Thursday, May 30, 2019

Revealing the number: admitting my weight

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

This past weekend I had a startling revelation. It was in regards to my weight loss and my efforts… OK maybe my lack of weight loss and my regain. I have been very open about admitting that I have gained weight. I am very honest about the struggles to lose weight. However, I have been very close lipped about exactly where I am at. Oh, I know exactly where I am at. I just haven’t wanted to say the words and numbers. This weekend I did and while doing it, I realized that it was an injustice to myself to keep it quiet. So here we are, the end of the month and it’s time for my goal review and time to set new goals for the next month. Is there a better time to have the grand reveal of my true ugly current weight?  Nope, I didn’t think so either!!!

So let’s start with the weight thing.  Jason and I were riding our bikes this past weekend and we started to talk about changes that we want to make in our life. Changes to make us better…healthy changes.  My big change is that I need to get this weight off my body. I am getting older, and this excess weight is going to come back to haunt me sooner or later.  We talked about how everything is harder for me because of these excess pounds I carry. (Running and biking in particular!)  Typical of how I have handled my weight lately, I skirted the subject of what my weight actually is....just alluding to the excess pounds.  I skirted it for a while..until he asked me flat out what I weigh.  (The question was born from his love for me and his desire for me to be healthy and happy.). I hesitated and actually said ‘you don’t want to know’.   But yes he did.  So I admitted it.  As of that morning my weight weight was 249 pounds.  Ouch!  That hurt to say!!!    We carried on and he didn’t wreck his bike in shock...which is what was halfway expecting!  Lol. He just said, “WE need to work on that so that you can live a long healthy life but mostly because I know it bothers YOU

How’s that for support?  Yup, he’s a keeper!   

After I admitted my weigh it became less of an albatross around my neck!  I’ve admitted now I aim fix it!!!  I even admitted it to a coworker who was talking about her weight a day or two later...yes I’m free from the hiding!   So, don’t they say the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem (forgive me for totally botching the twelve step program 13 step program!).   But yes, I feel relieved to actually have it out there.   So here I am.  I have admitted. Next step please!

It’s  hard to believe that May is almost over. That means it’s time to look back to May’s goals and see how I did… Here we go!

1. Track every bite of food!    I went rogue during the middle of the month and didn’t track a bite for about two weeks!  Boooo!
2.  Put money into my savings. Done...barely a success...I spent a fair amount of money this month!!!  The only way I’m having any success is because this is my month to have three paychecks!  
3.  Weigh less than I do now!  I don't care if it's a measly ounce...I want to weigh less!   As of right now, it is looking like it...barely though!!!   (Those darn pesky two weeks in the middle of the month!!!)
4.  Do something active (a walk suffices) at least 3 times a week.   I have admittedly struggled with this.  The second half of the month became more consistent due to my lunchtime walks.   But I’m aiming to get better in June!!
5. Keep my eating in check for at least 6 days a week. I  have no clue since I didn’t track most of the time!!
6.  Walk at least an average of 5 k steps a day...The first part of the month was sketchy. I only hit or exceeded my goal 6 times in the first 15 days.  However starting on May 16th I rocked the step count!  I only missed it twice and most days I was closer to 7k steps!  (As for the two below 5k days, we were on our bikes those days so does that count as a fail??). 

My goals for June are somewhat similar, with one or two small tweaks… 

1. Track every bite of food! 
2.  Put money into my savings. 
3.  Weigh less than I do now!  I don't care if it's a measly ounce...I want to weigh less!   As of the 31st of May that number is 247.2.
4.  Do something active (a walk suffices) at least 3 times a week and at least two runs a week.
5. Keep my eating in check for at least 6 days a week. 
7.   Walk at least  of 5 k steps a day at least five days a more average for the month!!!
8.  Transparency with my weight...even if it goes up!!! (Not gonna.. thisis my month!!!)

So it’s in the open!   My weight is out there for the world to see.  My plans are laid for June!    No more matter what!   Yeah, I've got this!!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Lets start Doing this Running Thing......again

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

I have honestly missed running.  For quite a while it was a pretty important part of my life...and a pretty regular aspect!   But then life got in the way and I just didn't have the time to do it.  I found that I really missed it!  I also found that my fitness levels were decreasing the longer I went without running.  So I decided....the time is NOW!  It is time (past time) to get back to it and get in shape!   What better time than a long 5 day weekend to start!  Two runs over the course of a five day weekend...I could certainly do that. Right?  Let's see how I did!

The first run:  And I use the Term run loosely

Friday morning was the first day of my long weekend and I was determined to start.  I had a mixture of excitement and dread coursing through my veins when I woke up.   However, I was determined to do it.  I had announced it to the world and to myself and it was time to keep my promise.  (Plus, I had just purchased this really cool new toy, which I wrote about last week in this post that was ultimately to help me manage my stats during maybe I should actually get some use out of this new Garmin Instinct.)

The first problem I encountered was finding my Run Buddy. (Affiliate Link)  A run buddy is a pouch that can hold keys and cellphone (or whatever).  It is attached to your pants with magnets and does not flop around....this thing is AMAZING!   Honestly, everyone that has ever seen or used mine in person has gone out to get their own!  It is absolutely the BEST way to keep your phone secure and on your person!  But I digress by singing it's Run buddy was missing!   I know that I had used it while hiking in some pants that didn't have pockets a while back....but it wasn't where I thought it was.  It wasn't anywhere!  I looked!  DRAT.  Oh well...I would just have to hold my cell phone in my hand....and my pepper spray in the other hand ...and my this run just got complicated didn't it?   (And as a side note, I believe I will be clicking my own affiliate that even allowed? to buy another run buddy because I'm NOT happy with the complicated issues of going without it!)   But I didn't let the lack of my run buddy keep me from running.  Out I went!

Oh my word....was that ever brutal!  I didn't even make it 5 minutes before I needed a break from running. So I switched to intervals.  But then my shins starting feet hurt.  Just shoot me now is what I was thinking!    I had to end up walking the second half of the run.    And you know what?  I was ok with that.  For a very brief moment I thought about turning off my brand new garmin...but then I told myself NO!  I wanted to memorialize this jog......uhhh walk!    I needed and now have  a baseline to start from.  It can only improve if I just show some consistency!

 So yeah, it was U.G.L.Y!   I'm sure it was because of the stress of losing my run buddy...right??  No....your not going to buy that???   Would you believe that the issues were caused by the fact that I was out there and then realized that I had not brought headphones so it was a quiet run?   Yeah, not buying that one either....neither am I?  Ok, it was ugly because I let myself slip into this state of disrepair!   But I'm ok with this.....I have my starting point..the line is drawn in the it's time to improve!

Run Two: return to an old friend 

I tell you, I am determined.  So the very next day, on Saturday I headed out for run two of the new reimagined me.   This time I went with headphones!   Ahhh that made all the difference in the world!  Ok ok ok, it made it more enjoyable! It however did not make me run like a gazelle!  I was still...slow!  (Why yes, I was wearing the same shirt...I did laundry on Friday afternoon and this one was at the top of the pile on Saturday when I went to get dressed...I wasn’t thinking of my photo op!!). But notice I’m at least smiling in this picture!

What made this run so much better?   I had an epiphany in the middle of the night before this run.   Why not pull up the C25K app and go through that training again!   I saw the plan for the  first week and decided that I needed something a bit more challenging.  Week three looked too challenging based on my first run.  So week two it was!   The plan for week two is to alternate....jog 90 seconds and then walk 2 minutes...back and forth for 20 minutes.  That is what I set out to do! It was a good success.  I was ready to walk each time my walk segment came up....but I knew I could probably have pushed a bit longer.  So I decided to push myself a little on my last run segment. I ran the 90 seconds.  When the app alerted me to walk, I kept running.  So my last run segment was actually 3 minutes and 30 seconds!  It was hard!  But I am glad I pushed myself!    I returned home feeling more confident about embarking on this journey!!!!

Run theee:  Day three of my 5 day weekend

Why yes, I did go out running the third day of my long weekend.   I was happy with the C25K plan from the day before, so I followed that plan again, completing day two of week two.   I did notice that my legs were a bit heavy on this run, but that’s not too shocking considering I had been running for three days straight after a long hiatus of nothing.  The previous two days I had not experienced any horrible aches or pains as a result of my runs so I knew that I was good to go for day theee.  This day was the same intervals as the previous day and I did the same thing, I pushed myself and ran the last run interval AND I ran through the last walk interval.  I was rewarded with a bush of orange roses right when my run was completed and As I was heading into my cooldown stage.

It amused me when I realized that I matched the rose bush!

That wasn’t the end of day three of my vacation  exercise/activity though.  Oh no!  We headed out on our bikes for a bike ride a bit later in the day! I was setting the pace on the out and back ride.  When we got to the point that we had about three miles left, I pushed hard. I picked up the pace  and really worked.  I wanted to challenge myself!

That evening my legs were sore.  From the muscles that were achy I could tell it was the cause the bike ride (and probably the last three miles where I was in my top gear and cranking like a mad woman).  

Knowing that we planned to get back on our bikes on Monday, I started to think about not running on Monday...a day of rest (from running) would probably be wise.

Run None: Day four of the long weekend

Ahhh. Day four.  Slow down weekend, it’s going by too fast!!!   I decided to stick with my plan to not run this day.   It wasn’t a day of rest though.  We still had a long bike ride and we took a walk!  So quite a bit of activity!  Alas...I was enjoying the weather and even more importantly the company (of course when I say we...I mean Jason and I!) and didn’t even think of a picture!   My legs were wiped out by the end of day four!   Achy and shaky!  Those are the adjectives to describe the muscles in my legs on Monday night!  Yeah, it felt good!!!

Day five: another run???

Day five arrived.  It came so fast!!!!!  Jason had to go back to work!  (Boooo....I wish he had off work off with me!). I didn’t have much planned for this day.   Some light cleaning, laundry, making a pan of lasagna, etc. the rest of the day was spent relaxing and working  on my dollhouses.   However I did have one order of business.  A run!   I woke up at the normal time and got dressed in my running clothes.   I planned to hang out with Jason until he left for work and then head out for my run.   It was after I was dressed that the monsoon rain started.  Uhhhh...this may not be good!  

I fiddled around for a few hours in the morning.  I did some laundry. I worked on my dollhouses.i delayed that run.  Let me tell you, I did NOT want to go.   I was convinced that my legs were too sore and that this should be a lazy day for me!   But then the next minute I would tell myself that I would regret it should I skip it.   So I went out.    It wasn’t fun.  I was sore.  I ran slow (slower than I had two days earlier).   I just wasn’t feeling it AT ALL!

But I did it.  I am proud of myself for facing it and doing it. I do have to wonder how much of the pain and ‘not feeling it’ was based on my predictions when I was trying to talk myself out of it.  Some self fulfilled prophecy kinda deal.  

Who knows.  But I managed to run 4 of the five days of my long weekend.  I also managed two bike rides.  I count that as a success.  I have the momentum I just need to continue!!!  I’ve got this!!!!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Upbeat Friday: A long weekend

This is my kind of Friday! I actually am off work today. I took a vacation day. Even better, Monday is a holiday AND I also have a vacation day on Tuesday. Yes, I am sitting at the beginning of a five day weekend. How awesome is that? I have lots of plans for my time off and I have a few things to review from this past week. So let’s get to it!
My weight
I am happy to say and announce that my weight is at the lower weight that I experienced earlier this month.  While I have officially not lost weight this month, I have not gained weight either. That two week 7 pound gain that I talked about in this post is in the past. I do still have one week left in the month. So I am not quite ready to call this month a maintain yet.
I have actually done a great job with walking on my lunch breaks this week. I have actually also been able to get outside and walk a few steps during my 15 minute breaks. While this is not earth shattering in intensity, it is at least movement and activity....and it gets me outside. Even when I have to share the walking path/boardwalk!
Last weekend was quite active. We hiked and we biked. We both talked about how good it felt to be active. We aim To continue that trend this weekend.

I am mostly better from the cold I have had this week. My shoulder  pain well, I think it’s on the mend. So, I plan on starting this weekend, today actually, to start running again. After all, I bought a new Garman watch and I want to use the features.
This is a bit of a convoluted answer in terms of success versus failure. My actual food intake has not been bad. I have remained quite cognizant of what I am eating. I have not eaten a lot of junk or a lot of snacks and extra food which is what usually drives my calorie count high. That is successful. I have however, not tracked one bite of food for the last two weeks until Wednesday of this week. For me this will eventually snowball into a dangerous territory of me eating and not being cognizant. Luckily, my new Garman watch links up with my fitness pal. The new toy, the watch, sparked me to go back in and start entering my food again.
I am still doing the intermittent fasting. I did have one or two days right after the arm issue and starting to take the medication that I was just hungry and gave up and had breakfast. However, after a day or two I went right back to the 16; eight intermittent fasting plan. It really does work well for my schedule and how I prefer to eat.
So that’s my week in review!  I have so many things I want to get done this long weekend.  Most of them will be squashed into Friday and Tuesday to allow for the most optimum time with Jason out exploring and living life!  What’s on my agenda?
Cleaning- normal weekly cleaning but also washing the windows and baseboards and hopefully organizing the storage area.
Running-  I have plans to start running this weekend...hopefully at least Friday and Tuesday! (The other weekend days may be active enough on their own!!)
Eye appointment-  it’s that contacts and new glasses!
Dollhouse- I have plans for my nursery...building a crib, toy chest and dresser.  I also need to make curtains, cushions for the rocker, bedding for the crib and a rug!    So many things!!!  I’m so excited!!   I also have wee little slideshow/video I’m putting together highlighting one of my previous dollhouses!
Writing-I need to do some writing.  I’ve got ideas and thoughts swirling in my head.  It’s time to work on them!!!
So busy busy busy!!!!  I love it!!!  It’s busy stuff for ME!!!   Happy Friday!!!!

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 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 was just a weird angle!!!  And I’m not sure why my heart rate was so high, I was just sitting there! its time to get to 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 na├»ve 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 health has to 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 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 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 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 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! 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 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 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 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 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 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’s me and my problem. (Even though I think the process doesn’t flow and is not at all 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 work, at home, on my bike, and in my weight loss journey!