Week 47–Celebrating My Non-Normalcy

Sometimes having a body hell bent on not following the rules is a blessing in disguise.  While most people are bemoaning a little scale creep in the upward direction, I am happy dancing at a downward wiggle to the tune of 8/10ths of a pound.

To me holiday food events are not an excuse to gorge.  Oh don’t get me wrong, I eat!!!  I even have pie for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving and Christmas or pretty much any other pie making event BUT when I do have pie for breakfast the rest of my day looks like any other on my non-normal weight loss journey.

self-controlOne of the other things I am grateful for is my healthier relationship with food.  I enjoy not being afraid of a holiday spread.  Thanksgiving is one meal…just a meal.  Sure it is different than the meal on any other random day of the year but it isn’t the one I need to worry about.

The best use of my energy is on the other meals of the year when I am too tired, busy, or stressed to make sure  I am serving the best, most delicious, and satisfying meal I can.

Honestly, I am more likely to overeat a bland and boring meal than I am an excellent meal which hits all the right notes.  My body really would rather be satisfied by spice and flavor than be left searching for satiety so I am also grateful I know that about myself too.

For me, flavor is more important than food.

Sharp cheddar is not the same as mild cheddar, for example.  I have actually known for a long time but thanks to this journey I am putting it into words for the first time.

Food aside I did not make it to the gym even once this week.  I did try to go one day and managed to interrupt the yoga class in session.  I just forgot to check the schedule, darn it!  But with all the shopping, cleaning, cooking, and cleaning I did enough most days to actually feel it so it wasn’t like I was fully slacking.

I am also doing better with water.  I tried a couple of infusions.  A strip of orange peel was a no but five blueberries was a hit.  My big struggle is spacing my fluids better.  I have my water first thing so I can take my thyroid meds and then two cups of coffee but then several hours go by before I bother to even think about a beverage.  I can do better!

Overall good with room for improvement…on a crazy busy holiday week I am totally okay with it.

 

 

 

Week 46–The Difference Between Feeling And Knowing

Monday morning I marched myself to the gym like a good girl.

It had been two whole days since my personal trainer had seen me.  The gym was quiet at the mid-morning hour.

“So how’s it going…have you noticed any weight loss?”

“Well honestly, I’m sure you want to hear something great but the truth is I’ve gained two pounds.”

And the very next sentence was…

“Have you been cheating?”

Fortunately my filter was fully intact.

I must have had enough coffee and a decent breakfast or something because I usually go off like a Roman candle at this particular question.

“No…this is Tanya’s body 101…I had a little extra pain the past few days…pained muscles store glycogen…so I took a big deep breath said, “What. EVER.” and moved on…happens all the time.”

She just blinked at me.

Despite being fully fed and caffeinated, I did not feel charitable enough to explain it could be a month or more before my body shows an sort of real result on the scale and how I have spent my entire life coming to terms with this normal-for-my-body occurrence.

Now, I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow, play-by-play of the rest of the week other than to mention this is one of the calmer interactions I have had all week.

Because one of the blows is so personal, I’ll just say it was bad enough that for the first time in a very, very long time I dove head first into what was left of the bag of Doritos from the week before and a huge bowl of ice cream (the first ice cream in our house in probably six months).

Oh boy I did not care.  Open mouth insert chip.  When the chips were gone, I remembered the ice cream.  Our bowls are ‘normal’ sized but my portion exceeded the rim of the bowl.

So I ate my feelings.

Big deal.

Instead of getting too down on myself I just shook it off and dealt with the avalanche of nonsense.

I also went to the gym three times this week, took a walk, and exercised a little at home…and I actually drank water plain.

Honestly, were it not for this blog I wouldn’t even mention the chips and ice cream…not because I feel the need to hide them…but because instead of letting them be a delicious slippery slope to more self-loathing behavior I had my moment and then I moved away.

I moved so far way that while I am writing this I am enjoying licking pumpkin protein pudding off a spoon like a little kid and sipping black coffee like a grown-up.

And do you know what I’m feeling right now?

Grateful.

Grateful for my journey.

Grateful I have figured out how to not be the meanest mean girl to myself.

Grateful I do not mind licking homemade pumpkin protein pudding off a spoon not just because it’s good for me but because I like it.  I like the way treating my body with love and respect feels.  Licking it off the spoon is much more fun than eating it the proper way anyway.  Plus it almost has a baked pumpkin pie filling texture and that is one of my all time favorite foods wrapped up in a nice, clean, healthy package.  Score.

So how did a free fall into junk food land translate on the scale?

I LOST 3/10ths of a pound from my real weight which is the one not including the two I had ‘gained’…looks like they were extra glycogen and my ability to shake it off worked.

That folks is the craziness of my body.  I worked hard last week for a gain.  I stuff my face with chemicals, sugar, and crap and I lose 3/10.  Thank you body for not punishing me in my momentary lapse of reason.

HOWEVER….

Because I know this, I also know I have to respect it.  I cannot take it as a lesson to eat junk.

A healthy body is not just a number on the scale.

A healthy body is properly fed with food to deliver the right nutrients for maximum health and energy.

Giant bowls of processed food no matter from whence they came bring disease…eventually.

On one hand 3/10 doesn’t feel like victory…unless I take a deep breath and look objectively at everything I have been through in one tiny little week.

When I do…Pumpkin protein pudding and black coffee are victorious.

Pumpkin

Week 45–Tidal Waves

Each week I look back on, at least, last week’s post.  Part of this journey is helping myself realize the progression of accountability and how it ebbs and flows like the tides.

The tide comes in.

The tide goes out.

Easy.

It’s not like the sea is throwing giant rocks in its way nor does the tide need to stop and figure out how to get around them to complete its mission.  The tide just rolls.

Personal accountability is far messier.  It certainly does not follow a schedule so precise you could set your watch to it.

Yet, the more we cultivate the ability to ‘just roll’ with whatever comes our way the more secure and successful we become.

Sometimes, after a week like I had last week the very best thing we can do is stop.  Breathe.  And then, regroup.

So how did I do?

Pretty well…because I allowed myself to stop.  I let myself feel overwhelmed.  I let myself make a plan to not feel that way and then I followed it.

Monday: I went back to the gym.  While I was there, the trainer on duty asked me if I wanted to be a part of the owner’s pilot project for her DVD series.  Umm, yes.  It is an eight-week commitment along with consenting to be filmed and have our image used.

Tuesday: Was recovering from Monday and sticking to my eating plan.

Wednesday:  Since I had already worked out on Monday, my personal trainer did my fitness assessment.  Honestly, it’s a whole lot of individual exercises I would not dream of doing at this point in my journey.  I’m talking things burpees and 90-degree squats here people.  I could have stopped and said, “Umm, no” and rattled off a list of 100 or more reasons why I couldn’t, shouldn’t, and wouldn’t do some or all of them.

Instead, I said, “YES” (okay maybe I wasn’t quite that emphatic).  I had to have modifications on every single exercise.  The object is to do many as you can in one minute.   So not only do I have to get over the mental hump of needing ‘special treatment’ I need to deal with the fact that I don’t need one whole hand to count off the number of reps I could do.  This could have been a really ugly moment for me.

When we arrived at sit-ups, I even said, “I’m not supposed to be thinking about how I used to be able to do 68 of these, right?”  “Right,” she said.  I did four.  F-O-U-R.  Four extremely modified sit-ups.

In that moment, I have never been more grateful to be on this journey.  I could have stressed and obsessed over the number four.  Instead, I let myself feel really awesome about not only doing mountain climbers for the first time in my life but learning I actually like them.  I also did more of them than anything else.

I realized rather quickly and with very little effort on my part that if I focus on liking and even learning to love mountain climbers my core is going to get stronger, and stronger, and stronger so when we re-evaluate my fitness assessment at the end of the challenge in January I will be able to do more sit-ups.

What would I get if I focused on sit-ups?  A lot of sadness, frustration, anger and stuck with my head firmly up the past’s ass.  It may even be enough to make me quit.

Thursday:  I went to Las Vegas for a doctor’s appointment.  One of the tests they had me do is a lung function test.  You know the one where they have you take a deep breathe and blow into a tube which is connected to a machine which interprets the force of your exhale.

My abs are barely 24 hours into their recovery so deep breaths and long, slow but forceful exhales are not exactly on their ‘To Do’ list.  Then I was laughing so hard at not being able to breathe that I still couldn’t do the stupid test.  If you’re good, you only need to blow three times.  If not, you have to blow 10 times and the machine averages the results.  Apparently, I have the lungs of a 60 year old.  Whatever.  It’s just a number.  It’s just a number on the wrong day.  Next.

Note to self: Make sure you do not do a fitness assessment the day before being confined in a car for most of the next day.  Ouchies on top of ouchies.

Friday: My much-anticipated day off.  I had planned to ignore the world and write.  What I did was spend way too much time talking to my husband and just enough writing that it didn’t make me feel like a total failure.

It was also the first night of filming.  I was really proud of myself.  I stuck it out for two of the three rounds of the circuit and stretched out while I stayed to watch the last round.

Saturday:  The usual.  Cleaning and writing and not enough of either and totally forgetting I had decided to stay on the carb cycling track.  Oopsie

Sunday:  I am here to re-group.  I still have writing to catch up on and as soon as my hubs leaves for the hills I’m sliding the furniture around.  One of the benefits of still having the subfloor exposed is heavy furniture glides like butter in a hot skillet.

I am also here to say I have gained four pounds.  Four.  What is it with this number!!!!

I am hoping it is just extra glycogen in my muscles as they process the extra stress I am putting them through.  Or extra salt from eating out on Thursday.  Or hormones.  Or pretty much anything other than the possibility that my thyroid is sending me on another roller coaster ride.

But like the tides here I am again splaying it out and willing keep trying to get it right.

Image found on www.beachescapades.com This is my 'home' beach.

Image found on http://www.beachescapades.com
This is my ‘home’ beach.

Week 44–It Is Okay To Not Be Okay

It really is.

I have lived presumably half of my life, or there about, and I am finally okay admitting this publicly I am considerably un-okay.

I can also admit to being entirely over my head, overwhelmed, over, over, over, over, over, over.

Being over is also okay.

Fortunately for me, over and un-okay rarely arrive at the same time so it also means I am depleted and wondering where just one tiny straw is for me to grasp.

Between NaNoWriMo and three other large-scale projects I am working on that would be enough for any one month but then there’s the medium-sized renovation we are getting ready for and a major holiday to work around too.

That’s just the big stuff, folks!

So what did I do today.

I went to breakfast with my hubs–much-needed time together–and I painted.

Yes, painted.

I don’t know who the lulu head was who decided to put the back door directly across the hall from bathroom door and on top of that use an exterior door with a small, odd window but he obviously wasn’t thinking.  Small children and dogs do not understand bathroom privacy.  Every time my doggies are convinced we are lost and never coming back out again they have to open the door.  Every time they open the door, we are potentially flashing the neighbors while we are taking care of business.

The window is too small for a curtain.

My first instinct was to use a printed window film product.  However the 6 inch by 24 inch (or so) window did not warrant buying the expensive roll of printed film so I decided to get creative.

Pinterest to the rescue!!!!!!

Holy crap…faux stained glass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why didn’t I think of that before???????

I mean, that has ME written all over it.

Then I looked up the price of paint.

$2.99 per bottle plus an hour round trip to the craft store…uhh, no.

What could I substitute for glass paint?

NAIL POLISH!!!!!

As a nail polish hoarder, I have plenty of nail polish.

I tested it and it totally worked so I cleaned the window off again and I painted.

It took me less than a whole football game.  I didn’t time myself but the Green Bay vs. Carolina game was well under way when I started and I was finished before the Packers went down in a screaming ball of flames.

In those however-many-minutes there was the exact therapy I needed.

Color rarely fails me.

Before

Before

After...I may decide to add faux leading but I haven't decided.

After…I may decide to add faux leading but I haven’t decided.

Now, what does creativity have to do with weight loss?

Surprisingly, a lot.

Until I reached Wednesday, I had forgotten about my goal to get back on track with Carb Cycling.  I’m talking had not given it even a tiny thought.  I hadn’t made to the gym.  Breakfast wasn’t happening until 11 a.m. or later.  I had little desire to drink so I drank little.  Of course, the scale is not going to move if I am not even coming close to doing the things I need to do to make it wiggle down.

This week was a huge fail.  And, it is okay.

Thursday and Friday were worse so I have spent the week trying to reconnect with myself, my husband, and my home.

Saying I was off is an understatement…so why did I ‘waste’ time today painting a window?

Think about the last time you felt ‘off’.

What sort of choices did you make?  Did you go workout?  Did you dive into your favorite snack?  Did you sleep too much?  Or not enough?  You see where I am going, right?

Honey, if you’re buggin’….You are not going to lose weight or at least as effectively as you would if you had your head on straight.

Painting that window did not change a thing.  It did improve privacy.  It did take care of something that has been bothering me but in the grand scheme of things I didn’t really solve anything.

It did help me silence the clutter in my head.  It gave me something to focus on other than all the things I need to do in the next few weeks.  It helped me relax.

Tonight, for the first Sunday in weeks…months…I feel almost ready for Monday.  I only say almost because I still have a giant pile of things to do and a smallish pile of pain so I am concerned about not winding the crazy up again.

I am reminded of one of my favorite sayings:

I don’t know if I can but I know I can try.

Week 43–Missed It By (This) Much

I said goodbye to my really great, really helpful doctor on Tuesday but it wasn’t by choice.  He decided to take a position with the Air Force.

I got him back for leaving me though.  I made him cry.  In my whole life, I have never had a doctor so interested in working WITH me and so I told him what that meant to me.

He left me with orders to repeat my thyroid labs in two more months and a year’s worth of prescription refills.  Now, I can only cross my fingers that his replacement is just as wonderful.  If he’s not, my back up plan is to strong-arm the nurse practitioner because now that I have learned all these things about my body and my thyroid I am not about to backslide just because some M.D. is a little to full of himself to accept what has been and is working for my body.

But…

Now that I have gotten that bit of unpleasantness out of the way I am very pleased to announce I saw one of those benchmark weights on the scale this week and I am back down to a real number again (meaning I have very little evidence of water retention).

261.1 is not a great number but I have fought like hell to see it again so I am proud of the fight.

261.1 puts me back into the Lyrica and Cymbalta weight gain territory so now I am battling those pounds…again.  But this time, I really do think it will be for the last time.

261 is where I topped out when I stopped taking those ridiculous drugs.  One-tenth of a pound away.

Now my journey is reclaiming my body from them and from pre-fibromyalgia weight…again…I was almost there when my thyroid pooped out last year.  Less than three pounds away.  It felt so cruel.

Today I am armed with a fresh understanding of how my thyroid disease works and I know I am not going to let it happen again.

Now…today…1 November 2015…Is a new journey.  I have a new line in the sand to step over.

I feel empowered…and it feels good.IMG_4701