ramblerambleramble

Hellooooooooo!!

What is the deal with my sporadic posting of late? Just been busy living la vida summertime, I guess.

I think most everyone who reads my blog also reads MizFit’s blog as well, so I’m sure you all know about her link to the site Operation Beautiful. If not, go here and check it out. I can’t wait to get out and post some good vibes today!

 

Gross fact for the day: I haven’t washed my hair in a week.

Weird fact for the day: My hair is surprisingly cooperative – it’s never been so easy to style! I may stop washing my hair altogether. Okay, maybe not. But think of all the money I could save on shampoo! :)

 

I want to post pictures of my garden, but I keep forgetting. It’s coming along nicely and Shawn even put up that fancy shmancy watering system, so no more hauling water from the pond. I was getting used to it and am actually a little disappointed because I was starting to see some nice definition in my shoulders. Oh well, less time spent watering means more time pulling weeds, so maybe my hamstrings will get some definition now! We have tiny baby squash(es?) starting to appear and lots of tiny tomatoes on the vines. The carrots don’t seem to be faring to well, but the okra is shooting up like wildfire (I hate okra so of course it will grow the best). I am anxiously awaiting the cantaloupe – I have an unnatural love of cantaloupe. I crave it, I feel happy when there are big chunks of it cut up and stored in the fridge, just waiting for me to slurp its juice off my fingers. Wow – food porn at it’s finest today!

I hit my mini goal and my short term goal last week! I’m at 159.5 right now, although according to my doctor’s scale, I’m at 162.5. I decided to go with my scale because I weigh in first thing in the morning buck naked right after my morning run to the bathroom. When I weigh in at the doctor’s office, it’s at 4 in the afternoon with all my clothes on (sans shoes, of course), so I don’t like that weight. Shawn and I had an interesting talk about weight the other day: he has been losing weight as well…

*TANGENT AHEAD* I hate him because he has lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks. He did it by skipping breakfast (I know, right?!) and cutting out desserts. Oh, and he works in the 90+ degree heat everyday, but I still hate him for losing weight so quickly! *TANGENT OVER*

…so we have been eating less sweets, and making our dinners smaller. I have to say I like having him do this with me – makes it so much easier. Anyway, we had been watching Oprah (yeah he sometimes watches) and there were a bunch of overweight kids confronting their parents, and one of the exercises was for the teens to say “It makes me angry that…” and the kids filled in the blanks with whatever came into their heads. Shawn was kind of making fun of it, and he turned to me and asked me “what are you angry about?” And I told him, “I’m angry that… I weigh 160 pounds instead of 130 pounds. I’m angry that I let myself go and didn’t lose the weight sooner. I’m angry that you only knew me for 6 months before I got fat.” He said, “Really? That’s what you’re angry about?” He couldn’t believe it. Then later we were talking again, and I said something off hand about my goal weight, and he said “I can’t believe you are so bothered by your weight. I’m not nearly as hung up about your weight as you are. It bothers me that you are so bothered by it.” I didn’t know what to say, because I have been so hung up about it for so long that it is just a natural part of my thought process now. I am relieved that he isn’t hyperfocused on my weight, but I still want to lose it, just for my own self-satisfaction.

I am 99% sure that I am not going to my high school reunion. Thanks for all of your advice – it helped a lot! We are sending our kids to church camp in a couple of weeks, and I know we are going to be spending money on that, so when you weigh the two together: having a couple of drinks with old friends vs. my kids eternal salvation…no contest there! I’d rather let them make new memories instead of spending the money so I can relive old memories, ya know? So unless we get a windfall of an extra $300, I most likely won’t be attending the reunion, and I really am okay with that. We have a family reunion planned for Labor Day weekend and I am way more excited about that!

Well I think I’ve rambled on long enough for today. I’ll try to be better about posting more regularly, and I will, I WILL, post some pictures of my garden and my knitting (which can only be described as a cottony-soft disaster) soon!

Have a great day y’all!

About these ads

The Food Spectrum/Reunion Poll

Hey y’all. Is it just me or has this summer been super busy for everyone? Seems like there’s something going on everyday. Whatever happened to the lazy crazy hazy dayz of summer?

Weight loss is going well – I’ve lost 6 pounds so far. I’ve been moving more and eating less and whaddya know? It works. One thing I’m having trouble with is where I want to comfortably fall on the food spectrum. On one end we’ve got all-junk-all-the-time and waaaayyyyy over on the other end is the hardcore raw vegan way of life. I think I’d like to fall somewhere in the middle of that broad spectrum, but what does that look like? Food from a box just does not appeal to me anymore, but I’m not much of a cook, so a lot of the time I find myself standing in front of the fridge trying to figure out how to make a meal without the box – and I’m clueless. Ideally, I’d like to get away from processed foods, but realistically, I don’t know how to make that happen without causing some kind of uprising from the rest of the family. So what does the middle of the road, healthy, family-friendy, busy-mom inspiring way of eating look like? Have any of you reached that place? If so, would you mind sharing what a typical week of meals looks like, or point me to a website where I might be enlightened? I guess what I’m really looking for here is a mentor who can teach me how to feed my family healthy meals without breaking my budget. Anyone want to volunteer? :)

Something else I need help with is THE REUNION. I am so firmly planted right in the middle of the fence on this. I can not decide one way or another if I should go. My BFF isn’t going, but there a few people I’d like to see and catch up with – no one I’m particularly close to, just curious about. Then there is the expense to consider – hotel, reunion fees, new clothes (of course) and a mani/pedi (of course). I’d have to find an arrangement for the kiddos, but that wouldn’t be hard. I haven’t been back to my hometown in YEARS, so it would be nice to hit the old stomping grounds again. On the other hand, if I didn’t go, that money could be used for a family vacation, and heaven knows I need a vacation. Also if I didn’t go that would subtract a lot of stress and worry from my already harried life, and most everyone is on FaceBook these days, so it’s really easy to keep in touch with people. We went to Shawn’s reunion a couple of years ago, so I feel like it’s my turn, and it would be an opportunity for us to get out and just be a couple for a couple of days….okay so you can see why I’m having a hard time deciding! I’m going to leave it up to the Mighty Pear Poll to help me decide. Reunion fees are due by the end of this week so I have until then to decide.

 

Mirror Mirror on the wall

 

If all the mirrors in the world were suddenly to break, if we could no longer look at ourselves in reflected surfaces, if  vanity were taken out of the equation, would you still work out and try to lose weight?

Think about that for a minute…I’ll wait.

 

Would I worry about my weight if I had no idea what I looked like? I don’t know. How much does vanity play a part in my desire to be fit and healthy? A lot, I’m afraid. More than I’d like to admit, really, but it’s the truth.

I read an article on Today’s Christian Woman called “The Year I Became a Total Hottie”. The article was about a 50-ish woman who lost a bunch of weight and suddenly she was getting all kinds of attention, and she readily admits it went to her head. She was in love with herself – the image in the mirror in front of her and all the trappings it brings with it. The focus of her article was pride and how it can take over and before you know it you’ve turned into Narcissus, pining away for your own reflection. Sometimes when you look in a mirror, you don’t notice certain things, but sometimes you look and see the whole ugly truth: this article was a mirror for me and I cringed at what the author wrote because it looked so familiar.

Last summer I got down to 152 pounds – the lowest weight I had been in years. Planning for my 20 year high school reunion was also just starting and I was so excited that I could be going as a thin woman. I wouldn’t have to worry that people would be judging me, whispering to each other, “Wow she got FAT!” I wanted to show my old high school boyfriends what they had missed out on by breaking up with me (not that I ever wanted to marry any of them). I wanted to be the Belle of the Ball and have everyone gush over how good I looked. Sad, but true – that was my main reason for wanting to go.

I gained a little weight back, but I’m happy to say that I am losing weight again, and I’ll probably (hopefully) be back down to the 150s by the time the reunion rolls around at the end of July, but now I am trying to decide if I really want to go or not.* If I take vanity and ego out of the equation, what other reasons do I have for wanting to spend the time and money to go? Suddenly, my original reason for wanting to go seems pathetic and selfish, and I really don’t want to be THAT person at the reunion – you know the one I’m talking about, I’m sure.

So, aside from the reunion, this article got me to thinking, “is vanity an okay reason for wanting to lose weight?” I think partly, yes, it is okay. Speaking as a married woman, it is a well known fact that men are visual creatures, and right or wrong, most men like their women at a healthy weight (I don’t for one minute believe that men want their women to look like rail thin supermodels – just ask the men in your life who they prefer: Kate Moss or Kate Winslet?) So of course I want to do what I can to keep my husband interested, and getting to a trim weight is just one of many things I can do (cooking a meal that doesn’t taste like sawdust is next on my list). I want his eyes on me, not the hot neighbor next door. (And just for the record, there is so much more to keeping a marriage interesting than just how we look, but for the purposes of this post, I focused on this one tiny aspect, k?)

What would happen though if we did take vanity out of it? Even if I could never visually see the results of my weight loss efforts, I’m pretty sure I could feel them. I think I would notice the increased energy, and the ease of movement, the improvement in my mood. And then there are the health aspects of it: lowered cholesterol, lowered rates of cancer, lowered rates of just about every disease versus that of overweight people. Longevity of life and being able to be active during that longevity are things I would appreciate also.

So, while I think it’s perfectly fine to like what you see in the mirror, don’t let it become your sole reason for losing weight. To be quite honest, I’m still struggling with this. It’s hard to shift my thinking, but vanity and ego really won’t get me very far and I want to go all the way with this.

 

*more on this in my next post! Ooooh, a teaser!

bored bored bored

Wow, time flies when you don’t have much to blog about! I haven’t really had much to say lately, hence the lack of posting. I did read an interesting “success story” on Calorie Count the other day – a woman was telling about how she lost weight by tracking her calories and she said that her success came when she finally recognized that her ability to sense hunger and fullness were out of whack, and that she kept her portions under control by tracking her calories. She didn’t seem bitter about it; she just accepted that this is the way life is for her – almost like a condition she had to treat. If she was going to maintain her weight loss, she would have to watch her portions for the rest of her life. She’s to the point now that she doesn’t have to physically track her calories every day, but she does keep a mental tally most of the time. This was kind of an eye opener for me because I feel like my sense of hunger and fullness is out of whack as well and if I want to keep losing weight and maintain that loss, I’m going to have to track my calories too. If I had diabetes, I’d have to treat the condition, or if I had problems with my thyroid, I’d have to treat the condition, or if I had mental problems (shut up!), I’d have to treat the condition, so I’m looking at this losing-weight-business as a condition that I have to treat. Instead of kicking and screaming and pouting because I can’t eat whatever I want in the massive quantities I want, I’m trying to shift my thinking into “right now, my condition is being overweight and I have to treat it in whatever way necessary to make it better.”

When I went for my weigh-in last Thursday, I was at 165. So it looks like I lost 5 pounds, but like I said, my first weigh in was in jeans, so really I think I only lost a couple of pounds – but hey, I’ll take it.

Here are my weight loss goals:

Mini goal – 162

Short term goal – 159

Mid term goal – 150

Long term goal – 130

Yep. That’s right, 130 pounds is my ultimate goal. For my height and weight and build, this is the weight where I feel most comfortable. Of course I haven’t been this weight in about 15 years, but we all need something to shoot for, right? And if I get to 145 and decide I’m done, well, then I’ll be done. I’m not going to cry if I never see 130 again, but I won’t lie, it would be nice to be sitting in the 130’s again.

I’ve also decided that in addition to planning out my meals and tracking calories, I need to plan out my day. I got off work an hour early on Friday and when I got home, the kids were on a day trip with the babysitter and Shawn was still working – no one home but me. I walked around the house and literally did not know what to do with myself. You know how sometimes you get bored and you don’t want to do ANYTHING? That’s how I felt Friday evening. I had a ton of laundry to do, the house needed to be picked up, I had bills I needed to pay, I needed to work out, I needed to make a shopping list, but I didn’t do any of that. I didn’t even feel like reading a book. I just kinda walked around feeling out of sorts. I did grab my camera and take some pictures with the intention of posting them here, but then I didn’t even feel like doing that. I had all the time in the world to do whatever I wanted, and I didn’t want to do anything, so I just watched TV. I wasted 7 hours doing nothing, and I didn’t feel good about it. So Saturday I was very productive, I even did 45 minutes on the elliptical, but then yesterday after church, once again, I did a whole lot of nothing. I took two naps, and watched movies all afternoon into the evening. I just felt so unmotivated to do anything, and I hate it when I feel like that. I feel like I’m wasting the precious time God has given me here on earth. Yes, I know that resting is good, but don’t you have to actually DO something in order to deserve a rest? I think that if I plan a to-do list for after work and on weekends, I’ll be able to get more accomplished, instead of just winging it and hoping everything gets done.

My goal for this week is to not be such a slouch, and to figure out a routine for weeknights and Friday nights – those are the times when I am tempted to succumb to the calling of the couch.

Walking and rambling

As part of my “finding joy” experiment, I called a friend of mine whom I hadn’t seen in a long time and asked if she wanted to go for a walk. Sherrill took my place at the last place I worked 10 years ago and we have been friends since then. We’ve kept in touch via email mostly and the occasional phone call, but I decided a face to face was long overdue. I met her last night at the rec center where there is an outside walking track (ie sidewalk) that equals one mile for one time around. I’ve been exercising pretty regularly for the last few weeks so I thought that I wouldn’t have any trouble keeping up with Sherrill because she is 10 years older than I am.

OH. MY. QUADS.

When we got started, Sherrill said “how fast do you want to go?” I said, “You set the pace and I’ll keep up”. BIG MISTAKE. Holy cow that woman can walk!! Fast and furious can best describe our walking style last night – it was all I could do to keep up, but I was not about to slow down. After 3 miles and one hour, I seriously thought I would have to crawl to my car! My socks had rubbed a sore spot on my heel and on the bottom of my foot and I felt like I had been through the wringer, but it felt great! We had a good time catching up and I think I dropped two sizes in that one hour – it was awesome!

I got my hair cut again. The short wavy bob was not working out for me, so I got a short straight angled bob with bangs – it’s so much easier and much cuter! It already feels 100% better.

The garden is coming along nicely. We have to carry water to it every night and I think I’m building some muscle because of it. The 5 gallon bucket didn’t seem nearly as heavy. Yea for manual labor!!

That’s all I got for now – layta!

You win some, you lose some Part 2

I was delighted to see a friend request on my Facebook page…  :)

Until I found out that friend was my MIL  :(

 

Finally found tomato cages at Lowe’s…   :)

But they only had 7, I need 8.   :(

 

Loved hearing a gentle rain shower outside my window this morning…   :)

Until I realized it’s Monday and had to get up.   :(

 

I found a $10 off coupon from a local dept store in my purse…   :)

That expired yesterday.   :(

 

Okay, so I’ve got the Monday blues and I got em bad. Why can’t weekends be 3 days instead of 2? I always wish I had just one more day…

I’ve had so much I wanted to blog about, but I just haven’t had the time to sit down and do it. Work has been so busy, but then after sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours a day the last thing I want to do is sit in front of one at home, so blogging has been on the back burner for awhile.

Well, I’m back on my doctor’s weight loss program. I went off the program in December and by March had gained 10 pounds. I thought, “It’s only 10 pounds, surely I can lose 10 pounds on my own!” I was going to give myself until October to lose it, but instead of losing, I have gained. So I decided that it was stupid to fight a losing battle. I know this program works for me; it’s affordable, so why wait? I called the Nurse Nazi on Thursday and she was so sweet when asked her if I could come back. “Well of course you can, honey – you can come back anytime!” So I went back and weighed in at 170! Yikes! But I will say that I had a very heavy lunch that day and was wearing my heaviest, bulkiest jeans that day, not mention that it was 4 in the afternoon (excuses excuses), so I don’t think my actual first-thing-in-the-morning weight is that high, but still. That’s a decade I never wanted to see again. Nurse Nazi was so encouraging, “Don’t you worry about that number honey, it won’t be around for long!” God bless her!

I just gotta say, I love this program. For once, I’m not bombarded constantly with thoughts of food and fat and losing weight. My head feels uncluttered and I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, knowing I’m doing something that I have been successful with before. And when I’m taking the pills, I automatically eat better. I snacked on fruit and walnuts all weekend instead of cookies and ice cream. I eat small enough portions that I don’t feel sluggish after I eat. I wait long enough between meals that I get a little hungry and so the food I eat tastes a hundred times better. I don’t know if it’s the pills themselves or the whole package – the pills, the daily exercise, the weekly weigh in, the accountability, but whatever it is, it works FOR ME

I also told Nurse Nazi to NOT let me quit halfway through this time. I want to go all the way with it this time – she said if I would stick with it, they would teach me some things about maintenance so that I wouldn’t regain the weight, so that’s encouraging too.

I’m really ready to start a new chapter in my life, weight loss being just one small part of that. I’m ready to do something a little more challenging with my knitting (you can only make so many coasters!), and I am thinking of organizing a walking group one night a week so I can reconnect with some old friends while doing something healthy. I think I’m finally ready to make an effort to change my life instead of waiting for someone else to change it for me. I think I finally understand that change IS possible and I have what it takes to bring about that change – I just wish it hadn’t taken me this long to realize it.

a life in balance

I found an online magazine called Experience Life via a commenter on Mizfit (I can’t remember who mentioned it – sorry!) and one article in particular has changed my whole philosophy on weight loss and food.

I was browsing this website when the article “The Smart Way to Weight Loss” caught my attention (because just like something shiny anything related to weight loss catches my eye), so I decided to check it out just to see what they had to say. According to this article weight loss requires “combining separate-but-intertwining skill sets in four key areas: lifestyle, psychology, nutrition, and fitness.” Now we all have ample experience in the nutrition and fitness areas, but the lifestyle and psychology areas are very often overlooked or given little thought, and this article really solidified some things I had been considering – but didn’t realize they were linked to my weight loss (or lack thereof).

If you’ve been reading me for awhile, you know that I abhor the term “lifestyle change”. That phrase grates on my last nerve  because it has been thrown around so much and it sounds so easy (“it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change”– whatever!), so it’s ironic that this section of the article is the one that spoke to me the most. Here’s what got my wheels turning:

 

 Lifestyle
Most seasoned weight-loss experts agree that people who commit to making lasting changes in several aspects of their lives — not just isolated changes to diet and exercise — are the most successful in losing weight and keeping it off. Change your life, they say, and your body will follow.

Start by honestly assessing any imbalances or trouble spots in your life, and pay attention to the interactions between various sectors such as work, home, relationships and money. If one area of your life is distinctly unhappy or out of balance, it will tend to create problems in other areas of your life that may, in turn, inhibit weight loss.

For example, if you’re working long hours on the job, your stress level will probably rise, leaving you more vulnerable to cravings for unhealthy foods. Plus, you’ll be short on time to shop and cook, eat well, and exercise. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you could throw your metabolic system out of whack — increasing hormones, like ghrelin, that trigger hunger.

To achieve healthy, sustainable weight loss, you need to address the underlying patterns and lifestyle behaviors that may have predisposed you to gaining weight in the first place.
Laurel Mellin, MA, RD, director of the Institute for Health Solutions, and an associate clinical professor of family and community medicine and pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, suggests taking an inventory to identify areas of your life that are currently less than healthy.

“Most people automatically assess their exercise and food, which is great,” notes Mellin, “but you also need to look at how you are getting your pleasure and joy in life.”

“Joy,” says Mellin, “is the most effective appetite suppressant.” And in our time-compressed lives, it’s in too-short supply. Ask yourself, she suggests: “Am I getting eight to nine hours of sleep, some time for intimacy, time to restore and time for meaningful pursuits that fulfill me?” If not, you’re probably looking at some core triggers for weight gain — and some insidious obstacles to weight loss.

A lifestyle in balance, explains Mellin, “helps turn off the stress hormones that ramp up appetites and contribute to accumulations of belly fat.” It also gives us more opportunities to experience surges of feel-good neurotransmitters. “There’s a whole array of healthy chemicals that are released as we exercise, laugh, play, dance, sing, pray and cuddle,” says Mellin. At a biochemical level, she notes, “all these aspects of a healthy, balanced lifestyle encourage activity and inhibit the drive to overeat.” They also leave us feeling good about ourselves and, thus, more predisposed to making healthier decisions.

 

A lifestyle in balance – that’s what I want. And that is currently what I don’t have, but I’m working on it. Taking up knitting, going to dinner with friends, working my garden, date nights with my husband – all these things that seem so inconsequential, add up to something big: a life in balance. A life in which I don’t feel like a martyr (“I never get to do anything for myself, everything I do is for someone else” – these were actual thoughts in my head recently), a life in which I get a little bit of joy to balance out all the laundry and dirty dishes. Now I understand why my husband is so serious about his hobbies – he protects ferociously the time in which he gets do his favorite things. I always thought he was just a little bit crazy, but really he’s got it right. Why should it be any different for me? It’s ironic to me that hyper-focusing on losing weight and ignoring the little things that make me happy is probably what has caused me to gain the weight in the first place. It’s going to take time to mentally shift from LOSING WEIGHT to FINDING JOY, I know, but it’s something I have to do, not only for my physical health but for my mental health as well.

I really feel like this is a big key into why I have such a hard time losing weight: I use food as entertainment. When you don’t get joy from anywhere else, food is so easy to use and abuse. It fills the lonely/bored/void feeling easily, and when Little Debbie is your only entertainment, it’s hard to give up. But I’m kicking her out of my “Fun things to do” file.

So while diet and exercise have their place, I think for me, this is what I need to spend my time and energy on improving. I’m curious as to what your thoughts/feelings/ideas/suggestions are regarding this article, so feel free to expound in the comments. I love all your comments! Oh, and you can read the entire article here.