Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Holiday Blues

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I survived Thanksgiving! I can’t say that I did not stuff myself, because I did. I also just barely survived my in-laws. I love my husband’s family very much, but sometimes they can be just a bit too much for me.

Now that Thanksgiving has passed I find myself in a slump. This is the time of year when I start to really miss those family members who have passed away. It is also the time of year when I become even more aware of my physical limitations, most of which are 100% treatable. How would they be treated? Oh, by me losing 180 pounds or so.

180 pounds! That is more than half my weight! The realization sets in that I am literally the size of 2 people.. or 3 super skinny people. Either way, the stress on my joints and heart is not going to take it forever. I am already feeling it. At 43 years of age I have difficulty with so many daily tasks that I should have no problems with:

  • Getting out of bed
  • Getting in and out of the car
  • Climbing stairs
  • Picking something up off the floor
  • Tying my shoes
  • Sleeping

The list is much more lengthy, but you get the picture. This is not a “poor me” blog. This is keeping it real and keeping my accountability.

There have been a few public figures who lost their lives at around my age lately and this is really hitting home for me. Specifically, Heavy D and, just yesterday, Patrice O’Neal. I know, they are both African-American men so what do they have in common with me? They were both around my age and both were obese. It is just a reality check for me is all.

Today, I am sticking to my original plan of not tracking everything and ignoring the scales; however, I will pay closer attention to what I am eating and the choices I make. I am determined to increase my chances that I will be here long enough to continue enjoying  my children and grandchildren. I also am determined to make my quality of life a little bit better. Like I have said before, I am so tired of existing and not living. Enough talking, it is time for action!

The first step is getting myself ready for February. You see, last April I signed up to participate in a 5K in February. At the time I figured it gave me enough time to train and get in better shape for it. Well, here I am in November, and I actually weigh about 15 pounds more than I did at the time. Every day I told myself “tomorrow” and tomorrow never arrived. So, I start today! Even if I finish dead last, I am determined that I will complete it.

I am adding a tab at the top of my page to track my 5K progress. Any suggestions from you on how a 300+ pound woman is going to get herself to the point where she can walk 3.1 miles by February 4th?

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Barriers to Your Success

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“Most barriers to your success are man-made. And most often, you’re the man who made them.” – Frank Tyger

This was yesterday’s message which was shared on the calendar I purchased from SparkPeople. Last year I joined SparkPeople and loved all their tools and the community there. I religiously tracked my food, blogged, read other people’s blogs, and interacted in the community. Doing this, I lost about 30 pounds or so in 2 months.

I am one of those who has read countless books and joined many programs to lose weight. I, like so many others, know exactly what it takes to lose weight. Pretty much every program, web site, book, and gimmick boil down to the same thing:

Fewer calories + more exercise = weight loss.

They all have different opinions as to how to achieve that and they call it different things. Whether you are taking a low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian, or counting calorie approach you must consume fewer calories than you are burning as fuel to lose weight. In my case, it is a lot easier said than done. I know that when I track my food I lose weight. I also know that when I track my food I become overly obsessive and I am always hungry. The end result is I eventually can’t stand it and I abandon the thought completely after having a huge binge because I just can’t stand it anymore.

Back to last year. My breaking point was Thanksgiving. By the time the holiday came around, I had been religiously tracking my food and was feeling pretty good about myself. Then came the big day and I just could not stop. I felt so horrible the day after that I just figured I would start tracking the following week. I am pretty sure you can all guess where it went from there. Here I am a year later and I have gained all of it back AND I am faced with Thanksgiving tomorrow.

This is my game plan: I am going to enjoy my family, pay attention to my body and not overeat, and not stress about it. If I stress about it I will become my own obstacle and I will end up feeling worse.

Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving with your families.

Preparing for Thanksgiving and Being Sick

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What a crazy weekend. On top of my normal weekend errands and such, I decided that I needed to do an extra project AND I think I am getting sick! Today I am so tired, sleepy, and cranky that I am positive that I won’t be doing that again when I am starting to feel under the weather.

With that said, I did get a lot accomplished which is a good thing. With Thanksgiving just days away I am trying to stay ahead of the game. My sister-in-law and I decided that we are not really in the mood to cook for two days, so the plan was that this year’s meal would be purchased pre-made. Well, as it turns out, the only thing that will be pre-made is the wine. You see, someone else was unaware of our plans and purchased the turkey which kind of killed everything else since it was a package deal.

So, I being the person who is not in the most festive mood this year told them I was bringing the wine and I would make the cranberry sauce. Well, we all know that I am going to end up doing more than that. Don’t get me wrong, I love the family and I love food, but I really just wanted to relax this year for my 4 day weekend.

What is it about Thanksgiving that not only that day, but the entire 4 day weekend turns out to be more work than family time and I end up going back to work so I can relax? Does anyone else feel this way?

Learning to Love Myself

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I have come a long way from the days that I absolutely despised myself. My self-hatred was most definitely reflected in everything I did. From my job to my family, it was no secret that I did not like myself and as a result not many people chose to spend time with me. If you have ever been in that really dark place of self-hatred you will understand when I say that it really did not matter to me much. I just kind of floated wherever the current took me, and much to my dismay my children ended up riding right along with me.

About 12 years ago I was living in my non-existent life and something crazy happened. I met my husband. We met online and took the time to really get to know each other before exchanging pictures or even “meeting”. He saw me! Not the overweight person who completely despised everything about herself, but he saw the person inside who was fighting to get out.

To make a rather long and boring story short, we met 5 years later and we will celebrate our third wedding anniversary in January. In the past 6 ½ years that we have been living together he has guided me through shedding the self-doubt, self-hatred, and self-inflicted sabotage.

Today I still have a lot of work to do, but somehow I started to see what he saw back in 1999. I am still quite overweight; actually I have gained about 50 pounds since we got together. But, the man still treats me like a queen. It took me a while to accept the fact that he loves me for me and the packaging does not matter.

Although my size does not matter to him and it does not really matter as much to me anymore, I am still concerned about my health. At this time I am fortunate enough to have perfect blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and no sign of diabetes. I want to increase my chances that everything will remain that way so I can actually live the life that I should have been living all along. So, just because I have given up the scale and counting calories does not mean I have given up on taking care of myself.

I have done pretty well at changing my habits. I have been practicing portion control, drinking my water, and fitting in a little extra activity every day. I still have a long way to go to accomplish all I want to, but I am on my way!

Making the Time to Move

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No matter how hard I try to organize my day, I end up rushing to get everything done. How have I been finding time for my daily activity that I promised myself? Well, I have not mastered the art of squeezing in 30 minute blocks of time just yet. I have. however, been squeezing in extra steps and blips movement here and there throughout the day.

For example, I have been taking the long route to the printer at work. I also pick up each printed “job” individually instead of printing an entire batch and picking it up at once. This may not seem like much, but it does give me about 15 more trips to the printer a day than I used to make.

Another habit I am getting back into is (don’t laugh) making myself do 1-2 sets of some sore of activity in the restroom every time I use it. Whether it is wall push-ups, modified jumping jacks, or just stretching I am moving my body.

These are just a few little tricks I have started or re-introduced into my daily routine. What do you do to squeeze in a little extra activity?

Stir Fry Anyone?

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It has been a crazy busy today here at work for me today. There has been a shift in responsibilities which was supposed to simplify and make things easier for everyone. Somehow, this new “system” placed a lot more on my plate. I am not real sure how that is supposed to simplify, but I will go with it.

As a result of my newfound responsibilities, I completely forgot about lunch. I think it was about 2:00 before I realized that I had not eaten. That is a testament of what happens when you stop focusing so much on your food. When I was tracking and counting calories I became so obsessed with every meal and snack that I was always hungry and waiting for the next “fix”.

In my new role here at work, I am probably going to be having quite a few late lunches and nights. This is both good and bad. It is good that I know that I still have a job and I will probably have one for a while, but it is not good because it might take away some time from my family.

When I wrapped up my crazy day I was exhausted, so I came home and whipped up a stir fry instead of the grilled chicken I had planned. The family liked it and I liked the fact that it was cooked and on the table in record time. The secret is, frozen stir fry veggies and rice which were cooked ahead of time. Do you have any favorite and quick weeknight dinners that are crowd pleasers?

Crockpot Oatmeal

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Last night I made some of my crock pot oatmeal for the week. This is the perfect breakfast for those on the go. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator and re-heats beautifully in the microwave.

I know, I made yogurt Saturday for the week. But what can I say? I love breakfast! I do have my moments where I eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Today, I had my oatmeal for breakfast, brought yogurt for my snack, and I have left over chinese for lunch. Yes, I am having chinese take-out for lunch. Last week I would have watched my family eat the take out, ate my little “healthy dinner” on the side then snuck their left overs later because I just could not stand it. Last night, I ate chinese without guilt. Here is how I kept it within reason and left the dinner table with no guilt:

  • I served myself a reasonable portion and moved the containers away from my seat
  • I ate slowly and really enjoyed the food
  • Instead of soda, I drank water with my meal.

I was completely satisfied with my portion, did not go back for seconds, and enjoyed a meal with my family. No guilt or resentments! It has been less than a week since I decided to focus more on life than all the numbers, but I am already reconnecting with my family, sleeping better, and feeling a lot less pressure.