Here We Go Again

Four and a half years. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve posted. Things happened, jobs were lost and gained, and pounds were lost and gained and lost and gained again.

And then gained some more.

And a few more.

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Completely Accurate Photo

In November of last year, I realized I was up to 270. For someone who’s 5’1″ that’s a lot of poundage. Walking to and from my car at work was a nightmare of back pain, so I decided to drop a little weight. I got down to 256 by January, and started logging again. I made it to 239 by April and then lost my motivation. But I still paid some attention to what I was eating and what I was doing so I wouldn’t gain it back this time. I also managed to develop a taste for artificial sweeteners, which is good because I was consuming an absurd amount of sugar.

It worked. As of this past Tuesday, at 232 pounds, I joined WW on the basis that if I lost 7 pounds just “maintaining” maybe some real effort would produce real results.

So here we go again. Each year it gets a little harder and I don’t want to see 50 like this because I’m pretty sure at that point, I’d give up. So that gives me four years to get myself together and get this done.

I can do it.

I will do it.

 

Begin At The Beginning

In trying to become a runner, I’m using The Starting Line as a guide. After a couple of months, I’m still somewhere between steps 1 and 2. And that’s okay.

Whether it’s this plan, one you get from a friend, or one from a personal trainer, it’s important to remember that these are guides. Our bodies are all unique, and it’s up to us to know our true limitations, and not what we either want them to be, or what we convince ourselves that they are.

At the beginning of the year, I’d have told you my limitation was pretty much a trip to the grocery store. By the time I walked all the way around the store and then carried the groceries up to the second floor, I was too exhausted to do anything else for the rest of the day. Or, you know, week. I know now that this was a false limitation. I felt tired, therefore that must be all that I can do. I know now that a little bit more each day beyond what I think I can do is what helps me improve. (For what it’s worth, I’ve improved to the point where I admit that I giggled a little when my husband complained about walking “all the way back” to the other side of the store for something, and offered to go get it for him. Before, I had him fetching things for me all the time.)

I’ve also learned that there are limits, and my body will tell me when I hit them. I know, for example, that if I try to do a mile when I have a severe sinus infection, I will pass out. But my mind says, “Skip the workout completely, you’re too sick.” My body knows that’s a false limitation. I can’t do a mile, but I can do a half mile, or lift, or cycle so that I’m already sitting down if I get dizzy. I can work out at home so that if I do feel faint, I can stop and rest without being in anyone’s way (except the cats, but I’m always in their way).

One of the cats, looking reproachfully at me because I'm in his way.

Cheese looking at me reproachfully because I’m in his way.

One of my favorite quotes is from Richard Bach’s Illusions:

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.

There are enough other people arguing for your limitations already, enough people telling you that you can’t or you’re not good enough or you won’t make it. There are enough other people telling you that you’re not doing enough, that you need to push yourself harder. You can ignore all of that. It’s harder to ignore it when you’re saying it to yourself. Just remind yourself that your limitations are exactly that: YOURS. Only you know what you’re truly capable of, and only you can decide what you’re going to be capable of  a month from now, or a year from now, or five years from now. And if your pace is a little slower than some, so what? It’s your pace, and at least you’re going somewhere.

When Reasonable Eating Becomes a Habit

Something that I find kind of interesting… sometimes (especially on my days off), I’m tempted to declare a “free day” because I either just kind of graze all day, or I eat whatever happens to be in the house, rather than going out and getting something healthy. But I go ahead and log the calories, and find that I’m nearly always under goal. Even if I go over, it’s usually by less than 50 calories.

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Yes, I ate Hershey’s miniatures. Three of them, to be exact, which isn’t bad when you consider that a “serving” is five pieces. They weren’t even dark chocolate (the healthier option). There was a time that I would have eaten the entire bag on my day off. Now, it wouldn’t even occur to me to do so, not because it’s “wrong”, but because it’s just not a thing I do anymore. I also ate a Totino’s Mexican Pizza. And a salad. And another salad, because the first one was so tasty, I wanted another a few hours later.

It makes me feel good to know that my habits are changing. It makes it that much easier to believe that I’ll reach my goals.

A Little Bit More…

Tonight’s workout is brought to you by:

  • the number 2 (for how many laps I walked)
  • the number 3 (for how many laps I ran)
  • and the letter W (for the watermelon cookies I snarfed down, which inspired me to burn some extra calories and were totally worth every extra step).

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Declaring Independence From Old Habits

Got stuck working on Independence Day. I don’t mind so much, since my family celebrated over the weekend, but I felt bad for my coworkers. So I ordered this for them:IMG_6469_2

While I ate this:

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I was a bit bummed, but really? Mine looks way more appetizing. And I didn’t fall asleep after eating it (my usual reaction to pizza). I’ve been told that I eat so much salad, I’m going to “turn into a rabbit”. What? Tiny, adorable, and able to move really fast? I can live with that.

Choices (And Why Sometimes the “Bad” Ones are Okay)

This is a picture of 200 calories:

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So is this:

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I had both of these today. One is healthy and filling, and the other… well, not so much. The key is moderation. The trick is not letting “This is my favorite snack, so I’ll just have a few” turn into “Ohmygod, I ate the whole bag.” Some people can’t do this, and that means the snack foods are banished. I’m not one of those people.

Well, except when when it comes to mini cupcakes. Or chocolate-covered cherries. Or half of a footlong instead of the whole thing.

Okay, I sort of am one of those people. But I learned a couple of ways to keep it in check.

  • Log everything. Calories, activities, emotional states… everything. There’s a very good chance you’re taking in more calories than you think. There’s also a good chance you burned enough calories to make up for that scoop of ice cream. Logging moods helps you see if you might be eating more or making poor food decisions/skipping workouts when you’re especially stressed or tired or bored.
  • Don’t keep tempting foods around. If you’re craving chocolate cake, buy a cupcake, take it home, and eat it. Don’t buy a whole cake, because you’re going to eat it all. Whether it’s in one sitting or over the course of several days, it will get eaten, so don’t even let that be an option.
  • For every “bad” thing you consume, drink an extra glass of water. No additional junk food goes in until the water’s gone.

I guess it comes down to just one thing:

Pay attention to what you’re doing and be aware of the consequences.

It really is as simple as that. And it really is as hard as that. But it’s worth it to feel better and have more energy and not be hungry all the time because the bowl of super sugar-frosted sugarpops you had for breakfast took up half your calorie limit for the day.

Strawberry Cupcakes Forever

I started off pretty good. Skipped tea and soda in favor of water, had banana for breakfast. Everything was going great… until the cupcakes arrived.

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Mini cupcakes. Bite-size little morsels of heaven. Tiny, delicious, and easy to lose track of if you keep popping them into your mouth. I think I had five. But it might have been seven. If I had stayed much longer at work, it probably would have reached a dozen. This is my downfall, a co-worker who bakes. And ohmygod, does she bake. Birthday? Cupcakes! Visitors? Cupcakes! The sun is shining? CUPCAKES! And she always brings a variety of flavors, so you can’t just have one, no, you have to taste them all. And then you can’t decide which is your favorite, so you taste them again. Strawberry, pineapple, devils’ food… squish them together into one GIANT CUPCAKE.

At least I can start again tomorrow, and hopefully get it right. Things like this sort of make me want to give up and just eat everything. Especially if it’s made out of chocolate.