Thursday, December 29, 2011

Weak Spot

While waiting on one of the longest lines in the greatest place on earth, my daughter started patting my upper arm.  She said, "this is fun!" And she laughed maniacally, as my upper arms jiggled under her slaps. 

She pushed my button.  She got me at the core of my weakness; the part of me that makes me feel so uncomfortable and unconfident.  She jiggled my bat wing.  And even as I flexed, she still found places where my body was riddled with loose, fatty skin.  I was mortified.  I was humiliated.  I was so hurt beyond belief that when we got back to the hotel, I grabbed hubby's lap top and I researched non surgical plastic surgery options.  It appeared promising, but there may not be a complete and perfect solution. 

I guess what I am really trying to say is that I am frustrated that I've allowed myself to get back to this point.  I had been here before.  I lost the weight after much hard work.  I vowed not to get fat again.  And I got fat again.  Now, I have a daughter that I want to model great attitudes and behaviors, and I feel like I failed her.  But mostly, I feel like I failed myself.  I am angry and frustrated.  Very. Frustrated.

This morning, even after not sleeping all night and having a bout with diarrhea, I did a series of dips and push ups.  I can't help feeling that even if this body loses the weight, my weak parts will never snap back to where they should be . . . where I want them to be . . . need to be.

So tomorrow morning, I will exercise at the hotel gym.  I will work toward my goal in the New Year.  Even if I don't snap back skin wise, I will be significantly better off with less body fat and better eating habits.  Ultimately, I hope that my new lifestyle does a good job at role modeling for my daughter. 

What is your weak spot?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas with an early resolution . . .

I have been gone for a bit trying to sort out the next phase of our new life.  I've been busy with work, kids, hubby,  new house, and Nana.  It has been quite an adjustment.

During the period of Thanksgiving, I went on a sugar and carb binge.  I was overdosing on the sugary lattes, large cookies and desserts every day for about 3 weeks.  However, in early December, I realized that I must make a change.  I mentioned in a previous post that I was flirting with the idea of Paleo.  Well, 3 weeks ago, I gave up grains and sugar.  This past Monday, I went out to eat with hubby and had carbs--a mousse tort and a ravioli dish with sweet potato inside.  It was divine.  However, what was not divine was the next day when I suffered from an itchy rash on my face and then 5 zits appeared.  My body was inflammed and I was wheezing with asthma for most of the next day.  My body was letting me know that it wasn't cool with what I consumed.  When my doctor tested me for gluten intolerance, I didn't present with an intolerance.  However, the proof is in the way I feel.  It certainly does give me a reaction.

So I committed to grain free (no wheat, oats, barley and even rice) and sugar free (no stevia, even).  I am done 'cause I'm an addict.  I can't even take it in little doses.  I was not feeling well.  I had felt a lot of numbness in my hands and fingers when I was bingeing.  I was worried that I am pre-diabetic.  I am working hard not to overload my liver with insulin.  Thankfully, we aren't traditional Christmas bakers and cooks.  We don't make a large meal and desserts.  We travel every year, so I was okay with starting my New Year's resolution much earlier.

I've been devouring blogs and articles on paleo lifestyle.  It  is simple:

no grains
no dairy
no sugar
lift heavy things
get outdoors and get sun

I think I can do this.  I have been more focused and conscious of my eating and am back to exercising.
I've been researching Crossfit.  Okay, I think they are a bunch of nuts, but the concept intrigues me.  I like hard, ballistic, high intensity intervals, plyomentric, and want to get back to strength training.  I used to lift weights in the middle '90s, I stopped with school, later the babies, and then the moves to different places.

I've been reading blogs and viewing videos online about Crossfit and Kettlebells.  I showed a picture of the Kettlebells that we own that are in our workout dungeon.  Yesterday, I did The Firm DVD (it is their new 20 minute High Intensity interval training program that I got two from Amazon--not the As Seen On TV set).  It was 20 minutes of plyo and light weights.  I then did a workout routine with my 12kg Kettlebells (26 lbs). I did 3 sets of 12 of the first 4 exercises.  I didn't think I did that much work.  I want to master the swing so I can build strength and lose weight.

I started feeling the effects of it late last night while wrapping presents.  My arms killed.  My right knee was dying.  I went to bed after taking two Advil and fell right to sleep at midnight.  This morning, my delts and shoulders are unhappy, but slightly excited about this program that I hope to embark on in the new year.

Hubby bought an elliptical for us, yet, I've used it more than he has in the last two months since it has resided with us.  I hope to do a lot of DVDs and Kettlebells.  I want to get stronger and burn more fat at rest because of the muscles that I will be building.

Now that Christmas is over, what are your New Year's resolutions?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Phase II, Day 8--going Primal

I have been having a really tough time with eating.  Not so much eating to excess because I have my moments, but generally, I am doing pretty good.  It is about eating the precise things.  Like when I was a vegetarian, I gave up meat for over two years.  No meat.  Nada.  Zilch!  But giving up grains as suggested in the Primal Blueprint diet, is a condition I am not prepared to do.  

I want to do the Primal Blueprint.  The concept is amazingly simple--no grains, eat proteins like meat and nuts, and fruits and veggies.  The struggle comes from undoing all the "conventional wisdom" of eating a mix of carbs, protein, and fats.  We learned about the food pyramid, and now there is a USDA food plate.  There are so many concepts in "what to eat" out there that I am getting confused about which would work best for me.

This morning, I worked out to Ripped in 30, and am at Level 2 for the second 30 day stretch.  I've exercised 38 days straight.  I feel great.  I feel so strong and capable of kicking rear.  I see the subtle changes to my body.  I love my strong legs and my arms are getting more tone.  The issue is my inability to figure out a consistent eating plan, which will give me more noticeable results.  When I sacrifice a food group, I start feeling deprived and bitter.  I like eating salads, but having too many of those in the last two months left me yearning for something more.  And that is where the "carb monster" creeps in.  

As a Latina, my culture loves white rice.  As a first generation American, I grew up on cereals and sandwiches too.  I can live without pasta and bread, but heck, I need rice with my meal and a cookie every once in a while.  I understand that the Primal Blueprint will eventually make me not crave that darn sugar, but I can't help but feel deprived without yet "depriving myself."

I had a good breakfast this morning--soy, blueberry yogurt with sesame seeds and a banana.  A simple Primal breakfast.  It would have been better had it not been soy, but what can you do?  Feeling full enough, but not stuffed, I plan on getting a salad with chicken for lunch.  I have grapes for snack.  Life is good.  But life gets in the way by the middle of the afternoon and when I start thinking about what to make for dinner for those in the house who do not go Primal.  

The kids asked for Tacos tonight.  I can make Primal Tacos for me.  It can be as simple as cutting the veggies and using whole romaine lettuce leaves for my soft shell.  I hide carrots and red peppers in the meat to make sure my kids get veggies.  But when I exclude the flour tortilla shell, I start to feel deprived.  Why do the kids get to eat the soft white fluffiness of the tortilla?  Why didn't I ever look like my 9-year-old who can eat anything and still have a gymnast body without the gymnastics?  Why is biology and genetics cruel?

My therapist (yes, I've been seeing a therapist for a couple of months now--she deals with food addiction) said I need to write in a journal--not a food list, but the feelings.  When I want food, what am I truly feeling?  She understands that it is another thing to add to my [life] plate, but I need to work through my issues with food.  Why am I resisting making better choices, which will bring me the "happiness" that I am seeking? Okay, "happiness" may not be the word . . . maybe, the word is satisfaction.  I want to be satisfied with myself--satisfied with my physical appearance.  

I guess what I should do is do a Primal Blueprint challenge--starting today, even though Halloween is Monday and Nana's birthday (with cake) is tomorrow.  I started the day off right with breakfast.  I just have to apply that for a week, then keep going to two and so on.  It works for my workouts, and I am sure it will work for eating.  

Have you ever done a no grains (carbs) diet?  How successful were you?  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Phase II, Day 1

My goal is to eat more of this than grains or sugar.

I did it!  I finished Phase I of my 30 days of Jillian Michaels' DVDs.  To recap: Phase I required alternating Ripped in 30 (RI30), 30 Day Shred (30DS), 6 Week 6 Pack (6W6P) everyday until I completed 30 days of consistent exercise.  I started with Ripped in 30, Level 1 using 3 lb hand weights.  The next day I used 30 Day Shred, Level 1 with 3 lb weights.  This went on for a week. I started with the modifiers for many of the moves because I wasn't very fit when I started.  I had been working out intermittently, but not by any stretch of the imagination was I fit.  Every 7 days, I went up a Level.  The fourth week, for Level 4, I alternated working out with RI30 (which has a Level 4) and 6W6P, Level 1 to really strengthen my core.  I've lost 10 lbs.

After each DVD workout, I would then supplement with 20-30 minutes of cardio on either my treadmill or spin bike.  Within the last week, I started jogging lightly on the treadmill to increase my endurance.  There were about 3 days within the 30 days that I had to miss the supplemental cardio because I either worked out too late in the evening than my usual 5 a.m. workout, or I hit snooze too many times at 4:45 a.m. and had only time to do the DVD and get the kids up for school.  Let's be clear about the actual time of the workouts.  The DVD cover and Jillian says each level is a 20 minute workout, but my DVD's analog time line and heart rate monitor clocked in over 30 minutes: often reaching 36 minutes of actual activity, from warm up to cool down.  I finished Phase I on Thursday, October 20.

This morning, I started Phase II of another 30 days of Jillian Michaels' DVDs.  Phase II had me starting again with RI30, Level 1.  The difference is that I increased my weights to 5 lbs, and did less modifications.  Well, whose kidding who, I did modify the pushups because I am not there . . . yet!  But I didn't modify the plank.  I won't be modifying the plyometric plank routines that Jillian loves to torture us with.  She admits it.  It is torture.  I then hopped on the treadmill for a 20 minute walk/run.  

In the opening of the the DVDs, Jillian talks about taking a rest day.  I want to put my thoughts out there on that one.  There are many people who do heavy manual labor daily: from ranch work (those animals don't feed, steer, or clean themselves) to housework.  We should be in constant movement daily.  I work a sedentary job that keeps me sitting 7 hours in my day.  On the days that my body wasn't initially up to the task of working out hard, I modified the routine.  I didn't jump so high.  I didn't squat so low, I didn't plank full body and went onto my knees.  I am not sore in places that Jillian makes us target.  I have that good sore where I know my muscles are getting stronger.  My knees don't hurt.  Besides from plantar fasciitis that I had prior to the routine, I am okay.  

This is how I feel:  I feel stronger.  I feel energetic.  I feel that I have more endurance.  My anxiety level has decreased.  I am working through many of the emotional issues that I've been dealing with for over 8 years.  I have goals and challenges that I finally want to accomplish.  I have an action plan and am unwaivering in it.  I am in a better place in every sense of the word than I was 30 days ago.  

Working out everyday has led to better habits.  I moved my parking ramp to one farther away.  Not only do I save money, but I have to walk up and down stairs and walk farther to and from work.  I am making better choices (with the exception of 3 days of binging while on my period).  

My eating goal for Phase II is encouraging better eating habits.  In Phase I, I tried to eat more fruits and veggies with lean meats and less carbs.  But I am an addict of sugar: breads, pastas, rice, and sweets.  I am trying to break that habit.  I started reviewing the Primal Blueprint lifestyle.  Many of the things I was doing for 30 days incorporated what I've been reading for the last two days.  Workout less strenously (and I think I am with Jillian's workouts) and eat more veggies, fruits and lean meats and no grains.  The tough part is my addiction to oatmeal for breakfast.  I have to work on making more non grain choices.  I have to plan the eating part of Phase II.  I have to prepare foods in advance.  This is work.  This is a commitment.  I didn't have that when I first started this blog.  I was focused on exercising to eat.  Now, I am focused on exercising and eating well so I can live a better life.  I am trying my damndest to make sure that if I get Alzheimers, like my mother, that I get it much later in life than she did.  I am not accepting that fate.  

My weight loss goal for Phase II is to lose 10 lbs, which will finally get me under 200 and closer to my goal of 150.  While I've seen a dramatic difference in my jeans, I want to get to my happy weight.  Eating well will make the difference.  With creating my own salad bar in my refrigerator, choosing lean meats, and good fats, and being consistent with applying all of it on a daily basis, I think it will make the difference.  

When you think about "happy weight" what does that look like for you?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Workout Zone-Day 19, Phase I; 11 to go.

I've been working out for 19 days straight.  I've been doing 30 Day Shred or Ripped In 30 on alternate days. I use my spin bike or my treadmill depending on the day.  This is my "dungeon".  It is the utility room in my new home.  It is all concrete, exposed pipes, beams, and electrical and cable wires.  Behind my workout zone is the furnace and the hot water heater.  Both alternate to keep a constant hum while trying to listen to Jillian's directions.

From October 9, 2011

I've been enjoying the challenge of 30 Day routines.  I've planned a three Phase routine.  I am presently in Phase I, which is 30 days of RI30 or 30DS.  Right now, I am in Level 3.  I just bought 6 Week, 6 Pack to ad for Level 4 of RI30.  Phase I requires me to use 3 lb weights.  I've also been doing a lot of modifications due to plantar fasciitis.  My right foot is killing me.  I don't think it is just the exercise.  It is the heaviness in my body.  I shouldn't be in  so much pain and discomfort at 37-years-old.  Advil is my friend.

From October 9, 2011

Hubby created a TV zone with left over TVs.  These used to be the children's nursery TVs when they were nursing, I would use them to watch TV in the middle of the night.  TVs came out in preschool.  Now, they are my morning news TV while on the machines.  The other is my DVD TV for all those DVDs you see beside it. I'm very happy that he did this for me.  It would have been his man cave, but I appreciate that he did this for me.

From October 9, 2011

Here are my DVDs.  I don't love them all.  I would say that the top four are my go to videos for right now.  Phase II and III will still require me to use Jillian's videos.  I've been trying to incorporate Yoga, but there aren't enough hours in the day or enough energy coursing through my body to give me the physical motivation to get a second workout done in my day.  I usually work out at 5 a.m., unless it is the weekend and will do it much later.

Eating:  Not so great lately.  I am stressed and overwhelmed.  I am still trying to reduce the white carbs, but I eat what I have available.  I've been making a lot of salads with a variety of raw veggies: cabbage, beets, broccoli, carrots, and lettuces.  Wishing I could do better with lean meats, but I will work harder.

Weight Loss:  I've lost almost 10 lbs.  However, my poor eating these last few days has me gaining 3 lbs and I feel a tad bloated with my cycle coming soon.  I am trying to get to 199 lbs.  I am tired of being over 200.  I feel like I can't get out of this number.  I am hopeful that I will get to 199 by the end of Phase I; in 11 days.

Today, I watched a marathon of MTV's "I Used To Be Fat."  Teenagers losing weight the summer before college.  It has taken me back to my teenage years.  My mom was so unsupportive of weight loss.  She was very controlling over my safety and refused to let me exercise outside of the house or join a team.  Many of the parents on the show were similarly unsupportive.  Having my mother living with me has me feeling like I am 16 again.  It is not her fault.  I am an adult that makes choices, but sometimes your sixteen-year-old self makes a long term appearance.  

Where do you work out?  What is your ideal workout zone?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Transitions . . .

From 2011-08-27   

I needed a blogging break.  A break from letting the world know that I felt like a complete failure. The list of failures are vast and are forever expansive.

We bought a house within 28 days.  We took two days to move our family of 5 from our 3-year-rental to our new-to-us home.  A week later, I flew to Boston by my lonesome and moved my mother to our home.  When I arrived, I was shattered by this woman's appearance.  You see, that is not the mother I remember.  She had lost a tremendous amount of weight . . . probably about 15-20 lbs.  At her appointment in August, a month and a half after moving here, she weighed in at 127 lbs.  She said she was about 127 after giving birth to me over 35-years-ago.  She had consistently weighed about 140-160 at her heaviest.  Most drastic was the fact that she walked slower than my toddler.  Her feet hurt.  Her body was weaker.  I saw another person that wasn't my mother.  She had forgotten that I was moving her.  While she didn't refuse to move, she was confused.  I cried for two days.

Her apartment was filthy.  I figured it was all the boxes that were packed.  Those two days were filled with packing and assessing her things.  After talking with my uncle, I came to the conclusion that all that "stuff" was not worth the move.  My husband wouldn't be able to drop everything to fly back to Boston to pack up a small truck to drive 2 days to Madison.  It wasn't worth it.  She was the only thing of value.  She agreed, but would later forget our agreement.  We stayed at a hotel the night before our trip to my home because I needed a good night's sleep and the shuttle drove us to the airport at 4 a.m.

Living with a 6th person has been a difficult adjustment. She is now my 75-year-old, 4th child.  My entire life, I've been translating, interpreting, counseling, advising my mother because I speak both Spanish and English fluently.  I left home at 18 to have a break from being a parentified kid.  Now, I am her parent again.  I am parenting my parent.  I have to repeat things constantly . . . every two minutes, like the contractions of a woman in labor.  For two months she packed, and unpacked.  Talked about going back to Boston.  Asking if she paid rent.  She'd ask if she could go to the bank to get money to give to me.  She'd ask for house keys.  She'd want to go back to Boston to see her sisters.  She would have these very vivid delusions of events and people that just didn't exist.  She'd tell me that she hadn't spoken to my godmother for days when I know she spoke to her the day before.  Old stories were told for the 258th time.  One little act would signal a memory from very long ago.  Puerto Rico is how she referenced Madison; she is constantly reminded of Puerto Rico [I can say from experience that Madison, especially in winter, is not like Puerto Rico].  And she forgot who I was . . . on a couple of occasions.

A few weeks ago, we finally had an opportunity to go to the Memory Clinic.  After a 2.5 hour testing, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  Thanks, memory Gods for that one.  This was not the way I'd envisioned her life to end.  No one asks to work for over 40 years, raise a daughter by herself, retire, and suffer from severe memory loss at the end of her long life.  She cannot enjoy the things she may have planned on enjoying.  While she doesn't feel pain, I feel it.  I feel a grief  . . the loss of a parent.  I feel an orphan.  When she sits with a blank stare at me and the children, I grieve.

I am not the most patient of caretakers.  I snap too quickly.  We've always had a back and forth, sarcastic and condescending responses to one another--my husband picked up on that one day.  I get frustrated with the questions.  I ask her to sit down or go to her room way too often when I can't cope with her questions or actions.  It is sad.  She deserves better.  She needs better.  Our chaotic home is not conducive to her needs for tranquility.  While I do provide her with a home, room, furniture, bath, food, doctor's appointments, etc., I am feeling overwhelmed and ill equipped to deal with her needs, 3 children, a husband, and a full time job.

On the personal health and weight loss front, Alzheimer's has given me better habits.  The doctor told me that this is hereditary and is passed on the mother's side.  Without saying it, he told me that I need to prepare myself and my children for this disease to strike me.  I don't want to binge.  I don't want to overeat.  I want to take care of me.  I've reduced my carbs to the morning.  I eat salad and protein for lunch and dinner (soup occassionally with my salad).  I don't overeat anymore.  I don't take seconds.  I actually don't want it.  I am grieving still.  I am sad.  And while sadness usually was the fuel for my desire to eat, it isn't anymore.

I tried out for Madison's Biggest Loser (MBL) competition between 5 local gyms.  On a Tuesday, at 5 a.m., I went to the gym and worked out with 28 other contestants.  We ran 1/2 a mile down and up a hill.  We did stair runs, bear crawls, and plyometrics.  While I can easily say that I was one of the fittest woman, I was bummed that I wasn't selected to join the program for free.  I know that there were others who needed it much more.  However, I felt that I needed it for my mental health.  Despite the rejection, I made a plan.  I would continue the low carb diet (which means no carbs after lunch) and would start my own boot camp training program at home.

Last week, I devised a new training plan for our Christmas vacation; either California or Florida.  Last week, I started working out daily and will be working out in 30 day phases.  I've been exercising daily for the last 6 days in Phase I.  Phase I of my program is to alternate Level 1 of Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 and 30 Day Shred.  It breaks up the monotony of the routines when I alternate the videos.  I have been using 3 lb weights and have been doing a lot of modifications for jumping because I injured my right heel during the pre-screening training when competing for spot on MBL.  I have plantar fasciitis, which I believe is from the excess weight and the plyometrics that I like to do that doesn't agree with my excess weight.

I supplement that routine with a cardio workout afterwards.  I have a treadmill and I have a spin bike, which I alternate per day along with the video.  For example, today, I did 30DS with 3 lb weights, followed by 20 minute walk treadmill.  I plan to incorporate 3 days of Yoga because I need to stretch the lower body muscles, especially downward dog for my heel and hamstrings.  I bought Yogalosophy by Mandy Ingber and will try out the 35 min routine tonight.  I used Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga a few days ago after my Jillian DVD and Treadmill routine.  It really helps to loosen tight muscles for the next day.  I am doing one level per 7 days.  On Wednesday, I will go to Level 2 in each DVD; and will change levels every 7 days.  However, at the end of 30 days, I will go to Phase II.

I will have two more phases. These two phases will be an increase in weights and reducing the modifications.  They will still be Ripped in 30 and 30 Day Shred because I like the convenience of the quick, compound movements and done in 20 minutes.  Starting back at Level 1 in the DVDs, Phase II will be 5 lb weights and lesser modifications for 30 days with supplemental cardio and Yoga.  I will start over with Level 1 again with Phase III, which will be 8 lb weights and no modifications for 30 days with supplemental cardio and Yoga.  I anticipate that I can do this barring any injuries or illnesses.  I know for a fact that for the next 90 days, I don't have any vacations or business trips, so there will be no interruptions to my routine.

There may be a lot of criticism about repetitive strength motions and plyometrics with Jillian's DVDs, however, I figure that there are a lot of injuries when the moves are done incorrectly.  I feel a bit sore today in my bum.  However, I have a sedentary job reading and editing papers and petitions, so My butt is literally sore from sitting.  I stretch and move around often. I feel stronger.  I have more energy to walk up the flights of stairs to my car in the parking ramp.  Weeks ago, I didn't have the endurance.  I am literally sprinting up the stairs with a large purse and lunch bag.  This workout is making my body better, not worse.

Most importantly, I am mentally in a better place now that I have a set workout and eating plan.  It isn't so hard anymore.  Before, my issues clouded the simplicity of my plans: eat less, move more, feel better.  My issues have taken a back seat to Nana's issues and that of my trying to delay any personal onset of memory loss for as long as I can.

While I will be back to update as often as life allows, I hope you will support me even if I take days or weeks to write.  It isn't that updating readers lacks priority, it's just that I am trying to make it all work out to the best of my ability.

How do you prioritize life's rewards and challenges and maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hot Yoga

A new Hot Yoga studio is opening up in my town.  Hot Yoga benefits are:

  • allows muscles to become more flexible.
  • allows you to go deeper into a pose.
  • helps to diminish the risk of injuries.
  • promotes sweating which helps you release toxins.
  • promotes weight loss.
I am so excited to start attending that I started back on Yoga on Wednesday of this week.  I did my Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga DVD that I love so much.  Now, I am sure it is easier than Hot Yoga, which is in a room that is over 100 degrees fahrenheit, but it is great to get my body back to the poses.I missed a workout on Thursday, but I got up at 5:25 a.m. today and did Shiva Rea's Daily Energy.  I chose a warm up, Earth, and Savasana (dead man's pose).  I also have Bob Harper's Yoga for the Warrior DVD that comes in sessions of 15 minutes and one hour.

Shiva's DVD is great because you get to select the sequences that you want to do and combine them or do 20 minutes at a time.  I choose Earth because it is a series of asanas (poses) that are for both arms and lower body.  You do a lot of planks and 90 degree bends of your legs.  A love downward dog, so it allows me to do that, which stretches my legs and works my arms.  I'll do anything to get Michelle Obama arms.  I love her lean arms. 

I am very disappointed by how much flexibility I've lost since stopping Yoga.  I can barely do downward dog.  My knees are more bent.  It is harder to hold the pose because my upper body is no longer as strong.  It was quite humbling.  But I press on. 

Do you do Yoga?  If so what do you like about it?  If not, what keeps you away from the practice?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

As Big As A House . . .

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Recently, my boy has verbally lashed out at me and hurt my feelings whenever he is angry or denied something he wants. His autism doesn't allow him to filter his words, so he lays it out there. He has told me recently that I am "as big as a house." That hurt. Bad.

Ever since his stinging statement, I made changes to my eating; with a vengeance. I made salads with chicken and my own vinaigrette. I packed cut veggies and fruit with a protein, such as a hard boiled egg. My snacks are healthier. I've been drinking water. And I hadn't binged during those days. He was right in one respect, I am as big because I had gained weight from hovering at 205 to 210. I was uncomfortable. On Thursday morning of this week, I weighed in at 204; just 3 days of eating well got me down to 204. Yes, a lot of water weight, but I'll take it. That was all done without exercising this week.

On Wednesday night, I was craving something sweet. I was contemplating baking some WW cookies, but eat the whole batch by myself. I went out to pick up my prescriptions at the Walgreens, and I started looking in the snack aisle for sweets. Cookies. Reading labels. Went to the dairy section to see if they had a dairy free ice cream with chocolate. Nothing. I thought I'd buy a pack of gum. Walked to the gum section by the register. And I realized that I am a sugar addict. My body has unreasonably become addicted to sugar. I was having withdrawals and shakes from not having processed sweets. I walked out of Walgreens with no sweets. No gum. No candy bar. No cookies. I truly felt that I was finally on my way to making changes. I credit my 7-year-old, mildly autistic boy for telling me the "truth." A truth I didn't want to face. A truth I was not told by my friends. A truth I was not told by my husband.

Hubby and I took an overnight away from the kids to go to a golf scramble.  It was fun and exciting and I hope to get back into the sport.  However, I need new clubs; it has been 13 years since I bought mine. However, what was not great was the box of fudge left in the hotel room for us.  I ate two pieces.  Ugghh.  But I figured I'd make it up by eating a nice salad for dinner the night we arrived to our retreat.  Not so.  It was all finger foods at the reception.  The next day I tried to eat a good salad, but nothing appealed to me.  I have very particular tastes about the kinds of veggies included in the salad.  And a lot of things are either Caesar or Cobb salad with a ton of extras and dairy that I can't or don't want to have.  For dinner last night at the next reception was all stadium food--burgers, brats and hotdogs with cookies.  Cookies, my weakness.  I ate 4.  Yes, there you have it.

But today, we are home.  We are going to the Italian fest in our area.  I will try to make the best selection possible.  I will still pack food.  I will make better choices at home.  It is a job.  It is an effort that has to be made every single time I have to choose.

I will most likely be offline during this month.  We made an offer on an actual house (instead of being compared to one).  We close at the end of the month and will move out of our rental.  I will be busy packing and purging and donating.  I am excited and nervous about this new chapter of our lives.  I am hoping that the home purchase and "rooting" will give me the peace that I've been seeking over these last couple of years and reduce my emotional eating.

What is your reaction to hurtful words? 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ruthless . . .

There is a movie called Ruthless People with Bette Midler. I loved that movie when I first saw it in the 80s. I love Bette Midler. One memorable scenes is when she is being held captive in a basement for ransom. Because she has all the time in her hands, Bette's character decides to workout and eat better. Ultimately, she loses weight and says something to the effect that she has spent a fortune on fat loss spas and products, but being held in a basement for ransom helped her lose the weight.

I will be going away for a few days for professional development. My secondary goal is to be free from the little stressors of home. I hope to exercise and eat right during my three day.  I call it a "family sabbatical".  I already do well with exercise, but I don't do well with the intake of food.  

I've downloaded enough food addiction podcasts to last me the weekend. I listened to one this morning while on the treadmill at 5 a.m. It was 5 minutes, but the most enlightening 5 minutes of my time on this blog. I'm always searching for answers as to why I overeat. I have relayed many of them here, but the ultimate reason is "GUILT". Yes, guilt.

I binged yesterday because I felt guilt over leaving my children for 3 days while I gain some more knowledge on how to do my paying job effectively. Guilt for not doing enough in my paying job. Guilt for not keeping the house up to snuff as a former stay-at-home mother. Guilt for leaving the 3 kids to work a full time, paying job so I can support them financially.  Guilt for not calling my mother enough when she is losing her memory. Guilt for being angry with my mother for losing her memory (blaming her) and doing nothing about becoming more socially active and an active participant in her own well being. Guilt for being angry with a husband who works too much (in order to take care of our family). Guilt for overeating. Guilt for not working out enough. Guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt . . . GUILT!

It is debilitating to write that word so many times, so you can imagine "feeling" that word every hour of my day. I am trying to compartmentalize the guilt and resolve those feelings so I can move past them. I can't resolve all the world's problems in my paying job. I can't be the perfect mother for my 3 kids. I can't be the perfect wife. I can't keep a perfect house. I can't be the perfect daughter.  Guilt also leads me to fears.  I will write about "fears" in the future.

What can I do? I can try my hardest, everyday, to accomplish small tasks that can get me near-perfect; like taking care of myself first so that I may take care of others. This trip will allow me to step back a bit and rejuvinate, so I may come back and be more giving. I am flying to Memphis in the morning and hope to meet a lot of people in my profession. I hope to socialize with many folks at the conference.  I want to exercise everyday and walk outdoors.  I want to enjoy being in a city that I've never been in.  All the while, I will be praying for the flood victims and for receding waters.  

What's eating you (guilt, fear, etc)?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Reflection . . .

I had a great Mother's Day; excluding baby being hit on the side of her noggin by her brother's after swing of his bat (yes, a real bat).  We sat outside after a nice breakfast of pecan waffles with syrup, bacon and one egg with a small glass of orange juice. I chased that with lunch of leftover Chinese fried rice and fried chicken wings. And capped that off with a hefty serving of roasted chicken, bread stuffing, rice, and peas. I was stuffed.  Outside, we blew bubbles.  I looked over to the window and saw my reflection.  Thankfully, I had my camera in hand documenting the bubble fun, and took this pic of myself; in all my glory.

Sitting is never a lovely angle for me.  I have the gut that impending motherhood of 3 pregnancies left me with.  I do not love my arms.  I love long, lean and defined arms.  Worst of all, I feel like a stuffed turkey.  I am bloated and flabby; plain 'ole uncomfortable in my shell.  I literally feel the anxiety of wanting to zip open my outer shell and step out as a thinner and comfortable woman; just like we feel when we have had a far too long winter, and we don't want to put on our winter coats ever again.  The thought of putting on that coat makes us shiver in disgust.  I feel like shivering every time I put on jeans that cut into my flesh or wear a shirt that makes my arms feel like sausage in a casing. 

I just feel stuffed. Filled physically, to the point where I am uncomfortable. I decided I needed to step back from the eating of real food. Well, tonight is my birthday dinner with friends. Hubby arranged for us to sit at the Chef's table and have a 6 course meal with wine pairings (I abstain from alcohol) to eat myself into oblivion.  A meal prepared just for me and my likes.  I've been waiting for this meal since February when we went to a friend's Chef's meal.  But now, I am dreading it.  Simply dreading it.

Today, I am doing a liquid diet. I am eating my green monsters with protein powder. At lunch, I will have a small serving of leftover cannellini bean and shrimp soup that I made a few days ago. I have considered doing a liquid diet when I get back from a conference at the end of the week. I even thought of taking my blender.

My mind tells me that those "quick fix" diets and fasting or juicing don't work. That they wreck your metabolism and do more harm than good. My thought is more of re-balancing my intake and being more mindful of what I am consuming without gorging. I will gorge on actual food. I will not gorge on a green monster.

I am hoping to see Fat Sick and Nearly Dead when it is available on Netflix. It is about a man who goes on a liquid diet for 60 days with the goal of better health. He travels around the US promoting his plan, and "recruits" a truck driver to do the program with him. There are health and fitness bloggers who often drink a combination of fruits, veggies, and protein powders as a supplement; not so much a replacement of meals.  They've gone as far as packing their suitcase with a blender to create healthy drinks while traveling.

It is a thought.  What do you think?

Have you ever considered a liquid diet of fresh fruits, veggies, and protein powders?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Exercise Twice

When I lost 75 lbs in college, I started exercising by running around my college's football stadium that had a track.  I would walk or jog daily and run up and down the stadium stairs.  I worked at the Police Department on campus as a work study, and I was able to use the gym for lifting weights in the building's attic.  It was a recipe for success.  I often exercised twice a day without a second thought.  I was 20.  I could do that easily because I was young and getting fit.  I lost 75 lbs in 5 months.  Yes, I was like a Biggest Loser contestant without the ranch or the prizes. 

A week ago, I saw Mrs. Obama on The View.  She was talking about military families with Dr. Jill Biden.  One of the comments from Sherri Shepherd was that Mrs. Obama often works out twice a day.  Mrs. Obama responded that since her husband entered office, she isn't allowed to walk around in public, so she needs to exercise for the amount of time that she would otherwise be actively walking as a normal citizen.  This resonated with me.  Immensely!

I immediately thought back to my exercising in college.  I was always on the go.  Being in Boston, I walked from class building to class building; often one side of campus to another. Up and down stairs to get to my destination.  Walked from one side of campus to get to work. Walked back to my dorm.  Exercised for the day.  Worked a job where I often walked from dorm to job at the YMCA and back.  And would make time to workout at the Y because I had a free membership and had help from the trainers.  Walked back to my dorm or commuted on two trains and a bus to my home.  I was in a constant state of activity.  I was 20.

In 2008, when I started being most active, I had a parking spot in a Lot much farther from work.  I never took the elevator and walked up and down flights of stairs. I would often would work out at 5 a.m at home for an hour or so.  On reasonable weather days, I'd go for a walk with my coworker; even when I worked out at 5 a.m.  I strapped on a pedometer and made sure to meet 10K steps a day. 

In September of 2010, I got a new parking pass for the Lot across the street.  I started taking the elevator to get to the outside from the lot.  I then started taking the elevator in my work building.  The walks during the day decreased to nothing because of winter.  I removed my pedometer from my sneaker.  My getting up at 5 a.m. stopped because everything else stopped.  I didn't have the same vim and vigor for exercise as I did when I started this journey in 2009. 

Nothing changed in my home.  I still had a treadmill and spin bike.  My exercise DVDs were still intact and waiting to be played.  I'd even purchased kettlebells that have been gathering dust in my little corner of the play room.  My mat was rolled up in a corner without it being used for my beloved Yoga practice.

This past week on Wednesday, I'd had enough. Hubby has been traveling since Wednesday in the a.m. I got myself up at 5:17 a.m. and got dressed to workout.  I turned on the TV and pressed "on demand" to retrieve a video from Exercise TV.  I'd just changed to Uverse, so I now have access to tons of short exercise videos that I can use one alone or combine for a good workout.  I've been working out everyday since Wednesday, even on my birthday, May 1.  I woke up on my special day and put on a kickboxing video.  I've been doing kickboxing videos as a start to my morning for 6 days straight.  I cross train with either a spin session or walk/run session on the treadmill for at least 45 minutes of cardio. 

I am very out of shape for running.  I am trying to build up my endurance.  It'll be slow, but I'll get back to running shape for the 10K I plan on running in October. I also want to build up strength in my upper body.  I have a thing for long and lean arms. 

This morning as I worked out at 5:15 a.m. again, I realized that my sedentary lifestyle (a stark contrast to my college lifestyle) requires me to put in a second workout; just like Mrs. Obama.  Now, I don't want to sound like I am an obsessive compulsive who can become addicted to exercise, but "read" me out.  My life is dramatically different than when I was in college.  I drive now.  I live in a ruralesque city.  I live in the suburbs.  I have three kids that I cart around in a minivan.  I drive to the supermarket, post office, daycare, school, and work.  Once I enter my job, I sit behind a desk and work on the computer.  I sit at my desk and read briefs and make corrections.  I sit and review cases.  I sit and call or retrieve messages.  I go to meetings where I sit and communicate with others who are also seated.  I sit and eat meals and snacks at my desk.  I do a short walk to retrieve my vehicle, get the kids, go home cook, and veg out on the couch, "exhausted" from my day.

As you may empathize, that "exhaustion" is mental--NOT PHYSICAL.  I didn't do enough in my day to be exhausted.  Compared to day laborers, skilled workers and farmers, I have a sweet and easy life.  And I should be doing more activity.  I should be exercising when I put the kids to bed.  Why don't I?  Not because I am lazy, but often times it is vegging out when hubby is home.  I sit with him and talk while we watch TV or a movie.  He is gone so often (like these past 6 days that I have been working out), that I like to spend all my time with him.  I'd rather get up and workout, but I join him in the family room to sit.  I feel this sense of responsibility to be a wife and devote time to him.  I remember when I stopped being the active woman that I was in 1994 and thereafte; I started dating him and wanting to spend time with him.

Okay, now this is "blame the man" time.  Actually, when we were dating and then living together, we were quite active.  We worked out in the mornings together by walking and jogging around the cemetery in our neighborhood in Maine, and we would meet at the University's gym after work.  Often, I drove several miles after work to meet him before joining my own gym closer to work.  I would work out in the morning with him, then I would workout at the gym either at lunch or after work because I was sedentary during the work hours.  When his role at work was elevated, his exercise lessened.  Now that he travels and works so many long hours, he doesn't exercise at all.  For many years, I followed suit until I had Lootie Tootie in 2008.  I couldn't stand being sedentary anymore.  I was frazzled as a married, mid-30-year-old with 3 kids.

Going from a city girl to a rural dweller and then a mom, changed my body.  I want to get back to the body I worked so hard for in the early 90s.  I no longer want to make excuses for being this size or allowances for being a wife and mom.  I do use Mrs. Obama as a role model because she and I are in the same profession and have children.  She is a lot busier than I am with her platform and world wide travels, but we are all in the same struggle to maintain good health and moderate weight.

So, I am going to workout twice a day for at least 21 days and see if I form a habit.  Now, I don't think I will be doing the insane, intense routines as in the Biggest Loser, but I will do my weight training and get back to Yoga in the evenings after having completed cardio in the mornings.  I am going to strap on the pedometer (once I find it) to ensure I get 10K steps a day.  And I will take the stairs and walk as often as I can; even forcing myself to take a few breaks to sneak it in during the day.  Today, I made plans to walk with my coworker at 11 a.m. CT, and I am looking forward to getting some fresh air.  I hope to do Yoga tonight for my arms, legs, and flexibility.  I am excited. 

How active are you during the day?  What "obstacles" are keeping you from being more active?

Monday, April 25, 2011


        I've been researching Overeater's Anonymous.  I am a researcher by nature and education.  I have to read and study on my latest interest before I delve into it.  When I complete that research, I then entrench myself into the subject matter.  I keep studying and perfecting what I do.  It becomes a compulsion.  It seems to me that I get addicted to that "thing".  I've been researching Overeater's Anonymous after watching Ruby this weekend.  Everyone told her that she needed a 12 step program.  I've written about it before.  And I am going to be as honest as possible about my reservations.  Please keep an open mind when you read the following.

        I am having a problem with the word "God".  Now, I don't want to offend the readers who have a connection to a higher power and may categorize themselves as members of a specific religious group.  I read a lot of healthy living blogs that are very religious based and am not offended or turned off by the way they conduct their daily lives.  As a Catholic, I have a faith in my God.  I was raised by a parent who made sure to take me to Church every Sunday--to Catholicism school every week for my rites of passage as a Catholic.  Since leaving home at 18, it hasn't been a practice; not even during special occassions such as Easter (yesterday).  I don't want to be a hypocrit about religion and practice.  I want to keep this blog and my life in a neutral plane and not promote one side over another.  For example, Yoga, to me, is not a spiritual practice of worshipping a higher, external power, but an internal power that connects the body and mind.  But I know that many religions would not think that Yoga is a practice that should be undertaken because it takes away from seeking and finding God when you are seeking strength within yourself. 
        I am a person that tries to seek power within myself.  I want to be strong both physically and mentally.  I am not saying I can't have God in my life because I want to be internally strong.  However, I don't think there is anything wrong with having both. 

        My issue with the term "God" in OA, is this overwhelming thought that I am going to be shamed for not being religious enough.  Now, I recognize that the term God could be used to mean a "higher power" within the person--and just place the word to signify that.  I was introduced to this concept by Geneen Roth in Women Food and God.  But it is still quite startingly to live the 12 steps in faith of "God".

The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous

1.We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.
        This I can admit to, and this is the very statement that makes me want to go to a meeting and work hard to change my life around.  I am powerless.  I have my moments of strength, but it is overshadowed my greater moments of weakness. 

2.Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
        I do believe that there is a higher Power.  But I also feel that there is a Power within myself that is locked deep inside.  I need that Power to be released to keep me consistent with eating healthy and moderately, so I may finally lose weight; but most importantly, keep it off indefinitely.

3.Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
        Hmmm.  This is where I start to have trouble.  This is where I start to panic and feel like I will disappoint Him and myself for not living up to His expectations.  I don't want to turn over control to God.  I felt like I did that as a child when I was sent to Him for training and practice in Catholicism.  I fell away from Catholicism's consistency to live my life within the high morality and values I was taught, but with an independence gained from just learning and living my own life on my own terms.

4.Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
        I think I've been doing that all along.  I try to search within and figure out "why" I behave in that manner and I've been brutally honest with myself.   

5.Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
        I know that I share a lot of my "truths" in this blog. However, it is still anonymously.  You don't know me personally, and despite all the frienships made, we don't reveal every nitty gritty detail.  I do talk about it to my husband on occassion.  I have a work buddy that I talk to openly when we go for our walks.. I know why I do this. I have taken inventory of every aspect of my life in order to find meaning in my behaviors, and I've been willing to share that openly. However, I will say that I am not openly honest about the sneaking of food, the sensation of gulping down a Snickers or a saucer cookie, and the extreme guilt and frustration as the consequence of that food addiction.  I've often prayed to God to deliver me from this behavior and to Jesus to give me strength at every moment of overwhelming-ness. 

6.Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
        Maybe.  I ask Him daily to help me with these feelings and compulsion to eat.  I ask Him to help me with all the "problems" that drive me to eat more than my physiological needs.  But, a huge but, I don't know if I am entirely ready for Him to remove all the defects of character.  Why?  Because that means I must submit to Him; to a religion or a consistent practice of going to Him and seeking Him out.  I think it is what I said about "shame" for not being religious enough, not devoted enough, not loving enough (to myself, maybe), not "good enough", not deserving enough, and not worthy of His time and care.  The list can go on and on without an end in sight.

7.Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
        I don't understand how I can ask Him to help me remove all my shortcomings and the problems that drive me to eat, but can't submit to His will and guidance.  But I desperately want the shortcomings to be removed so I can get peace from these thoughts and feelings.  I want the layers of fat (my outside expression of shortcomings) to be peeled off so I can enjoy this life.

8.Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
        Wow.  Where do I start with this one?  Honestly, I feel like there are a lot more people that need to make amends to me.  Yes, I can rationalize whom I've harmed, but I feel more victimized.  Maybe that is the problem.  I don't think of the things I may have done to others, but focus and dwell on what others have done to me.  My mother worked too much.  My father abandoned me.  My husband works to much.  My husband moves me too often.  I can go on and on with this one, but must study whom I've harmed over the years of my food addiction:  my children for giving them an unhealthy and unsound mother during my depression and addiction to food; my mother for sneaking food in contradiction of her rules; my husband whose lived with a ballooning wife that chooses food over his love. 

9.Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
         Must I?  How?  Well, for starters, I can actually work hard to stop overeating and admit to them and apologize when I have done so.  In my inventory of people, I don't think my making amends would injure them; except the children who may in turn learn about food issues from my revelations.  I think it would bring us together.

10.Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
        Yes.  I will.  This blog serves as my personal inventory and admission of wrong doing.  I will do more of that.  And I will be more honest with myself and others about the impact and consequence of my overeating.  One thing hubby can tell you is that I hate to be wrong.  I am a know-it-all. 

11.Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
        I need more help with this.  Prayer and meditation is a constant.  I ask for help through my silent prayers to God, but I need to "[understand] Him" and learn more about "knowledge of His will for us".  I have a general understanding of what this means.  And I am certain that an OA meeting will help me with that, but I am afraid to commit because I fear failure and disappointing Him--which in turn fails and disappoints my mother who introduced and ensured that I receive religious training.  Let's call this a teetering Catholic's Guilt.

12.Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
        I can most certainly do this.  This blog is a place to carry on the message of compulsive overeating and the physical and emotional detriment it creates.  I will try to practice this principles daily, but there are many concerns and reservations from diving deep into OA. 

        I have troubles making meetings.  I have a lot of obligations to this family.  While it may be easy to say that I am most important and must make the time, it is not easy with 3 kids, full time job, and a husband who travels for many days at a time.  The meetings are varied to many locations that are a little further away from home and are in a place of worship (again a palpitating hesitance that I have).  There is one close to me at 7:30 p.m.  I want to make that meeting . . . someday. 

        In the meantime, I will keep reading, praying, planning, and putting steps into practice. 

Have you attended an Overeater's Anonymous meeting and what did you think?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Addicted to Food . . .

From 2010-11-17

I've been watching the new reality-therapy show on OWN channel called Addicted To Food.  The main therapist is Tennie McCarty who is a food addiction therapist that also has been on Ruby

I know that I am addicted to food to help cope with the "overwhelming burdens" of my day to day life.  Now, when I write these things out, I am able to recognize that it is ridiculous.  In the grand scheme of it all, I have a great life.

1.  I have a great husband who adores me and works extremely hard to support me and our children.
2.  I have amazing children who are smart, funny, cute, and need me to be my best.
3.  I have a mother who has sacrificed my entire life to provide for me and even wants to give her all to my children.
4.  I have a beautiful home to live in that is spacious and warm in the Winter and cool in the Summer. 
5.  We have jobs that provides the necessities: house, food, health care, internet (kidding), a vehicle, and quality childcare.
6.  Good health in all of us despite hearing loss, autism, and my obesity.  We are healthy and we are okay.

What is wrong with my life?  I can't stop eating my feelings.  I can't stop myself from eating when I am not physically hungry.  I am emotionally hungry.  I want more from my mother.  I want more from my father.  I want more from my husband.  I want more from my step-mother-in-law.  I want more from my mother-in-law.  I want more for my children.  I want more from my job.  All of these things (and a few other things), are "excuses" for me to eat; to binge . . . to hurt myself. 

Today, I dealt with another family issue that is not my issue.  It is not my responsibility to take control and solve it, but I did.  Then I left work, went to the coffee shop and bought a sugary latte with 2 cookies the size of saucers and I ate it.  I ate two cookies that I didn't need.  It was disgusting.  It was awful.  I did it.  I had guilt.  Now, I have anger--at myself.  I am hurting myself because I felt the hurt of another person.  Somewhere down the line, I must learn that I cannot abuse myself because I can't fix something for someone else.  Food cannot take the place of dealing with the accomplishments and obstacles in my life.

I can't sit back and not move my body when I abuse it so.  And despite knowing all that I described above, I am doing absolutely nothing to fix it when I keep going through the cycle of self abuse, action plan, dumping action plan, and back to self abuse. 

Yet again, I am going back to action plan.  It is what I have.  I am not a true quitter.  I don't think any of us are true quitters.   We go back and forth with our weight loss plans, but we never just completely drop it and live this overweight life.  We try "something", anything, to get us to accomplish the goal of weight loss; any loss is a victory.  This is hard.  This cannot be easy when you are confronted with the need for a drug.

"Hello.  My name is Rosa and I am addicted.  I am addicted to food."  Food is my drug.  I can't quit cold turkey.  Without it, I will die.  But with too much of it, I will die.

And somehow, I must find the balance to coexist with my drug and my biological duty to feed this body.  

What is your relationship with food?  How do you cope with feelings and food?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Happy Pills . . .

          I want to apologize for falling off the radar; in every sense of the phrase. I've been pretty melancholy lately. It is the same stuff that always gets me in a tizzy: job, Mom, kids, balancing it all, hubby's work, and still not getting to a place where I want my body to be. I have done nothing lately. Absolutely nothing.

          Yesterday, I couldn't take the fatigue anymore. I was just plain tired and miserable. After a full night's rest, I was not rested. I've been dealing with my self-diagnosis of ADHD. I can't focus or accomplish simple tasks without getting overwhelmed and doing absolutely nothing. Every time I broached the subject, my doctor asks if I am depressed.  I do suffer from anxiety and doctors have wanted to put me on medication for that in the past.  I've always been able to deal with it through relaxation techniques and exercise.  I would go for a walk or a run to burn off that excess angst and energy.  But I haven't had the interest or motivation to do so lately. 

          After reading the gossip rags and reading about one-seemingly-perfect-actress, I realized that we all have our issues. Nothing and no one is perfect. You can have the money, the homes, the lifestyle, but one thing is a given, money isn't everything, beauty isn't going to make you happy, and being thin doesn't keep you satisfied. I went out and bought St. John's Wort.

          I do not recommend this for people who have a clinical diagnosis of depression or a mental health spectrum disorder (nor on antidepressant medication), but for those of us who at certain times of the month are under the weather, this peps you up. I took one capsule, three times a day. By mid morning, I was accomplishing so many tasks and focusing on my work at the office. I was able to get some proposals done and submitted a proposal that I started in the afternoon. I didn't multitask and go from one incomplete activity to the next.  I had a lot more energy because I didn't feel this drain.

          This morning, I was able to clean and cook without hesitation and wanting to plop on the couch as soon as I woke up. Amazon and I were able to rearrange her room and make more sense of the space. She and I decluttered.  I made great lunches for everyone; including myself. It has been good so far. This isn't the cure, but I am hoping that it can help me during my PMS phase; which I realized was the culprit when I went to the bathroom mid-day yesterday.

          I don't keep track of my cycle, so I don't always have a clue as to when my mood has changed. I keep saying that I am going to get back to fitness and eating well, but that is just a lie. I have absolutely no motivation or interest. I will be spending some of Spring Break with the kids next week. If it ever stops snowing while we are home (yes, it is snowing here right now), I will take the kids out for bike rides around our community. I still have a lot of goals, but I need to take time to get to it. I am thinking that I may still be suffering from SAD because this winter and darkness hasn't gone away.  I plan on jumping on the treadmill for a short walk when Baby naps today; just me and my ipod.  Just to do something.  Sometimes you just have to do a little something to jump over that seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

What do you do to elevate your mood (anything natural, medicinal, or activity wise)?
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Fitness Pal

For the last two weeks, I've been using My Fitness Pal that I downloaded for free on my itouch and can log onto online. I didn't realize that I had signed up for it over a year ago when I started my journey of health and fitness. Undoubtedly, it was recommended by another blogger.

The reason I started monitoring my food (despite being a WW member and the "ease" of points) is that I am not capable of truly acknowledging and being accountable for what I eat when I don't write every single bite or drink to review at the end of the day. I need to see the number of calories that I am allowed, and I need to see how many calories I've subtracted from that number per meal. It is startling how much I can eat in one meal. Weight Watcher's points are great, but I needed to get back to the science of weightloss; like I did in college when I ate vegetarian and wrote everything down in a 5 subject, college ruled spiral notebook--yes, I am that specific in life.

If I am going to ingest it, I have to write it. Well, in this case, plug it all in. One thing was startling, that we can eat the calories gained from the burn of exercise. I did know this. Weight Watchers teaches this. However, I didn't quite understand it and how it relates to my body. It was a revelation that was amazing. If I want to eat a little more then I need to exercise. However, on the days I eat the amount of calories burned from exercise, I found that the next day I didn't lose an ounce. Okay, shoot me for weighing in everyday, but I was a bit shocked.

One of the things I want to start doing in April, is to use a heart rate monitor for exercise. I want to know exactly how many calories "my" body is burning while exercising. I've thought of getting a body bugg, but the expense of the device plus the membership is something I can't invest in right now. Getting back to the basics of a relatively inexpensive heart rate monitor is the way to go.

This morning I weighed in at 203.7 lbs. I've been up and down recently, but my average was always about 205, so this is great. My weightloss goal with My Fitness Pal is one pound a week. So far at the rate I am going with my calorie consumption of 1700 calories a day (without the extra from exercise), I can get to 198 lbs in 5 weeks. Pretty cool.

I am not at the point of reducing my calories to lose 2 lbs a week. I feel like I have to master the control of eating and cataloging my consumption, so I am not pushing it. I started a running program to get back to my 5k runner's status.

Goals for March 20-26:

1. log food.
2. exercise 5 times this week
3. move a little more during my sedentary office hours.

How do you monitor your calorie intake or burn? (I know you're there. Delurk and let me know what you do. Thanks.)

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

At the table.


This baby has taught me a valuable lesson. 

After cooking their meals, I used to take my plate and sit in front of the big screen or go back to my office and sit to eat.  I needed that mindless, decompression time.  It is a time for me to reflect on my day, on my stressors, on my disappointment with how life is turning out--yes, I am melodramatic.  However, eating this way used to leave me wanting seconds--and often thirds.  Lootie Tootie often would call me to sit down and eat.  "Here, Mama. Sit".  I rejected her many times in the past or ignored her.  Bad mama, I know.

After all of the "harassment" recently, I obliged.  I started sitting with them at the dinner table.  However, often, someone would ask me for seconds or more juice, or they'd drop their fork, or didn't have a napkin.  It would require me to keep getting up and not focus on the eating of my meal or enjoying the company of my three kids.

Today, while eating breakfast, I realized that since sitting down at the table to eat this week, I haven't gone back for seconds (there are other reasons too of course).  I haven't felt the need to get a bit more because I woofed down a meal without enjoying it.  When the kids asked me for more cereal or milk, I told them that they could get it so that I may focus on my food.  The baby and I sat happily and ate our cereals without distraction--until she asked me for more, and she couldn't very well get some of her own.  I left my bowl and got her some more.  When I returned, I didn't dive back in to inhale the remainder.  I took my time to get the spoon in hand, fish a mouthful, and bring to my lips.  It was completely natural and normal. 

All the books and suggestions to sit down at the table without TV, or book, or computer for mindful weight loss are absolutely right. 

Where do you eat? (please let me know. I pose these questions so I can hear from you.  Delurk and "talk" to me, please. Thank you.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


From Picture
Bye, bye my favorite meal!  I gotta work on this weight loss.

Sorry for my long absence and very quick post without much fanfare.  I've been struggling.  We all struggle.  It is a very rough time for many.  I am struggling with the weight, my thoughts of myself, my thoughts on all that is happening here in Madison, problems with the economy and a lot of personal financial struggles.  At the end of the day, I am left with thoughts questioning what is all this for?  What are we working for?  Why am I so desperate to lose weight for?  What the heck?

I suffer from panic attacks.  The last time I had a major attack was after I had my son.  The reason for the panic attack--no money!  And now almost 7 years later the major attack came on last week.  Why?  Money.  The fact is we will also be losing more money because of the new legislation that has been pushed forward here in Madison.  And we were already struggling and sacrificing.

Subsequently, eating has been horrible.  Physically, I've been more tired and in pain.  My arms get numb in the mornings, and I know that has a ton to do with the sugar I am consuming.  This week I had to start to document my eating.  There were a couple of bumpy days of not being truthful.  On Wednesday, I got my act together and started plugging my eating into  I downloaded an app for my itouch and have been plugging away.  Yesterday, I had a deficit, and I even got to eat an ounce of cookie--btw, that cookie comes in the size of a saucer and is 14 pts.  I want to learn not to deprive, but also not to indulge.  I don't have the mindset of fitness leaders and stars whom say that rice, pasta, and processed food are killing me.  I know they are, but I think everything in life is moderation--even exercise.

Exercise:  a touchy subject lately.  I haven't been doing any.  I've relaxed a significant amount.  The thought of waking up at 4:50 a.m. to exercise is paralyzing.  However, I want to get back to running.  I enjoy running and cycling.  I have these Kettlebells that are staring at me whenever I go into the playroom/workout room.  Today, I plan to cycle in the afternoon when my daughter goes to nap.  The older two leave me alone and watch TV or play, so I get a bit of a break.

I do think I am in a bit of a depression.  Everything looks gloomy.  Everyone I work with (in a State job) is in a funk.  My coworker has regained the 10 lbs that she credits me for motivating her to lose.  Negativity begets negativity.  She and I gave ourselves a date to get back to business.  Today is my day.  Last night was hers.

I got a reminder today from Jack $h*+ when he reposted my entry for W.I.D.T.H--Why I Do This Here.  I wrote that I wanted the inner athlete to reflect on the outside.  Send him a picture and in the picture, write on a notecard or photoshop into it why you are on this journey.  What are you hoping to accomplish? My photo was true at the time.  It is still true, but today I truly want to just wear a really hot wrap dress

How are you doing on your healthy eating and fitness journey?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

This is forever . . .

This is definitely an inspiration.  I need to take a lesson from this wonderful lady.  Tomorrow morning, when I am feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, I will remember that this is what I want to achieve.  And I hope I will get up and exercise.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Scale Steppin Sunday--February 6

February 6

-1 lb

I lost 1 lb this week.  I'll take it.

I've been wondering what I am doing all this for.  Why am I trying to lose weight and blogging about it?

I feel like I am putting this immense pressure on myself to be something that I don't think I can achieve.  I think I am losing sight of why I started this blog and the momentum that I established.  I know that I wanted to document my accomplishments.  I wanted to write about my running races as an obese woman.  I did want to lose weight.  I did have a plan. 

Without sounding like I am assigning blame, I recall wanting to achieve the weight loss of so many amazing bloggers.  I wanted to achieve the completion of races, the attempt at a triathalon, the documenting of healthy, clean eating.  I think I got caught up in a competition of my own making.  Weight loss is a singular sport.  It is a challenge within one's own mind and body.  But my focus and drive starting going by the wayside. In the year of blogging, I've stayed at around 205 lbs.  I may have changed the shape of my body, the endurance, the flexibility, but I haven't changed the "heaviness". 

I also haven't completely changed my thoughts about food.  Blogging is not motivation for anyone if there aren't any results or substance to what I am writing about.  The up and down weight loss and gains are not a good thing.  It certainly is not a healthy thing. My "rock bottoms" were truly not rock bottoms--more of a feeling of shame, but never enough to slap me to productivity.

So I am thinking of changing focus again.  Going back to original plan.  Working on my running, yoga, and strength training.  I shared my schedule last week.  I am planning on continuing with that plan, with some modifications.

I am going back to training for races.  I am starting from square one, which is training for a 5K in May.  Paula and I discussed training for a 10K--virtually.  I am a bit overwhelmed by that task, however she has been doing an amazing job at running lately.  I am in awe of her.  I am picking out a 5k to do in eight weeks. 

In the future, weight loss and healthy eating posts will show up when there is a loss, and if I think it is worthy to blog about.  If "Scale Steppin Sunday" ceases to exist don't hold it against me.  I am just allowing myself to function as best as I can. My reward is feeling like I accomplished something, and loss of fat isn't the only thing that rewards me. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Scale Steppin' Sunday--Jan 30

Jan 29

+ 2.8 lbs. 

To be expected.  This was a rough week with a celebration thrown in.  So my EXCUSES follow:


I received evaluations for my work from those that I supervise.  Well, there is constructive criticism and there is down-right-mean-and-I-am-getting-back-at-you for an undefined reason criticism.  I felt that a lot of what was said isn't really about me; didn't truly define my personality.  But it made me very sad and stressed out.  Stress is definitely a fat trapper.  I feel a lot of stress and anxiety to make changes in a faster amount of time than I truly have.  I have to work through that and hope that it doesn't stress me out more and cause weight gain.


On Thursday, I went to a dinner party for a friend at a private club.  It was Nouveau Cuisine (french style) with lots of sea food in 6 courses.  Well, seven with the Amuse Bouche.  Everyone else had the wine pairings with each course.  I don't drink alcohol at all--I have enough problems with food that I don't need to add alcohol.


I went back to that fabulous club and had lunch the next day.  I love that place and I don't go often, so I had a nice lunch and cookie.  It was the day I got my evaluations.


In my stress to accomplish a million things and attend every meeting and therapies (which I don't even want to put in its own category cause I am tired of discussing him and "it") for my son this week, I didn't drink waters this week.  I am a true believer (even if I am scientifically wrong) that not hydrating causes your body to retain water for fear of dehydration.  I haven't had my water next to me in days.  I've been drinking when I am thirsty, which is not a great thing. 


I worked out 4 times this week.  I woke up at 5 a.m. and followed my schedule.  Well, I also went full blast with the Jillian DVDs.  That woman is insane.  I felt the results yesterday and couldn't do anything because of the tightness in my lower body.  However, Sundays start my week and I will be exercising my regular scheduled routine today--this afternoon when baby is napping--YOGA.  I am also operating under my own theory that when you exercise after a long period of inactivity, your body doesn't allow for weightloss because it is repairing the things that are "ill" in the body first.  I didn't build muscles in 4 days, so I am not using that as an excuse. 


Hubby is traveling since Saturday.  I am alone with 3 kids for a few days.  This is common.  While it is a regular routine to be alone with the 3 kids, it is never going to be something I am used to.  The first night he is gone, I can't sleep.  The thoughts of all the things that could go wrong swirl in my head throughout the night.  The house is quiet and I start listening for any sound.  I feel like I am on "alert" mode.  That feeling doesn't allow me to unwind.  I can't undwind when I am trying to be ready to kick someone's ass who tries to break in. 


I do office work. I am behind a desk doing all day mostly.  I am typing at the computer.  The students come to me versus me going to them.  During great weather, I take a walk with my co-worker.  She and I would work out before work at home and still take time to walk together.  It was a great way to connect.  It is too cold and wet out there to go on the lake path that we take.  It is just ugly out there.


I don't get a true period anymore.  Just spotting because of the IUD.  I still get the hormonal imbalance and moodiness.  I am sure I am a bit bloated and can feel some cramping as I write this.  I never truly know when my period is occurring.  Well, actually I do.  The zit on my chin is a big clue.  I hate adult acne.  My doctor told me to get rid of the simple sugars.  I already don't eat the white rice, white breads, on a regular basis.  If I do, it is a treat. 

Adding all those excuses together, I had a gain because things went downhill.

  • Stick to fitness schedule this week (at least 5 days)
  • Drink waters
  • Do a destressing activity to relieve anxiety built up from work.
  • At 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. I am going to take a 10 minute break to walk up and down the 5 flights of stairs at my job. 
  • Take lunch and snacks to work to eliminate eating out. 
While I am again behind on achieving my goal, I am not going to get discouraged. I'm not willing to quit.  I know I can do it.  It may take me forever to fix my "head" to match my heart.  I will get it done.  And I realized this weekend, as I was weepy and reflective, I can't please everyone.  I have to make sure that I do what is best for the program I run.  I am not going to change my professionalism.  I think I am a pretty great gal, worker, and mom.  And Paula told me so.

How do you tackle a setback?