Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The worst is yet to come.

A lady on one of my groups commented how, as much as she's working at things, they seem to just keep getting worse and worse. So, here YOU are... You're getting started on your new healthy, financially independent, clutter free life and I have one thing to tell you: It's gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

Aren't I just a little ray of sunshine today? :)

Let me back up a bit. My friends comment got me thinking about the times I would start whatever self improvement project and it seemed like the more I did, the more I focused, the more I grasped at the information and tried to reign in my life, the more it seemed to hemorrhage out of control. I would start eating healthier and/or exercising and I would feel worse, and get sick, and a health issue would pop up. Then I'd start decluttering my house only to see a bigger and bigger mess. Finances... Oy! don't even get me started on that big raging river of doom!

At the beginning it was always out of my control crazy! Problem is that it would scare me and I'd stop & run away. Ignorance is bliss doncha know?!

Now that I'm just past the mess and the out of control phase, I understand what it was. Self awareness. When you've been operating on auto pilot you don't notice all the holes that have developed in your life. You handed the keys over to someone else (Your inner brat, perhaps?) and were unaware of the habits that you'd developed.

The problem starts when you disengage the auto pilot and start becoming aware of your surroundings. Your first thought is, "How did I get here?!?! How did this happen?!" Then you panic, try to do something, anything, to reverse the cycle, and get frustrated, overwhelmed, and really angry at yourself for not only letting this life happen, but being seemingly powerless to stop.

Thing is, it takes a while to create order from chaos. It gets a whole lot messier before it starts to get pretty. Think about trying to clean out a overstuffed storage shed: You have to pull out everything, put the stuff in different piles - donate, trash, recycle, etc.... it ends up taking over more space than before and looks horrible! But eventually one pile goes away and you see a bit of progress... then the next pile goes, and finally the last one, and you're left with a big, gleaming empty area.

Most people get stuck in the messier phase - the piles everywhere and no hope of seeing daylight - when they're getting soooo close to seeing the pretty part. I know I did that MANY times! I would get overwhelmed by the sudden awareness of the mess I'd gotten into, work a bit, then give up, only to have things get even worse.

There's a problem with opening the Self Awareness door - every time you do, it sheds a little bit more light into your life till you just can't be satisfied with ignorance any more. Some may call that moment rock bottom, some may call it the turning point.

What ever you call it, THAT is the moment you will finally be willing to take a deep breath, face the situation head on, and take the baby steps that are necessary to create lifelong changes in your life.

As you embark, or continue on your journey, remember to take a step back once in a while, see where you are, how far you've come, and realize you are much closer to the finish line than you think.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

January Goals

No, this isn't me going back on my word.... this is me preparing for the next 4-ish weeks ahead of me. I've realized I have lost a bit of focus the last couple of months. I am totally loving working with my trainer, but it threw off my routine and my plan. Part of what happened is I overestimated my energy reserves and didn't consciously scale back my cardio accordingly. I tried to stick with my previous plan and got frustrated when I couldn't keep it up.

So for January, I am accounting for it and will rebuild my endurance over the course of the next quarter.

Without further adieu...

January Goal/Plan:
- 3 interval workouts per week
- 1 45-minute cardio session to increase speed/endurance
- 3 strength training workouts per week

Weekly goals:
1. Lose 1.5 pounds of body fat/0.5% body fat a week.
2. Increase lean body mass by .25 pounds a week

Daily plan
- Track food intake
- Consume 40% Carbs/30% Protein/30% Fat (this is my experiment to see what macronutrient ratios work best for me.)

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2% Worthy

::Steps on soap box::

I refuse to make any reference to 'next year' or '2009' for the next few days. I feel that I have come far enough in my journey to know that January 1 is the start of a calendar year, but it's only part of my 'fiscal' year. Too many people use those terms to postpone getting started 'next year'. Too many people say 'January 1 will be the start of my new life.'

Ya know what, you're right!

But unfortunately for your brain, it's not specific enough so it's still waiting for 'next year', which is the day after 'someday'. If you've made your decision to do something, and have written out corresponding goals, what day it is doesn't matter. You're only focused on your task and reaching that goal and the date is only a mile marker in your journey.

::steps off soap box::

I just got an email from one of my very motivational sources and it had this tidbit of info:

"80% of Americans quit their New Years Resolution by the end of Wk. 1
98% of Americans quit their New Years Resolution by the end of Wk. 4"

Scientific or not, it sounds about right. Just think of the drop off rate at the gym from January 1 through January 31st.

There's also the statistic how only 5% of people who lose weight keep it off.

All of it's for the same reasons: lack of planning, goal setting, and doing too much too soon, but fixing the problems/changing the habits that got you there in the first place.

Ok, I made up most of them, but IMO, those are all very important factors.

For the last week I've been revising my goals and have been struggling with a bit of guilt at not having reached most of the 3 month ones, but then realized that I got a lot closer than I would have if I hadn't written it down. And considering it was my first time with real goal setting, I did awesome! I've learned a lot and revised most of them to be more specific, and to allow me to grow and stretch my limits through the months.

I know that I am part of that 2% - the percent that succeeds, that exceeds my own expectations and inspires others to achieve their own personal goals. I am helping to expand that statistic from 2-5%, to 25%.

From my MK days, my director always told me there's room for everyone at the top - achieving and living your dreams isn't reserved for the elite few, it's meant for everyone.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

I'm back!!!

And I'm done! (For my fabu Spark Friends, no it doesn't mean I'm leaving SP, so stop panicking! :)

Let me 'esplain... First, I'm back from my trip - went to Kansas with the hubby for his year end meeting & awards dealy (Why they choose December in Kansas, I don't know. I tried to talk the owner into a fiscal year instead but no avail!) Had a nice time, froze what little butt I have off, got to see the Rockettes (way cool!), met a lot of folks that I've heard about through the year which was even cooler, and the best thing - got to knock off a couple of socks at the awards dinner with how I looked - having an almost-trainer complement my arms and say he wished he had a client like me who wasn't afraid to lift heavy, that was the second best thing that happened that night.

The first best was my hubby getting the "Newcomer of the Year" award. It's a goal that he set last year, and while he had some amazing competition, he not only met his goal, but with enough of a gap that there wasn't a question. We had a wonderful meal, amazing wine, great conversation... and then we had to ride back to the hotel in a car full of snarky people. Talk about a buzz kill. Worst part was the fact that I kept my mouth shut.

That's when I decided that I was done.

I've been revising my goals, and I'm great with my financial, fitness, and household goals. Those have details and a concrete plan, and are very exciting. Then I get to the personal/spiritual goals, and I get stuck. I didn't have anything there when I wrote out the first draft 3 months ago, and I decided I needed to write /something/, so I wrote, "To open myself up in faith and to find my voice", but I had NO idea what that meant or how they work together... until that night.

By opening myself up in faith, for me, it means to do something that's uncomfortable for me. One thing I picked to start was to donate to a charity of my choosing every pay period. My affirmation says "I have enough money to share and to spare" so it's time to start sharing, even if I don't feel like I can. If I keep myself closed off and protected, I'm not only keeping the bad things at a distance, but also the good and beautiful of the world. A caterpillar is only a butterfly after it's fought it's way out of the cocoon.

Finding my voice is a big step in faith for me - I'm the one who is agreeable, who is always helpful, saying what people want to hear, and then not saying something when I was worried that it might offend or upset someone. Or not sticking to my guns when having a 'discussion' just because I didn't have a good argument.

I'm done with that. The saying 'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all' applies to some situations, and I'm all for not being rude or hurtful.

What is more rude: Saying something nice, or saying the truth? In most situations, people want you to tell them what they want to hear. That's fine, but if you're going to ask me my opinion or for my help, I will give it to you. If you say something hurtful about someone, I'm going to call you on it. If I start to use my grumpy, snarky voice, I completely expect someone to call me on it. If I'm deluded in my thinking, or trying to rationalize it, I am opening myself up have that pointed out to me as well.

I realize I'm in a place of personal growth and am welcoming the opportunities. I also realize that other people aren't. This is a process and a learning experience, but I'm looking forward to being done with who I was, and seeing the new and better me!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The word of the day...


I get it... I only need to be hit over the head with it 50 times to get it, but I do. Really. (and seriously, I've gotten/read/heard _5_ things in the last hour that have been about gratitude.

Remember: ""When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears."

And then I got this: "When we constantly _choose_ to be grateful, we notice that every breath is a miracle and each smile becomes a gift."

I've been doing a lot of thinking on how to approach 2009, what the 'theme' will be, what my goals are and how I will get my mindset in a place of success to reach those goals.

It boils down to 2 things: Gratitude and Choice.

Yesterday, I chose to be worked up into a tizzy, chose to let my worst case scenario brain run away with me, and allowed my feathers to get seriously ruffled by the insurance people for doing, of all things, their job (the nerve!) I then chose to carry that uneasy feeling with me for the rest of the evening and to put up a big wall of emotion all around me to hold those feelings inside.

Today I choose to acknowledge those feelings and then release them in a shiny, happy bubble. I choose to stop Veruca from running around in my head going "AAAAaaaaaaaahhhh!!! ::deep breath:: AAAAaaaaaaaahhhh!!! ::deep breath:: AAAAaaaaaaaahhhh!!! ::deep breath::" and give her a big hug.

I am grateful that there is money in the bank to make the repair that we need. I have faith that the right people will be there to help us. I am grateful I have friends who put up with me when I'm angsty, who reel me in when I'm near the edge, who are there to laugh with and share the silliness of our shared lives.

At times when I start to feel disconnected, I remember the amazing people I have found (or found me) and am grateful for the wonderful energy we all give to each other.

Every day, there are millions of choices to make - right or left, happy or sad, abundance or scarcity. I am grateful I have the right to make those choices, and that I have people who help guide me to make the right ones.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why do we even have that lever!?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

(inside joke for geeks who've watched "Emperor's New Groove" way too many times... like me. ;)

Oy... sometimes life is all kittens and rainbows and flowers. Ok, I have kittens and some pretty flowers (lubs my hubby ;), but not what I meant.

Today is one of those days that makes me wonder why any of it's really a good idea, or at least why I thought home ownership was going to be such a 'joy'. Gah. And what exactly IS the point of insurance if they aren't going to pay anything?! And why is it that I'm not allowed to beer at work!?

Double gah.

We need to do a repair on the house - I'm feeling less than confident at the structural integrity of my home at the moment... but it will be a relatively easy, inexpensive fix - replace a support post for around $150. If it collapses and takes the 2nd floor and possibly me and the kittens with it, add about 3 zeros to the end.

Replacing it doesn't make me feel any more confident. What if that one starts cracking? what if it doesn't work at all? What if what if what if... (yes, my dear Ramona, this is my catastrophe brain at work...)

Then I made the mistake of calling my insurance agent to find out some of the financial reprocussions of the what ifs.

Bad idea... in the history of bad ideas this is one of the worsts, and add a huge helping of angsty emo on top of it... collossal bad idea.

Essentially the reality is that there's a 85% probability that nothing would be covered either way. And of the other 15% - it might possibly but probably not be partially covered... up to half.

Yeah... that calmed me down. Not.

Anytime that I've proclaimed that I'm not a stress eater... well, I lied. glad I only have baby carrots and a fruit smoothie to nosh on. But it'd go much better with ice cream... and rum... and chocolate... ooh, and a side of fries! And rum!

I am ever so grateful that I have a fantastic man in my life who balances my angsty emo mood with calm. Why he puts up with me I'll never know, but I'm so glad he does. He helps to rein in my runaway brain when I need it... but usually just after I've passed into the relm of rediculous worry so I can see how silly I'm being.

I know ultimately things will be fine. And if not, well, we'll deal... but most likely, all will be fine and we'll get the rainbows to join the kittens and flowers again... ooh, and maybe a pony! :)

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Perceived exertion my a**!

I went to the gym this morning - seems to be turning into a nice Saturday morning ritual to go to the gym for a good cardio and strength workout... working on turning it back into a daily habit (the cardio part at least ;) Anywho, thought I was all set - I'm on the elliptical thingie and have my:

ipod... check
heart rate mon... oh crap. Seriously!?! I forgot it!?? It was sitting on the table in front of me as I had coffee & a bit of breakfast. How could I forget it?!?!

*sigh* fine...

There's this thing called 'percieved exertion'... basically it's your personal perception of how hard you're working on a scale of 0-10. 0 being practically asleep, 5 is a middle range where you can hold a good conversation as you're, say, walking around the mall, 10 being *gasp*oxygen*gasp*plz*gasp*kthxbai*gasp*

About 10 min into my time on the elliptical I realized what a load of cr@p the PE scale really is... Think about it... you're asking me, a person who is finally learning what an actual portion size is, a person who still hasn't quite gotten the hang of intuitive eating and figuring out if I'm /really/ hungry enough at the end of the meal for a second helping or just wanting to eat... so this is the same person you're asking to figure out how hard I'm really working. Seriously?

Problem is, I feel like I'm working at a 9.5 when my heart rate is at 140 and at a 6 when I'm at 160 (if I'm actually wearing my HRM, that is), so how is it I'm supposed to trust myself to believe I'm really working that hard when I don't have that fairly accurate feedback loop.

Ok, yes, I realize I answered my own question - it's about trusting myself and my efforts.

Thing is, I don't... at least not entirely.

I'm a loooot further along in trusting myself than I was when I first started this journey, but it's been a lot of work, too. It takes me a while to really 'get' the things I keep reading or hearing, things like 'track your way to success.'

Ya know what, it's really true, and there's many reasons - for me at least - why tracking/writing things down really does make a difference in how fast I'll get to my goal: Tracking helps me monitor my success, I have data to look at and see what I did last month, or yesterday and how it compares to today. It gives me instant feed back; if I eat this, how does it impact my ratios, my calorie intake, my sodium level? If I do this exercise over that one, what will the impact be?

But most importantly, it helps me build my instincts to start trusting myself. And it encourages me to be creative. I had a serious moment of panic the first time I didn't have access to a computer to be able to track all my food one day. What if I screw up totally?! I had to *gasp* trust myself! I had to trust that I'd actually learned a thing or two in the process of logging my food.

Today I did the same thing. I sucked it up, decided it was more important to plow through the workout since I was there, rather than drive home and get my HRM (But don't think I didn't spend more time than necessary considering it!). Decided to use the level of resistance as a measure - so much at level 4, then 5, etc. It wasn't the supah-stah workout that I had in mind, but I was sweating, my body was workin', and, most importantly, I did it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


(that was the sound of the light bulb coming on)

"The idea that you can either enjoy the holidays or stay in shape - but not both - is damaging and limiting. It hurts your social life, your emotional life and your physical life. Life is not an either or proposition; it's a matter of balance. Success does not mean going to extremes. Success can be a simple matter of re-examining your beliefs, rearranging your priorities, setting goals, changing the questions you ask yourself, re-evaluating your expectations and acting in accordance with all of the above."

This is why Tom V. R-O-C-K-S!!!

This is an excerpt from his most awesome blog on Holiday Fitness

After the hurricane of thoughts and emotions that I've been going through the last couple weeks, I'm starting to look forward again. My thoughts are going back to 'is what I'm doing now getting me closer to my goal?' While the answer isn't always a resounding "YES!", it's much better than the thoughts of "Meh."

Since it's all about balance, I guess this is my re-examining, goal setting phase as I gain momentum to go back into my action phase. (I need to work on having those two things happen at the same time! LOL!)

I did a re-look at my goals and realized they need some tweaking & updating, but that's for another time. What is right for now: short term goals! Yay! In order to make it a bit more real and immediate, and still stepping out in faith because it's going to be a stretch.

My Fitness/weight goal:

I am ringing in the New Year by weighing 168 on December 31, 2008.

Yesterday I weighed 172, and AF just showed up for her monthly visit. That number is just a number and is a distant memory.

This will be achieved by doing the following:
-Planning! Plan my day to know when I will be home, and cook those nights. Plan when I have meetings or will be away from the office at lunch time, and bring my lunch when I will be in the office. Plan snacks for when I'm out and about so I don't get hungry and cranky.

-Move!! I am doing 3 sweat inducing cardio workouts and 2-3 sweat inducing strength training workouts a week.

-Eat!!! I eat clean, balanced meals that I prepare myself, but still allowing myself to enjoy the food and company during special times. I fuel my body during the day so that I am a constant fat burning machine. I am not restricting myself or denying myself - I am choosing the foods that make me feel like the supah-stah I am.

-Breathe!!! I am reminding myself that this is building momentum to be as successful as I can be and starting 2009 feeling fabulous about myself! The hard work I do today is paying my future self in health and wellness.

I also step back and look at the bigger picture. There will be challenges that I will face: Travel, fancy-schmancy dinners with decadent food and free-flowing alcohol, disrupted schedules, parties, etc. Stepping back, I realized that these things are part of life and I will face them for what they /really/ are: An exercise.

What it isn't: It's not an exercise in how fast I can inhale a plate of pasta and drink a bottle of wine, followed by finding out how much sugar it /really/ takes to induce an insulin coma.

It IS an exercise in being present in the moment. It IS an opportunity to remember that a festive gathering - be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Labour Day, birthdays, weddings, or days ending in a "Y" - is a time to connect with people who make up my family in the loosest and strongest sense of the word.

They are helping weave the beautiful tapestry of my life... why am I diminishing that by making it all about the food?

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Requirement for Success?


I'm LadyRose and I watch "The Biggest Loser".

Yes I know it can set unrealistic expectations, but I really watch it for the personal, and most importantly, the _emotional_ transformations.

Cuz, as y'all know, I'm ALL about the Emo!

Back to the BL... Last season was teetering on being 'meh' for me... but even the contestants I didn't really like showed promise - they had moments of personal growth over and above the game play, and the working hard to lose as much weight as possible for the purpose of picking off the other team. Last season we saw a division between Bob & Jillian begin to be drawn: Bob is Zen, but really all business. Jillian is the hard a$$ drill sergeant who will pummel you in the ground and then give you a teddy bear and a big hug. Bob's team walks it out, Jillian's team talks it out.

This season it's even more obvious, and has had me wondering why I watch it all. Aside from the fact that the show is edited to highlight the differences, I'd commented on one of my groups that it seems like Bob's team is only in it to win the game, and has made no efforts at personal or emotional growth.

The little bit I saw last night confirmed it - Vicki admitted she hasn't fixed what ever it was that caused her to gain all the weight to begin with. She was focused on the Game going on around her, not the game going on between her ears.

Now back to me: I had an awesome conversation with a friend last night and one of the things we talked about was how the soul searching, the writing/talking it out is part of the process... but it's so hard for some people to do that.

It got me to thinking (like I do)... is it /really/ part of the process? Is that really going to be one of the few things that will ensure success in reaching a goal? Does it really matter if you take the time to do the soul searching, or if you just go by the numbers?

In the case of the Vicki - will she win then gain it back because she has nothing to drive her? IMO, the game is the motivation, beating the cr@p out of the opposition is more important than anything else. But then what? Big whoop - you got confetti, now what's going to keep you moving forward?

Many times people say they want to lose weight so they like the person they see in the mirror. So they go through the motions, through all the proper physical steps to lose weight, and look in the mirror at the end and say, "oh, you're still there."

When you've stripped away all the excess, when you've sculpted the physical form that you want, what's left? A smokin' hot shell, or a solid foundation, and deep, meaningful substance helping to fill out those musckles?!

Well, I guess it's a matter of what's important to you. For me, I want the latter, and that means the emotional processing is just as important as the physical.

For me, my requirement for success is the whole package: Body, mind and soul.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Action: Awesome!

In my corner of the SCA, our once and future King Eduard had a battle cry. During court, whenever he would say the world "Action", the populace would yell back, "AWESOME!" It was very moving to hear people from across the known world (literally - there were folks from Germany, Australia, and England there!) partaking in this battle cry. I would yell along with everyone, being caught up in the fervor. I don't know quite where it originated but it stuck with him through 2 reigns, and I'm sure it will be part of his next one.

Funny thing is, that I've been having this go through my brain the last few days and wasn't sure why. After writing the previous entry, I'm thinking in some way it was in pre-response to that.

I am scared by my own potential, my own awesomeness, but that is what I need to open myself up to.

So my action: to be awesome!! To recognize that I AM awesome. To allow myself to be open to the awesome of the universe.

Easier said than done, but it can be done.

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Facing fear

Sometimes I get those little Ah-ha!/light bulb moments, or God breezes as FlyLady calls them. They're the feelings that you get that that finally makes the problem you're dealing with make sense. Or the messages that come along when you're ready to hear them. The little nudges you need to take the next step.

Then there's times the God Breeze turns into a category 5 hurricane right over your head.

Today's one of those days.

I've been struggling. Yes, there's been the weight thing, but really, that's only a part of it. It's really been an internal struggle that's unsettled me because I know the cause, I know in general what I need to do, but it boils down to one basic thing:

I'm scared.

Yeah, no big news, I know. But it's not (really) the economy, the wars, the strife that's going on in the world that scares me. It's a lot simpler and more complex than that. I'm scared of, well... me. Or rather, the me I could be. Correction: the me I CAN be.

I have a copy of a poem on my wall that my friend sent me ages ago, and that I love. The piece of paper has been a fixture and most times I barely see it, let alone read it. A bit ago, the hurricane happened and this line jumped off the page: "It's our light, not our darkness, that frightens us... our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

That was right after I wrote this in a post on one of my groups:

"There's greater strength in letting things out or letting them go, than there is in holding something so tight it hides it from everyone."

There have been times when I've been on the verge (ok, lots of times, but most of it's been a bad thing) of greatness. I saw the bigger picture, I saw the greater life that's there for me, that's meant for me. I've felt the great hugeness of it all. But instead of rushing headlong into it, I might take a tentative baby step towards it, but ultimately I crumple, I fold, I turn away.

Why? Because it scares me. The hugeness and magnitude terrifies me. Because I don't have the confidence in myself to really achieve what I CAN. Because it means leaving the world I know behind and changing a lot - for the better, yes, but it's different and unfamiliar. It's the insecurity of feeling that I don't really deserve it. It's the insecurity that the I won't be able to live up to the responsibility that comes with it. It's the fear of really, really opening myself up, allowing myself to be vulnerable. Because it means changing from fear to faith, to see possibilities instead of problems.

The question is, what to do next?

So what does this have to do with weight loss? Nothing. And everything.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A question of balance

Ok, so yeah. In case you haven't noticed, my life has been kinda... meh... of late. And it's made me seriously cranky. Contrary to the way it seems, I don't like being cranky. It's not that much fun. Being the happy, annoyingly positive perky one in the bunch, now that's fun.

Thing is, like so many people, I've been dealing with the everyday stressors that have chipped away at my psyche and caused a shift in my focus:

I see problems, instead of possibilities.
I find excuses instead of solutions.
I'm grumpy instead of gracious.
I've been seeing only scarcity instead of abundance.
I've been saying 'I can't' more than 'I can', 'why?' instead of 'why not?!'

Most importantly, I realized that I've been operating from a place of fear, rather than faith.

But, the universe has a way of balancing things out, and then hitting me in the head with a ClueX4 when I don't listen. After my post yesterday, I had a couple things that pretty much knocked me out of my stupor.

First thing was getting a call from my fabulous friend (and yes, you made me smile for the rest of the evening!) It was nice to just talk, but also heard things I needed.

And I had a chat with the hubby who also said things I needed - but didn't really /want/ - to hear. I'm definitely grateful to have people in my life who give me the tough and the love that I need,

Then I read a couple of the Healthy Reflection emails:
"When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears."
"When things go wrong don't go with them."

Then I got a good night's sleep last night.

Ok, fine! I get the message! LOL!!! I'm over it... sorta.

I can't say I'm feeling back to the old me, but I'm feeling better about things in general. I am continually reminding myself to breathe, to have faith that all will work out, and I will make it through all this stronger and better than ever.

I'm not sure if I'm worried or scared at how easy it is to get stuck in the minutia of it all, and get bogged down with all the little stressors that pile on top of each other. It could be a bad thing, or it could be good to be stuck there for a bit, to appreciate the times when you get out of it and soar.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When I exercise...

When I exercise there's a lot that goes on. I am reminded of how far I've come physically and mentally, and what I still need to work on.

Physically, I am reminded that I'm an active being, but I also have my weaknesses that I need to work with. I feel how far I've come, I've learned how I can push myself to squeak out that last few minutes of a particularly difficult interval, or I know when to ease up to let my body rest so I can get back to working even harder. Last night, with my trainer, I was reminded of how strong I am getting (hello! Did 45 push ups at a 30% incline! ::happy dance::) and how I can continually push to do my personal best, even if it's adding a pound or two of resistance, or finishing the set of 15 rather than leaving it at 12.

Mentally I have grown a lot - 90% of the time I look at food as fuel for my activity and I have made peace with the 10% of the time that what I consume is just for the pleasure and fun of it. I recognize that I'm in competition with myself, but enjoy the motivation I get from people who are doing just a bit better than me. I look for ways to be active, but also appreciate and (attempt) to acknowledge my body's need for rest.

Oh, and an interesting but unexpected measure of my success: having to print off a new chart with the LOWER body fat/caliper measurements. Yay! I realized that I was almost at the lowest measurements on the chart I had been using. Go me.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Random musing Monday...

Sounds better than ADHD Monday but that's about how my brain is feeling today.

Oh look! Air!

Oooh shiney!

What was I saying?

Yeah, ok, here's my musings.

My hero: Talked to one of the co-workers who DID ride in the El Tour to see how it went. They had an intense, rocky start to the race. On the way to the start line, his wife's bike broke. As in essential parts of the bike ceased to be attached to the frame. Luckily this was before they started actually in the race and she wasn't hurt. After several frantic calls, a wish, a few prayers, and some scrounged parts, the bike was made ride-able again! And they did the whole 109 mile ride, even though they started 30 min. late. How cool is that?!?! They could have just scrapped all the time and training, but instead they kept pushing through. Took them 8 hours, but they did it. And it was wonderful, he said!

My snarky annoyance: People who are putting their health and wellness on the back burner because "it's the holidays." "It's just not a good time to start/continue a weightloss program!" Ya know, you're going to believe what you want to. It's either the perfect time or worst time to be on a weightloss program, depending on how you look at it. In fact, the holidays are really like any other day of the year, and those days are also the perfect/worst time to take control of your health and your life. Yes, there's many times I'm tempted to throw in the towel (right now, in fact (see the next item). It's sooo tempting to look at what I've done, say 'good enough' and just stop. But why, when I've barely scratched the surface of my potential. Why not plow through, despite minor setbacks (see the previous item)?

My frustration: I just want to feel WELL again! I know, I know, I just wrote about how I'm grateful for my sinus issues since I'm not sick otherwise. You know those annoying Mucinex commercials about giving mucus an eviction notice?! Well I have been! Repeatedly! Along with a few strongly worded letters from my immune system lawyers. And it's not budging. I went for a walk yesterday and felt like I was gonna die - my lungs were hurting, I couldn't quite get my breath, and my endurance was next to nothing. I realize that I can't expect all my health issues to go away at once. And hopefully next year it'll be clear sailing. But right now, I need to just acknowledge my limits and do what I can, but not really push anything... grrr... Stoopid body.

My happy: My mom is trusting me to make the stuffing and mashed potatoes ahead of time! This is a HUGE step for her. YAY me! AND I fit into a pair of pants that I have NEVER been able to fit into. They're still tight enough they wouldnt' be comfy for the whole day, but still. I have never, ever been able to put them on, let alone zip them up! YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

My sinuses make... grateful

I know this time of year I spend a LOT of time complaining about my sinuses, mainly because it's either there or my throat that I get hit with any sort of regular ickiness. In fact, this morning I woke up and felt like my head was filled with cement and have been struggling with it and my energy level, since.

And I'm grateful for it.

No, really, I am.

I was talking with a couple of co-workers yesterday and the one was telling about her latest bout of pleurisy after she had the flu, and think she had something else around the same time. I remembered thinking, when I first met her, how healthy she was - a vegetarian, thin, tall, seemingly active. Apparently not.

I do understand that some people get the short end of the immune system stick. I thought I was one of those people, too: getting sick at the drop of a hat, staying sick.

I realized that this is only the 2nd time this year that I've been sick - the last time was the allergy/stress induced bronchitis right before the wedding (go me). So while I really dislike being sick, considering this is the biggest issue I've had, I think I'm coming out way ahead. It means I'm doing the ounce of prevention every day to keep myself healthy and if something gets through, then my system will be strong enough to keep it from totally wiping me out. (that's the theory & I'm sticking to it)

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm sad...

Well, actually, I'm really happy... I went to the gym after work and had a great workout [note to self: /always/ keep a stash of hair ties or an extra bandana somewhere! ugh! hate fighting with my hair!] Did some cardio (depite my iPod being wonky) and then did some strength stuff. I wasn't near as organized as my trainer (duh... his job! need to learn that quick, though!) but was proud of myself for pushing and actually doing it. I was actually shocked at how many people were there on a Friday night! Apparently it's the thing to do if you're not going to the bar... or you get pumped /to/ go to the bar. Not sure.

Anyway, why I'm sad... actually, I'm peeved.

Tomorrow is the El Tour de Tucson. It's a super huge deal lots of big names come from all over to ride, it's a spiffy thing. My trainer, Steve, is riding in it as are a few people I work with... minus one, who, IMO is using an excuse to keep him from doing something great. He's been training for the past several months and has really been looking forward to it. We've talked about our different cardio routines, how he's getting in shape for it, etc. Today, as he was leaving, someone said 'good luck tomorrow!'

"oh, I'm not riding."

o_O huh!?!?

"I couldn't do the course in under 6 hours, so I'm not going to do it."

Ummm... just do the 1/2 course.

(as he's trying to escape) "No, if I can't do the whole thing, I'm not going to do it."

And he walked out.

I have never been so disappointed in anyone before. This man, who was the first in his family to not only go to college, but to MEDICAL SCHOOL! He become a Doctor for cripes sake! is letting perfectionism get in the way of being a part of something really cool and really big. It may not be the Tour de France, but hey, it's still cool! And so what if he didn't do the last training ride in under 6 hours, he may do it tomorrow in 5 hr 30 min! But he'll never know what he was capable of now.

It's totally a case of quitting when you're steps from the finish line.

And it's been nagging at me for the last few hours. Not only was I dissappointed in him, but was also thinking of how many times I'd gotten so close to something, only to pull away. Or how many times I didn't even start. It may have been perfectionist/all-or-nothing thinking, or fear, or not knowing /how/ to start, or thinking I had to do it right rather than just doing something, or getting spending too much time looking in the rear view mirror of when I had tried and failed figuring it'd just be more of the same.

Yes, those same thoughts and doubts creep into my mind occassionaly, but right now, I just take them, and toss them on the fire that feuls me towards where I want to go.

Survival of the Fittest: Pot-Luck addition

We had our Thanksgiving potluck today at work - surprisingly there was a good balance of contributions. Instead of 75% desserts and 25% side dishes, there was about a 50/50 split. Whoo hoo! Considering the enthusiasm for potlucks has drastically waned of late, this was pretty darn exciting.

I'm not sure what mental shift has occurred in my brain, but instead of fearing and dreading the potluck, I had made my mind up before hand what I was having, and enjoyed chatting with co-workers instead of obessing on the food like everyone else was doing. I had horrid flashbacks to the potluck a few years ago - 1 dessert is ok, 5 is really, really bad. This year: 1/2 dessert is ok, after letting the salad, veggies & turkey settle... and get myself prepped for the gym.

Maybe it's the fact that my sinuses are slowly taking over my head (can I tell you how much I hate and despise my sinuses?! Seriously! I have managed to keep myself from getting all the little colds and flus that have been flying around the office, and my immune system is going great... except for this. Gah!) and nothing really looked as appealing as it may have been in the past. Or the fact that there were very few homemade options that it narrowed down the choices/options. I've become such the snob of late - if it's processed and/or store bought, why bother consuming the crappity calories?! I mean seriously - if this is a special occassion, why have something that's less than special?

It could also be that, despite my sinus induced laziness the last couple of days, I weighed in a svelte 170.8 (that's /almost/ in the 160's!!!), am down to 31% body fat AND put on over a pound of muscle this week! So yeah, feeling more determined than ever to continue on my happy, healthy way. To the point where I brought in my stuff to go to the gym afterwork.

Yes, I realize it's a Friday night. I'm a lame-o with no social life, k? And I figure that only the people who are serious or have equally unexciting social lives will be there so I won't have to fight for a machine.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cranky Wednesday workouts...

Kick a$$!!!


Today was rough. My head feel like it's gonna explode and my sinuses really hurt. Meh.

Had several panicked calls from the hubby about money, checked the account and had a minor freak out myself and did a few more frantic calls to this and that person.

I was so not in the mood.

Walked in the gym, was greeted with a chipper "how you doin?!"


Ya know, when you start from rock bottom, sometimes the only place to go /is/ up.

Worked out a lot of /my/ frustration, had a kick butt time, got to laugh a little and managed to annoy my trainer, all in 1/2 an hour! Go me!

Ok, I only annoyed him because I'm flexible. I commented that my triceps were annoyed, he tried to stretch my arm... "lemme know when it starts to pull"...






"Ok, too flexible for that one... how about this one? nope, how about this? Gah. forget it."

I had him show me a couple of leg stretches (I FINALLY get the IT band stretch! YAY!) Nope, again to flexy. Yes, it's a good thing, and interesting to see how some areas are more flexible than others on different people, but also is very frustrating when I can't get a quality stretch in an area that really, really needs it.

By the time I got home a couple of the bank issues were taken care of, or at least the processes were started, I took care of another one, and we're both feeling a bit calmer now. Just wish he wasn't in Houston. *sigh*

The day I cried "Unkle!"

I know I've been complaining/commenting for a while that my clothes are getting too big and that I need to at least buy new pants.

Well, today (or at least tomorrow depending on my schedule) looks like it's that time has finally come. This may be a bit TMI, but I went in the restroom a bit ago and realized that I had pulled my pants down without unbuttoning or unzipping them. And these are pants that were freshly washed and put through the drier.

I know it's a nice problem to have - clothes being too big - but I've also realized for a while that it doesnt' look professional to have super baggy pants and I need to do something about it.

I so want to just order them from a catalog because we all know what happens when I go shopping ::rolls eyes:: but I can't find any that I like - looked at Chadwicks, Newport News, and New York & Co's site and can't really tell from the pictures if they'd work for me which means I need to go to a store.


A friend of mine suggested Fashion Bug, but I need to do my measurements first to be able to order the right size.

Anyone have any suggestions?!?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another /that/ time of year (Tis' the season to be rant-y)

I know this may come as a shock, but I can get a bit uppity once in a while. I am finding that my uppity-ness is starting to reach a critical level of late... it's been on the rise since right before Halloween and I have a feeling it's going to be extra difficult to keep the Brain-Mouth filter in place.

Here's the thing: The office is starting to show signs of the 2 holiday spirits 1) the spirit of giving in the form of treats (store bought and homemade) cropping up here and there and 2) the cranky spirits of Diets Past, Present and Future. There have been MANY people walking around, grumbling about "bad time of year... oh I can't believe ::nom nom nom:: all the stuff you have ::munch munch:: at your desk! Oh I'm gonna ::chomp nom nom:: pay for this later!"

There's the snarky of me that so wants channel my inner Jillian/Dr. Phil and call people on their behavior.

"Oh, why are all these holidays so close together?!"

Yeah... funny how that happened this year... I mean, it seems like it's only been that way for the last, oooh, 50-100 years or so. Not much time to prepare for it!

::heading to candy dish again:: "I just can't control myself when there's food around!"

Wow... yeah, I understand. That impulse control thing is hard to deal with when you're 6 or 7. Oh wait... last time I checked you were an ADULT! Seriously!

"OH! There's cookies!"

Really?! What a surprise! Look, it's not like it's the Nobel Prize, eat it or don't. Just stop making a big deal out of it.

I get that it's hard. I get that there's things that are tempting. I get that life gets stressful, and food is used a lOT as a coping mechanism.

I also get that a lot of people act in ways that they wouldn't allow their children to do at home, let alone in public. (Wow. Was that my outloud voice?)

I also get that, in order to stop that behavior, and make peace with ourselves and with food, you have to stop blaming external factors and start looking at yourself for the problems, issues, /and/ solutions. Talk about scary.

Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living"... but does he know what scary things used to lurk in the dark recesses of MY mind? Seriously. But eventually, you get to the point where you have to start being a parent to yourself. It's not really about growing up, and it's not about being perfect. It's about acknowledging what you're really feeling inside, it's about learning a new, healthier way to be. It's about having fun without obsessing. It's taking a deep breath, picking one thing and working on it.

Then you can join me on the sidelines making fun of the people that don't get it. ;)

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Feelin' the love

I'm feeling back to myself. Finally!

Last week really was brutal - between the monthly blah time, feeling rather beat up after working out with the trainer, feeling run down in general, and then dealing with monster amounts of allergy crud (both the hubby & I were dealing with it after being silly and working outside in the wind over the weekend.) Ugh... sooo glad to have that behind me.

Yesterday I went to the gym in the morning - eased into it but felt good in general - and then had a really good workout with trainer Steve last night. I'm feeling sore, but it's that 'good' sore again. I'm constanty amazed that 1) I /can/ do it, and 2) even when I think I can't, I can squeek out that last rep.

The super awesome thing is, despite not doing much physically, I still lost .3% BF. Just goes to show that building the musckles helps burn fat/calories, even if you're not using them much. I did pay fairly close attention to what I ate, and since we were both not feeling great, we didn't drink much over the weekend. That's the one thing that I have to work on when the hubby is home - I've been been better at not joining him in having a beer each night. Usually on the weekend I'll have one or 2 with him, bit have been pretty good at not partaking during the week.

So overall, I'm apparently doing what my body needs me to do and all the baby steps I've taken are paying off. I can 'slack' a little (not much) when I need to, and still maintain or lose.

Life can happen, like I know it will. But I know I will make positive choices that keep me on track towards my goals. I can jump back into my routine without feeling like I have to start over because I didn't completely abandon it in the first place.

I think that's one of the big hurdles I faced, and a lot of other people face when going on the journey to improve health, lose weight, etc. I made the decision many, many times to lose weight, and I really wanted it - bad, but I wanted it to happen magically. I wanted to have all the skills and habits _right now!!_

Unfortunatley it doesn't happen like that. Changing years of thinking and ways of doing things is like altering the course of the wind... actually, no, it's like that little tiny tug boat that helps doc a HUGE ocean barge. It seems highly improbably, but with the right tools and leverage, that little boat can take control and help steer the barge gently but deliberatly and purposefully into port. There are course corrections along the way, but ultimately the goal is reached.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's that time of year...

No, not /that/ time of year, but it's about what I feel like.

I've spent all my time focusing on /not/ getting sick - specifically keeping my sinuses happy - that all my brain heard was 'get sick... in sinuses'.


Actually, I'm at that really annoying edge of... something. I'm feeling slightly run down, tired, and having much lower energy than usual. But it's not enough that makes me go 'oooh, I'm sick, I need to stay home and rest', but I'm not feeling well enough to keep up my normal routine, and that zaps my energy even more.

Vicious cycle, no?

Either way, I'm going to give in this week - canceling my appt with the trainer, taking it easy with exercise (keeping up with the lower intensity, 15-min a day cardio), and getting rest.

I'm trying not to think of it as a set back, more of just giving my body a rest so I can do even better in the long run. And it's also an experiment in tracking my food intake to make sure that I can at least maintain or lose when I don't have the cardio to offset the calories. So far I've been doing pretty darn good with my staying in my ranges, and even being a bit on the low end. We shall see how this all goes.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Monday, November 10, 2008

Or a super needy snuggly kitten. Or a kitten that snuck out as I was closing the door to the patio for the night without making a peep. I got woken up at 4:00 this morning with one kitten walking across my head and pawing for snuggles, and then scratching at the door from another kitten to be let inside (was chilly out last night!) and the third one obviously plotting ways to be rid of the other two. That combined with the start of wonky sinus season did not bode well for me this week.

I'm having a sinking suspicion that my attempts to avoid sinus issues isn't going so well. Part of the problem was spending an entire day out side in a cold, dusty, windy environment. I was hoping that spending only one day wouldn't have much of an impact, but it seems that it has. I'm being extra diligent with allergy medication and decongestants so fingers crossed. This, combined with my already waning enthusiasm for the SCA in general isn't helping, since 90% of the events are outside. And that's ok, since my focus is pretty much on myself at the moment (I'll just say I'm in a selfish phase. ;)

Since I'm feeling on the verge of sick, intense cardio is on the back burner this week, but easy/medium cardio isn't. I'll be back with Steve the trainer 2 times this week to keep up the musckle building goodness (HA! Down another 1/2% in body fat this week! Yay!!). It also will mean that I'm going to be extra diligent with tracking my food.

It's such a delicate balance - eat just enough to fuel the body and activity, not too much, but not too little either. *sigh*

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Friday, November 7, 2008


Totally want this for Christmas: (along with somewhere to hang it that I'm not worried about crashing in the ceiling)

And then want to take one of these classes: Cuz that just looks like so much scary fun!

The even stranger thing is that I'm really wanting to set up a home gym and actually use it. Or at least get more fitness-y things in the house, but not something that's only good for this or that muscle group. I'm like Alton Brown and love multi-taskers! :) The hubby has even commented about getting a pull up bar or something for when he's home (dude! I would sooo love to be able to do one pull up!) But then I'm torn - I really like going /to/ the gym, getting out of the house and to somewhere that's totally focused on exercise, but would like stuff at home, too.

So yeah, basically want the best of all worlds. :)

OH! And in awesome news, as of this morning, I officially hit the 30-pound loss!

::happy dance!!!::

To celebrate, I'm wearing a pair of size 14 jeans I haven't worn in forever!!! The same pants that will end up in the Goodwill pile when I get home. After wearing them for about an hour, I remembered why I didn't wear them often, even when I could fit into them before. LOL!!!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008


Yeah, this is me... NOT!

So, I've been dialing back on the amount of cardio I'm doing, but at the same time trying to do at least 15 minutes on my non-HIIT days. Nothing overly intensive, especially on days after my sessions with the trainer! (oy he's working me but it's awesome!)

I decided to make use of my NetFlix subscription and try one of the 'dance' workouts.

What a... humbling... experience. I know I'm not the most coordinated person, but a 30-something trying to do 'hip hop' moves on carpet at 6 am, before coffee... yeah, lets just say I'm glad the curtains were closed and the cats don't make it obvious they were laughing at me. I like to think of their chattering as being concerned for my health and asking if I was having standing convulsions and needing assistance, rather than telling me to just totally give it up. LOL!!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008


So, I had my 3rd session with the personal trainer yesterday. Wow... and ow. Ok, not really 'ow I can't move' but more like 'dang he worked me a lot!' I told him at the beginning that the criteria for how hard I can work is dependant on me being able to drive my car home (I have a 5-speed, manual transmission). If I can't operate the clutch or stick shift, it's too much. Last night was pretty darn close.

We did a lot of upper body stuff - shoulders, triceps, upper back, and lunges... lots of lunges. /that/ hurt. Especially after a kick butt interval workout in the morning, my legs were a bit wobbly to begin with.

But by the end (and I'm sooo grateful I'm only doing 30-minute sessions!) I was shocked at how much I /did/ do, even with increasing the weights. Even better is today - I feel like I worked my muscles, and they're a bit tight, but I'm not OMG tired & sore.

We also talked about nutrition and he gave me a plan. I laughed. It had me at 1350 calories for the day. Considering I'm seeing results at 500-700 calories over that right now, I balked at it. And considering I burn about 300-400 calories per workout, that'd be super bad. So we worked on tweaking it and made comprimise - I'd bring my calories down 100-200 this week, and bringing down the carb range a bit, and see how I did. I'm all about burning calories to create a deficit, rather than eating less, and he was good with that.

This process has been interesting because I feel like I'm playing a dual role - as a client and potential trainer. I'm looking at how a trainer develops a plan for a client, and as the client, looking to him for guideance, making sure I have good form and am challenged with new exercises and increasing the weights, but not feeling /totally/ shredded at the end.

As far as the reduced amount of cardio for the month, my plan is HIIT workouts M, W, & F, and I'm trying to get in at least 15 minutes the other days. We'll see how that goes... and think I'll take a walk before lunch. :)

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy All Hallowed Eve!

Ahh... I love Halloween... being the historical type person I am, I love that it marks the end of summer and celebrates the harvest and bounty of the season... it's New Years of sorts, a time to take stock of where you are, where you have been, and planning for the next season.

Essentially it's yet another time to start over...

Conicidentially, for some, it also marks the start of the holiday binge fest. Whee.

In our office, for instance, we're having a potluck and so far the contributions have been cookies, cookies, and, oh look, more cookies! (ok, I'll admit, I brought some too - Pumkpin chocolate chip. N-U-M!) There's also the side of chips & salsa... the creativity astounds me. LOL! I decided that next year I'm going to come to work as a bottle of insulin & hand out cookies shaped like syringes... whatcha think? But either way, food is now everywhere - remember, it's harvest & abundance time to carry us through the long, dark winter! (ooh, it's actually going to be below 90 today! yay fall is here!! LOL!)

Anywho, thought I'd use this time to re-cap the month and forcast for November.

I started weighing 177.6 and at 33.6% body fat.

I weighed in this morning at 173.4 and at 32-ish% body fat

So I lost a little over 1.5% body fat, not bad if I do say so...

That translates to about 3.5 pounds of fat... unfortunately it also means down about .5 pounds of lean body mass.

In general, I'm pretty happy with the results. I chose not to be hyper focused on my eating, and didn't get in as much cardio as I'd planned, but despite that I still had progress.

I'm only marginally happy with my progress in the exercise area. I was consistant with the strength part, and with a trainer it'll continue. Cardio-wise, I think I managed about 3 workouts a week, instead of my 4-5. I feel great when I do it, but the season change is really taking it out of me. My big goal is to make it through the rest of the year without a sinus/respiratory infection, but I feel like it's just stalking me, waiting for me to wear myself down just a teeny bit more.

Anywho, looking forward: For November, I'm going to use the info from my trainer since he measures a little more accurate than me. Not sure how often he's going to measure, but I should have an idea of progress by the end of the month.

SW: 179.0
BF%: 33.6% (I wasn't too far off with my measurements! Go me!)

Goals/daily habits
-eat/cook 'clean' meals 4 days a week minimum
-track food consistantly
-get 5 servings of fruit & veggies every day (especially weekends!!!)
-3 interval workouts a week. Any other day of cardio will be a bonus.
-Read my goals and affirmations 2 times a day

By the end of November I will be at 30% body fat, and have gained 1 pound of lean mean musckly body mass.

All this, despite the Thanksgiving mashed potato, stuffing and pumpkin pie fest, all of which I plan to enjoy without guilt!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Crazy train... heading to the station.

It's been said that confession is good for the soul, and after writing out my post on Monday, I started to feel a little better. Not a huge amount, but sometimes addressing the anxiety monster head on helps with making it less... scary, or at least makes it more manageable. I'm still dealing with bouts of OMGSOMETHINGBADISGOINGTOHAPPENIJUSTKNOWIT!!! but less frequently - like once every half hour rather than every 10 minutes.

Still doing the 3/4 decaf - 1/4 caff mix on the coffee, still working out, still eating fine, still breathing (ok, breathing /more/ lol!) blah blah blah... but I'm still feeling wiggy. I had a nice distraction on Monday night by having dinner with a friend and got some good hug therapy (those are the best!) And the hubby had a couple awesome days of sales so that's making me feel a lot more comfy with the money situation, so I can hopefully keep going with the trainer for a while! yay!

Oh, but had my first session with the trainer on Monday night as well, and it went pretty well. I was very happy for one that I've been measuring my BF % pretty close to what he had - I'm at 33.6% (and the crazy brain says that conceivably I could be below 30% before the end of the year). I was also really happy because I am in a lot better shape than I realized - doode! 16 full situps in a minute! And while the work out was challenging, it was the first one and it was a 'see where you are before we really start pushing things' sort of a thing. I'm still feeling it today (and have my 2nd session tonight) but for the most part it's like, "hey, I worked out! this is that 'good sore' people talk about!" other than the 'OMG hurt and feel like I'm filled with lead' that I was worried about.

Looking forward to tonight and seeing what sort of a nutrition plan he's got concocted for me... I'm trying to keep an open mind because he seems to be in line with what I'm already doing/have learned. I'm also really focusing on /not/ acting like I know more than him. Yes I've been doing well on my own and getting results, but it will be good to have that tweaked to get even better results.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

All aboard the crazy train!

Ever have one of those weekends where you're productive, energetic and feel like everything is right and happy with the world, filled with rainbows, puppies, kittens and flowers?

Yeah, me either, but I figure it's something to strive for. :D

I spent the better part of the weekend fighting the overwhelming desire to curl up in the fetal position and hope that it all go away. (Un)fortunately neither happened.

I'm pretty sure this is just a phase and will pass, but it won't pass fast enough. It's a change of seasons, body and mind are readjusting to the shorter days, the "cooler" weather (umm...hello! I know this is Tucson, but 90 in almost November?! Seriously?!) makes one want to hibernate rather than be active (darn genetic predispositions not catching up with modern times.) There's also a lot going on globally and the energy is creating an air of uncertainty - new president on the horizon, economic upheavals, and it's all making me extra prone to wigginess.

As a bit of background - I've delt with depression/anxiety issues over the past many years, and only recently has it gotten any where near under control... until this weekend. This weekend it hit seemingly out of nowhere - I get this overwhelming feeling of impending doom and generally has no bearing on anything. It just gets in the way of my usual happy, easy going personality, and I know it drives the hubby buggy (::giggle:: that rhymed.) because I start getting over controlling and obsessive about silly things.

Oh, and it makes me want to eat and drink like mad. I had a small glass of wine on Friday and another one last night, but resisted the nummy chocolate stout that's hanging out in the fridge. The wine did help me calm down (and understand the connection with depression/anxiety and alcohol) but I figured a hot bath and quiet music can do the same, only not as quickly. I really wanted to dive into the big tub-o-ice cream in the fridge, or make a huge coffee cake or scones and eat half of it... but I didn't. I settled on a couple little snacks but nothing outrageous.

I did manage to hold it together enough to go grocery shopping, to get some food stuffs cooked in preparation for the week, do some laundry, unload and reload the dishwasher, and spend some quality time with the kittens, so the weekend wasn't a total loss.

So why am I sharing my little corner of the crazy world? Not really sure. LOL! Maybe because I realized that, even in the middle of a crisis (real or imagined), that I still have a sense of control, and moderation is still key. Sometimes you have to give in to get ahead. And when the momentary urge (strong as it was) to completely scrap everything hits, there's the underlying knowledge that hold the course is more rewarding in the long run.

Yes, I know there's lessons to learn in all things. Right now I think I'm getting a big lesson/test in faith - faith in myself, faith in others, faith that overall, things will work out the way they're supposed to. I know once I can muster the internal strength to look up from the tree I have my forehead planted on I'll see the big, beautiful forest... but right now I like having a bark print on my face. :P

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Becoming an overnight success... The old fashioned way

Being a Libra, my life is all about seeking balance- appreciating the good times when I've gone through bad times. Seeking out positive people/influences when I'm faced with negativity. Finding uplifting messages when I'm feeling a bit defeated.

The last few days, I've felt defeated. Like I was making so much forward movement with my health and weight loss and then it (read: I) stopped. Then people around me were doing great and I wasn't. Then I'd open a magazine/watch TV and see 'lose 20 pounds by the weekend like _all_ these people (who aren't you) did!' I try to stay focused on 'slow and steady win the race' and 'sustainable, not crash-and-burn', but at times it's difficult when you just want things to be done, be at the goal weight, have a spotless house, be out of debt, etc.

Then I had 2 quotes cross in front of me that brought me back to reality:

"Actually, I'm an overnight success. But it took twenty years."
Monty Hall

"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."
Sir Winston Churchill

Ok, fine... I'm in this for the long haul. Instead of looking for the latest and greatest quick fix/magic pill/newest gadget that's guarenteed to fix all my problems and end world hunger in one stroke, I'll just keep plugging along the old fashioned way: Putting in the time, effort, sweat, and tears. I'll keep plugging along, because I know deep down that this is the right path for me.

It's not the quickest or easiest path. Some months I'll have great losses, others months I won't even lose what 1 contestant on the Biggest Loser does in a week. But I know that in a year or two, I will be one of those "overnight sucess stories" people will read about.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ya know...

There's something awful and wonderful about food that comes out of a can, especially when it's cheese. A co-worker brought in crackers & cheese! Yay! Oh, you mean the transfat laden crackers and cheese that has a spout that it's squeezed out of.


Ok, let me back up a bit. As a kid, I loooved spray can cheese. You could make me so happy with a jar of peanut butter, a spray can of cheese, and box of crackers, and leave me alone... not much has changed on the peanut butter front, but canned cheese. yeah.

After seeing the can today, I had mixed emotions. "REAL CHEESE" the can exclaimed! ummm... yeah, chedder doesn't ooze like that! "WHOLE GRAINS!" the box of crackers promised.

Ok fine... I'll try one.

It wasn't awful. The happy warm fuzzies of youth didn't come rushing back, but it wasn't bad. It had garlic so that was a bonus, and the world didn't end just because I ate it.

But I think I can go another 8-10 years before trying it again. :P

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

There's a reason for everything... except when there isn't

I'm an over analytical type person... shocking, I know! I want to find reasons and meanings behind everything that goes on. That introspection and investigation helps me when a situation arises that I need to deal with. If I do x, y, and z, I can keep it from happening again, or know how to address it the next time around.

Or if I'm feeling down, it helps me to figure out what's going on so I can get over it and move on.

Like right now. I'm feeling grumpy, angtsy, full of emotion and feel like sitting on the floor and having a temper tantrum meltdown.

For no real reason.

I'm questioning why I'm doing anything, feel like throwing in the towel on everything, grabbing the cats and moving into a cave in India and never talking to anyone. ever.

Again, no reason, just.. meh.

call it a crisis of faith, mid-life crisis, or general post-bday/AF grumpiness.

Or maybe it's just Thrusday and I'm just not feelin' the love today, and no other reason.

Today will be an exercise in just letting it be. Feel the grumpy/ansty/emo crud, try not to let it interfere with life in general, and not put any sort of label, reason, or other meaning on to it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


So after yesterday's "rah rah!" post, I flopped. I jokingly told the hubby that all the "Old" finally caught up with me! LOL! But seriously, I'm pooped! We even went to bed last night at 9 (not quite what you're thinkin'... we were asleep by 9:30! And it's still not what you're thinkin'. ;) But the last few days, it's been a struggle to stay awake.

Seems I'm not the only one - several folks around the office are saying how tired they are even though they've been sleeping a lot. Not to mention a few people commenting about not feeling well.

Not sure if it's the change of season (we had a cold snap - for AZ it's rare for it to get below 80 right now, and Monday's high was 72... the heater even kicked on and it was down to 40 that night!) or AF just being mean to me, or what's going on.

My quandary is this - do I just give in and take it easy on myself this week, or the next day, to work on getting my energy back up? Or do I push and make myself do something my body doesn't seem willing to do? Obviously the former is more appealing, because the latter, while very noble, seems the quickest way to burnout-ville. Then again, getting out and moving is a good way to rev myself back up. But what if I'm actually getting sick and that seals the deal?!?


The weirdest part is that it seems so foreign to me to feel this way, even though it /used/ to be normal. And now I'm not sure how to deal!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Year of Success

starts today.

Actually, any day can be your 'January 1st', but I figure today is an excellent day to look at where I've been and where I'm going.

See, it's my birthday today. (hence the special tiara... as opposed to the 'everyday' tiara I'd normally wear when doing things like dusting or laundry... what? doesn't every one wear a tiara doing housework? No? You should!) And today is my last birthday where I can say I'm a 30-something. In some ways it makes me sad and scared, and I look at what /most/ people think one should have accomplished by now and I see that I'm not really there. Or even close in some cases. I have quite a bit of weight to lose still, I'm still in a lot of debt, I don't come any where near maxing my 401(k) contributions, my house is messy more than it's not, I have no kids, I only recently got married (and it's my first and only marriage!)

But yet, I keep getting happier and more content with my life than I ever was. And I've considered myself a happy, content person for quite a while.

I bought a home almost 2 years ago, I have a fantastic man that I'm now married to and who understands me probably better than I understand myself (a very scary thing! lol!), I have amazing friends (some of whom I've never met but mean as much to me as those I see every day!) and an even more amazing family. And for the first time in ... well... forever, I have a goal, a greater purpose and a plan. I've had each separately, but now that the 3 things are together, I'm making progress like never before.

I've got 3 main things that I'm focusing on (health, home, finance) and similar to my whole push for getting into /that dress/ for the wedding, I've got my eye on the next 12 months and what I want to accomplish by the time the big 4-0 rolls around. What I've learned over the last several months is that, even if I don't completely hit my target, I've gotten closer to it than I ever ahve before.

So who want's to join me in making today the first day in YOUR year of success?! There's room for everone at the top, not just me!

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Monday, October 6, 2008


I've worked really, really hard to get my diet clean, get rid of the bad stuffs, get my health on track and all that happy fun stuff, and I've done great! I've cleared out 95% of the processed, enriched stuff and replaced it with healthy, real foods. Whoo hoo!

But now, I'm thinking that I've done a little /too/ good of a job at it. Why do I think this? Because I have had a serious beef craving- like to the point I'm ready to go to a steak house and dive the biggest, rarest cut they offer - the last couple of weeks.

Oookaaay, for some this may not be a big deal, just go have a burger and move on.

For me it's a huge issue: I haven't eaten beef in _over_ 10 years. Not because I don't like it - I looooved it! - It hates ME. (Omitting too many details, basically my body doesn't process it, and I get really, really sick, and no, it wasn't my gall bladder.)

Before folks start offering suggestions:
-I've already upped my iron supplement
-I eat lots of green leafy veggies
-I get plenty of protein from poultry, pork, and
-It's no where near that time of the month

After looking at what nutrients are in beef, iron is actually pretty low on the list. However, Zinc and B-12 are way up there. Baroo?! Ok then, time to up both (and I already take a good B-complex supplement). I looked at the list of foods that are good sources for B-12. Near the top are eggs and cheese, both things that I've limited (I've been using the egg substitute to cut down on fat & calories.) Looks like I need to start eating the real stuff again, at least for a bit, and see how that works out.

If you see me in the grocery store, gnawing on a steak, we'll know it didn't work. It's best just to back away slowly and pretend you never saw me. ;)

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Oh, that's right...

I /hate/ shopping. I have moments, like today, where I have selective amnesia and forget that I hate to shop. But after about 10 minutes in a store it all comes rushing back to me. But I decided to give Macy's a go, since I had gifty cards that needed spendin'!

The good news is I got a new pair of walk/run shoes! That was easy, and considering my foot is picky, I was happy that I tried on a pair and they fit. Whoo hoo! That gave me encouragement to press on to look for a pair of pants. Now, of the 8 pairs I tried on, they were all size 14 and fit with no problem. yay! Some were a weeee bit tight, but nothing I was worried about popping a button off of. Problem is, I'm a classic kind of gal. I want basic, non-descript black dress pants. Nothing special, honest. But apparently classic isn't good for business because it means people would buy less clothing, so everything is trendy. Take the 'wide leg'... I've come to terms with having a slightly wider leg pant - I didn't really like it at first because, to me, it doesn't add balance, it adds volume. And I'm all about not adding any more volume! But that's what's widely available, so I'm ok with it. But I'm not ok with a pant leg that's so wide that a small child and a few critters could make a happy little bungalow out of them. Eeesh. And apparently if you're a size 14, you're also 5' 20" tall because every pair would have to be hemmed. I'm 5'6"! with heels at least 5'8"! WTF?!?! I'm not short! Grrr... so yeah, didn't find a pair of pants. darn it. (side note: I decided to check out a couple of web sites of places that I may have better luck ordering them... only to find NY & Co. is PROUD to now offer size 0 ! Z-e-r-o! Hello! all anorexics, er, small boned ladies! Come on down! ::flop::)

Oh, I did get glared at while shopping. I found it amusing and almost wanted to hug the woman. I had ventured over to the "Women's" department (hey, they had exercise type clothes as the 'border'... not so subtle, Macy's.) and while I was looking at the sale racks a woman shopping in that department gave me a look like "get out of here, not /your/ size!"

I decided then to venture to the lingerie department... I need new bras since mine are getting way stretched out.

Ugh! After about 20 min of frustrating and trying to find styles on my own, trying on this or that one, I decided to enlist help of the sales lady. Part of the "problem" is that I'm still the same size! The nice lady grabbed a few for me to try on and I found one that I really liked and got 3. They're. All. Beige. Grr.

small rant

I get the fact that one can't pick and choose where the weight will deposit itself or come off, but my body is frustrating the heck out of me. I'm wearing a smaller size in pants and in tops. Schweet! But makes absolutely no sense that my waist measurement is the same, and my bra band & cup size is still the same! Oh! And I would absolutely L-O-V-E to be able to walk into a main stream shop and find an abundance of cute bras in a size OVER a C cup! I'm not talking VS or Fredricks - I'm talking Macy's, Kohl's, or even Target for cripe's sake! We're all told "love the skin you're in, no matter what size!" And then the one industry that has the power to really let us feel sexy and confident (nothin' like racy red undies to make you feel special during that long boring meeting, eh?!) SMACKS US DOWN! it's all about the b00b's, eh? Guy's love cleavage, right?! Then why the heck do D+ cups get relegated to industrial construction bras in white, beige or black?!??!

/small rant

Ok, this is me breathing. I'm thinking I may start shopping at Layne Bryant for bras. Either way, I think I need a beer now. LOL!