better.....for about an hour and then the sickness came back.   ALL. DAY. LONG.  I would eat something and feel better but then an hour or so later I would feel miserable again.  What the heck?  When I got home I had some chips while I was making dinner and then dinner and voila, I felt perfectly fine!  I had just been hungry all day and unable to catch up with just the 'snacky style' food I had on hand....and obviously my fruit and cheese lunch hadn't been enough either. (Duh, I could have gone to the cafeteria had I known that it really was just hunger!)

SOOOO, I am stepping away from the intermittent fasting for a while.  I want to see what happens.  I am also making a concerted effort to eat more on the weekends when I am super active.   It really makes me panic though......I have been so comfortable with where I am...for the first time in my adult life!  I have been so worried about upsetting the balance.  But, this quest to be healthy is not about sitting back and being is about the journey to fitness and weight loss.  It is about making me the best me possible!  So while I don't want to lose that peace and balance that I have found with food....I know that I need to find the balance that my body needs also!  This really is a total body journey!

Friday, September 06, 2019

Life lessons learned on a Mountain bike

We have been riding our bikes a lot lately.  It has been difficult as I am still quite overweight.  It has been crazy as I have very few skills that pertain to riding mountain bike trails.  It has been eye opening!  I have constantly been learning.  But the lessons that I am learning are not for mountain biking only.  You see, these lessons really do pertain to life in general.

So what I have I learned?

1.  I have learned that I need to not be embarrassed about being overweight and being out on the trails.  You see, only about 20% of the population actually exercises.  What?   So how in the world can I feel shame when I am beating about 80% of the population?   Sure, I huff and puff. Sure I struggle.  But I am doing it!   This pertains to ANY and ALL forms of exercise...not just biking!

2.  I have learned that sometimes we don't want to do something even though we know that it is the best option for us.  Sometimes we do have to push ourselves.  And that is ok   But many times we will find out that those days that we push ourselves out of our comfort zone turn out to be the best experiences!

3.  Our worst enemy is actually ourselves.  I went out to ride and I didn't want to go.  I was resisting and came up with a gazillion excuses in my head.  I totally talked myself out of wanting to ride and those voices in my head continued the whole way on the ride.  I rode SLOW.  I rode SLOPPY.  I moaned and I groaned.  I felt like I had been hit by a train.  Yeah, there may have been other factors that contributed to my feelings, but I do know that those thoughts that filled my head really affected my riding.  I talked myself into a bad ride.    I knew it....but it seemed that I was powerless to turn it around!    This really was a lesson that I needed to learn, not just for mountain biking but for life!  You see, I can talk myself into saying  "I just can't lose weight'  and once you say really do start believing it.  We believe our words...we take them as gold and therefore we really don't TRY.

4.  A more recent one is the fact that this journey of learning to mountain bike is filled with times where I could give up and call myself a failure.  I fall off the bike.  I have to walk.  I struggle.  It would be so easy to give up and call it quits!  But quitting is NEVER the way to reach a goal.  If I want to succeed, I need to get back on my bike and ride!   Weight loss is the same.  I will have meals or days where I struggle.  Sure, I could quit.....but that would  never allow me to reach my goal.  To Succeed in weight loss I need to get my butt back in line and keep trying.  I have to get back on that bike and ride  If at first you don't succeed, try try again!

I am sure that there will be more and more life lessons learned while I am out there on the mountain bike.  It just seems to happen naturally as I am riding  Events occur and then I sit on my bike thinking about them as we ride onward.  But you know what?  I am open and willing to learn. I want to make me the best possible me that I can.  That is part of my weight loss journey.  And to make me better, I have to learn and grow.  So bring it on!!!