Monday, April 06, 2020

Weekly Weigh in Time: Areas of Improvment

Another week has passed in this weight loss journey.  And boy was it a rough one!  It had a whole lot that life could throw at me.   And it wasn't one I would like to repeat.....but in fairness, it could have been a WHOLE lot worse!  So let's get to it!

We had a really unconventional hike over the weekend to start off our week.  It had been rainy and everything was a soppy mess, but we still wanted to get outside.  So we did.  We went to the graveyard and we walked a bit.    It was good to get out and to breathe some fresh air.


The work week started and I FINALLY got Mertz to settle down....for the most part!  It has been absolutely crazy to get her to settle down..  She sees me home and working and she just wants all sorts of love and wants to be close to me.  If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about......here it is.....proof. It's a really short video..but makes me laugh every time I watch it.

So apparently Mertz did not like the placement of the chair that I had there for her.  She also apparently wanted a nice soft towel on  the chair.  For the most part she now stays on her chair alternating her time between staring out the window and sleeping. However, there are moments where she wants to be near me...but a few moments here and there are manageable.


For the good....I did manage to get in 2 runs on my lunch break.   But the bad?  I wimped out the other days.
My eating....hit or miss.  Some days it was sheer carnage in the kitchen at lunch.  But then other days I was spot on.  

Emotionally I was a wreck.  Now in fairness, some of that could be the normal hormonal issues.  But I know that a lot of it is the stress and worries over the current state of things.  So yes, I stress ate.

I also did not track my food as religiously as I normally do...I missed a few days.   I also have slipped up with my water consumption..  YIKES!

So that said....I DID gain weight.  2.2 pounds  I'm not happy at all.   But I am happy that I am still within the 2-3 pound range that I consider normal fluctuation. 

So moving forward. I have identified my areas of improvement.  They include the simple things like more religiously tracking my food and being super focused on drinking my water.  But I think the biggest area for improvement is the fact that I am determined to not let the stress and worry make me react in the way that I have been reacting.  I can't take the stress away.  But I can sit back and tell myself that sitting and worrying is NOT going to change things.  It is NOT going to make anything better and will in fact make things worse. (seriously, I had chest pains all week long)  Stopping anxiety isn't easy.  But I am trying.  



Friday, April 03, 2020

Chest pains

Ok let me get the white elephant out of the room.   I’m having chest pains.   Yes..chest pains.   Is it shortness of breath?  No...just an ache.   Do I think I have Covid 19. Probably not.    Do I think I’m having a heart attack?  I don’t think so   But regardless...I have chest pains!

So what is happening.   

Before I go on, I want to say that I have experienced a period in my life before where I suffered from chest pains.  Badly enough that I ended up in the ER.    Badly enough that I visited my family doctor numerous times and had a lung function test....and a this test and a that test.  And badly enough that I visited a cardiologist for more tests.  I went back and found the post where I first started talking about this issue....way back when.    They deemed me healthy as a horse and concluded that ‘maybe it’s stress’.   The chest pains continued on and off for a few years.  And then one day...they were gone.   Is it coincidental that they disappeared when my marriage ended?   I think not!!!  

I haven’t had a single chest pain in years!!!  And then all of a sudden a week or two ago they started.  

Of course the first thought was ‘tightness of chest’, I bet I’m getting the Corona Virus!  I kept it to myself for a few days...probably wrongly so.  (We were already doing the isolation thing with me working at homes so I wasn’t foolhardy with being out and about).  But the pains didn’t worsen.   In fact, as time went by I noticed that they would come and go.  

I have even gone running and while it feels really tight while I run the tightness isn’t long term and subsides shortly thereafter.  (Hey, I’m out of shape...I expect my chest to be tight at that point).  

I finally brought it up to Jason and told him that that ‘I’m having some chest pains and I think it’s from the stress’.  I couldn’t even make it through the conversation without crying.  The stress just came bubbling forth.   I watch the news and I fight tears.  I think about what’s happening, I fight tears.   I am just super stressed!   He is worried about my ticker...but hasn’t forbidden (aka kindly asked) me to not run on my lunch breaks!  He agrees it is most likely stress and anxiety but is a bit  worried about my heart.  But we both see how it gets worse when I’m talking and thinking about everything that’s going on.

Why the stress?   Jason is off work so I’m worried about being a one income family.  I’m petrified that my mom will get sick and I’ll lose her.  I’m worried about Jason...if he gets sick he doesn’t have health insurance....would he get the treatment he needs or would they opt to give limited treatment to someone that has insurance.  The news utter depresses me, yet I can’t stay away.  So yeah...stress!

So what is my plan???  It is definitely NOT to eat myself silly!  Although I did that one day for lunch this week.  It was a day that I was feeling blah. (Stress AND monthly hormones). I just didn’t go for a lunchtime run....which left me way too much time to eat lunch...and to keep eating lunch...and keep eating...and keep eating!!

I plan on continuing to try to run on my lunch breaks.   It feels good to get outside.  It breaks up the day at work and it gives me some fresh air.   

Most importantly....I pray and keep moving forward.   This time we are in is getting a lot of us.  But I know we can make it!   We just can’t give up!!!


Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Stay at home Orders

Well Maryland has done it.  They have joined the ranks of other states with stay at home orders.  It shouldn’t change our lives all that much.  We have been living under that ‘suggestion’ for a week already.   Jason goes out daily and drives to the woods to hike a bit....but exercise is allowed...specifically hiking.  So that should be ok to continue.   I have been going out for a run at lunch around my neighborhood...but once again, that should be ok also.  Really they just made the ‘essential business only’ suggestion an executive order.

Maryland does not have an end date.   Washington DC is through April 24...and Virginia is through June 10!   Shall we take bets on when the end really will be?

Meanwhile, working from home is going well.  I finally think I have my cat settled down. 

 She was all in my face for the first week of working from home.  Little did I know I just had to change the placement of the chair.  She did not like the rungs of the chair against the window....I had to put the chair as if she was sitting with me at the table/desk.  I also added a towel (she didn’t like the blanket) and voila....sleeping peaceful kitty!!!

Life is going well...the stress levels and anxiety are sky high....but I’m sure that’s for most people in our world right now!!   I’m just trying to continue a healthy life amidst this mess!!!!

Monday, March 30, 2020

Week one of Almost total Isolation

I have been working at home for about a week now.  It has been a week of learning.  A week of adjustments and a week of continuing vows.  Ohhh it was a week of craziness on the scales also!

I started working from home.  I knew that eating would be difficult.  I knew that I would be tempted to walk into the kitchen on my breaks and forage like crazy!   Knowing that didn't make it any easier to combat either!    Day one I did great!  I ate my normal lunch and felt proud of myself.  And then it went downhill.  On day to I gorged!   The rest of the week wasn't 'horrible, but it definitely wasn't awesome!


The other thing that I did really well?  On the clear days (we had two rainy days) I got out on my lunch break and went for a 15-20 minute run.  This is huge on a couple different levels.  One, it is exercise.  Two it is getting me running again.  But thirdly, it kept me from eating!  If i'm not near the kitchen during my work breaks, I don't eat!  WIN WIN!

It's been a long time since you have seen a run picture hasn't it???? 

I remained a bit stressed.  Jason is now home from work for the duration of this mess....or until things simmer down and the boss reopens.  But I know that we will survive and make it.  Together we can make it!  We are the lucky ones because as of right now, my job seems pretty secure and solid...so at least we have one income.

We did get out and hike a bit over the weekend....so there was that going for me at least!

I was worried about my weigh in.  All week long I was showing up on the scales.  But toward the middle of the week it thankfully started to drop a bit.   By my weigh in, I had recouped and I managed to pull  out a wee little loss.  I was so relieved!

Life is uncertain right now for all of us.  But I beseech everyone to not give up.   If we give up our pursuit of a healthy more fit life then we are letting this pandemic win!   Lets not go down without a fight!!!!  It is going to be crazy.  It is going to be nuts.  It is going to be stressful and sometimes that stress will show up on the scales.  BUT if we stop fighting then we have lost.    No matter what the scales say, I will be fighting!

Friday, March 27, 2020

This work from home stuff is hard

I have been working from home for almost a week now.  It has been a blessing that I am so grateful to have.   There have been some aspects that I love!  It is so nice to have no commute!  It is great to be able to fold a load of laundry on my 15 minute break.  It has been fabulous to go out for a run on my 30 minute lunch break.  (Well except for the days that it was raining).  I have absolutely loved some of these aspects.

But I am not going to lie.  There has been one aspect that is really rough.   That is food.  I have found myself walking in circles on my 15 minute breaks trying to avoid going to the kitchen to get a snack.  I have found myself eating more than I need on my lunch breaks.  I used to simply carry a healthy lunch of fruit, veggies and a piece of cheese to lunch and when it was gone I was done.  NOW the kitchen is right there and it is hard to be done.  I look in the fridge and I see leftovers and I eat them.  I see food and I want it! 

I have GOT to stop this spiral.  I am up a few pounds. I can blame stress all I want.  I can blame that time of the month being right around the corner.  I can blame all sorts of things.  But the harsh reality is that I have lost control of my eating!

I need to focus on the good aspects..those runs. (albeit slow runs) and build on those successes!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Broccoli and Mushroom Stir-Fry

It is time for another healthy recipe.  And believe it or not, I am going to be cooking up another recipe that is predominantly mushroom based.  Why is that so shocking?  I don't really like mushrooms!  This is the third recipe that I have made with mushrooms that I really like!  I have made this recipe twice now in the last few weeks....it is that good! 

Broccoli and Mushroom Stir-Fry

Ingredients
2 cups broccoli, cut into small florets
3 cloves garlic
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
2 tsp ginger
1/4 cup broth (more may be needed to keep vegetables from sticking during cooking)
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup cashews (optional...can add water chesnuts)
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame seeds

Directions:
1.  In a large skillet on high heat add  broccoli, garlic, mushrooms, red pepper, ginger and broth.  Cook, stirring often until broccoli is soft.  Add more broth as needed to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
2. Stir in the carrots, cashews, vinegar and soy sauce.  Stir well and simmer for about 2 minutes.
3. Sprinkle with Sesame Seeds.
4.  Serve alone or on top of quinoa or brown rice.

This recipe takes a few minutes of prep time to slice the vegetables but is super quick to cook!  It is one of our new favorites!



Monday, March 23, 2020

Stress has grabbed hold of me

I know, I know...this is my weekly weight loss report.  But I’m going to tell you right now....you aren’t getting the number that the scale said!  But you will get a report on my efforts!  For sure!

My weigh in week started strong! I was determined to los weight!  I was going to do this!  And that first day was fabulous!  I got outside and got in a walk in on my lunch break.  The weather was fabulous and signs of spring was everywhere!  I was tickled because I had never seen turtles in the lake where I walk on my lunch break!  But we have them!!!

 The weekend went well also.  I worked to keep my eating under control and we did a bike ride  AND went for a hike!

I was hot in the trail to a great week!  I had navigated the weekend...I was ready to face my work week!  And if you have read many of my posts, you will know that my work weeks are usually the easiest for me to keep my eating under control.  I had this week in the bag right?  And let me say...I did great with my eating through my work week...except for one stressful night!  But.....

On Monday the rumors were flying at work. There were three main and somewhat substantiated and connected rumors, they are as follows.   ‘I heard from the security guard in the lobby that someone that works for another company in our building is symptomatic for the corona virus’,   ‘My friend has told me that our company has received notice that someone that works for another tenant in the building has had direct contact with an infected person’ and   ‘I heard from my friend who is friends with the cleaning person that someone that works for the company on floor six has texted positive for corona’.     The rumors seemed even more substantiated by the lack of people working on those other floors.  The parking garage was a ghost town!

Those rumors had me doing a lot of thinking.  The virus apparently lives outside the host for hours upon hours!   I was worried about working and the risks I was taking.   I was worried about the finances and paying my bills if I didn’t work.  I tried to walk and relax as much as possible!  Both on my lunch breaks and after work each night.

My weight did not go down.   Even though I was watching my food intake my weight did not drop.  In fact, my weight seemed to be going up!  Was stress the culprit? I know I’ve been stressed enough to be having my sleep interrupted by dreams.  Dreams that are replaying some of my stress induced worries.  So maybe, but  I don’t know!

On Thursday my work sent me home to work.  (Oh I had heard a rumor about it but I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen and work out for me...so I was stressed all week about that too!)  that night was stressful as I set up my work station at home but couldn’t connect.  I did trouble shooting but it wasn’t working.  Finally at 9:30pm I heard that we wouldn’t be able to connect yet...IT was still working on the programming to allow us to remote into the system.  

On Friday the rumors were finally confirmed.  The individual in all of those corona scare rumors had indeed tested positive.  I got the official email telling me that while I most likely didn’t have direct contact, they were notifying of possible contact and proximity.  While there is no way of knowing if I had direct contact, I most likely did NOT have face to face contact,  but there is no way of knowing for sure who was in the elevator with this person or standing beside this person in the shared cafeteria and other common areas during the days before they started showing symptoms.  Regardless of if I had face to face contact....I know that I most likely touched a surface that this person touched.  Be it an elevator button, door handle. Stair rail.  Something.  So this  hit close to home.   

So with that being said, I DID visit my elderly mother who  has diabetes and is considered high risk.   Don’t worry, I didn’t stay long.  You see. I stood on the walkway in front of her house and she stood on her porch and we talked for a few minutes.  I was never closer than 6-8 feet.    I never thought in a million years that I would be not allowed to visit with my mom in the way that we are all accustomed to while we were alive.  You know...go in, relax on the couch...root through her fridge to see what’s good....those important things that you do at your mom’s house. We are working to keep my mother safe.  I know she is going stir crazy and is super lonely stuck in her house all day by herself.  So I’m doing what I can to make it easier on her.  Lots of phone calls....and an outside and safe distance apart short visit.  You see mammas  just have to see their chickadees face to face once in a while to make sure they are all right...so I gave my mamma that opportunity.  And hopefully it broke up the monotony of her day.   (And yes....later that evening the reality of our current situation and all the stress bubbled to the surface and I sat and cried for a few minutes)

Last but not least....we did our bi weekly grocery shopping.  I can honestly say that it was the first (and second) times that I have EVER had to wait in line to get into a grocery store (any store). 

 Aldi’s was just to get in when they opened.   The organic store was because they were only letting a certain number of people in at a time.   So when someone would leave, they would let the next shopper in.  (I appreciated that line...it kept the store from being overcrowded!!).  I went with my grocery list...which I didn’t call a grocery list.  I  referred to as my wish list.   And I was super lucky....almost everything was found in our normal 2-3 stores that we visit on our grocery days.  However yeast was an issue!  There was none to be had!  I was thinking that pizza crust was not going to happen. (How did I let myself run out of yeast in the first place??). But then we ran into a store for my mom....and I wasn’t even looking for yeast, I had given up!  And low and behold...there it was!  So every item on my ‘wish list’ was purchased.   Yay!  We are stocked for two more weeks of eating.  (Probably a bit more...I usually have like 3 meals or so extra due to leftovers and eating out on occasion)

So the stress ate me alive this past weeks.  My life and our world is in a total upheaval.  There is nothing I can do but hold on tight for this ride!  I have some ideas for my health and fitness for the next weeks and months of this ‘new but temporary norm’. We will get into them in an upcoming posts. In the meantime...I’m just hanging on....and yes...I did gain on the scales.    

Stay safe my friends!