Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking forward to 2012

   It's been very busy week, trying to get a bunch of catch-up things done.  I'm happy to say that my trike is now resting comfortably in the garage, and I was even able to take it out for a spin.  It's so much easier on my knees, and a bit faster than my old bike.  Plus it has a basket in front and a carrier rack in back, so I'll be able to take it on local jaunts to the CVS down the street.  Dave was then kind enough to take my old bike and put it in the basement, on a stand that allows me to use it as a stationary bike.  Now all I have to do is put Netflix on my Wii (which is also in the basement), and I'll be all ready to go!

  I've been trying to focus on my 2012 goal setting, but I'm a little farther behind on that front than I thought I'd be.   The bike/trike flexibility has allowed me to start structuring an activity plan, that I can couple with getting back to the Y on a regular basis.  Adding to that is a return to the daily exercises I learned at physical therapy to continue strengthening my knees and increasing my range of motion and flexibility.   The plan needs a little fine tuning, but the basics are strong, and I can work out the details tomorrow after WI.

  Speaking of WI, Dave and I do so on Saturday, which is the day that we use our weekly allowance (and then some, unfortunately).  We always look at Sunday as our clean start to the week.  I feel like it's really fortuitous that New Year's Day falls on a Sunday this year - it makes it easier to look at this as a whole clean start and renewal to the journey.  To that end, I shopped today for some plan friendly foods to stock the house so we are ready to hit the ground running.  One of my goals is to try at least one new WW recipe per week.  I have tons of recipe resources, so there will be no excuse!

  The next step is that I want to blog more regularly - at least once a week, getting back to my original idea of posting interesting recipes, photos of foods, general info and inspirational ideas.  I've started a binder to bring with me to WW meetings that includes a scrapbook of inspirational thoughts and pictures, a notepad to write down good stuff that I hear at my meeting, and a journal for my activity.  Some of this can translate nicely to the blog format, so I hope you don't mind reading!  No more using not doing well as an excuse to go into hiding.

  The final piece of my plan is taking a note from my former WW leader, and setting myself 6 week mini-goals.  We did that a few times at our meetings, writing it down and putting it in an envelope to be opened 6 weeks later.  Although some people didn't seem to like it, it was a great motivator for me, and I had good success with it.  I usually chose two goals for the 6 weeks - one scale related and one behavior related.  Going back to that  method is something I'm really looking forward to, and I'll be setting my first 6-week goals tomorrow.

  I'm looking forward to 2012.  My success is in my control and I intend to take hold of it.  Thank you all for reading and supporting me this year - I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Looking back at 2011

  I've been thinking a lot about this past year.  It feels like it's been a little wild - drastic highs and lows separated by mind-numbing ruts.  In reality, it's probably been pretty normal..  But it was full of really amazing personal experiences - mostly travel related.  In 6 months time, I had my feel in both the Atlantic and Pacific, and finally saw some of the southwest.  I went to 3 different National Parks - Redwoods National Forest., Acadia National Park and the Grand Canyon.  I also saw Red Rocks Canyon and the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.   For someone who hates to fly, that's a pretty good list!  And Acadia and Grand Canyon were bucket-list places to go for me.  I spent time in San Francisco, Boothbay Harbor, Bar Harbor and Las Vegas.  I was very fortunate to have these experiences this year.  And when I think back on this year, these will be the things that stand out the most for me.  It was a privilege to see so much of our country, and the diversity that exists within its borders.

  But this blog is mostly about my weight loss journey, and so there are things I must address along those lines that aren't as much fun to think about.  I'm going to start with the positives, though.  I started (very beginner level) hiking, and think that in it I've found an activity that marries several of my interests. I'm planning on having it factor into my 2012 plans in a larger way.  I was also  lucky enough to get an adult trike!  Because my knees are so week, riding my regular bike has become difficult - I don't feel that stable on it, and so it spent most of this year in the garage.  The structure of the trike will allow me to use it without those worries.  So that's also going to be a major player in my 2012 activity plans.

  From a weight-loss perspective, well, there's no easy way to say it.  It was a disaster.  I gained weight. too much.  I was okay in the first half of the year - sort of plateau-ing, but generally holding my course.  Once I got back from San Francisco, I just lost it.  And while I spent quite of bit of time trying to be on plan, I got very sloppy and lazy.  I allowed problems with my knees and feet to knock me off kilter, and seemed unable to rouse myself to more positive action for any significant enough amount of time to be effective.  I struggled emotionally and mentally, and ended up in a vicious cycle that many of us know all too well.  Sadness led to eating, which led to weight gain, which led to sadness.... and so on and so on.  

  The good news in all of this is that it's given me some real motivation.  I feel like I've snapped out of it (the holiday weekend notwithstanding), and am ready to move forward and make 2012 a MUCH better and more productive year.  I'm working now on setting up my goals for the year, and making sure that I build plans to achieve them.  I am in charge, and I can do better.  I will do better!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Las Vegas Wrapup!

  Suffice it to say that we had a great time.  We spent some time in Vegas, doing the casino thing (not gambling, by and large, mostly just ogling the excess).  We spent quite a bit of time at the various parks in the area - we went to Red Rock Canyon National Park, Valley of Fire State Park, Hoover Dam, and the Grand Canyon, where we spent 2 days.  We saw Barry Manilow's show, and Dave ran the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.  We were busy bees!  Speaking of bees, we saw a warning sign at the entrance to Valley of Fire that warned that there are africanized (killer) bees in the park....I'm glad we were there during winter.

  Because it sure was winter!  Vegas was in the midst of an unseasonal cold/wind spell, so the temps rarely got over 45 degrees during the day.  And in the parks the wind was fierce!  It made it challenging to do as much hiking as we wanted to do, because we just didn't have good enough winter gear with us.  It was epic cold at Grand Canyon - snow on the ground, and ice on the roads and paths, daytime temps in the high 20s.  I'm really glad that we got to see it like that, though - I think the snow made it even more beautiful that normal.  We took a lot of pictures, which I will probably post to Facebook, but at some point it seemed futile.  Without the right equipment and some training as a photographer, there's just no way to capture the grandeur.  You're better off looking at professionally done pictures, and even they won't do it justice.

  One thing I learned is that altitude is no joke!  When we were at the Canyon, there were times when I was literally gasping for breath, even on short walks up very mild inclines.  At first I felt kind of bad about it, thinking that my backsliding over the summer had taken a greater toll than I had imagined.  I couldn't believe I was that out of shape.  Then my husband reminded me that we were at an altitude of over 7000 feet - well over a mile in the air.  Even he had some trouble catching his breath after walking back up some of the paths.

   Food wise, it was strange.  We went shopping and had our room stocked with healthy breakfast and snack options.  And besides breakfast and a snack, we only ate one other meal a day.  Some were on the healthy side, and some were not.  But some of the food we had was truly outstanding - very different from our norm, and things we couldn't get or make at home.  I anticipate a weight gain this week, even after being able to spend this week on plan.  The food choices were challenging, we didn't get in as much activity as I had planned (although we did quite a bit), and I injured my foot when I misstepped on a's still a bunch of cool colors!  It is what it is, and I accept it!

   I loved the trip, and I would tell anyone who goes out there to definitely plan a day at Red Rocks (there's a convenient 13-mile one way loop to drive that contains lots of places to park and get pictures, or pick up hiking trails).  It's a 25 minute drive outside of Vegas and truly spectacular.  And most definitely worth going up to the Valley of Fire - it's about an hour drive, but the sites there are stunning.  Both parks provide some much needed peace and quiet and open space - a nice alternative from the bustle of the Strip.

  So that's the Vegas wrapup!  Now I need to get started on the holidays....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Vegas Approaches

   I was a little thrown off this weekend after my post Thanksgiving weigh-in didn't go as planned.  I was prepared for a gain at the scale because of the nature of the challenges I faced during the week, and the choices i made.  I just wasn't prepared for the gain to be as high as it was.  Now honestly, it was less than 1 pound above what I was prepared for, but it threw me nonetheless.  But back to a good attitude, and shaking off the disappointment.
   That all  being said - I leave for Vegas on Thursday!   I'm a little less anxious about flying, since I know I can get an extender, and I also don't have to worry if I encroach a little into my husband's seat.  I won't - I can actually fit in one seat, but we can put up the armrest between us so it's a bit more cozy.  It takes some of the stress out of it.
   We have a ton of activities planned - a couple of state parks, the Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Lake Mead.  One or two days exploring the casinos and the Strip, and on Sunday Dave runs the half marathon.  We got a room at an all-suites non-casino hotel, that affords us a full kitchen and laundry area in room, so that we can have better control over a good portion of our meals.  I'm hoping that the activity and walking/hiking we have planned will take care of the rest.
   So I'm spending today doing laundry, and when Dave gets home from work we're visiting with our niece before she moves back to Maine. Tomorrow we'll finalize the outline for our itinerary and make preparations to go!
   So I'll probably be quiet for a while, although I will be bringing my netbook with me.  I'll post pics on FB, and maybe a blog along the way!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cue the scary music...

...Because this week is Thanksgiving!

   Actually, I have a few challenges this week besides Thursday.  The first was tonight, with a family get together to watch some Sunday Night Football.  I did pretty well, though - we had dinner first, that was tracked.  And then I chose to keep the snacks in a separate area from where we were watching, so that people could load up plates for themselves, but I wouldn't be mindlessly eating from bowls of chips and such.  I did partake, but in a very restrained way, and kept to my Points.  Plus, I earned some good activity points today doing some leaf raking, which I'm holding on to for Thursday.
   The second challenge this week is that we're going out for a birthday dinner on Tuesday night.  So tomorrow's agenda item is to review the menu online so that I can make my choices beforehand, and not even have to look at the menu when we're there.  My friend Maureen gave me that idea, and I think it will be crucial!
   Then comes Thursday.  This will be the first year I'm not hosting, and I'm grateful at how relaxed I feel.  Not doing all that baking and cooking helps eliminate some of the "quality control" sampling that can really rack up the points.  And being able to relax and enjoy the week means having some extra time to sneak in more Activity, and to do my best to mentally rehearse and solidify strategies for not going bananas once I'm in front of all that food!  We already have some games planned, and I plan on doing a lot of my hanging around that day strategically away from where the snacks and desserts will be.
  So all in all, I'm feeling pretty good about this coming week.  Now if only my cold would go away so that my energy level would come back up to normal!  That being said, it's off to bed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Being positive in the virtual world

  Over the past couple of months, I've noticed a trend in magazine articles about Facebook and similar social media sites.  The trend is to admonish people to not be too "chirpy" (and yes, that's the word I saw in one article) when posting about your life, because it makes other people feel bad.  I even saw an article to this effect in a WW publication.  That you shouldn't let other people's posts get you down, since people tend to make their lives look better online than they are in the real world.

  And honestly, this pisses me off.

  There are braggarts in this world, and one-uppers.  And I'm sure that these behaviors abound on Facebook as they do anywhere else in life.   But if I have a friend who's lucky enough to have a lake house to enjoy, then why should that make me feel bad about me?  Why shouldn't I just be happy for my friend and their blessings?  If an online  friend has a great weight loss, why should that cause me to be anything but glad for them?  Are we really that over-sensitive now as a nation that we can't let anyone have anything because it might make us feel bad?  Are we really that selfish?  I fear the answer may be yes.

  Someone else's success does not equal my failure.  If I don't have a lake house, or a good weight loss, or a meaningful career or hobby, the I should do something to change that in my life.  Not try to take someone else down, or complain that they made me feel bad.  I want my friends to be happy and successful, and have lives filled with things they find enjoyable.  And I love to see them sharing those things on blogs and Facebook.

  As for me, I try to think about the positive, and post accordingly.  I could have easily posted a status update today complaining that I'm freezing and can't seem to warm up.  Or whining about the mountain of laundry that needs folding.  But I chose to make my status a positive note about how yummy my afternoon snack was.  Mundane, yes.  But I'd rather think about and share something positive then just complain.  If that's too "chirpy" for people, then that's sad for them.  I try to keep my status updates and my blog posts upbeat, or funny.  Sometimes the tiny vat of rage or angst seeps in.  But I won't stop trying to be positive, and if it upsets other people, then maybe they aren't actually friends at all.  And who needs that?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prepping for Vegas

Hubby and I leave for Vegas on the 1st... very excited to do so.  To help make it easier to make good choices we booked a hotel room  that's not in a casino, and is a little off the Strip.  Even better, we were able to book a suite that comes with a full kitchen.  It's also just a few miles from Red Rocks park, where we plan to spend some quality time hiking.  
  While Vegas will present a challenge food-wise, having a kitchen will help us control a few things.  Once we get out of the airport, we'll head to a grocery store to stock up on some fruits and veggies, some good breakfast choices, and some healthy snack options.  I don't pretend that there aren't going to be LOTS of temptations, nor do I pretend that I'm going to be cooking all the time.  But if I can surround myself with easy to grab healthful choices, then it's definitely worth the effort.
  I'm looking forward to the trip, and we're spending the next few days researching some more active, less casino type things to do while we're out there so we can make the best use of our time.  I like having a plan for the trip. It makes it so much less stressful!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The great fruit and veggie experiment

  One of the things I've been struggling with, WW-wise, is the concept of "free" fruits and veggies.  Because as it turns out, these items are only free if you eat them separately, or out of hand.  As soon as you incorporate them into a recipe, their nutrient values get added and their PP values are calculated.  So for example, if I make a smoothie, and eat a banana on the side, then the banana has 0 PPV.  However, if I add that banana to the smoothie, it can have up to 4 PPV.  Same banana, but very different calculation.  I've tested this on a couple of things through the e-tools Recipe Builder.
   Another example:  when I make pasta, I tend to load it up with veggies, thinking they are free. And on e-tools, if I add them to my tracker as part of a meal, I get charged points for the pasta and oil, and the veggies list as 0.  BUT if I take the same meal and run it through the recipe builder and call it "Pasta with Veggies", it has a very different PPV.  
   So this week I've decided to undertake the Great Fruit and Veggie Experiment.  I'm going to eat as I normally would, but anytime I'm not eating fruit or veg out of hand, or separately, then I'm going to run it through the Recipe Builder, calculate the PPV and use that figure to see what the difference might be.
   Last example, my new favorite side-dish obsession is butternut squash and apple, diced up and roasted with a small amount of canola oil, salt and cinnamon.  I've been thinking that this only costs me PPV for the oil, which would be 2.  But in the recipe builder, it tells me that a serving is actually 4.  Not a huge difference by itself, but I have a suspicion that a bunch of those little differences may add up.  Maybe not as much as I fear, but as someone who always uses all my weeklies, any overages may be an issue.
   I'll post later in the week with some of the findings...I think this will be good because it will help me REALLY think about what I'm eating and how many PPVs I'm using.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween does not Signal an End to Being Smart!

   Used to be that the holiday season started with Thanksgiving and ended with New Year's.  And that time could be challenging from a weight loss perspective because of extra social events, work events, extra baking, and edible gifting.  But within that time frame, there were only a couple of actual holiday celebrations - just a few days within a six week period.  But those few days came to signal a surrender of sorts - people just throwing up their hands and saying "fill them with cookies and stuffing and pie and roast beast!!".  Because truly, it's only a few days of actual holiday time, and doesn't have to mean losing six weeks or so of momentum and progress and hard-won habits.

   But now it seems like people start the holiday season with Halloween, which means throwing away another couple of weeks at least, simply because there's one day that's candy and treat focused.  Some of it is the insanity of the retail world, I think.  I was shopping at BJs this past week and was surrounded by Christmas decorations - I had a hard time finding any Halloween items.  Same at Hallmark - all the Halloween stuff was on clearance to make way for the Christmas stuff.  And Halloween hasn't even happened yet!

   I made a decision when I started Weight Watchers again this last time that I wouldn't write off the last two and a half months of the year to the holidays, figuring I could just start again in January.  Because I can gain a lot more weight in two and a half months than I can take off in twice that time, even if I kill myself at the gym.  No candy bar, cookie or pie is worth it.  I can handle a couple of days that are food-oriented without tossing out the entire last quarter of the calendar.  I can take this challenging time of year into account and set my goals more reasonably.    Because I am stronger than any piece of candy, any cake, cookie, pie or even roast beast!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

organization = motivation

   I'm still feeling a little bit all-over-the-place these days, but I've been working through it a little at a time.  I managed to do some bigger organization and cleanout chores this week, which I found really helpful.  Still have some more to work on, but it's been a good start.  I started with my food storage - pantry, small cupboard, fridge, freezer and cabinet.  It's amazing how quick those areas get cluttered up.  But now I can see everything, and have made the space much more user friendly. Then I started restocking after a couple of marathon grocery sessions - but I was smart, and only purchased things I needed to round out my staples and make meals for this week.  Today I have a few drawers and cabinets to organize, but that will be a much smaller project.

    So yesterday I took a trip to Whole Foods, which is a little off the beaten path for me.  I had gotten a Living Social deal for $10 off $20 worth of produce.  And their produce is so nice that of course I spent WAY more than $20.  But everything just looked so nice that it made me want to run home and start eating all the healthy things I had bought.  I also found some interesting roasted vegetable raviolis, that are very reasonable point-wise, and some mixed squash and zucchini to make with them.  It's been hard finding consistently good produce at the supermarkets, and I think it may be worth making the extra trip once a week to stock up.  As long as I stay within a budget.

   I think that having finally done some cleaning and organizing of my kitchen helped spur me on, and re-energized me.  It kind of gives things that "first week on plan" freshness.  So if you've got some clutter in your kitchen, I highly recommend tackling it! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Feeling better now...except...

  Well, I was able to have a successful week last week, staying plan-focused and making good food choices.  And it paid off with a satisfying loss at the scale, which made me do the happy dance.  So now I'm working on this week, keeping my focus very small so that it continues to feel manageable.
   Having some mood issues at the moment, though.  I think it's because I've been keeping my eating under control, so instead of stuffing things down and taking solace in food, all this stuff is rising to the surface.  Not sure how much of what I'm feeling is legitimate, and how much is being magnified, but I'm definitely having some problems. 
    Met an old high school friend for lunch the other day (thanks, Facebook!), but left the lunch feeling kinda bad about myself.  She's very focused and motivated and successful in a way that I would like to be, and I just felt like I had nothing of substance to contribute when it came down to the "so what have you been up to these last 25 years" part of the conversation.  It was nothing she said or did - it was all me.  But I haven't been able to shake it.  And then I had a dream about a former friend that was really sad and painful, and it's been echoing all over my mood this last week.
   And truth be told, I'm having trouble mustering up continued support and enthusiasm for my husband's upcoming marathon.  I feel like it's the only thing anyone ever talks about when we get together, and it's certainly the only thing that he seems capable of talking about.  Or at least the only topic of conversation that holds his attention.  And I know that makes me a bitch, because it's a huge deal for him and will represent an enormous accomplishment.  But I think it's because it contributes to my feeling that I just don't bring anything to the table.  I have nothing of interest that's mine.  This is all TOTALLY my problem, and I have to figure out how to deal with it. 
   So now I'm off to run some errands and take care of a few odds and ends, and enjoy the gorgeous weather we've been having.  I'm sure the internal clouds will clear up soon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Angry post alert!

  I am so pissed off at myself.  This summer has been a disaster, weight-loss wise.  In fact, it's been just the opposite, as I've gained almost 30 lbs back over the last 6 months or so.  I just couldn't get my mind right for enough time.  There were days, even whole weeks, where I did pretty well, but all in all, I chose badly when it came to food.  The end result was that even though my activity had increased significantly, my sloppy eating overwhelmed it. 
   And honestly, what was there that I ate that was worth it?  Or even memorable?  A couple of things were really good and worth the "at-the-moment" decision.  But those kinds of things come up every once in a while, and can be easily dealt with by staying tightly on plan and bumping up activity.  Most of what I ate was forgettable, just eat to be eating food.  And I can't believe I was so stupid. 
   I got off track mentally, and allowed it to swallow me whole.  It's like I gave myself a free pass to be stupid.  I did a LOT of rationalizing - like well, I'll just get it out of my system this week, and will start fresh again after weigh in.  Meanwhile, months have passed, and the weight has gone back up.  No wonder my knees hurt all the time again, and I have zero stamina.  I really HATE having to re-do work I already did.  Such a waste of time.  The only positive takeaway is that I didn't quit, and continued to get weighed in regularly.
   But I've been back on plan since weigh in this week.  Maybe getting mad was what I needed to stop the slide.  And some of the small measures I talked about in an earlier post are starting to pay off.  So there's no need to continue to dwell in this place of anger and self-recrimination.  I've taken accountability, and now I've retaken control.  Looking forward is the smartest thing I can do, so I'm planning a grocery list and menu, blogging, and looking for ways to keep adding activity. With this glorious fall weather we're having, it isn't hard. 
   So for now I'll take it one day, or sometimes one meal, at a time.  I'll right the ship, get back to where I was, and then bust on through to new achievements.  Thanks for listening!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Small steps

  So things have been a little better here the last couple of days.  I exercised and have been making very good food choices, and kept my beverages to either water or plain seltzer with a little lemon.  Made sure to get in a little dairy and some fruit, and have stayed at or just under my daily target.  I think that I can attribute this to finally alleviating some stressors, and applying some of those "small steps" that I've written about before.
    Taking care of a couple of projects on the perpetual "To-Do"list was a big help.  Getting a bit more sleep is definitely helping as well.  I'm feeling a little more in control than I have been for the past few months, and it's been reflected in my choices.
    Now it's only been a couple of really good days, so I'm not all cocky and crazy.  But I look at them as building blocks - every good choice I'm making helps rebuild my foundation and will provide stability and strength.  And it's been really amazing how these couple of days of good choices have helped me feel stronger and more positive.  I was afraid that I was slipping back down the slope, and although in the past I let myself keep right on sliding, I never felt that desire this time.  I have some ground to make up, that's for sure.  But I feel like I've finally gotten a solid foothold, and can start the long climb back to where I was and then even further.
    I just have to keep taking small steps!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Itty Bitty Brain Dump

   So last week was a pretty crazy week, post-hurricane.  We suffered very little in the way of damage, although I am still contending with a small leak in the roof.  But all in all we were very lucky.  But there was lots of other stuff going on last week, so my schedule and planning were non-existent.  I was still able to post a loss, though, which came as a very happy surprise.  This week so far has been pretty sketchy, and I'm working today on correcting that.  Already have dinner planned - fish and roasted veggies.  I have some good options in the house for meals for the rest of the week, and now I just have to actually eat them, and stop going out!
   The leaky roof causes me stress, and I'm dealing with a nasty cold, so my sleep isn't what it needs to be.  That always makes it more challenging to make good decisions.  But I have lots of chores to do today to keep myself busy, and that's something that helps me stay on track.
   So although this is just a short status post, sitting down to write is part of keeping my head in the right place.  And like the commercial says, one good choice can help fuel the next one.  So now it's off to tackle the laundry mountain, and take care of some paperwork.  Talk to you all soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Random Catching Up

   So we had an earthquake yesterday...first one I've felt in almost 20 years, and definitely a strange experience.  And now it looks as though Hurricane Irene may be popping in for a visit this weekend.  Kind of a bummer, since Dave and I were going to be in Wildwood for the Wild Half Marathon, which he's been training for like crazy.  All indications currently point to a washed-out trip.  The upside is that Dave's brother and his wife will be staying over for a few days, so we'll just hunker down, play some games, and enjoy the company!  I suppose I should be doing something in the way of preparedness, so I guess that will be part of the agenda for tomorrow.
   So as an update to my last post, I'm still waiting for my quote from the landscaper, but feeling happy that things are in motion.  Knowing that I started the process has really helped!  And I have an appointment at the salon for Wednesday, which also makes me feel better.  Being that it's 1 am, I clearly haven't gotten total control of my sleep patterns yet, but I've been making great improvements.  And one of the reasons I'm up so late is because I just finished the last load of Mount Laundry... today was a very productive day, so I'm giving myself a pass on being up so late!  And I really wanted to write another post before too much more time passed.
   I've taken a few more baby steps in terms of change - just finished registering for Water Aerobics at the Y this fall.  This should give me a great opportunity to get in some exercise without undue strain on my knees, which will be a big help.  And I did quite a bit of shopping around for new leaders for WW - I haven't completely decided which meeting will be my new home, but I really feel better for having found several really good options.  I'm also in the process of purchasing an adult trike for myself... there are a few steps to be taken before I can make the buy, so I've laid out a plan that should have me out on the road within the next 2 weeks or so.  That's gonna be an EPIC win!
    For now, it's off to bed.  There's a pretty substantial to-do list on deck for tomorrow and Friday.  So good night all and I'll write again soon!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How's That Working For You Part 2

I thought I would focus this post on the first couple of things I've started doing differently, and how they relate to my weight loss efforts.  Stay with me on some of these - there's a link, I swear!

     First:  I quit playing most of my Facebook games.  You know the ones - all the various "Villes" and such, that require large numbers of friends/time/money to maximize.  I realized that whatever pleasure I was getting from playing them was overshadowed by the amount of time they were taking.  They bordered on obsession, and so I stopped playing them, blocked the apps and "unliked" them. 
     The Benefit:  Time to do other things.  And to get my sleep cycle back on some sort of normal track.  I stay up late playing, then get to sleep late, then wake up late feeling fuzzy headed and crabby.  I was losing lots of time to be productive and focused, and there seem to be lots of studies linking successful weight loss with adequate restful sleep.  I do miss some of the games, but now my online time is more focused on the other productive and enjoyable things I can working on my photos from San Francisco, learning how to coupon more effectively, blogging (both reading and writing), recipe research, and finding weight loss support.

     Second:  I've started "meeting shopping" for Weight Watchers.  The leader that took over my regular meeting just isn't doing it for me.  I've started looking at the meetings as a waste of time, and they leave me with a bad taste in my mouth.  I wasted a lot of weeks sort of marking time, because of the notion that this would only last through the summer and then a new leader would come in.  But marking time is wasting time, and it seriously messed with my head.  So I finally went to a different meeting last week, and will be attending two other meetings this week to shop around for leaders (although I REALLY liked the leader from last Saturday - she may be tough to beat, plus, it's the meeting time most convenient for my husband, who's at Lifetime but still attends weekly).
     The Benefit:  Obvious.  I left the new Saturday meeting feeling much more energized, and like  I'd really gotten something out of it.  I felt that the leader was well prepared and had a plan, and she managed the member participation effectively.  Frankly, I can't afford to feel demotivated and unhappy by my meeting - it's too important a part of my success. 

     Third:  I finally called the landscaper about some overgrown shrubs that need to be removed and in some cases replaced.
     The Benefit:  Harder to see, but it relates to my state of mind.  I do use a landscape service for lawn maintenance and such, but like to do a lot of the other outside work like small landscape projects and pruning myself.  But the things that need to be done are beyond my capacity, and the overgrown state of things mirrors my own feelings of being overwhelmed and out of control.  This is a project that has needed attention for over a year, and I've always come up with reasons not to get to it.  So it nags at me as being just one more thing I'm not taking care of.  I bit the bullet and picked up the phone (mostly because the power company can't get to the meter anymore and has started estimating my usage - never a good thing).  Having the consult yesterday has helped me feel more focused and in control, much like my shrubs will soon be!

   That's all for now... there's a couple of other small changes I'm working on.  Mostly these involve some cleanup and organization projects that have been nagging at me for a while. Small steps so far, but I'm already feeling the effects.  Now I'm off to cross off the next thing - calling the salon and getting my hair did!  Much like my shrubs, there's some serious pruning needed! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

How's that Working for You?

  Well it's been a long time since I've blogged, or posted much on Facebook.  It's been a long time since I've done pretty much anything.  I've been in a pretty serious rut for the last few months.  And although I've had some really good "rah-rah" moments of motivation (which have usually led to optimistic blogs and status updates), the truth is that I haven't been able to sustain them for any length of time.  So now I've gained a few pounds back.  Not too many, but any at all is too many if you catch my drift. 
   In general, I've been somewhat unhappy in all areas of my life - feeling very unsuccessful and unmotivated, but not really doing anything about it because it seems overwhelming and I don't know where to start. 
   So last week I had lunch with a friend and we talked about changing things that aren't working.  And while our conversation was linked to one basic topic, I've been thinking about that good old Dr. Phil saying... "How's that working out for you?".   And then I thought about how I would feel sometimes at my old job - inundated with work and feeling paralyzed by the sheer volume of things to be done.  In that situation I always found it better to just pick something and start... usually something simple that I could knock out in a couple of minutes, even if it wasn't the highest priority item on the to-do list.  Just to break the paralysis and get my head in the game.  More often than not, taking care of some simple things helped energize and focus me so that I could successfully tackle the higher stakes things.
  So in my introspection, I realize that there's lots of little things that aren't working for me right now.  Things that are simple to change, but may have a big impact on my overall mental state.  By focusing on a couple of easy things, I'm hoping that some of the mental clutter and clouds will clear away, letting some sunshine back in!  One of those things was finally sitting down to write a blog post, so.... Mission Accomplished!
   In the next post, I'll share some of the things that I've changed, and how they relate to my weight loss journey.  Some are direct.  Others may require a bit more explanation.  But I already feel some of the metaphorical weight has lifted from my mind....and that will help me tackle losing the physical weight.  That's going to work for me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What Derek Jeter has to do with Weight Loss

   As a fan of the New York Yankees, I was happy today watching our Captain join a very elite club in baseball by getting his 3000th career hit.  During the game commentary, one of the announcers talked about how Derek grew up dreaming of being shortstop for the Yankees, and how great it was that his dream came true.  But that got me thinking.
   Derek Jeter dreamed of being the Yankee shortstop, but dreaming it wasn't enough.  He had to work long and hard to get to that goal (and yes, talent and luck, and the belief of a baseball scout when others weren't so sure).  But all in all, Derek achieved his dream - a very lofty one for a kid playing little league baseball - by putting his head down and doing the work.  Even when it was hard, and even when his dreamed seemed far away.
    And that's when I thought about something we talked about at the end of our WW meeting today.  Our leader asked us what one things we were going to do this week to help turn our dreams to reality.  Then I came home and watched this man make baseball history.  And I realized that it doesn't matter how lofty the dream, or how far away it may seem.  It takes hard work and determination.  It requires us to make choices that may feel like sacrifices, but act in service to achieving our dreams.  It means having strength even when we feel weak, and belief in ourselves and in the process even when it feels unmanageable.
   For Derek Jeter it meant endless hours of batting practice, fielding drills and physical conditioning.  For me it means planning my food choices, getting in activity, meeting the healthy guidelines and tracking.   And by sticking with it, even when it's hard, and it isn't fun, and it seems unreachable, I can see my dream of a more healthy me come true!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Home Again Home Again

I've been back from my San Francisco trip for a few days now, and most of the catch-up has been finished.  My husband and niece did a great job keeping up with the household chores, and kept my fledgling tomato plants alive and my outdoor birds fed.  Seymour the cat has been exceptionally snuggly since I've been home, and I've enjoyed every minute of it!
  So the trip itself... well I'm glad to report that I had no issues fitting into the seats on the airplane.  They were a bit snug, but not too tight or uncomfortable.  I still needed an extender, but the gap is closing, and I'd like to work on not needing one by the time I fly out to Vegas after Thanksgiving. 
  We were VERY active - the hills in the city are a good workout.  Walking anywhere included hills, and a brisk pace.  And when we weren't in the city we walked all over the place.  We went to the touristy areas like Pier 39, the Castro, Union Square and Alcatraz.  Then we went up north to spend 2 days in the Redwoods National Park areas and Muir Woods, and south to Monterey for whale watching and an aquarium visit.  On our last day we attended the Pride parade and walked around the many blocks of surrounding vendors.  I got great sleep at night, let me tell you.
   My food choices were varied - not entirely on or off plan.  I tried to be careful and make good choices where I could.  We went to the grocery store on our first day so I could stock up on healthful breakfast and snack options for the hotel room, which really helped.  I ate quite a  bit of seafood (although occasionally in the fish and chips form), and the produce out there was lovely.  I ate some of the best strawberries I ever tasted, and the overall emphasis on organic and healthy eating (especially up north) were a good influence. 
   I'll be weighing in tomorrow to see what the net result is.  I am expecting some gain, because 12 days is a long time to be out of my food "comfort zone", but hoping it will be small due to the large increase in activity.  Now July 1 is upon me, and it's time to set my mid to end year goals.  But that's another post!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

California here I come!

So tomorrow I get on a plane and head to San Fran!  I am very excited, although still having a little anxiety about the flight.  But I have magazines and puzzle books and am flying with my sister, so hopefully the time will fly (haha - get it?).

   I have a plan for vacation, and have had several conversations with my sister about what I need to do in order to succeed.  She says she is on board, but that remains to be seen.  She's sometimes better and more supportive in theory, but I'm hoping for the best.  There's a pool at the hotel, and we have lots of walking planned, so activity should be covered!  I have a solid plan for breakfasts in the hotel room, and I'm counting on lots of seafood being available for lunches and dinners.

   So I'll be offline for a while, since I'm going to use this vacation as a little bit of a tech break (except for my smartphone of course).  But I'll be back in massive posting mode once I get back.  Miss you all!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making adjustments

   I've come to the realization that I have to make some adjustments to my activity.  I've been primarily using walking (either outside or on the treadmill) as my cardio.  But every time I've tried to step it up to boost my weight loss efforts, it's resulted in some injury.  First it was an arthritis flare up that took 8 weeks of physical therapy to fix.  Most recently it's caused a particularly vicious episode of tendonitis in my left foot, which has made it hard to get sleep and to just do simple things like grocery shop. It's also made going to Tai Chi and Line Dancing a very bad idea over this last week or so.  I saw a doctor, and have some medication for it, so hopefully I'll be right as rain very soon.
   I went through a few days of moping about this latest setback, worrying about my upcoming trip - there will be LOTS of walking, not to mention those famous San Francisco hills.  But then my sister reminded me that there's a pool at the hotel, and that got my brain thinking!  I just need to change my cardio routine up to focus on non-impact, non-weight bearing activities.  Like swimming, and water aerobics, and bike riding. 

   So I went last week and got my bike all tuned up, and I've signed up for some water aerobics at the Y for the upcoming summer session.  I can also use the stationery/recumbent bike, and once the foot is healed, maybe add is some elliptical.  I believe that changing over to these activities will help me get in more cardio activity, build up strength and range of motion in my knees, and free me up to kick start my summer without fear of further injury.  And that's my plan!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Just a quickie!

Feeling good because I finally got off my lazy butt and put the bike rack back on the car, loaded up the bikes and took them to the bike shop to get tuned up.  And the best part is I can pick them up tomorrow evening, so I can use my bike this weekend... it seems like the next few days are going to continue the streak of good weather, and I can't wait to take my bike to the park for a whirl.  I think I'm going to buy an odometer when I pick them up, so I can measure my distance, even though I usually think about my activity in terms of time spent rather than miles logged.

  The last couple of days have been very good - back on track and in a more positive frame of mind. I've been tackling the to-do list again, and making better decisions.  I'm anticipating that this week's weigh in may still show the last remnants of damage done over last weekend, but what's more important is that I'm headed once again in the right direction.

  Have a great weekend all - I know I plan to!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

San Francisco looms!

  My vacation to San Francisco starts in 15 days!!  I am very excited, albeit a little apprehensive about the plane rides.  May ask my doctor about an Rx for 2 Xanax, one for each flight, when I have my check up next week.  I probably won't do it, since I'm not a huge fan of medicines, and usually a strong believer in the "just suck it up" school of thought.  But it's two long flights, in two tiny airplane seats, and my big ol' butt (BOB) is gonna be really crammed in there!

   I'm a little frustrated with myself because not only will i not meet my 100 lbs lost goal, I've actually gone backward and gained a few pounds back over the last very very very UGLY two weeks.  But the ship has been righted - I think I actually ate so much crap over the last week or so that I can't stand the thought of eating things that aren't healthy.  So I got myself a little lunchtime treat of some brown rice sushi, and bought some gorgeous strawberries and blueberries.  Going to have some roasted turkey breast with grilled veggies for dinner, and maybe some low fat cottage cheese with all my new found berries for a snack.

   I was able to enjoy some fun activity yesterday with my nephews and husband - we were playing some baseball in their backyard and some frisbee later in the day.  It was so nice to be able to be active and participate, instead of just sitting on the sidelines watching, which is what I used to do.  I think that reminder was just what I needed to put the last piece of the  puzzle back in place.  My mind finally feels really right again - and now that I've started cleaning up my eating, I'm feeling much better physically as well.  Now it's off to finish up some laundry, and then hang out in the backyard for a while taking care of my birds and plants.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stupidity and the Fear of Success

   As some of you know, I've been struggling this past week, so I've been trying to be a little quiet while I think about what's going on.  And here's something I've figured out.  Like a lot of people, I'm more afraid of success than failure.  We were at a family event on Saturday, and I wore a new dress, and I had some cute new sandals, and felt pretty good about things. Some pictures were taken, and when I looked at them, I got a surprise...  I didn't hate the way I looked.  Lots of times I think I look okay, and then have that moment where I see a picture and think "AAAAAAAAACK".  But this time, I was pretty satisfied with what I saw. 

   And then I got stupid and lost control of myself.  It started slowly, as these things do sometimes.  I started feeling a little mopey and "snacky".  Then I started feeling like I just didn't care.  And I couldn't understand why.  I've been having some issues with tendonitis in my feet, which has made getting in activity more challenging than usual, and has also made it very difficult to sleep, which I think is a major contributor to my frame of mind.  Needless to say, I gave in to the little devil on my shoulder, sometimes even when I didn't really want to.  Which is the way stupid part.  I found myself sometimes eating simply because I decided to, not because I was in the midst of a massive craving, or was overly hungry.  There were times I could have made a wise choice and still chose badly, just because.  Almost like defiance.  But against what?

  There's a part of my brain that never lets me have anything good.  Always with the criticism and the second guessing.   That part of my brain (aka the Gremlin) has gotten steadily smaller over the years, as I have made conscious efforts to be more positive and grateful about life.  But when the Gremlin wakes up, his voice is fierce and hard to drown out.  And the Gremlin had clearly decided that it was NOT okay to feel good about myself, particularly in an outfit that was outside my normal comfort zone.  And that's because the Gremlin in me is afraid of succeeding.  Afraid of not having all this "fat armor" to hide behind.  Afraid of being happier and healthier.  Afraid of living a life that will be different in many ways from the way it's been for the past 44 years. 

   But the rest of me, the bigger part of my self wants to be happy.  Wants to be healthy and wear nicer clothes and not always try to duck out of pictures.  Wants to be able to play with my younger nieces and do stuff with the older nieces and nephews.  Wants to be able to go for a walk, or get on an airplane, or do any of the dozens of little things that have been too hard for too long.

  Screw the Gremlin!

Friday, May 20, 2011

When the world doesn't end tomorrow...

  There are some people out there who believe that the Rapture is coming tomorrow.  All good souls get whisked off to heaven, some people just die with no afterlife, either good or bad, and the rest are consigned to spend the next 5 months in torment until the Apocalypse (which these same people believe will be  in October).  I'll be spending the morning attending my niece's graduation ceremony at a Christian college, so it'll be  interesting to see a bunch of people just disappear before my very eyes. A little entertainment value before the torment begins.  And no, I don't think I'm going to be one of the 3% (based on serious mathematical calculations) that gets saved.

   Now, I'm not one of the people who believes that tomorrow is the beginning of the end.  I think we're all going to have a nice Saturday, and then wake up on Sunday completely unscathed, laughing a little at ourselves for giving this idea any credence at all.  But the idea of it got me thinking about fresh starts and do-overs.

  For those who read my Facebook page, you'll know that I was upset this morning by the news of a -.6 on the scale.  Because even though my last two weeks haven't been perfect, they've been very close to being so, and I've worked hard.  And the last two weeks on the scale show me a total gain of .2, which is a virtual stay-the-same.  So I'm unhappy about it because I feel I worked harder than is reflected by this number, and had been hoping for a more significant loss to report.  When I started this blog, I wanted to lost 15 lbs to make it to 100 lbs total lost before my trip to San Francisco next month.  As of this writing, I am pretty much exactly where I was then, despite adding new activity, and following the plan basics.    So I realize the I need to go back through my trackers, honestly evaluate the effort I've been putting in, and come up with a new plan.  Because what I'm doing just isn't working, and something has to change so I can make more forward progress.

  Which is why I like the idea of the Rapture in theory.  Sunday represents a chance to start with a clean slate and try something new.  Now don't get all crazy, I'm not planning on just blowing off the days before then...for today and tomorrow I'll continue as I have while I take a breath and contemplate the new direction I need, make a plan and get ready to implement.  I already have some ideas, and can spend some quality time with myself tomorrow writing things down, planning an activity schedule, a pantry/fridge clean-out, some menus and a shopping list.  And when I wake up Sunday with the rest of the world, I'll be all set for my do-over!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Staying positive

  Last week I had a couple of days that weren't my best, eating-wise.  But I got back on track pretty early in the week, and amped up my activity, to try and make positive strides.  When I got on the scale, I was up almost a pound.  Which is fine, since I know there were some food choices early in the week that I could have definitely done better with.  And I was a little disappointed, truth be told, because I really felt like the increase in activity would have more than made up the difference.  But I took it for what it was, and moved on into this week.

  My eating choices have been good since my weigh in - right on track Points-wise, and working hard to meet the good health guidelines.  My activity this week is going to be a little lighter than last week's, since I'm paying for last week's increase with some foot and knee issues.  But by lighter, I mean, back to my normal level, as opposed to the extra high level from last week.  And I'm hopeful that this week the scale will reflect my hard work!

  And let's be honest, just between us - sometimes the scale gives a gift.  And I've been the recipient of that gift more than once over the course of my efforts.  So last week's little spank was all just part of the balancing out that happens.  But this week I want some negative numbers - and I'm doing the work to get them!   

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Support Systems

  I've been thinking lately about support on this journey.  Where to find it, how to ask for it, and what to do when it's hard to find.  Like a lot of folks, I have a hard time asking for help.  I also tried to stay "in the weight loss closet" for as long as possible, since I didn't want people's laser focus on me and what I was doing.  Because isn't that the way it is?  People who do nothing about their own weight or health issues suddenly become advice and criticism spouting experts when they can look at someone else.  And I'm not very comfortable in the spotlight, unless I choose to be there.   But I've gotten better at asking, and slowly but surely, support from outside sources has increased.
  I'm lucky to have a great husband, who is also a Weight Watcher, and who is very supportive.  He's also really willing to try new recipes and products to add into our rotation to help keep boredom at bay.  I know how important it is to have a supportive spouse, and having one who's also following the same eating plan is really helpful.  But even if he wasn't, he'd still be willing to alter his own food choices to help me with mine.  It's been a great help in allowing me to keep a "clean" food house.  It keeps temptations to a minimum.  Now if only I could forget where the Sonic is.... but that's another story!

  But I've really been thinking about support because there's been some changes lately at our meetings, and they don't feel as enjoyable as they once were.  But there's a wonderful group of people I've met there, and they've become very important to me in terms of support. Being willing to break out of my shell and talk to people was a hard step, and it's really paid off.   And the changes in the meeting are temporary, or at least that's what I'm told.  So I keep holding out hope that there will be more changes coming soon, and that they'll be positive.

  And I love the social media aspect of things.  Having this blog, being part of the WW message board community, using Facebook to connect with friends and other WW members - it's all been so amazing.  I love living in this time, with all this technology - as dopey as the "interwebs" can be sometimes, it really allows for connection at a level that's unprecedented.  It makes finding support so much easier! 

  So i try to keep in mind that even if support falls short in one place, there are lots of other places to find it.  I just have to be willing to speak up, reach out and go get it!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Back in the Swing

The past two weeks have been a little bit hectic, and now I can finally sit down, take a breath and write a little.  We had our family Easter celebration here at the house last Sunday because of some scheduling issues.  It was a beautiful day, and only got tense, uncomfortable and hostile right at the end.  That's something of a victory for my family.  Although to be honest, when it finally fell apart, it was in fairly spectacular fashion.  I had spent the week and a half leading up to the event in a frenzy of finishing up yard work, cleaning, and cooking/baking.  I did not spend too much time on myself or my plan focus.  However, although most of my activity was in the form of outdoor and indoor housework rather than weights and cardio, I did manage to keep my eating fairly on track.  Until the weekend.  I went on a 3-day bender of sorts - not as bad as it once would have been, but definitely not good. 

  After the weekend was over, I got myself back on track food-wise.  I couldn't believe how much better I felt once I stopped eating crap. And even though I was disappointed in myself for letting myself lose control, I decided to own up to it, hold myself accountable and move on.  I broke my number one rule and lost sight of my bigger goals for the sake of temporary indulgence.  And I firmly believe that the occasional indulgence is a good thing, I was eating stuff I wasn't even enjoying that much.  I've been trying to spend the last few days really looking at my behavior and trying to understand its root causes, and while I haven't come up with anything rock solid yet, I do feel that I've learned some good lessons.

   Then on Tuesday I started my new Tai Chi class.  It was challenging, and a little tough on the knees.  But I think in a good way, as it focused on the kinds of movements that I feel will help get me stronger.  I really look forward to the time when the movements come more naturally, and I can achieve the kind of flow that the instructor has (or at least a reasonable proximity, as she has been studying for a long time).  It was very soothing, but still a good workout!  A nice woman that I met at that class told me about a Line Dancing class the next day, so I went home and signed up for that one too!  I caught on to most of the moves pretty quickly, and that class was definitely a workout!  Of course, I've had "Achey Breaky Heart" stuck in my head since Wednesday, but it's a small price to pay for such a fun time!

  So I'm feeling good - routine is pretty much back to normal, and the basic frenetic activity has settled down.  I have a plan to make this week very productive in terms of activity and food choice, and feel positive about my attitude.  My focus this week will be on activity - getting at least 30 minutes in every day, in varying forms - and achieving 60 minutes at least 3 times this week.  That should be easily achievable, since I have 50 minute classes twice a week, and preface each with 10 minutes on the bike to warm up my knees. 

  Sorry this has been a bit of a ramble - next time I won't wait so long between posts, so that my focus can be a little sharper!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dreaming of Running

  There are a lot of activities that I'm interested in pursuing, now that I'm getting healthier and stronger.  Bike riding, playing tennis and kayaking (or actually, learning how to kayak) are at the top of the list.  And although I know several runners, all of whom are intensely passionate about it, I don't find it all that appealing.  Don't get me wrong, I can definitely see myself doing a 5 or 10k at some point, once I can, just because I can.  And maybe occasionally afterward for charity.  But as a regular activity?  I don't see it.  Of course, you never know.  That's what my husband once said, and now he's a running maniac!

   But lately I've been dreaming about running.  Not the sad little half walk-half shuffle thing I can do for VERY short bursts right now.  Actual, long stride, high knee athletic running.  In the dreams it's always accompanied by a feeling of "Hey, look what I can do!", and a feeling that's a cross between bouncing and flying.  I don't know what it feels like in real life, but if it's anything like it is in my dreams, I can see why people get hooked.
   These dreams are relatively new, but they come fairly often.  And like all good dreams, all real-life limitations have vanished.  My legs don't feel like lead, my knees and back don't hurt, and I have boundless energy.  This past year has been pretty interesting and exciting, as my energy increases and I'm able to do more things for longer periods of time.  The marathon sessions of yard work over the last few days (yes it's finally finished!) wouldn't have been possible just 2 years ago.  And even last year, it would have taken me longer to finish and would have required more recovery time.

   So for now, I'll still try to sometimes squeeze in a little of that shuffle-walk thing when I'm out in the park, knowing that as more time passes, my dreams of running get closer to reality.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Day Ahead

I woke up earlier than expected/planned/wanted today to the sound of my beloved Seymour throwing up all over the bed.  Which meant hauling myself up to strip the bed and get the laundry going at an ungodly hour.  But now that I'm up, and have so much extra time today, I'm in a quandary as to how best to use it.  My brain immediately went into overhaul, thinking of all the possibilities.  Which of course, total WAY more than can be reasonably done in a day.  I feel kind of obligated to continue working outside today since it's not raining, and the rain this spring has put me further behind than I'd like to be.  But I don't really want to, and I'm not good with obligation.

So now it's time to slow down and take a breath.  Have a little breakfast and make a reasonable plan for the next few days.  This will include an obligatory check of the Weather Channel so I can plan the few remaining outside chores (they are few, but sizeable). It will also include a draft To-Do... one that I can use as a brain dump to put down all the things that I want on the list.  Then I can go through it and prioritize, figuring out the best way to use my time, and mercilessly eliminating those things that are nice-to-have's but not really that important for the next few days.

Taking a breath is important.  It's the only way to get the hamster off the wheel sometimes.  And feeling in control of tasks will help me stay in control of my choices.  So now it's off to work!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Brain Freeze

   So I've been sitting here staring at the screen off and on for a few days, really wanting to write something, but not being able to figure out what I wanted to say.  There were lots of little things running through my mind, but nothing that seemed substantial enough to build an entire post about.  My thoughts seem very scattered and un-focused these past few days.  Luckily, my inability to concentrate on a coherent blog topic hasn't been coupled with an inability to concentrate on other things.  My plan-related focus is clear, and my motivation is good.  I've been experiencing an upswing in energy lately, probably brought on by the nicer weather, and by one of those laws of physics:  A body in motion tends to stay in motion.  Once I get myself up and moving and knocking chores of the ever-present To Do list, it feels like it has a snowball effect, and I keep on going.

   I've also decided to try and open myself up to a few new experiences.  The other day I decided to sign up for  Tai Chi class at the Y - I'm not normally much of a joiner, but I figured, why not?  I looked up and decided to try some kettlebell exercises to also help mix things up a little.  And last week when I was getting my hair cut, I decided that at my next appointment I would try out the "express facial" service they have that they do while your color processes.  I've always shied away from beauty or spa-like treatments, figuring they were for other people.  Who, exactly, I don't know, but definitely not for me.  But hey - why not?    And yesterday I went to Dick's to purchase some ankle weights (to help with my at-home PT exercises) and wandered over to the outdoor section and took a look at kayaks.  I've always wanted to try kayaking, but figured I was too heavy, and my mobility too limited to allow me to get in and out of the thing.  But looking at them yesterday I realized that I'm moving toward this idea of allowing myself to consider it as an activity, instead of just always assuming I can't.

   I like this idea of saying "yes", and allowing myself to consider new possibilities and experiences.  It sure beats the way I was living before, when new things seemed out of reach and scary.  I've always liked having options.  And being able to move away from the feeling of being eternally limited in my life has been energizing. 

   Spending time these last few days really thinking about these kinds of things is probably why I haven't been able to focus much on a single topic up until now.  Then I realized that this was my topic, and finally got out of my  own way!  Now it's time to get outside and enjoy the sunshine!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Thinking About Food

  At my Weight Watchers meeting this week we had a very spirited debate about how much we all think about food.  It started when a woman said she felt frustrated with the fact that she feels like she thinks about food constantly now that she's on WW in a way that she never did before.  And I agreed with her because I often feel that way, although less so as I spend more time on the plan.
  So I gave it some more thought and realized that while I do think about food more often than I used to - it sometimes feels like it's all I ever think about - I don't think about it in the same way as before.  Before my commitment to this new way of living, I thought about eating all the time.  But the choices I made were pretty mindless beyond the thought of "hhhmmmmm...what am I in the mood for today?".  Now I am more mindful of the food-related decisions I make, from recipe research to menu planning, grocery shopping and finally, eating.  Yes, I give food much more of my mental time and energy than I ever did before.  But I think it's a good thing.  And once I realized that, I stopped feeling frustrated with how often I think about food.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Great San Francisco Countdown Begins

   Okay, so....  I'm getting on a plane in 9 1/2 weeks (hey wasn't that a semi-dirty movie back in the day?) to go visit my niece in San Francisco. This will be the first time I've flown in over 8 years, and I'm a bit nervous about it.  While I'm definitely at a lower weight than I've been on any previous flight (with the exception of my honeymoon, when I was probably 25-30 lbs lighter), it's still a little nerve wracking.  My weight distribution is different than it once was, and I carry a lot in my lower belly (or the "apron" as I've seen it called") which hasn't shrunk in proportion with the rest of me.  Although it's quite a bit smaller than it used to be, so yay me!  My wish is to not need an extender, but I've used them before, so it's not a big deal.
  I would love to hit the 100 lb lost mark by the time I leave.  That would require me to lose 15.2 lbs in a little over 9 weeks.    Based on my weight loss history, that's a pretty aggressive goal - just over a pound and a half per week.  So while I'm writing this, I'm also devising a strategy in my head that I'll be committing to paper a little later on to help me reach this goal.  I'm including all the all-star elements of successful weight loss - menu planning, activity, lots of water and tracking!  I'll also be using this blog and my FB page to keep communicating, since I think it's going to be key in my adherence to the battle plan!
More to come!

Yay I made a blog!

Okay, since this is the first post it's gonna be a little rough!  This is mostly me working out how best to deliver this blog and post it to my Facebook page.    I'm stealing this idea from my friend Maureen, since I think that blogging will give me a better forum for some of the discussions I want to have.  Lord knows I'm way more talkative than a Facebook wall post will allow, and it's too hard for people to find things in the Notes section.
This blog is intended to supplement the Woobie Losing Weight Facebook page, and I'm really looking forward to sharing in more detail some of the victories and challenges I face as I continue on my weight loss journey!  Look for more (and better/prettier) posts in the near future!