Here We Go Again, Same Old Shit Again!

I’ve been away for too long again, but mostly that was by design.  I felt that I didn’t have anything productive to add, and I also felt that I all I wanted to do was bitch about how I keep gaining weight and how unhappy I am.  I didn’t want my writing to turn into the sort of “woe is me” type bullshit, when my unhappiness with my physical appearance is due almost entirely on the way I approach food.

Recently, I have been bitten once again by the fervor and obsession with losing this weight.  I have been scouring the internet, running numbers, scenarios, and planning my “next move”.  This all began at the end of August, when I feel like I officially hit rock bottom.  I had gained more weight (ugh!) and was on a trip to Vegas with my husband, my BFF and her boyfriend.

We were in the hotel room, watching a little TV while we got ready to go somewhere.  I was sitting on the corner of the bed, and across from me on the wall was a large mirror.  I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was me.  And I looked horrible.  I had never seen myself from that angle.  I can go on about how grotesque I looked, how I knew I was fat, but God DAMN!!!  Holy Shitballs.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  This was the pinnacle, the top, the rotten core of me, on display.  I did the only thing I could think of.  I took a selfie.

I will not post it now.  It is too much and too real, and I don’t need it spreading around on the internet as a meme.  As hard assed as I am, that would destroy me.  But I admit to taking other pictures of myself that showed me in the worst possible light.  I can’t explain why I do it.  Years ago, I would have said I did it to further beat myself down.  Now, I feel like I do it because it’s like an expose.  I can’t deal with it if I’m not honest about it.  I can’t deal with myself if I’m not honest about what I see.  I made a hard goal for myself then, and that was to lose 40 lbs by the end of the year, and I had 4 months to accomplish that goal.

So, I made that awful selfie my home screen on my new phone, and I chose a picture of Amanda Latona for my lock screen and a picture of Misty Copeland as my S-Health background pic. Every time I unlock the phone, I see this glaring reminder of my reality, and every time, I am struck not with despair, but with motivation.  Motivation to change myself.  Motivation to keep going. This month, I focused on trying to change my habits and eating less, especially at work. I started using the tools I had invested in, starting with logging my food regularly, and exercising regularly.  I managed to lose 6 pounds-the only weight I’ve managed to lose since starting work here!

The hubs and I have been fans of the Biggest Loser show for some years.  I know that the show isn’t realistic as far as losing weight, but the struggle of these people is real, and so many of their stories really touch me.  I can relate to many of their struggles. During a commercial break, they had the coaches selling their pitch for the Biggest Loser Boot camp.  Now, I am a cynic and a skeptic, but like anyone who struggles with their weight, I can’t help but pay attention.  So, I looked it up, and the hubs asked if I would be able to commit to something like that.  Of course, I wanted to sign up right away, but the hubs was right.  I was going to pay big bucks for this, was I going to be able to stick with this for the whole 8 weeks?  The eating, and the exercise, and the checking in?

After all, my track record for this sort of thing is pretty abysmal. Right now, I need that more accountability and that more structure this boot camp will offer me.  I feel like the start date was the perfect time to begin, because it’s the start of my week off and I will be working a regular schedule for the month of October.  The program ends right before Thanksgiving.  Previously, I spoke of the planets aligning, and everything falling into place, and I feel like this is exactly what has happened. 

It seems pretty solid.  So far, I have completed all the “Prep week” tasks.  Today was the first day, and so far, so good.  I haven’t done the prescribed exercise yet, but I did walk my kid to school this morning, and I had already planned to do this in the afternoon.   I’m excited, and I’m nervous. I want to succeed and I feel like I am finally going to make it.  I am determined not to make this phase feel like deja poo!

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Just like starting over….Again

I will just warn you now, I’m going to be cursing and carrying on a bit in this one.  So, if I’m going to offend your sensibilities by doing so, skip this post.


Earlier, I mentioned not trying not to get into the mindset that I am “starting over”, but trying to convince myself that I’m just “picking up where I left off”.  Which is such bullshit.  I am starting over, and my starting point is so much farther back than before.  Picking up where I left off would imply that I never gained back this 30 lbs.  Starting over means I have to start at the beginning.  This wasn’t a race where I had to stop to pee halfway to the finish.  This was a marathon that I feel like I turned around and went back not just to the starting line, but maybe I went all the way back to my childhood home and now I decided to walk back and finish the race.  Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  But anyone who has struggled with their weight knows that this *is* exactly how it feels.

Carry-On I got on the scale today and took my measurements and they are disappointing and sad, but overall have not changed much all summer.  I updated my menu planner-it’s just a simple spread sheet I print out and fill in.  I took pics a few months ago, but I guess I should take some updated ones so I can mark my “true start”.  Is it obsessive?  Absolutely, but it’s what I know I need to do to keep myself straight.  A month ago-yes, I’m a slow starter-I made out a list of sorts that I titled : “Things I need”.  It is more than a wish list.  It is a map of sorts.  I started with obviously, what I need, which is mostly time.  I had to ask myself what is holding me back and what I wanted what I really want and how I plan on getting there.  I really tried to get into my head and be totally honest when I was writing about the things that are holding me back.

And the biggest thing at this point is my past, which is never more glaringly obvious than the fact that my birthday is coming up very soon and I have yet to meet one fitness goal I made for myself 8 freakin years ago.  8.  Fucking. Years.  What. The. Fuck.  So, yeah, it’s hard not to beat myself up over my failures, or the fact that my goals are even farther away than they were back then.  It’s hard to let go of the past when I make goals and I just see myself walking backwards from them without really understanding why I sabotage myself that way.

I figured out that one reason is I am afraid of being successful, of winning, of achieving something great just for myself.  See, I’m not a competitive person in the way that some people are, where they have to be the best, or #1, or first.  I just honestly don’t care about that kind of shit.  What I care about is being the best that *I* can be.  Me. Only me.  But I look back and see that most of the time I’m just being a mediocre me, or below average me.  Am I being too hard on myself?  Maybe, but as they say, we are our own worst critics.  That’s the other reason.  I have a terrible, awful, horrible inner bitch and she likes to tear me down

So part of my “moving forward” and “starting over” is just that: moving on. A friend of mine recently decided to leave Facebook because she had had enough drama and was in a too fragile emotional state.  A lot of the comments I read after her post were her “friends” telling her not to give up and to stick it out, that signing off meant that she was letting him win.  I sent her a message that despite what some of the commenters said, she wasn’t giving up or giving in, she was moving on.  I realized later that I needed to follow my own advice and lay the demons to rest so I could carry on.  Maybe this time I can move forward.

Till next time.

It’s Monday-again

Funny how that just keeps happening, isn’t it?  It’s Motivation Monday and I wanted to throw out a quick blurb out there to everyone.  I am hitting it hardcore with the final packing this week before the movers come.  You know, they have all those pesky rules about what they will and will not ship.  Of course, that just makes it harder on those of us who are trying to leave town with little more than a few changes of clothes.

I found some time to do some research last week about staying fit while traveling.  You know, like tips to help me eat healthier, workouts I can do in a hotel gym or in my room.  I’ll share what I’ve learned later this week.  Also, I’ll be keeping in touch during our travels with shorter entries over the coming weeks.  Next week is going to be a doozy and I’ll be busy “supervising” the packers.  You know, like making sure they don’t pack the trashcans with garbage in them.  Don’t laugh.  It’s happened.

So, I’m leaving you today with this little gem I found online from Nike.  Gotta love their marketing department.  They have a way of making me want to get up and go for a nice long run a la Forrest Gump.  Well, I’ve spoken about greatness before, about feeling great, and being great, and making yourself great, but this really sums it all up nicely.  Have a wonderful day and don’t let ‘you’ keep you from finding your own greatness.  We all have it in us.

nike greatness

Don’t Look Down!

Hello, Motivation Monday!  It’s time to rock and roll, shake the cobwebs out, and get moving and a groovin’.

new way to beThe weekend was fraught with peril-it was the hubs’ big 4-0, and Orthodox Easter (Kalo Pascha! to any other Orthodox out there).  Next weekend will be another whopper: our anniversary and Mother’s Day.  Will the insanity ever end?  Yes.  Yes it will.  Things are SOOOOO much less stressful since I’ve given up on the “all-or-nothing” attitude.  It helps me to put things in perspective, reminding me that a half slice of the hubs’ b-day cheesecake was not going to break the calorie bank, or undo all my hard work.

Of course, if I ate like I did last night, I would, but that’s the beauty of special occasions.  They are called so because they aren’t everyday occasions.  A big part of changing my life has been about changing how I think and react to things.  In the past I might have denied myself the cake.  Or I would have had it and then felt tremendous guilt.

These days, I like to redirect my mental energy into positively programming my subconscious.  Instead of focusing on what I want to avoid, I focus on what I want to achieve.  You know how you might be climbing to some precarious height, and someone else yells, “Don’t look down!”, and of course, the only thing you want to do is look down?  This is the same concept.  For me, this revolves mostly around food, but sometimes  around my workouts too.

For instance, I haven’t worked out yet today.  I feel bad about it, but I haven’t yet done anything about it.  However, when I was reading up for today’s entry, I realized that I’m the one holding myself back.  I have had rather dismal results in the weight loss department (I’ll post updates tomorrow), but I have lost significant inches in my hips and waist.  But instead of focusing on the improvements, I have unfortunately focused on the number on the scale.  So, in my head, I’m telling myself that I’ll never get where I want to be.  And of course, what is the outward result of that?  I ain’t done shit today!

I’ve determined I need to focus and shower myself with positive affirmations consistently.  I know, it sounds stupid, and my inner pessimistic cynic is sneering in mockery.  But here’s the truth:  if you’re already telling yourself that it’s not worth it, then it won’t be, whatever it might be.  Believing that positive thinking doesn’t work becomes a self-fulfilling negative affirmation.  You can’t think yourself thin, but you can change the way you think to make your fitness and weight loss goals totally achievable.

If I’m just sowing weeds with my negative thoughts, I’ll never see my goals achieved.  I have spoken before about changing my inner monologue, but like a lot of things, this is something I need to practice everyday.  And I have been neglecting that part of my growth.  Sometimes, I feel like I’m trying to juggle a toddler, a baby grand, a medium hippo, and 3 camouflaged balls, trying to keep up with all the things I need to do on the outside, I forget to work on the inside stuff at the same time.

So, instead of the voice in my head so insidiously whispering that I’m not going to workout today, so why did I bother with the sports bra? I’m whispering back to it that I’ll be working out when I get home from picking up my son from school.  That I will make time for anything I’m committed to.  That I love working out.  That the scale may not be budging, but my muscles are growing stronger.  That I am the only one responsible for my results.  To quit bitching and get fit.

Instead of telling myself not to look down, I’m going to tell myself to look up, and ahead.

 

My sad diet revelation

Good morning, folks.  It’s Whiny Wednesday and I have another whine for you.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy my misery!

My clothes are getting looser, and I can now wear a some of the smaller things in my closet without feeling like a slug caught in a straw.  I even wore a pair of old capri knit pants this weekend that I haven’t worn since before I got pregnant with my second.  But, as much as I loved that I fit into them, they have inexplicably become too big, even though I still weigh more now than I did when I last wore them.  I swear, I can pull the waist band up to my boobs and still not have a camel toe!

shoulder padsAnd, back to the underwear.  I am a fan of the “hip-hugger” style underwear.  Not too low, not too high, covers my butt, and don’t ride up.  My hubs has been poking fun of my undies, because apparently, they don’t fit.  I either have them pulled up to the small of my back (har har har), or they sag so it looks like I’m saving room for a-ahem-download.  After I feared my husband might die from the lack of air from laughing so hard, I decided I should probably dig out some better fitting ones.  So I did, and I’m glad I already had some brand new skivvies that didn’t fit when I bought them, but fit great now!

And the saddest news of all: not only is my ass shrinking faster than the rest of me, but my meager amount of boob has decided to jump ship as well.  I was reminded of my grandmother, who has shoulder pads sewn in every shirt she owns.  She told me once how she used to use her spare shoulder pads as bra stuffing back in the day.  I briefly thought about following suit.  Briefly! I swear!

I haven’t tried one of my smaller bras yet as I’m not sure which box they might be in.  Mostly though, it makes me sad my boobs are going away.  Everyone loses weight differently, I know that.  I’m still trying to figure out the way I lose weight.  Apparently, it is slowly, and in immeasurable amounts as I can’t tell from the scale or the tape measure, but my clothes don’t lie-they are looser every day.

Right now, I’m just relishing the saggy seats of my pants, the baggy legs around my thighs, the way my shirts no longer cling to my gut.  “Soon, so very soon!” I croon to the totes of clothes.  My current wardrobe will be finding its way to Goodwill,  and by the time I move this summer, I will be wearing a “new” wardrobe of my old clothes.

 

 

 

 

And where-exactly-am I supposed to find that?!?

Hello, fans, it’s Whiny Wednesday and I’ve got a humdinger for you today!

I’ve mentioned before that I love to cook.  I enjoy finding new recipes and making them for my family.  I especially like finding recipes that are quick and easy to make.  I have a couple of cookbooks that are sort of my go-to books.  If the recipe isn’t “healthy”, I try to find ways to cut down on the fat or calories.  It’s not always easy, but if I can shave calories by skipping the butter, or make it healthier by using whole grain pasta or ground turkey, I do it.  What makes it harder is finding “special” ingredients.

One of my new favorite cookbooks is the Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook.  It’s where I got the lentil salad recipe from last Friday.  I enjoy the cookbook, I’ve tried several recipes and they all turned out great.  Even better, the kids actually ate them.  There are two reasons why I bought this particular cookbook, mostly having to do with “quick” and “easy”.  I liked reading about the eating plan, most of the recipes have a picture, and most of them sound like something I could serve my family. They also include serving sizes and calorie counts for each recipe, which I love.

What I wasn’t counting on was the amount of “special” ingredients that several recipes call for.  Now, some of these things aren’t too bad, and I could justify buying something a little pricey because I knew I would use all of it, or whatever.  But there are a quite a few ingredients that the recipes call for that are simply not going to happen.  And it’s not just because this bottle of Meyer lemon infused olive oil costs $20.  Yes, that’s right.  $20 for a bottle of lemon flavored olive oil.

meyer lemon EVOOOne recipe calls for “all-natural marinara (preferably low-fat,  low salt, no sugar added)”.  Another calls for all natural barbecue sauce sweetened with agave or honey.  Nitrate free lunch meats.  Salt-free seasoning blends-and we’re not talking Mrs. Dash either, but exotic flavors like a curry blend.  All natural 100% fruit spreads in weird flavors.  Tamarind flavored brown rice crackers.  You get the idea.

My annoyance comes from the fact I can’t find most of that shit in this little town I live in, and I’m not driving an hour-plus one way to try to find it.  I have to make do with what I can find right here, in my own town, at my local store.  Do you know I went to 3 stores looking for all-natural plum jam?  3!!  That’s when I decided to just settle and buy the only plum jam I could find-Smuckers.

I hate feeling like I have to settle for things, but if you live in a small town like me, or in a rural area, you may feel a little despair when trying to plan interesting and nutritional menus.  I know, not everyone is into “fancy” cooking like me, and maybe it is just me.  But I LOVE food.  I like to eat-haha that’s how I got here.  But just because I’m not eating a bunch of junk everyday and trying to eat clean doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice my taste buds.  Just because I’m eating healthy doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy food that’s delicious and packed with flavor.

I can’t help but feel a bit defeated when I want to try a recipe and it asks for stuff that I just can’t find around here.  But as I’ve come to try more recipes from this particular book, I’ve realized I have already  ditched the “all or nothing” about the food.  It’s weird to realize that, because in the past, I would have been completely hung up on the fact that “The Spice Hunter” seasonings are unknown in these parts.  Or that I couldn’t find all natural barbecue sauce sweetened with agave, or tamarind flavored crackers.   I buy and use what I can find. If it’s Heinz Chili sauce, then by golly, that’s what’s going on the meatloaf. If it’s Smuckers plum jam, then so be it. It messes with the calorie count, sure, but I’m not going to let it stop me from making the recipe and trying something new.

The lesson here is that there are always going to be things you may think keep you from trying something new or different.  The answer is that there is always a substitute.  Can’t find that special ingredient?  Find something similar, use less.  Too easy.  Can’t do full squats because your knees feel hurt like the devil? Try a demi-squat.  Can’t keep up with a challenging workout? Slow down, focus on your form, and do what you can.

See?  There is always something you can do, so you don’t have an excuse to do nothing.

 

Dirty Little Secrets

I don’t know about the rest of you, but as I’ve gained weight, lost weight, had babies, and what not, I’ve accumulated enough clothes to open my own boutique.  I keep hanging on to these things because I tell myself I will lose weight and be able to wear them again.  Guess what?  Nearly 11 years of marriage and 5 moves and my “collection” has grown.  Before our last move, I ruthlessly went through these boxes and culled out almost everything that was older than my oldest kid.  But still, the evidence is pretty damning.

IMG_2414 IMG_2415 IMG_2416These boxes represent to me a lifetime of failed diets and plans to lose weight.  Carrying these around move after move has only increased my self-disgust and has made me feel like I would be overweight and unhappy forever.  I’ve told myself that this was the last move these boxes would follow us.  At least filled with my clothes, at any rate.  I’m on track, and not every day is perfect, but I will get there in the end.  I have about 2 months left before they will be packed up again, and I’m anxious to get in there and see what’s what.  Already, the clothes I’ve been wearing for the last 3 years are getting too big for me.

We all know there is no such thing as some miracle fat pill that’s going to help us lose weight.  There’s no magic bullet, and no particular program that’s going to make the fat disappear overnight.  It takes time.  It takes sweat.  It takes planning, and then executing that plan.  There is only you and maybe it’s your head that’s getting in the way.  I have found that all day long I’m running this constant monologue in my head.  Sometimes, it’s just helpful reminders, like a million “don’t forget to….” but occasionally when I have tuned in, I’ve caught myself thinking negatively about myself and my efforts.

These aren’t just random bad thoughts, these are things that I might be saying to myself without realizing what I’m doing.  Like when I look at those boxes of clothes I can’t wear, and I think, “what’s the point? Just get rid of that shit.  You’ll never be able to fit into them again.” Or I might catch a glimpse of myself passing a mirror and think, “ugh! I look disgusting”.  The problem is not that I thought it.  The problem is that it’s not even a conscious thought!  This constant litany of negativeness that constantly streams in my head has begun to beat me down.  We are truly our own worst critics.

Eventually, I’ll crumble under this avalanche of negativity.  There is only so much beating down a person can take before something breaks.  I used to “encourage” myself to push harder and longer by using insults and demeaning words.  You know, classic R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket.  Then I realized that that kind of attitude just does not motivate me, even though I used to think it did.  Instead it pulls me down, makes me want to quit.  And eventually I do, thinking “I just can’t do this anymore.”

But quitting is just not an option anymore.  I feel rejuvenated by my level of commitment to myself, to do this and see it through to the finish.  I have a lot of work to do as far retraining my brain, to learn the art of positive thinking.  Every time I catch myself thinking a negative thought about my body, my diet, my fitness level, I have to stop, reevaluate.  Is what I said really true?  Why did  I think that?  Was I trying to be self-deprecating?  Funny?  Am I making excuses?

Most of the time, it’s just me, lacking self-confidence and esteem.  Until now, I haven’t respected myself enough to really look at why I think the way I do about myself.  I can tell you it wasn’t pretty.  My negative self-talk consisted of calling myself a fat, lazy so-and-so, who can’t run for shit.  Well.  That’s not necessarily true.  I am fat.  But I’m not lazy and I can run, I’m just not particularly fast.  Also true: I may be fat, but I have a lot of weight to lose and slowly but surely, it is going away.  I may not be a fast runner, but I’m improving, and no, I don’t need to be able to run like a gazelle, I’d be happy to run 5 miles or so at a steady pace.  On top of everything, I am gaining muscle: my arms and legs are getting firmer and I’m seeing a little more definition.

One of the most important things I am learning is ditching the “all or nothing” attitude.  Some people may get off on that, but I can’t.  I’ve read past journal entries and saw how I resolved to eat right 100% of the time, work out every day, not fall off the wagon, be committed 110% to this diet.  And each and every time, something happened: I missed a workout, I ate pizza or whatever, and I quit the whole thing because I couldn’t keep my resolve.  All or nothing is just a recipe for failure.  A fitness plan and diet are not things that should be undertaken temporarily.  We should be making decisions about our fitness and our diet that will last a lifetime, not just the next few weeks or months.  That means the things we choose to stick to should be realistic and practical.

Today, while you are going about your day, take a moment now and then and listen to what your inner monologue is telling you.  Ask yourself if it’s negative, insulting, self-deprecating.  If it is, start retraining to think positively.  Focus on the short-term goals you have for yourself when you’re struggling.  Sometimes, that goal may be as simple as just finishing your workout!  In this race, there is no time limit, and there is only one direction: UP!   Start climbing.