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.