Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Money Speaks: money as a motivator

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer  for details. 

I am the kind of person that does not like to spend money...or rather I don’t like to waste my money!   I want know that what I am buying is going to be used!   Sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes a bad thing...because for me, I will use a purchase to ensure that I do something.  I may hate a pair of expensive shoes, but I still continue to wear them because, ‘Hey, I spent good money on these shoes!’   So yes, spending money can motivate me to use that item.  This can be a bad thing, in the case of a pair of shoes that hurt my feet!  But it can be a really good thing if I use that ‘cheapskate’ personality to my advantage!

Years ago, I bought a bike.  I spent a pretty penny (well at the time I thought it was a pretty penny....my newest bike cost quite a bit more.....).  At that time I hadn’t ridden a bike in years upon years so maybe it was a bit foolish to spend so much money on a bike.  But I had a method to my madness.  You see, I knew that if I dropped that money for a bike, that I would USE the bike...the guilt over the money spent would ensure it!   Nope, I was  not wasting my money on something that was going to collect dust and never get used!  And it worked!  I rode that bike heavy for the first year or two.  The motivation wears off once the product is past the, ‘gotta get my money worth stage’.  But the motivation is strong at first...and in the case of the bike, it allowed me to fall in love with biking and to get into the groove!!  This has worked multiple times over the years.  Proven method for me! 

So this cheapskate that I am has been saying for MONTHS about how I want to get back to running.  I have been lamenting about how I miss running!   But I just haven’t done it!   So I have added a wee itty bitty motivator!!!

I have LOVED my Fitbit Alta. (Affiliate link).  But it’s getting old and the battery is starting to need charged more and more (ok after 2.5 years I have to recharge it ever 4 days versus every 8 days!). It needed to be replaced...sooner or later. I thought about another Alta.  I thought about the Versa.  I even thought about an I watch .   But I kept going back to a garmin watch....simply because ‘if I ever start to run again, a garmin would be the best’.   I have even vowed to start running and then get the watch.  (Yeah that doesn’t work for this cheapskate!!). 

So this past weekend I ante upped the money!  I ordered it from Amazon.  (Yes I include affiliate links but I am a big user of Amazon myself!). I decided upon the Garmin Instinct.   I had debated on the Fenix...but just didn’t want to spend that much money!   I found the color I wanted and one of the cheapest prices.  It is right now consistently running right at $300.  I found it on Amazon for about $10 under that  (yup another link to what I actually purchased...and it is an affiliate link)   Woohoo!  A real plus for a cheapskate like me!  I hit the button to buy it and then I waited anxiously for my shipment to arrive.   Finally the day of my shipment arrived. Typically our packages are waiting for us when we get home from work.  Wouldn’t you know...this time it wasn’t there!  I was antsy and wanted my watch!   It didn’t show up until 7:45 PM!!!   

I had time to play a bit!   Just enough to get it up and running and to figure out the basic functions!  

No I don’t have it on my arm too tight...and no my arm is not deformed...it was just a weird angle!!!  And I’m not sure why my heart rate was so high, I was just sitting there!

Soooo...now its time to get to running....as soon as I’m over the cold that has felled me the last few days!!  In the meantime....we got suckered into buying a complete series on DVD.  We have been talking a lot about those series lately...so decided to buy it!  What series?  Scooby Doo of course!!!  It will arrive tomorrow!!!  So while I’m recouping from this cold, you can find us on the couch watching Scooby Doo with a box of tissues between us!  After that...see you on a run!!!





Monday, May 20, 2019

A run in with the law: How being super active can get you in trouble

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer  for details. 

Another weekend on the books.   We took the time to relax this weekend, as usual.  However this weekend was the first sunny and warm weekend in a while so we used it wisely and spent some time outside!  We had fun outside with biking and hiking, even with a bit of an adventure that got us in trouble with the law.

As the weekend began, we started with the routine errands.  We left the house early Saturday morning and hit the grocery stores.  Necessary evil!  After getting home I put away the groceries and took the time to clean the fruits and veggies and actually chop and prepare all of the salad items for the week.  (Everything for salad toppings is chopped and individually bagged and put in one large container...pull out the container and it’s like a mini salad bar.).  All of that was done by noon and we were ready to head out the door for some fun!

Our adventure on Saturday was to go bike riding!   We opted for the canal, an easier ride.  I was a little worried about my shoulder, an issues that I talked about in this previous post   I know that in the week proceeding the arm getting really bad that my hand had gone numb while riding, so I suspected that riding may not be a good thing for this shoulder issue.  However, I had been having very little pain so I hoped that all would be well.  But one never knows, the only thing to do was to try!    I knew almost immediatelu that biking was not going to be an awesome choice.  But I pushed through.  
Turtles in the water
By the time we were done my arm ached...ok my whole right upper quadrant ached!   I took it easy all evening and recovered...but lesson learned.  Heal completely before really spending too much time on a bike!

That isn’t snow....bring on the pollen!!!

On Sunday we relaxed a bit in the morning and did one or two quick errands before heading out.   This day we opted to go hiking.  We decided to go to Catoctin Mountain National Park.  We had a delightful time! 
The hike was harder for me than it should have been!  But that’s ok, it just emphasized my need to get fit!  What was hard?  From overlook to the base of a waterfall....that means a pretty steep incline....climbing!

Ok, maybe some of my difficulty could have been the fact that I am dealing with some sinus issue (maybe cold) and couldn’t breathe through my nose...and had drainage from my sinuses the whole time....so that does make breathing more cumbersome to begin with! But that’s an excuse...I still need to get fit!

The ‘real’ adventure started when we left the trailhead.  I was driving along and we saw a rattlesnake crossing the road.  Now let me say that I have seen snakes in the wild, but never a rattle snake.  Jason has always talked about how he would love for me to hear the rattle of a rattlesnake BEFORE we are hiking and I’m about to innocently step on one!  So we naturally pulled into a little turn around that was right by Mr. Snake. We got out and from a distance antagonized the snake (we did no harm to an animal...never would we do that!). I even grabbed a few pictures of the said snake! (I was no where close to the snake...zoom is a good thing!!)

After a few minutes we walked the five feet back to the car and that is when I realized what we had done!  We were in a turn around that was clearly marked no stopping or standing.  And there were signs that were marked no cameras.  (Technically it wasn’t a camera...it was a cellphone. Hahaha).  I told jason that we had just broken the law...he also immediately knew what we had done.  We calmly left the spot and began our drive out of the area.  About a 1/4 mile down the road a ‘park police’ vehicle was waiting for us...as soon as I saw them I knew I was getting pulled over.  They pulled out behind me and followed me a bit (long enough to run my plates?) and then the lights came on!  Let me tell you, I used to live in Sharpsburg, Md literally with the front of my property bordering the National Park Service land that was Antietam Battlefield and the back of my property bordered the C&O canal....another National Park.  I have had plenty of dealings with Park police...and these guys were NOT ‘park police’.  The two guys that got out of the ‘park police’ vehicle and approached my car (one on either side of the car making us both roll down our windows) were wearing flak vests and armed to the hilt! That is not standard park police attire!!  

If you know any government history you will have heard of Camp David.  It is the presidential retreat in the mountains west of Washington DC.  It is located....you guessed it, within the confines of the Catoctin Mountain National Park.  I have ALWAYS known it was there. My parents always had a love of the Catoctin National Park.  (In fact my mother as a child went to a camp quite near Camp David!)  It isn’t a big deal because it is just part of life for anyone that lives in that area or visits that area a lot.  When the president is in residence, roads are blocked and more security is present, but it is always under guard. (I have a friend that lives close and talks about visiting her mothers grave which is quite near and how at times she could see agents in the woods watching her as she mourned...creepy but understandable...especially in today’s day and age!).   

So yes I was ‘interrogated’ by the police (military police...secret service...whatever organizationthat they were with...just pretty sure not park police.  Hahaha) as to what I was doing so close to Camp David.  Oh they didn’t say  Camp David...they used the un-official ‘Naval Support Facility’ name.  I was very clear and told them exactly what had happened.  That we had seen the snake crossing the road and we were focused on the snake and I just wasn’t thinking and I also told them the reason we were looking at a rattle snake.  (A safe lesson in nature for me!)  I admitted to knowing about Camp David and that I just wasn’t thinking.   (I used the name Camp David and he just chuckled...he knew I knew.) I even admitted to realizing my error when we got back into the car and knowing as soon as I saw him that he was going to be pulling me over.  And yes, I admitted to taking pictures...so my cell phone was passed over, to show my photographic skills of course. (Ha)

After checking my registration, insurance and liscense they came back and gave me a verbal warning.  They were actually quite friendly....intimidating as heck though. I drove away...and then we gave into the laughter. Seriously,  I chuckled the whole way home!   Guess I used up my warning!  Wonder what the penalty is if I do it again???

So there you have it....an active adventurous weekend!!!  While the bike riding was fun, it was a bit of a bust with my bum arm.  And while the hiking was fantastic, it had a bit of an awkward ending. I am pleased though with the level of activity!  My body feels good after using and pushing myself a bit!!!  Bring on more!!!!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Aleve: was that really the cause of my weight gain?

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer  for details. 

I have recently pondered if  any medication I was taking was causing a weight gain (a sudden spike in my weight).  I researched and couldn’t find any evidence of the medications I was taking to cause a weight gain.  I therefore threw up my hands and accepted my overnight gain of 7 pounds as ‘my fault’. It was totally disheartening!  It had been two weeks and I am no longer taking the medication....and I am cautiously optimistic that the weight is gone....and I think I know the culprit...prescription strength Aleve.  I am pretty sure that the Aleve was causing weight gain. 

Weight gain after taking medications
few weeks ago I had an issue with my shoulder   When I went to the urgent care I was advised that I had a muscle issue that was inflamed and that in turn had caused a pinch nerve.  It was painful and no fun.  They prescribed medication to ease the pain and suffering and to also help alleviate the problem so that my body could heal.   I immediately started the medication regime. The medication helped the pain in my shoulder and arm!   However the pain in my heart started the next morning when I stepped on the scales and found my weight to be 7 pounds higher!  I figured it was some anomaly and that it would right itself the next day.  But that was not to be...my weight remained high!

I researched the various medications that I was on.  I saw no direct links to weight gain with any of them!  I was disheartened and disgusted....because if the medications didn’t cause my overnight spike, the fault was my own....and I couldn’t figure out what in the world else would have caused it!

I hate taking medication.  Since the more ‘potent’ medications were labeled ‘as needed’ I only took them sparingly.  I quickly realized that that luckily for me, they were not the ones that were helping the most. So after a few days I stopped taking them completely. (But I still carried them with me, just in case.) I however continued taking the prescription strength Aleve, as that was the key for my problem!

My weight remained high and I went through a week or so of desperation as my weight stayed 7 pounds higher than my pre-medication weight.  As I stated earlier I hate taking medications so a few days back I stopped taking the  prescription strength Aleve. (And other than a few twinges of pain, I’ve been fine.).  Waiting 24 hours of stopping the Aleve, my weight started to drop!   As of this morning...my weight has returned to what it was right before I went to urgent care.  Hallelujah!!!

I saw no official studies on this.  This is only my experience, but for me, next time I end up taking Aleve, I am not going to panic if my weight pops up on the scales!    Will I still take Aleve?  Absolutely!  I’ll take the prescription strength Aleve again if needed!   I will also keep the over the counter strength Aleve in my cabinet, it was the best thing I found for back pain!  (Amazon affiliate link). 

Week in Review
This week has been a rough one for me!  I have been exhausted!  Jason has at one or times questioned me about my quietness, because it is abnormal for me (I know that shocks you to know that I may be a bit verbose! Hahaha). I just respond that I’m tired.   I have also sat and just cried because of my exhaustion.  (I cry when I’m tired, it’s like my emotions flare up!). It’s been a long week!  

I managed to get some lunch time walks on.   However after work exercise has not yet recommenced!  Shame on me!

My food has been pretty good!  I haven’t been actually tracking my food (Which is a fail for my monthly goals) but I have been keeping a rough mental tally in my head, so I know that I’m not out of control.  

It’s been a normal work week!  Tiring and long.  But I did take some time for self care.  I did make some overdue appointments (eye check and dentist cleaning).   

So there you have it, my week in review  and my self discovery in regards to my weight gain in relation to the medications that I was taking for my shoulder issues, in particular Aleve.  It won’t change my behavior about taking medications but I like being in the know!  This way I will not take it as a personal failure the next time I take the same medication and experience a weight gain!


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

To monetize or to not monetize, that is the question

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer  for details.

I started writing on this site 13 1/2 years ago. It started as a simple way for me to journal my weight loss. I have always kept a journal. I actually have a journal going back to third grade. (It cracks me up to read it!). Maybe I was just naïve when I started this online journal, I certainly knew that someone could stumble upon this journal… But I never realized when I started that so many people could and would read my words. Imagine my surprise when I started to accumulate followers and comments! Knowing that I had consistent readers did not change the way I wrote in terms of subject matter. I still continued, and still do to this day, right my true and unadulterated story and thoughts. I hold nothing back, and I tell it like it is.  Even when it’s embarrassing and shameful. The only thing that changed was that I did strive to make my posts a little more reader friendly and not just a one sentence synopsis of my day. Oh, and I started to add pictures.  (Like this one from my walk at lunch yesterday!)


Quite a few years into maintaining this online journal, I started to see people doing the vlogs. I thought about it. I seriously thought about it. But I never jumped in to do it because, well...I don’t know why!  I also started to realize that some people had  ads on their site. Over the years, I have seriously thought about that also. I always resisted. After all, at the heart of the matter, this is really just my personal journal, one that I have invited the world to join in and read.   Part of my resistance though came from the fact that many blogs I read that monetized turned into ‘money makers’.  Those sites and posts changed from personal to purely informational posts designed to attract a random reader and garner clicks and sales!  I didn’t want that!  Not at all!!!

However, the thought of monetizing this site has continued to crop up in my thoughts over and over through the years.  This last year, even more than ever. I think part of it is due to the fact that we watch a lot of YouTube videos and we see people making a decent living off of their YouTube channels. I also have read some recent blog posts about people that are making money off of their blogs. I haven’t gone looking for these blogs and videos, they have come across my radar quite naturally.

I actually have the idea for a YouTube channel.  Who wouldn’t want to watch a 46-year-old overweight woman learn to mountain bike…  jumps, drops, furiously fast downhill sections, and weight loss. (Cause being out there would garner weight loss I’m sure!). I think that it would be part motivational, simply because of my weight and my age.  How many people don’t do something because they are older or overweight.  I also know that it could be quite humorous. Just remember the trail ride in this post wheree I found myself sitting on the side of the trail crying. Furthermore, such a channel would also satisfy the morbid factor.   Everyone would be sitting on the edge of their seat waiting for me to fall or cry....Over and over again probably. Perfect idea right???  But, I honestly just don’t know that I have the time and energy for a project of that magnitude.

You may have noticed a while back that I started adding a few Amazon affiliate links to my post. Not exactly a great moneymaker (I think I made $.22 last month) but it’s worth a try. I don’t put links in there often because it honestly had to be a product that I am actually using that comes up naturally in my post. I refuse to write a post just to throw an Amazon affiliate link out there.  (Which is probably why I only made 22 cents!)

A week or two ago, I finally caved. I added adsense to my site. I am personally trying to keep the ads unobtrusive because I don’t want the mission of my site to change. But, I want your opinion… does it turn you off?

I don’t expect to make any kind of money. I don’t expect to quit my job. I just figure, if I’m already writing then I may as well add these extra things on and maybe the pennies I make will add up to cover the financial expense of this site (the financial expense is quite nominal so maybe I can achieve that!). I wanted to explain my choices, maybe defend my decision a little. (To myself since I feel as if I sold out!!). Monetizing this blog site will not change the content. I refuse to write  fluff sales posts. I refuse to turn this into anything other than what it is, which is a chronicle of my journey.For better or worse, let’s see what happens. And buckle your seatbelt because I have no choice...my health has to change....my weight has to drop!!!  Let’s do this!!!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Embarrassment: the added cost of obesity

Good Monday morning.  Another weekend has passed.   Another rainy weekend to boot!  This weekend I had some thoughts come to my mind in relation to weight loss.  It had to do with embarrassment about my multiple attempts to restart my healthy lifestyle.  It had to do with shame of my failed ventures at weight loss. And even more revealing, they were about the humiliation I feel when I catch sight of myself in a mirror or window while I am out and about! How did I let myself get to this point!

So let’s start with the weekend. As always it went  way to fast!  I can’t even comprehend how time flies by so fast on the weekend!  This weekend was rainy, so it greatly diminished our outdoor activities.  We talked about gearing up and going hiking in the rain....but it was a cold rain!  Yeah, we wimped out!   We did do a few things to stay moving and active.  We also got some things done around the house that have been hanging over our heads.  So it was productive!!!

As the weekend progressed I started to think about my post for Monday and even more importantly where I am in my weight loss journey.   My weight is still up, it has not dropped much since my dramatic overnight jump of 7 pounds when I started the medication for my shoulder.  Admittedly I allowed the despair of that increase to drive me to a few extra calories one one or two occasions last week.  But by the numbers I should still be seeing a decrease.  So as I pondered my next move I knew that things needed to get serious...real serious.   I was formulating the ‘new start’ post in my head.  And that is when the shame washed over me.  Yes, shame.  How many times have I vowed that ‘this is it?’  How many fresh starts have I attested to.  How many times have I failed only to a week or two later make a ‘this time it’s for real’ attestation on this website!!  (If I’m lucky it’s only a week or two later....when it’s longer the damage done is usually greater!).   It’s downright embarrassing!  Utterly and demoralizing so!

I was still reeling from my embarrassment revelation when we decided to walk through the mall and a few stores. (Hey, it was raining, what else were we to do to get a bit of movement into our day!).  Those places have a TON of mirrors.  My eye caught my reflection and I just wanted to sink into the floor with embarrassment. How in the world did I let myself return to this point?  How?  When I was losing weight the first time around, I very clearly remember saying that I would NEVER be over 200 pounds again.  Yet here I am!  Significantly over that 200 pound mark I might add!  I do find comfort in the fact that I have not gained it all back...but what I have regained is way more than any one should ever have to lose...again...or even ever!  Utter humiliation coursed through me at the sight of my overweight body in the mirror.  How could I have let this happen?

I know that I can do two things.  I can wallow in my self pity and embarrassment and make no changes.  Or I can pull myself up by the bootstraps, take these embarrassing revelations and honestly make the changes within my life to turn the shame into pride.  Yes, it is a restart....yes it is one of probably a hundred or more restarts that I have vowed.  But wallowing in my self pity is only going to bring about more embarrassment as I struggle to do things that a normal sized person can do. (For example: riding roller coasters at an amusement park, shopping at any store for clothes and not having to go to the fat women’s stores or departments, not being out of breath when I go up a few flights of stairs, etc). 

I’m not giving up.  I hope and pray that this is the last restart in my life.  But if it is not the last one...I will keep pushing forward and restarting!   Meanwhike, It is my fervent wish and plan to make the changes so that I never again have to look in a mirror at myself and feel nothing but shame and disgust.  I will continue to push forward. Victory can be had for me.  I can do this!



Friday, May 10, 2019

Friday check in

It’s Friday!!!  I’m so happy about that fact!!!   I know, I know; I’m a broken record on Friday’s!!!   But hey...it is the way my life goes!  I have a problem with the work life balance at this point so my weekends are so important!  The work life balance affects me in more ways than just counting down until the weekend. It does affect my weight loss I am sure!

My work days are long and early when I add in my commute.  I am tired and crash into bed relatively early.   I also cook dinner pretty much every night (not fridays...that is delivery night!) which takes time.  By the time I eat I might have and hour or maybe two ...and bybthat time I’m just wiped out.  It’s hard to find the energy or time to work out. (I already wake up at 5am...a morning workout would be optimum but I can’t bear to wake up any earlier.!). I feel as if my whole life during the work week is simply work and survival.  I know it has to change...that’s not healthy!

We have vowed to ride or walk after work, starting next week.  (We started to ride but then my shoulder problems kicked into high gear).  It will make the evening even more cramped, but this is a necessary sacrifice.  I need to for my health!

And now....my weight. Something I would rather ignore and not talk about...but this is my life and I say it how I see it.    I spoke in my last post about how my weight was up  for seemingly no true reason.   I’m sad to say that my weight is still up...slowly going down.  I am disgusted to see all of my work from this year  (slow but my weight was going down) disappear overnight!  But I can’t give up!  I am still hoping it has something to do with my arm/shoulder issues and the medication and auto correct itself.  But only time will tell.

I’ve done good with walking during my lunch breaks...today is supposed to be rainy so I’m not planning on walking.  I have been delighted with some of the spring things I see on my walks!!! Lots of babies on one day!!!




Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Despair: loss of control

The last few days have been a bit odd for me.  I don’t rightly know what has happened on the scales.  You can read between the lines and see a gain I’m sure. It has caused despair and confusion and sadly enough a loss of control!  It has been a rollercoaster of physical feelings from sick to  hunger to being stuffed.

So let’s start at the beginning....the weekend!  I wrote about the weekend on Monday so I won’t belabour the weekend information.  I will just say that my food wasn’t that bad.  My calorie intake was on the high end of my set range and only over by close to 100 calories on one day.  My weight was low on the weekend.  I was overall pretty happy.

Then comes Monday.  (Imagine dark dramatic music playing in the background.). I woke up.  The medicine was working and I was relatively pain free...I was terribly quesey though!  I stepped on the scales and boom my day came crashing down around my ankles.  6 pounds?  The day before had been my higher calorie count but seriously....it was only about 100 calories over the top of my range...we are talking 1700 calories!  The other days had been within range.  Six pounds??  No way!!!  This was messed up!

The only thing I could think of was the medicine...but upon checking them there were no reports of issues such as water retention or anything!  But still I hoped! The queasiness persisted and I actually didn’t take the any medicine until later in the day...and one medicine I didn’t take at all.  That came back to haunt me as the pain returned full force.  Lovely....NOT.  

So I woke up on Tuesday in pain but ready to step back on the scales.  Surely the number I saw on Monday was a temporary aberration!  Yeah...it wasn’t! And thus started a mondaybof no control.  I was no longer quesy and in fact I found myself constantly hungry!  Hungry to the point of hunger pains (hunger pains surprise the heck out of me...rare feeling!).   My newly found (second time around) intermittent fasting went out the window as I ate something for breakfast.  I followed that up with my lunch...not the healthy one I packed...but a super filling (calorie laden) one from the cafeteria.  I did eat the strawberries from my lunch for an afternoon snack!  (A snack I didn’t need) and then I had a full dinner!     And then the hunger went away and I felt sick to my stomach!  

Today I plan on returning to the intermittent fasting.  I plan on sticking to my packed lunch.  I plan on taking my meds as required. My weight...well.....it still up.  Way up.  But I will drink my water and watch and hopefully it will settle back down pretty quickly!

I have this and I’m going to win this war against my obesity!  I am not going to live as a fat woman for the rest of my life!   Days like Monday and Tuesday will NOt get me there.  I don’t rightly know what happened...I’m currently blaming the medications.  But we shall see!  In the meantime, I march onward!!!



Monday, May 06, 2019

Rain rain go away: washed up plans for exercise

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer  for details. 

What is it with weekends and the Firecasfed rain?  Of all starts on fridays.  Of all of the fridays thus far in 2019, only two have been rain free.   Most of them recently have been wild storms with winds and/or buckets of hard rain coming down.  And that only leads into the weekend.  For the weekend we either contend with tons of mud outside or more rain!  This past weekend was no exception.  It ruined any hope of being outside....well being comfortably outside and active!  However, that may have been a good thing...sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out and it ends up being for the best!

About a week ago I alluded in a previous post to some mysterious pain in my arm. It was a pain that had been minor and fleeting for a while but had quickly escalated last weekend into a more constant full ache with moments of ‘take my breath away pain’.  I wasn’t happy, of course but settled in and took steps to try to relax and not use that arm as much to allow it time to heal.   Of course that is easier said than done...when it is your dominant side!  The week had its ups and downs.   I would have times where I was pretty stationary (at my desk at work) and the pain would simmer down. But then I would have moments where I would unwittingly use the arm and the pain would flair up.  By Friday night it was bad...constant pain and pain that radiated down to my thumb and up to and through my shoulder.  I was concerned!  I tried to rest it on Saturday...but by Saturday evening I couldn’t use at all  it and my range of motion in the shoulder was nearly gone!   Sleep on Saturday night was horrible.  I woke up nearly in tears twice from the pain.   

Sunday morning arrived and there was no question about it.  I had to see a doctor.   60 minutes (yay it was a quick visit) and one urgent care visit later and I was diagnosed.  

The fact that my early symptoms were more muscular...it was more of an achy muscle pain for weeks lead her to start with this diagnosis.  Early on I would move my arm and I would have that sharp ache of a muscle that had just been worked out...you know, that pain you get when your muscles have been used well!  Except, I hadn’t worked out!  It only degenerated into something more the day that I was using my arm and constantly feeling that pain...which indicates something going on with that muscle.  But the radiating and numbing feeling in my thumb...and the fact that I could trace the pain the whole way from my shoulder to my thumb pointed to a pinched nerve.   A one two punch...the one causes compression of the other which causes more pain.  

So she sent me home with a prescription for muscle relaxers and prescription strength anti inflammatory meds (I had already been taking Advil on Saturday because I could FEEL the heat of the inflamation in my shoulder...but hey...my insurance pays for the RX ones...go ahead and give me a prescription!).  I am to use these for a week or two to allow relief AND with that relief to give my body time to heal.  If after a week I am not better, I have a referral for physical therapy.

I got the meds filled and immediately popped one of each pills.  (The muscle relaxer could be one or two every 6 hours as needed).   They didn’t touch it at all!   I took the second muscle relaxer about an hour later and shortly thereafter I felt relief for the first time in days.  Not totally gone but I was able to move and only felt the slight twinge.

I am crossing my fingers that my body heals on its ownwoth the aid of the meds to keep me relaxed and pain free.  I have a high deductible and physical therapy would be coming out of my pocket!  

So it was a pain filled weekend and a weekend of lots of rain!  We did our shopping and ran some errands.  I bought a new pair of  tennis shoes.  I’ve been wanting to try the brand Altra ..(amazon associate link) and have vowed to try them the next time I needed new tennis shoes. I knew i was going to need them soon, so when I found them on sale, I bought them!!!  These shoes have quickly taken the trail users by storm.  Many people now swear by them to hike and trail run! Jason has had a pair and said they are the most comfortable shoes that he has ever worn.  The toe box IS large so it gives your toes room to wiggle and breathe...but as a downside it does look a bit clownish. But who cares...I’m looking for confort!  

On Sunday after the muscle relaxers kicked in we headed to a mall where there was an animal show.  $14 bucks a piece later and we had seen it.  Some of the animals were neat...and they are all rescue animals...and the money goes to help rescue animals...so a good cause...but a bit overpriced for what we got.  The Brazilian armadillo was cute though!!  


It was a good way to spend a rainy pain recovery day.

Now on to the work week...I plan on taking it easy...continuing the meds and getting this problem healed so that I can get more active!  I have some weight to lose!!!


Friday, May 03, 2019

April weight loss recap: never give up

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for details. 

Well I can’t seem to get it right!  I posted march’s recap a few days early. And here it is May 3 and I am just getting around to posting the recap for April, so I’m a few days late.   Maybe I will hit May spot on!!! April was a mixed bag of success and failure in my weight loss efforts!  I took steps to be more healthy but I also struggled in a few areas!  I learned more about myself during the month.  But the most important thing, I never gave up!!! 

So let’s look at the monthly goals

1. Track every bite of food!    I tracked my food.  There were a few days that I was so tempted to not track, but I went back and tracked it each and every time!
2.  Put money into my savings. Done
3.  Weight less than I do now!  I don't care if it's a measly ounce...I want to weigh less!   I actually managed a 3.2 pound loss this month.  Not spectacular.  Not deserved.  But appreciated!
4.  Do something active (a walk suffices) at least 3 times a week. I did great with walking on my lunch breaks!  I didn’t walk every day, but I hit a LOT of days!  We also did some after work bike rides (not many but a few) and most weekends managed to be active both days.
5. Keep my eating in check for at least 6 days a week. I was over my goal range of calories 9 days of the month.  Only one day did I go over 2000 calories.  (And if I add in exercise that number goes down to only ) days did I eat over my goal range!).  I had a week where I ate a bit more than I wanted...and a weekend of food feeding frenzy!   I definitely need to bring this back into check and lower the amount of ‘over days’.
7.  Walk at least an average of 5 k steps a day... I managed this!  The lunch time walks really helped...and the hikes on the weekend made up for the days that I didn’t walk on my lunch!  I’m aiming for the 5k again this month..but I may try to beef up that number in coming months!!!

Proof of lunchtime walks!

So while I managed most of my goals, I am not counting it as a stellar month of success.  I had some slip ups with my eating and my exercise is still not where I want it.  But all in all I am counting it as a success!

A while back I was interested in intermittent fasting, I explained it a bit in this post I did it for a while and then just kind of fell off the bandwagon.  I had a day or two that I was ravenous in the morning! So I started to eat breakfast and just never stopped again.  Well, one morning this week I got to work and somehow forgot to eat my morning breakfast of a banana.  (I typically don’t like to eat right after I wake up so I throw an extra piece of fruit in my lunch box and eat that when I get to work).  I didn’t miss it!  It made me start to think about why I’m eating that banana in the morning.  I found that I’m eating it out of habit...not because I’m hungry!   I have just naturally stopped eating that piece of fruit...I just don’t want it.  I have packed a fig bar  (Amazon affiliate link....I find the big boxes at Costco also!) in my lunch that I can eat should I get that ravenous feeling...because when I get like that, I tend to gorge on all sorts of things throughout the day!  So I am back to intermittent fasting!  I am aiming for the 16:8 method again.  I’m not going to be religiously anal about it....but I am going to see how it goes!  So far I feel great!

So there you have it.  The recap for April AND the last  epiphany in the month of April!  I had some success in my weight loss journey.  I had some failure in my weight loss journey.  I had some revelations in my weight loss journey.   I am still alive and kicking and I plan on making May a great month for my quest to get healthy and fit!!

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Quitting: all part of my weight loss journey

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclaimer for details. 

Do you know the saying, when the going gets tough the tough get going?  I’m sure we’ve all heard it, but do we live it?  When things get tough and difficult what do we do? There are quite a few options of how we can handle a difficult aspect or event in life. Do we toughen up and conquer the difficulty.   Do we just accept  the difficulty as the new norm? Or, do we tuck tail and flee from the difficulty and the specter of failure and just quit?

Learning has always come easily to me. When I start a new task, job or hobby I learn relatively quickly and manage each task with a pretty good success rate. So it came as a surprise to me during the most recent changes at work when I learned the concepts easily but then struggled with the implementation of the concepts. Honestly, some of the problems stem from the chaos surrounding this new job… chaos, inconsistencies, unanswered questions, etc. (I am told to do things one way one week so I adjust and sit back thinking I’m finally on track....but then a few days later I am brought up for ‘major errors’...something totally different and new or completely opposite of the previous instruction and always something I knew nothing about!). But I will be very open and transparent to say that some of my personal issues are totally myself.  I seem to have a mental block against one process....it’s me and my problem. (Even though I think the process doesn’t flow and is not at all sensible...lol). I don’t like it that I struggle.  Of course I am working my hardest to be successful and overcome these obstacles. But in the meantime I am left feeling quite discombobulated and much like a failure. The other day at work I was dealing with these feelings and all I wanted to do was quit. Yes, the solution that my mind came up with was to quit my job and find another one where I could easily be successful. Yes, I realize how absolutely crazy I sound. I was quite successful at this job two months ago, I will be successful again. I just have to get through this off kilter phase. (It is a consolation to see my coworkers also miserable and suffering alongside me.) My initial response to this difficulty was to run away. As soon as I realized this fact, I told myself… I’m not a quitter. (We have people quitting right and left so it makes it more tempting!) However.....Failure, is not an option.  

Years ago I used to have this magnet....alas it is long gone...but it is so perfect for me!!!  I may have to buy it again!!! (Amazon affiliate link)

Sure, it’s easy to say I’m not going to quit when it comes to  employment. I need a paycheck to survive… Quitting isn’t an option. But woah, what about weight loss? Is quitting an option in my weight loss efforts?

Unfortunately, failure in any weight loss/healthy journey is a very real risk. Quitting is even more common. When the going gets tough in a weight loss journey we tend to disappear. We run away. We quit. How utterly unacceptable is that?

I wish that there was an easier way to combat that natural instinct to turn and run the other way when things get difficult.  Life isn’t easy.  Choosing to stand and face the difficulty takes willpower and courage. Choosing to consistently strive for a better healthier life takes effort. Just like staying at a difficult job is important to my financial stability, not giving up and quitting my weight loss journey is just as important.  Maybe even more important!

We need to  realize that our health, our weight, our fitness levels are just as important as our paycheck. If I can’t quit a job without another job lined up, then I can’t quit a weight-loss journey without a clear plan for success that I am ready to start!

When the going gets tough… What are you gonna do?  Quitting is always an option.  Just ask the numerous people who have quit from my team recently...and none of them had other jobs lined up, quitting was an option for them.  Laying down and accepting probable failure is another option.  We can always accept our failure as the norm in life.   But I think I like this third option the best.   When the going gets tough, I am just going to work harder.....at work, at home, on my bike, and in my weight loss journey!  




Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Healthy Journey: it’s not all food and exercise

Welcome to Monday!   I can’t say as though I am happy to welcome Monday though.  Why do the weekends go by so fast?   I even had off work on Friday and it  still felt as if I blinked and the weekend was over!!!   In terms of my health, it was a bit of a failure, if we look only at food and exercise.  However,  I had the exact kind of weekend that I needed and it was good for my health.  Yes a bad food and exercise weekend was actually a good weekend for a healthy lifestyle.

I had an amazing time with my mother on Friday   My shopping expedition was quite successful.   It was one of those days when I was able to easily and quickly find clothes that fit nicely and that I also liked!  I bought 3 new nightgowns, three pairs of shorts, two shirts that are strictly for work, 5 shirts that are good for weekends AND workdays, and about 5 new casual teeshirts that I can wear for casual or use as a base layer with dress clothes.   Quite successful!  Even better it was a delightful day with my mom!!!  We went to lunch and while I did eat a nice healthy salad, I also had a cheeseburger and tater tots.  What started as a healthy meal went downhill!   Dinner wasn’t all that much better.  

Saturday we woke up and headed out for a short hike.   Of course we were hunting mushrooms again!

We left there and went south. We had grand plans to hike in the mountains.  We found our hotel and checked in with plans to head to the mountain trails within Shenandoah National Park.  We sat down for a few minutes and just like that I was asleep!  I eventually woke up and shortly thereafter Jason was sound asleep!  We certainly didn’t plan on sleeping and relaxing the afternoon away, but it was just what we needed!   Dinner was....deliciously bad!!!

Sunday we were definitely going to go hiking!  We woke up ready to hike....until we saw the rain.  Drat!!! We didn’t hike.   We moseyed around and slowly made our way home, stopping at a few places along the way. (And by mid afternoon it was actually sunny.)

And yes, even old graveyards got explored!  

We had some great conversations about life and our respective jobs.  We talked a lot about where we are and where we want to go in life (in terms of employment...we know where we are going in life in general...hand in hand together!).  Once again, the weekend not what we planned ...but maybe it was just what we needed! (Even with the atrocious eating...because Sunday was just as bad as Saturday!!)

I have been having a problem with my right arm...the bicep area...when I move my arm (stretch it or actually use it to pull something)  it has been hurting.  (For quite a few weeks). I have been waiting for it to go away, but this weekend it flared up badly and hurt with most every movement and aches while I sat immobile. So this weekend I tried to not use my arm and worked to keep it mostly immobile!  It did help and I’m back to just hurting when I do those certain movements. Once again the change of plans was probably for the best...even if it wasn’t a change that we wanted!

I’m not even going to talk about my weight.  (It was up a bit this morning).  I was horrible this weekend.  I drank virtually no water (and woke up dying of thirst each night) and my food was not the greatest.  (I didn’t track, but might go back just to see what I did! Even though I know it will be ugly!).   But do you know what?  I am actually ok with it.  I needed a ‘vacation’ from it all.  We needed a weekend of sleep and rejuvenation.  We needed the long conversations about our employment and our future.  It was a weekend for mental health (and some early healing for my arm).  

This healthy journey is not just food and exercise, it is taking care of my whole body.....mind, muscles, and spirit.   Sometimes the journey to health is not about what I’m eating.  Sometimes the journey to health is not about what kind of exercise I do!  Sometimes this journey to health is about taking care of my mental health.  Sometimes the journey to health is about taking care of a sore arm.  Sometimes the journey to health is about sitting back and resting. And today, it’s back to lots of water drinking and keeping my calorie consumption low!


Friday, April 26, 2019

Self love: it’s time to take care of myself

Have you ever had this conversation with someone??
Your clothes are looking a bit ratty’.   I heard the words and I knew the truth of those words. However, I immediately went on the defensive.  ‘I don’t want to buy clothes in this size  I want to lose weight first.”

Yes, this conversation played out in my life last weekend. The conversation was mostly surrounding my weekend/casual clothes. I tend to wear the same tee shirts week in and week out.  I also have recently defaulted to wearing yoga pants on the weekend. So why is this and why are my clothes looking ratty? Why?  A few reasons really. 

The first reason  is comfort. I have admittedly gained a few pounds over the last few years (30 since my divorce and I’ve struggled to get it back off!).  I tend to wear the clothes that fit comfortably!  Makes sense right?  The second reason goes hand in hand with the first.  Because my supply of what I CAN wear comfortably has dwindled, I tend to wear the same thing over and over.  I just don’t want to spend money and buy clothes at my current weight.  I’m going to lose you know.  But the high amount of wear on those few items of ‘comfy’ clothes are making them wear out...quickly!

As the conversation played out last weekend, Jason looked at me with love in his eyes and said “but what if you never do?  Will you just wear rags?”  I didn’t say anything and we simply headed out to our next activity....hiking.   The conversation may have been over...but my mind was swirling with thoughts.

I knew that my work wardrobe was for the most part ok.  It wasn’t in dire straights, not exactly robust but in good shape.  It was my casual wardrobe that needed serious help! It was my weekend/casual wear that was in shambles.   I immediately thought back to December when I went through this same dilemma, but in regard to bras and underwear (without the conversation...but brought about in my mind after some painful days spent with a broken underwire in a bra and then a broken hook in a bra.) where I realized I couldn’t hold off anymore, I needed to buy bras!  I did it and it really did boost confidence and how I felt about myself (I bought new underwear also!). So if I recognized that it made me feel better, why was I still resisting.

I realized that Jason’s words took the sting out of the weight argument.  He was right. I need to live my life to the fullest and love  myself at my current weight (just like I need to love myself at ANY weight!). Looking like a rag lady is NOT showing myself self love.  So one major argument was debunked!

The  next major argument was money. I just don’t have the money for a new wardrobe...even if it is just mostly weekend clothes I need.  But as I hiked last weekend I realized the craziness of my argument.  While I was married to my ex that was a indeed a valid argument.  I didn’t have money for anything. I would duct tape my shoes together when they got old because my ex was so busy spending every penny we had and some we didn’t.  He spent it on stuff like  a banjo or on a new chain saw.  Pretty much anything and everything, mostly stuff he didn’t need....like the banjo...he wasn’t and probably still isn’t a banjo player!!!  So I was always doing without because I had to in order to get our bills paid.   Hiking is always mind clearing for me...and last weekend was no exception, it made me realize that low and behold I wasn’t in that situation anymore.  I make a decent salary.  While I am focused on putting money into the savings and really building that up, it’s not like I don’t have money.  I had the money last paycheck to put up my half of the money for a new Dyson vacuum (Dyson’s are amazing...I had one with my ex...and left it...I am so happy to have another one!!).  and yet I still managed to pop more than 400 bucks extra  into my savings account during the same pay period!   So it’s not that I’m destitute. (I’m frugal though so I didn’t buy anything extra last paycheck so as to not ruin my plan to put that money into the savings!). It is just plain and simple a learned behavior....to not take care of myself!  I guess the money argument is invalid also!

So that said, today I am off work.  (It was requested ages ago...just so happens to work well into my current thinking). Today I’m going clothing shopping.  I am sure I will stop by a few goodwill stores!  (Hey I’m frugal and I have found brand name/designer brand clothes with the tags still on them showing they were originally  $80 or $100 and I pay $3!  That just makes sense to me!). I also have a few other non goodwill type stores in mind.  I’m focusing on casual clothes today but I will keep my eye out for work clothes too!!!

Today I take care of myself and show myself some self love.  Even better?  I plan on doing it with my mamma!  Self love for both of us!!!  I may not like the aspect of shopping and seeing the sizes that I will be forced to buy.  But I know that the end result will have me walking around in clothes that give me confidence and that will be worth it all!





Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Journey of a lifetime: to diet or not to diet

When I first started writing and posting on this site, and honestly even before that when I first started this journey toward health I freely used a specific word.  It is a word that so many people use.  I admit that I have used it. But somewhere and somehow over the years since I first started posting the struggles and triumphs of this journey, I have come to despise the word. I avoid using it if at all possible, and usually try to find a different way to say what I want to say in order to avoid this dreaded word.  Are you ready for this bad nasty word?   The word that I hate to use is ‘diet’.


So before we get into why I hate it, why don’t we look at the word more fully?


Diet: (Noun):  the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats

          (Verb):  restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight. 


Ok, so the noun version doesn’t sound too terrible does it?  I will even use it in a sentence right now (albeit grudgingly).  “My cat eats a very healthy diet of Blue Buffalo Wilderness (Amazon link)  and some random feathers.” (Yeah, don’t ask me why, but if she spies a feather that somehow wiggled free from a down jacket or a feather pillow she runs to it and gobbles it up before we can pick it up! Yeah, she licks windows also!  But hey, I love her! And as a side note, that food is fabulous, she loves it and when we switched to it we could see a change in her behavior and her coat of fur….for the better!)    As a noun the word isn’t too bad.  It’s the verb usage that is REALLY tough.  The most common sentence when used as a verb, “I am on a diet.”   


For most of us the word diet, even if used as a noun, brings up thoughts and memories of endless days of eating grapefruit, restricting our food intake to next to nothing or cutting out everything that has sugar, carbs, calories, fat and sodium.  The word diet is synonymous with the concept or plan to change food intake in order to lose weight.  It is rarer that we see or hear the word used a noun, such as the ‘diet of cat feathers and Blue Buffalo.’   When someone uses the word diet as a society, we automatically think of it as a noun and thus as a ‘negative restriction.’ 

I was on a diet way back in 2006 when I started posting here.  (First post...way back in 2006)  But somewhere and somehow over the ensuing years I figured out that a diet is only a short term fix to a long term problem and that diets usually fail.     I don’t want a short term fix to a long term problem.   The concept of dieting was a negative feeling deep within me and within so many people I talked to.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I heard the comment, “You’re on a diet….that means you just eat carrot sticks and lettuce right?  YUCK!”.  A diet is hard work.  A diet is bound to bring about failure if you step away from the projected diet plan.  A diet is full of ups and downs.  Invariably something in life will happen that will cause us to step away from a life of restriction (a wedding, a birthday party, Easter, Christmas or maybe vacation).  I found that when it was a rough period and something caused me to go off the diet plan that I would feel the full weight of my failure.  That failure became counter-productive in my efforts to lose weight.   I wanted to change my life, but not that way.  I didn’t want a diet.  I slowly shifted my verbiage to ‘healthy lifestyle’ and eradicated the word diet from my vocabulary and with that paradigm shift in thinking I began to hate the concept of dieting and thus the word diet.  


A diet (verb usage) that restricts oneself to small amounts of special kinds of food is not sustainable long term.  It will definitely work.  It worked for me….I reached my goal weight and was super happy with myself…..but it was all through restriction of food.  But when the diet ended, so did my lower weight as I began to regain. I hadn’t learned healthy concepts and a way to live a healthy lifestyle, I had only learned how to restrict my food enough to make the weight disappear.   It was easy to come to hate the concept of dieting because of that.  I realized that a ‘diet’ was not what I wanted or needed.  I wanted the changes I made to be a lifetime change.  So that meant I needed to change my way of thinking.  I needed to change how I viewed exercise.  I needed to shift the types of food I ate on a daily basis.  I needed to change my whole lifestyle.  Furthermore, it needed to be a change that could last a lifetime, not just some short term solution.


I am NOT on a diet.  I am consistently making changes and adjusting the food that I consume in a way that is sustainable for a lifetime. (For example: not eating as many carbs or lowering my fat intake, etc.)   I am constantly tracking my food to monitor my calories, but it is NOT a diet.  It is just monitoring my food intake in a way that allows me to find my way to a healthy lifestyle.  I avoid the word diet at all costs, even though I follow many principles of a diet (tracking my food, limiting my intake, choosing healthier options).  I don’t want the negative connotations.  I don’t need the high chance of failure.  I am not on a short term fix.  I am on the journey of a lifetime, the journey to health and there is no room for a diet on that journey.  As for using the word diet as a noun….maybe someday I’ll feel free to talk about how “I would love to move to a more vegetarian diet” or “I usually eat a well-rounded diet.”   But for now, the negativity surrounding the word diet is too great within our society.  So therefore, I will avoid it and be creative with my words to avoid the dreaded ‘D’ word.




 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Miraculous: weigh in results

Ahhhh weeekend, where have you gone???    It was another fast and furious weekend.   And add in the holiday and it was even more crazy!! 

We started out our Saturday with the normal bi-weekly groceries.  That entails three stores.  We start at Aldi’s and scan the aisle for anything we can get there (sticking with only organic products).  We then move on to the organic market.  And last but not least we finish up at a regular store to pick up anything that we couldn’t find at the other places (usually the non organic stuff...).   When we got home I put everything away and made a batch of potato salad and deviled eggs.   I rested a few minutes and then we headed out for a hike!

We had plans to pick up a geocache...down a very remote hiking trail. (Only 3 or 4 miles out).  I have tried to grab this cache a few times.  Last summer it was so overgrown and there were trees down over the path and we couldn’t get through the brush to go around the debris.  Earlier this year the path was flooded and we just didn’t want to get muddy.  That was last weekend also...just really muddy.   This weekend however I made the vow ‘we are just going to be muddy...accept it’.   The geocache trip would be coupled with hunting for morel mushrooms (yup we hunted all last weekend and the hunt was back on this weekend!)   It was muddy....very muddy!  At one point my foot was stuck in what felt like quick sand.  Now I wear a backpackers hiking boot (recommend it for anyone with weak ankles and feet problems).  The mud and mire was so deep that I was literally about 1-3 centimeters from having my hiking BOOT swamped by the mud!  My boots are encased in mud the whole way to the very top of the boot...well over my ankle!   It was fun though to be out!!!

So did we get the geocache?   NO!!!   We managed to cross the first stream by detouring a mile downstream to find a suitable place to cross. (It has rained last week and the water was too deep to cross...We have waterproof boots but seriously that only works if the level of the water does not come over the top of the boot!). The second stream...we couldn’t find a place to cross that wasn’t two feet or more deep!!   No go.... yet again!!

Morel mushrooms?   We looked and looked and looked.  After about 3 hours we were done...and we were hightailing it back to the car.  We stopped at one place.  We had on the way in seen a dog leash and picked it up and put it to the side of the trail and vowed to pick it up and carry it out.  We stopped to pick up the leash.  Seriously, we were DONE!   Right next to wear we had placed the dog leash was a mushroom!   Victory!  So of course we spent about a half hour or so in that location hunting!


We were wiped out!   We slept so well Saturday night.   Sunday I woke up and my back was so messed up!  I could barely move.  (I have had issues with my lower back before...to the point that I couldn’t move and had to take time off work..). It was bad.  But I rested it and stumbled around the house.   We had family functions to attend though so we got up and out of the house by 10...we did some more walking and checked out some ‘not so remote’ areas for some more mushrooms (yup, finding them only made jason want to find more!).  Then we spent the rest of the day with family and didn’t get home until about 7pm.  We relaxed a bit and then headed to bed ...ready but not ready to face another work week!

I have two main goals this week.  They are to not allow any work stress to drive  me toward food!  The second one?  First thirty minutes after I get home is dedicated to exercise...even if it is just a walk!!!!  I need to start that habit!!!

It was miraculous really, the results of my official weigh in!   Why yes, even after I had a week of higher caloric eating, I managed to maintain my weight this past week!    Even with the stress eating and general lethargy that my work week brought...I still managed to maintain!   My stats were at the top end of my caloric range pretty much all week (actually over, but who is nit picking!!)


My official top number is 1530. So I was actually over three of the seven days!  It wasn’t too much better once I added in my exercise to give me my net calories!
Yes I rocked the weekend days!!   So it shows me that even though my top end theoretically should have me still being able to lose a pound a week, it does not work for my body.  That is more my maintain range apparently.   Good to know!  

Lessons learned last week.  Lots of fun over the weekend.  Now it’s time to get this work week rolling and rock the lower calorie count to LOSE weight and take the steps to be more healthy!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Stress Alert: Stress Wrecked my Diet

It’s Friday!  I for one am so glad about that fact.  It’s been a LONG week!   Really long!  Work has been a bit stressful and that stress infiltrates every aspect of my life.  It affects my sleep.  It affects my energy levels.  But most importantly stress affects my diet.

I started out the week strong!  I was on target with my eating over the weekend.  My weight was not dropping fast, but I was maintaining steadily at my current low.  All was looking good.  Monday was stellar.  I ate my nutritious lunch while I walked around the lake at work.  I was on the lower end of the caloric range that I strive to remain within. I was doing great!

On Tuesday the stress started to hit.  (Vent alert...but just for this paragraph!).  My current job is working with the launch of a new program/product.  It is chaotic.  I expected it to be chaotic.  What I did not expect was the absolute inconsistencies when I ask one person a question versus another. (Yes, asking people in authority)  That is super annoying...but then add in a third person who has a different answer and what do you have?  Confusion.  Adding to that mix is a random person (you never know who) that will check your work....you guessed it, person number four has a totally different approach and belief on the way things are supposed to be done.  On top of that is the overall frenzy because this program is blowing up and busier than expected (and lots of people have quit and ARE quiting which adds to the general vibe of panic)  and we are struggling to keep up with the work so we are constantly being pushed and badgered.   It is very easy to adopt the feeling that you can’t do anything right (seriously, we are not told that in those words but when all you are getting is negative feedback due to the fact that you did the work based on person number ones instruction but person number 3 is checking you using a completely different matrix how else are you to feel?). I am not used to this.  I learn easily.  I do well, even with changes.  I strive to be the best and do a good job. It’s been very uncomfortable for me to say the least.  And the stress has been building!

So as I was saying, Tuesday the stress started and I ditched my healthy lunch for a cafeteria lunch that included chips and a container of Reece’s Pieces.   Now the Reece’s Pieces didn’t really concern me because I bought them to last the whole week maybe even next week!  Except that the stress got to me and I found myself eating them that afternoon with no control.  (I did eventually put the away!).  I was disgusted with myself for my change of plans.  I tracked my food (managing to stay below the top end of my caloric range) and moved on. I didn’t recognize the stress eating at that point 

Wednesday I did it again!  I eschewed my healthy lunch and headed for the cafeteria.  As I stood in line, I  literally knew that this was stress eating.  Knowing it didn’t make me turn around and retreat to my healthy lunch.  Nope, I was determined to eat my sorrows!   I somehow DID have the presence of mind to avoid the foods that I really wanted and got a lower calorie sandwich and I DID choose the bag of chips that had the least calories!  That’s a win right?  The brownie that I got....well ok that negates the wise choices of sandwich and chips!   I sat and wrote my friend an email while I ate and I even told her that I was stress eating.   But I still ate every crumb of that brownie.  On the drive home I could think of nothing other than ice cream!  I had to stop at the store anyway!  So I had ice cream in the evening.  My saving grace?   Dinner had been pre-planned and was a very healthy low calorie /no carb meal!  Jason has even brought me home a package of Reece’s Cups!   I did maintain self control and I only ate one (ha as if my stress eating had much control!).  I wasn’t going to track my food.  But then on Thursday morning I was reading a blog post from someone and saw the title that had something to do with tracking food.  I couldn’t even read that post until I tracked my food.  It honestly wasn’t as bad as I expected. (1616 calories...so  over my caloric range but not by as much as I feared).    I stepped on the scales with real fear on Thursday morning...but the scales were holding steady.  However I knew that unless I got it under control they would move...and in the wrong direction.

So Thursday....the stress was still quite present and overwhelming.  (Ha I did go online on Wednesday night looking for another job!). But I know I can’t allow this job to ruin my efforts!  I want more out of life...so, I was determined to beat it!    Well, it wasn’t overly successful.  I ate another sandwich and a bag of chips at the cafeteria...and my calories were over for the day ....100 calories over my top end.  What’s worse?   The weather was fantastic and I sat inside shoveling food into my face versus being outside and enjoying the weather!  And I ate the rest of the Reece’s pieces. (All tracked). 

Friday has arrived.  I’m making no promises!  However I am making changes.  Rather than my fruit and cheese ‘snack’ for lunch that I normally eat while I walk, I am taking more...something that will not leave me tempted to retreat to the cafeteria.  It’s nothing crazy.  A Pb&j, some pretzels and kiwi.  Am I saving lots of calories?  Not really...but it will help me to break the cycle of heading to the cafeteria!

So my weight....I am still hanging onto this lower ‘decade’ on the scales.  I having popped over. But it is CLOSE!   (In fairness it was close before I started stress eating!).  I am going to take this week as a learning lesson.   I know that at 1600-1700 calories I pretty much maintain!  

Stress eating is a bear!   It is really the pits to recognize it but still just sit back and allow the food addiction take over.  It is crazy.  But I know what has happened.  That’s the first step to fixing it and fix it I will!!!




Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Exercise: ways to make it not so Horrible

Exercise is not any great love of my life.  In fact, it may not even rank up there with things that I like!   Let me put this out there, I dread it and actually kind of hate it!  It is not something that I actively seek out!  Oh yes, I have had periods of my life where exercise played a dominant part. (Seriously, I must have been mental at that moment right?)   I am also quite willing and ready to admit that when I am physically active through some form of exercise that I feel amazing and the more I do it, the less dread I feel!  However, I dread starting almost each and every time! How do we manage to circumnavigate this dread?  Is there a way?   The answer came to me during some hiking that I did this past weekend.  There ARE ways to make this much easier! 


Social Hour

Make exercise your social hour.  When I was attending Zumba, I worked out hard.  I was a sweaty mess.  It was exercise for sure.  But for me, it was also a social hour.  Once I started to attend I made some friends and even got some other friends to join the class.  We got there early to talk.  We stayed late to talk.  We even started going to dinner as a group after our class.  For me, the draw of the social aspect made me forget  that I was heading to workout.  It made it fun!


Be with Someone who does Enjoy Exercise

I didn’t want to go hiking this past weekend.  I really just wanted to curl up on the couch under a blanket and read a book and watch movies!  The very last thing I wanted to do was to go outside, get sweaty and hike!  That was too much like……..work!   My boyfriend however, had other plans!   He wanted to go hiking and mushroom hunting!   Morel mushrooms have a very short hunting season and the season was upon us.  He really wanted to get out into the woods to go hunt mushrooms and just to move and not feel so sluggish.  It had rained the night before and I didn’t want my feet wet, so I put my on trusty hiking boots (affiliate link) and headed out the door to hit a local trail to hunt mushrooms. I didn’t want to go, (remember that I wanted to stay curled up on the couch) but I went…simply because I love him and because he wanted to get outside.  I went because of him but after we got going, I was there because being outside and using my muscles felt amazing!


Goals that encompass Exercise

I am one that does particularly well when I set a goal for myself.  I work well with a goal and an end date in mind. I decided to run a 10k a few years back. I set the goal and I made my plan on how I was going to achieve that goal.  I had my training calendar posted in a spot that I would see it just about every day. (I posted it on my desk at work....I had to stare at it 40 hours a week!).   It was my goal to complete each trading day and ultimately run that race!  I delighted in updating my calendar!  I did the exercise because I wanted the euphoria of completing each and every training goal!  So set a goal and do what it takes to complete it, knowing the satisfaction of a job well done is the reward.


Hide the Exercise

The weather was gorgeous, so we wanted to be outside.  We had heard about this abandoned house near us that we had always wanted to find and check out.  It was out in the woods and would require a bit of walking to find it.  No worries, I was ALL IN!   I once again laced up my trusty hiking boots and we set off.  We parked our car and headed in the direction that we knew the house to be and we walked.  Up and down paths.  Through the woods and around streams we ambled, keeping our eyes open for any sight of this old abandoned house.  I was hiking and not even thinking about it!  I was having the time of my life!  It only got better when we saw the house!  It was amazing.  I could barely hold myself in check as I walked toward the house.  I circled that house a few times.  I went all around the many acres surrounding the house.  I climbed into it.  I was so active….but I didn’t even think of it as a hike.  I was having the time of my life and the exercise just happened!  I ended up getting about 5 miles of hiking while we searched for and explored that house!   The miles we hiked really crept up on me!  Best 5 miles of hiking I have EVER had!



Plan your daily activities with extra steps and activity in mind


We went to the beach a few weeks ago.  We arrived and parked the car on the first day we arrived.  We did not get back into the car until we the day we left the beach.  Why?  We specifically planned to get everywhere without the aid of the car for that weekend trip.  Sometimes it works out that way.  We rode our bikes or walked wherever we wanted to go and we racked up mad miles on our bodies.  Sometimes you can’t plan to walk everywhere, but you CAN park a bit further away.  You CAN chose to not drive everywhere.  You can make little changes to add a bit of activity into your life, and I promise you the change will NOT hurt!


Challenges

A few years back Jason and I wee talking and somehow we made a bet. The bet was based on who would run the most miles.  We did this each week for a  month or two.  I hate to lose.....so I ran!  I ran and ran. I was constantly checking mapmyfitness and I would groan when I would see a run appear under his name.  But guess what?  I would lace on my running shoes, queue my running playlist and off I would go!  I wanted to win!!!!!!  Posts from that time  clearly show my mentality and drive to win at all costs!


Have fun

Sometimes exercise is just there, something that we know we have to do.  We can’t hide it, we can’t link up with someone, we can’t do anything but just endure.  How do we take away the great dread?   Well,  we make it fun!  Download an amazing playlist of music onto your phone to listen to.  If you are doing something on fitness equipment where you can watch a tv or a screen, turn on great movie or a that tv show you’ve always wanted to see.   Make it more special and ONLY allow yourself to watch that program while you are exercising.  If it is an amazing program, you will be DYING to get to your exercise machine just so you can watch more!


Neat clothes

Go buy some new exercise clothes!   Seriously, but he clothes. Revel in their cuteness and then wear them!  And yes, be proud as a peacock knowing that you are wearing something cuter than heck!!!


There are ways to make exercise easier to do.  We can make it fun.  We can make it social, we can hide the aspect of exercise within some activity that we want to do!  We can do anything in our powers, but the real answer is just to get out there and do it!  You will feel so much better physically after you do. Emotionally….well you will be so proud of yourself that you will be walking on air!  The sky is the limit.  Do whatever it takes to get out there and do it!!!