Monday, February 20, 2017

DO SKINNY GIRLS STRUGGLE WITH THIS?

Day-6Made it to Day 6. Feeling tired and sore but proud I made it THIS far.


When I started to write this post, I thought, "Is it too soon?" But honestly I have been trying to get started with getting started for the last 6 months if not everyday for more than a year. Then if I go further back and count the times I said, "This is it. I am doing this," and still didn't make it to Day 6, well, let's just say it is A ...L...O...T! 


So in the true spirit of taking this one day at a time, I am going to embrace Day 6 because Days 4-5 were really tough.






For example, Day 4:
I get up at 6:00 super pumped and ready to hit the gym first thing. I get dressed, head downstairs to fill my water bottle and think I'll just tidy up the kitchen a bit before I go. 20 minutes later I am in my car and think, "Man, I am tired and would love to go back to bed. Do I really have to go to the gym now? It's Saturday..."


I literally had to force myself to go.


Get to the gym. Get on the elliptical. Feel like I am crawling. I am fighting for each rotation. I know I am going slower than the day before. I keep watching the clock:
  • Should I stop now?
  • Is 20 mins good enough?
  • You did it, 30 mins is fine. It is better than you did last Saturday.
  • It's the weekend. You'll get exercise cleaning the house and stuff.
  • 45 mins is close enough.
  • 50 mins is good. You don't need the cool down. Just go slower now.
Longest hour E...V...E...R


Day 5:
Gym is closed on Sundays so I got up at 8:00-ish. A little stiff and a tad sore. My plan was to make breakfast, clean up the kitchen/family room a bit, maybe start laundry and go for a walk at 11:00. To be clear, this has pretty much been my weekend plan everyday for the past year so the pressure was on to ACTUALLY GO for the walk.
  • 10:35-ish I start sorting laundry
  • 11:20-ish first load is in (clearly I am not walking yet)
  • Since I missed my start time, might as well keep cleaning. I am on a roll.
  • Vacuum house, scrub floors
  • 1:00 and we are all hungry so time to make lunch
  • clean kids' bathroom
  • keep laundry going
  • clear coat the desktop for the study (for my Facebook friends, I decided not to stain it. The gray I tried on a piece of scrap just looked dirty)
Finally at 3:15 I go for my walk. At this point I am tired from cleaning, more sore from the previous days' workouts and just dreading every step. But I did it. I left the house and was hitting the pavement. About 15 mins in I had bad muscle spasms in my left thigh and considered limping or calling Pete to pick me up, but I pushed through them. I mean seriously, I was walking...not sprinting, or even hiking. Just walking. I can do this...


I pretty much thought about how much I wanted the walk to be over the entire time. I managed to go a little over 4 miles and I think it was a little longer than an hour. Weather was perfect, I was outside, fresh air, not too hot or cold, but it was torture.


Day 6:
Alarm went off at 5:30 and I thought it was wrong. It was almost laughing at me. I think I grumbled, "Seriously?" Rolled out of bed to sore feet, stiff legs, back, arms... Managed to get dressed, make a smoothie and get to the gym. I was in total slow motion. I tried the bike because of a blister I got from my walk and thought it would rub less but after 10 minutes and feeling like it was doing nothing I swapped for the elliptical. I had planned to go a bit slower and read but this one was bouncier than the one I normally use so reading would be a challenge. Instead I logged another 25 minutes and called it a day.


I totally realize I have been letting my body mush-tasize (new word) over the last 2 years so it is going to take longer than 6 days to feel normal about moving again, but I would really like a date to look forward to. When will these negative thoughts and self sabotaging voices quiet down?


Makes me wonder if skinny people hear them too or is it just me?


Bring on Day 7!

Friday, February 17, 2017

THIS SH!T IS BANANAS

I came to the realization this morning that our lives are completely ruled by numbers. NUMBERS... Think about it.


Last night I barely slept. I had a hard time falling asleep after finally writing my first blog post in forever and when I finally did, I woke up several times because I was afraid of the battle I would face when my alarm sounded.


1:00 a.m. - is it time? No excuses. Woo, plenty of time to go back to sleep
2:12 a.m. - is it time? I got this.
2:42 a.m. - WHAT time is it? Ok good.
4:10 a.m. - Now? No, hmm do I have to pee?
5:00 a.m. - Yes? No. Well now I have to pee but then I will go back to bed.
5:05 a.m.- What if I finally fall back asleep and am too tired to get up. What if my excuse wins?
5:07 a.m. - Screw it, I am up. Let's just do this...


I successfully beat the first battle of excuses but quickly entered round 2.


I have always been one to weigh myself, pretty much daily (sometimes 2-3 times a day). I thought that was a good thing - like being able to face your number and own it. I always said I didn't let the results effect me.


As I reflect, I can say total B.S. to that. Even though I tried to be the boss, I know on a deeper level those pounds called the shots. If it was lower than I thought it was a perfect excuse to "treat" myself or skip that walk I had planned on. If it was higher than I wanted at first it might be motivating but later in the day I may cure the stress with an extra serving of whatever. It wasn't always obvious, but I had no control.


SO... as Anna so eloquently reminded me yesterday, "The definition of insanity is do the same thing and expecting different results." This time I would not get on the scale everyday. Maybe once a week. Maybe someday I could even step on every other week.


There I was in the bathroom about to put my workout clothes on and I stared down the scale. I have been at this for TWO WHOLE DAYS.
  • Would the scale reward my new focus?
  • Had I finally started moving in the right direction?
  • I know I said I wouldn't
  • I shouldn't
I did.


So I lost my willpower with the scale and took a peak. Ever so slightly trending down but nothing to get excited about. My goal is to go at least 3 more days but ideally a week.


I may have to have someone hide it from me.


As I punched in a bunch of numbers on the elliptical trainer it dawned on me how much my life is surrendered to numbers.


I truly believe we all struggle with some number. It may be weight, financial, time, age, grades, grams, ounces... Pick one.


I always heard words cause the most pain. Maybe. But numbers cause the most stress.




My new goal is to make numbers my Biotch.


And thank you to Gwen for the inspiration for the title of this post. Love rocking out to my favorite pop divas. Makes the workout a little more tolerable.


On to Day 4

Thursday, February 16, 2017

RESET BUTTON

When I first started my blog I was in desperate need of a creative outlet, a confidence booster, a way to prove to myself that I hadn't completely lost my mind. In all honesty I day-dreamed of being able to quit a job I was suffocating in and strike gold as a mommy blogger.


While the only gold I discovered was luster dust, I did love writing and connecting with people. Unfortunately a job change left less and less time for hobbies. My blog became a distant memory. Over the last few years I have missed blogging. I have thought of several things to write about. I would even start to plan them in my head yet they never actually got done. I struggled with making sure whatever I wrote about was good enough. It had been so long that I wanted to restart with a bang. I think I was too worried with what people would think.


Recently I have been doing a little soul searching. I am going to blame it on my age. I realized I have been trying to prove things my entire life. Maybe it is middle child syndrome, maybe it is a competitive obsession, maybe I am just nuts. I needed validation that I was smart enough, funny enough, creative enough, hardworking, a great mom, an over-achiever...Pretty sure my struggle with my weight is likely tied up in this in some way. I tried several times to control my weight but it has always been the thing that I couldn't conquer. It was easier to plan an event, bake something or grow an account. Of course those things bring additional stress and food has been my way to relieve it.


A vicious cycle.


I think it is true that women in their 40's are more chill and confident. I believe I am, almost too much actually. In the last few years I have finally become comfortable with my weight. While I still don't like pictures of myself, I can look in the mirror and admire the person I see. With the move, the work on the house, any other number of excuses I have spent almost no time (literally N...O... time) exercising. And luckily for the past few years my weight has hovered in the same place.


Until recently. I think my metabolism took a dive or my stillness caught up to me.


I have been telling myself for months that I would go to the gym, the Y, do some Jillian in my basement before work, even bust out the Just Dance wii thingie with Ella... I have had the best intentions.


But.... tomorrow I will do it.


I can't explain it. There was some mental block, a wall. Fear? I have no idea. But I just couldn't do it. Any excuse was so much easier.


I recently heard that sitting is the new smoking. Rumor has it sitting is just as bad as smoking and I sit ALL DAY. That scared me. That and noticing I was getting winded when I shouldn't.


About 2 weeks ago, I raised my desk so that I stand. I figured that wasn't going to do much so during conference calls where I am mostly listening, I started doing small squats, lunges, leg lifts, marching in place, whatever. I had hoped that would level back out the scale.


Nope.


It is time to quit hoping for change and actually do something about it. This week I started the New Year's Resolution I should have started decades ago:
  • I got up and went to the gym in the morning before work
  • I made a smoothie for breakfast
  • packed my lunch
  • drank water all day
  • cooked dinner
I wish I was confident enough to say this is it. I am owning this and taking control for good. But right now I am taking it one day at a time. So far I am two in.


Tomorrow is #3.




I have decided to fall back in love with my blog and let it help me. This is my outlet. I am sure I will post about my struggles as well as my successes and hopefully more on my journey. Since this time around it is more for me, after this one I won't be sharing my posts on Facebook but please feel free to share with others who can relate.


See you tomorrow,

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Shake It Off

I was struggling to come up with a title for this post. I was going to go with "Country to Contemporary" but our house wasn't really full-fledge country decor. It was more typical 1990's: honey colored oak cabinets, trim, doors… and brass fixtures. Hunter green and burgundy were all the rage.

Then I thought back to how I felt the first time I walked in the home we had purchased after I had seen it one time on a day I saw 12 other houses and Pete only saw the pictures I sent him. Perhaps it was the stress of moving 500 miles from family and friends, literally changing everything in our lives, missing my kids as I was away from them for weeks at a time, but that moment I walked in to our new home I broke down. I was completely overwhelmed. I wanted to change everything and I didn't know where to start. It was not what we had planned and I was having a serious case of buyers remorse.

I walked out and spent the next day and a half at my apartment. I just couldn't bring myself to go back to the house. I finally came to my senses and realized I was waisting precious time. I went to Lowe's, picked out colors and painting supplies and got to work. Every night after work, I cleaned, painted, and researched on Pinterest.

HONEY OAK is not my thing. I read several posts on how to paint trim white and options for refinishing the cabinets myself. I settled on Java Gel Stain but seriously considered chalk/milk paint. I couldn't be happier that we went with the stain vs. paint. We painted the trim around the windows and some bathroom cabinets and I just think the stain looks so much better.

I tried to capture some before and after pics in the same angle.



I am still looking for 2 stools to slide under the island but haven't seen anything I loved.



Refinishing the cabinets really wasn't hard at all. A bit time-consuming but if I can do it, anyone can. We also reused the existing hardware. We cleaned it and then spray painted it a brushed metallic. It has been about 6 months and no sign of wear and tear. Since we were redoing every room, it is hard to say exactly how much we spent on the kitchen but I am guessing around $350 and that includes the new light fixture, paint, stain, clear coat and all supplies.



I haven't hung any pictures or really done any decorating. We are trying to make the best of the furniture we have but I learned it doesn't easily translate from one house to another.




I can't help but wonder what the boy who lived in this room would think now that it is glowingly pink.



My goal with the closet was to make it feel more like a playroom than a closet. I was hoping Ella would be more likely to keep her toys in her closet or even her room if it felt more inviting. I painted the shelves black and the wall a darker pink. We stained all the doors the the dark like the kitchen cabinets and the trim is all white.



I can't say the original color combo is from the 90's but it sure seems popular in this area.



I pretty much copied this bathroom right from a Pinterest post I found.

Once I get Alex's pictures hung and pull our master bedroom together I will do another post. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. I no longer have buyers remorse. We have learned so much about DIY, about ourselves and I am definitely more confident with interior design than I was a year ago.

A huge thank you to the internet, the DIY bloggers and Pinterest!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Still Living SUGAR FREE

So it's been a month (32 days but who is counting?) since I made a spur of the moment decision to embark on a 3 day "sugar detox". At the time I committed to 3 days and really didn't know what I would do beyond that.


I am delighted to report that I am now 32 days clean. I say clean because I had to look at this as any other addiction. If I thought of it as a typical diet, I have no doubt I would have fallen off the wagon by now. But an addiction is serious. An recovering alcoholic avoids alcohol for life and doesn't celebrate special occasions or reward themselves with a little drink. That is how I have had to embrace this change and honestly, it hasn't been nearly as hard as I had feared.


First I want to thank all of you who have inspired me to take this step, encouraged me to keep it up and helped me by sharing web-sites, reading materials and tips/tricks. I am fumbling my way through this lifestyle change and learning new things everyday with your help so a huge thank you!


We were just home over Halloween and lots of folks had questions on what I am doing so I thought with this update I would share.


There are lots of resources out there for detoxes, cleanses, good carbs, bad carbs and clean eating just to name a few of the buzz words. I am not really doing any official plan. I read several and am just making this up as I go. I am sure it isn't perfect but I am trying to figure out what foods help fuel my body while not totally sacrificing my soul.



I have basically cut simple carbohydrates out of my diet. I avoid processed sugar is another way to put it. That means no:

  • sugary treats (you know cakes, cookies, brownies, cupcakes, donuts, poptarts...)
  • no bread
  • no pasta
  • no rice (well almost, twice in the last 32 days I have had less than 1/2 cup of rice with a meal)
  • no white potatoes
  • no corn
  • limited dairy (still experimenting with this one)
  • practically no sauces of any kind as most have some form of sugar
  • no alcohol (oh, I did have 1 bloody mary on my visit home during a girls' night out)
Then I read that the body pretty much treats anything sweet as though it was sugar and that led me to cut out:
  •  artificial sweeteners (no diet coke, no sweetened yogurts, no sugar-free labeled items that still taste sweet)
And I realize there are natural sweeteners like honey and agave nectar, but I haven't eaten any of those this month either as I am a bit paranoid to include them at this point.


For the first 3 days, I cut out dairy and fruit all together. Since then I have added in 1-2 servings of fruit a day. I typically go for apples and berries. I also switched back to coffee. Tea with lemon was ok for the 3 day detox, but I am a coffee drinker and I am now able to enjoy a cup with a splash of 1/2 and 1/2 and no sweeteners.


So what does that leave me with:
  • lean meats and fish
  • eggs
  • almost any veggie
  • beans and hummus
  • nuts and natural, no added stuff nut spreads
  • 1-2 servings of fruit
  • I mostly drink water with lemon, a cup of unsweetened coffee a day and occasionally tomato juice if I am really craving something different to drink
The question I get most often is, "Do you feel different?"


This isn't a simple answer:
  • Things taste different. I had an apple that was so sweet I couldn't finish it.
  • I have lost just about 12 lbs so that part feels great and keeps me motivated
  • Pete says my face looks younger (when staring down the barrel of a big milestone who doesn't like to hear that?)
  • But I really don't have more energy or notice any better sleep or anything else
I had really hoped I would have had more weight loss than 12-ish pounds. Don't get me wrong, I am super happy to shed every single pound, but the first 7 came off in the first 8-9 days so I had really high expectations. Then it slowed and even bounced up and down a bit.


I did notice the seatbelt on the airplane had more room and this morning I squeezed in to jeans that had been collecting dust. Not comfortable enough to wear out but buttoned none the less.


I know I should avoid the scale but I really like that it keeps me honest. My next step is to take more steps. This past 32 days I focused on getting my eating habits right. Now I need to get back to the gym. My company has a state of the art (or really nice) facility here on campus free to its employees so I have no excuse not to take advantage of its services.


I also might start tracking what I eat with some sort of food diary. I really don't want to as I am never good about keeping up with them. I am tired of counting calories and so long as the scale is going down do I really have to?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sugar Detox Time

This realization/decision is a loooooooong time coming. I told myself I would wait to do a post until I had some results to share, but when I am excited about something I can't keep it to myself.

Obviously I am like so many people who struggle with food and have the extra pounds to show I am losing the fight. For many years I tried different ways of eating. I read several books on healthy eating and various diet plans, tried Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, subscribed to some fitness magazines and had a love/hate/commitment issues relationship with a could of gyms, my elliptical trainer, and walking. With each child I went up and down and up again until I had just had enough and settled for maintaining an unhealthy weight.

Lately I have been seeing more and more about sugar and artificial sweeteners. Started with a few Facebook friends posting about sugar addiction and doing a detox. Then I stumbled on a couple of articles and started tuning in to what I was consuming.

I am proclaiming myself to be addicted to sugar. My fix comes in all shapes and forms, not just desserts. I think that is why I was in denial for so long. Low fat didn't work. Eating in moderation was almost impossible. Granted I didn't truly study Atkins and never tried it because I just can't see cutting out fruit, beans and some veggies from a diet yet all you can eat bacon is ok.

As it started to sink in that I need to eliminate sugar from my diet, I didn't think it would be possible to go cold turkey. I turned to Pinterest to find out what a sugar detox is and if it was for me. I was delighted to find a 3 day detox.

I can do anything for 3 days, right?

The gist of this detox is no sugar, so no: bread, dairy, fruit or artificial sweeteners.

You eat proteins: meat (preferably lean), eggs, all the veggies you want (except potatoes and corn), and nuts

First challenge I faced: coffee. I love, did I mention how much I love, a good cup of coffee with half n half and sweet n low. Green tea was allowed as well as lemon so I was able to get that down. Not the same but it is 3 days.

I was pretty sure the sugar withdrawal symptoms would include a headache so I didn't want to top that with caffeine withdrawal as well. I tried coffee black but couldn't get through more that a few sips.

I had 3 eggs for breakfast 
Almonds for a snack
Lunch was a can of tuna with 1/2 an avocado, hummus, baby carrots, red peppers

2nd challenge was dinner. I had a work dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. Additionally I was starting to get a cold so rather than wine I ordered hot water with lemon. The table ordered a caprese tower as an appetizer so I had a little tomato. I ordered scallops from the appetizer menu and a side of brussle sprouts.

Day 1 down 2 lbs.

Day 2 more green tea with lemon, more eggs, almonds. Then challenge 3: work lunch.
I was at a brainstorm with chocolates and treats all around the room. I was strong. I busted out my snack bag of baby carrots and they never tasted so good. Already after 1 day without sugar my tastebuds were changing, or it was mental. I had packed lunch but they ordered tomato soup, a southwest salad loaded with avocado, black beans, and tomatoes so I had some without any dressing and some grilled chicken.

I hit the grocery on the way home because I made this decision without an armed kitchen. Dinner was sautéed spinach, portobello mushroom, and an egg. While I was cooking I munched on red pepper strips and a little hummus.

Day 2 down another 1 1/2 lbs

Day 3, I worked from home as my cold is now fully developed. I have had headaches both days and also some stomach cramping. I read that bloating is also a symptom of sugar withdrawal so I think that is it.

I switched to black tea since it has more caffeine, but I only drank half. Still got a headache. Breakfast was some eggs, spinach and mushrooms. Lunch was some sliced turkey. I decided to make tomato soup so I was tasting that as a snack. Dinner was the soup with some kale chips, taro root chips and a few olives. Oh, I did cave in and had 1/2 a banana today as some of the plans I considered allowed a piece of fruit.

Tomorrow I will learn Day 3's results. 

I also have to figure out where to go from here. I hope to keep this up but will likely add in a little fruit and low fat dairy. It really wasn't too awful. I was craving diet coke and was tempted to have a little hot pretzel with dinner but I got through it, well so far.

Stay tuned.








Saturday, August 22, 2015

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives

Wwwhhhhooooo. This has been a long 7-8 month journey. Tomorrow, Pete and the kids officially join me in our new home away from home.

I have such mixed emotions.
   • excited to have us all together
   • nervous about making new friends, new schools, new everything
   • sappy, I am getting teary-eyed at everything. Commercials, songs, even America's Funniest Home Videos. I think I have an issue
   • loney - being here has been extremely isolating
   • tired - ready to be a full time parent again and tired of trying to weigh in from 500 miles away. I am tired of painting and working on our house. And I am really tired of having torn emotions and feeling like I am staring at the endless to do list.

As much as I can't wait to be a family together again, I would be lying if I didn't admit to being nervous too. I have become used to being alone and the quiet. I miss a house full but can also get overwhelmed when they are here. I am sure I will readjust quickly I just hope I can find patients while transitioning.

I have been really impressed with how well Pete and the kids have handled the shuffling this year. When I was their age, I would have been a drama queen to put it nicely and made my parents miserable if they made me leave my friends. Both Alex and Anna have been very mature I couldn't be more proud of them. And Ella has been amazing in our separation. She is such a momma's girl it could have been so much worse.

I can't thank Pete, my parents, my in-laws, and all those who helped us with the kids this past year. None of this would have been possible without your support.

We hope you will get a chance to come up and stay with us. 

I am so excited to surprise Ella tomorrow. Anna asked to have a vanity in her room and since she will be once again sharing a bathroom with her siblings and is now in to makeup and styling her hair, I figured it was a good idea and may avoid several bathroom battles.

I searched all over town and ended up purchasing this one on-line. It arrived this week and today I put it together.


As I ordered it, I knew Ella would want one too. She is more in to clothes and makeup than anyone and thinks she is13 too. I really didn't want to buy another one so I went all over town again. Anna had a mirror from Ikea that I could use. I really just needed a table and stool. I looked all over and today finally found a bedside table at Big Lots and the stool at Hobby Lobby. I did paint the legs of the stool black but that was it. I am sure the stool will be a mess by tomorrow night but I think she will love it.