Sunday, December 8, 2013

Last Night of My Year

Tomorrow I turn another year older. It's hard to believe how much my life has changed in the last year, but my soul feels lighter.

The Christmas season began with a bang this weekend. Too much food and drink and not enough sleep, but many memories and much laughter with people that I love. A great way to end this tumultuous year.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I'm Crabby

Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I'm not subjecting anyone to this mood until I snap out of it a bit.

My Thanksgiving eating plan went out the window. I let myself get off my eating schedule and far too hungry, and then I ate and drank like crazy. All weekend. And I have been massively hung over for two days now, which is probably a direct contributor to my case of the crabbies.

Time to shake it all off and get back on track and in a good mood. Starting... NOW.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving


On this Thanksgiving morning, I am counting my blessing. They are so numerous!

- My healthy, intelligent, and beautiful child, who is the light of my life and the result of a hard-won battle to have a child.

- My family, whom I love very much and can always count on when I need them.

- My health. This had not always been true, so I appreciate every healthy day.

- Good friends. True friends. Quality people in my life.

- My kitties, because they bring me happiness, comfort, and unconditional love every single day.

- My job, because it affords me the opportunity to use my brain and challenge myself in addition to supporting my family in a comfortable manner.

- My beautiful home, which is safe and warm and has all of the creature comforts that we desire. Even if my neighbors are louder than I would like.

I feel content watching the parade with my daughter this morning. And that is another blessing.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Skinni(er) Jeans

Yes! I tried on a pair of my skinnier jeans yesterday, and they fit beautifully!

I love fitting into clothes that make me feel good. And I loved wearing them to work today as a reminder to stay on track during this holiday week with all of the treats that are littering the office right now!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Here Come the Holidays!

I love the holidays! Last year was a terrible holiday season for us, though, and I really did not enjoy them at all. But this year is different. Better. Happy.

I skipped WW last weekend because my weekly Cheat Day turned into more of a Cheat Weekend. It reinforced what I already know about myself: I do not do well with the Cheat Day concept because it becomes an opportunity for me to eat all of my favorite foods in a jam-packed 24 hour period. In large quantities. And then I feel guilty. Thus, no more Cheat Day lingo for me.

The good news in it all is that my body responded well to the last two weeks with a Cheat Day in terms of weight and fat loss. I was down another 4.2 pounds at WW this morning, and am now just 4.6 pounds away from my WW goal range. And, much more than a number on the scale, I just plain feel better in my body. I am feeling more like myself. And, frankly, that is really the whole point for me. I do not have any weight-related health issues, so avoiding those and feeling confident are my goals in terms of a goal weight.

I am glad I went to the meeting today because it gave me a boost for this holiday week. I was planning on letting myself go hog wild with the food and drink on Thanksgiving, but now I don't want to do that anymore. I am going to have wine as my appetizer (thank goodness I have no desire for those mini hotdog things that my mom is making... ick), focus on the protein and veggies with a spoonful of the other dishes for the main meal, and save the bulk of my calories for dessert (which is what I really want anyway). And I am going to wear a nice dress (with tights) so that my clothes are none too comfy for an expanding belly.  I am also going to get some exercise in before the gathering to counterbalance the calories and add to my resolve of healthy habits. Plan in place!

I was afraid that this holiday season would be melancholy for me because of my breakup earlier this year and subsequent string of disappointing dating experiences since it, but that is not the case. I am actually really looking forward to the events we have planned this season, and to spending time with my daughter. She is turning into a very interesting young woman, and will be entering the last of her pre-teen years in January. I am really enjoying her blossoming, yet still get the sweet girl who loves her mom like crazy. It is a very special time.

So bring it on! I am making great progress with my body goals and am in better shape than I have been for over a year and a half, and I have experienced significant emotional healing this year. But the best part is that I am focusing on enjoying the season with my biggest blessing, and that is really warming my heart from deep within.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Oral Surgery, 2.2, and 5%

That is a high level description of my weekend! I had oral surgery yesterday (a crown lengthening) to assist with a botched root canal that led to a piece of the file being broken off in the root of my tooth and significant shearing of the tooth. No fun. Stitches in my gums and packing along one side of my jaw. Nothing hot for a week. Soft foods for a week. Ugh.

I spent most of yesterday napping on the couch covered with kitties. 

This morning was Weight Watchers, and I am happy to report that I am down 2.2 pounds this week. I surpassed my 5% milestone and am now fewer than 9 pounds away from my Weight Watchers goal range! Although I plan to set myself firmly in the middle if the range, so my personal goal is less than 25 pounds away. All and all, I am down over 20 pounds from the highest weight I saw on the scale in the last year, so I consider this a success!

Now to keep the momentum going during the holidays. I do have some holiday eating planned, but am going to be very choosy and limit it to only the things that I absolutely love.

I will see my goal weight in 2014. That's a promise that I am making to myself.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Food or Exercise for Weight Loss?



I find this topic very interesting: Does food or exercise most influence fat and weight loss? Can it be either/or? Do they work together differently, and how so?

I don't think that there is a single answer for every person, but I know that managing my food intake is the 98% for me. This has been proven time and again during the years that I have lost almost 150 pounds (and regained and lost some of those over and over again). If I want to see a signifcant reduction in my weight, I need to make sure that my food intake supports that goal. Whether it is Weight Watchers or calorie counting or a strict food plan like the 17 Day Diet that I am currently following, food determines if I lose weight or not.

But exercise is not unimportant to me. Not only does it enhance fat loss for me as I build muscle, but it reinforces my commitment to my food plan. After a 30 minute run, I find myself unwilling to trade the effort for junk food or other treats. It makes me more aware of the trade offs of my energy expenditure, and also provides me with energy (after the initial adjustment period, of course) and a sense of pride and satisfaction that keep me focused on my goals.

I have seen many people I know refuse to change the eating habits that made them obese in lieu of embarking on a very demanding exercise program. They may experience some results in the early stages of the changes, but I have then heard the complaints that they are not losing weight as they had hoped. Yes, muscle is being built and they are becoming fitter and healthier in the process... all wonderful and healthy changes... but the obesity persists. People can run marathons while obese because they have built endurance and fitness, and they can be quite healthy despite extra pounds. It all depends on the goals of the individual, but weight loss is not guaranteed from a change in activity alone.

I am sure that there are anecdotal stories of people who state that they lost massive quantities of weight while eating anything and everything they want in massive quantities with only the addition of exercise, just as people lose massive amounts of weight with no exercise. I do not personally know any of the former type of people... at least not any that have maintained the body composition change in the long term. Most of the people I know use them both synergistically, but the changes in diet lead the way to major changes in their body weight and composition.

Interestingly enough, I was watching WGN News yesterday morning and saw Matthew Mcconaughey discuss losing 40 pounds for his recent role. His experience was that exercise was only 2% of the contributing factor for it. Once he cut his food intake down to approximately 1800 calories of healthy proteins, green vegetables, and fats, he saw the results that he desired, even without exercise due to an injury. And this is from a man who was fit at the start of the process.

For me, I need to include both food control and exercise in my weight reduction and body composition endeavors, especially to set the groundwork for maintenance once the weight is gone. But there is always something to learn when it come to this because I think it is an art instead of a science due to our individual bodies and their differences (spoken by a woman with no large intestine!).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Whirlwind Month

This has been a crazy month. I feel like I missed Autumn again this year because I missed my favorite seasonal activities. Last year it was due to ex-BF's chemo and our decision to stay in until he was feeling better. But this year the health issues were all mine.

Kidney Stones.

The pain was playing with me for awhile, but I wrote it off as female pain of some sort (functional cyst, pain due to cramping and adhesions from all of my abdominal surgeries, etc.), so I sucked down the Excedrin and went on with my life. I even made it as far as MI for a weekend of apple picking with a friend and our kids, and then promptly landed in the ER in some tiny little town just 6 hours after we arrived.

I spent the next four days in three ERs and admitted to two different hospitals. I had a 1 cm kidney stone blocking my ureter that had caused hydronephrosus, a kidney infection, and a UTI. I also had another 6 mm stone in the kidney waiting to exit at some point, too.

Next came a stent, then lithotripsy and the recovery from that, and finally stent removal last week. I am feeling almost like my old self again. The urologist told me that the stones are due to my j-pouch  which makes my kidneys over absorb oxalates, so I need to modify my diet and dramatically reduce high oxalate foods (all healthy ones, and many of my favorites), and drink copious amounts of water.

The weigh in at the first ER kicked me in the ass, and thus I threw myself full-force into weight reduction mode 12 days ago. No sugar. No alcohol. And my WW weigh in today showed the lowest weight I have seen since I rejoined in the beginning of September. I do not plan on avoiding those forever, but will make the days that I do eat them more for special occasions because my cravings and eating are so much more manageable without them.

Next up is a return to the gym. I did not feel up to it this weekend, but next weekend it is my focus. I am happy to be both on the mend and feeling slimmer than I have in recent months... a true win/win.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Flood

Triggers can surprise you.  Something hits you and BOOM. Tears. Overwhelming emotion. Flashbacks.

I remember experiencing this once when I was watching the birth episode of Jon and Kate Plus Eight, when the NICU alarms were going off. I was unprepared for the physical and emotional reaction that overtook me as I was thrown back to the nine weeks that my newborn daughter spent in the NICU. The fear. Sheer terror.

And now tonight. Granted, it has been an emotional day. I found out that my dearest friend from college is saying goodbye to his mother tomorrow as they disconnect the machines that have been keeping her alive since the beginning of August. My heart breaks for him, and it has made me very thoughtful.

But then the night went to a different place when I started watching a special on Valerie Harper and her battle with cancer. I have been thrown into another place, weeping and sobbing and reliving the cancer experience that I had with my ex-BF. Crying out the feelings that I suppressed during his illness and chemo and recovery because I could not face them and still do what I needed to do each day to care for all of us. The doubt.  The fear. The absolute exhaustion, mental and emotional and physical and even spiritual.

And I feel sad. And angry that it had to happen to us. And exhausted, like a huge piece of me was taken away and has never returned. Disappointed that I cannot have any contact with him because it all became so unhealthy and dysfunctional. Wondering if things would have been different if that horrible hand had not been dealt to us less than a year into our relationship.

I think I need to feel this to really let go and move on. I will never know the answers to those questions.  It will never end differently. This is what it is and this is where I am, like it or not.

But I don't like it. And yet I have no choice but to accept it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So Many Things

Life has been moving so quickly, and I am exhausted. I am leaving the house at 6:10am to catch an earlier train, and arriving home just about 12 hours later to get dinner ready and do homework with my daughter and try to keep on top of the housework for us and the five kitties living under our roof. I feel tapped out.

My daughter started Middle School last month and now takes the bus on her own in the morning. It had been a big transition for the both of us. I am gone before she gets up each morning, and she is spreading her wings and getting herself together for school. Have I mentioned the two alarms that I obsessively set, both to wake her up and to let her know when to leave for the bus? Yep, I am still nervous!

Work has been crazy, and I feel behind all the time. I am showing the stress in my face.

I am following Weight Watchers to the letter, and getting more exercise in my life, and that feels very good and grounding. I even ran last weekend, and am tossing around the idea of joining a Wednesday evening running group.

I am also exploring some emotional interactions with someone from my past, which is fun but also a bit overwhelming with all of this other stuff going on.

Something has to give. I am trying to figure out how to balance everything, but that is not working well yet. I am going to give it more time but just need some help on making all of these changes feel good and positive right now instead of overwhelming.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

6.6

I weighted in for the second time this morning at my Weight Watchers meeting.  I made peace with my initial weigh in last week when I restarted, and focused on staying within my points and getting in a mile walk at lunchtime whenever possible... Baby Steps.

I did pretty well with my food, although the bottle of hard pear cider that I drank last night brought me five points over my allowance for the week (including my Activity Points). But my pants felt looser in the waist, and I felt less bloated in general, so I was feeling pretty good that I would see a loss. I was hoping to lose 3.3 pounds to bring me down a decade.

I stepped on the scale and started talking to my leader about my week, before I even looked at my results. Then I looked: Down 6.6 pounds. Wow!  I even said "Wow!" and then showed her the results, and she said "Wow... But results not typical!!!"

After all of these years I know that the bloat comes off during these early weeks, but it sure gave me the motivation to choose wisely today when I went out with friends to watch the Bears opener.

It feels good to be back on track. I want to make Lifetime this time. :-)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chhhhhhanges....

What a time of change in my life!  I need to take a step back and process it all.

WW: I attended my first meeting on Sunday in well over a year. The scale was a little lower than where I had thought, but still not in comfortable territory. But I know that the weight will come off if I follow the plan I have for myself. This week I am focusing on good food and drink habits, and then the more focused exercise will become a goal. Bit by bit.

Dating: I am taking a break for awhile. Met some nice (and some creepy) people, but none are the person for me. I even had some fun with an old colleague from a previous company, but it will not blossom into a relationship, and that is as it should be. It was good for me to dip my foot in the water again, but I want to pull back and focus on myself and my family and friends for awhile. The holidays are coming quickly!

Child: She started Middle School last week. So many changes for her, and for me. For the first time EVER, I have to leave her alone in the morning to catch my train, and she has to walk to the school bus alone in the morning. I know that this change had been far more stressful for me than for her because she is starting to spread her wings (which is good and normal), but we are rushing out to get her a mobile phone tonight so that she can send me a sanity check text every morning once she gets on the bus.

Which leaves work. I am conflicted. I am now leaving the house 45 minutes earlier, and both my commute and working day have grown. I think it is time for me to look for something closer to home because this leave at 6:10am and get home at 5:45pm thing is not going to work for us long term.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Finishing Up The Week

In our last episode, I started Weight Watchers again....  And now it has been almost a week that I have been back on plan. :-)

I will be weighing in for the first time in a loooong time on Sunday. That means I will have no idea how many pounds I lost first week on the program.  Frankly, I don't care because I feel like I am on the path again.  I have counted all of my food and drink.  I have logged 11 APs in 5 days.  I have started walking again at lunch.  All good things.

I have not eliminated entire food group.  I have not gone crazy with excessive exercise.  I have not gone hungry.  So the week has been enjoyable, and it even included wine and a pool party at my house for my family!  Win!!!

I do have a weight goal for myself by year's end, but it is not extreme. My long term weight goal is to find my happy weight spot by next summer. The high end of the WW range for me is too much for my comfort (174), but the low end feels pretty unsustainable with my habits. I am thinking that 155 is a solid target for now; I was 154 when I met my ex, and felt pretty good there.

So, for now, 155 by next summer is my goal. Onward and downward!!!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Old School

After a weekend absolutely gorging myself at one of the most gorgeous weddings I have ever seen, I went "old school"... I started Weight Watchers again.

It has worked for me in the past, helping me to lose over 70 pounds at the time.  The changes that I have been flirting with this summer have not been working, and I am heavier than I have been in three years.  No more.

I started counting points and wearing my Active Link again yesterday, and will be going to my first meeting in over a year on Sunday morning to officially weigh in.

I look forward to seeing my goal weight again. It's been awhile, but I know where I want to be and I'm willing to do the work to get back there.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Step 1


I found these waiting at my door tonight when I arrived at home after work. They are breathtaking.

I have a date on Sunday. These were a precursor. I'm taking the first step by risking again.

But this time is different. I am grounded. I am not trying to forget or replace anyone. I am not desperate. And I am not in psycho diet mode to try to fit some mold in my mind. I'm just me, scars and stretch marks and sensitive places and extra pounds and all. Love it or leave. I'm okay the way I am, and I am worth it.

Here we go... I hope that someone amazing is waiting.

I hope.

I have hope.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Opening Up Again

Although I am a Director now and in charge of three very different functional areas at work, I am still a Project Manager at heart. This is especially obvious as I navigate my return to the dating world.

I am feeling the tugs of the heart again. I would like to meet a man with whom to share my life and build a present and future together.  Hope has crept back in despite my heartbreak and disappointment in the past.

This has brought out the Project Manager in me in full force, so I set a date to start dating again: August 26.

Why August 26? Several reasons:

1) My daughter will be back in school and summer will be over from that perspective. It is one of my goals to spend this summer enjoying my daughter, my mother, my family, and my friends.

2) I will have complete the 21 day meditation program offered by Deepak Chopra and Oprah called "Miraculous Relationships".  https://chopracentermeditation.com/home/?acode=oprah

3) It will be over six months since I left my last relationship, which is the minimum amount of time that I promised myself for healing before dating again.

4) I will be home from a friend's wedding in Michigan, which is the last big weekend that I have planned, so I will have time in my schedule for dating.

5) I am almost ready, but just not quite.  This will give me a little more time to prepare by working with my therapist and working in my life to realign some of the things that are troubling me.

Before that time I have a few goals:

1) Eat clean and moderately on a daily basis.

2) Reestablish an exercise routine.

3) Organize my home

4) Establish better routines.

I hope to be further along by August 26 than I am today! I am going to try eHarmony this time, so wish me luck! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Shaking Things Up

I'm trying some new things to simplify my eating and sneak in some extra exercise.

The first one is my Green Protein Smoothie. 

Didn't think to snap a photo until it was gone!!

2 heaping handfuls of baby spinach
1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
2 T ground golden flaxseed 
1 T unsweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 scoops of Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Ice Cream Whey Protein Powder
1 cup of water

Whirred in the Vitamix for 30 seconds until a shocking greenish brownish and VOILA!  It is delicious and keeps me full until lunch, and I have been starting my mornings with it for over a week now.

My second addition is daily hooping.

Right next to the TV so that I can hoop while I watch.

I took a 2 hour hooping class last weekend (Holy Sore Abs, Batman!), and am renewed in my interest! I did 20 minutes yesterday, and 10 minutes this morning thus far. I am aiming for a minimum of 2x10 minute sessions per day.  I just ordered a 5 pound power hoop for some extra challenge; I tried one last weekend and it was an entirely different experience!

The third thing is zucchini "noodles".


Yum! So good, and a nice replacement for pasta to keep veggie intake high and calorie count low.  And I made this huge bowl of them in less than a minute!

I am enjoying the summer, eating well, swimming often (I actually have a little tan... gasp!), and doing the nice little things for myself like burning incense, reading daily meditations, and journaling at night before bed. All is well.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Summertime Fun

I must say that this summer has been a great one so far, filled with family and friends and food and laughter! This month has brought a festival in the city, an outdoor concert at Ravinia, a Flag Day party (any reason, right?!?), a family cookout, dinner at avec (which had been on my to do list for years), Wine Club gatherings at fantastic new places, a party at the Country Club, and a pool party for some great girlfriends and their kids at my house yesterday.  And the rest of the summer is already exploding with plans that have me so very excited... a wedding for a wonderful friend, a huge BBQ complete with outdoor movies, a picnic and fireworks on the 4th in the neighboring town, a luau with friends one state over, a hula hooping class, a rooftop party at a friend's house, more festivals in the city, and more outdoor music... the list goes on and on. Such a juxtaposition to last summer which was spent indoors due to ex-BF's chemo. I am enjoying old and new friends, and feel like the heaviness of last year has finally lifted. I have let it go, and I feel so happy to be in the light again.

All of these gatherings and outings are taking their toll on my body, though, and I need to balance that in a healthier way. I have been indulging more and exercising less, and I feel uncomfortable. I also need more sleep, so that needs to be another priority. Sons of Anarchy on Netflix will have to be retired for the summer so that I can retire earlier and get up earlier to get some exercise in each day.

Fun is fun and it is nourishing part of my soul, but I need to establish some healthier routines during the week to keep me grounded so that I can enjoy these events without feeling like they wear me out.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

New Fire

I am feeling more grounded in my life than I have for quite some time. Taking care of myself has been the catalyst for the changes, in addition to doing the hard work of getting over my recent loss. Both are still in progress... but there has been progress.

My ex BF bought me a beautiful diamond solitaire pendant as a present for our first Christmas together. I loved it, and wore it every day for over a year. I see it in every photo from that time in my life. I viewed it as a tangible representation of our love, and I cherished the feeling behind the gift.  When I left and the relationship ended, I took it off and retired it to my jewelry box. Too much emotion tied to it, with too many memories whenever I looked in the mirror. But I missed it and checked for it unconsciously several times a day for the first few months.

I had a one carat solitaire ring from my marriage that also sat in that jewelry box as a purchase mid-marriage, so I decided to make my own necklace instead of waiting for someone to give me another one. I made one for myself to represent my love for myself, which is something that I have struggled with so much over the years.  It was ready for me to pick up this week, and it is beautiful. With even more fire than the one from my ex-BF. I love it and will wear it every day. I have filled that empty space myself.

I needed to end that relationship because  it was not right for me. He did not treat me the way that I deserve to be treated based on how I treated him. I have also had to terminate a few friendships recently for the same reason, including one just yesterday. That was very hard because I have historically allowed people to treat me poorly and have excused it away, not being true to myself and my feelings. No longer.

This all comes full circle now. No one will take care of me except for ME. And I have to set the boundaries for the way that others treat me or else they will continue to walk over me. I have to be willing to do the hard thing and walk away without feeling guilty because I deserve to be treated well.  And I will treat myself well as the first step. Not just with things like the pendant, but with the words I say to myself and the food that I feed myself and the time that I make for things that are important to me. I will make myself a priority, and I will walk away from anyone whose actions or words do not respect our relationship.

It has taken me this long in life to realize that walking away from people who hurt me or treat me disrespectfully is a healthy way to love myself and to set the tone for how I will allow myself to be treated for the rest of the life that I have before me.

I feel (and see) that fire inside of me again.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Quiet

Not much to say. Thinking about my life and what I truly want, but no expressive thoughts. No decisive actions, either.

Time to retreat for awhile. I hope to come out ahead of instead of further away from my goals. Time will tell.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My First Dietbet Finale

Today was the day. Time to weigh in to see how I did on my first Dietbet. I knew it was a lofty goal when I started, to lose 4% of my body weight in 4 weeks... especially with Mother's Day and multiple lunches and dinners out with friends and a winery tasting and and and and. But I did my best.

Last Friday I was 0.4 pounds away from my goal. But then I ate and drank with abandon on my date on Sunday. And I had sushi with full sodium soy sauce (twice) yesterday. And then there was the wine. I felt bloated and swollen and downright nasty as I approached my mid-cycle AF day today.

I jumped on the scale this morning anyway and, much to my great surprise and delight, I won my Dietbet! I actually beat my goal by 2 pounds!!! I sent in my final photos and they were accepted this morning, so I am officially a challenge winner. Yay! I should find out later this week how much I will get, but that is not the real win. The real win is that I did not stop my life to do this. I have been out and about and have made as sane as possible choices. And I did it.

That being said, it did make me feel a little bit too scale focused which can be a slippery slope for me, so I am going to take the summer off from signing up for another one. I may do one in the Fall after a summer of living and feeling good regardless of which number the scale reports to me.

But a win is a win, and I am going to claim this one. :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Day at the Races

I went on a date today. I asked him to plan it, and he chose the the horse racing track near our homes. He cooked and brought our picnic lunch, and we spent five hours in the sun enjoying the food and the weather and the drinks and the conversation.

I enjoyed myself. :)

He texted me afterwards. He is interested in seeing me again, and I would enjoy that. Although I am not ready for a relationship, I do like having someone treat me like a lady and call me arm candy LOL.

Moving on. I don't know how to do it but, just by going out and enjoying my life, I *am* doing it. No more sitting around the house feeling sad and wistful. I may feel those feelings, but I will be out and about as much as I can so that life does not pass me by while I am letting go. I have been blessed once again to discover new friends who want to engage in fun activities, like the lunch and craft fair and winery tour & tasting that we did yesterday. I am going to take advantage of my opportunities to enjoy and explore even while I struggle with my emotions. I find that I do not focus on them when I am focusing on the happenings around me. I feel happiness and connection instead.

On the weight loss front, I lost 0.8 pounds this week. I consider that a win. I have to lose 0.4 pounds by Wednesday to win the Dietbet challenge I have entered. That is going to be a big challenge, but I will give it my best. Wish me luck!

Overall, I am down 15 pounds since January 15th, and I plan to continue the downward trend.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Living with Ghosts

I am having a rough day. Truth be told, it has been a rough month. Tonight I am sad, and I am not sure how to move through it.

Two years ago tonight, I had my first date with my ex-boyfriend. What followed was almost two years of ups and downs, and very extreme ones at that considering that the bulk of the second year revolved around his Stage III cancer treatment, which made me his sole caretaker.

I left that relationship for many unresolvable reasons almost three months ago, but I am still struggling with its loss. Although it no longer made me happy, I still miss him. Especially tonight. I remember the early days when I was so filled with hope and happiness. I wish that we could start all over again from scratch, but know in my heart that it would not change the outcome because we are not meant for each other.

I have been able to manage these strong emotional tides predominantly without using food to soothe myself. Saturday night was bad and I had a full-on candy binge, but I made sure it was a slip and not a slide. It certainly did not help me feel any better. It only took me a step back from my goals for my health and my body, and made me feel bad about ANOTHER choice in addition to the one I was really mourning.

I am haunted by his ghost this month. Although he is alive and well, his presence is strong with all of the milestones this month. First dates, moving in, chemotherapy starting, anniversaries, so many good and bad and now sad memories. I am really trying to let myself feel them instead of running away from my feelings. I want to work through them and move past this and find the strength to start again when I am ready.

And I want to do this without sabotaging my other goals and desires. I want to be healthy on all levels. I just thought it would all be easier, and it is proving to be so very hard.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Scale is Not Enough

I am wrapping up my second week of lifestyle transition. People are commenting on the changes in my body, and I am noticing them by the fit of my clothes, but the scale has barely budged in the last week. The first week my weight dropped by over four pounds, but this week less than a pound. This week, however, my body looks smaller and my clothes are getting loose. The scale is not enough to measure the true changes.

My focus is on losing enough to win the Dietbet that I am in, which means that I have 16 days left to lose 2.6 pounds and that is achievable. But above that, I am focusing on losing body fat and building muscle. I am still trying to get at least 30 minutes of cardio in per day, mostly via walking, but have put the emphasis in my spare time on resistance training. And I can see results from this already.

The scale cannot measure everything that is changing for the positive with my body. I have been far too focused on the scale throughout my life. After the Dietbet, I am going to use it less often because I can now see that it does not tell the whole story.

I feel good, my clothes fit better, and I look slimmer. Those are better measures for me for now.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lighter

That's my descriptive word for the last week. My mood is lighter, the skies are lighter, and the scale finds me lighter. All of those are good developments!

I am settling back into my own space and my own life. Although I still think about my ex-boyfriend, I do not long to be back in the relationship the way that it was but instead allow the mourning of what I had wished it would be but was not. I am also analyzing it to build a vision of what will make me happy in a future romantic relationship. I am refining my vision for a happy future.

The weather has been somewhat brighter here, too, and I was able to enjoy a lovely weekend complete with a long neighborhood walk with my mother and a photography walk through the forest with my daughter. The sunlight and warmer weather have me looking forward to late Spring and Summer activities with a smile.

And my weight is going down, too! I lost almost 5 pounds so far this month, and am down 12 pounds since after the holidays. It is motivating me to keep going with exercise and moderated eating, and I am in the flow right now which feels wonderful.

I am signing off to enjoy a glass of red wine and an episode of Sons of Anarchy. Such a great way to wrap up a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dietbet

Yep, I joined my first Dietbet! The premise is that you put a certain dollars amount into the pot of a challenge at www.dietbet.com and, if you lose 4% of your body weight in the time allotted, you split the pot with all of the people in the challenge who do the same. I put in $25, and the pot is now up to $3100... I'm giving it my best shot!

I am still working a cold out of my system four weeks after I got sick, and am now able to exercise well again. I have been getting up at 5:00am to walk for 30 minutes on the treadmill, so there is action on that front.

I cancelled cable a week and a half ago, and we have been exploring Netflix and doing free trials of Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime. So far, so good... although I am having an attic antenna installed so that we can get air channels and thus I can see the news from time to time. Goodbye huge cable bill!

Things are going well with my therapist. We are digging deep now, and there are a lot of things that I need to resolve with myself. I am pulling myself out of the dating scene for the foreseeable future because I want to take care of my own stuff for awhile before I mix it with someone else's stuff.

Things are generally good. I am living more in the present, am setting better and healthier boundaries, and am loving the ones who love me in both action AND word. I still have blue times, as do most, but I feel like things are moving in the right direction again. Towards the light.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Harden My Heart

That is my anthem right now. I even downloaded the song from iTunes to reinforce the need when sadness strikes.

I have been feeling disappointed lately. Disappointed about how things turned out with my ex. Disappointed that people whom I considered my friends have behaved in ways that are not considerate. Disappointed that I still care about people who do not treat me well.

It is time for me to set boundaries regarding the way that I let others treat me. As hard as it may be for me to do, since I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, I am no longer letting people who treat me disrespectfully keep residence in my heart. I am learning how to let go, no matter how important I feel they may have been to me.

A little hardness will do my heart and my psyche good.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Passing Through Kalamazoo

I am on an Amtrak train right now, on my way to visit friends in Michigan. We are currently stopped at the Kalamazoo station, almost halfway through the trip.

I am enjoying the ride. Mostly I am enjoying the fact that I get to visit my friends without having to drive! Although I absolutely adore my new car, I am not a big fan of driving in general and avoid it whenever possible. :)

I have a sunny window seat from which to enjoy the view. I have done some reading, listened to a few podcasts, answered emails and texts, and even dozed off for a few minutes. Thank goodness I had the foresight to buy some healthy snacks at CVS before getting on the train because the selection here is both expensive and unhealthy!

I am so excited about this weekend. When I undertook my plan to rebuild my own life earlier this year, even before I left the relationship with ex-BF, I tried to remember the last time that I was truly happy. And that was when I was with these friends: Betsy and Mike, Donna and Marty, and Nick. And now we are adding Nick's fiancée to the picture, and I am thrilled to meet her. Just this morning I found out that Anita and Den are going to join us, so it feels like a fabulous homecoming.

My life has held so many ups and downs lately. So many challenges and confusion, and so much doubt and fear and sadness. But it is with my friends that I find joy. This is a weekend for joy and love.

I feel blessed that my friends have been there for me even after I dropped out of sight for the last two years for a codependent relationship. I am lucky. And I am even building new and deeper friendships with other people, too, so the loss of one relationship has the net result of being a relationship gain in my life.

This tells me that it was time to close that door because other ones have remained open and I have opened new doors, too. I plan on enjoying all of these opportunities!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wagons

Yep, I fell off a few.

Since I got sick last Sunday, I have not exercised. I'm still trying to get this cold out of my lungs.

No meditations this week. And I miss it, so time to forget about catching up and just pick it back up where it is now.

I have eaten to my desire the last two days. Nothing crazy, but certainly not at weight loss levels.

But it is all okay. I am feeling happy!

Yes, the new car (did I say ZOOM ZOOM yet???) is making me feel extra special, but it is more than that. I feel like I have surfaced from the depression that overwhelmed me since I became single again. I still have my moments... even had a few today... but they pass.

Truth be told, I went on a date tonight. And I had a great time!!! We talked and talked and talked, and could have talked for hours more. I left with a big smile. I'm smiling just thinking about it. Not sure that it can ever become serious because he is deathly allergic to cats while I have five cats that are a huge part of my world, but I really enjoy his company. I did not expect to be able to do this so soon, but I did and we shall see what happens. Life is funny like that.

Tomorrow is Easter, and then Monday I am back to real life and my routine again. I made some good Easter basket choices for DD by buying small packs of treats for her instead of the big bags that I know would end up in MY belly because they are my favorites. I also leaned towards the toy area instead of candy. I want to move downward on that scale!!!

To all who celebrate, I wish you a Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

I'm sitting on the couch with the cats, watching crappy TV while my clothes are in the washer. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I have a big old cold brewing in me. :(

This weekend was wonderful. Starting with my Thursday night hair appointment (which is always fun because I love the ladies who work at the salon), I have had a very social weekend and am feeling like my old self again.

Friday I met a girlfriend out in the city for dinner and drinks. We were out very late, and I ended up talking with a nice man at the bar for a couple of hours. It was good to be out again after all of the drama of this past year, and it made me happy that I could talk to guys again without feeling uncomfortable and awkward.

Saturday I planned to test drive some cars with my mom and, very surprisingly and wonderfully, my brother decided to join us. We test drove the Hyundai Tucson (which was my first choice), the Honda CRV, and the Mazda CX 5. I felt really comfortable in the Tucson, was underwhelmed by the CRV, and fell madly in love with the CX 5!!! I could not have been more surprised!

Since this was just a browsing trip, I did not even bring my van to discuss trade in value (which would be veritably nothing based in its condition LOL). No one could be more surprised than I that I BOUGHT A NEW CAR ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON!!!

Yep, I finally did it. I bought a 2014 Mazda CX 5! I will be picking it up by Tuesday night! OMG!

So, I was on cloud nine after that and then headed out to a reunion dinner with colleagues from a previous company. And I had a blast! I was out until almost 2:00 am!!! I did not expect to have as much fun as I did, and I spoke with someone who I would actually like to hang out with again because I really enjoyed his company. We'll see if he asks because who knows how he feels about it but, if he does, it would be nice.

Today brought a trip to the gym to run on the track, a trip to Starbucks and then Costco with my mom, and now laundry and rest. I am hoping to ward off this cold, but it is not looking good right now. If I feel worse tonight, I am going to stay home sick tomorrow to try to head it off from getting deep into my lungs.

I am a few days behind on my meditations but will catch up this week. My eating was good this week, but I had a bit too much wine this weekend. Exercise was good, with lots of walking both Friday and Saturday.

All in all, the weekend was fantastic and I feel happy. And that is a great feeling. :)


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Closure

W3D1 of C25K is in the books. Go me! :)

Meditation done and food within my calorie target for the day. I am now relaxing with a big glass of wine.

And a box of Kleenex.

A friend from work just left my house with a truck full of ex-BF's things and is delivering them to his house for me so that I can close the books on that relationship. That was my last remaining tie to him.

It's hard to go through a breakup. There have been several times over that last (almost) month that I have wanted to contact him to stop the pain of it all. But that would not have fixed anything but the short term difficulty of grieving the loss.

Friday will mark one month since I left. I feel like I should be over this, like I should stop sounding like a broken record about grief and loss. I hope that the delivery of his items will symbolically allow me to remove him from my house and my life. I am ready to be happy again. I still have a great life, relationship or no relationship.

Time to smudge this place this weekend and exorcize the ghosts of the past. I want to move on.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Whew

Tonight I had a tough (but good) session with my therapist. We explored loss and grieving, even when it is for something not quite right. A loss is still a loss, and the stages of grief still have their way with us.
Food wise, all was good. I am listening to a podcast called Cut the Fat, and it is giving me a lot to think about. I am in the "taking in information" stage right now, and am loving these podcasts.

I am a day behind on my meditations, but had a great one on the ride home. Too good since I almost fell asleep on the train!

Other than that, I woke up at 5:30am to get 23 minutes on the treadmill before hitting the shower for work. And now I am off to bed!

I am optimistic that tomorrow will be another good day despite the fact that I have a friend taking ex BF's things back to his house tomorrow night. I will grieve and then move on. Smudge stick in hand. Time to get the negative energy out and let the light back in.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wrapping Up the Weekend

So sorry to see Sunday come to a close... I'm not ready for work again! Actually, tomorrow I work from Noon until 9:00pm for a monthly meeting with overseas vendors, so at least I do not have to wake up at 5:30am! I still have to get up early to get the child to school, but that's as expected.

I went to the gym and worked on the elliptical for 30 minutes. First time I have been to the gym since last July. And I got in a good, sweaty workout!

The rest of the day has been pretty lazy except for doing our laundry. The bad news about that is that I washed more than I expected to do. Meaning: I washed my Fitbit! First time ever, but so far it looks like it survived. Thank goodness because I love the thing!!!

Eating has been good today, and I still have calories for a glass of wine. I did make a dumb move by buying a large jar of Nonni's salted caramel mini biscotti from Costco, though. THEY ARE TOO GOOD. And you cannot eat just one. They may have to make their way into work to share with my coworkers.

I did my meditation this morning, but really wasn't focused. The first time that it has been such a struggle for me. I have been churning the breakup over and over in my mind all day, and I think that funk affected my focus.

This was a rough weekend for me. If I were a different type of person (read: not so damn stubborn), I would have called him in a moment of weakness today. I am glad I didn't, though, because I left that relationship for more than one reason, and we will never be happy together because we do not have compatible lives. That is not going to change. I just have to work through the emotions and let this go.

Off to enjoy movie night and an early bedtime with my daughter. Here's to another successful day of reaching my goals!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Keeping Busy

Today was a busy day. It started with an early morning trip to the vet with my oldest kitty (he's 12 1/2). He has lost over 5 pounds recently and is vomiting water up every time he drinks. They did bloodwork, and gave him IV fluids and electrolytes and a shot of anti- nausea medication. They also heard a very strong heart murmur. The results of the bloodwork will be back on Monday, but the vet thinks it is either renal failure or hyperthyroid. It's so hard to see my old guy declining in health. :(

After that, I had lunch with a friend. We planned to have sushi, but it turns out that the sushi restaurant is not open for lunch on the weekends. What what what WHAT??? We went across the plaza to another restaurant and had a wonderful lunch. We made plans to bike and walk together when the weather gets nicer, and will also take advantage of summer activities in the city this year. I am really looking forward to that because I have been such a homebody for the last couple of years and it will be nice to have a friend to go to these events with me.

After that was a trip to Costco and then to Target. Found some awesome Champion capris at Costco. I will be going back for more! Then we came home to clean up before DD's sleepover tonight.

Once her friend arrived, I hopped on the treadmill for my run. I was supposed to do W1D3 of the Couch to 5K program, but accidentally selected W2D2 in the app! I kept thinking that the run segments felt longer than a minute... and they were! The good news is that I did it with no problem, so I am going to take it from there.

The girls had pizza for dinner and, although I really wanted pizza, I made myself a stir fry instead. Then I set the girls up with a game on the Wii and went upstairs to do my daily mediation. It was a powerful one, focusing on the centering thought of "I am perfect. I am healthy. I am strong." There was discussion about loving our bodies as they are now, and that is an area that I struggle with daily. I plan to repeat this one several times over the course of the 21 day challenge to reinforce the message to myself.

My mom is coming over tonight to watch Life of Pi and enjoy some wine. We watched Argo last night, and we both really enjoyed it. I have seen more of my mother in the three weeks since the breakup with my ex BF than I have this last year because she hated him and he couldn't stand her, either. It is good that I no longer have to choose between them; I just wish the reason were different.

I had a nice moment today before I changed into my workout clothes. I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror as I was putting my hair up and thought "I look pretty". So much different than my usually critical view of all the things that could be better. It was a nice surprise.

Another day of taking steps in a healthy direction. I'll take it!

Weekend Warrior

Yesterday went well, with the exception of a bit too much wine while watching Argo. Oh well, it happens!

I made the right choice at dinner and ordered a Greek salad with grilled chicken instead of the fish and chips special that I wanted to get. I also got in a 30 minute walk on the dreadmill (incline included) so as to "earn" my wine for the evening. Did my meditation on the way to work as usual (I am really enjoying that new habit!), and spent some quality time with my mom at dinner and a movie.

I had a rough evening emotionally, though. Maybe it is because yesterday marked three weeks since I left my previous relationship. Or maybe it was just one of those waves of sadness and grief that still wash over me at random times. Either way, they come as they come and I am not trying to fight them or pretend they are not there. I am feeling my feelings, and not trying to stuff them down with food.

Today is packed. I have already returned from the vet with one of my cats. They think he may be having renal failure or hyperthyroid issues (they heard a huge heart murmur on top of all the other symptoms). We will know more when the bloodwork comes back on Monday.

I am having lunch with a friend at Noon, then picking up my daughter from her father's house and going to Costco with her and my mom. Then she has a girlfriend coming over for a sleepover at 4:30pm! I have to fit W1D3 of the Couch to 5K program in there somewhere, but I am not worried about that.

Tomorrow is laundry and grocery shopping. I also plan to go to the gym and use the elliptical machine for awhile. I have not been to the gym since July. It will end a milestone week of starting to run again, being mindful of my eating, daily meditation, and a general return to daily life as a single woman.

I can do this.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Good Work

I'm keeping up the good work today! Day 3, and things went well.

Oprah & Deepak 21 Day Meditation Challenge - CHECK! The focus was on respecting the wisdom of our bodies, and it set the tone for the day since I performed the meditation on the way to work this morning.

Exercise - CHECK and DOUBLE CHECK! I have logged over 12,500 steps today since I chose to walk to lunch (about a mile round-trip) and also put in 33 minutes on the treadmill tonight doing W1D2 of the Couch to 5K program tonight. I switched it up a bit by using the "Zombies, Run!" app on my phone which gave it some additional interest!

Food - Good choices despite eating two meals out today.

Breakfast: Nonfat Greek yogurt with mixed berries and crushed almonds

Snack: Raw almonds

Lunch: Chicken burrito bowl with shredded chicken, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and salsa

Dinner: Miso soup, Ocean Drive sushi roll, Unagi nigiri, red wine

Add some heartfelt conversation with a good friend, and the day was excellent!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Keep On Truckin'

It's Day 2 since my return, and it has been another good day.

I caught up on the Oprah & Deepak 21 Day Meditation Challenge (http://www.chopracentermeditation.com/Bestsellers/LandingPage.aspx?BookId=178) since I started a day late due to my trip. I am using my train commuting time to perform the meditations, and did one on the way to work and a second one on the way home. I must say that I am enjoying this!

Food wise, it was a solid day. I still need a few more calories to complete the day in a healthy manner, so I am planning a snack after I post.

Breakfast: 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 cup mixed berries and 5 crushed almonds

Snack: Quest Brownie Protein Bar

Lunch: Chicken burrito bowl with shredded chicken, black beans, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and salsa

Snack: Jack Links Buffalo Style chicken nugget jerky (had to get gas station food before a 6:00pm appointment)

Snack: Almonds and red wine :)

I get red wine because I completed a 20 minute kickboxing workout... Yea Me!

I met with my therapist tonight, and it was wonderful as usual. She really helps me get clarity on issues. Of course, my heart still has to heal in its own time and its own way, but at least I understand that I made the right decision given the circumstances.

So I tackled SPIRITUAL, PHYSICAL, and EMOTIONAL again today. And it feels good!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Starting Fresh

I'm not starting over. I prefer to see it as a fresh start.

I'm back from Mexico. I had enough food and alcohol to satisfy my appetites for awhile. I'm still grieving my loss and licking my wounds, but now I am moving forward while I do it.

I just finished Week 1 Day 1 of the Couch to 5K Program.

Big deal for the woman who completed a half marathon and many many 5, 8, and 10K races, right?

Right. It IS a big deal. Because it is the first time I have even attempted to exercise since last July. And I did 30 minutes with no problem at all. And I feel pretty damn good about it. And it is the first time that I have felt pretty damn good about myself for a long time.

It certainly is a big deal.

Now, for my Food Log.

Breakfast: 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt with 1 cup of mixed berries and 5 crushed almonds.

Lunch: Shredded chicken and refried beans over shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes with salsa and guacamole.

Dinner: Mixed greens with grilled chicken strips, 2T balsamic vinegar, and 1T olive oil.

Treat: Red wine (now limited to nights that I run or weekend nights... gotta have some extra motivation sometimes!)

That's one down for the day: PHYSICAL.

Now for the EMOTIONAL. It was a rough day. I even cried at work. Twice. Once when my boss asked me if I was okay, and once when my coworker (who knows the story) asked me how I was doing. My boss told me to buy a new car to make myself feel better (oh to be an Executive VP like him). My coworker told me not to fall victim to forgetting the bad and only remembering the good, which is EXACTLY what I was doing today.

So I pulled myself up by the bootstraps and got on the treadmill for 30 minutes. And now I feel better emotionally, too.

Spiritually, I logged on for the Oprah & Deepak 21 Day Meditation Challenge, and am starting tonight!

I think it was a good day. Progress.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Changing My Focus

I am adjusting to the single life again, but it has not been without struggle.  I gave the relationship one last chance to make sure that I could look myself in the eye and feel that I had done all that I could to save it.  The reality is that it is not the relationship that will bring me the interpersonal happiness that I so desire, but it is very hard to say goodbye to him after all we went through this last year while he battled cancer and I cared for him.  It is most difficult to say goodbye to the dream of what we could have had in our future together.

I changed a few things around in my blog after being inspired by my friend at A Well Fed Life, and am going to widen the focus to include the overall life changes that I am making to get back to a place of happiness, health, and balance in my life.  These include:

  • Changes in my eating and activity/exercise level to support my desire for a healthy and happy life
  • Changes in my mental, emotional, and spiritual space to focus on those things that are in my life instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future
  • Changes in my physical living space to reduce the clutter and maintenance required
  • Changes in my relationships to focus on those that bring me happiness and growth

When the ex BF and I tried the last ditch effort after my last post, we rescheduled our Mexico getaway for March.  We did not make it there, but instead of cancelling it again I asked my mom to join me because I really need a break from responsibility for a few days and also need a chance to regroup and refocus on my own life now that I am no longer part of an "us".  Although I am struggling to re-frame what I thought would be a romantic getaway to a vacation with my mom, I am glad that I did not throw away my plans (again) just because the relationship did not work out.

I am changing my expectations for the vacation from romantic ones to regrouping ones.  On the recommendation of my therapist, I am bringing the book Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality in the hopes that I will reawaken to the life that I have instead of mourning the life that I feel was lost.  I am also bringing a bunch of Sephora samples that I have gathered over time to indulge in facials and masks and moisturizing.  I have packed the beautiful new dresses that I bought to look nice for ex BF so that I can look nice for myself.  And I am accepting that, although far from perfect, I am going to appreciate the vacation for what it is and not mourn what I thought it would be.  I hope to come back refreshed and grounded and ready to enjoy the great life that I have been blessed with instead of focusing on what I do not have in it at this time.

Upon my return, it is time to make some changes in my life.  No more crazy and overly ambitious eating and exercise plans.  Just a focus on progress and achievement and enjoyment over time.  No more time frames to lose weight or run a certain distance in a certain time, but instead setting a goal to just do it and allow the journey to help me feel that I am once again achieving consistent goals and nurturing myself through health and wellness.

I am going to focus on myself and my child and my family until I feel ready to seek out a new relationship in a way that will not destroy my balance like the last one did.  I need to change myself and my view on the value of my own life in order to make sure that does not happen again.  And, hopefully, I will then be ready to be in a relationship that enhances my life instead of just changing its focus.

Here's to 2013!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Flip Flop

Well, the off again-on again relationship with BF is OFF for good. Mexico vacation cancelled and communication over. I am blessed by all of the support from my family and friends, though, and am working to move past this and to get back to a healthy and happy place for me and DD.

I have been following The Four Hour Body plan for almost three weeks now, and I am down about ten pounds. I still have about 25 more to go to get back to my January 2012 weight, but it will come off in time. No rush to get into a bathing suit in a week and a half anymore!!

Still not doing much more than walks at lunch in the exercise department, but that will be changing in the next couple of weeks. One thing at a time.

I am also going to start sessions with a therapist to help me break through on some personal issues that have been plaguing me for years. 2013 should be exciting in many ways, despite the breakup and change of plans.