Thursday, May 28, 2009

Non-Scale Victories (remember those?)

I have not talked about a non-scale victory in ages - but yesterday I felt a little looseness in my skirt. It was nice. I have kept the pesky pound off and should lose another by end of the week. My appetite has calmed considerably. I am still trying to make sure I go to bed early enough but I have not been falling asleep right away, and sometimes it takes a long time. Even with all the soothing rainfall we have been having. But it is a short work week thankfully and I am looking forward to the weekend.

Back to non-scale victories - when I saw my stomach in the mirror this morning (something I tend to avoid) it looked smaller....maybe it is my point of view or maybe the pesky pound came off of my tummy. Doesn't matter, I am glad for the shift in perception or body fat. For some reason these meal supplement shakes reduce my interest in food. It may be in part that I am spending less time actually eating since I drink the shakes so I am getting out of the habit of eating. Plus, I use them to supplement my snacks, not my regular meals, and snacking is where my extra calories and eating come from. I am good at having disciplined meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But snacking is another story. So if my snacks are the shakes, that reduces the eating episodes and the calories. And breaks the habit. I don't plan to use these shakes long term but I do plan to use them for a few weeks to see what happens.

More will be revealed...

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Joys of Sleep

Last week was very busy. I had things going on every evening. I was up late with daughter helping with school work. By Friday I was wiped out. So I slept 12 hours Friday night through Saturday morning. I felt better on Saturday than I have felt in a long time. Saturday night I did not get to sleep as much because we had traveled to spend the night with my parents and were up early Sunday morning to go visit one of my sons. So I made up for it last night by doing another 12 hour sleep. This one was interrupted several times in the morning because my alarm on my telephone kept going off in some distant part of my room and I was too comfy in bed to go turn it off. I finally did at nine and slept another two hours. This sleep therapy helps my mood. Tired makes me crave food. I noticed it on Friday. I wanted food all day long and had to resist the urge constantly. When I am rested I eat better. So I am going to make sleep a priority.

Work is very busy doing all the things to make sure they can fire us all soon. That's basically what my job is about these days. Getting it all done so they can eliminate my job. I don't mind so much and I look forward to the time off. I like the variety I have now. I stay out of doom and gloom thinking and resentment most of the time so I stay in a pretty good mood.

It has rained most of the day so the yard work I planned was put off. I don't mind. I am still enjoying the wilderness look of my back yard. I planted a flower garden for my mother as a late mother's day present. Just a small group of pots on her deck but she appreciated it and I enjoyed doing it. It will be easy for her to maintain, just watering really. I am going with the flow today and not taxing myself. I am not craving food and am sticking to my plan. It is much easier to do when I am rested and can live at my own pace.

This week I am going to make rest and sleep a priority and see how that works..

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pesky Pound Gone Again

That pound is gone again. It is the plateau/slump breaking pound. All I had to do was stick to simple easy principles that work for me. Foods that work, less volume, more nutrition, regular exercise. I stuck with my morning routine again today. My upper body work out in my room, and my short but brisk dog walk that involves two steep hills. I am starting to use my stability ball, too. I made a bigger exercise space in my room when I cleaned. That wide open space is very inviting - it inspires me to work out. This is nice. I am liking this low key return to New Normal - the basics of taking good care of myself.

I also worked a bit on my writing project last night. Just a little, but just enough.

More will be revealed..

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday Quickie Update

I am feeling better, much better. I took two walks yesterday with the dog. I took a short morning walk today also - which is a major accomplishment. Even if I step outside for ten minutes it's a good thing because it keeps the habit in place. Also planning an evening walk. This week is about habits. New ones. And reviving good ones that I have been missing. I did my morning ab and upper body routine at home, too. So far so good today. I ordered myself some medi fast shakes. They are the best meal replacement shakes I have ever had. They have only one hundred calories each, taste the best of any protein shake I have ever had. I used them once in early 2007 or late 2006 to get myself off of a plateau. I don't use them for every meal, just some meals. The point is to get myself consuming less volume while getting stable nutrition. And, to kick start a loss hopefully. Also invoking the positive thinking tools this week. I even ordered a new book of meditations and a deck of cards with positive thoughts on them. Both are by Louise Hay. I like her, she has an interesting background and her material about changing our thoughts has been very helpful to me in the past.

Anyway, just a quick post to keep the posting habit going!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Report and Inspiration

I feel a little better today. I gained my little pound back while I was sick but I intend to lose it back this weekend and start fresh Monday morning. My body feels sloshy from doing mostly nothing. I did take the dog out last night before a storm. It was windy and wild out and it felt very good but I stuck close to home so when the lightning started I could get inside fast.

Here are my favorite healthy food combinations lately. I am putting hot sauce on most everything these days. I swirl it on my scrambled eggs. It has only five calories a tablespoon and adds flair to food. I also like to dip my raw veggies in cottage cheese. I have been swirling some hot sauce in that now, too, for a spiced up dip. Fiber is a big deal to me and I seem to need a huge dose of it every day. I mix my high fiber cereal with a lowfat yogurt and sometimes some frozen or fresh berries, just a few. I also use boiled egg and a little light mayo for an egg salad dip for celery. A favorite side dish for the whole family is cauliflower sauteed using just cooking spray until it is hot and barely cooked - then sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. The kids love it and it is a good food for me as well. When I bake my chicken I use a powder barbecue seasoning to add flavor without calories. Also have spicy Mexican chili powder for that as well or cracked pepper and garlic.

I find I do better when I rotate some of the same basic meals in my food plan. I don't get bored with it and for some reason it keeps me on track. I never thought of myself as a creature of habit but it appears that I do better when I stick to the same routine. I have been dreaming of getting up earlier and doing a quick dog walk each day, and then a dog walk directly after dinner. These don't have to always be long but they can be when time and energy permit. Even if I just slip out the door with the dog for a few minutes I am keeping up the habit. I am very good about doing my floor exercises and hand weights in the morning. If I can build in cardio times then I can vary the intensity and duration. The walk can turn to a jog, or a bike ride.

I am trying to simplify things and build in habits again that work to take a few pounds off, firm a few areas and keep me feeling upbeat. Lack of physical activity is near deadly for me and my depression. I am glad that my winter gain did not turn into a wholesale return to the original weight and that I was able to stop the gain, but I do want to persevere and get back where I was and stay there. I don't want to take the weight loss for granted. I want to appreciate it and take care of it. I feel like I have a second chance with my body - to be healthy and feel good in my own skin, to be able to do things, wear things, experience things that I could not do for a number of years. When I am feeling discouraged about not losing this 8 or so pounds I play a little game - I pretend I am waking up a couple of years ago, getting on the scale and seeing the number I see today. I'd be so thrilled. I honestly did not expect to lose this much originally.

I have also decided to get creative instead of focusing on food so much. I had a really nice chat with Our Lady of Weight Loss. It helped me brainstorm on a couple of things I want to do and write down some small steps to take. I want to do some writing so I decided to do some work in life histories - my mother's for starters. My first task is to do one starter interview with my Mom about her childhood. I have photos of her from way back when that I can use as well. I also want to create using photographs. So my first task for that project is to create an electronic file of photos that inspire me.

So counting blessings and moving on. Sick of being sick and tired. Ready to challenge myself a little!

Here is a quote from a meditation I ran across while cleaning in my closet - I think it is from Food for Thought -

"When we have hard things to do, we especially need to maintain our abstinence. We know from experience that maintaining it is the only way we can feel good and cope effectively. Formerly, we turned to food to strengthen us and prop us up during difficult times. We invariabley ate too much and were less able to manage the troublesome situation. Food then became and escape and we sometimes ended up doing nothing at all about a problem, since we had eaten ourselves into oblivion. We know that instead of strengthening us, extra food incapacitates us..."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Still Hanging on to May

I hit a snag - I have been sick since Sunday. The whole house is sick, even one of the computers has a virus (not mine) and it is putting us in a funk. So here is my month almost half gone but I am still hanging on. I rarely lose weight when sick, in fact I gain. So I am not focusing on weight today. I am focusing on my mentality since I tend to feel really low when I am sick. Today I read fitness magazines. Even though I had zero energy I took a walk with the dog after going to the doctor. I have been in bed most of the days of this week except for yesterday when I went to work for seven hours. I thought if I got out of the house I would feel better. I was wrong. I felt bad at work, dizzy, nausea, fatigue, etc. So I basically confirmed that yes, I am sick. The doctor's office said to get plenty of rest, which I have been doing. So I don't have to feel bad about staying in bed sleeping all the time. It's the right thing to do.

I find reading fitness magazines comforting and inspiring. I did do a few exercises today because I could not stand it any longer. Mostly I am doing mostly nothing because doing anything for too long makes me feel like lying down. I am not interested in food. I am attracted to cold things like ice cream and Popsicles but had to put a stop to all of that.

I feel kind of blah and have nothing exciting to report except that I am not defeated, just a bit delayed. . . I can celebrate a couple of things - paid time off for resting, a beautiful place to walk my dog, a little mini clinic to go when I am sick instead of the long drive to the doctor...........

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Early Payoff and Planning Celebration

Today I have my meals planned through Thursday. I am stocked and ready. And as an extra joy I was down a pound. This is not just any pound. It is the breakthrough pound that I have not been able to get past. So I am on my way. I was not expecting it so it's a nice treat. To be in the range I was last Summer, I should lose about eight pounds or so. I will be happy with six for May, though. It will get me to where I was when I was wearing my shorts. Here is what I have been doing - all these things work together.

I am on a budget, for spending and eating. so I am tracking both. I have shopped methodically and I have planned our meals for this week. This works for both eating less and spending less. I am also cleaning my room. I have made a huge impact on it. That makes me feel organized, competent and improves my mood. It also opens up my exercise space a little more. Plus it feels as if a great weight has been lifted having had the room cleaning project hanging over me for a good long while. I feel optimistic and happy.

My room is big so there were lots of spaces to accumulate laundry, paperwork, unpacked little boxes from two years ago when we moved, all kinds of stuff. I am happy with what I have accomplished. I put in several hours yesterday and a couple today so now all I have to do is keep at it off and on throughout the rest of the day, and a little each day this week. I have done a little decorating like finally hanging a mirror that has been leaning against the wall. It has given me some exercise but it has also given me a bit of a back ache so I am taking it at a slower pace today.

I also went through pictures again last night - the ones that daughter uploaded from her computer onto the external hard drive. There were pictures from 2003 through 2008. It helps to look at these - it's a type of reality therapy. On the one hand I feel good about losing weight and it shows me that I have indeed lost weight and am in much better physical shape. But it also serves as a warning to me of what happens when I slip into denial and do not take the steps I need to take to maintain a healthy body.
The picture looking is not just about me and my obsession with my body image. I am not as completely obsessed with myself as I may sound on this blog it's just that the blog is about me and my quest for a healthier life etc., and so on. More than anything else I have been looking at all the happy memories. Memories for my daughter and grandson and other family members - my Dad and brother before their mental conditions changed, my sister and her family, school events, softball, dance recitals, vacations. We really have had a wonderful life.

So I am celebrating-- celebrating our living space, our family life past and present and my good health... I think I will make May a month of finding things to celebrate -without the cake of course!

More will be revealed!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Making May My Month

Today is no exception to the I Love Friday rule. I am working from home. Shorter hours, too, because I worked longer earlier in the week. My boss is more flexible now so long as we meet her deadlines on projects. I met a deadline so I am working from home. I anticipate getting my 60 days notice sometime after June 1st. I am looking forward to the end of this job, a break, and the beginning of whatever I do next.

Today I have some work I want to finish but I also want to to have some peace and quiet and preparation. The kids continued to be sick this week and today is the first day that they both went to school. I am enjoying quiet. I would enjoy a nice rain, too.. I am in my comfy chair, all cozy with the laptop and a cup of coffee. I have a sore throat but I don't have to go anywhere, or do anything but a few hours of reading and editing contracts. I can do that. I am preparing myself for the month to come. A month for budgeting money and food and getting myself back on track.

I have been up and down with food this week so all I can do is maintain my little two pound loss but for May I am working hard at a goal of losing six pounds. I looked at last year's statistics and I lost 6 pounds in April. Six pounds is a reasonable goal. I am sick of being stuck. That will get me feeling good in my Summer shorts, in fact it may even get me excited about my Summer clothes. So May is my month. The entry to Summer, the celebration of Spring. Flower planting, and the end of the school year. All kinds of good things happen in May. There is much to celebrate!

My depression was light this week. Almost gone, in fact. But full energy has not returned although I managed a morning work out every day but yesterday. I am planning meals for next week, for me and the kids because I am trying to get on a good grocery budget. It also helps plan for me to have the right food available all the time so I can attain my goals. This weekly meal planning has advantages for saving money and saving calories. I have a calorie budget and a financial budget. I find that they go hand in hand. When I am out of control with food I often feel out of control with spending, so I am going to keep close watch on both from now on and see how that works.

Happy Friday!!!