Saturday, August 28, 2010

Getting My Life Back

I feel like I've turned a page and fallen into the person I used to be. I've made several changes in my life, and it's been amazing.

1. going back to school.
-I'm thinking of myself again. Since I got married, my mindset has always been "Lets get him through school". I've recently realized that I can't live for him. I can't even live for us. I have to live for myself, in order to be the happiest I can be. In the end, that IS what is best for us.

Here are the biggest three changes I've made:

2. joining a gym
-My first goal was to lose weight; but I've already learned so much more through it. I've learned to push myself further than I have in a long time. I'm getting past that invisible wall I've put up. I also feel GREAT. I have so much more energy. I've been sleeping better, too!
3. changing my eating patterns
-I eat when I'm hungry. Truly hungry. If that means having a snack an hour after lunch, I do it. If it means going through a day without snacks, I do that too. But I don't just eat because "it's time". It's helping me realize how often I ate food simply for the pleasure of it. Now, when I'm hungry, I'm alright with eating a big salad; because as long as I get food in me, I'm happy. I realize that that is backwards from most people; but I'm an odd duck.

Today was great. I woke up full of energy, and kept going all day long! I dropped the hubby off at work, went and bought his school books for him (his work hours and the bookstore hours clashed), shopped at Dollar General, did my school shopping at the supermarket, picked up some fresh fruit at an orchard on the way home, cleaned the apartment top to bottom, locked the keys in the car, and went to dinner with two old friends from high school.

Yes, I locked the keys in the car. They are still in the car. We can't find the spare. I'm gonna have to fork out the dough for a locksmith. Blech. My friend and I had planned on going to a speakeasy tonight, but an old friend just moved back to Michigan, and we had dinner instead. No biggie; dinner was wonderful, and the speakeasy will be there another day!!

I've decided to set some goals for myself. These goals are for the next 3 months.

1. Work out at least 3 days a week (resistance training and cardio)
2. eat ice cream no more than 3 times a month, and even then, eating a correct portion (this is a hard one for me)
3. run 1 mile without stopping

I'd like to run a 5k by next fall. I say next fall, because I don't think I'll be ready this fall, and I adore fall. It seems like the perfect time for such a huge feat! I could be ready this fall if I wanted, but I don't want to dive right into training for a 5K. I have other physical goals I want to work on first.

I'm high on life. Seriously.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Finding Myself Again

I'm on cloud nine these days... seriously.

I have no idea if I'm even really losing weight - but I feel good, and that's a bigger deal to me. Last night, I had a one time meeting with a personal trainer. She did some tests, and gave me some tips. She trained me on all of the resistance machines at my gym.

32% body fat. Yuck.

But I did the training last night, and I went to the gym today, as well. I did 25 minutes of resistance training, along with 25 minutes on the arc trainer. I hit that same wall at about the 10 minute mark. WOW... it hurt. But I just kept going. And I was so excited and proud at the end... and COVERED in sweat. I don't remember the last time I actually worked so hard that I sweated like that.


When I say I don't need to eat as much as I've been reading, I just mean that I want to focus on other things. I'm still eating probably about 1200-1400 calories a day. Oatmeal, salads, lean protein, veggies, brown rice, etc. My cravings are actually going away. I think it's because I'm so excited!! Lately I've been craving smoothies... and that's a craving I've happily indulged :)

On the marital side, things are going better. I'm cautiously optimistic. We're both working on our own lives, which seems to be helping our life together. I'm working on my health, and spending more time with friends. He's spending more time pursuing hobbies and his own friends. We've been enjoying our time together; playing tennis, watching movies, going for walks. This weekend will be fun... Saturday, I'm going to a speakeasy with an old friend of mine (I KNOW! How cool is that?). Hubby is going to an unofficial high school reunion at a brewery. Sunday, we're going up north to spend the day at the lake with my my sister and my grandma.

Yes, today, life is good.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

There's a difference between "I can't" and "I don't want to".

I've been absent lately. At first, it was a bad thing. But if morphed into something very interesting.

A few weeks ago, I went hog-wild. I'm talkin' pizza, Dairy Queen, kraft mac n' cheese wild. I weighed myself one day and it told me I was 221 lbs. The nerve! But it stuck with me. Something in me clicked. A lot of the weight came off fast, because it was water weight. But it's been hard. Last week. I was down to 208 bs. This week, 206 lbs. I've been rigid in my eating. Lots of salads; lots of veggies. I joined a gym and I've been GOING.

Today, I learned the difference between "I can't" and "I don't want to." Have you ever really struggled with this line? I have. I tend to give up when the going gets tough. But today, I was at the gym. I climbed onto the elliptical and started a program for 25 minutes. I am seriously out of shape. I haven't done more than 10 minutes at a time since I joined 2 weeks ago; but I was thinking big. At around the 10 minute mark, I felt this insane need to quit. Normally, I would have. I was breathing heavy. My legs burned. I was bored. But I told myself that I didn't NEED to quit. I just wanted to.

An odd thing happened. Around the 20 minute mark, my muscles loosened up. I felt relaxed. I found a rhythm and went steady. At 25 minutes, I stopped because that's what I had planned on; but I could have kept on going.

How often have I quit because things got hard? I think back to the weekend I spent at Sleeping Bear Dunes last month. Husband and I got to the dunes in the morning, and began climbing. At the top of the first big hill, I gave up. It was hot. My legs were killing me. But mostly, the BODY was willing but the SPIRIT was weak. I cried. A lot. I told Husband to keep going. Being a gentleman, he said no way - he'd hang out with me until I was ready. But I didn't want to go. I didn't want people to see me struggling so much. I didn't want to continue asking him to slow down. I didn't want to take it slow. So I didn't do it at all. I sat down in a heap on the sand and dug a hole while he explored. When he returned, I put on a cheery face and we ran down the hill.

I could have done it. It would have been so gratifying to get to the end. But I'm afraid, and so I give up.

I know some people will disagree with me on this, but I've stopped having the obligatory 3 meals + 2 snacks. I've spent every evening going through every diet book I own. The Superfoods Diet, South Beach, Atkins, French Women Don't Get Fat, Skinny Bitch, you name it. And it is mind boggling. How can I possibly eat oatmeal every day, eat eggs, eat yogurt, eat the required protein, eat protein with my fruit at snacks, etc. etc. etc. It's OBSESSIVE. All I do is think about food.

So I've taken a break. I don't need all of that food. People always say "the secret is to eat before you get hungry". I'm sorry... but there is a reason people feel hunger. It makes no sense to me that I would lose weight, and never be hungry. That means I ALWAYS have to eat the right things, at exactly the right time, in order to lose. I think that idea is meant to keep people from binging. If you are never hungry, then it's easier to say no to temptations. But I don't want to have to manipulate myself into not failing. I need to become a person who, when she actually feels a hunger pang, turns to fresh fruit or veggies; who can truly believe that when she is hungry, an entree salad CAN be enough.

I've stuck to the same plan for the past couple weeks. Oatmeal for breakfast, a light lunch (veggies and a protein), dinner of either a big salad with a protein, or a protein+veggie+whole grain combo. I have dessert of some sort to end my day on; a sugar free fudgecicle, some greek yogurt with fresh fruit, or some chocolate milk.

I've been finding little things to find joy in, food-wise. Hubby and I found a small asian noodle restaurant in town. It's a total dive. My bowl of noodle soup had some unexpected tripe in it! But you know what? I had a fabulous time. This place SMELLED of China. The dishes looked the same. The feel was amazing. At the end of the meal, they brought a small dish of some coconut/rice dessert. There was probably only 2 tablespoons in it, but I savored it. I walked away from that meal fulfilled. I only ate about 1/5 of my noodle bowl, so I went home and made myself a salad; but I was so completely satisfied and didn't have a single craving in the world that night.

I bought red bean popcicles at the asian market. I came to ADORE red bean flavored stuff in China. Have you ever tried it? It can take a few tastes to really appreciate it; but it's amazing. The popcicles are not only yummy, but they have beans in them, so they are filling.

I know things will probably change; and I'll have to adapt. But for now, I'm LOVING being able to just live. To not think about food every 2 hours of my life. I feel like a normal person again. I get caught up in things; when I feel hungry, I eat. I start college again on monday. I'm terrified. But I'm prepared for the changes. Bring it on!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My favorite restaurant while living in China was a small hole-in-the-wall Hunan restaurant. A Chinese friend of ours translated the menu into English for us, so that we could order things with our limited Chinese skills. Some of the translations are... a bit inaccurate, but interested nonetheless.

This, folks, is the menu for a TRUE Chinese restaurant. No P.F. Chang's here!

The cake was a success!

They loved the cake. I'm not a complete baking failure, I guess!

Also.. side note... I have a new favorite snack. A cucumber. A whole, peeled, sliced cucumber. Only about 40 calories, and it is so refreshing in the summer. Usually, my issue is not hunger, or even cravings for specific junk foods. I just want to munch... on SOMETHING. I have to say, I've eaten cucumbers in the past days.

Tomorrow we're leaving for an overnight trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes, in Northern Michigan. It's about 3.5 hours away. I'm excited to hike, walk through sand, swim in Lake Michigan, and wander cute shops. It'll be a nice getaway for Hubby and I.

I don't really have much to say, so I'm not gonna bother boring you with useless chatter. Happy Saturday. See y'all tuesday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Attempting to bake a cake.

How's that for a diet blog title? No, really. I'm trying. I corrupt anything that touches my oven. I can't bake cookies. I can't bake bread. I can't bake muffins. But tomorrow is a pool party, and I was asked to bring dessert. I could have thrown together a fruit salad; but that's not what those boys want. So I'm gonna try to make this... and I'm gonna have one piece.

I'm feeling better. Doesn't the 24 hour flu just baffle you? It come on hard and fast, and leaves just as fast. Sounds like a metaphor...

Today was an odd eating day. I had broth for breakfast. Soup for lunch. Dinner, pita bread and hummus. Lots of it. I finally got my appetite back, and the only thing it was screaming was "HUMMUS! HUMMUS! HUMMUS!!!"

Any of y'all animal people? Because I feel the need to share about my two babies.

Wila (pronounced Veela... she's named after a mythical Polish fairy) is a 2 year old maine coon cat. We rescued her from the shelter. She's GORGEOUS. Fluffy, delicate, dainty. She eats like a mouse. She has the softest fur imaginable. And she's a lover; but she's never sat on our laps. She likes the spot right next to us, where she can purr away, and head butt our hands until we lightly tug the hair behind her ears. She loves that. She's small; at least compared to the huge boy cats I grew up with! She has a small, high pitched voice that sounds like a song. She's sweet, laid back, and perfectly well-behaved.

Mei Mei (Little Sister) is a terror. She's 6 months old now, and all of 6 lbs. She's gray, with white paws and a white chin. She has raccoon stripes on her tail. She likes to eat hummus when I'm not looking. She liks to pull straws out of your cups. She likes to chase Wila around mercilessly, and chew on your toes when you start drifting off. She eats like a cow. She constantly walks right in between your feet so that you step on her 5 times in the hallway. When she meows, it sounds like a big man cat. When she purrs, she sounds like she's missing her muffler.

How is it possible to love these two cats equally? Yet I do. Are you a cat person?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Having a hard time

I'm here to admit it; I'm struggling. I haven't completely fallen off the wagon, but I've had some pretty big snafus in the past week. It's just easier to neglect the blog when you have to admit failure. But, in the long run, that's seriously bad news!

Why did it happen? I could blame one of any number of things. Wanting to enjoy my weekend with my husband, who I'm trying to mend my marriage with. Celebrating a visit from my Florida grandparents and feeling bad turning down her cookin'. Baking in the 90 degree humid-as-heck apartment with no a/c (ice cream is mandatory in those situations, no?), and simply wanting to give in and agree that Fourthmeal is a real thing.

But none of these is an excuse. Joy for the moments I am eating does not make up for the disappointment I am feeling in myself. For the tummy ache and the anger at the scale. Why must I torture myself, when I know that I'm happier and healthier when I'm eating right?

As a side note, I came home sick from the office today. Got there, everything was fine, but 20 minutes later I was puking in the bathroom. I stuck it our 4 hours before I got sick again. I have chills, I'm trembling, and flushed. I think I have the doggone flu.

Anyways, I'm back. Sorry for my weakness.