Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The trouble with fat

Shush...I know it's been 10 days since my last post. No excuses. I was sick for part of that, and the rest of that is becoming a short story for your entertainment.

Actually, it's to get it out of my system and hopefully get myself motivated again. :-)

Here it was, Thursday afternoon, and she's sitting in the doctor's office. If there's anything she dislikes more, she's hard-pressed to think of it right now. The annual poking, prodding and questions. Especially the questions, since it's a new doctor. At least she's nice, and not judgemental, like the last one was.

"Well, your sinuses are definitely swollen, so we'll put you on some antibiotics to help with that a little bit. Otherwise, it's just a cold, it will have to run its course. Not what you wanted to hear, right?" Dr. Lorves chuckles.

And with that, she went home to sleep. Again. It seemed like that was all she had been doing. She called in to work Tuesday for the first time, and would have to again for Friday night, since she can't get the antibiotics until Friday and needs to be on them for 24 hours before she can work.

Over the weekend, as the antibiotics took effect, she started to feel better. She worked Saturday and Sunday night, and then by Monday afternoon when she woke up, she felt a lot better. So she took the dog for a walk, after bundling up for the weather.

Tuesday morning she walked to the bus stop and back, and then added 2 blocks to make it an even mile. And then slept again for another couple of hours. Unusual, but perhaps still playing catch up from working nights.

Wednesday morning. Another walk. And then back to sleep for 4 hours this time. What on earth is going on?!

Thursday morning, another walk, another sleep for 4 hours. 12 hours of sleep?? What is going on??

She posts at her forum, and gets plenty of feedback: overdoing it after being ill, overdoing it period for just starting an exercise program again, need more vitamins, need less vitamins, drink more water, sleep at night etc etc. Some of which makes sense. Overdoing it after being ill and just plain overdoing it for a beginner, especially.

But, in her heart of hearts, she knows what it is. It's her body fat. She's been hearing it for the last few days. Complaints of not enough food, and too much exercise. Her fat is rebelling. And it's doing it the best way possible: fatiguing her. Making her sleep the day away so she doesn't exercise. So she wakes up craving high calorie food.

Sure enough, that's about all she's been eating. Of course, with the lack of funds, it is more difficult to eat healthy, and they're living off what they have in the house. But come payday, what happens?? She has her son pick up pizza burgers with a side of mozzarella sticks. Her fat cells laugh as they sense the imminent return of her bad habits.

The next night she walks to the restuarant with her son. A good start!! Surely she'll be able to order something reasonably healthy. Alas, the fat cells win again: all-meat pizza and she splits a side of mozzarella sticks and a side of cheeseballs with her son.

Working the weekend. Breakfast at Burger King. Breakfast from McDonalds and supper from McDonalds. Lunch from the cafeteria both days. Creamy pasta, rich desserts. Oh sure, she got the fruit cup and chocolate milk, but does that outweight the others? Oh no. And again, the fat begins to celebrate.

Monday, she's slept in again. She didn't walk her son to the bus stop. The fat cells rejoice. Tuesday, it's too cold by far, and she drives him to the bus stop. She wakes up a few hours later to find she missed part of the show she wanted to see, and then she gets mad.

"These fat cells have been sabatoging me!! I KNOW the effects they can have on my hormones and emotions, and dadgummit I WILL NOT LET THEM WIN!!" At that, the fat cells ears' perk up. Surely she doesn't mean it?

She walks to the computer and modifies her exercise goal. She cuts it in half, knowing that's for more attainable for her right now. She pulls up the healthy recipes her family loves, and makes a grocery list for the upcoming weekend. The fat cells begin to cringe. And then, she makes the final blows: she journals about what's been going on and what she plans to do about it. She re-connects with her accountability partner and puts it in writing there, too.

She goes to work feeling better. Yes, it's another night shift, so she has plenty of time to get her game plan squared away. She will sleep most of Wednesday, which is to be expected. But she knows that when she wakes up, her treadmill will be waiting. And she will begin a new relationship with it. She will take it slow and easy, so she doesn't push the new feelings away with feelings of guilt and failure from not meeting that unattainable goal. She will write down how she feels at the end of the workouts.

Most of all, she will NOT give up the war against the fat cells. She WILL prevail!!

The fat cells are laughing, thinking that it won't happen again. The fat cells have been down this road before, and have always won before.

Stay tuned.....

Sunday, January 21, 2007

I'm back!!

I do apologize, Constant Reader, for not posting lately. Monday night my nose started to tingle, and by Tuesday morning I had a full-blown sinus infection. Got to the doctor Thursday who put me on antibiotics and allergy meds for the sinus pressure. I'm back again, though!! :-)

I'm going to borrow today's post from SparkPeople, it's about imitation. Word of caution, there are 2 "cuss" words in my musings well after this quote.

Be worthy of imitation.

They say imitation is the greatest compliment, but are your actions worthy of imitation? We are all in some setting of leadership. Whether it be as a parent, boss, or friend we should constantly examine the example we are setting for those around us. Are you being a positive role model? Are you treating others in a dignified way? Be a cheerful and diligent worker, parent and boss to those around you. Children, especially, are like sponges taking in your every action and word -- they naturally want to be just like you. So be mindful of your word and deed, you never know who might be watching and silently learning what you are demonstrating.

Included in that was a second quote: You must be careful how you walk and where you go, for there are those following you who will set their feet where yours are set. ~~Robert E. Lee, Civil War General

I always chuckle when I remember a day I was doing some minor repairs on the front steps. This was at a mobile home we were renting, and my son was 7 at the time. I was pounding nails, and missed. Of course, I hit another nail, but the ones on your fingers aren't the ones you're supposed to hit!! LOL So I said "Oh shit!" My darling son said "No Mom, you mean shit on a shingle." Very serious he was, too. I never realized how often I had used that phrase until that day. It's one I still use now and then, but for the most part I try to watch my language. He's now 14, and still picks up on things. Much the same way I did when I was that age.

The nice thing is he's also picking up on "good" things. He's been watching me drinking/eating my strawberry smoothies, made with ground flax to help with feeling fuller longer. He has been hungry in school way before lunchtime, so at his request I ground flax for him, and he added it to his oatmeal. He was very happy with not being hungry again until lunchtime, and has even requested I show him how to make the smoothies.

We went through McDonalds this afternoon, and I suggested we both get a Happy Meal. I got a Hamburger Happy Meal, he got the Double Cheeseburger Big Kid's Meal (he is a growing teenager, after all!). Neither of us were hungry for about 3 hours afterwards, and we were both comfortably full after our Happy Meal. It makes it doubly happy, since we made a somewhat healthier choice by keeping the portions down. On the drive home, we discussed the nutritional information, and decided that next time, we will get the apple dippers and caramel sauce and chocolate milk instead of fries and soda. For me, that's about the same amount of calories, since I drink Diet Coke, but for him it's less. His main point: You get more food for the calories and it's healthier. Apples, fruit. OK, so the caramel sauce could be avoided, but I'm not that good!! :-) And the milk. Can't beat that.

He's watching me strength train and hit the treadmill or walk daily. As a result, he's requested to be able to strength train over the summer and he's waiting for it to warm up to ride bike again! (He already walks about 1/2 mile each morning, to the bus stop.) While he is in good shape, he's wanting to stay that way and improve his capabilities. Can't beat that. :-)

My husband is probably setting the best example of all, and the hardest. After 20 years (give or take) he is giving up smoking. I'm very proud of him, and while I know it will be a struggle, it will be a struggle that is well worth it!!

So, what example will you be setting for today?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Lacking motiviation/gumption today

Being defeated is often temporary, giving up makes it permanent.” ~~ Marilyn von Savant

Well, I'm not sure if it's because it's Monday, if it's still below zero out or what it is, but I have absolutely no motivation whatsoever. I was tempted to give up the ghost on today, but then I found the above quote at SparkPeople and so I'm going to run with it.

I woke up feeling OK, tired, but OK. My intent was to wake up at 5, do my 8MM, and then walk my son to the bus stop. Well, it was 12 below out, and so that killed the walk. (Thankfully, it died a quiet death, probably because it was frozen! LOL) I did do my 8MM later in the morning and then I rather crashed. What was tired became totally lethargic. I did do some laundry, and watched the workout videos I have, to see which ones I am currently capable of doing. (To see why, check out my SparkPage. Unfortunately, anything too strenuous is a little out of the question at the moment, but I'm working on that.)

About 2:00 PM, the Audrey Hepburn Story came on TV, and I began to watch that. Then I started some laundry, then I decided to look for some motivation. I found that quote, and here I am. Well, it's about 3 hours later. In that, I did the laundry, worked on a legwarmer I'm working on (hey, when it's 5 degrees out and you want to walk your dog, wool legwarmers are a GOOD thing!), and then about 4PM, on a commercial, I set my stopwatch and walked/boogied/shimmied/folded laundry/picked up trash during the commercial. I did that and then worked on my legwarmer again during the movie. For 3 commercials, I did that, and racked up 15 minutes of walking. I was able to talk, but not complete a sentence, so it was brisk walking, to boot.

I have a headache now, and I think the start of a sinus infection, but I no longer feel defeated. I feel very happy that I got up and moved, if only for 15 minutes. I'm going to keep it up for a little bit, even if it makes my husband laugh. He won't laugh a few weeks down the road when I need smaller clothes, and my BMI has gone down, and I've decreased my chances of a heart attack even by a little. And isn't that what this is all about? Getting healthier?


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy Sunday!!

I've been duly informed that I've been slacking on the blogger thing...yes, I have, and I'm sorry. Wednesday was just a day of "blah", Thursday I spent with my DH running errands, and Friday I worked. Yesterday I made it a movie day with my son (forgot he was grounded from TV, which made my DH mad, but oh well. :-) Life goes on.) So here I am today!!

My map is updated through yesterday, if you want to check it out.

I've done OK this week, better than I would have before, though. I typically walked at least once every day, except the day I worked. It's a 12 hour shift and I tend to just burn out and come home to recuperate. :-)

I did try something this week I want to share. I made a strawberry smoothie with 1 c. organic yogurt (Stoneyfield Farms, really good!!), 1/2 c. frozen whole strawberries and 1 tbsp. flax seed. It was really good, and kept me full for almost 4 hours, something virtually unheard of for me. Typically, flax seed needs to be ground, but blending everything in the blender took care of that. I'm going to try to add it to my oatmeal this week, but I have to get some ground, first! LOL

One of my "walks" was a Leslie Sansone Walk Away The Pounds, a basic 1-mile dvd. It came with her book, which I enjoyed reading. The nice thing is it's an easy "routine" to follow, unlike most aerobic workouts I'd tried in the past. I really do recommend the DVDs if you are beginning to exercise or just can't seem to go out in the cold to walk. (I'm currently making legwarmers for myself for that reason, I can keep everything but my lower legs warms, so that will take care of that AND make my dog happy!!)

I joined SparkPeople and have found it to be a wonderful support system, too. Today I'm going to pick a quote on Perception and reflect on it here.

“ Stop living life for what’s around the corner and start enjoying the walk down the street. ”
Grant L Miller, SP employee

How true that is, especially when losing weight or getting healthier or whatever it is you're trying to do. We as Americans are an "all or nothing" society in a lot of areas of life. Nowhere is this more true than weight loss. We tend to forget that this weight didn't just appear overnight, and so we assume we will lose it overnight. While I would be thrilled to bits to have an overnight loss, waking up a size 12 instead of 26, it just ain't gonna happen, folks!!

What I want to focus on is that walk down the street. I had a struggle with the WATP dvd. I did it, I completed it, but it was a struggle. This week, I hope to get through it every day, even on the day I work (Tuesday). I also want to walk with my son in the mornings to his bus stop, and get on track with my strength training. Instead of looking months down the road at what I will be like, I'm going to focus on this week. One week of walking (or a WATP dvd) every day, one week of walking my son to the bus stop (except the day I work, I leave too early for that) and one week of my 8MM each day, not saving them up to do one day. Next Sunday morning, I'm going to prepare for my weekly phone call with a list of positives and yes, a list of "negatives". But they won't be negatives, they will be areas to work on, challenges. Heck, anyone can work on their health for a week, right? :-)


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

One Hot Mama!!

Yep, that's me! First, though, I want to apologise for not posting for 3 days. I was out of town, spending the weekend with my in-laws for our Christmas. We had a great time, and I was thoroughly spoiled!! (As was my husband and son, of course!)

Now, back to that One Hot Mama. Today's "Task" from 8MM is to give yourself a positive title, and refer to yourself with that title, also to have your buddies refer to you as that title (hmmm....I'm trying to picture anyone BUT my husband calling me that! LOL). But it's positive reinforcement, and reminds yourself that you are what you think, and the best way to becoming healthier is to love yourself.

Well, my DH & I were still dating when that song came out, and instantly it became his song for me. He even had it set as a ringtone on his cell phone for when I called. Silly husband. :-) But you know what, it works for me!

So when you see me walking down the street, or biking along the highway or (hopefully someday!) canoeing in the lake, just say "Hey there, hot mama!!" :-)

More later!


Thursday, January 04, 2007

One more thing for today....

One more thing for today. On , I am roughly calculating my steps on my pedometer per day into miles and logging them on this map. If you want, take a gander and see how far I've walked. This is as of January 1st. As you can see, if you've peeked, I've got a lot of steps to add to my daily walks!! (10,000 steps is the recommendation, which is roughly 5 miles.)


Happy Thursday!!

As you can see, I pretty much slept through yesterday. That's one of the few downsides to my job, is when I work the night shift, there is one day where I am fairly useless. :-)

So yesterday's "task" from my 8MM book was to look at a future dream vacation, after I've attained my goal. My best friend (one of them!) lives in Norway, so believe it or not, that is my future dream vacation. Here we go...

As we step off the plane, we are amazed at the chill in the air. I knew we wouldn't be doing any swimming this early in the year, but I sure didn't expect to be cold! Thankfully, I know there's a stash of sweaters at her apartment, hand-knit, the best of the best. I grab my husband's hand and tell my son to hurry UP we need to get going. The brisk air feels good, and I'm so glad that we had a comfortable flight. Imagine, just a year and a half ago, I couldn't fit into an airplane seat very well, and now I have wiggle room!

At her apartment, we sit on the back porch, looking into the woods. It is so beautiful here, and so quiet. I have never seen greener trees, not even in the Black Hills. It must be the ocean air, it is definitely doing me wonders. Tomorrow we'll go to the ocean, and take a long walk. We plan on taking a combination train/boat/bus trip this week, too. It should be wonderful. I'm so glad we came here, and I think she can see it on my face.

Since I've never actually been to Norway yet, I had to go with what I have seen in pictures, and my words cannot do those pictures justice!! :-) That was yesterday's. Today's is that I am coming home from this vacation, and I bump into a friend on the plane who has not seen me after I reached my goal weight. Now, I have to admit, I may not be perfectly nice in this one, and it won't be a friend necessarily, but someone who has as much weight to lose as I do and came up with as many excuses as I did to not do it. Ultimately, we broke off the friendship due to a difference in opinions. While I do miss her, I will do some gloating, maybe...

Oh gosh, what a good vacation. I'm sure going to miss her, though. Next year she'll be back to the States to visit again, though. I can't wait. Gosh, this delay to Minneapolis is sure taking a long time. Finally, we're boarding!

As I walk down the tunnel, I see a familiar face talking to her child. Melanie? Gosh, I haven't seen her in almost 3 years. "Melanie? Melanie ********?" I see she's not sure who I am by the look on her face. "Heather. We used to work together?" Oh wow, I cannot believe the shock I'm seeing on her face. I know we parted on less than pleasant terms, but still.

"Oh my GOSH you look GREAT!! How DID you lose all that weight? Gosh, I wish I could, but you know, my thyroid and the antidepressants and 3 kids and work...." Ah yes, the same old excuses. I remember them well, although at the time it was only 2 children. "So, how did you do it? Where are you sitting? Neil? Neil? I'm going to sit next to her, OK?" Poor Neil, she hasn't changed much. The lady next to me is nice enough to switch, and I quick send my husband a text: If I put both hands behind my head and wave one, come tell me there's a problem with our son. Good thing we could keep the phones on until it's almost time to take-off.

As we settle into our seats, I buckle in easily, grateful that I can now. Melanie calls for a seat belt extension. I smile at my aunt as she brings it. One of the best parts of our vacation was that my last flight has my aunt as one of the flight attendants, and so we'll get to drive home with her as a guest. "So, tell me how you did it."

I have to smile a little bit. "Well, I get up at 5:00 each morning, do my strength training and then shower quick. My son and I each have oatmeal for breakfast, I like mine with chocolate chips and a bit of sugar. Good start to the day, and it really sticks. At 6:45 I take I him the bus stop, then drive down to Mitchell." "WHAT? Why? Is it that hard to find a good job you have to drive what is it, an hour?" "Well, 45 minutes, but I'm going to school full time down there. On my breaks between classes I work for an website editing company and do my homework. I get home about the same time my son does, so we take the dogs for a 45 minute walk. Although," I chuckle, "last winter we did more snowshoeing than walking! Then, while supper is cooking, I get our snacks ready for the next day. I finish up my homework while my son does his, and then I hit the yoga mat. Either yoga or t'ai chi, depending on how I feel. On weekends I work Friday and Saturday overnights at the hospital, and I get some walking and stretching in then, too."

"Wait a minute," she says. You work and go to school? I bet your husband does all the housework, then." I just have to smile. "No, I typically do a load or two of laundry a day, and vacuum just before I go to bed. My son does the dishes, my husband does the cooking. They sweep the hardwood floors upstairs and clean the bathroom once a week, also. We break it up as much as possible. We do a little everyday and maintain the house, rather than letting it build up. Sundays I sleep most of the day, but when I do wake up I get the bills ready to go out and work on the menu for the next week. I've found if it's done a week ahead of time, then on Thursday or Friday, depending on which one of us is getting paid, my husband and son will get the groceries and do the prep work. It's their thing, I guess, they seem to enjoy it."

I have to admit, I love her reaction. We used to commiserate together about not having time to workout or make healthy snacks. At the time, she was also in school, she wanted to be a nurse. I have no doubt she would make a good one, I wonder what happened? "Melanie, are you working as a nurse, now? Or do you have a year left, I can't remember?" The look on her face tells me all I need to know. "I couldn't finish. I couldn't study, especially after my third kid. I'll probably go back after they're in school. Then we can do our homework at the same time. At least, that's my current goal."

After that, the flight was quiet. I took a nap, I admit, dreaming of long summer walks. I'm not sure what happened to her after that, the original seatholder was back when I woke up, and when we got off the plane she didn't look at me once. I hope she makes it as a nurse, I really do.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hello darlin', it's been a long time...

Isn't that an old Johnny Cash song...? Ah well. Not really apropros, since I just posted last night, but it's kind of how I'm feeling.

Today's daily task in the 8MM book was picturing myself on New Year's Eve after reaching my goal weight. What I wear, how I feel, what band is playing at a grand, Cinderella-type ball, what songs.

For a Cinderella-type ball, I would probably wear something similar to my wedding dress. Strapless, ivory, full skirt, very "Old World Princess" style, with ballet flats. Heck, if I'm going to dance into a New Year, my feet will be happier in flats than heels!! :-) The band I would hope would be something symphonic/classical orchestra. I've always wanted to dance like they do in the movies set in the 1600's. A ball in the Queen's court. :-) Hopefully I'll have a male friend who enjoys the same, I just can't quite picture my husband dancing like that!! :-) He might, though, if we took lessons. My hair is short, with flips on the ends, and so I will have minimal hair accessories. Perhaps just a headband, or some sparkly bobby-pins. Just enough to catch the eyes of the nay-sayers who can't believe it's actually me out there looking that good. (And modest too! LOL)

Another book I'm using is Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds. It even came with a walking DVD, and it's easy enough for me to follow. ;-) One of her daily journaling items is to name a beautiful thing. Well, riding home from work yesterday morning, I happened to look up and saw the prettiest sight. The entire sky was cloud-covered, the sun was just barely peeking up. In the north-west sky, it was a blue-grey, very pretty. And in this one spot there was an opening, sort of. It was like a hole in the clouds, with a wide band across it, and underneath or behind this band was this beautiful ivory/cream light. It was actually the moonlight, and I know that words will never do it the justice it deserves. It was so gorgeous.

I've started wearing a pedometer, and got a nice one from the hospital, as part of their Well One program ( I just found something out, though. If you accidentally touch the reset button, a light touch is all that's needed to reset it!! I was trying to see where I was at for the day, but....darnit!! LOL I have another one that I may switch to, so I don't do that again! :-)

I am a little disheartened. My mp4 player died last night. I will be sending it back for a refund, and look at getting a better one later on. It's nice, because it plays movies, so I can take T'ai Chi workouts with me, and walking playlists, and listen to podcasts. Ah well. I got spoiled, but I can live without for awhile. :-) Audiobooks on the treadmill again!! :-)

I hope all is well with you, Constant Readers!!


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Years!!

OK, so I'm kind of a day late, but still. It's 4:30 AM on the 2nd, most people are still sleeping, so I should be able to squeak this in, yes? :-)

If you're one of my Constant Readers (thank you, Stephen King, for that phrase), you know that my goal is to get in better shape this year. Part of that goal will be achieved by using Jorge Cruise's 8 Minutes in the Morning for Real People book. In that book is daily tasks, and I think I will post those here, depending on the subject. So let's start with Week 1, Day 1. :-) This is a visualization, of my 1st birthday party (and it's a surprise party) after achieving my goal weight.

I walk into the house, wondering where my family is. Odd that they are not at home at 7PM on a weeknight. As I hang up my keys and put my purse away, I see a note on the table: Meet us at the Community Center when you get home. What on earth? Well, it is Tuesday night, and I usually walk laps there, so maybe they've decided to join me, what a treat! I can show off my new workout clothes to the neighbors, if they're walking, too. I picked up a very cute pair of capri pants, loose enough to be comfortable, but tight enough to look good enough for work. I matched the light blue with a tanktop that is off-white with light blue stripes, so I put on my walking shoes and headed over to the community center. Sure does look like a lot of people are walking today, I've never seen the parking lot so full. Hmm, and someone visiting from MN, by the looks of the license plates.

Wow, the lights are off. What on earth is going on here?? Well, the door is open, so I'll go in. I didn't notice the lights off at home, I wonder if there's a power outage? Well, someone will have flashlights, we can still walk for awhile. YIKES! The lights just came on and oh WOW! My Dad, brother, sister in law, nephew, my sister and brother in law and neice, my mother in law, my aunts and cousins and even a couple of uncles!! All here for a surprise party, how cool!! And I think they're just as surprised at me as I am at them. I hadn't told anyone I was losing weight, and the looks on their faces make it worth it! Look, there's Grandma, and she has this huge smile on her face as she tells me how wonderful I look. She's always one to compliment me on my complexion, and today is no different. But today, I'm glowing, she says. Who wouldn't be, with this wonderful show of support! After not seeing me for almost 18 months, they are seeing me now as I looked in high school, almost. I've shed an entire person's worth of weight since Christmas 2006, and I feel so much better. And by the looks of it, I look healthier and better, too. What a wonderful surprise party!! Looks like angel food cake with strawberries and low-cal/fat whipped cream, yummy!! My husband will get his just desserts later, for planning such a wonderful surprise. ;-)

You read that correctly, I have an entire person's worth of weight to lose. I literally weigh twice as much as my healthy weight, and it's time to shed that extra person. Here's to tomorrow's post, thanks for stopping by!