Monday, November 29, 2010

Planning . . .

Yellow Week: Friday

I've come to the conclusion that life is about planning; healthy living is about planning.  Writing out every detail and making a plan on tackling it is important for organization and staying on track.  It prepares me to follow specific goals.  Even if I am not able to do it, I should list them out. 

Hence, Thanksgiving didn't go as "planned".  I didn't write out my plan.  My plan was to eat small, nutritious meals during and after the Thanksgiving dinner.  I ate way too much desert.  WAY TOO MUCH! I also ate things that contained oodles of dairy: egg nog (despite buying soy--I had the real stuff--a pint; sans liquor); sweet potato and brie gratin; mashed potatoes ( I make mine with light olive oil).  We had the sides catered locally.  We don't have the time or energy to cook so much food in our little kitchen.  We made the turkey ourselves.  I would have preferred a turducken--really, I searched for one.

Now, I feel sick.  I feel bloated.  I feel constipated (thankfully, the opposite of what dairy does to me).  And I feel like I let myself down again.  But this won't ruin my plans from now on.  I ate a hefty salad for lunch today.  Believe me, I need all the roughage I can get.  I didn't workout this morning, but I did some during the holiday break.  On Saturday, I walked 90 minutes on the treadmill while streaming a movie on my netbook--yay, Netflix!  Tonight, I will be on the spin bike while listening to my crazy Itouch that isn't shuffling songs. 

It is not the end of the world..  All is okay.  I may have to plan a lot better and do a lot more "to do" lists, but I can do it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Improving . . . a bit

Veggie Blend

The picture above has no relevance to this post, but only to write that I joined a Food + Foto group on Flickr.  I've been taking a lot of pics of food lately.  Heck it consumes my day and night.  I am always planning.  I am always trying to figure out points and combinations of food for meals.  Why not take pics of it too. My secret wish is to leave my job and work at a magazine as a photographer, either a food or interior design magazine.  I love still life because I can control and manipulate it easily: the light, the setting, the details, etc. 

I've been doing better. I still have my emotional eating moments.  I am starting to really recognize that eating to fill the void is not working.  I exercised 5 times last week.  I hope to do the same this week despite Thanksgiving.  We are catering-in the sides for our Thanksgiving dinner, so there won't be much leftovers because we are getting enough for 6 people only. I will make sweet potato rolls.

Mother-in-law is arriving today.  Not so stressful because I plan to leave her with the kids a couple of times this week.  Yay! 

This morning at 5 a.m. I did the spin cycle for 60 minutes.  Tough on the "lady-parts".  I can't believe Dimple Snatcher is planning a two hour spin session at her local gym.  You go, girl!  I've been using 3 lb weights during my spin sessions.  I've been doing a lot of arm movements.  I feel a lot stronger and tighter in my upper body.  The bat wings are still waving in the wind, but I am trying my best. 

I had a pretty good weekend, not eventful, but enough to make me really happy and at ease. 

How are you dealing with Thanksgiving?  What are your plans?  Any tips or tricks to keep on plan?

Friday, November 19, 2010

It does get better . . .


Great news: hearing in good ear came back normal and as good as the last time.  Hearing in bad ear has the potential of hearing with the assistance of a hearing aide.  We were never given that as an option in the past.  That was great and encouraging news.  Husband and I were so relieved that night.  I think I could barely sleep because of the excitement.

I appreciate your thoughts and encouragement.  It is great to know that I am supported, albeit virtually.

Keep thinking of us while we go through the calibration and fittings. She has a CT scan in December.  We need to figure out what happened to her ear to have such issues.

And baby sister, Lootie Tootie, has to get her ears tested and seen by the ENT because she had a perforated ear drum from an ear infection last week.  Keep fingers crossed for that one.

Also, I lost 1.4 lbs on WW this week.  Despite having stress up the whazoo.  I think I can actually do this and do this well. Small goals are taking shape.

I've worked out Mon, Tues, Wed, and early this morning.  Thursdays, weigh-in day, will be my "rest" days, but I'll probably try to do something sporty that day.

I am trying to make things better by thinking more positively and seeing a rainbow at the end of all the muck and mire. 

How are you overcoming recent challenges?

Monday, November 15, 2010

I can only save myself . . .

Superman Waits and Watches

Rough last week.  Rough start to my weekend.  I think weekends are my good-intentions-killer.  The stress eating and emotional overload is what does me in.  I am over committed with the kids and their activities.  Today, I formulated a plan.  I got up at my usual 5:00 a.m. for my workout.  I set my itouch to alert me in 60 minutes, and I got on the spin cycle.  I did some weights while on the cycle.  And I reassessed everything.  EVERYTHING.  

There is no hero to come save me from myself.  I have to save me from me.  The extra helping and the extra cookies don't make me feel better.  The just don't.  The sleeping in (as yummy as that sounds and feels) does not burn off the fat.


Eating more fruits and veggies in season.  I had a really great spaghetti squash with chicken and marinara sauce with spinach on Friday.  It was divine.  I've forgotten how nice it is to eat something that is simple and not refined like rice, bread, or cereal.  It was light, but filling all at once.  

I've been wanting to menu plan.  Write in my planner every week what I am going to make for dinner, which in turn will become lunch.  Planning breakfast and snacks around my day.  Allowing something sweet, even if it is very small, will make me feel like I am not deprived.  I desperately want to learn to bake something and  to not devour it in a day.  I want to take a clue from Amazon who ate ONE brownie in the span of 3 days.  Seriously?  This kid is genetically mine, but I still have doubts.


60 minutes a day of cardio. No excuses. I can't continue to think that I can lose weight by eating less; I am just not eating less.  My body needs the daily activity.  It doesn't have to be a 5 mile run, but I definitely have to burn off the fat.  Strength training has been done while on the machines.  Light weights and increased repetitions, but not consistently.  Yoga helped my upper body be stronger.  I have to get back to Yoga with consistency.  Goodness, I have a love-hate relationship with planks and Chaturangas [push ups], but they work.  

And have fun.  Okay, exercising at 5 a.m. is not fun.  I felt like a zombie this morning.  It took me 6 minutes to convince my body to get on the darn machine, but I did it.  60 minutes on the spin bike is done for the day.  And tomorrow is another day.  I've thought of exercising twice a day.  Breaking up the strength training from cardio, but I can't conceive of that happening.  I just don't see where I have the time nor energy.  Yes, exercise will bring the energy--yada, yada, yada.

Hubby is bringing over one of his strength and conditioning guys to teach us Kettlebells.  Yeah, kettlebells.  He trains our Men's Hockey Team.  His wife is a rock start trainer too.  I thought I would be excited.  I am terrified.  Post on that soon.


Weight Watchers encourages tracking.  That means me writing every single, darn thing that I put in my mouth.  As much as I hate it, and I do mean hate, I have to do it.  I have to be accountable for what I do to myself.  Seeing it on paper will help me resolve my issues on a daily basis.  Why do I resist it?  Because I am a perfectionist; classic perfectionist.  If I miss a day, I am done.  If I can't do it perfectly, I won't do it at all.  And there is the added fear of becoming addicted to writing everything.  I fear having so much control over my eating, writing it down, controlling portions, writing that down, losing weight, then maybe losing conscious control of the loss of weight.  In essence, I fear that this will become another addiction.  There I said it.  My overeating is an addiction; and I fear under-eating will become one too. Crazy?  Maybe.


I'm having lunch on Friday with a new friend.  She is a triathlete.  Skinny as a rail.  And she had a heart attack a few months ago.  Yes, a heart attack.  She has done a small triathalon since.  She travels a lot.  She went to California for business, came back home to run a 5K for Girls On The Run, and flew back to California to complete her business.  She is insane.  I told her as much.  But I am so inspired by her commitment to fitness and wellness and young women's issues.

So I asked if we could talk about creating a Girls On The Run program at my daughter's school.  My daughter is finally the age to be in the program.  The young girls in our school are primarily African American and Latina girls.  These are the groups that statistically have higher incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Cheap food is bad food; and cheap food is all that most of these families can afford. I want girls to have a better start in their lives; especially in self esteem and confidence through fitness.  I don't want them to be like the young girl I was before college: a teenager weighing 225 lbs.  It isn't right . . . for anyone.

I am printing off the info packet.  I plan to write a proposal to the school's Principal (my son and him have a very special relationship seeing as he gets sent there often).  And I hope to start up the program in the Spring.  My only concern is costs.  These girls come from very low income homes.  I don't think that the membership fees can be paid for.  So I am looking into grants and donations.

See, I am over committed.  But if I can get one girl to love running and keep that for the rest of her life, then it will be all worth it.  I'll be Super Gal for this cause.

Do you give back "wellness" wise?  If so, what do you do?  If not, what would you like to do?

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Temptation of the Cup Cake . . .

Birthday Cup Cakes

It was my son's birthday this weekend.  I had a lot of trials with him because of his autism spectrum behavioral challenges.  HE WAS B-A-D.  He even scratched the cheeks of my 2-year-old in anger with me.  I was not happy.  I cried.  I felt betrayed and disrespected by him. 

I don't know how single mothers raise their children alone without someone to trade time with.  I really don't know how my mother did it with me; and the fact that I was a girl is no consolation because there are many girls who disobey and dishonor their parent.  I am a single mother for 9 months of the year while my hubby travels with work; and his doctoral classes are taking the evenings away.  My hubby was traveling this weekend.  When he came home on Sunday, he took over.  He helped significantly.  That was such a relief.  He is still helping implement discipline and consequences.  And the boy seems to be getting it; I hope.

How has that affected me eating wise?  I've overeaten.  However, I've also stopped myself.  I've talked to myself and have talked myself off the binging-ledge.  I hope to keep doing a lot of self talk.  Planning my meals have been key.  Chewing gum helps me a lot to get the nervous energy of cooking for the family because of my limited time in the evenings.  I get overwhelmed because I want to feed them, spend time, and put them to bed so they can rest.  It is a tough dynamic.  I know I am not alone.

Today, I got a great comment from Paulawannacracker.  She talked about Overeater's Anonymous.  I had never considered it.  One of the things I like is the concept of a support group to air out my issues and hope to get an ear, support, and recommendations from other members.  I may attend a meeting once I figure out the requirements for attending a meeting locally; day, time, and location are a factor because of my family and work commitments.  And of course, I'll report my experience.

Have you considered a support group for weight loss, overeating, etc?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Not counting my eggs . . .


Thank you so much for all of your support.  I am truly humbled by your comments.  And even those of you lurkers, I am sure you understand and feel for my issues.  I am going to just enjoy everyday until I actually know what is going on.  That means I have to wait until she gets a new test and we speak to the ENT.  You will be alerted to what happens. 

The reason I blog about such a highly sensitive and personal matter is to get those pent up thoughts and concerns out into the Universe so I don't have to worry about discussing them with hubby (who will take blame or feel blamed or nagged), my mother (who will worry and cry), or friends (who have their own issues with their families).  It is a way of cleansing myself from all these thoughts that drive me to hurt myself.  Overeating/binging is "hurting" myself. 

The concept of eating a few cookies, then Halloween candy, then a full dinner with extra helpings is personally, extremely hard to label as "binging".  We have this concept of a woman hiding in her room with three or more different packages of cookies and cakes, eating it all, then vomiting it all in an effort to stop the absorption of calories and fat to prevent weight gain.  As defined, to "binge" is to engage in excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in food or drink; and excess is the state of going past what is normal or sufficient.  I didn't need to eat that much for my health.  I ate that much because I was in pain, further causing pain . . . then guilt.  And the end result is weight gain, which is the opposite of what I am trying to do in my life and present in this blog. 

I am not doing myself a service by eating an extra serving or snack in excess between meals just because I am emotional.  I know why I overeat.  I know that I am hurting myself.  I  am not overweight because of my metabolism, big bones, or Latina genes.  I overeat.  I exercise, but I eat in excess of what I burn off.  And that is not a great thing. That is a disorder.

I've been reading and seeing so much about eating disorders on the E! Network, Style Network and on Oprah that I've been looking into therapy.  Yep--therapy.  While I am still trying to control myself [presently chewing gum like a cow to control my boredom and anxiety], I know that I need to speak to a professional about my issues.  I've been looking into someone who specializes in eating disorders like overeating.  While I hate to label myself without proper diagnosis, I can't help but state the fact that I feel it is wrong to eat the volume I do when I am physically not hungry.  And the relief that I get (temporarily) is still not filling the void that drove me to eat.  I have no self control to redirect myself to do something else when I am feeling the emotions that drive me to eat.

I am not saying with absolute certainty that I will find and start attending therapy, I will not close myself off to the possibility that I can learn to handle myself more appropriately and turn to something else rather than food.  However, I am aware that I am not the same gal that lost over 75 pounds in her early 20s.  I have new concerns and challenges as a wife, mother, and employee.  I am nearing 40.  I am just not that gal.  I am not that mentally resilient when it comes to taking care of me because I have so many others to worry about: hubby, mom, 3 kids, and my students at work.

I've still been attending WW.  I have presently lost 2.2 lbs in the three weeks since joining.  While it is a small loss, I am pleased that I've been able to lose while still having my momentary lapse in judgment by binging.  I stay for the meetings and I actively participate in the discussion--always, it is in my nature to share and teach.  I have been exercising moderately.  I hope to get back on a regular schedule of exercise.  The one thing I've come to realize are that when I stop exercising consistently I am in pain for the first few times when I get back to exercise.  My hips hurt.  My knee hurts.  I am feeling it--hard.

I've been taking it slow: walking on the treadmill or cycling on my spin bike for more than 45 minutes each time.  I've been using small weights or contracting my muscles to workout my upper body while on those machines.  I've made a plan to start Yoga again.  I have no idea why I ever stopped.  It brought me such comfort and peace of mind.  I was physically stronger and flexible then.  But I am having a bit of a panic attack about doing it again.  I have to figure out what that is about.  Consciously, I believe I am afraid of not being good enough when I seek perfection in all that I do; a weird concept, I know. 

If you exercise, what is the one exercise that you enjoy and why?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Burst bubble . . .


I got a bit of distressing news yesterday.  My eight-year-old, whom I call Amazon (she is tall and slender, which I've never been) had an audiological appointment yesterday.  We discovered when she was five and entering kindergarten that she had profound loss in one ear.  I was shocked and out of sorts during that time (that time was a really bad time for me emotionally to begin with).  But once we got the news and were told how to cope, we moved on and have lived a normal life.  Then I got an email from the school's audiologist needing a new report.  So I made an appointment and was able to be seen the next day, which was yesterday.

The audiologist did a double testing, which means she had a second audiologist do a new series of tests to confirm her suspicion.  The suspicion is that my child is losing her hearing in her "good ear".  What?  

So we scheduled an appointment for another double audiology in two weeks.  Then Amazon will see the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to discuss "options" of services.  The word "options" sent me in a tizzy of fret and sorrow.  I was internally beside myself.

You see, I put up this huge outward, take-charge, make a plan facade.  Internally, I am freaking out.  I don't ever want my daughter to see me out of control with fear.  She needs more.  She needs to know that her hearing loss is like having vision problems; instead of glasses, she "may" need a hearing aide.  But the may-need-what is the concern because in scheduling the appointment they didn't know which type of ENT we should meet with.  That could also mean surgery.  And at worst, a cochlea implant--I say at worst because of cost, expense of maintenance and change of "normal" lifestyle to accomodate.  

We had tried to keep her as normal as possible.  What I mean is that my husband has lived his whole life with hearing loss in one ear, and he is okay.  So I assumed she would be too.  Her godmother has lived with hearing loss her whole life, and she is okay.  So I assumed Amazon would be too.  I feel like I neglected her.  I somehow lost sight that she has needs.  

Amazon told me that she had been having trouble for a while, and I asked why she didn't tell me?  She answered, I didn't want you to worry.  Worry?  I responded, "my being worried is not your responsibility.  My responsibility is to make sure you are healthy and safe, and I will do anything to make sure that happens."  I reminded her of my actions when she flew over the handle bars this summer and split her lip open; how I took charge.  During our drive to the ER, she asked me if I was going to cry.  I suspect she wanted to see some emotion.  But I told her that my job is to keep calm and composed so I can make sure she gets what she needed from the hospital.  But that night, I binged.  That was my inner lack of control coming out.

Last night we watched The Biggest Loser episode where they were being trained by Marines.  She saw one of the contestants pass out from asthma (which I have) and her severe obesity.  Amazon started talking about weight and how is it that I can run races, get up in the morning to exercise and do yoga, but haven't lost weight.  It took her a while to get to the jist of her question.  I responded that weight loss depends on the person.  Not getting the answer she wanted, she started talking about how fat she is; which is not a topic I allow as discussion.  I said, "you are not fat.  You are not fat. You are NOT fat. No one in this house is fat."

But there is.  I am.  And my lack of self control is the cause of that fat.  I can run races.  I can spin for an hour.  I can do downward dog for hours.  But I will always be fat because when I heard that my child is losing the rest of her good hearing, that Halloween candy had no chance of staying in their bucket, those 4 cookies were eaten before dinner, and that spaghetti and meatballs with extra helping had no chance of becoming lunch for today.  

Somehow, I need to make sure that exterior composure sees it's way into my inner feelings and know that everything will be all right . . . and no amount of food will make me feel better.