Current Happenings

Friday, October 31, 2008

Yay for the Good Day!

Hey You! Yes, Me. I congratulate you! (Who can make sense of the voices in my head? lol)

Yay for me! I made it through a day without eating junk. I ate yummy things like strawberries, pasta w/ ground turkey, and granola. I didn't eat as many vegetables as I should have, but I'll still count it as a victory because I didn't gorge myself on junk as soon as the sun went down.

In addition to not overeating, I drank plenty of fluids yesterday. I drank a lot of water. A LOT OF WATER. I drank a couple cups of coffee, because water is a mite boring in the taste department.

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I had amazingly accomplished a flush of 1.5 lbs. during the 24 hour period. So, who doesn't feel bloated and funky today? Me. ;)

Now, I am a little worried about tonight. I need to put on some strong mental armor. After the kids run around and do their candy-begging, there is going to be a Halloween party. I want very much to not eat junk. I think that I need to come up with a good game plan, or just ask DH to skip the party and head home. That might be the safest route. Shedding these next couple of pounds are very important to me, far more important than bean dip and tortillas.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yo-yo Weight and Self Perception

In my blog reading this morning, I read through a post by Mel, about how she has always perceived herself as fat, no matter what size she has been. Boy, I can relate to that. Hey, I grew up spending a large percentage of my time at my Grandma's house, and she alternated between using me to clean out her fridge and fussing at me for eating too much. I think it went something like, "If you don't quit eating so much, you're going to be as big as the side of a barn!" That still didn't stop anyone from asking me to finish something up for them, so they could get rid of it. *shrugs* So, I spent some of my childhood tugging at pants and wearing sweatshirts. I didn't start slimming down again until I began working with ponies and horses.

When I was a teenager, I always thought that I was unbearably fat. I could see some good things about how I was made, but it always came down to my disappointment with the wideness of my hips, and the slight roundness to my lower belly. No matter how many miles I ran, nor how many grueling aerobics or weight training classes I went through, that never went away. I did end up with some pretty beautiful legs though, if I might say so myself. No matter how hard I worked, I was always unhappy to be putting on my size 12-14 jeans.

"Someone tried to tell me that maybe my body liked being at 170 and that striving to reach 150 pounds might be unrealistic, but I did not listen. I did not listen because I knew what they did not seem to understand--that I was fat. Fat at 170 pounds, fat wearing size 12 jeans, fat, fat, fat. Honestly? Who even cares? I am pretty sure that I am the only one who cares deeply about the size of my pants and about my chubby face." Mel from 'Diet Naked'

In my adulthood, after being pregnant a couple of times, I started losing some of my extra weight that I had been carrying around. At one point, my sister came over in having not seen me in quite a while, and she said in an astonished voice that I looked as though I had nearly gotten to my goal weight. She thought that the differences were readily apparent, but when I looked at myself in the mirror, I just saw the flaws. It wasn't "good enough" to have lost 50 lbs. and have my clothes literally falling off of me. I saw all of the soft parts that would never be the same again, and I didn't allow myself to simply be happy with the freedom of greater health.

One of my greatest struggles with losing weight isn't the losing of the weight! I know how to eat right, and I enjoy exercising most of the time. My problem is that I have a hard time loving myself enough with my flaws to be happy treading water for a while. My problem is that I eat when I'm unhappy, and it is counterproductive to eat food while pouting about back fat.

This time around, I am happy. When the times come when I'm not feeling so happy, I sit down and work through it. I remind myself of how far I have come, and how good it feels to jog, lift heavy weights, and play soccer with my daughter. Instead of concentrating on the number on my pants, or the letter on my shirt tag, I want to always remind myself of how much I love having the freedom to spend hours and hours walking around the zoo, or how much I love the feeling of running down the street with Pumpkin and hearing her giggle about how we are beating Daddy. I may have a hard time loving the roundness of my belly, or the wideness of my hips. I may sigh over the stretchmarks on my stomach and breasts, but they aren't going away no matter how much weight I lose. There are always going to be things about my body that remind me that I'm not 17 any more. That's ok. I need to make peace with that.

My body will always be changing, and that is a reality that I ran into when I noticed a "laugh line" at the corner of my eye, and my husband began pulling out the bright white hairs that keep growing out of my head. Sure, I'm not that old. No one else would notice these tiny things like I do. The point is just that we aren't static creatures, and I need to understand that I can't hang my happiness on a clothing size or a number on the scale. Instead, I just want to look at those as barometers, telling me when I am in a comfortable place of freedom, and warning me when I am shackling myself with a prison of extra weight. I don't endeavor to be one particular number on the scale. I used to. I just measure things differently these days, and it's good for me.

It's very good for me to be talking through this stuff, so I am really glad that Mel was thinking about it first. :) It's no big secret (since I've been posting about it. lol) that I've been struggling a little, and have put a little weight back on. It's not a real big gain, and I'm heartened by recognizing it, and still having the desire to work at it instead of eating cookies to kill depression.

I'll probably never be able to 'borrow' my husband's 32" pants, even though I used to wear that size. Hey, this was back in the day, before they started making low-rise pants for girls. The right pair of jeans from the men's department could be real sexy when snug and low on the hips. I used to really enjoy them. It's ok that I won't be wearing them anymore, or at least that I don't plan on pushing myself like crazy just to get into them. It's ok if I wear a size 12 pants for the rest of my life, and my butt is always a rather dominant feature. Hating the shape of my body is about as foolish as being ashamed of the shape of my teeth, which I admit that I have been in the past. I am me, just the way that I am. God made me with big teeth, fuzzy hair, rather poor eyesight, and a perpetually big butt. It's all good. *grins* I'm finally old enough to own it, instead of being ashamed that other people might find me ugly. Beauty is such a relative concept anyway.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Major Malfunction


I'm still trying to figure out what my major malfunction is. I have been lazy with my eating. Today hasn't been horrible, but the weekend wasn't the kind that puts a smile on my face. It makes me sad, but the closer I get to my anniversary, the more weight I "nickel and dime" onto my body. I guess it is a good thing that my anniversary is tomorrow!

I think that the problem for me is that I am anxious. This is never anything that I should be upset about, but my husband is not easy to do for. There never seems to be the right thing to do, place to go, or gift to buy. He is always so 'ho-hum' about everything, not really seeming to be particularly excited or pleased by anything that I choose to do or get for him. So, I tend to agonize a bit over it all, but with a sense of impending doom that I'm some kind of bad gift-giver. Enter the stress eating. Eeeee! It makes me crazy.

The really hard part to stomach, aside from gaining weight, is that my husband is a very generous and loving man. I am frustrated that this should seem like a hard thing, because he'd never look or sound disappointed. I just feel lacking because I can't seem to put a huge smile on his face, and I would feel ashamed if I got him something simple and he got me something big. He enjoys being the "better" gift-giver, and prides himself on how much he thinks these things through. I just wish that I didn't feel like the not-so-great gift-giver, because it means a lot to me that we (our family) have happy and adventurous times together... plus a few memorable gifts.

Goodness, well that is a whole bunch of rambling hoo-ha to say that I feel inadequate, and it isn't anyone else's fault. So, I get nervous and start nibbling all of the time, trying to find some way to calm myself down. I know by now that it doesn't work, at at least I am able to sit here and identify what is going on. I guess that is the biggest part- knowing why I do the crazy things that I do.

It's being in a position of frustrated confusion that bothers me the most. There is something so freeing in just knowing WHY I would mess up and eat a bunch of junk when I don't *really* want to. Sometimes I feel like my left hand is clamped tight over my mouth, and my eyes are bulging with panic as my right hand is trying to squash food through my fingers and into my mouth. I really hate doing what I don't want to do. That's kind of funny, since I just read Paul's words about that in the book of Romans, and how he felt the same way. I guess in this instance, it really is my FLESH that is rebelling and fighting me like crazy when my spirit just wants to take a deep breath and talk with Father about it all. Whether it is something silly and fluffy like gift-giving anxiety or real painful sorrow over losing loved ones, I still cope with stress in a terrible way. Eating is a bad coping mechanism, especially when my spirit is bucking within me and telling me to stop hurting myself just because I'm worked up.

This is a pretty big thing, so I think that I need to go off and think on it some more. I already know what my bible says, but I'll read through the familiar words a few more times, and sit queitly to talk with Father. I can only think that one of these times something is going to click, and the struggle won't be quite as hard as it has been over these last 9 years. I anticipate that I'll always struggle to find the right way to make peace with my trials, but I know that there has got to be some relief too. Even if I have to pull this along with me through life on this side of heaven, it can't be all up-hill all of the time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Absolutely Nuts!

Oh, I was so close to my goal! Now I am a little bit further from it. *sigh* Two pounds.

I've been going to the gym every night this week, and I've been kicking my bum all over the place. I've been setting the "fat burn" program on the treadmill, and asking it to keep my heart rate between 145 - 150. From what I've read, 50-85% of my maximum heart rate puts me at 95-162. So, when I'm huffing my way around at 150 bpm, I'm working at the higher end of my range. At the beginning of the week, this was markedly more difficult than it was last night. I think that my body is already adapting to the harder work. Goodness, I would have had to tie myself to a chair to stay home from the gym last night, because I CRAVED that feeling that comes with working hard and sweating like a beast.

On the flip side, all of the cardio and weight training has brought out a monster in me. When I came home last night, I wanted to eat everything in sight. I think that I very well may have. Seriously though, my problem is primarily with peanuts. I LOVE peanuts. This is the main reason why I shouldn't buy them. They are so calorically dense that I can put myself in a really bad spot if I'm not careful. Yesterday, I wasn't very careful.

All in all, instead of losing weight this week, I've put a little on. I can't be *too* upset at the moment, because I also know that the treadmill hiking and the weights are having some wonderful effects on my body. My thighs and hips are looking more toned, and it helps me feel a bit sexier. My shoulders and back are looking more sleek. Now, if only there was an exercise that I could do to put the girls back up where I want them. *laughs* Oh well. Have I mentioned that my bottom is looking nicer?

I think that the reason why good exercise is showing on my body more readily is simply because I've lost some of the fat that hides the muscles that I have. No one ever expects a big girl to be truly strong, because all they see is jiggly fat. I do have big, strong muscles under my squishiness. Now they are better able to be seen!

If there is one complaint that I have about seeing muscles, it is that they seem to make my fat even worse. That sounds funny. For instance, the muscles in my arms are becoming more and more defined... which makes my floppy upper-arm flab really wave like a flag. Instead of just having big arms, I have muscle and deflated floppy flab. I know that it is good to have the fat melting off, and I know that my arms haven't ever been so big that my skin can't tighten up. I just want to blow raspberries at the floppy flab, because it isn't very pretty. It should go away. However, if I want it to go away, I need to stop eating the crud.

Over the weekend, I'm going to concentrate primarily on my eating. I am going to make a huge effort to hydrate properly, eat lean meats and vegetables, and avoid the proccessed stuff. Since I don't go to the gym on Mondays, that will give me four days of clean eating to help me drop some of the silly peanut weight (ok, and other foods. ). Then I will be back at the gym, working my tail off. I may not ever be able to RUN again, but I do get a little high by being able to jog for a few minutes each night, at the end of my 'hike'.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Feels Good

I went to the gym this afternoon, and it was really nice even though I didn't stay long. I was completely surprised by how many people were there to workout. I have never seen that many people there! It seriously hindered my plans for lifting weights, basically because I'm a baby who doesn't like to stand in line to lift. I hate to stand still while I'm at the gym, so if I can't move from one machine to another, I don't do it.

Even though I only lifted a little bit, I worked real hard on the treadmill. I was only able to be on there for 30 minutes because of the crowd, but I put the pedal to the metal while I was there. When I last checked my heart rate, I was over 80% in energy expenditure. That is a little too much for me to be doing, but I was enjoying myself. I paid for it when I got home, and subsequently began coughing up my lungs. If there is one thing that can be said for exercising real hard, it is that it gets the mucus moving in my lungs. I feel better now, since I was able to get some of it up.

Since it is still cold in the house, I'm going to exercise some more this evening, just to stay warm. Since I want to watch tv, I'll just pedal my stationary bike while I'm watching. That should keep me warm until it is time for bed. I just have to be sure to take things slow, because the bike has been hard on my bad knee lately. My arthritis is really bothering me of late, and while it is good to keep moving, it hurts a lot too. The treadmill is alright because something in my stride changes when I increase the incline a little bit, and it actually seems to help my knee without causing pain. I notice that I've had fewer bad days since "hiking" the treadmill. Something about the bike is more difficult, but I can still do it so long as I use the treadmill regularly.

Back to the Gym

I'm headed back to the gym today! I haven't been there in quite a while, so it will be all the more fun to be there. I'm still not feeling 100% recovered from my respiratory infection, but I am feeling fine enough to exercise. I am hoping that added movement will help me burn some more calories, and also help to increase the efficiency of my digestive system.

Tonight, my main focus will be on cardio. I'm going to walk on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes. Normally I ride the bike, but I'm going to pass on that now that my bike at home is working. Instead, I'll lift some light weights for a little while, and then walk a little more on the treadmill. I want to get in about an hour of exercise, and then I'll come home and hydrate myself before my 9 p.m. cut-off time.

This cut-off time is a new development for my routine. Quite frankly, I'm tired of waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. So, I am working to cut out all eating and drinking after 9 o'clock in the evening. I'm not sure that I will always be able to stick to it, but I'll be happy if it helps me have better sleep in general.

Chicken!

This is a "why do I do that!!!" post. *nods* You see, I was having so much success. Then, I decide to eat foods that I shouldn't have (like a piece of fried chicken). It's not that one piece of chicken is the end of the world, but that I ate it before bed. I know better than that. Not only did it give me an upset stomach for a couple of hours, but it is still trying to be friendly by hanging around.

I hate to have this kind of conversation with myself, but there is no getting past it. Self, you know your digestive system. Why would you eat foods at times when you know it will make it harder for you to get rid of them? Do you like being bloated? Do you like your intestines being cramped and full of junk? No, I didn't think so! So, Self, stop eating heavy foods at night. You know that it bothers you for days afterward. You know that all of that depresses you when you see the number on the scale, because you're full of junk that you can't get rid of. Stop doing it to yourself. Be nice to me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Slight Detour!

I need just 1/2 pound to reach my goal, but I don't know when I'm going to see that loss. I might lose a little over my T.O.M., but I might have to wait for this week to be over. It causes me to pout, but just a little bit. :) I know that it's not really a big deal, but I was definitely hoping to see that number on the scale this morning. Have I mentioned that patience is not something that comes naturally to me?

Today, I am just focusing on how nice it feels to wear a pair of jeans that fit nicely. I can tuck my shirt in and not feel terrible about it. Sure, my butt still looks as big as Alaska, but I can get over that. I carry my weight around my hip area, and that is just the way that it goes. It is just really nice to look in my closet and know that I can wear all of my clothes in there. Ok, there is the exception of my prom dress that is tucked away in plastic. I may never be able to slip that on again, since I don't know that it means enough to me to look like I did as a teenager. But, I would like to keep it for Pumpkin, in case she would like to wear it when she is older. Anyway, my point is that I don't have a closet full of clothes that I am too big for. Yay!

I don't know if I mentioned it, but I moved all of my stretchy pants to my PJ drawer. They will do a great service in keeping me warm at night, and shall not be allowed to leave the house. I am setting up a general ban on stretchy pants as daywear.

While I'm blabbering on, I realized for the first time that I had a goal that didn't have a weight number attached to it! It felt so different, and a little strange. I was thinking about how nice it will be to celebrate one year of better health on my 'healtheir me' anniversary, which will be May 20th. I've never had a date like that to look forward to. It's an oddly pleasant feeling, because it means that I am still successful, even if I don't amazingly transform from squishy to svelt in 6 months time. Wonderful. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Wahoo!

I have now lost 38 lbs.! Yay!

When I lose one more pound, I will reach my first weight-loss goal. It probably sounds like a strange number for a goal, but that puts me at where I was when I got pregnant with Ezzie. I had been so excited by having lost weight, and then I found out that we were expecting a baby. I was happy to put off losing weight until after Ezra was born, but I didn't have the heart for it when he was stillborn.

It seems like so long ago, and yet just yesterday. I know that some people would probably be appalled that it took me nearly 2 years before I felt well enough to concentrate on making myself well. But, there isn't much that I can say beyond sharing that wounds to the spirit take much longer to heal than those within the body. I was so crushed by what happened, there was just no fight left in me for anything. I felt awful for what I wasn't able to give to my family, my daughter in particular, while I grieved the loss of our youngest son and the loss of any hope that we might have more children.

I already feel refreshed, even with that one pound still on my body. There is something so cleansing in knowing that I'm not wearing my sadness on my body anymore. It feels nice to know that soon I'm not going to be working off the same weight again, that I had just put back on. There is something very draining about feeling like a yo-yo, regardless of the 'why'.

In celebration, I put on a new dress today. It's not a *new* dress, but new to me. I haven't been able to wear it before. Everyone giggles because it looks just like my favorite dress, only much smaller. I don't actually know what size my comfy dress is, but this new one says that it is a size 10. I look forward to it gradually growing looser and looser as I get closer to my "happy weight".

I really am happy that I will reach this weight-loss goal before my wedding anniversary. I may just go to Dots and see if they have any pretty dresses in my size, so I can have something nice to wear when we go out. My sister said that she would go with me, since I admit to having difficulties in picking out flattering clothes that coordinate well together.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jeans

I went through my jeans drawers today, and I realized that I can wear them. Now, I can't wear all of them. There are some "skinny jeans" in there that are beyond my reach right now, but I can button up half of the pants easily. Wow. It just feels... wow. :)

I was hoping that I would be able to wear some of these pants for the winter, but didn't really have much faith that it would be before Christmas. I guess that when I see myself losing just one pound at a time, it doesn't sink into my brain very easily that they add up to some big changes.

Another realization that I had today was that I don't want to be uncomfortable. There was one pair of jeans that I had that felt funky when I wore them. The waist was too high, and they were way too long. Overall, the fit was just terrible. I wore them around the house for a couple of hours, and then made up my mind that I wouldn't wear uncomfortable clothes just because I could get into them. Those jeans are gone, never to be worn again.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Spinning Wheels, Making Ruts


I've been hanging out at the same basic weight for a little while now. I wish that I could place the blame on some unexplained body happening, or whatever, but I know that the problem is me. I am eating too much junk. I shouldn't do it, but I do.

It dawns on me that I'm not being particularly "good" with my eating when I start avoiding my food scale. I don't want to know just how much is in that portion, because then I might feel obligated to put some of it back. Aw. I know better than that! So, I've been keeping better track of my foods, trying to eat "better", and exercise more. I'm not gaining weight, thankfully. Instead, I'm just spinning my wheels and making a rut for me to sit in.

I want to keep moving downward, but I guess that means that I have to want that lower number more than I want pumpkin flavored ice cream. I have to want it enough that I don't eat just because other people are eating. So, I guess this means that I have to make up my mind whether I am happy at sitting at this weight, or whether I would like to keep moving my weight downward.

I am resolved to doing the latter. I want to enjoy my better health, and increase it even more. I am happy that I was able to go to the zoo with my family, and spend five hours walking in the heat. I think that it would be just as wonderful to be able to do more ambitious things also, like play volleyball or teach my daughter how to play kickball. Every pound that I lose off of my frame is another pound that isn't grinding my knees into mush. I know that they will always hurt, but they don't need the added punishment of carrying around this unnecessary extra weight. I want that to mean more to me than some tortilla chips.

I don't want to beat myself up, because I'm not doing a bad job with losing weight. I guess I'm just not used to going through these small steps, and the lessons that come with them. When I've lost weight before, it was through starvation and obsessive exercise. I want things to be slow and steady right now, so I can learn how to live a better life. I am just frustrated in knowing that I could be a few pounds lighter right now, if I didn't sabotage myself one little bite at a time. I can do this thing. I just need to clear my head a little bit, and focus on the next pound. Just one. I'll take care of the rest of them in their own time.

Bike Saves The Day!

The munchies sure had a hold on me yesterday! I did alright during the earlier part of the day, but things were harder in the late afternoon and evening. I think that I just allowed myself to become too hungry to begin with.

Thankfully, my stationary bike saved the day. I got a lot of time in, and it helped. I rode my bike while watching "The Biggest Loser". I was determined that if I wanted to watch the show, I had to be pedaling while it was on. I only got half way through it before I had to go and do other things, but I came back to the bike in the evening.

All in all, I think that I was riding my bike for more than an hour yesterday, with the resistance turned all the way up. That really worked my muscles a lot. When I got off of the bike last night, my legs were wobbly, and my muscles were bulging. Thankfully though, I managed to exercise enough that I burned off my tortilla chips and salsa, and even a couple of cookies. Compared to my weight yesterday morning and this morning, I managed to even lose a little weight in addition to not gaining any.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Habit-A-Week Challenge: Week 1

This week, Lyn's suggestion is that we work on our water intake. Normally, I am really good at this. I'll sheepishly add that for the past few days, I haven't been as diligent as I should be. I've been trying to do better, and it shows on the scale. I just wish that I wouldn't wait until the scale shakes it's finger at me before I make certain to drink my water.

Generally, I drink 9+ cups of water. I have a big blue cup that holds 3 cups of water. So, I know that if I fill it up three times, I have had enough water for the day. If I've been exercising or working hard outside, I can easily drink 3 cups at one time. I always try to drink a lot more water when I am sweating a great deal. Usually though, I will fill the cup and drink what I want, leaving the rest of the water on the counter. Since I don't like drinking very cold water, this works for me. What has also helped is to drink a cup of water every time that I go to the bathroom.

Now, I don't think that I agree with Lyn about my body getting used to drinking that amount of water. I still visit the bathroom just as often as the first day that I began increasing my water intake. When I know that I will be out of the house, I purposefully dehydrate myself a bit, so I don't have to use the bathroom so often while I am out running errands. On the plus side, I think that the frequent bathroom breaks are good for cutting down the risk of urinary tract infections. From what I understand, the passing of urine helps kill bacteria in the urethra. I am all for having healthier plumbing.

For as much water as I tend to drink, it's not something that I say brings me a great deal of pleasure. I can't understand (even a little bit) how anyone can gag and be goofy about drinking water. We *are* composed of mostly water. How can we not ingest it?! I do have more sympathy for folks who are simply bored with the taste of their water though. Goodness, to drink so much of something that has a distinct absence of flavor, it's not always an easy thing. But, I've managed to work around that.

When water gets boring, I break it up. I will drink a cup of regular water, and then take a few sips of coffee. I'll drink a cup of water, then have a little lemonade or tea. Sometimes, I'll even nibble on a couple salty mini pretzel twists, and then drink my water.