Oct 24, 2013

Hot coffee: yum!

I've been annoyed by my annoying posts lately. Here's an anicdotal one... there should be a lot more of these, proportionately. I'll work on that.

A few days ago at work in the morning I was feeling groggy and in need of coffee. Got out my cup, put creamer in it, and went across the hall. Found a nice full pot of coffee there, and filled my cup. As I walked away, wondered briefly why my cup didn't feel hot. I figured it was just because it takes a few seconds for coffee to heat up a ceramic cup.

Went back to my desk, sat down, took a sip, and it was COLD, from the day before! I spit it back in the cup. Me and my office mate laughed. Since then when I hold a hot cup of coffee I laugh at myself; how could I have ever not realized I had cold coffee?

Oct 23, 2013

Goonies Never Say Die.

So, it's like I forgot--or forgot to mention--that I had a pretty major vacation coming up in October. We went on our annual fling to Universal Studios, staying at Hard Rock Hotel. We have a great time there, and eat things like popcorn, beer, pizza, beer, free cookies, free breakfast, and free evening "snacks" accompanied by free beer. Somehow, even though you walk for miles at an amusement park, mysteriously you never lose weight while there. I can't figure it out (did I mention "free beer")?

I don't know how I thought I was going to eat basically Zero Sugar through the month of October with that on the horizon. Needless to say, I ate sugar--lots of it. And when I got back, I didn't stop. I was feeling pretty durn bad about myself a couple of days ago, starting to think things like "maybe I'm just a fat person at heart... maybe this is just who I am and I should stop fighting it... maybe I'm happier this way."

But of course, I wasn't happy at all. After a long, difficult, stressful day at work, my natural tendency has become to come home and either 1. lay down on the couch, 2. lay down in bed for an actual nap, or 3. start drinking beer. Seriously, are these the actions of a happy person? Somehow I had convinced myself that since this was the path of least resistance, it was the best I could do.

What I had forgotten about was momentum. Now, momentum is caused a little bit by eating right (which I've been doing off and on for months), but what really gets momentum going is exercise. I had decided that I needed to get to eating right consistently before I would add exercise, because that's what I did such a long time ago when I succeeded in losing 70 pounds. Turns out that's not the best idea, because I wasn't getting the momentum--physical momentum caused by endorphins that charge up your psyche and leave you wanting more--and emotional momentum caused by knowing for sure that you can physically achieve something.

When I woke up yesterday morning I decided the only way I would definitely get to the gym is if I asked somebody to make me go there. There's a guy at work who goes to the gym every day at lunch (free gym in our building), so I asked him to drag me along. Didn't care when it was, but when he came to tell me to go I would go. And I did. It was awesome, and it changed my whole day. I sweated, became exhausted, ate lunch, had energy, and kept having energy all the way until it was time to go to bed. At home, I did dishes, played drums (haven't done that in months), joked with the kids, folded laundry, and had a great evening with Bryan. At around 10 o'clock I could feel my legs and my whole body being really tired--for all the right reasons.

Now, I know I will continue to ebb and flow, and sometimes I'll ebb all the way down to complete misery, but... the difference between me and a truly miserable person is that I will never stop trying. I won't give up. I don't quit. I might go a week where all I eat is Twix and I hate myself, but that week will come to an end, I will come to my senses, and I will get back on the right track. Goonies never say die.

Oct 7, 2013

Going Strong

One week into Brain Enema Fall 2013, and I am going strong...

I've stuck to my rules very well except for one or three teensy things here and there, which I think is a huge win! I find that if you don't have teensy things here and there that take you out of Diet Perefction, then you are either:

  1. lying, or 
  2. being too strict.

My teensy things were: 

    a.   some homemade croutons made with white bread on an otherwise perfect-choice chicken salad
    b.   few bites of a Chocolate Pot du Creme practice batch
    c.   a Diet Coke at a sub shop where I did not order a sub; rather a chef salad
    d.   a large biscuit perched atop my Chicken Pot Biscuit dinner Saturday (but that's cheat meal anyway)

And then of course I had my planned "cheat" on Saturday, which was half of a Chocolate Pot du Creme, which was absolutely heavenly. I even avoided eating the rest of it the next day, since it was no longer my "cheat meal." 

I'm feeling great about this plan. Of course, I have had a few moments when I wanted to throw the tv out the window for showing me the new Papa John's chocolate chip cookie pizza (totally evil), or people eating pie (dastardly). But, it's all good. The tv and I both survived.

I had plain strawberries with whipped cream on them for dessert last night. Nominal sugar, some fat, and it made me feel full and happy. 

Oh, and I'm down from hovering at 205 for quite awhile now to 201 this morning. And my pants are a little loose. Woot!

Oct 1, 2013

Brain Enema

"This town needs an enema." 

This Laura needs an enema--of my brain more than anything. I've had a lot of blockages in there, not necessarily related to problem-solving and critical thinking, but along the neural pathways that cause me to make good decisions for me. One of my newest motto's is "be kind to yourself," because I certainly haven't been for at least a year now. I'm going to change that.

I've decided to accomplish this clean-out of my neural area by laying down some good old-fashioned diet rules... I tried this a couple months ago, and it went great. I lost something like 7ish pounds in the week that I stuck to it really well. I'm going back to it, and I'm committing to do it for ONE MONTH. For the month of October, I'm following the following rules:

  1. No calorie counting and/or logging food into a food-logging app (I find this distracting, time-consuming, and lately just a recipe for failure). 
  2. No sugar in greater than 5-gram quantities per serving (which allows creamer in coffee, Silk on cereal, etc), except once on Saturdays
  3. No white flour products (stick to whole grains, the more fiber the better)
  4. No sugar substitutes (aspartame, sucralose, etc)
  5. Acception: FRUIT. Unlimited on fruit intake, but staying away from super high carb fruits like bananas.
For now, I'm not incorporating any required exercise to go along with this. I've had a hard enough time starting one thing and finishing it, so I'm just going to focus on this for now. 

In order to accomplish this I'm going to focus on protein-rich snacks, as well as vegetables and fruits. When I feel a craving, I will have a piece of cheese or handful of fiber-rich crackers, or grab a piece of fruit. Even if I get hungry at night... because eating after a certain time is totally allowed on this plan. 

Who's with me?? Who's up for a brain enema?!

Sep 11, 2013

Toxins are a bitch

Alright, here's the deal. I have spent the last 4+ days in varying states of misery going from my neck to my nose to throughout my entire head, shoulders, inside my head... Woke up Saturday morning with pain in my neck, went about my normal activities, then all of a sudden my shoulder/neck area just seized up. Spent the rest of the weekend trying to keep it from freaking out more, resting, icing, etc. It was terrible; I mean, I got LAUNDRY to do, man! Sunday I decided maybe I had something terrible like meningitis, so I set out to go to Med Express. On the way there, I thought "what the heck am I doing? what do i want? pain meds?" After seeing the parking lot and how many sick people were waiting to see a doctor, I decided this can't be the place for me. Went to the drug store instead and bought a new icey bag for my neck and two packs of chocolate for my brain.

Monday I went to the chiropractor (Dr Grose of Grose Chiropractic, check them out if you're anywhere close to here). He is awesome, by the way. I love him and his whole practice. Having a massage every time I go does give them bonus points, but in general it's just a nice community place where everybody talks about what they're doing to get better. It's not all private like doctors' offices usually are. People are there to do exercises, talk to health experts, and get better.

Anyway, they straightened me out, and Doc told me I'd feel much better the next day.

Instead, yesterday I felt HORRIBLE. I had an important meeting at work where I was supposed to present this entirely new concept to a bunch of skeptical folks who were apt to buck the new system. I was supposed to sell it. It didn't happen. I let somebody else take over, and sat there feeling like I might pass out or throw up. Considered walking out and going home in the middle of the meeting, but sat there till it was done and then did just that. I didn't know what the heck was up, because it felt like I was going to DIE, like I had the flu.

Went back to the chiro today, talked to them about everything, and realized--you know what, Laura, you're just screwing yourself. Screwing myself with the food I eat, the caffeine I take in, the aspartame, the grease, the TOXINS. When they straightened me out on Monday it released all these toxins that had been pent up in my head/neck/back, and I simply didn't drink enough water to flush them out! Simple as that. They were right, I had barely drank any water, and I had no other excuse to feel "flulike" yesterday.

When I left there I thought I just can't do this anymore. I can't put my body and mind through this kind of treatment. I'm going back to my "no white stuff" diet: no sugar except in a serving of 5g or less (like cereal) or in fruit, no white flour. I'm going to focus on eating mostly vegetables and fruit, with plenty of protein. I just have to do it.

Please if you read this, help keep me honest. Ask me how it's going. I need you! Thanks.

Mar 20, 2013

Red Letter Evening

The kids and I had an awesome evening yesterday. Bryan is out of town this week for work, so our family is definitely out of balance. But we manage, and yesterday we thrived!

I had one of those really long days at work--the kind that leaves my eyes hot and burning and tired, and my nerves frayed. Upon arriving home, Tayan and I decided to hit the basketball hoop right away. It was awesome. I love not only that I am one of the very few moms who will legitimately play basketball with their 8 year old, but that Tayan is aware of that rarity and doesn't mind it. It means so much to me that memories of his childhood will include playing ball, running with, and laughing at fart jokes with his mother.

After hoops, I rousted Zene off the couch, and the three of us took Lupin to the dog park. Lupin was so happy. I mean, like seriously so happy. Anybody who has an old dog who no longer chews up furniture and meekly stays inside for 9 hours a day by himself, then is content to pretty much sleep all evening and night knows what I mean. The dog was downright thankful.

Zene whined pretty much the whole time we were there, but he does that. The kid doesn't like exercise or outside very much.

Back at home, I made dinner while the kids chilled. Also, the highlight of my evening: I read Tayan's report card, which is a narrative and a list of skills for many of which he earned a "Distinguished" mark. The narrative was just amazing. His teacher is so proud of him, and she wrote an extensive essay of his progress in each area, how he leads his group and is very kind and always does his work and takes constructive criticism while striving for perfection... I read much of it to Tayan, and by the end I had a hard time keeping my voice steady. He laughed and asked if I was crying (which he could totally tell I was), and I vehemently denied.

We had dinner, learned how to sign in to their math website so they can both get better at earning "skills," then got ready for bed. It was a red-letter evening.

And this morning I did 30 burpees, some regular and sideways crunches, plank, and Zene taught me to do the Too dee tah, which is ridiculous.

Mar 15, 2013

Where I've Been

There's no way to get around it: I've been absent. Absent from here, from any comments on the blogs I love to read, absent even from reading those blogs, even absent from Twitterings. I haven't been able to be found in any local gyms, nor running on the streets around my home, nor even in my basement workout room. I've been absent from all the old places where I used to spend time on myself.

Where have I been?

For awhile I was in only one place: work. I've never had a job like this before. I've never learned this much about anything in such a short time (except maybe when I was a toddler learning to talk/walk/etc). For awhile it was like I was on a rocky precipice with no ropes, no training, and barely any muscles, just hanging on and somehow managing to move upward. The difference between then and now is my attitude. In my mountain analogy, I guess I have managed to beg God to tilt the cliff just a little so that I can lay down once in awhile and rest. It's still there; I'm still moving; I'm just not letting it try to kill me anymore.

Since I've made this change, I have been working on my mind to get it healthy again. I've been reading books that have helped, have consulted sisters, mom, friends and husband, and I now feel that I'm on the right track. I used to only have issues with my body, and the issues with my mind were closely related to my body... but this was a different kind of thing altogether. I was scared of this new kind of problem, but I've got a hold of it now.

I feel like I am now back in a place where I can get my mind and body both happy by adding back exercise and focusing on what I eat. I'm continuing with the book regimen, the talking with those close to me, and planning to develop a routine of meditation.

Anyway, I went running this morning. It was hard to get up, but I did it, and I ran/walked for 24 minutes. Made up a good playlist for myself, laid my clothes out ahead of time, and even though it was 20-some degrees this morning, I went out. It was great. I feel great. I need to remember this feeling next time I don't feel like getting up to run.