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 42–Chocolate Cake For Breakfast

It’s a quiet Sunday morning in my world.  My hubs and son are working for a couple of hours so I am enjoying the silence.

And, yes I did really have chocolate cake–Gluten Free Deep Chocolate Cake With German Chocolate Frosting–for breakfast.  It was divine.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the past 12 months and the past 10 months as separate beings.

What was working before my thyroid took a nose dive?
What am I doing/not doing?
What do I need to do/not do?

Basically I have distilled it down it to a phrase I have used often since returning to school in 2002…

Take what is useful and delete the rest.

The act of deleting in our technology-driven era is a permanent removal.

Shouldn’t all UN-useful things be permanently removed from our consciousness?

Yes, I know easier said than done.

If only the human mind and soul could be as aseptic and well protected as hard drive.

So chocolate cake for breakfast on Sunday mornings is one of the things that was working for me a year ago.  Not every Sunday.  Just the Sunday’s when chocolate cake was available.  On the Sunday’s it wasn’t there were Nutella slathered waffles, pie, and brunches covered in Hollandaise Sauce aka ‘Reward Day’.

Sometimes my Reward Days weren’t so much about treat food as they were me giving myself a mental break from being so focused on the business of losing weight and gaining health. They were a time to just let my mind go.

As the start of NaNoWriMo is exactly one week *insert total freak out here* away I realize I need to reboot the practice of letting Sunday be my Reward for a week well lived.

I am still on the fence about Carb Cycling in earnest though.  I mean it was working for me.

But…because there has to be a but, right?

Inside one of the folds of my brain is the moment a year or so ago when thousands of people pointed out a mathematical error on the Powell’s Facebook page only to see the error staunchly defended.  I remember searching in vain hoping I was the one with the misinformation while knowing it would be a vain search.  It’s just wrong and I know it, thousands of other people know it too.

And I am not sure how to let myself move past it.

If I am to live my “Take what is useful and delete the rest,” motto Carb Cycling is useful and following the Powell’s not so much.

So then my brain starts…

What’s holding you back?
Why can’t you move past this if it was really working for you?
Are you sabotaging yourself?

Sometimes, the part of my brain which relentlessly questions every. single. thing. really pisses me off to no end.

So to answer my own relentless questions…

Money.  We’ve been living on a razor-thin margin since we bought our house.  Having any food has been a blessing.  Having extra, or special food, or even fresh fruits and vegetables has been impossible.  But, we are starting to pull out of that rut, thankfully.

Honestly, it just really pisses me off.  The whole “Don’t worry about perfection” and “Own your mistakes” message just really fell flat.  Millions of people, myself included, followed but when it really comes down to it the Powell’s do not stand behind their message.  *Taking a deep breath*  But, ultimately that is their problem not mine.  I am only responsible for myself.  The truth is my body likes Carb Cycling.

And, no I am not sabotaging myself.  I went off track with the plan to allow my body the rest while my thyroid was adjusting.  It was just a silly coincidence that I found out about the Powell’s at the same time.  On Thursday, my labs came in and my thyroid is perfect for the first time in probably forever.  Now, I need to respond.  I need to flip the script on my body and swing it back into losing mode.

This is one of those tiny “fork in the road” moments that I had not been paying such close attention I might have missed.

This is the value of this year of accountability and being present.

This is empowered by my own power.

This is how to endure all those curve balls thyroid disease and fibromyalgia can throw at you.

I hired a personal trainer on Monday and she has some great accommodations for me but if I do not bring the food part back on track I might as well be setting fire to the money I am paying her.

It’s time.

On Sundays, I eat chocolate cake for breakfast if I want to because I need a break and I really suck at giving myself any sort of Reward.  One of the things that has been missing is this time to celebrate my hard work with weight loss and with life.  Reward Days aren’t solely about food treats but are also me sitting back and saying, “Good job lady” and being honest–not critical–as I check-in with myself for moments when I could have done better.  Celebrating success is as important–and for those of us who are hyper-critical–perhaps more important than pointing out all our failures.

On Mondays, I Meatless Monday it because it makes me feel good and I have really grown to love the challenge.  I am learning a whole new world of cooking and eating.  Plus, I have found some decadent recipes that make me forget meat.

On Tuesdays through Saturdays, I can Carb Cycle like nobody’s business because it also makes me feel good.  I was doing really well until my thyroid slammed on the brakes.  I can do well again.

Crap, I guess I just wrote my way into figuring out how to let go and get back to it again…writing’s great for that…lol

This is me finding my balance and moving on…..Take what serves you and delete the rest.

WP_20151025_006

Week 41…What A Difference A Year Makes!!!

This week has been all about letting myself gently look back to this time a year ago.  You see it was mid-October when the first wisps of thyroid rebellion were showing up in my life.

Tomorrow is actually the one year anniversary of my lowest weight since fibromyalgia joined my life.  On 20 October 2015 I weighed 239.2 which was just 2.6 pounds above my pre-fibromyalgia, pre-Lyrica, pre-Cymbalta weight.  Getting to that number was a huge milestone and I was almost there.

And then…

My body…

Grinded…

To a….

Screeching…

Halt.

But in my eternal quest to be transparent…

I can now see…

I…

Dropped…

The…

Ball.

Shit.  Really.  Dammit.  Are you freakin’ kidding me?

Look here’s proof from last year’s blog:

“Seriously, thyroid.”

“You’re throwing a hissy fit because taking 180 mgs of Armour all at once was making you all sorts of twitchy and hyper???????? so I decided to be nice to you and split the dose?????”

“Bitch please.,,whyyyyyyyyyyyyy do you have to be so damned temperamental.”

There it is…The one teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy thing I changed was asking my doctor to call in 60, 90 milligram tablets so I can more easily split my dose to keep from feeling hyperthyroid.

Yep.

That’s it.

That’s all it takes.

One tiny little toe out of line and the hormones go flying everywhere and the scale just laughs at me.

About three weeks ago, I stopped taking my 180 mgs all at once and started splitting my dose in an attempt to keep my body from being HYPERthyroid in the morning and dead in the afternoon.

Well will you look at that…This was posted 12 October 2015.

But I can be somewhat kind to myself for missing it.

What is “IT”???????

IT is the fact that my INSANE–Oh look there’s that word again–body GAINS weight when it has too much thyroid medication.

How do I know I was getting too much?

Allow me to redirect you to the last bolded paragraph because there it is in strong black…I was feeling “HYPERthyroid in the morning”.

Oh HELL!!!!!!!!!

I’ve never been full on HYPERthyroid and since it’s supposed to induce weight loss I never considered the possibility that myyyyyyyyy bodyyyyyyyyyy just HAS to be different.

Really…UGH

I have been floundering for a whole year with these extra 21ish pounds…A WHOLE YEAR.

However, now that I think we’re on the right dose my body has randomly started losing again.  I say randomly because I’m not really doing much to force the issue.

I haven’t Carb Cycled since I, and hundreds of other people, caught a huge mistake on the official Carb Cycling Facebook page that the Powell’s not only refused to correct but defended when there is no substantiating evidence to support the claim.  It was a huge letdown for me personally and I know it impacted many of their followers.

I’m also not exercising in the traditional sense of the word.  I mean I do move every single day because I know it is good for me but I am not “exercising”.

But, here’s the other thing I see…

I have also stuck in there trying to figure it out.

It wasn’t until July that I bothered to have blood work and was in a state of utter disbelief when the results did show I was HYPERthyroid.  After some research, I learned it is rare to gain weight while there is too much thyroid hormone coursing through your veins.

This is me…so of course.

In a weird way, I am not the least bit surprised…I am weird like that.

Between my broken finger, buying a house, the move, the recovery from the move, and all the other ‘minor’ life moments, it does feel like my body is starting to be back on track again.

I hate these 21 extra pounds…with a vengeance so it is time for them to go.

I am grateful for blogging and having tenacity and for believing in the “impossible” and for course corrections, do overs, and moving forward.

The Year of Accountability

Week 22–In Flux

Well I think I purged all the profanity in my last post.  The next morning I had gained another 8/10 of a pound overnight.  Yeah, really.  Honestly, I spent the rest of the week not looking at the scale.  My body’s throwing a tantrum.  It’s not like this is anything new so I’m going to forgive myself for not only checking the scale at 5 a.m. but doing so on less than three hours of sleep.  Well-rested, I might not have come so easily unhinged.

While I was not bothering to look at the scale, I let myself think.

It is so easy, when my body is gaining weight I did not earn, to feel hopeless.  When the scale feels like a betrayal, it is so easy to miss the other signals my body is sending me.

While I was thinking, I noticed a couple of things.

36 days!!!

36 days!!!

See this re-growth?  This is 36 days worth.  Bodies that are not healthy do not grow hair this fast.  On one hand it’s annoying to have to color again.  My son, who is a cosmetologist said, “Mom, think about it…you must be doing really good things on the inside so stop being upset by it.  Besides, you are in your mid-40s and most women are experiencing thinning by now.”  He grabbed a healthy handful of my hair, “Look…look at this mom…I have clients who would kill for your hair.”  Out of the mouths of babes all grown up.

After he said that, I also looked at my nails.  With hypothyroidism andWP_20150606_003 Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, nails are a luxury.  It is ‘normal’ for us to have weak, thin, and/or brittle nails.  Right now, my nails are still thin but they are also strong and healthy.  They have been for months.

I also noticed my skin is not quite as dry or flaky, my acne is almost non-existent, and my lips are not cracked.  These are all good signs.

Yes, my body is having a tantrum.

Yes, my ankles are swollen.

No, I am not trying to talk myself into thinking I am okay to just let things go as they are.

But, I am trying to be real.

I am not the number on the scale.  It does not measure all of my health.  It does indicate something is wrong however because it is not normal to gain nearly a pound a day.  I have also been through this enough times to know there’s no need for me to be in full-on freak out mode yet.

While I was thinking and noticing, I also did some remembering.

If I am going to be really, really, really, really honest I have stopped doing a few good things.  I always say I do not understand all the keys my body needs.  It is true.  It is also a little bit false too because I know these things help:

  • I know carb cycling works for me.  I also gradually stopped doing it as I noticed some alarming behaviors in the team of professionals I had been following.  I stopped following them and carb cycling went by the wayside in part because I just could not wrap my head around their irresponsible behaviors.  Since I am telling the truth, I also stopped because we hit a huge financial snag and I could not justify the expense.
  • It is also true that what I have been and am doing hasn’t unlocked my weight loss either.  I need to change.
  • My hubs has been cooking more and whether I taste it or not I know he’s using more salt than I ever would.  Tonight’s oven baked steak fries were really salty but tonight I did not finish them just to be nice.  He has no problem not eating something I make that doesn’t agree with him.  I need to be better about saying no.
  • I stopped using coconut oil daily.  I ran out a few months back and just kept forgetting to go to the right store to get it.  I bought some a couple of weeks ago and just barely broke the seal on it a few days ago.
  • I need to resume my focus on pre- and probiotics.  Gut health/not health and Hashimoto’s go hand in hand.  I could take a gallon of thyroid medication but if my guts aren’t healthy I won’t get the medication.
  • I keep letting myself run out of my supplements.  Again this one is tied to financial struggles.  But it’s not like these things are a surprise.  I can do better about making sure I buy them when I can instead of when I am already out.
  • I also stopped thinking any of this really matters.  Maybe individually they do not, maybe even together they do not but maybe believing I can get a handle on any of this does matter.

So here’s where I’m at…drawing a line in the sand again, stepping over it, moving forward accountable and feeling a bit empowered.

Richard Bach Quote

Week 11–At Sea Accountability

Let me start by saying if you ever have a chance to take a cruise JUST DO IT!!!!  I’m going to try to keep this post tightly focused but this is me so forgive me when I ramble about the awesomeness of it all.

For months–and I mean ever since my hubs won the cruise in 2013–I have been psyching myself up for being totally unconnected to BodyBugg and Fitday.com for an entire week.  Internet access is a premium service with a premium price and I was not going to pay for it.  Somewhere along the way I realized it might even be a bit unhealthy to be so reliant on these technologies to keep me on track.  I started to think of how I was going to manage without them.

Then, I stopped.

People have been losing weight for zillions of years without technology and the advances in nutrition science of our digital era.  So I started to let myself wonder how they accomplished it.  Basically, I boiled it all down to knowing when you’re full and moving.balancing

Simple enough.

I had already decided I was using the cruise week as an ultimate reset so I just ate.  If it tasted good, I finished it.  If it didn’t, I became really comfortable with not finishing it just because I put it on my plate.  With the obscene number of options and flavors available I just didn’t see the sense in eating anything that was not delicious.  Coming from a “There are starving children in China” and a “We bought it/you ordered it so now you ‘have to’ eat all” family leaving the food which was unpleasing to my palate is a huge victory.

Life is too short to eat yucky things.  So, I didn’t.

This isn't even the whole buffet!  So many choices.

This isn’t even the whole buffet! So many choices.

Life is also to short to gorge on decadence.  I would like to say I didn’t but then there was Kahlua Rice Pudding.

Over-indulging on that warm bowl of creamy, coffee-y goodness taught me a very valuable lesson: Overeating at sea is not a good idea.

I did not get sick but I was incredibly uncomfortable for several hours.  It’s different from on land because the motion of the ocean keeps your tummy churned up longer anyway.

Kahlua Rice Pudding!  Oh sweet mercy!

Okay see the hand rail just beyond the deck chairs?  That's a small set of stairs down to the Rivera deck.  Just inside the door at the bottom of those stairs was our room. The buffet is the deck above the one the pool is on.  The second story in this picture is smoking area for hubs was up one more deck.  All three flights multiple times a day.  The only time I felt it was an issue was when I tried to do them all at once.

Okay see the hand rail just beyond the deck chairs? That’s a small set of stairs down to the Rivera deck. Just inside the door at the bottom of those stairs was our room. The buffet is the deck above the one the pool is on. The second story in this picture is smoking area for hubs was up one more deck. All three flights multiple times a day. The only time I felt it was an issue was when I tried to do them all at once.

Normally, my body and stairs do not get along so I was prepared for hell.

It did not find me.

First of all each set are only 7-10 steps and most of them have some walking in between flights so they weren’t too stressful.  Secondly, the area of the globe around the equator and the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn are a chronic babe’s ‘golden zone’ because of the temperance of the barometer and temperature so my body felt different from when I am more than a half a mile above sea level at home.  Different was good!

So we walked a lot more than normal which made me ever so glad I walked a lot more than normal before I left.  All my preparations paid off.  I was rewarded with fairly stable symptoms and the ability to feel a lot more normal than chronic.  It was a true vacation.

With all the extra food and the extra walking, how did I do?

I came home two pounds heavier than when I left.

However, I am still retaining the same water as when I left but daily piles of bacon and hidden salt added another layer of puffiness.

Two pounds.

Honestly, I was expecting five or more.

When I say I ate, I’m not kidding.  I almost wish I had taken pictures of at least one meal so I could get an idea of the calories but only because I am confused by my body yet again.  I get the water retention.  It’s not rocket science to know too much salt equals bloat.  However, I am struggling to wrap my head around the number on the scale.

As of this morning I am barely home 48 hours and 1.2 of those pounds is already gone.

One of my long time weight loss sisters had a similar experience while I was gone and she said, “What am I supposed to learn from this?”

“Yeah body, what am I supposed to learn from this?”

I have had to work really hard to pull myself back from the “Why can’t I have a normal body for five minutes” cliff that always leads me to nowhere good or life-affirming.

The cruise was last week.

Now, it’s time to get back to work.

I have sneezed more since yesterday than I have all of the past year combined :(

I have sneezed more since yesterday than I have all of the past year combined 😦

Except…

I now have the head cold from hell so all the great motivation I had built up, all the pep talks to myself about coming home and starting strong are trapped deep in some of the worst sinus congestion I can recall.

Sigh.

“Bodies are wonderful, bodies are wonderful, bodies are wonderful,” I chant between sips of hot water infused with lemon and honey.

The upside is since I can’t taste anything food is yucky and I’m taking little pleasure in eating.  Maybe this cold is the perfect ‘medicine’ for vaulting me back into a world without eight international dishes on every plate followed by three or four petit fours-sized desserts and glasses of the most perfect lemonade I have ever had the pleasure of swallowing.

I ate.

I moved.

I had a great time.

Best of all I did not stress, obsess, or otherwise beat myself up for food, fitness, or my body (more on that later).  I need more of this.

Week 9–About a Quart Low

It’s so easy to stop doing good things without really noticing.

WP_20150108_001Case in point: Several weeks ago, likely more like two months ago, I was excited about finding flavored, non-sweetened (no sugar or sugar substitutes) sparkling water.  It’s a store brand to boot so it’s super affordable.  Each bottle is a quart.  Each day I was drinking one at my desk while I worked.

How many have I consumed since I quit?  Two.  Maybe three…IN THREE WEEKS!

Am I drinking?

Yes.

Am I drinking water?  No.

Unsweetened iced or hot tea, yes.

Sports drinks, sweetened or zero calorie, yes.

Hot lemon water in the morning, yes.

An occasional small glass of water, yes.

This dovetails with my issue of not eating extra veggies that were no problem in my lunch bag but nearly absent when I’m eating at home.

For several weeks I have been exploring the whys of this shift in behavior.

This week I stumbled on something which gave me pause.

For about half of my life I was a stay-at-home mom.  For more than half of my life, I was not making my self-care a priority.  What the kids needed came first and then if there was anything left over for me it felt like I was over-indulging.Habits

At this early hour I cannot remember what triggered me to think, “Hey this is just like all those times you would go without because money was tight or you felt you weren’t worth it.”  Even though I cannot remember what triggered the thought, I am glad I thought it.

I’ve caught myself in the shadows of my consciousness denying myself little things because money is tight, because our cruise is now SIX DAYS AWAY, because I am struggling with knowing I do not have a paycheck coming in and so this old, deep-seated sense of not earning my keep is simmering so low I almost did not recognize it.

I have even considered maybe I’m reaching too far to find “a reason, the reason” and so maybe this is all a bull snot excuse.  But, I don’t really think so simply because of how many times my hubs and I have had the “This feels like old times” conversation about our former lives.  I do believe those moments of brokenness from my past are screwing with my head right now.

Crap.

Friends, this is why the struggle is such a struggle.

No One Saves Us--BuddhaOne much-needed, incredibly healthy shift to my schedule uncorked a few bad behaviors and whispers of my former life and if I had not been so vigilant I might never have noticed.

I am also have a tiny–and yes I mean small–struggle with wishing I had gone through with having weight loss surgery.  It’s all vanity.  But it is also real.

In six days we will be on the adventure of a life time.  In six days, the photos of that journey will be of a fat woman and it breaks my heart.

As real as that feeling is I also know it is tainted with lies.

I know without a smidgen of doubt that weight loss surgery two years ago would have been a bad idea.

I know my body and my thyroid were struggling so much that they would not have been able to keep up.

Doctors agree.

Yet, in my head there still lives a skinny girl struggling to break free from the body who won’t cooperate and the lure of weight loss surgery is strong with her.

It’s not helping that the weather is warming so I am getting used to seeing my arms again.

Now even as I can put those thoughts here in this space for all of you to see I can also take a step away from those words and see my body is still struggling so weight loss surgery even six months ago to be skinner today would still not have been the right choice for my body.

So what’s up with the wishing?

Inside, in my own thoughts, in the way I want to see and be seen I am a skinny girl, not sickly skinny but healthy and maybe even a little buff.

A few days ago someone I’ve know for a long time shared with me that when she is waiting for the microwave she marches in places or does squats and my first thought was, “I used to do stuff like that when I wanted to be anorexic.”

Yeah, there was a time in my youth when I was hell bent on starving myself to that point.

Her words tempted and frightened me.

Could I add a few marches or a squat or two?

Could I do it and let it be a healthy thing?

Right now, right in this moment in my head my honest answer is, “I don’t know.”

But I am going to think about it.

I am also going to add a bottle of the sparkly water each day this week because I am worth it.Drink More Water

Other than letting myself think while I drink this week is all about making sure all the last minute housework and errands are done by Thursday so we are not running around like crazy people on Friday.

Interestingly enough, I talked to my hubs about this after I wrote it.  He also struggles with eating unless he is “on the job” but neither of us could put a finger on why it is an issue.

Week 5–The Good, The Bad, The Ugly…And The Utterly Amazing

One of the good moments was finding out one of my medications, Relafen, was the cause of the severe non-migraine headaches I’ve been having.  It’s frustrating and disappointing.  It made me swear.  A lot.  But, at the same time the water retention it was causing was also causing my brain to swell.  It is good to know that.

However, this is also bad.  Brain swelling????  Effin’ really??????  As if I don’t have enough to worry about now I have to worry about brain swelling too.  My doc thinks it will be a good couple of weeks before my body ‘normalizes.’  He did say that with kid-gloves because he’s been riding the roller coaster non-normal of my body with me for almost six years now.

I do need to stop right here and share another good moment because it will lead us right straight to the ugly.  My hubs FINALLY found a job that seems to be a perfect fit.  The lifting of all the stress, worry, and confusion that comes from not knowing if or when he would find work is quite a bit above just being ‘good’ it is AMAZING (but that’s not the utterly amazing moment…I knew he’d find the right job).

Ironically, that brings us to a lil’ bit o’ ugly.  We’ve been running around like crazy trying to tie-up a bunch of errands, honey-dos, and assorted stuff so his transition back to work is as smooth as possible.  That has meant there’s been a gross amount of fast food in my life.  I have made good choices–bun-less burgers with chili or salad with maybe 10 of my hubs french fries–and I am proud of myself about that part.  But, fast food three times in one week.   That’s so not me.  And while this is not bad we also went out for a celebratory dinner at ‘our’ restaurant (the one where we met) and I ate a few too many of their gloriously fresh tortilla chips.

Four non-cooked-by-me meals in one week.  For me, that’s ugly.  Even making good choices it’s still a sodium bomb in my life.  I’m not too puffy but I am feeling it and the scale is showing it.

So let’s review the past few weeks shall we…massive water weight gain which I now know is a side effect of medication.  Twelve pounds of water.  I knew it wasn’t real.  And now I know that for sure.

So please join me in being utterly amazed that I…..

….was too small for 1X the super cute beach-scene printed top…

….and…

…I put on a size 16 dress…

…and would have bought it…

…except for a few bumps and rolls in the wrong places…

…size 16 people…

…SIXTEEN…

….WITH lingering water retention.

A-M-A-Z-ING!!!!!!

I’m thinking about investing in some shape wear and going back to try that dress on again *huge smile* It was the type of dress that would knock his socks off for our five-star dinner on our cruise.

Size 16!!!!!!!!

Also amazing is my garden coming back to life alreadyWP_20150208_001

My goal for the week: Seven walks.

I know that might sound like a lot but if I do not start putting my feet on the pavement Mexico is going to kill me.  I finally found okay-for-now sneakers.  Not having them is what I’ve been saying has been holding me back.  I have them so now it’s time to put up or shut up.

ACCOUNTABILITY!!!  ACTION!!!  ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ACTIONS!!!!  My year.  My time.

First Week–Ring In The New, Remember The Old

It has been a pain-filled week.  Weeks like this make losing weight with fibromyalgia even harder…not impossible…just harder.

I did lose two pounds.

I did NOT exercise (what you would think of as “exercise” anyway) for even five minutes all week.

I do stretch multiple times a day.  Plus several years ago I started building movement into my normal routine.  If able, I park a few extra spaces from the door.  I make sure and move every hour or, at most, every two hours.  I look for opportunities to get an extra step or two every chance I get.

As for food, my man and I are having a struggle.  He’s normally a SAINT but this week he’s been trying to feed me carbs when he knows it’s low carb day and tempting me with Cherry Coke (my favorite Reward Day beverage).  We even had a little tiff about it.  We rarely have tiffs about anything.

Lesson: Your support system is going to fail you at times so decide now what you are going to do when it does.

Between you and me, he’s off the healthy eating track and instead of doing something about it there seems to be an effort to pull me off.  I confronted him about it and he says that’s not the case but garlic bread and Cherry Coke are louder.  He says he supports me.  And he does.  He says I am happier when I’m Carb Cycling.  And I am.  But, when the garlic bread comes with, “I know it’s low carb day but…” then there’s more going on than he is admitting.  Because I am aware of it I can almost not take it personally.

However, there’s another thing I needed to be on guard about.  The more he tried convincing me that I “needed” those carbs–no human ever “needs” soda–the more I could feel myself wanting to restrict them even further.  It’s an old, super old behavior that hasn’t been an issue in my life for so long I cannot even remember the last time other than to say my teenage years.

Lesson: Everything you think you have conquered will show up again.  You can either see it as an excuse or a moment to shine.  It is up to you to decide which it’s going to be….and if you pick excuse then hold yourself accountable and pull yourself back on track. 

In my family food was used as a means of control.  I once changed my mind about pancakes but since they were already made I was forced to sit at the table until I ate them.  I ended up sleeping there.  I did not eat the pancakes.  There was also the ever popular, “If you do something good, you can have (junk food).”  But by far the one I fought against the most was, “There are starving children in China” argument.  Even as a pre-teen and teen I could clearly recognize food as a weapon.  It is what lead me to disordered eating and trying so desperately to be an anorexic (weak gag reflex but I exercised up to five hours a day to compensate).

All of that control, all of that battle mentality rushed back the more my husband tried to feed food I do eat but never on LC day.  However, as I recognized the rush of memory and remembered where I had been and how when I started this journey 12 years ago I vowed I would never resort to extreme tactics or to weaponize food; I could find a sense of calm.

That Cherry Coke has been waiting in the refrigerator since Wednesday.  It’s Reward Day today and I’ll drink it when I am ready to enjoy it.

Lesson: No matter if you use Carb Cycling or not, build moments into your plan when you are allowed a little something sweet or special.  For YEARS I thought this was a lame excuse by food addicts to cheat.  The truth is Carb Cycling a la Chris Powell has taught me for my wonky Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis metabolism Reward Day is CRUCIAL to keep my body from shutting my weight loss efforts down. 

Aside from that my food hasn’t been great this week.  I had one day where I had three protein bars to avoid eating “bad” food and because I ended up extremely busy and unprepared.  Three protein bars are always better than junk food.  But having a day that caused three protein bars is a signal my life was off-balance and that’s not good.  Honestly, pain and her accompanying sleep issues were part of the equation.  I woke up late: protein bar.  My schedule backed up: protein bar.  I needed something healthy but not filling: protein bar (but had I eaten normally during the day I wouldn’t have felt the need).

The best thing about my week: finding unsweetened, flavored seltzer water.  I have been drinking one, 1-liter bottle a day.  I HATE water.  Light bubbles and a hint of flavor make all the difference in the world.

Lesson: No matter how much you think the week has sucked find just one thing to pat yourself on the back about.  Losing weight with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease (or whatever you are dealing with) is hard enough.  Find that one thing and congratulate yourself for getting it right.  You do not need to be perfect to lose weight.  Just incredibly honest.

Here’s my best advice when fibro is kicking your butt, your support system isn’t playing nicely, old bad habits rear their ugly head, and when you just feel like you can’t do it:

Eat Like You Love Yourself

 

CI#98–Today’s The Day

The worst part about taking a break is getting started again.  There is this amazing temptation to feel like a failure or even that life won’t be as lovely following “the rules” again.  It’s a head game.  Nothing more.  It’s also a big, fat lie and you really need to treat it as such because if the foods you’re eating on plan are really that abhorrent to you then you need new food.  Srsly!

Even as much as I know that, I will admit my feet did not hit the floor this morning before I caught myself thinking, “Low carb day…oh hell no.”  But I took a big deep breath and let that thought go.

Carb cycling–or any structured eating plan–takes work.  The truth is I woke up with some of yesterday’s pain and I don’t want to deal with the work.  That is different from “I can’t,” “I’m a failure,” and even “Oh hell no,” so it’s best to admit what it really is and move on.  Today I want to lounge about in flannel jammies nursing my Christmas-tree-putting-up-six-trips-to-the-store wounds.  But, I am also honestly very eager to start Carb Cycling again.

However, I am also nervous and worried the break won’t be enough to kick-start my body again.  I have to acknowledge those feelings while making sure I do not let them stand in my way.  I was off for 35 days so if my body hasn’t responded appropriately in 35 more days then I’ll give those feelings some steam.  Then I will act on them.  Today I will admit them and do my part to wrangle my insane thyroid, fibromyalgia body into submission and I’ll keep doing that until it is abundantly clear it is not working.  number-1

With my eagerness, I’m racing through this post so I can declare my goals to myself and to y’all and get my day started right.  I’m back.  And the parts of me who don’t hurt from yesterday are excited to get back to it which is why it is so important to recommit as publicly as you feel comfortable.  So many dieters make the mistake of keeping it a secret.  The “I’ll start on Monday” thought quickly turns into “I deserve to be fat forever because I’m such a loser for eating cookies for breakfast,” on Tuesday morning when waking up Monday involved their own “Oh hell no” moment.  It happens.  To everyone.  Know that, overcome that and you’re already on your way.

Hi my name is Tanya and I am recommitting to Carb Cycling today.

My best advice: If you need a restart, declare it!

If you do not have a support system put it in the comments or if you know me message me privately because you know I am here cheering for you.  Just tell someone other than yourself because that layer of accountability is crucial to your success.  We got this!