Honesty

Today is Bradley’s birthday. It’s a tricky day because he has a love-hate relationship with his birthday. Mostly on the side of hate it can be tricky. This day, though, Jude was on day two of the stomach flu, so doing much of anything was out of the question. We did take a really interesting run, though.

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While we ran we were really honest with ourselves and shared our truths about our eating habits of late with one another. Bradley and I often recognize that people fail most often with personal goals- and yes, I am speaking of losing weight here but think that this theory can be applied to other things- when they aren’t truthful with themselves. They justify behaviors (but I need healthy fats!*), make convenient excuses (I earned a treat), hide behind advice of others (my doctor said x but my therapist says Y and they are conflicting so I’ll do nothing) and aren’t honest about what they are doing (eating more/crappy food than they admit).
So, me: I have been eating the mostly same quantities if food but I’ve been eating crappy foods. By crappy, I mean that we have had a cookie tray and some chocolates sitting around that we have been nibbling on. Whenever we got hungry, there was no need to make anything, there was a cookie. Or piece of fudge. Or whatever. It’s gone now- I realized I had to throw it all away otherwise I was going to consume it all. Bradley admitted that he was eating it up so I wouldn’t eat it. He was eating to save his wife! Lol! I also was honest about the fact that I’m eating more food. Like, I eat the same quantity at one sitting but I’m sitting down and eating more often. We are having a staycation so there are many opportunities to eat.
Lastly, leading up to Christmas, our exercise habits were pretty bad. I ran four times in the three weeks leading up to Christmas- we just got so busy, depressed, anxious and overwhelmed. My metabolism got compromised and it was like my body was primed to pack on the pounds, and it did. I have yet to get under 219 and I am absolutely floored that it rushed on so quick. At first I thought it was water weight, but it hasn’t left and I think I need to own that I actually, gulp, gained nine pounds. Granted, I do still think some of it is water weight. I have a tendency to swell and hold a little extra water in my muscle tissue when I start exercising, so I know that’s happening- we started a great exercise regiment again. I’m not laying down the fast miles or anything, but I am getting two to three miles ran per day and we have also been walking a little and hiking.
I guess I’m saying that it’s time to own my behavior and confront myself. Get kicked back into gear. Today was pretty good, with the exception of birthday cake and birthday pie, I was a pretty solid eater. My meals had the primary component of vegetables -cruditรฉs for lunch with apples and cheese, then taco salad for dinner- and we ran well today. I’m feeling more in control and I know it will all start coming off again. 210 will be here again before I know it. (If only speaking confidently was all I needed to do to make it so!)

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*Yes, this is valid. But everything needs to be in moderation and I have been served ‘healthy’ meals before with enough olive oil to make a generous offering at an altar AND cook my meal in.

Resolved!

This break has been great for getting me back in my running shoes and out on the street. I am feeling the burn, I tell ya. I usually do not walk at all on my runs, but over this week, I’ll admit that I have walked a little. And by a little, I mean less than 1/8 a mile for any given run. While I continued to run during December, it was so little and so irregular that I’m feeling some of those beginner pains- a little burn in my lungs, my hips twinge just a tad, my calves are way tight and I’m sloooow. Today I ran in the 11’s, before that I’ve been in the 10’s per mile. Oh well. What is most important is that I am doing the work. No matter how slow or uncomfortable, I’m still out there slogging through the miles and burning the calories.

My goal was to run 10 miles per week and I did that for week one. I actually beat it- 12 miles. Mwa ha ha!
Today I went to the spa and got a full body exfoliating scrub down. After that, it was a body butter rub down/massage and my skin actually feels like butter. So, so soft. I will have to do this again. But, as I was leaving with my body feeling amazing, I got that overwhelming ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ feeling and just became super determined to get cruising on my weightloss. I would venture to say I’ve not been the greatest at telling myself no this break. I have not eaten enough to have gained 10 pounds in two days (even if that tenner seems ultra determined to stick around… Whatever.), but I have eaten enough to have gained an honest 2-3 pounds. The fudge was delish, the chocolate covered strawberries were the perfect thing for midnight munchies (since I kept them ‘safe’ in my room), and I have eaten my fair share of tofurkey dinner. It’s been a plump holiday, but no more. I’m getting my rear in gear to kill it on the diet bet and get my momentum going in earnest starting today. While I was no angel today (damn you, chocolate covered cashews- I’d better finish them off so they stop tempting me! Sheesh!), each day I have gotten better at curbing my impulses. Tomorrow should be good. Phew. It feels good to be back in control again.
***
I’ve decided that my New Years resolution will be working my muscles more consistently and eating with the intent to build lean muscle mass. It sounds weird, I know, but gaining three pounds of muscle means much better ability to control calories for me. Muscle consumes way more calories than fat and having three more pounds of muscle will burn a bajillion more calories every day, which will mean I can eat more and exercise less! Right? I know, I’m so scientific, but the equation is something like that with way more accurate numbers and words.*
To me, that makes for something to shoot for. Plus? I like the way really muscular thighs look on women so I’m gonna chase those. And I would love to plum up my arms to fill the skin in. We will see…
*Scientists speculate that for every three pounds of muscle you build, you increase your resting metabolic rate by about five percent. So if your body burns 1,200 calories per day through your resting metabolism (this doesn’t take into account any exercise or other movement you do during the day), you’d burn an extra 10 to 30 calories per day per extra pound.

Winter Weight

I was feeling all in control. Psychotically in control. Remember how I wrote that article about how I wasn’t eating enough and being a weirdo? Oh my. The winds of change.
I had a few glasses of gluhwein (ermehgerd so yum), a few more salty snacks than usual, a few pieces of fudge… I woke up weighing in at 211 on the morning of 12/24, but by the time I woke up on Christmas day I was 217. By the end of the day, on Christmas, I weighed a hardy 221. 221. Un-freaking-believable.

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This was our selfie on our 3.1 mile run today. Guess what I weighed in at here? 219.6. I lost 1.5 pounds, am still up nine (nine!… I really don’t know what is up. You can see it clearly in my face. Isn’t that nice? Yeah, yeah, water weight, blah blah blah, cheese puffs, yadda yadda, wine… I know. I know! But knowing all of that doesn’t make it any easier to see the scale go up. Sigh. On the plus side, I suppose this water influx should help on my diet bet. Small silver lining.

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I just had to share this treasure of a photo. I’ve heard for a little while that curling wands, not irons, are where it’s at. I’ve pined for one, watched YouTube videos on how to use them, I’ve placed all of my curly haired dreams on the curling wand’s shoulders! Bradley got me one for Christmas and this is how the hair turned out. It looks natural, if you want naturally witchy looking hair. I’m not impressed and now just feel like a jerk that I convinced my husband that I needed a curling wand because I could make spiral curls! Just imagine! Spirals! Ha ha! Yeah. Spirals.
On the plus side? My babe got me the entire NKOTB collection. Yep, I’m a proud owner of all their music now, including the Christmas album. It was a funky funky Christmas, indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚

Diet Fatigue

This morning I woke up and got on the scale. I was pleased to see that I’m still right around 210- I’m hitting 209-213 regularly lately- but as I stepped off the scale I just felt drained of the whole thing. There comes a point in any project that you feel done but aren’t done. I’m kinda there now. I ‘only’ have 40 more pounds to go until I am officially done, but I want to be done now. I’m sort of over it while also not being over it.
So as I was sitting there, whining about it in my head, it occurred to me that this is to be my life. Maintenance just means being consistently careful about what I eat, exercising regularly and not allowing myself to slide down that slippery slope to bad habits. My life will be this project. Maintaining my weight will not be easy, glamorous or exciting. It will just be me, weighing around 170 or so. I think it was really good to come to that realization. Perhaps I need to embrace this as my future- food won’t be so exciting when it just is. And really, shouldn’t the place of food in my life take more of a less prioritized role? I think it should.

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I took this picture as I was leaving work today. I texted it to Bradley with the caption, “Can you see how happy I am to be coming home to you tonight?!” It was a hard, hard day. Probably in my top three of most difficult days of my career, and only top three because I don’t want to discount other tough days! I want to say Hardest Day Ever, but who knows?
My workload is heavy this year and I am feeling it, trying not to fail in it, but it is seriously draining me and I need to get better about taking care of myself before I backslide into a depressed, anxious, panic state again. I can feel it creeping in and it’s freaking me out. However, I’m grateful that I have people around me now who I feel safe turning to, I’m thankful I have coping strategies in place now, I’m thankful for my supportive husband, I’m thankful that we have an event-free, winter break on the horizon and I’m thankful that I know myself so much better now. Already, as I’m pointing this out to myself, I’m starting to feel so much better… ๐Ÿ™‚
***
You would not believe the amount of chocolate my students are giving me this year. Oh. My. Goodness.

An Extra Dose of Gratitude

Somehow my body knew I needed an extra pick-me-up today. I woke up and found out that I weigh…

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213!!!
Thank you, body. ๐Ÿ™‚
We went for a run today. We did 3.1 miles as a run then walked 1.6 with the kids. Now we are prepping for tofurkey and Brussels sprouts. Yummmm! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Redeye

I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard for almost a year now. In that time I have been so paranoid about losing my momentum that at the most, I have allowed myself to take a 4-5 day break from working out. I am presently on day four with no running, no weights. I’m not gaining weight- I’m actually slowly losing weight- so I know it’s ok. I’m just saying it here so I can be ok owning the fact that I am really tired, really being affected by the dark season, so I’m listening to my body and taking a short break from working out. I know I said a few days ago that I have to just keep going no matter what, but I’m not. I’m letting myself have a down weekend with lots of couching, snuggle time, kid time and there may even be a Christmas tree involved…
I made this to make myself feel better, like see? I’m ok! Everything is going great!

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I had forgotten I asked Bradley to take a series of before pictures back in January. We were cleaning out our photo library when I spotted this. Funny thing is, I felt pretty slim and sassy in this picture- I had already lost 68 pounds at this point! What a difference a year makes. It is SO nice to have the technology to give myself these comparisons. The before was on 1/28/13 and the during/after is from Friday of this week. *
***
This morning I was working with nail polish remover. I set the bottle down a little hard, I guess, because a drop of the remover flew up out of the bottle and made the turn right towards my face. I actually watched the droplet enter my eye, felt it pretty intensely when it got in there too. I have always wondered about those eye baths from chemistry class- you remember, the corner with a weird drain in the floor and a eye washing fountain posted, or a giant hose and shower head on a big spring… You were instructed to hold the eye open and bathe the area for 10 minutes. I always thought that water hurt my eyes, so that task might be uncomfortable EVEN in the face of chemicals burning the eyes, especially for ten minutes! Turns out the water feels pretty amazing when one has a chemical in the eye. Holy cow, it was like Christmas for my eye once that water hit. Sweet sweet relief. I can’t imagine getting something worse in there! I didn’t wash it for ten minutes though… Getting actual water into the eye when you’re looking down is hard, thanks to gravity- but I rinsed it till it didn’t burn and now you can call me Red-eye.
*
And for those of you who are gasping and clutching at your pearls because I posted pictures of myself on the internet in my skivvies, here are my retorts-
1. this is a weightloss blog. If I were perfectly fit, no one would give a second glance. My imperfections/ non standard beauty is what makes me obscene, not my underwear.
2. I am supposed to compare and look at my body here to note progress.
3. If I were wearing a bikini instead of underwear, no one would feel uncomfortable.
4. Who cares? You know you’re fascinated anyways. It’s always interesting to see what people look like.

Yes, You Have To!

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YES! You have to continue to run almost every night!
Yes, It is dark!
Yes, it is wet!
Yes, it is cold!
Yes, it is late!
But you made a commitment to be a fit person! You have to run! You have to put miles under your feet! You have to keep burning calories! You have to keep moving or else you’ll stagnate before you reach your goal!
YES! You have to continue to avoid eating eating candy! It is delicious poison! You feel crappy after you eat it and get into a viscous cycle of craving more more MORE! Plus, it makes you tired. Don’t eat it! You’ve done pretty good so far!
YES! You need to keep limiting calories! You can cut loose on Thanksgiving and Christmas a little. Enjoy it then and you’ll enjoy it more instead of letting loose for the next two months altogether. Remember the 13 pound gain of the 2012 holiday season? Hmmmm?
YES! You have to run without walk breaks even when no one is looking. Just because you run alone doesn’t mean you can cheat! When you keep running you keep getting stronger, faster, better… And you lose pounds. You like losing pounds.
YES! You have to keep running even though you are terrified of getting hit by distracted drivers who are texting or on their phones. You can’t live in fear and the benefit is profound. Be safe, be bright, be smart and be attentive.
***
Obviously I’m feeling a little unmotivated. I’m still losing. Well, I gained a pound that stuck around longer than I would like to talk about and now it’s gone, so I’m feeling a little bit better about that. I think I’m bored and as the winter is coming, so is the darkness, the rain, the chilly, dampness. The top of my head aches with cold while I run and my ears too. Running in winter is not all I had dreamed it would be. Clearly there are some adjustments happening in my brain about this!
I’m losing weight, but is thinking I may have a little winter blues with the onset of daylight savings. I’m just a bit depressed, sinking into a few anxiety attacks, feeling on the edge of panic and irritability. It’s not super fun. The funny thing is that running totally helps with the blues but, it’s the last thing I want to do when I’m feeling blue. It is a tremendous hurdle to remind myself, when my brain is trying so hard to be depressed, that a run will make me feel better. I’ve gotten better about ‘taking my medicine’ though and try to use a run as the first step in my battle against depression. It works 75% of the time. It worked pretty well today ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

Yesterday I was watching my kids swim, the wind blew my skirt up and this view caught me by surprise! I can’t ever remember my legs looking like this. Even when I was a teenager and weighed 160, my legs have always run together, the space between non-existent. I can’t help but think that this is a direct result of being a runner.

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Yesterday I pointed out that I noticed some changes in my arms. I went and looked, and if I needed proof that my arms workout is working, I got it! I clearly see changes that sure are motivating me to keep going!

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Cheers!