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!