Monday, May 21, 2018

Wiped Out

We had a very low-key weekend. We got some bad news that Really  just put a damper on everything.

The sun finally came out on Sunday. And we did manage to get outside on our bikes. We went to the Canal. It was wet muddy but it was fun. We rode about 10 to 15 miles and got to see a lot of parking lots and roads flooded… Not to mention the river really really high. The pollen was horrible, and we paid the price all afternoon after our ride with sinus pressure and headaches and itchy eyes. Regardless, it was good to get outside and I would do it again in a heartbeat even knowing the allergy problems.

It was a good ride...much better than my earlier rides this year...which blows my mind because it’s been a month since those rides....I guess the week of lots of steps helped!

 Even more bothersome this weekend was the arthritis in my knee. Granted the weather changing affects it for sure but I can look at my weight and know that I am at the point where my weight really starts to affect the arthritis. I have to do something because I know how debilitating arthritis can be.


As I mentioned on Friday, my weight hasn’t budged and is hovering at a number that I do not like.

So what is my plan????   8000 steps a day is the first thing.   The weather is supposed to be clearing up a little bit (only one day of rain forecasted.) So there is no excuse to not walk at work. If I walk both brakes and my lunch I can come very close to my step count… I will still need to push it at home a little bit but it’s more doable for me.  Why is this important?  Well it’s activity in an otherwise sedentary work day.  Secondly it makes a difference in my fitness...small efforts add up!  But also...arthritis is helped by activity.  It’s hard though because it hurts...but I know it helps!!

Another thing is the Sweet treats. I’ve written this paragraph a couple times. Part of me says I need to give it up totally. So I write the paragraph that way. But then I think about how unsustainable that will be in the long run, and I delete paragraph. I really am going back-and-forth. I hesitate to even write this paragraph. I know the other week I was still losing weight when I was walking a lot and I was still eating sweets.  There has to be a happy medium. Life can’t be all lettuce and celery.    So I’m going to leave the sweet treats up in the air.   What I AM going to say is this....two rules for dessert.   

1.  I’m not aiming for about 1400ish  calories a day.  If I can fit the cake into the food budget then it’s a go...
And 
2.  If I’ve made my 8000 steps for the day!  

Otherwise...nope!!!  Hmm and my mind is looking for a loophole....can I bank steps???  Hahahaha. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it!!!

And the last thing, work on continuing to track my food!!!

Additionally, I am going to try to add in the bike trainer and or some runs in the evening.  Those are hard because I’m soooo tired when I get home.  So those are extras!!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Small but Mighty

First and foremost, let me get my weekly official weigh in out of the way.   I’m not exactly happy....and I’m not exactly upset.   Why?  I maintained.   Ok, part of me is angry because I ate almost exactly what I ate last week...and last week I lost!   But part of me is ok because the rain that we have had constantly this week has kept me from walking on my breaks.  So a mixed bag of emotions!   


So where am I?   Ready to make a change!  And they don’t have to be huge changes.  Small does the trick nicely!

My maintain this week on the scales as compared to my loss last week emphasizes that the Changes does not have to be huge!   My eating remained the same...the only thing that changed was walking on my breaks versus sitting on my behind!   Small change...big difference in my results!

So the first  SMALL change?   I can walk in the parking garage even with rain!!!!  Back to walking at least some of my breaks! (And hopefully the sun will return so I can walk around the lake again...although the forecast doesn’t look all that great!)




Another SMALL change I can make?  10-15 minutes on my bike (the one with the bike trainer) a day or even a couple times a week...that’s not a big commitment....but I’m the grand scheme of things I can reap huge results!   Not just in terms of weight loss, but also in terms of my endurance while biking!!!   That is going to be huge very soon because ASAP we plan on upgrading my bike to up the level of trails I can attempt on my bike!  


Small changes...mighty results!!!







Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Reasons to push forward

Isn’t it crazy how our minds work?

On Monday I was gung ho and the scales were looking good, things were fantastic.  I was able to eat and stay in budget and close  to plan.   I was in budget with my calories and I was really close to my step count for the day. 

On Tuesday I woke up and my weight was up.  It was back to where it was on Friday, so technically I have not had a gain for the week. But the mind plays some nasty nasty tricks. I have talked about the mini me that sits on my shoulder before. It’s the voice in my head that tells me that I suck at running, it’s the voice in my head that tells me to eat chocolate, it’s the voice in my head that sends me on a nose dive off the cliff into unhealthiness.

So yesterday morning my weight was up and I was bummed out but I moved on with my day, and my normal plans for food. Traffic was horrendous, so I did not make it to work in time to walk. But I walked on my first break! And then I crashed between the first break and my lunch break.  I literally crashed and burned. I was tired.  I couldn’t focus. I was just feeling really punkish. I knew I had to do something… So I planned to swing by a store during my walk to get a caffeinated drink. All was still good, I was going to eat my fruits and vegetables and I was still going to walk. And then the mini me arrived. Oh she arrived,  did she ever! What did she say? “Your weight is already up, you may as well eat like a pig today and just start tomorrow.”  Boy was she Screaming!

Did I listen to her words? Sadly yes… To an extent. I did not eat the cupcake from the cupcake store.  I did not get macaroni and cheese with extra cheese from potbelly. I did not stock up on candy from the candy store. I did however go to the cafeteria and get a chicken sandwich which I ate with the banana from my lunch. I passed on the chips, which is a victory. But in fairness I will admit that I got a three musketeers bar also. The food/sugar made a huge difference in my afternoon. I didn’t feel so brain-dead, I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out from exhaustion, and I lost that feeling like I was going to cry.  So in fairness it may have been a wise choice.

Oh and in case you missed it… I went to the cafeteria for lunch… That means there was no walk. I did walk on my last break though. I was pretty much confined to the house last night due to some pretty vicious storms that ripped through my county/town. 7 inches of rain in two hours is a fair amount of rain. We  weathered the storm just fine. (There was a storm the night before that had us under tornado  warnings/watch, but that storm was fast moving so it did not dump as much rain on us.)

It is what it is. I’m OK with the decision I made to eat a larger lunch yesterday. I’m OK, but bummed by the continued higher weight on the scale… I was pretty much the same weight today that I was yesterday morning.

So today’s mission is to ignore the voice of my mini me as she tells me that I need cookies and cake and candy while I am at work. My weight is up…this weigh is the highest I have been in a while, but that is not reason to give up and “start tomorrow. “

That said, I was thinking last night on my drive home. I was thinking about where life is, where I think life is going, and where I want life to be in future years. I need to keep my future, my goals, my hopes,  my dreams first and foremost in my mind. There is so much I want to do and so much that can conceivably happened, amazing things. I don’t want to face life and my future at this weight… I want to face these things at a much lower weight. They will still happen at the higher weight, most likely… I’ve always tried to not let my weight hinder me. But if I want to be the best me as life moves forward I need to get my weight under control.

So I’m going to throw it out there right now… I am probably not going to reach my step goal this week… It is supposed to rain through Saturday night Sunday morning. That will hinder my break and lunch. I’m not giving up, But I am saying inclement weather is out of my control.

Meanwhile, the arthritis is kicking! The weather is playing a number on my knee… OK maybe my weight is playing a factor on it also. Just one more reason to get this fixed!

Monday, May 14, 2018

The tortoise

Monday morning has arrived! I could have used one or two more days of the weekend. But alas, I have to work to make a living ....

I was able to maintain a somewhat steady diet this weekend. And by diet I mean food intake. I did not go crazy but I was not militant in my eating over the past weekend. I did not feel deprived, I was not hungry, and in fact I felt good because I was in control. It was more of exactly what I am doing during the work week. And that is eating lighter during the day; mostly fruits and vegetables, and then having a full meal at dinner. And those full meals are not crazy but they are not rabbit food. For example Friday night I had pizza and wings; Saturday night I had a sub, chips  and pasta salad; alast night I had a burger, pasta salad and baked Parmesan zucchini. All three nights I had some sort of dessert also. Is it perfect for me to eat the bulk of my calories in one meal? Probably not. Is it healthy for me to eat a sweet treat every evening? Probably not. Is it working for me right now? Yes. Yes, it is working.

Over the past week I have weighed  myself just about every day. And I have been delighted to see my weight drop every day. It is it not dropping by mad numbers, meaning I am not dropping a pound a day… I’m dropping maybe 2/10 of a pound each day give or take. That may only be 1 pound a week, but I am OK with slow and steady. Especially knowing that I am eating in a way that is sustainable. In essence I am having my cake and eating it too. I’m just eating superhealthy during the day to account for my cake (or whatever sweet treat I have).  I’m budgeting my food wisely.

I am sure there are people that will read this blog post and cringe at the fact that I’m claiming to be healthy (healthier) and eating cake. But that is where I go back to the many posts I have written that talk about how this is an individual journey and what works for me may not be what works for someone. It also goes  back to other posts that talk about how what works for you one week may not work for you at a different stage in your journey. And one more blast from the past that I’ve written about that is important is how this journey encompasses everything, eating exercise, and how it is  very emotional and mental. For me… right now… Where I sit in my life, this is working.

Changing my fit bit goal from 10 K steps down to 8K steps was inspired. On Friday I did my walking at work  and it was so rewarding to have that go off in celebration of my goal. It is rainy and overcast today so I’m not sure how much walking outside I’ll be able to do at work… But I am aiming for that 8000 steps. We had a lazy quiet weekend of relaxing and just chilling out at home… So sadly I did not make my steps for the weekend, but I think we both needed a weekend of doing the bare minimum.

Exercise is still spotty…Walking 8K steps a day was pretty much my exercise last week. I’m hoping to beef that up… I have goals I have plans I have the equipment.

So how did I do on my goals for last week? I reached my step goal… I did not track my food yesterday… Unless I go back and do it today. But in the grand scheme of things, I did at least keep myself under control on those two weekend days I did not track.

Goals for this week…

1. Track every day including the weekend.

2.  Hit 8000 steps a day for my work week. 40,000 steps in the next five days.

3. Be active over the weekend… Riding bikes going for a run, Lots of steps… It doesn’t matter something active.

4. Keep losing weight. Anything less than 249.6!!!  Although my official Friday weight was 251.4 so technically anything under 251.4 on Friday is a win.

Small steps. Nothing drastic. Easy attainable goals. Sustainable for my lifestyle. Slow  but long-term rewards.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sustainable

I have spent some time thinking about where I’m at.  I’ve spent some time really thinking about where I want to go. I’ve spent some time thinking about what I want my life to look like....... and I made some goals for my week.   And as I worked through my week I made some more discoveries.  So let’s first look at where I want to be and what I want my life to look like. 


Fun geese watching me walk!

First and foremost I want to be healthy....if ‘fat’ is healthy then fat it will be...but I know that ‘fat is not healthy so for the simplicity of writing I will say that I want to be thin.  


But most importantly I want to live a life that is sustainable.  Deprivation isn’t going to work for me....yeah I can say I’ll never have a piece of cake again....but that is not sustainable...because I like cake and I will eventually have a piece.  And if it’s been a taboo food (aka something I’ve deprived myself of) then I will probably cave and eat a lot of cake and lose control.  (This has been proven!!! I deprived myself and then had wedding cake...and that was the start of my weight gain.)


Sustainable and healthy.   Sounds easy right???


So my goals for this week...simple and Easy. Keep my step count high track my food and keep my calories low.

I discovered something about myself with goals and challenges...


 I have been wearing a fitbit for a year and a half.  I have gone through stages where it was awesome and I was checking it constantly.  I have also gone through some stages where I barely looked at my step count, even though I consistently wear it. (Hey, I like the text and call notification on my wrist.)    This week I decided that I was going to aim for 40,000 steps for the weekdays.  I know that on my weekdays I haven’t hit 10K steps in a LONG time.  So I wanted to give myself a bit of wiggle room by saying 40K steps instead of the 10K steps a day equaling 50,000 steps for the time frame.  It turns out that with 40k steps that  I would be aiming for 8 K steps each day.  Monday was easy as I was off work and I rolled through my steps easily (I employed the folding laundry trick.  I put the basket on the couch and folded my clothes and put each article of clothing away one at a time.  So fold a shirt, walk it to the drawer in the bedroom then back to the living room for the next shirt to fold….hey it added about 1500 steps for each load of laundry!)   Tuesday rolled around and back to work.  I walked on my breaks and I walked during my lunch.  I was determined to make it to 7K steps by the time I walked into the door of my house.  Yeah, I didn’t make it……and I didn’t make the 8K steps for the day either.  I was 349 steps short.    But on Wednesday I was determined.  This was my day!  I was going to annihilate the 8,000 steps!   And that’s when I realized.  10K steps may be the recommended amount….but for me right now, where I am at this moment, 10K steps is not a valid goal for me.  I see it as mostly unattainable.   But 8K steps?  That is attainable for me….(walking every second of my work breaks…and walking in place in the elevators……and doing as much stuff like that  during my desk job work day).  It’s a stretch, but it’s attainable….and because I see it as attainable, it is a game to me.  It’s a challenge…and I’m ready to roll with it.  As of right now on Friday morning I have about 4000 steps left  to make that goal… Totally attainable.

But as I worked on this challenge this week I discovered something different about myself. I’ve always known I work well with challenges.  I like to beat my own personal time I love to win a race or a game, it really does motivate. But this week I realized that it overwhelms my life. I’ve become absolutely obsessed with beating my challenge. That’s not a bad thing in the grand scheme of things.  That’s actually a positive in some regards. The negative comes in when I let myself get so keyed up about missing a step or not walking that extra distance. For example, I was driving to work the other morning and a van pulled out in front of me. And he drove so slow! My anger escalated. Even though I drive in D.C. rush hour traffic I’m pretty easy going and don’t anger easily, so this was abnormal.   (However, Don’t even get me started when lanes merge down and the people that are in one of the continuing lanes and decide to swerve into the lane that is ending thus causing them to have to merge right back in to the lane they just left… Oh wow did that three car lengths that you gained really get you there faster… Because it just slowed everybody else down! I hate those people… And if you do that,  don’t tell me because I don’t want to hate you either. OK I don’t hate the people I hate the action.) so anger at this white van… What kept going through my mind was that his slow driving was cutting into my walking time in the morning before work. Every second was taking one step off of my Fitbit. That’s reaction was a little extreme over a few steps… And no I didn’t yell or cuss them out  or flip them off or anything like that,  I just silently fumed.  On my breaks I walked and I tried to time it perfectly so that I got back to my desk right when I needed to be there.  But,  if I didn’t time the elevator right and ended up at my desk on or two or heaven forbid 3 minutes early I sat there and fumed because I just wasted a minute or two of walking.  How many steps did I lose! I didn’t like those moments of anger that coursed through me.  I don’t want to be obsessed. I guess that goes back into my goals and thoughts about where I want to be in where I am… Obsession is not sustainable.


So what is the take away from my Fitbit experience this week. I am absolutely positive that I will reach my goal of 40,000 steps this week. I have 4198 steps to take today. That’s doable even if I skip one of my walks on a break, I won’t have to walk in place in the elevators for the bathrooms while I wait for a stall, I won’t have to take extra loops at warp speed around the block to get extra steps on my lunch break. I may not even have to walk before work, if I get there in time. So I’m comfortable for today. (I do plan on walking on all my breaks  and even before work just because it’s good for me and healthy to boot.). And I will be looking to see if I can change my fit bit goal to 8000 steps a day. 8000 is doable for me with a little push. So if I slack I won’t feel that celebration go off on my wrist(My fit bit Alta vibrates and the display shows fireworks when I reach my goal.) I went for many many months and didn’t reach 10,000 steps and when I finally did that goal vibration blew my mom because I forgot what it feels like to be successful. I’m not sure I can change it… But I’m gonna try. Eventually I would like to move it back to 10,000 steps… But for right now 8000 is perfect For me.

 

Tracking:   I fall apart during the weekends.  Really.  I don’t track, I eat more poorly.  I eat more.  I eat more often.  And my weekends ALWAYS show me up on the scales.  My work weeks seem to be doing pretty good.  I’m slowly dropping weight during the work week…only to have the weekends wipe my progress away.  Yeah, it’s a vicious cycle.  So a few changes are going into effect. 

1.        My official weigh in day will now be Friday.  I’m doing this because I want to see the efforts of my week…and I want that tidal wave of pride to carry me through the weekend.

2.       Tracking…I track during the work week but tend to ‘forget’ on the weekends.  That is stopping!

3.       Lunches on the weekend will more closely resemble the weekday lunches as much as possible.  That means lunches will be mostly fruits and veggies…..if possible.  (If not possible, I better ‘earn’ the calories through some awesome exercise to account for the extra food I eat!

 

It’s Friday and I have weighed every day, and every day of the week day I have seen my weight drop just a little. I’m on the right track!


Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Arsenal

A few days ago we were talking about exercise and health and I opened my trunk...to reveal some of my exercise goodies.  Part of me was shocked at how much I really do have.

So let’s take a look at my arsenal of exercise equipment and what I’ve gathered...and some of my favoritenproducts!

First and foremost...running.

I run in ASICS cummulous running shoes.  With the pronation of my feet, these shoes are good for me. I use Aftershox wireless bone conducting headphones (love love love) .  These are awesome for me, ear buds just seem to never work for me, they won't stay in my ears!  The bone conduction headphones lay near my ears, but not in them.  I can hear the music perfectly, but I also can hear the noises around me...important while I'm out running.   I  carry my phone in my run buddy pack.  (Love love love). The run buddy is a pouch with a pocket (two pockets actually) and a flap.  The flap goes into the waistband of your pants and the pocket section on the outside of your pants.  strong magnets in the flap and in the pouch area connect and hold everything in place.  I recommend the run buddy to everyone!  I top it with a hat.

I’ll stop here and say that I have a ton of hats.


I love my hats for exercise.  They are good because they are memories of places I’ve been.  But they serve a few other functions.  First, they keep my hair from slipping out of the braid/ponytail holder and being totally unruly!  Secondly they keep the sweat from dripping down my face as they wick the sweat into the hat.  (Gross I know...and yes I have to wash them!). Thirdly it helps contain the weather.  Blocks me from the sun and protects my face from rain.   A win win...win win!

Next in my arsenal?  

Hiking is awesome exercise!!!  As you can see I hike in Salomon.  I have a full boot..typically recommended for backpackers...but perfect for someone with weak ankles and feet problems!   I can say that my ankles have NEVER rolled while hiking...but it's a common occurrence when I'm out walking in regular shoes.

Tennis shoes...just as important as running shoes and hiking boots....as I learned this past weekend...good shoes are very important to not feeling so achy after being on my feet for a long time!!


ASICS work well for my feet. I have spent countless hours (for real) trying on shoes...both for casual and for running....it always ends up being ASICS that I buy.   For my casual shoes I have to admit that what I buy is driven by price. I stick with ASICS, but as for style and color I am totally price motivated.   I know that's bad but hey...it’s worked for me this far!!

Working in conjunction those previous things...I have the Fitbit Alta to monitor my steps.  It’s on my wrist all the time...I do have an aftermarket replacement band....




Next?


My road bike.   Currently my bike is mounted on a bike trainer in the corner of what is supposed to be the dining room (if we only had a dining room table...not that we would eat at it anyway).  This is a Litespeed Vela road bike.  The trainer...something I picked up at Aldi’s!  It works great!    And of course my bike shoes beside my road bike.....because yes, I do have clipped pedals on my road bike.

I may as well talk about my other bike next.



This is a Trek Navigator.  I bought this when I was at my highest weight and it has carried me well over the last many many years.  It’s in great shape and runs smooth...even after 15-17 years of use.  I still use it...but I have outgrown it in terms of what I can do with it and where I want to ride.   We are saving for a mountain bike for me...I would LOVE a Santa Cruz to match Jason's.....but well...my budget most likely won't allow that, unless a fabulous deal falls into my lap.   When a mountain bike is purchased for me,  the trek will become the bike on the trainer and that will make it easier for both of us to use.  It will also be the bike we grab for a quick jaunt down to the grocery store for that 'man we need' this purchase!  (Why this bike?  If it's stolen it can be replaced at a much more reasonable price than Jason's bike and probably whatever I buy.)

We do have safety equipment... helmets!  A full face helmet (the chin guard is not attached at the moment) and a 'regular' helmet.



A few years back I picked up a stair stepper/lateral thigh trainer...used.  I think I paid five bucks for it.  When I use it, my legs feel like jello!


Yes, we drink a lot of bottled water!

Next in my pile of exercise stuff....and now we get into the lessor used stuff...but maybe these things will make a resurgence!!



I have two exercise balls...one is not pumped and I just pumped this one a few days ago.  I know the exercises work...I’ve had the muscle aches to prove it!!




I have wrist weight, and leg weights, weighted ball, somewhere (they seem to be missing at the moment) I have Zumba toning sticks,  a roller for a push up/plank type exercise and just in case...I have a yoga mat.


Resistance bands anyone?  Some still in the box unused!!!



And last, I have a collection of exercise videos!  

I have no excuse to not exercise do I???


So what’s in your arsenal???



Monday, May 07, 2018

Back to Monday

The weekend had come and gone!  Boo!!!  Well I can’t boo boo you much.  I’m still off work today!

I spent my Friday day off with my mom. We had a good time together and I got some errands done.

On Saturday Jason  and I went to the  Catoctin Zoo .  We sunk the money for an annual pass.  It’s a nice place to get out and walk!  It’s small but it’s still a cool place.  




We ran a few errands and then went home.   

My legs and feet were SOOO sore!  They ached fiercely!   When I was able to think more clearly about it, I realized that new tennis shoes have been on the agenda for a while...but I’ve been delaying.  My tennis shoes were old...like a year and 5 months old!   They still look decent...but the innards were obviously shot! Shoes skyrocketed to the top of the list of things to get!

On Sunday we went down into Virginia.  We hit up the Tyson’s Corner REI.   We had some member dividends to use.   We used them to buy knee and elbow pads for Jason. He will be safer now when he rides his mountain bike!    We hit up lunch at a pizza joint to get our all time favorite pizza (guess what is for dinner tonight...leftovers!!). And on the way back through Leesburg we went into the outlets to the ASICS store.  My feet do well with ASICS.  So I stick with them.   I found a pair...budget friendly.  :-)



This morning after Jason grudgingly left for work I cleaned the house and headed out for a run.  I was in my good running shoes but my legs and feet didn’t fair well....the many miles on icky shoes this weekend wreaked their havoc.  But that’s ok...I’ve fixed the problem.

I’m showered, I’ve checked and updated my budget/finances and soon  I’m heading out for a few errands and lunch.   And then home to relax...maybe a walk this afternoon. 

So while we were active this weekend...my weight showed higher today.   It is so frustrating!!!  Now in fairness...the monthly ick should be arriving soon...and I woke up dying of thirst.  Both of those things on their own usually mean the scales will be up.   But let’s be honest.   My weekend eating is not on point.  I do pretty good during the week/workdays....but weekends I fall apart.    I usually track weekdays...and no on weekends.  Weekends right now are my Achilles heel...and I will be working on that.   As I struggled throoug my run I made the vow to myself to fix it!!!  Some ideas are floating in my head.   I can do this!!!!