Category Archives: Activity

Dear Future Self

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Dear Future Diana,

I am so proud of you for getting your journey back on track. By the looks of it, I would say you finally kicked the dessert habit also. Good for you! What is it like to be able to get on the floor and play with the grandkids? Oh, I bet you can tie your shoes without feeling like you just had a full workout. I have so many questions to ask you and I am not real sure where to begin.

I guess the best place to start is by letting you know that I have already started some small little habits that helped you get where you are today. Just like I promised back in April, I have started drinking only water (Ok, I still drink my morning coffee, but the cream level has been reduced drastically), I eat breakfast every day, and my fruit and vegetable consumption is significantly higher.

To answer your question, yes it is a healthy breakfast about 98% of the time. If you don’t believe me, just check my tracker on MyFitnessPal because I may not log everything, but I do log my breakfast. I know, I should log everything, but I am getting there. Oh, this morning? Yeah, had some errands to run so I stopped at Wawa. I didn’t do too badly though. See, I am learning.

Now, to some of those questions I have for you:

  1. How did you get the determination to not quit? How did you get past the obstacles that life placed in your path? I seem to be struggling with that at the moment.
  2. How long did it take before you could climb the stairs without pulling yourself up or losing your breath? I have lived here for 6 months and I still can’t do that.
  3. What did it feel like the first time you were able to fly without fear of being ridiculed?
  4. Do you own those boots that you swore you would have someday? (If you don’t remember the boot story, you can read it here.)
  5. How was it when you were finally able to ride those roller coasters again?
  6. I know that you have a regular exercise routine, what did you do to start? How did you get past the pain and keep going?
  7. Did the eczema and asthma get better as you lost the weight and got healthier?

There are so many more questions I would love to ask, but they aren’t coming to mind right now. I am happy to say that I have outlined my next baby step for our journey. I have decided that the next goal is to not eat take-out and cook dinner every night.

I know, it is not going to be easy with “the husband’s” obsession with pizza, chinese, and drive thru cuisine. But, you obviously figured out a way to conquer it, so that is what I am doing this week. I am not saying I will never eat take-out again, but I am saying that I need to get in the habit of cooking for myself. So, if he wants take-out he can get it. I will still prepare my dinner.

Oh, one more question:

Were you ever able to get that husband of yours to eat any vegetables without tricking him? LOL

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Non Scale Victories

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I decided that I needed to kick the scales to the curb because like many of us, I was placing all my worth on the stupid number it showed me. That does not mean that I no longer weigh myself, but I don’t place so much importance on the number when I decide to. Well, this morning was one of those days where I was wondering just where I stood with my love/hate relationship with the darn thing, so I decided to pull it out of hiding.

I have lost “only” 4 pounds since this whole journey began. Really? Four pounds in four months? A woman my size? That is just plain …… oh, wait a minute. I am no longer letting that number rule my moods. So, let’s take a look at the past four months and see what has happened.

November: The holidays were creeping up on us and I was already starting to stress about family get togethers. This is not an excuse, it is just fact. I have one of those families that creates a lot of stress even during simple gatherings much less a major holiday. So, let the bingeing begin.

December: Please see November. It is just a repeat, only this time it is Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

January: I was off to a decent start. I had started losing the 7 (no, that is not a typo) pounds that I gained over the previous 2 months and even made a last minute trip across the country to surprise my daughter at her baby shower. Then, BAM! It was three days after I returned that we rushed one of our family members to the ER for what we thought was the flu. Since Jan 12th, my family and I have spent all of our time either at work or the hospital when we aren’t sleeping. The past couple of weeks have gotten better because our bodies basically made us slow down and take a break.

February: We are finally settling down into a routine between work, the hospital, and home. Yes! Finally, a little bit of time at home. There are still many adjustments to be made before this whole ordeal is over, but at least we know that she will be coming home eventually.

Now that we have reviewed my four months on this journey, I am choosing to take a moment to recognize all my non-scale victories (NSV’s) because if you all remember, I no longer define my worth by the number on the scale.

  1. While I may have lost “only” four pounds during these past four months, I am choosing to look at the big picture. With the seven pound gain over the holidays, I have actually lost 11 pounds since the beginning of January. Still not a huge amount, but way better than standing still. I promise, this is the only one that has to do with that evil scale AND I do understand that this is not exactly a NON scale victory, but it is a victory.
  2. On that last minute trip across the country, I was able to fly three out of the four flights without a seatbelt extender. This I have not been able to do in a very long time and soon, it will be 100% consistent and I won’t even have to stress it. If I had listened to the scales, I would not have even tried and immediately asked for the extender.
  3.  I have started and continued some positive habits which will get me to my goal eventually. I now consume between 8 and 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, drink only water, and find some way to fit a little activity in everyday even if it is only 2 sets of wall push ups every single time I use the restroom. It may not seem like much, but it is much more than I used to do.
  4. With all the craziness and stress from the past couple of months, I have not given up. In my book, the only way you fail is if you give up. So, I am in this for the long haul.

To those of you who still depend on the numbers on the scale to validate your success, I challenge you to kick your scale to the curb and look at everything you are gaining by making little changes. I have not made any huge changes in my lifestyle yet, but I can tell you that I actually feel so much better and have more energy now than I did when I was obsessing over the numbers.

Obstacle or Opportunity?

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As everyone knows, I have really been struggling that past couple of months. There are so many external factors which I let dictate my life AGAIN! If you want to read about the pep talk I gave myself you can find it in this post.

That lit a fire in me and with the help from my friends; this week has been just one success after the other. Now, has everything been perfect? No. But, I have not given up and I am actually starting to feel better.  I have been able to control my food intake without too much of a struggle and I have gotten activity in every day, even if it is not the amount I wanted it was better than the ZERO activity I was getting before.

There are a lot of changes going on in the little world of me. I am working hard at becoming the best me I can, and at the same time I am trying juggle a family, work, and other responsibilities. I know, I am not the only person who has responsibilities, but they are still a contributing factor to my current stress level. On top of putting my health as a priority above all else, my family and I are moving out of our home into an apartment. (Very long story which I will not bore anyone with)

Because this is kind of a scary move for me, I have decided to make this a positive experience by looking at it as an opportunity to clean out all my closets and garage like I have been wanting to for a while. Just think of all the treasures that my local shelters and/or goodwill will receive AND I will have a nice, clean slate to start from.

I am also a bit excited because this apartment complex has tennis courts and three swimming pools. Let’s just say I see some additional opportunities for activity in addition to the fact that I am pretty sure we will be on the third floor. In preparation for the stairs, I have been forcing myself to go up and down the stairs here at work a couple of times a day. Hopefully I will be conditioned enough that I don’t feel like passing out the first week we are in our new place.

That is really all I have going on right now. How do you handle change? Do you look at it as an obstacle or as an opportunity?

Fabulous February

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It has been a while since I blogged, so let me catch you up on what has been happening.

On January 12 a member of our family landed herself in the emergency room of the local hospital for what we thought was the flu. Without going into great detail, I can tell you that she came home 12 days later just to have to return the next day. At this time, she is still not home and we are not sure when she will be returning.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because for the last three weeks or so, I have been either at work or the hospital with about 5-6 hours of sleep at home in between. As you can imagine this has had a significant impact on my plan for health since I have been consuming mostly hospital cafeteria food and take out and have had very little time or energy for exercise.

The one thing I have been able to somehow remain consistent with is the food I pack to take to work with me. I have kept my routine of oatmeal for breakfast and some type of protein with a side of veggies for lunch with some smart snacks. The problem I have been having is after I leave work and head for the hospital.

I mentioned something to one of my co-workers today about my frustrations of working hard to take care of myself and at the same time feeling like I have absolutely no control over my life right now. She made a great suggestion and I can’t believe I did not think of it myself. Going forward I am going to pack all three of my meals before leaving for work. Adding dinner to the list won’t be too much extra time in the morning and I can eat right before I leave for the evening so I am not hungry when I hit the hospital. All I have to do is make sure I have plenty of fruits and veggies in the house to snack on when I get home and I should be good to go!

What am I doing about the activity? Well, I have been creating little “office workouts” to do a few times a day while I am at work. While this is something I want to continue doing, I really don’t consider it a “real” workout. I have committed to participate in two challenges for February which I think will help me get back on the path with my activity.  HealthyFitFamilies has started a “Jump Start 2012” Challenge on Facebook which I started yesterday.  I have also committed to participate in “Fab Ab February“. I do not know who originated the challenge because there are several forums with this challenge, I decided to do it on my own and invited my Facebook followers to join me.

For the month of January I logged less than a pound loss, but it is a loss. With these changes to my routine along with a positive attitude, I plan to make February a success!

Better Late Than Never – Weigh in Week 3

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Weigh in for week 3 on Weight Watchers was last Friday. Due to a last-minute trip across the country and the subsequent illness that followed, I have not posted the results yet.

Drum roll please……….

4.4 pounds lost!!!!

That is not a typo, I did in fact log a 4.4 pound loss on my first week of being serious and not making excuses. This is proof that I can do it! I am not expecting to duplicate that success this week at all. Not only did I fly across the country to Reno , but I came home with the flu of some sort. While it was worth the one day trip to surprise my daughter, it completely disrupted my routine.

Don’t get me wrong. I did not do too badly, but I was not good either. But isn’t that what life is? Adjusting yourself to the situation and your surroundings? So, I went to IHOP for breakfast, used my best judgement, and put the fork down when I was satisfied. I did not clean my plate nor did I feel deprived at all. I also had pizza for dinner with my family Sunday night. Again, not the best choice, but I ate two slices and drank water.

I flew home Monday and immediately came down with some kind of stomach virus. I am not sure if someone on the plane was sick or if my granddaughter passed it onto me while I was with her. Either way, all night Monday and all day yesterday were pretty unpleasant for me. Today, I am feeling a lot better and hopefully I can actually eat.

In an effort to get back to the initial goal of incorporating walking/running into my routine, I have found this program from Skinny Ms Fitness  on Facebook and I think it is doable for me since I can’t jog at my fitness level. But, I can walk so I think this will be a great thing to incorporate with my strength training at the gym.

Do you have any words of advice for me? I can use all the help I can get because I am determined to get healthy!

The Aftermath of Christmas

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Like so many, I got caught up in the craziness of Christmas and ate A LOT!

Unlike so many, I am not waiting for the New Year to get back to business.

Christmas day was spent reflecting on the past year and remembering all the promises I made to myself which were broken, all the goals which were made and not met, and the self loathing which resulted.

About two weeks ago I decided enough is enough. The Fairy Godmother is not going to wave her magic wand and make years of self-destruction disappear. I also am not going to meet any of those goals by writing them alone. Yes, I know it is a shock to everyone that writing something down does not make it so. You mean I have to actually work at it?

Let’s take my 5K in February goal. To be fair, when I set that goal (in April) I was working out and feeling good. I thought that if I set the goal far enough in the future, that I would have no problem meeting that goal. I mean, 10 months is more than enough time to get in shape for a 5K even at my size, right? Here are the problems with that thought process:

  • 10 months leaves you plenty of time for procrastination (if you are a procrastinator like me)
  • The month delay also made it feel not real for some reason
  • I announced the goal to the world, set up a FaceBook page just for that goal with accountability in mind. For some reason this did the opposite and I put a lot of pressure on myself. I gave up before I even gave myself a chance.
  • I let life get in the way and took my eye off the goal because it was something I could “worry about later”

Let me just put it out there publicly. The 5K goal in February (which I signed up for and paid for by the way) is more than likely not going to happen. I am not being a pessimist nor am I giving up on myself. I am telling you that with just a little over a month to go, I can barely walk a mile without pain.

Here is a clear-cut, very short-term goal to take myself into the new year:

For the remainder of 2011 and the month of January I will not eat my emotions or my stress. I am finding better ways to deal with life.

As my co-worker has told me, exercise is the not only an excellent way for her to deal with her stress, but the only way. I already knew that, but it is about time I actually apply the knowledge.

How have I dealt with the aftermath of Christmas? I have not let the loss of control actually control me. I took control back and I am on my way to healthy!

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.