Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Back to Normalish

More good news – I'm back to 291 again. So, up five pounds in two days and down five pounds in another two. Crazy body.

I'm just happy that I am still in the green on Happy Scale, to be honest.

I also have a few days left to hit my sub-290 goal. Please oh please.

In other news, my trainer canceled our appointment yesterday afternoon, but C. and I went out for some more tennis, which was awesome. I'm 95% sure I'm going to get those tennis shoes I posted about yesterday. Today and tomorrow we've got company-wide meetings with our folks from NYC in town, so... I would just like this week to be over with already, even if I do get a free dinner at Gordon Biersch out of it, and free conference lunch too! I don't think I have anything to be nervous about, but you know how it is. I'll just assume that it's part of the reason that I chose hot chocolate over green tea this morning, and a couple handfuls of jelly beans in addition to the free weekly bagel. (UGH. Unawares emotional eating at its finest, folks!)

Which reminds me, I need to finish up my trusting myself with food challenge, for which I just need to fill out the last day's form. I'm gradumatating! I'm still working on the 30-day journaling challenge, too, and I've decided to share that link here. There's nothing I wouldn't say here in this blog in that journal, but I'm addressing specific questions and I think maybe somebody might get some benefit from seeing the process of working through them? Let me know what you think!

Ooh, and I try to get a little bit of meditation in every day, even if that just means counting breaths as I try to calm my mind falling asleep. I just did this quick, one-minute session by James Stephenson, a guy that Samantha from Live The Whole suggested: Your Ideal Life. Holy cow – in it, you picture the life you want to have five years from now, and it amazed me how just one minute of doing this can feel so powerful and affirming. I have been planting some seeds for my future just recently and trying to feel as positive as possible about what I might be doing a month, a year, five years from now. The future could be very bright indeed! I'll have to check out more of his guided meditations, and as you know, I also really love the Stop-Breathe-Think website and app.

Lately I have been doing pretty well with self-care, and my morning routine is well ingrained now – mostly lovely skincare things, like a nice cleanser, eye cream, day cream, serum (I've been trying out Acure products and like them a lot so far!)... and at night trying to remember to cleanse as well, and doing a special overnight mask a few times a week, too. The night time routine isn't totally there yet, but trying to remember to do these things as add-ons when I brush my teeth for the last time of the day.

And again, I can't stress how much having a good set of clothes that is easy to wear and makes me feel good, confident, and pretty is so game-changing for me! It makes getting ready for work in the mornings so much nicer, for one thing – and sometimes, that's the only thing, isn't it?

Leaving you now feeling very positive and refreshed and just good. Goodgoodgood. I'll totally take it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ups and Downs and... Part 2

OK, folks, false alarm.

As (hopefully) predicted, my weight was well down again this morning, to 293 and change. Down about three and a half pounds overnight! This made me feel pretty correct in my assumption that the Chinese food I'd been eating the previous couple days had been problematic. #shortmemoryspan #neverforget

I drank a lot of water yesterday and the eating was pretty normal – held to my calorie goal of 1800, which included a delicious double IPA post-tennis last night. That's right! We were out on the court again, the first time since my partner was hurt a couple weeks ago. He did all right and so did I, though I did notice more aches and pains during than I have earlier in the season. Not sure what's up with that, except that I may need a new pair of tennis shoes. Mine are now two years old and so I am definitely due, and lucky for me Tennis Express is having a shoe sale, where I spotted these:



I REALLY WANT THEM. I currently have a pair of Adidas, so I know that I like how the brand fits. These are killing me.

Anyway... I ended up actually winning one game out of the 13 we played (two sets = one whole match). Final score: 6–0, 6–1 in C.'s favor, of course. Still, I was very pleased with how I played in general – hustling better for the ball, getting behind the ball better and keeping my eye on it, better control of where I'm sending it. My serve still seems to be better – I finally figured out a semi-good form that works well. We played for over an hour compared the 45-minute sessions we've played so far this season. Good stuff! We also have a trip to Pittsburgh coming up soon so that we can play on the clay public courts again, so nice!

In other news, I've been accumulating more clothes in the past two months than I have, like, in the past two decades, not even joking. OK, maybe that is an exaggeration, but I have definitely bought more clothes recently than I have in a really long time. Major reasons for this? a) LuLaRoe (especially the going out of business consultant group I found on Facebook – I had to unfollow it for a while because it was way too tempting) and b) I realized that I can fit into XXL sizes at straight stores – at least Old Navy and some of Gap. I scored a pile of black staples like cardigans and jersey dresses for dirt cheap that I love looks-wise and that feel really good on. It's kind of been a game-changer, if you want to know. It's like I am a new person, even if I haven't lost all the weight I want to yet. It's a fantastic feeling to be able to dress how you want to dress.

I've also been doing stupid (?) stuff like buying way below my current size. The main example is this pair of Sammie pants from J. Crew, which for some reason I really could not resist even though the largest size they had left was a 12. I know, I know... who the fuck knows when I'll be able to fit into them, but... they were on super sale (I actually got them for $14.99 each when I ordered them last week!) and I just love them so much. I got one in each color. I mean, corduroy! An interesting shape! I'll make them work when the time comes. And it will. See:

Sammies! SO CUTE. I would NOT wear mine with heels.

Today I am wearing a black v-neck cardi from Old Navy along with a LuLaRoe shirt (I think a Perfect T?) that I can't decide whether I like or not. Funny thing is, I've received a couple compliments on it today, and that doesn't happen too often. Part of it is feeling like the print feels a little "old" or too fussy for my taste? And that the color isn't exactly in my comfort zone. I think I might end up trying to sell it, but for posterity's sake, here it is:

Almost-fluorescent green with brown background... meh, I think? I had to change my
glasses to the torties to better coordinate – mint green looked weird with it.
And here is the classic "bathroom at work" shot as well! LOL.

It's merely a coincidence that the phone covered up most of my double chin! Seriously.

I guess that is it for now – wow, lots of fashion stuff! I always wanted to do a fashion blog but just never have. Hm... can you say bucket list item?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ups and Downs and %$# Ups

Just posting quickly today because it is the kind of day a daily weigher really %$# hates.

I told you yesterday that I was up to 294 after the previous day at 291? Today I am all the way up to 296.6, and I am all like, WTF MF??? I didn't do anything yesterday to warrant a gain like that, grrr.

Or did I? We've been eating Chinese take-out and leftovers the past few days, and even though I got a broccoli/snow pea/green bean in garlic sauce dish (excellent, by the way!) and some steamed shrimp, I can't help but wonder if maybe the sodium/MSG that stuff is notorious for caused it? I've been logging calories, and while yes I had a crappy eating day on Saturday, I totally reined it in yesterday.

So here I am, having gained five pounds in two days. Yay!

(I know, I know... not a real gain, etc. etc. but sometimes you just really need to bitch it out. I was so happy to be so close to the 280s, grrrr. GRRRR!)

To top off an awesome morning, I took our cat Callie's body to the pet crematorium before work. The lady there was super nice, but man that sucks. I'm doing my best to not respond with emotion-fueled eating today. And after work, C. and I are definitely hitting some tennis balls around.

Tomorrow's another day.

*grumble* *sniffle*

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Can I Accomplish?

Well, well, it's been a while and it's been an adventure. Various things going on, still feeling focused but amazed at how just one off day can totally ruin everything – at least, that's what it feels like, temporarily.

I was up a bit and then back down a bit, then up again this morning after a somewhat raucous evening and another skip of the gym appointment. The stars felt truly not aligned yesterday. I was tired and rushed and I couldn't be bothered to go down to the laundry room to get fresh workout clothes on. Very last minute, I texted a cancellation notice for the day. (I also cancelled my LA Fitness membership again, but that is more about preferring to support the local weight lifting-focused gym where I usually meet up with my trainer, even though the bells and whistles are far fewer.)

I actually did OK eating-wise until later in the evening, when I ended up having one beer and then another. And then I wanted to try the chili we made for today's consumption, and it was so hot that I ended up downing like six pieces of bread and half a box of Cheez-Its or something dumb like that. We are also a little more than stressed about our eldest cat's failing health and impending death, as in, it could be any day now. That makes it harder to do the right things when it comes to my health and fitness, you know? (ETA: Callie passed away just a couple hours after writing this.)

On the plus side, to try to counter that, I've been working on a couple challenges from LivetheWhole, including a 14-day Trust Yourself with Food one, as well as a 30 day Emotional Eating Journaling one. I've stuck pretty well to the action part of these and keeping up: Today is day 12 of the 14 days, and day 9 of the the 30 days. I'm not really sure what good they are doing me at this point, but I do feel that it is always good to think carefully about things that are related to the way we relate to food. If nothing else I am trying to be more mindful of what and when I eat, which is a step in the right direction.

Yesterday I was down into 291, but today back up to 294. My goal for April was to get down to 285, which now feels kind of impossible, but based on even very recent events, I know that it is actually probably still doable. At the very least I'd like to be solidly under 290 by the end of the month. According to my Happy Scale app, I still remain in the green on my monthly report (a chart that calculates your moving average as well as monitors actual weight), which is my totally ultimate goal every month – April so far is my second month straight completely in the green (i.e. going in the right direction), and I just want to keep it going for as many months as I can. Green = progress and that is all I really want, no matter how it takes to get to wherever it is I am going. See what I mean?


April is looking good – just one more week!

It's kind of funny how busy but also how lazy I've been lately. When I'm going, it's go go go, but when I have downtime, man! I have been a huge loaf. Today C. and I were going to go hit some tennis balls around to see how he feels, and/or go for a walk, but with our kitty not doing so well, we're hesitant to leave her alone in case her time comes. Instead, we've been watching tennis, movies, and basketball on TV and took an epic afternoon nap with said kitty in the middle. (They are still in bed, by the way!) Honestly, the idea of actually doing something productive sounds like a terrible idea today. I just can't shake it.

So, looking forward this week:

• Hit 285–289 weight-wise

• Get through big company-wide meetings at work on Wednesday and Thursday (ugh)

Get through our cat's likely Deal with our cat's death while doing these things

• Keep building on my exercise schedule – keep my three training appointments as well as adding other activity that I'll be doing with my partner (walking and tennis)

• Don't freaking burn out



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sea Change

Often, what has happened if I haven't posted much in a given time is that things have kind of (or definitely) derailed. I am very pleased to say that is NOT the case this time around. To recap, when I posted a week ago tomorrow, I mentioned how strange are bodies can be when I dropped a couple pounds quite unexpectedly, and I also mentioned how I was OK with likely not meeting my goal of 292 by this past Sunday. Well, at the time it did seem very unlikely indeed!

But, for whatever reason, in the past week, I've been letting go of some major poundage. Today, I weighed in at 290 and change. I did, in fact, hit my goal of 292 on Sunday.

I don't really know the exact reason why. I mean, I have largely been doing the same things as I have ever done, especially in the past month or so. I think I made an important realization last week, though. At first it was the assumption that exercise was hindering my progress, because it was during my break period last week spending as much time at home with my injured partner that the weight started dropping off.

The more I thought about it, though, I came to understand that I was eating "regular" calories every single day (1600–1800), i.e. at a deficit. Typically on workout days, I'd allow myself a couple extra hundred, and sometimes quite honestly it ended up being more. And those were at least three days out of the week! As we all know, you can't out-exercise excessive eating, so...

It seems really obvious now, but it feels like a major light bulb switched on. I simply need to eat at normal cal levels no matter how much activity I have in a day. Argh, it makes so much sense now. So I am going to try that from now on and see if that continues to help. I am obviously VERY pleased with the recent progress I have made! Essentially, I have turned back the clock to last July, which was the last time I was consistently in the 280s. Almost there!

Looking back on my history, my next "turn back the clock" period will take me to April of last year, when I last saw the 270s as a regular thing. Yes, this creep has been going on for a long time now – since Thanksgiving 2015, to be precise.

I can't tell you how happy I am that I am managing to drag myself out of this quagmire. I have mentioned in the past how many times I have lost a significant amount of weight, only to gain it back within a few months, and then proceed to gain more. A terrible, vicious cycle indeed! I have now been at this consistently for three years, and while I have gained some of the weight I lost again, I am taking control of the situation and I'm getting myself back to where I need to be.

I am very, very proud of not giving up. It would have been so easy to do that.

My message today to anyone reading is that you must never, ever give up, even if it seems like an impossible task. I am living proof.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Body Is a Strange Machine

After all that whining yesterday... and the fairly crappy eating... I got on the scale this morning and was very surprised to find myself DOWN two pounds! What??!!

As I say in the title of this post, the body is a strange machine indeed.

The only thing I can think is that it's PMS week and my hormones are being a little nutty.

Whatever the reason, I will gladly accept it and continue on my merry way. Plus, I've got my gym appointment tonight and I'll be able to stick to it! Fortunately, my partner is feeling better each day so I don't feel quite so bad leaving him alone beyond my usual workday, and he emphatically said that he wants me to go! So there.

It's been a busy, weirdo week, but it's almost wrapped up and I will be ready for the weekend when it arrives. I might not reach 292 this weekend like I had hoped last Sunday, but I will definitely get there eventually!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sometimes I Just Feel Like a Loser

WARNING: I am being really hard on myself and say some kind of harsh stuff in this post. I am just lashing out and technically I know I am not a loser, but sometimes venting in this way feels like the thing to do.

I am always honest when I write in this blog. I share all my feelings with you – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Today I'm feeling kind of dejected. Not kind of – no, I really just feel like a big, fat loser. Funny enough I actually mean fat in the figurative sense and not so much in the literal sense (though anyone looking at me would see that I am indeed fat).

Anyway. It's been a week, and we're only halfway through! I think the biggest challenge has not even been my own, but rather that my partner got hurt while we were playing tennis on Sunday, and it's been concerning, slightly stressful, and just throwing me off in general. I hate that he is suffering most of all. We both had goals for ourselves this week and the event has just thrown all that to the wayside.

We were playing some awesome tennis, actually! He was trying out his new racquet and I was finally feeling like I hit a stride with my serve. We were both playing pretty well (for us, especially me – I even won a set!) and having fun. Then, it happened: he made a valiant effort to get a ball that just out of reach and stretched a bit too far, causing him to lose balance and fall. At least, as we both joke, he was able to return it successfully! Still, though, while the damage didn't seem too bad at first (we played a few more points after that), it compounded by the time we got home and has gotten worse in some ways. He thinks maybe he bruised a rib, as his whole right side really hurts. I'll bet he also strained the muscle there. He was barely able to walk the next day, so I stayed home from work; he seemed better yesterday but still in a lot of pain, and same thing today.

As a result, for him, he's just eating and drinking whatever (bourbon helps the pain) and I am to an extent too, partially from worry. Our grand plan to drop five pounds this week seems to have gone out the window.

For me, the whole not-weighing-every-day thing failed grossly, too. I wanted to see what was going on the other day, and I actually gained two pounds, back up to 299. WAY to close to 300 for comfort, of course. Dangerously close. I tried a little harder yesterday to eat a little better, but I also stayed home instead of going to my gym appointment so he wouldn't be alone so much. The result was that I dropped back down a half pound, so good, but still... disappointing too.

Today I had a walk/run on my schedule for the morning, but because I had a couple drinks last night and didn't get to bed early enough (dumb excuse though), I didn't make it up in time to fit it in before work. I also had the intention of eating on-point, but I ended up doing Subway and not sticking to my no-cookie thing like I had planned, and ended up buying (and eating) three. I'm over my calories for the day already. (Could be worse, but still. LOSER.) After work tonight I have a meeting for my new side gig (I am Media Manager for a new, local lit publisher – part time, yo, I still have my full-time job!) and it involves free pizza, and pizza is life, so...

And maybe I am wearing leggings and stretchy clothes too much, but at least I have some nice, comfortable clothes to wear. Maybe it was a mistake to get all those comfy LuLaRoe pieces at this point? One cannot live on leggings alone. I'll wear pants tomorrow. My boss is coming in from NYC to visit for the day, anyway.

And why the heck am I bailing on my exercise schedule this week so hard? I WANT to make progress. Not doing the work = not making progress.

I have a theory on this. last week I exercised every. Single. Day. Strength training, walk/running, PT, tennis... I gotta tell you, by the time Monday hit, I was pretty tired and really happy for a rest day. And now it's Wednesday and I've done diddly-squat and it feels like shit but I still don't really want to do anything because I am tired and lazy, and, and... I'm in the "tired of fighting the fight" mode right now.

Oh wait! But maybe it is just PMS. I always forget this when I am feeling dire. I should be getting it this weekend, so that makes sense. So maybe just forget everything I've said here?

Either way, I've got to get past this and I have to keep my focus. I want to lift heavy weight and I want to run long distances. But I won't be able to do those things if I don't keep doing the work.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

No Foolin'

I'm afraid that I don't have anything to fool you with today. But it's been a while since I checked in and wanted to do at least a quick update.

I'm still playing around in the 295-297 zone, so frustrating. BUT, reviewing my data on Happy Scale, I realized that if I only weighed once a week, this rut would only be three weigh-ins long, which is not that big a deal, you know? I'm calming down a little bit about it now.

My partner and I were talking earlier about it, because he's kind of been playing with numbers about 10 pounds over me for a while – and wants to break out of there. So, this week we both set goals to lose 5 pounds each. This would take me down to 292. I know I can do it! I have the knowledge and skills! I have the determination! The impetus for this is a short overnight trip we're taking next Sunday to Cleveland, which is about 3 and a half hours away – I guess that sounds kind of silly, but it's a good enough reason as anything. We're going because a friend of mine from college is having a screening of his first feature film at the Cleveland Film Festival and I really want to see it on the big screen. It's a just-in-case it doesn't have wide enough distribution to come to our area. Plus, I haven't seem him in a good 20 years, and he'll be in attendance. (The movie is The Transfiguration, if you're curious – a vampire movie!) So anyway, it'll be nice to show up in Cleveland feeling good about myself all around. We rarely have overnight trips in hotels anymore, so it will be extra fun.

This past week was a busy one, exercise-wise. I did something every day except Monday, and all early mornings, too. (Groan – NOT a morning person at all!) Tuesday I did my PT cardio homework, which was a walk/run at W 4 min/R 1 min x 6. It went well and had no trouble with my leg, knee, or anything. Wednesday and Thursday I had early morning gym appointments to accommodate my trainer's new schedule, and Friday I had my last PT appointment! Yay! My therapist said that he was very pleased with my progress (me too!), and wrote out a 2-week walk/run schedule to follow. Then, he said to send him an email at the end of that to let him know how it went, and we'd go from there. So I'm pretty excited about that! Today I had my usual 11am gym appointment, and tomorrow will be more walk/run, with 2 minute periods of running instead of just 1... and some tennis!

I just want to expand a little bit about my experience at the gym this morning – it was fantastic. I had actually really wanted to skip for no good reason, but I got myself up and out. I was kind of hoping to do some deadlifting today, but instead Rick had me doing a bunch of stuff that would help support my deadlifts. I'm always game for whatever he has in mind for me to do, so that was fine. We did a bunch of dumbbell moves, and some callanetics and core work and things like this leg lifts variations set I often do, topped off with one of my new favorites, the supported row. I found an image of what the machine is like that I use for that exercise, see:

Image source
This guy (the machine, not the actual dude!) was the one who made me cry. Let me explain!

Rick had me do a number of sets, and it was the last thing on my workout before cool down on the treadmill for 10 minutes. Anyway, it's a cool exercise to do, and he starts me without any weight at all and adds more as I go along, varying the number of repeats throughout. You can image that after almost an hour, I was feeling pretty tired, and on top of that, I'm expecting my period pretty soon. The second I completed my last set, the gates flew open and the tears were unleashed.

Man, oh man. This is the second time I've cried after a good lift – the last time was when I achieved my 216 lb. deadlift. I'm finding this sport of weightlifting (or, as Rick came up that I like better, "power building") is quite emotional for me! I'm sure it's parts physiological, emotional, mental – there is so much concentrated effort that happens, and it's really intense! Then, the feeling of a big accomplishment, PR or not, well... all that coming together and you've got a big wonderful mess, as far as I am concerned. I kind of love it, too. Like, I really love it. I feel at home when I am lifting, and contrary to what you might think, the other folks at the lifting-focused gym I sometimes go to are super nice and supportive.

Food has been mostly OK, except for yesterday which was a big mess – the worst and most I've eaten in one day in at least a few weeks; today was so-so but not the worst. I am excited for the upcoming week and working on getting really serious along with my partner to get some stubborn pounds off.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ice Cream! Tennis!

It was a nice day today.

I finally got the ice cream I've been wanting – from local favorite Lake Effect Ice Cream. I'd never been to the actual store but really enjoy their pints from the grocery store... and I tried going there on Friday, when I took the day off from work, but it was CLOSED! Boo! But today, I went and C. came with me – even better. I had a two-scoop sundae and it was delicious and I have zero regrets. Why should I have regrets for eating delicious, quality food?

So anyway, that made me very happy. Then, on the way home C. suggested seeing if the nets were up at the courts we usually play – a nearby high school. We decided to go home first and change into our gear and grab the rackets just in case they were. Long story short: Courts were available, we played our first set of the season, and I lost 6–0. What else is new? I don't mind about losing most of the time, because I just enjoy the game and I am still learning a lot.

It was also great because I got 45 minutes of unexpected exercise in. Originally I'd planned to do my cardio PT homework – Walk 4 min/run 1 min x 5. I did it on Thursday on the treadmill, the first time running since... sometime in January! I got through the workout just fine and with no pain in my legs, but I will admit that I was sweating and I was breathing hard. It looks like I have a lot of work to do to get my running endurance back, but I will.

I keep having mixed feelings about running. Once in a while the thought will cross my mind that maybe I don't want to run anymore at all? That I am just done with it? I guess my answer to this is that I still always want to be able to run a mile or two without too much trouble. I like having that level and type of fitness and don't want to lose it. I like being able to run. I guess I really just need to NOT enter races or even try running with other people for a very long time – those are things I now realize make me feel really shitty about my abilities.

For now, I am SO digging strength training and especially weight-lifting, and now we can play tennis whenever (hopefully, at least!), and soon we'll also be hiking and taking walks. And I feel like these are all things (except maybe tennis, LOL) that right now, my body is more suited for. I've got that German/Irish peasant type bod – big arms, lots of weight around the middle, and strong by default. My trainer and I talked a little bit about competition somewhere down the line, maybe a year. Argh, that sounds so cool! I get the same kind of high from weightlifting as I do running, and I don't feel like an elephant trying to balance on a beach ball, you know? It's a much more better feeling to be in my kind of skin doing those sorts of activities. How refreshing!

Well, as I continue to lose weight, presumably running will get easier and I'll stop feeling so conflicted about it.

Oh hey, what about the weight? I'm still hovering in 295, though yesterday I dipped my toe in 294.8! I'm OK with where I am now, having been wrestling between 295 and 297 for the past two weeks. It's like de rigeur now. I will genuinely be shocked and amazed if I ever do get below that in a meaningful way. I am by no means giving up! Sometimes I think you just need to be at peace with something before you can move on to the next thing, does that make sense? I'm still making an effort, as much as ever, but I am trying to be more patient. That's a good thing!

That said, it's still hard to not focus on the numbers. I talk to my trainer about this on occasion (OK, maybe every week), and on Saturday he said to think more about gains in strength, developing better form, etc. instead – and how I am progressing in other ways.

I remembered that I haven't measured my body in a long time, turns out not since January 2016 – and shortly after was when I started gradually gaining weight, hm, coincidence? Or no? It turns out that my measurements have regressed, sadly. By inches! My measurements were close to those I took back on March 29, 2015, and wouldn't you know? I weighed about the same then as I do now. At least I am consistent! One thing I did realize looking at past numbers is that the next 25 pounds will be really wonderful to lose. I had been starting to feel really good about clothes and things at that point – it's kind of amazing how big a difference 25 pounds make, even on a body like mine.

I'm thinking about trying DietBet... more to come soon on that. I still am not sure I can deal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

216

I deadlifted 216 pounds tonight!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Argh. Argh! (And Then Put a Smile On It)

I had such high hopes yesterday for what the scale would show today.

I know the scale is not the only barometer of progress. I know that weighing every day leaves me exposed to the danger of witnessing daily weight fluctuations. I can still bitch, though, right?

Yesterday was a day where I thought I did everything right. I fasted for 21 hours. I was on my feet and working in the kitchen for a good 4-5 hours. When I ate, I counted the cals and I stayed under my 1800 calorie goal for the day. I didn't go crazy at all.

Yet somehow, the scale registered a two pound GAIN this morning.

Oh. My. GAWD. Really?

This is the second time in as many weeks this has happened to me!

So I admit it, I was a little pissy to myself after that, the whole "I'm over it" speech in my head, blah blah blah.

I decided to switch things up a bit and to NOT do intermittent fasting (IF) today. I was hungry this morning, dammit, so I had a Noosa yogurt. Damn, I love those things! Have you ever had a Noosa? It's like heaven in a little plastic (resealable!) container. Anyway. That was good. Then I remembered that I had two Subway cookies still in my desk drawer at work, and I shoved those in my pie hole. (I actually really hate that term, but it seems fitting right now.) Then, to top it all off I had several bites off of a small chocolate rabbit that also sat in the drawer.

Result? I feel totally gross now. But I sure did scratch an itch, I guess. Yuck!

Of course I logged everything and I still plan to stay at goal calories, which means that I'll be eating a late lunch (some of the chickpea curry I made yesterday) and probably very little, if anything, for dinner. I was actually thinking maybe a nice salad, but I don't know.

I guess my convoluted hope was that by eating that junk I would nudge my body into doing something else. Stupid, I know. I never said I was perfect, or even reasonable most of the time.

All this said, I am staying positive and know that this, too, shall pass. I will be in the 280s before I know it! That is something to smile about, right?

No lipstick, some pimples, tired. Smile anyway!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

On a Roll

I'm pretty excited. I've been in the 290s for about a week, and today was the second day in a row that I was 295 and change. Despite my best efforts, I haven't cracked below 295, but I bet it will happen in the coming week. Maybe even tomorrow!

I finally got back to the gym on Saturday and had a great workout that was mainly focused on upper body. I tried out a new rack and was able to lift 55 pounds over my head while standing! It felt amazing. Man, the high I get from lifting is astounding.

Today I spent a good portion of the day doing lunch meal prep for the week – for the first time practically ever! It's something that I've talked about for at least many months now, but never cracked down on it. I had some free time along with a bunch of stuff in the fridge and cupboard to work with, so I made a homemade pizza, a chickpea curry, and my favorite – sweet potato/black bean/quinoa burgers (except I used a combo of carrots and white potatoes in place of the sweet potatoes. It worked well!). I plan to have mine topped with avocado, salsa, and sour cream. YUM.

Suffice it to say that I'm really looking forward to the week ahead. I am dying to get myself back under 290...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Small Adjustments to Build Good Habits

One thing that I have been trying to do is log my food intake every day on MyFitnessPal. It was something I did without fail during my most successful time, and when it became less regular, I think my progress suffered. I mean, it wasn't the only reason, but it was probably a key one.

I am happy to say that I have logged in every day for the past 25 days. It feels good to have a little more control and be a little more aware of what I am putting into my body.

Today I am pretty proud of my eating because I really watched portions, and still felt satisfied, AND stayed under my calorie goal (which has been 1800 lately).

Here's what I had:

Lunch: Subway roast beef 12" sub with tons of veggies, pepper jack cheese, and vinegar. A bag of baked BBQ Lays. One (yes, one!) rainbow cookie (basically a cookie with M&Ms baked in).
Total = 1,105 calories

Dinner: Homemade chicken nachos – measured for the first time ever and a much more reasonable portion than I usually make (yay!). 18 tortilla chips, 4 oz. baked, shredded chicken breast, 1/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapenos (Mrs. Renfro's brand is the best!), a couple dabs of sour cream, and some fresh salsa (Jack's from Wegmans, yum!). Oh! And topped with a healthy clump of fresh cilantro. For dessert, 32 Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. Yes, I counted them!
Total = 664 calories

Weight-wise, I got down to 295.6 the other day! Very pleased with that, and hoping to see below 295 soon. Yesterday I had another good eating day (I mostly have one big meal or one bigger and one smaller meal, within the 8 hour eating window I follow doing intermittent fasting), having some of the best chili I've made and eaten along with some delish cornbread-jalapeno cheese muffins, and counting everything. On top of that, I ended up doing two hours' worth of hardcore snow shoveling! Wow, that was exhausting and I wish I had taken photos, and I figured that would net in a good loss this morning.

Alas! It didn't – just the opposite, actually. I gained two pounds! Well, I suppose it was some water retention because the skin of my fingers felt tight this morning. Definitely bloat. I wasn't too upset because I know how daily weighing goes and you have to expect these things to happen sometimes, but I tell you what, I was so excited to get below 295. Another day!

My new obsession with LuLaRoe continues and I have amassed more clothes – some leggings, but more skirts and tops, too. One thing that really is frustrating, though not much different from clothes shopping otherwise, is that the sizing seems really inconsistent in some cases. For instance, I wear TC leggings (Tall and Curvy), but all the pairs I have seem to be slightly different sizes, with one that I can't even get up over my calves! I have several Julia dresses at sizes 2X and 3X that fit like sausage casings, but the Carly dress I have that fits perfectly is an XL. To be fair, it is widely known that Carlys run large, but still. I can wear an Irma shirt and an Azure skirt (A-line) in 2XL, but the one Cassie skirt (straight) I have in a 2XL is also like a sausage casing.

I'm hanging onto everything because I am going to be able to wear them eventually, but I won't lie that it is kind of disappointing to have to wait. Still, I really appreciate the brand and how it has made me feel so different about getting dressed in the morning in the best way.

So, anyway – long story short, right? I've just been feeling so good about things lately. I'm trying to see how long I can make it last!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Now That's What I Call Progress! (Snowstorm Edition)

We got hit by the big snowstorm today! It pretty much never stopped snowing all day, so there's a lot out there. You know what that means, right? Snow shoveling, i.e. awesome exercise. I'm going to head out there shortly.

I'm so pleased that the scale read 296 today. It's such a relief to see the numbers going down again after such a long stagnancy. I feel re-energized and determined to get this done – of course the first big goal to get back to where I left off in November 2014, in the 260s. In the meantime, I'm just going to keep working on getting 10 pounds off at a time, hitting each "decade" with joy. I'm already eyeing the 280s and impatient to get there.

I'm most proud of the fact that I have not given up, even when the going got (gets) tough. Things could have gone much differently – could have been a repeat of the past when I always did give up and then gained back all the weight I lost and then some. I am rewriting the script now.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Progress

Just checking quickly to share a small whooosh I experienced this morning – was very happy to see 297.8 on the scale. I'm anxious to keep the momentum going and I'm feeling confident.

This morning was kind of crappy and I ended up not going to the gym for my training appointment. It was snowy and cold outside, and the mood in the house was not high, let me put it that way. On one hand I guess it would have been nice to get out of the house in those circumstances, but staying just seemed like the right thing to do. Eating was fine today, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing difficult. Sometimes weekends are really easy, like today, while others are more challenging. I'm even expecting my period any hour now and would expect that I'd be insatiable and wanting to eat all the wrong things.

But, this is what a little bit of meaningful progress can do.

I did end up doing about a half an hour's worth of light snow shoveling this evening, so I got some activity in.

I'm already looking forward to getting back to the 280s again! Maybe I can make it happen quickly. We'll see!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Positivity Galore

Today is...

• Feeling good because I was back down to 300 exactly this morning – and my moving average on Happy Scale is now below 300 again, something I haven't seen since early December!


Holding steady! Just get below 300 and stick there already!


• Feeling comfortable and fashionable wearing more LuLaRoe (along with my fav, totally-worn-out black shirt from J. Jill), wishing I could get a good photo but not being able to. Yes, I am probably over wearing my Fluevogs but I just love them SO. MUCH. I feel like they encompass my whole being, everything that makes up who I am, in two little boots. Also, I happened to wear at least one piece of LuLa every day this week. I guess I am turning into one of those people.

I love the big, bold graphic pattern on my leggings!
My first bathroom shot at the new office.

• Feeling excited and proud that I got a really cool part-time job offer! It won't get in the way of my day job, but it's going to be working for a fledgling magazine here in Buffalo. I haven't formally accepted the offer yet, but news flash: I'll pretty much do it no matter what, unless they asked me to work for free, which they won't. I was made the offer right at the end of the interview I had yesterday but details are still pending. Totally good vibes all around – I can't wait to make it official! (By the way, was wearing a LuLaRoe "Carly" dress, must be good luck!)

• Happy that even though this past week or two has been pretty busy and stressful at work, I hung onto my dignity and stayed calm throughout – and got the work done! I want to be a good co-worker and promote positive feelings in our workplace! I'm lucky to have such a nice group of people to work with.

• Looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend with a little weight lifting thrown in for good measure.

(The buproprion must be working wonders on me!)


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Oh, Rats!

Yesterday I had the plan to have a "good" eating day, meaning simply that I would stick to mainly healthier foods in reasonable quantities – should really be every day, but as you know, I am hardly perfect! Anyway, it started out great. I had things laid out: A yogurt and apple for breakfast, a Panera Green Goddess salad for lunch (and a cookie). I was going to keep dinner simple and just do a default chicken and roasted veggie kind of thing, but long story short we ended up getting take out for dinner and I had a big old cheeseburger, fries, and some loaded tater tots instead. Ugh. 

It tasted good and if I had planned for it, I could have totally fit it into my day with no problem (though I do admit that the tater tots was really stupid and unnecessary). But that is not what happened, and so almost as soon as I was done eating, I regretted the whole thing. I felt like total shit. Ultimately, it upset me so much that I started crying – so hard that it made my head hurt, even!

I found myself breaking into an open bag of chocolate chips and had one palmful when my partner spotted me and said, "Why don't we put these away now? Maybe you'll just gain one pound instead of five!" I knew he was right, and so I did stop there. It's really nice to have gentle reinforcements around to help out in desperate times, isn't it?

Fast forward to this morning. I got on the scale, and sure enough! Just one pound up from yesterday, 301. And I was totally OK with it, too. I felt relief. Yes, I am mad that I am back up a little bit, but I know that with a couple good days under my belt I will be heading back down again. I'm still in a comfortable place.  In fact, the other day I posted this on Facebook about my experience with weight lifting:
You know what I really like about weight lifting? I realized this tonight: It's a sport that allows me to celebrate and feel good about my body as it is now, and it lets me progress and enjoy and feel really powerful and strong. I really like running a lot, but I always felt like I was having to struggle and work against my physical capabilities. Tonight, I lifted and didn't mind seeing myself in the mirror, and I imagined myself like one of those powerhouse Olympic women lifters, from Bulgaria or something. Tonight, it was a fantastic feeling to not have to wait to lose more weight to feel better about my physical being. It was a real "Aha!" moment! 
That said, I still plan to go back to running, but I want to continue building my strength and losing more weight before I put myself through that again, so that I can run strong and (hopefully) without injury. Stay tuned!
It's a truly amazing feeling, to be OK with my body right now. I have noticed that I walk straighter and with more confidence. I have fun dressing again – I feel like my clothes are really reflecting who I am and what I represent. I am proud that I am big and strong. So yes, I definitely want to become leaner, but in the meantime, I'm appreciating how much my body can do. When I was running regularly, I sometimes felt the same way, but too often I felt reminded of what my body cannot do, and that was beyond frustrating.

But, on another frustrating note, I had an outfit that I'd planned to wear today, which included a skirt that I haven't worn since sometime last year. I never really imagined that I wouldn't be able to wear it, but surprise! It will barely go over my hips and belly now. Ack. I should have figured, I suppose, but I think that I just don't realize how much smaller I had really been with those extra 30 or so pounds off. Fortunately, I had a backup skirt that does fit, but I was really disappointed to not be able to wear the one I wanted.

More reasons why, right?

Keep on keeping on.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Random Thoughts

I feel like it's been a while since I wrote a substantive post, and I have lots of thoughts but maybe thoughts that don't necessarily segue into each other super well. Enter the bulleted list!

• I don't know how or what to eat today. I'm doing Intermittent Fasting (IF), and while I could technically start eating now (or even hours ago, to be honest), but I'm holding out until at least noon so that my window extends to 8pm... but that's not even great because my gym workout tonight goes until 8. Really, it would be best for me to hold off eating until 1pm so that the window ends at 9, but OMG I am really hungry now. Argh.

Possibilities for the what, for a big lunch: Panera Green Goddess salad and a sprouted grain roll, a Noosa yogurt, an apple, maybe something else since I'll have the calories for it. Another possibility is less healthy maybe, but would definitely tide me over and through my workout: a Subway footlong, either a meatball (not-so-good for me) or a roast beef (better for me), with baked chips and maybe a cookie if it fits (and it would, maybe even two). Argh. I'll run some numbers in MyFitnessPal and see what works best.

• I have officially given up running for a while – not permanently, mind you. I've really been enjoying my strength training workouts, especially heavy weight lifting, and I've even been enjoying my PT appointments. I'm really into the idea of getting myself in way better form and with way more of the right kinds of muscle strength for my future foray back to running. This means: Losing at least 20-30 more pounds and maybe even 50 (which is what my trainer has been suggesting), and continuing the workouts I've been doing. Obviously we're talking months before I'd want to step back to it, but I am oddly OK, even excited about it.

I just really got sick of feeling like a failure when I ran. I mean, I always did the best I could, but it always seemed to me that my best still wasn't good enough to keep up with friends and really enjoy the social aspect of it. I also like running solo, of course, but again – it always feels SO HARD and I was getting really frustrated at the lack of progress I was feeling since last summer.

I know that even when I lose more weight, running will still not be easy, but it will be easier in many ways. No doubt I will have the ability to run faster by virtue of the weight, and I will have fully prepared muscle groups. When I go back to running, I want to go back strong and excited for it! Right now, I am excited about taking an official break from it and focusing on other things.

• I got sucked in the world of LuLaRoe. I'm not sure how it happened, because I'd seen posts about it Facebook before, but always ignored them. I guess it was my online friend Emily who finally got me looking more into it and discovering the range of fun leggings they offer – I got one pair, and that was it. I now have, shall we say... several.

Lots of people really hate LLR, which I totally get – there are a number of reasons why you may not like the line, or the way the company operates. But for me, it has really sparked a renewed interest in getting dressed and having fun with it, not to mention feeling really comfortable. (Note: Do NOT wear LLR every day, because you will not realize when other clothes might be getting tighter, LOL!) I don't mind the claiming process or the way things are invoiced. I enjoy hunting for patterns or colors I like that are also in my size. (That's another thing that many people dislike.) I'm also branching out into other pieces of clothing they offer besides leggings. Today I am wearing a lovely A-line skirt (called "Azure" in LuLaLand) with the really-hard-to-find black leggings and I feel so good – it's just really comfy clothes in the fabrics I really like, those kind of slinky synthetics that drape your body? I have a J. Jill shirt like that and I've worn it to death, and despite that I still wear it because it is so freaking comfortable and makes me feel like I look good.

Of course nobody's perfect, so some of the things I don't like about LuLaRoe are that some of the pieces fit me just fine, and others don't. I'm 5'8" and right around 300 and have no problem wearing their "Tall and Curvy" leggings. I have the Azure skirt in a 2XL and feel like I might need and XL soon. But I also have two Julia dresses (a short sleeved, form-fitting, knee-length number) and first tried a 2X – fits me like a sausage casing. I got a 3X next, but it seems to fit about the same as a 2X. But, I am keeping both because I am losing weight and know I'll be able to wear them comfortably not too far down the line.

I want to try other dresses too, but have a feeling that aside from the free-flowing Carly, they'll all be about the same, fit-wise. That said, I'll have something to look forward to, right? Still, LuLa, come on! You can serve the plus size population a little better than that.

As a result, I am totally becoming a skirt and dress girl again, which I love. Here's a crappy photo showing my Azure skirt and elusive black leggings! (Oh, and of course – the Fluevog boots!)

Just showing off the pretty pattern and color! And my Fluevogs...


• I'm still hovering right around 300 – 299.4 yesterday, 300.4 today. I expect I will be firmly into the 290s this week – at least, that is the hope. That is what I am aiming for, like however many days in a row of a 29- number on the scale! I got this. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Finally!

I finally got myself below 300 today – just. 299.8, and I will take it gladly! Now, to keep it off and take more and more.

Also, I bench pressed for the first time today and I was able to do 80 pounds.

Rock.

Monday, February 27, 2017

I'm still here!

Once in a while I hit a lull in the old blogging, and I guess February was the month for it!

Well, I am still here and actually, things have been going well since we last left off. I've been working with my trainer consistently, and even though I had a "bad" eating week just after my last post, I recovered in time not to do too much damage. I was back up to 308, weight-wise, but motivated enough to turns things around AND keep up on my exercise. Today I came in at 301, a number I have not seen since December. It feels good! I am finally back in a good eating frame of mind, trying to get in more fruits and veggies, and watching portions. Generally I have been doing Intermittent Fasting (16:8 or so) and that's working out fine.

I'm not doing anything hardcore or absolute (except maybe the strength training). I am just taking it day by day and seeing how well I can do without thinking too much about what lies ahead.

I do really hope to be sub-300 by the end of the week, though! I got to see 300 even on Saturday, post-workout, which was very cool. I knew it wasn't a true weight, of course, but still. It definitely buoyed my spirits.

Keeping it short for now mainly because I have also been pretty busy lately! Will be back with more soon – just know that I have been at this for almost three years now (May 2014), and I haven't given up on myself as I have done so many – too many – times before. I love that.

(Oh, and PS – my trainer said that once I hit 280 again, he'll have me working on the real barbell instead of the trap bar! Exciting!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Still Feeling Good

Two days into the week and I am still feeling good.

Today is, of course, Valentine's Day, but I've never been one so big on it. At my house, we're going to split a Whitman's sampler (my share over several days, no worries!), and I'm making homemade heart-shaped pizzas for dinner! In advance of this, I had a Panera Green Goddess salad that was very delicious but happened to be missing the chicken – not a disaster, of course, but I was looking forward to the protein. (Yes, I chatted with their customer service and got credit for a free something or other next time, so that is good.)

I really do feel like I have a much better handle on food lately. Again, I don't know if it's the medication or a mind shift, or both... I'm riding this wave with a big smile on my face. It just feels good to not be so out of control, you know? I was getting desperate.

This week I have regular activities planned, as ever:

Monday: Training with Rick (mostly upper body strength, and some core)

Tuesday: PT (lunges, squats, ladder work, bridges – I was sweating!); I also took about a 15 minute walk at lunch

Wednesday: Training with Rick (probably more of the same in variation)

Thursday: REST

Friday: PT exercises, plus a walk

Saturday: Training with Rick (ad infinitum)

Sunday: PT exercises, plus a walk (maybe go to the gym?)

Today at PT – oh, it was pretty great! I am now down to once a week for the next couple weeks and it sounds like next week he'll be letting me do some run/walking. He had me do a little test today involving the agility ladder (see photo). This was really fun because I got to do a little bit of "running" – the first go through was a step from each foot in each section; the second was one foot in each section (like regular running). I had to go up and down the ladder three times for each variation. It was a little tiny workout that had my blood pumping for sure! Apparently I passed, right, with the modified schedule? Yeah! I am blown away by how quickly Steve helped me through this, and how much stronger he is making me for running. So great!

(Also a shout out to PT student Jessica who worked with me a bit today! She was very nice, and made me feel great. At one point she told me that I was her inspirational quote for the day – "Just everything!" she said. I had been telling her my story. Also, she couldn't believe I was almost 47, which is always nice.)

photo source
That said, on that little bit of a walk today on lunch break, I realized how much of that kind of fitness I've lost a bit. Sure, I've been going to the gym and doing short bits on the treadmill, but it's a whole different thing when you're outside walking. I felt a little discouraged, but at the same time it was great – just to keep on keeping on, not giving up on myself at all.

I'm just soaking up the positivity my own being is generating over here. 

Even better is that Friday is a designated work at home day, since our office is moving to a new location (I get my own office, wow!), AND holiday on Monday! I'm so looking forward to it.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Good Week!

Finally, a good week to report about. I still don't know if it's the medication I am now taking that's made such a dramatic difference in my mindset, but whatever it is, I am happy. I feel much more even-keeled, much less food-obsessed, maybe a little less anxious and definitely less depressed, if at all.

As a result, I:

• Ate fairly well, or at least had an easier time balancing the good and not-so-good stuff, i.e. I had a donut one day, I had a couple chocolate bars, I had a large take-out lunch yesterday, etc. but I didn't really go overboard overall (though I definitely ate more than I really needed to once or twice, and I felt it).

• I lost a few pounds after being up to 308 at the beginning of the week.

• I had a busy week of activity!

Monday: Training with Rick at the gym (these always last an hour and usually consist of about 15 minutes warm up on the treadmill and the rest in various strength training activities)

Tuesday: Physical therapy. I'm usually there for just under an hour, not constantly doing exercise but probably a good 30 minutes of it. Includes things like stretching, step-ups, squats, lunges, ladder work.

Wednesday: Gym

Thursday: REST

Friday: PT

Saturday: Gym

Today: PT exercises and a 15-20 minute walk, plus housecleaning

This coming week looks about the same. I'm excited to keep up the momentum and finally get below 300 again soon. I'm also really digging feeling strong and happy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What a Difference a Day (or Two) Makes

Today for the first time in a long time I had a relatively easy time waking up a little earlier than usual so that I could take a bath before work. As I went through my routine, I realized that my mind felt a little clearer, a little less grumpy... to be honest, I felt very positive, almost Pollyanna-like!

I've only been taking my new meds for less than a week, so I don't know if they are already having this effect on me, or if it is wishful thinking, or just my own "bootstrapping" or putting my big girl panties on... ugh, I hate that phrase. Whatever it is it is a welcome change and I hope it lasts! It's good to have a nice day that comes from within, you know?

Monday's evening workout was fine, but I was definitely feeling a little agitated, grumpy, I don't know. I was feeling really resentful of my body and hated that there were so many mirrors around to avoid. I know, this is a terrible way to be. Sometimes I am fine about it, and sometimes I just don't want to deal with the reality of what it is right now, is all. You know?

I am glad that I have two places where I can go to work out – one being the small gym where I usually meet up with Rick that is more weight-lifting focused, and the other being LA Fitness. We were at LA on Monday and it was crowded and we were trying to be discreet about our training, which makes things weird for me – he's not a trainer at LA anymore and technically he's not supposed to train people there independently, which I get. On the other hand, we're both paying members so I kind of don't see what the problem is if my friend (which Rick is) guides me through my workout while he does his own thing as well. Anyway. I'm one of those people who feel uncomfortable when rules aren't being followed (even though I am totally anti-authoritarian, by the way), and it just causes me anxiety. So we'll see how it goes tonight at my next session.

PT was GREAT yesterday and I am so glad that I decided to go back. My leg feels greatly improved and it sounds like I might not need many more appointments – Steve (the PT) said to wait and see how Friday goes and he'll decide what's next. I do know that he won't be letting me run the Shamrock Run in early March ("You can walk it," he said), so... well, I doubt I could have run the whole thing anyway, being an 8K and all. Fortunately, it is a very walker-friendly race. I am still feeling optimistic.

The third leg of this stool is my eating, of course. And so far, on day 3 of trying to shift back into a good place, things are going well. I'm logging food and trying to make better choices and trying not to get caught up in binge behavior and it's been fine. So strange how some days (weeks, months) can be SO HARD and others can just not even have to be thought about. Some things I have in mind for the coming however long:

• Getting back down below 300 pounds (6 to go right now) and staying there. If nothing else, just don't break that threshold again, no matter what. That's my focus right now. Then I'll move to what comes next.

• After a break from weighing, I realize that monitoring it on a regular basis is a helpful tool, as long as I can keep my emotions in check, which I generally can. It's too easy to bury your head in the sand and ignore the reality of how much weight is coming back on (though of course you can also tell by the way your clothes fit, which is very effective, too).

• My hair is driving me nuts today. I'm not sure why! I washed it this morning and I thought it would end up looking nice and feeling good, but the opposite happened. I just don't like the feeling of it on my head today, which sounds weird but it's the only way I can describe it.

• I need to remember that the key to the success I am looking for is to keep going. Looking back on things overall, I have had the tendency to slack off a day right after, say, a good week. Then that sets up for falling back into bad habits. So moving forward, I need to remember how important this is. No resting on laurels anymore! Keep doing the work!

• I love meditation, even just in the small doses I've been practicing (5–10 minutes at a time). I take it with me everywhere I go, if you know what I mean. I can always pull it out when I need some mindfulness or to de-stress. I'm going to continue expanding this practice!

Monday, February 6, 2017

One week later...

Well, it's been quite an extraordinary week. But not in a good way. It's been pretty tough, to be honest. I am just grappling with/against myself so much – feeling good about getting a label on what's been going on with me (major depression) and starting to take meds for it (no side effects, yet!) – but also having that cripple me a bit, too. I'm holding onto it for dear life and I'm not sure why.

So this past week I took a break from everything. From the gym, from PT, from worrying about calories, from caring about a lot of things. I took a personal day off work on Friday. I needed it.

I basically wallowed a lot in nothingness.

Over the weekend I was getting a little bit sick of it and took little steps toward positivity and taking care of myself in the way I need to. Just stuff like going to the grocery store and cooking meals, cleaning in bits and pieces – doing laundry (not last minute!), cleaning out the medicine cabinet, making the bed each morning, stuff like that. It doesn't seem like much as I type it out, but at the time it felt like I was busy and productive. I guess that is how deep I was.

OK, I did go to the gym on Wednesday. I dragged myself there and I told Rick I didn't want to do anything. He put me on the treadmill for my easy walk warmup (15 minutes) and by the time I was done with that, I felt a little better. He had me focused on upper body with dumbbells, and (since I was doing them in PT) some squats, too. While doing those he reminded me of back when I first started doing those under his training and how I needed to be near a bar for stability, and now how strong I am. That felt good.

I'm going back today for my regular Monday appointment after work, and I've determined to go back to PT, too. I've been going back and forth about my feelings about running but I think that has been more about the depression creeping in with its negative thoughts rather than really not wanting to do it anymore. It's been easy to get down on myself about it, but the truth is I really miss doing it regularly and improving steadily. I was on a real roll there last spring in particular! I can get back there, and beyond.

Oh, and I've been wearing LuLaRoe leggings an awful lot lately, which is not really good when you want to lose some poundage – your clothes always feel comfy! I wore pants today fresh out of the washer and... they are the tightest they've been in a long time. Thankfully they have a little stretch so they're not uncomfortable, but to me this really says, "Move it or lose it!", i.e. do something NOW so that you don't outgrow your friggin' clothes, girl! I can outgrow them if they fall off me, but not if I'm bursting out of them. I wanted to feel good about myself today, so I wore a comfy black jersey shirt, the black pants, and my Fleuvog boots. If I feel confident in my clothes I will have a better day. It's just a fact.

I'm just trying to hang on to myself, more or less.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Lately.

Since I last wrote, I have mixed feels. On one side, hopeful and grateful; on the other, completely devastated and ground down and unable to do anything.

I told you that I scheduled an appointment with my GP on Friday. Well, I went, and I am so glad I did. That man, Dr. Sonjoy Singh, is one of the most compassionate and kind and supportive people I have ever encountered and I feel so very lucky to have him on my side.

Basically, aside from the weight gain, it was all pretty good news. My blood pressure is still a bit high as I suspected, but nothing was said to me about it (Well, the nurse said, "Not too bad!" It was 140/80, if you were curious. When I was in the 270s last time I was at the doc, it was completely normalized in the 120s). My blood work was still all in the normal range! I was really happy about that and felt lucky more than anything. One thing that was noted was that my thyroid levels were borderline low, so doc wants me to have another blood test in about three months to see if it's just a blip, which is often the case, or something that needs to be looked at more closely. He said that it is something that could be contributing to weight gain and depression symptoms... though since this is the first time it's shown up, maybe not. I guess we'll see!

Another thing that we talked about was my depression as of late, which includes my frustration and sadness about my weight gain, and what to do about it. For the first time maybe ever I am relieved to have been prescribed medicine that I will take on a regular basis – he is trying Bupropion on me, to treat both the depression and to possibly aid what I described to him as a "voracious" need to eat lately. Bupropion (also known as Wellbutrin) has been known to give you a little more energy, lift your mood, and for some people, diminish appetite. So I'll be really interested to see how it works for me and will keep you posted once I start taking it tomorrow.

That gives me hope, like a little yellow life raft in a big, raucous sea of chaos and stress. I won't go into it here, but there are several factors (including things much bigger than you and me!) contributing to this and I have more or less just been trying to hang on to my sanity.

In fact, when my doctor first walked into the exam room and asked cheerily how I am doing, it took all of a minute for the waterworks to start. I didn't really know how much I'd been keeping locked up inside me – basically I've been trying to hold myself together, like I said. So when I felt like I was really able to open up to someone and be completely honest about how I was doing, well... I bawled for several minutes while he listened patiently.

We ended up having a great chat and I left the office looking somewhat forward to the next three months, and what I could potentially achieve for myself during that time. Thank you, Dr. Singh.

Physical therapy was going well. My leg has been mostly feeling better already. But the very early morning appointments are killing me, and with the other stuff going on in my life right now I just can't do it, not this week anyway; same with gym appointments. So my plan is to continue doing the PT exercises I've already been given on my own, see how I feel next week... and I may try to meet up with Rick on Wednesday just because. But today, I just can't do it. It was triumph enough to get myself up and off to work. I feel totally flattened.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Poison



Listen, things have felt impossible lately. Truly. I've been so frustrated with myself, but apparently not enough to really try to change how I've been behaving.

I guess I will start with the positives, because there are some:

• I started going to PT to get my leg fixed up. Turns out it's my hamstring and probably the sciatic nerve causing me trouble, so it'll be appointments twice a week for 4–6 weeks. I'm so grateful it's not something more serious. I've only been to two appointments so far and already the exercises (stretching and strength) are kicking my butt – but also making it feel better, too! I also asked Steve, my physical therapist, whether it is just ridiculous for someone like me (i.e. my size) to even try to run or do the things I want to (like the half marathon in October). He said, no, definitely not, but that it would really benefit me to continue to work on my fitness, and that yes, weight loss would help (though he seemed hesitant to say that straight out despite my encouragement, that was the gist). And that I have to train smart, of course – NOT overdo it like I did at the Winter Warrior race. It's obvious that six miles, whether walking or running, whether divvied up into two segments, was just too much for me at that point.

That made me feel better. Kind of. It means I am in control of my fate – which I suppose is always true, but still.

• I got my blood drawn for testing ahead of my annual physical with my GP tomorrow. Hopefully the test results come in before my appointment. I am really curious to see if things have taken a backslide and if so, how much. It is my hope that a chat with the doc and some cold, hard facts might not snap me back into taking better care of myself again. I have a feeling that my blood pressure will be up again, just because of my stress levels affected by things at home but also in our cruel, cruel world. It is no secret to anyone who knows me how freaked out I am about the turn of events in our country. It's a lot to worry about! It's true that I have kept up with a decent activity level, and that I meditate pretty regularly these days, but I don't know if that's enough to counteract the other factors and my poor eating as of late. I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

I'm not sure what else to say about what's going on with me that won't sound like rehash. It's just all rehash of the crappiest crap I have posted about before. Weight-wise, I'm probably headed straight for 310 which pisses me the F off.

Ha! I say it like I am an innocent bystander who has no control of the outcome. I also say it like it's inevitable and even permanent.

It's not! Of course it isn't. I don't want this for myself, and I can stop it.

Here's why I want to lose weight again, not gain it:

• I don't want to outgrow my clothes. I refuse to buy bigger ones again, and I already tossed all my too-big clothes. (Smart move, I'd say!!!)

• I. Want. To. Run. I want to run more easily and safely and fun-ly.

I don't have to lose 100 pounds to have these things. At this point, losing just 20 pounds would put me in a good place. 20 pounds, if I do things right, would just fall off me.

That's why this is all so ridiculous. Every day I have a choice to make about how I am going to treat myself, how I am going to honor my body. Lately, every day, I choose crap and I choose to (what feels like) poison myself. I stuff myself beyond what my body needs.

I'm really not sure what it is going to take to get back to a good place again. I'm really hoping the support of my doctor will help. I will continue exercising at least 3–4 times a week, and I will continue meditating and trying to calm myself the F down already.

Please, will you think good thoughts for me? If you regularly read but never comment, I sure would appreciate a shout out today. Thanks in advance, my dears.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Help Yourself

I'm trying to help myself out of this murderous slump.

Step one: Made a doctor's appointment for my annual physical – I had one last year in April, but didn't go for my follow-up in October. (oops!) Not "oops". I did that intentionally because I was embarrassed that I gained more weight. Well, fuck that now. I should have gone. Maybe I wouldn't have gained even MORE weight like I have. Maybe I need to feel a little embarrassed in front of my doctor, who has been so supportive and awesome the past couple years. So yeah, I made an appointment for next week.

Step two: Make a PT appointment. I filled out the on-line form for the guy I have heard countless amazing things about from fellow runner friends. This knee-now-leg thing is worse today, so that stairs are quite painful. Enough! Until I can see him, I'll rest and/or adjust my workouts so that I'm not doing more damage to my leg, which means no running. Not even walking right now, to be honest, because it hurts that much. &%$#!!!

Step three: I picked up my new talisman, an old cross country team hoodie from high school, from a former teammate last night (thanks again, Nanette!) Surprisingly, I could actually get the thing on!

At left, from the team yearbook photo in fall 1984 – me on top, Nanette below. (She doesn't have the same
hoodie on in that photo as the one she gave me, how funny!) I was originally #12. 11 is just fine. 

There is something about having this that makes me so happy. I tend to hate on my hometown a lot, but things like this – and the limited memories I have about being on the team – remind me that I had a pretty good time and place growing up in many ways. That team had the best coach and the best teammates. Even back then I always came in last, but they always, always had my back and made me feel good about what I was doing. You know, I wasn't fat back then (though I thought I was), but running was just about as hard for me as it is now. I was just never particularly athletic, despite my best efforts. 

Step four: Find ways to stay active without hurting my leg more. I have plenty of options. I'll still meet with Rick twice a week and we'll do modified workouts. I can go swimming. I can do upper-body focused stuff or even seated workouts! I can do stretching!

Another photo at Winter Warrior that popped up since my last post about it! Photo by the lovely Barb Boutillier. 

Step five: Remember the joy I experienced getting back out and doing a big race like the Winter Warrior, and how bad ass (or stupid???) it was to be out there despite frigid temps pushing myself out of my comfort zone... I just need to remember that I have limits, and that that's OK. I have to do right by my body and where it's at now, even if that means NOT doing all the things I want to do at the moment. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Feeling Low

You guys, I've been having a super hard time so far in the new year. I had such high hopes for myself, and it's like I've headed in the totally opposite direction. The one thing that has been fairly consistent is exercise, but I feel like that has been slightly curtailed because my stupid knee has been bothering me again since the race.

Let me talk about that a little bit more. I am glad that I challenged myself to doing what I did, but looking back and knowing how things turned out well, I'm sorry that I felt like I had something to prove – to who? I guess mainly myself but truth be told to everyone else, too. 300 pound woman CAN run and do races! You know?

But all I ended up doing was hurting myself. Ever since then my usual knee has been bothering me more intensely again. It's in a different way than it used to – more in the back than at the top – but it is still bothersome and discouraging. I'll be honest. I really, really don't want to go back to physical therapy. It's time consuming and hard and tiresome and... ugh. I know I sound like a baby but it's how I feel. So I've been trying to take it easy and haven't run since Wednesday. On Saturday I did have a gym workout, but Rick took pity on me and it was a lot more easy-going stuff and talking things out than anything. In fact, I ended up crying about half the session. I told you, I'm having a really hard time! It all came rushing out that morning!

My eating has been, frankly and in a nutshell, shitty. One of the things that Rick and I talked about was what I needed to do to get a better handle on that, like meal planning and prep, and smart shopping. If it's not in the house, I can't eat it! I also talked about my issues at work and sometimes getting out of control there if I don't bring my own lunch. I can really be my own worst enemy and end up with twenty dollars worth of fast food that makes me feel like total and utter crap. There are many days when I make much better decisions, like walking to Panera for a salad, but man. My mind was really not in the right place last week.

I haven't gotten on the scale in at least a few days, and I am scared to. All I can do right now is try to get hold of myself and do the best I can each day. I can check in with my partner about lunch when I am at work, and I know he will be encouraging and supportive to do what is best for me. That will be the biggest challenge.

It's been a long time since I have dealt with such down feelings for this long a stretch and I am not sure what I should do about it. I've been toying with the idea of seeing a therapist but at the same time I'm not sure if I want to go there. I'd like to work things out and maybe see this as a chance to think about what things I do (and eat!) will make me feel good and go from there. I understand that if I am really dealing with depression, it's not something I can just pull myself out from on my own – I guess I just want to wait and see.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Notes on the Struggle

I suppose it is not unusual for me to tell you in this blog that I have been having a hard time. But when I really am having a hard time, everything feels impossible and horrible, and that's what I've been going through especially in the past couple weeks. Basically, I'm my own worst enemy these days.

The one difference this round is that I am working through it anyway. As in, I'm getting out there and getting the work done, when it comes to the physical stuff. I'm doing the best I can (mostly) with the food and eating, but I am basically kicking butt when it comes to the activity part. Ever since Rick challenged me to dedicating myself to six days a week, I have been on a mission to make this a "full time" endeavor. This was based on a convo we had the day of my half marathon relay race, during our session together earlier in the day (the race started at 4pm), where he was saying that at that point, I was doing it like a part-time job, maybe 30 hours (metaphorically). He wanted to see me at full time. That really stuck with me and got me very motivated. So full time it is as much as I can. As I have mentioned before, my schedule now includes three days of running and three days of cross-training (two days with Rick and one day on my own).

Representing the Fleet Feet with the splatter! Also, glasses pretty much always fogged up.

I've been enjoying the challenge and pushing myself out of my comfort zone a bit – of course, not so much as to hurt myself! This past Saturday was the biggest example of that when I did two 3.3 mile legs of a half marathon relay with my friend Amy F. First of all, I haven't done that many miles on foot in a while; second, it was really, really cold – in the teens (degrees F) cold. One advantage I had was that I did legs 1 and 4, which meant I had a good hour and 20 minutes or so in between while Amy did her two legs in a row, and I got to hang out in a warm car for most of that time. BUT that still didn't negate the difficulty I had finishing. In fact, when I came in after the first leg, I told her that I wasn't sure I could do another one, and I really meant it.

Once she came back in, though, I felt determined to complete what I came to achieve and not disappoint myself like I did back in July at the Tuscarora 10K (DNF) – see, I still dwell on that! Never again unless I am really hurt, I tell you what. No more DNFs if I can help it. So, I strapped on the relay bib and made my way to finish the last leg. By that time it'd been dark for a while, but the course was well-lined with enthusiastic volunteers, and since it was in a business park, it was mostly well-lit, too. I had finally got my music to work (I ran without on the first leg, much to my disappointment) and I was just ready to get it done so that we could all go someplace warm and eat and drink to our heart's content. I was definitely slower the second time out, but I did run/walk both times and still fell well under the recommended 18:00 pace to complete the race in the time allotted. It turned out that the race had plenty of walkers participating, so I was in good company.

Long story shorter, I finished. I finished! I did 6.6 miles total. I cried at the end! Drama! Excitement! Etc. etc.

Finishing up the first leg at just under 55 minutes, which is right around what I expected. (photos by Barb Boutillier)

The next day, I could almost barely move until much later in the evening. Oh, my aching bones. By Monday, I felt relatively normal again. I had my usual appointment with Rick even though I really didn't want to go. On Tuesday, I had a rough morning for various reasons and ended up taking a sick day from work; but I ended up going to the fancy gym I used to go to as a guest of an old friend after much napping and much hemming and hawing about not wanting to go because I felt so shitty (mentally, physically, everything). After texting my friend a bit, I decided that going to the gym would definitely make me feel better, so that's what I did. (And yes, I felt really good afterward as predicted.)

Me and some of my gals! (Clockwise from center top: Amy F., me, CeCe, Angela, Kathy, and Ginny! Angela and Ginny did the whole half marathon on their own. Kathy was part of a team and CeCe (Angela's daughter) was our support gal!)

I'm making what feels like some progress, even if it is just doing the work, you know what I mean? Yet I have still been beating myself up massively. I've been really mad at my body for being what it is, to be honest. Yes, I know that on one hand my body is super amazing and can do lots of cool things, but all I seem to be able to focus on lately is all the things about it that I don't like and all the resentment I have for the way that it can't perform – like not being able to run faster, or having a very big belly that gets in the way of many things and just looks stupid (sorry, I know it sucks to say that but I am being totally honest here!) and bounces too much, blah blah blah. I feel like it has been impossible to lose weight lately. I am still hovering just over 300 pounds.

(Rick did tell me to stop using the scale to measure my progress, but it is a hard habit to break! He said, no scale for January except a food scale! Have I listened? Not as much as I should. When I see a gain, it pisses me off and throws me off track, and when I see a loss it makes me lose focus a bit for some reason – hasn't always been like this but has been lately. It's poisonous.)

It occurred to me after reading a post on the blog Runs with Cookies (see sidebar) that I might just be dealing with an acute bout of depression. It all adds up when I think about what my frame of mind has been and how I've been feeling both mentally and physically. I've been here before and I have been doing all the right things to battle it, so there's that. I am aware and I have support.

OK. Let me leave off with two positives for you. I had so much fun going to the gym with my friend (awesome treadmills that function well, and with TVs even!, unlike the ones at the little gym where I meet my trainer) that I looked into what kind of deal I could get to rejoin. I scoured my email archive and found a "We want you back!" email from last year that offered no initiation fee and just $20 a month, so I tried out the link – wouldn't you know it still worked? Now I have a place to go for fitness classes, a pool!!!, and all the machines I could want again. It will be nice to have yet more options as I battle various weather and other potential obstacles. I'm very excited.

The other good thing continues where I left off telling you about setting up my yoga/meditation space upstairs. It is still in progress, but I am more and more happy about the prospect of having it and the various things I want to have in it. I'm going to get some mala beads and some new incense and create my altar... I'll have rugs and pretty things and it will be my refuge. I'm going to try to finish it up this long weekend ahead. Namaste!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

7 in 2017

One of my favorite (fitness? sport?) bloggers also happens to be an old zine friend of mine – back in the day we both self-published these little photocopied things that we'd mail out to people before we had things like Facebook and blogs to connect with the world. Her name is Caitlyn and she's very inspiring to me. Her blog, Fit and Feminist, is a great read and she has been racking up accomplishment after accomplishment in the past few years.

Anyway, I decided to follow suit by her latest post called 7 in 2017 and come up with my own list of things that I would like to accomplish in the coming year, specific to my health, fitness, and well-being. These are in no particular order – just however they came to mind.

1. Complete a half marathon. 
This one is especially important to me, because it is something I was supposed to do in 2016! I had signed up for the Wineglass half in Corning, NY (October) with a few friends early in the year thinking I'd have no problem training up to that distance. But somewhere along the way, training got derailed and I just lost my will. The race didn't happen for me, and I lost a lot of my fitness.

Once again, I've signed up for an October half – I registered before the new year, even – and no matter what, I WILL do it. For one thing, this race, the Queen City Women's Half, is right here in Buffalo so travel and accommodations won't be an issue. (Corning is about 3 hours away, just far enough to be more a pain to plan for.)

2. Run a sub-45 minute 5K – maybe even less!
I just want to get back to the level of running fitness I had built up to earlier last year, which enabled me to run a 44:26 5K in April.

3. Continue working on weight lifting.
I feel like I don't know quite enough about lifting and what would be reasonable for me to expect I can do in the coming year, but I want to continue working on deadlifting and see how heavy I can go!

4. Weigh below 250 pounds.
This is another goal that should have, could have happened last year. These days I feel like I have different and better reasons for wanting to lose weight, but it really needs to be done. I suppose 250 pounds seems like a random number, but it is a reasonable one and it would put me in a way more comfortable state for all the athletic things I want to continue pursuing.

5. Feel more free to "treat yo'self" as a regular thing.
This means a lot of different things to me, and they are mostly little things that add up to something much bigger: My overall well-being. I'm talking using moisturizer on my face every morning and washing my face every night before I go to bed; taking long, luxurious baths with yummy stuff from places like LUSH and Illume and moisturizing my body; spritzing myself with yummy-smelling things; lighting yummy-smelling candles more often. Obviously the senses of smell and touch are in big play here. Having treats like these make me feel SO much better in general.

6. Make room for meditation.
Our whole upstairs (we live in a one-and-a-half story) has more or less turned into a storage space, which is good on one hand, but on the other a shame – there is a small but lovely finished room up there that has been totally unused for a couple years now. It has served as a studio/office, a guest bedroom, and a smoking room. But now I am turning it into a space I can really make my own and where I can meditate without interruption. Along with that, I want to use it as a yoga practice space. We have a TV up there so I'd be able to follow along with my fave online yoga peeps. I already started cleaning up and clearing out up there, but still need to finish and get a little altar set up (I love personal altars!), hopefully in the coming week.

7. Come spring, go on more hikes and play more tennis.
My partner and I had a pretty active season last year, mostly playing tennis, and I'm looking forward to continuing that and doing more exploring – new hiking adventures and travel to public clay tennis courts in places like Pittsburgh, PA and Albany, NY!