Category Archives: Eat Clean

Return of the Blog

I haven’t blogged since August of 2016. I’m still not sure where to start, what I’m trying to say here, or if I’ll get back to blogging regularly anytime soon.

But here I am. I’m here to…collect my thoughts. Lay out my intentions. Try to tease out the thread that leads me back to what matters most for me. The best way for me to start, I think, is with the highlights of where I’ve been.

Since August, I had a full hysterectomy. I spent some time recovering, as I needed to, but in there somewhere I lost my mojo. My hormones are still not 100% settled, so I consistently struggle with being too tired and too emotional in one way or another. I’m working on it.

In January, prompted I’m sure by the New Year’s Resolution idea, I started thinking hard about getting back to the things that make me feel balanced. I set some non-specific goals:

2017
Camp Gladiator for my body.
Yoga for my soul.
Healthy food for my energy levels.
Daily writing for my spirit.
Reading for my mind.
Weekly walks for my heart.
Snuggles for my joy.
Activism for my piece of mind.

Around the same time, thanks to the husband’s awesome gift of annual Disney passes, I wanted to write a blog about what I felt like Disney was giving me.

How Disney Gave Me Back Myself
Out of shape, out of touch, feeling sad. Not enough time with family.

Lots of Joy, tons of walking, lots of smiles and laughter. Remembered movement can be fun, what my body is capable of. Love being outside. It’s cool to be joyous, be a kid.

I never did get around to writing that blog. Every time I sat down to try to write it, I felt like I was faking. I wasn’t making progress. I wasn’t making healthier choices. I loved being at Disney, I love it every time we go. But despite all the joy it brings me, it isn’t carrying over to the rest of my life. So I never wrote the blog, because what could I say? Hey, I found a place that fills me with joy and it still didn’t give me a reason to get healthy?

So a few weeks went by. I did nothing. I barely went to my previously beloved bootcamp. And then…

I’m at my heaviest weight ever. Probably about 250, but I don’t know for sure and I don’t want to know. I do a really good job of pretending it doesn’t bother me, but it does. But that’s another story for another time. I’m actually writing about something more practical. Last night I was stretching and felt a sting on my lower belly, where my belly fat roll meets my torso underneath, right at the fold. Now it’s stinging and seems to be seeping a little blood. I think it’s just a skin tear, and doesn’t hurt a ton or smell bad or itch or anything…but this has never happened to me before. I’m crying in the work bathroom. This is making me feel like shit. In one day I’ve gone from feeling hopeful to feeling disgusting. Intellectually I know it’s the wrong way to feel, but here I am.

I felt so…embarrassed? Ashamed? I hate this feeling.

It’s brutal. My husband, who I only get to see on the weekends, is like “hey baby” and I’m all, “excuse me, my fat roll is bleeding.” I just…ugh.

In some ways, the worst part of this whole fucking thing is feeling like I can’t talk about it. I’ve made such a big damned deal out of accepting my body and being fine with whatever size, and now I feel trapped…like if I say something negative about my fat body, I’m somehow going back on those things (that I truly believe to be true). If I’m miserable with my fat roll, I can’t say that without sounding like I think fat is bad. I feel stuck and so dark right now, and I’m extra upset about it because I had this great, hopeful, motivated blog post planned. I was outlining it in my head yesterday, and then this happened last night and I’m so derailed. And of course, I’ve eaten SO much better today, but it’s out of shame.

That was the end of January, and I decided February would be different. Because it needed to be. And…it wasn’t. I barely exercised except for our awesome Disney weekends. I ate terribly, brutally, with intention to harm. I made myself sick from food for the first time in a very long time.

Now it’s March. I want to say that everything will be different, that this is the month I’ll turn things around. That I’ll find the time to do Couch to 5K with my kid and get back to 3x/wk bootcamps and start eating foods that make me happy and balanced and healthy. That I’ll get back to daily (or atleast weekly) yoga and meditation. But the truth? I just don’t know, and I’m scared to even try to commit to something.

So that’s where I’m at right now. There it is. I don’t know what to do with it, but I needed to get it out.

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The Secret of Change

The secret of change…

The truth is that I’ve been thinking about change a lot lately. Specifically, that I think it’s time for one. I injured my tendon, which led to a month off from bootcamp to let it heal. In that month, it was my job to wait for the pain to fade, and then focus on daily yoga to help stretch out my tight, overworked body and let things begin to heal more fully.

And maybe that’s what my mind needed too. So the pain began to lessen, and…I got bronchitis. For the 4th time in the last 3 years. I am a bronchitis machine, it would seem. And so I didn’t do yoga, and I shouldn’t have. I listened to my body. I took time off. I slept. I hydrated. I rested as much and as often as possible.

Two weeks later, when the exhausting hacking cough finally abated, I was finally ready to return to yoga…only to discover the pain was back, but different this time. Sharper, lower, less severe but more insistent. So I went back to the doctor and…my tendon is healing nicely, but it turns out that some of the pain was thanks to a build up of uric acid that has formed a sizeable crystal on my heel.

I’m taking a medicine to dissolve the crystal, but as it’s dissolving the pain is much worse and any impact or weight bearing is rough.

So it looks like I’m out another month until the crystal is dissolved. I’m super bummed about it, but sticking with daily yoga and doing the workout Mike sent me a few times a week.

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November 15, 2015

Sometimes when you say I just can’t help it, other people here I give up, or I don’t care. And sometimes those people are right, but sometimes you really can’t help it. Sometimes there’s more going on than you could possibly know. And that doesn’t mean that you should let your life spiral out of control, that you should sit back and watch as it falls away from you. What it does mean is that it’s time to ask for help, to reach out, to ask questions and understand everything that’s happening. What it means is that there might be factors outside of your control, but that doesn’t mean you have no control.

For a long time, I let myself believe that I didn’t care, that I had given up. I had no control around food I said and I thought that I meant it. I thought it was my fault. I thought that I had just given up, and that I was ready to let everything go. I thought I wasn’t supposed to care about my health anymore or that maybe I had just stopped. And maybe, for a while, I did just stop. I felt hopeless, helpless and I didn’t know where to turn or what to do. But in the end, I finally did reach out. I started paying more attention, I started asking questions of myself and of the people who I trusted. I ask for help, and in the end I got testing done.

As it happened, I had a pretty severe hormonal imbalance. In the end I still didn’t know affixing it was going to solve any problems or make everything worse. But I knew it was worth a try or at least I hoped it was. Now I’m several weeks into hormone therapy, and all of a sudden things feel clear again. Finally.

All of a sudden, my ridiculous cravings for everything bad for me, everything sweet and heavy, everything that would make my stomach hurt or make my head hurt or deplete my energy seem to be gone. I’m not so hungry, I’m not so tired, I’m not so sad. Finally.

I’m not saying everything is perfect, or that everything is fixed right now. I’m not saying I’ll never struggle with food again where that I don’t already do it every day. But now it feels like there might be some hope. I finally have some energy again, & I finally feel like maybe it’s okay to not eat that afternoon snack just because I’m bored, or sad. I finally feel like I want to get off the couch, at least sometimes.

Now I find myself thinking about going to bootcamp. I’ve gone 3 times in a week, which is completely weird for me, and even weirder? I think I’m liking it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I hate the workouts while they’re happening. But the way I feel afterwards, and the way I feel about going and getting them done, is amazing. The way I feel when I know I’ve completed a workout, pride and happiness and fatigue and soreness, it all feels worth it when I think about everything I can gain. I can gain strength, confidence, belief in my ability to do…whatever I want to do.

I feel like so much of that had fallen away in a cloud of so much sadness, and that I was really losing a big part of who I was and my motivation to do much of anything. I wasn’t writing, doing yoga, in fact I was barely moving more often than not. I was managing my walk training, but barely and with zero motivation or heart in it. Now that I’m looking at boot camp more often, I’m actually seriously considering backing out of my half marathon. It’s a weekend we might not even be here, and I just feel like I can only focus on one thing at a time right now. Boot camp gives me the opportunity to get stronger, – a quarter, to eat push by someone who knows what they’re doing. It gives me the chance to be surrounded by other people who are supportive, as you want some of the same things for themselves.

It’s not a perfect place. Sometimes it’s a little bit triggering, with everyone focus on calories in or out, weight lost or gained, or how big or small they think they look in their pants. But still, it’s a good place to be for the most part. People’s hearts are in the right place, people are supportive and happy, and people want everyone to succeed. The trainers are cool, and the workouts are really really awful but at least I feel challenged. The more I think about boot camp, the more I feel like I can see a different future. I feel like I can see myself doing this regularly, maybe even liking it sometimes. I can see myself stronger, happier, more confident, more able to do the things that I want to do. I can see myself feeling better physically, having more energy, continuing down this path of less snacking and more mindful eating. Most of it is the hormones, which I couldn’t be happier about. I’m just so glad it worked. I feel so much relief, so much, knowing that I have half a chance now.

But it’s not all on the hormones. It’s still up to me to make a difference, to make the right choices all the time. It still up to me to get up, get dressed, and go to bootcamp. It’s still up to me to make the right choices with food. It’s still up to me to be mindful of how easy it is for me to fall back into serious sugar addiction, and constant snacking just for the sake of snacking. I have to keep thinking, all the time. It’s something that used to drive me crazy, to think that I would always have to be fighting. But maybe that’s just the way it is for me. And maybe that’s okay.

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The Journey So Far…

On July 28th, I bought a journal at Target, sort of on a whim. It was right after I wrote my last blog post, which was all about feeling stuck and needing to find a way to push.

Things didn’t go so well at first.

7/29: I’m feeling tired and frustrated with Day 1. I’m trying to make plans–to eat and move with care, to make good food choices, to get back to daily yoga–but I feel so lazy and already so discouraged. Lost before I began…which isn’t going to get me anywhere, and I know it.

7/30: I think I’m scared…scared to succeed, to discover my own limitations. I don’t want to know how out of shape I am, how dependent on junk food I’ve let myself become, how hard even simple workouts might be for me now. I’m afraid to find myself having to start over from 0…and what if I can’t? What if I make it two minutes? What if I hurt my knee? What if it’s my fault?

8/1: Today was a mess. I felt fat and awkward and ridiculous. I couldn’t stop making uncharitable comparisons and I felt awful about myself all day.

8/2: My body image is suffering big time right now. I’m feeling incredibly self-conscious, about my stomach in particular. I don’t like feeling disconnected from my body this way, and I’m trying to think through other paths to recapture my connection to myself. I’m trying to consider new plans for movement, nutrition, thought…anything that might help me respark the connection that I seem to have had only the barest grasp on.

And it just kept getting darker.

8/3: I am in one giant black hole of self-criticism right now, pulling me in half and half and half again until my self-love and my confidence are reduced to so much confetti. I feel scared and lost and frustrated, and I don’t even know why. I want to reach out and ask for help…but how? Help with what? I don’t even know what I need right now, so how do I ask for help? How do I break out of this current pattern–this all-too-familiar, old-school pattern–of doubt and discomfort, of food as punishment and movement as something to be rebelled against?

8/4: Man, today was pretty dark in terms of my mood, and my food was totally hopeless…I wake up every morning and commit myself to making beter choices. So far, I haven’t made it past lunch before abandoning that commitment and tossing myself fairly headlong into half-intentional destructive eating and thoughts that chip away at all of my confidence and joy.

But then? Maybe a little upswing?

8/8: Overall a great day, with food and movement I enjoyed. I spent time with my favorite people and didn’t stop to think about my pants size, my stomach shape, or anything else that could have put a damper on my day.

And that tiny upswing had me spending HOURS plotting out a DIY version of the Fix to try. I’m way too broke for the real deal, but found some resources online so that I can do something sort of similar.

8/9: I’ve plotted, planned, and prepared, and atleast on paper I’m all ready for my DIY plan. I’m pretty scared of it, particularly in terms of how hard the workouts are going to feel.

Today was day 1…

8/10: I started the day with vigor and determination. The workout was SUPER tough (I felt pukey twice), but it was also great. I was hungry almost immediately though, and thought about nothing but food all day. I was so cranky, and by dinner I was sluggish and feeling weak & foggy. I could probably have chosen a better meal plan, maybe more veggies up front…so I’m going to try again tomorrow with a little more flexibility to my eating. I do need to focis on more produce, more real food…but maybe not in such a restrictive or controlled way. Today’s complete, constant focus on food was incredibly unealthy for me, and reminiscent of alot of dark head spaces.

So that’s where I’m at. By the end of the day, I deviated from my food plan with beer and cheesecake. Still, a MUCH better day (with a real, tough, sweaty workout) than most of the ones that have gone before…so that’s where I’m at right now. And now Gail has put out this FitBloggin Call to Action, and I want to say I’m in…

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In Stillness

I want…space. Space to breathe, to stretch, to create. I want lightness, ease, and more time to cuddle.

I can choose to be aware, or I can cruise through life mostly checked out. Lately, I’ve been checked out. I’ve been telling myself it’s because I’m just so busy…but whether that’s true or not, I can’t afford it anymore.

I’m fighting real anxiety these days, with physical hints of panic attacks just below the surface. I constantly feel like I’m barely holding on, and I can’t keep doing that to myself. I let it spiral in April, and now I’m midway through May and trying to pull it all back together.

I want truth. I want to be honest with myself, for myself.

I want to dress in ways that make me feel lovely instead of invisible. I don’t intend to abandon my nerd shirts, because they’re very much a part of my honest expression of self…but I want to be better about pushing the limits of what I think of as ‘comfort’ when it comes to my appearance, because what I really mean by that is that I’m choosing what’s easy, what’s familiar. It’s like I get dressed every morning and choose between feeling pretty and feeling comfortable, and I don’t think both is an option. It’s confusing and weird. I ordered one last Stitch Fix (that’s a referral link!) even though I haven’t had great luck with that, just because I’m hoping for something that works for me. I’m also considering Gwynnie Bee when our finances improve a bit.

I want to feel like I’m aligned with my own personal truths, with who I really am. I’ve felt aligned before, but right now I’m not even sure how to find that path, let alone get back on it.

I need to feel stable, to feel safe. I need to stop feeling the world unravel around me. I want to stop lying in bed, worried about a thousand things that will never happen. I want to strip away all of the unnecessary things that surround me every day and circle in on the things that matter most.

I want to make and consume food that lights my fires, that excites me again. I want to spend time in the kitchen with the kid, crafting things just because we can.

I want to walk in the sunshine more than I sit under fluorescent lights. I want to meet myself on the yoga mat every day. I want to close my eyes and find stillness, explore the me I don’t always share, and find the touch points that allow me to embrace her entirely, every day.

I want to sleep more, because I’m a better me when I’m rested, and because sleep fuels everything else that happens in my day. Sleep returns me to myself, as I undoubtedly become lost through the course of the daily trudge.

I want to be right here, right now, doing only what I’m doing – not allowing my head to spin off into the other million things I might need or want to do today. I want more play and less work, more love and less tension, more air and less stress.

I want fresh produce and fresh air. I want to lay in the grass, giggle with my kid, and not always feel exhausted.

So it’s time to lay out what that takes for me, at least to start.

  1. In bed by 10pm
  2. No caffeine during the work week
  3. Yoga 4-5 times a week
  4. Meditate every day
  5. Cook one real dinner per work week
  6. Cook two real meals on the weekends
  7. Wear something that makes me feel pretty at least once a week
  8. Document the things that light me up…the foods, the outfits, the moments

(as inspired, so often, by Mara)

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Atleast Once More, As Always

How many times will I eat myself sick before I start making food choices that my body can thrive on? How many times will I make the effort to eat well, feel the distinct benefits, and still turn away from them? How many days/nights will I spend feeling miserable because I decided the momentary pleasure of a food was worth it?

Comfort, ease, convenience, distraction, satisfaction. When I choose these foods, those are the things I’m looking for. Thanks to long years of conditioning, I usually get the result I’m looking for…one or two of those needs are fulfilled by the cupcakes or candy or cookies…for a half hour at most before I’m back to looking, or I’m already feeling negative results.

Yesterday was a pretty epic example of a day when I made food choices that didn’t serve me. I was running late and stressed out after having to unexpectedly take the dog to the vet (she’s fine) and I hadn’t had food or coffee. So I went to McDonalds and got a breakfast sandwich, two hashbrowns, and a coffee. Ate it all on the way to work, then got to work and realized I had poptarts in my desk. Waited about an hour, then ate those too. Ate too much of an admittedly delicious roast beef sandwich at lunch, which I followed with a pretty mediocre seven layer bar. Finished my day feeling heavy and exhausted, already having stomach issues, and chose to have beer and cheesecake for dinner…knowing full well that dairy kills me and combining it with sugar makes it extra awful. I went to bed feeling sick, woke up several times in the night with discomfort, slept poorly, and woke up still having issues.

The worst part is that I know what it’s like to feel better, for my colon issues to be mostly at rest and my energy levels to be balanced and even and lovely. In fact, I did Erin Mot’z Bad Yogi Detox last week and it was a game changer. I wasn’t perfect on the cleanse. My office buys me lunch, so I skipped the lunch recipes and just got whatever veggie based fresh food I could get at work. For dinners, I repeated several instead of making something new every night because I had leftovers like whoa since it’s kind of just me. With Aaron traveling and Evi having a five year old’s appetite, I had so much food leftover that it didn’t make sense to buy/cook something new.

Even with all my foibles in following the plan, I saw immediate benefit. The worst of my stomach issues, which were flaring pretty badly, were noticeably calmer in two days. By day five I felt awesome. I was calmer, less tired, and had less of a later afternoon slump. I was sleeping better too. The recipes weren’t difficult, they tasted good, and since I was using the leftovers it wasn’t any more expensive than anything else we buy. It was slightly more time consuming since I sometimes had to chop or prepare somehow before cooking, but Evi helped and we chatted through dinner prep, so it didn’t take away from my evenings at all.

So why did I stop? Well, I gave myself a pass to abandon the plan for the weekend since I knew we’d be running all over the place and I wouldn’t be able to cook. Fine, but I could have chosen so much better when we ate out. Instead, I went for the heavy stuff, and by the end of the weekend I felt pretty terrible. And instead of turning it around, I compacted those bad choices with more non-nourishing foods through the week. At this point, I’m totally exhausted, my stomach is a mess, and I can’t sleep well at all. I’m foggy through my work day and having a hard time mustering any energy to workout. I don’t want to do my half marathon training even though I love walking, and the barre classes I’ve been enjoying feel like a chore.

As many times as it happens, I still don’t know why. I just don’t understand, and I’m tired of it. You know, this was intended to be a review of the Bad Yogi Detox and I honestly can’t stress enough what a fantastic program it is for giving your body a break from indulgences without weird food restrictions or harsh rules. No weird groceries, no impossible recipes, no gross foods. So try it. It’s well worth it. Maybe I can convince myself to do the same next week…

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Wrong, Right, and Everything Else

8-11-2014 2-34-37 PMDay 1

What went wrong:

  1. I made it until 1:45 before I had a near break down in the kitchen and ate some PopTarts. So… that went badly.
  2. I also slept awfully last night so my plan for morning workouts was a bust too.
  3. The PopTarts led to four whole wheat fig bars.
  4. I stayed up way too late reading.

What went well:

  1. I only had two cups of coffee.
  2. I drank way more water than I usually do.
  3. I had a super healthy lunch.
  4. I started out the morning with meditation.

Day 2

What went wrong:

  1. Dog poop. Cell phone won’t turn on. Running late.
  2. Waffle taco. Two bites. SO awful.
  3. Another fig bar.

What went well:

  1. Only two cups of coffee.
  2. Lots of veggies at lunch.
  3. Another morning meditation.
  • The present moment is eternal because it endlessly renews itself.
  • Inspiration is just another word for renewal.

What else there is:

I’m feeling delicate, and frankly I have been for a while now. I know it means that something has to change, but I don’t know what. More than delicate, I’m finding the instances in which I think “I am sad” (versus ‘I FEEL sad’) are increasing overall, which concerns me because it means I’m missing something…some sign, some signal.

dcc891ad0b4cfe5c04c504ca894bc111I’m having thoughts around dieting and weight loss again. It’s my go-to for when I don’t feel like I have control. Pics like this one tend to make me feel a little more that way sometimes. I know that if I did a certain set of things – a certain way of eating, a certain way of moving, I would lose weight. I wouldn’t be any happier, perhaps, but I would lose weight and some part of me, after so many years chasing that goal, would count that as a success. It’s also a reaction to being frustrated lately. No matter how many ways I come at it, how many tactics I attempt when it comes to making the food and movement choices that make me feel my best…it just keeps not happening. I set big goals, and then I just don’t. I eat PopTarts and read until 1am, wake up exhausted, drink too much coffee, and repeat. I watch people around me have success in meeting their goals, and I just…don’t. I tried shifting my goals. I tried focus on interior changes. I tried taking baby steps, then super baby steps, then nearly invisible steps, and I keep falling back into the same pattern of eating and (not) moving that just make the tired and cranky worse. The less I get off the couch, the harder it is to get off the couch. But the thing is? I hate getting off the couch. I seriously do. I want to sit and read and watch movies. I want to type and surf the internet and put my feet up. I always have wanted that. Sometimes I find interludes of a particular type of movement that keeps me motivated for days or weeks…and then I settle back into my preferred lack of movement.

But is that really what I prefer? I don’t feel better when I don’t move. I’m more tired, less secure in my own skin. And as I’ve previously established, the eating is about both confidence and control as well. I eat poorly when I feel insecure, when things feel too easily shifted or when I’m questioning my own abilities.

I feel like I have spent my entire life trying to break out of this routine, trying to eat right and exercise in ways I don’t completely hate. I just keep trying and trying and trying and I never succeed. I know it’s not a race, not something with a final end goal, but I never make progress. I don’t get stronger, I don’t get leaner. Not in a sustainable way or in the long term. I’m tired. I’m tired of constantly pushing to go workout when I’d rather do anything else. I’m tired of considering everything I put into my mouth because I can’t be sure without examination what’s behind the food choice I’m making.

I don’t want to be tired all the time. I don’t want to be short tempered. I don’t want to be more and more sad. I don’t want to give up on the things I believe are best for me. I really, honestly feel better when I’m making healthy choices. I just don’t know how to sustain it. I don’t know how to make it work long term. There always comes a point when I step away and then I can’t get back. I took last week off, and now I have even less motivation to do anything.

I don’t think I have a point here, and I’m pretty sure at this point I’m talking in circles…so that’s what I’ve got for now. I guess… I don’t know. Maybe I’m asking for help. Again.

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One Month In

In an attempt to keep up with my new habit of more honestly evaluating my work, and also posting Anamaniacs gifs, here’s another installment of where I think I did well and where I think I need to focus harder. To start, I’ll just repost the goals from last time:

  • One baked good/dessert sort of thing per day
  • At least 2 veggies AND 2 fruit servings daily
  • 3 strength workouts
  • 5 conditioning workouts
  • Less than 50% processed foods
  • At least 20 consecutive minutes AWAY from my desk every day

So how did I do? Well…not as well as I would have liked. This week turned out to be a culmination of extra busy, car issues, kid’s lacrosse camp, awful sleep, and extra work hours, and a lot of things fell through the cracks.

What I did well:

  • 2-4 veggies every day
  • 2 strength workouts a week (might still pull off three this week)
  • 2-3 conditioning workouts a week
  • Continued the less sugar route
  • Reduced my processed foods by about 10%

What I’m aiming for now:

  • One truly worthwhile sweet a day
  • At least 2 fruit servings a day (right now I get NONE on most days!)
  • 5 conditioning workouts a week, which include walks and yoga and essentially any purposeful movement that isn’t strength training
  • Another 10% reduction in my processed food intake
  • 20minute break every day at work – this week I missed a day so I’ve had ZERO breaks while trying to make up those hours and, as such, get paid for them
  • 3 strength workouts – at least one done in the morning

I’m liking the way I feel after the workouts, but I’ll admit that I’m finding them a little bit boring. And with the warm up and cool down, all told they take about an hour. I’ve discovered that working out right before bed is a recipe for not sleeping. I’ve just been SO TIRED lately, but I’m still determined to try working out in the mornings instead. I might be exhausted, but getting it out of the way before the day even starts sounds pretty perfect right now.

I also retook my measurements and saw zero change. It was super frustrating, until I posted about it on the FB group for Nerd Fitness and realized a few other things I’ve done that are showing progress:

  1. One pair of my pants feels baggy now
  2. I’ve moved from the Recruit Workout to the Bodyweight 1 workout, and I’m ready to move to Bodyweight 2 now too
  3. I’m completing the workouts faster and some of the really miserable moves (lunges, Spidermans) are getting a little easier.

So I AM making progress. I’m not giving up. I’m also really enjoying the quest features on the revamped Nerd Fitness Academy site, which has now allowed me to give my “character” a goofy cool name and set myself up on the Assassin track (because how could I choose anything else?). I really am a nerd.

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Bad vs. Good

I started my Nerd Fitness journey three weeks ago. I had high hopes for making big changes all at once. Of course, life happens, and not everything went quite as I’d planned. Generally, this would be a time for me to lament my awfulness by rehashing everything I could have done but didn’t. Then, in some cases, I’d backlash with the reasons why I should be proud/am awesome. Thanks for the most part to some #JustTrollin love, I’m changing that up to something simpler, more honest, and less morally charged.

What I did well:

  • Week 1
    • Veggies at 10/14 meals
    • 1 strength workout
    • 5 conditioning workouts (walking, yoga)
  • Week 2
    • Veggies at 8/14 meals
    • 2 strength workouts
    • 3 conditioning workouts
    • Under 72g sugar 5/7 days
  • Week 3
    • Veggies at 10/14 meals
    • 2 strength workouts
    • 4 conditioning workouts (walking, yoga)
    • Monitored my intake of processed foods
  • Overall
    • Transferred all of my workout notes, stats, and instructions into one notebook to make it easier to track and to know what I’m doing at the gym
    • Completed 17 hours of intentional workouts, compared to less than 10 (and mostly <5) prior to these three weeks
    • Upped my veggie intake at dinners and on weekends just by paying attention
    • Started paying close attention to my sugar intake (no more sweetened coffee) and my processed food intake
    • Lost 8.2 pounds
    • Graduated from the Tutorial workout to the first level Bodyweight workout

What I could have done better:

  • Week 1
    • More strength! One workout a week is not enough to see the progress I want
  • Week 2
    • More conditioning. I like walking and yoga. No excuse not to do them
    • Less sugar. Drop that level to even less than 72g, which was an arbitrary MFP value
  • Week 3
    • Step it up with processed foods. Now it’s not about monitoring, it’s about action

My goals for the next two weeks:

  • One baked good/dessert sort of thing per day
  • At least 2 veggies AND 2 fruit servings daily
  • 3 strength workouts
  • 5 conditioning workouts
  • Less than 50% processed foods
  • At least 20 consecutive minutes AWAY from my desk every day
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DoNUT Mess with Me Right Now: Cruller of Deficiency

SALT WATER CURE PRINT – click to get one

Sometimes my feelings hit me hard and deep. They roll over me like ocean waves, the same salty taste on my skin as tears roll down. It happened in Kia‘s FitBloggin yoga class – lying unsuspecting in savasana when I was suddenly hit by tears. Tears of release, of acceptance, of contentment, of body love. The emotional waves always come as tears. Maybe it’s that trope about salt water…

The thing is though, it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes I’m so intensely UNaware of my emotions that discovering them (usually in some roundabout way) comes as an unsettling shock. Feeling those feelings (spoiler: these are usually the unpleasant ones) is the only way I can work through then and make sense of them, but how do I feel them when I’m not always aware of them?

Two ways, both of which come down to awareness. The first responsibility I have is simply around being in the moment. I say simply, but it’s probably one of the most difficult things I aim to do on any given day. Being right here, right now is tough for me to manage. I’ve got a lot to manage and I have a hard time not constantly thinking ahead to the next thing I’m responsible for. I’m working hard to change that, though, because it means I’m rarely giving my full 100% to anything I’m doing. Particularly when it comes to my kid, that is wholly unacceptable. The other way I can be aware and accountable is by examining my thoughts and actions even when I’m not feeling vulnerable or stressed out. Because I’m finally acknowledging a sometimes extreme lack of awareness around my emotions, I have to be thinking a little harder about every day.

What helps:

  1. Yoga: Doing yoga is one of the very few times that I can remain successfully in the moment for more than a minute or two at a time. The more time I spend on my mat, the more aware and connected I am overall.  A lot of the time, something will come up on the mat that I haven’t been dealing with at all. When I cried in savasana, it was because I was finally letting go. I was releasing and settling in and feeling something I’d been stoppering up.
  2. Friends: Reaching out to friends when I’m having a hard time, or just maintaining ongoing conversations with friends helps me keep a closer eye on how I’m really feeling. My good friends know me well enough to know when something’s not quite right and they help me see it.
  3. Writing: Writing something down has always been helpful to get me thinking. I usually set out with a particular point or intention, but as I write it nearly always morphs into something else. One sentence sparks another thought, direction changes, and I get out the things I’ve been ignoring.
  4. Meditation: Oh man. This one is so big for me. For a while I was meditating for 5-10 minutes every morning and it was a game changer for me. I’ve fallen out of the habit, but I still turn to it when I’m feeling a little lost. The whole revelation I had around sugar last week was a direct result of meditation. I just sit in a quiet place and listen to relaxing music with my eyes closed and try to let my head settle a little.

Meditating, in fact, is what brought me to the conclusion that most of the time when I crave sugar what I’m craving is comfort. I’m looking for validation. 90% of the time, when I’m reaching for sugar it’s at a point when I’m feeling like I’m not enough. When I feel embarrassed, unqualified, uncertain, or deficient. It led me to the rather interesting realization that a lot of my work snacking is directly centered around worrying that I’m not actually qualified to do this job that I’m loving so much, that somehow I’ve been exceptionally sly in convincing everyone of my amazingness and at any moment they might find out I’m just sort of average. The weird bit is that I don’t actively feel that way. I don’t sit around thinking I’m not good. I do, on most levels, believe earnestly in my skills as a writer…but maybe because I like this job so much, I worry about not being as awesome as I want to be.

imageI had it confirmed yesterday, as I ate my second donut (enter the Cruller of Deficiency) while driving around town trying to find a way to fix a problem I feel responsible for. I don’t want to go into detail here because it’s not just about me, but in the end I felt like I carried blame, so I ate donuts. I don’t know if it goes as far as punishing myself, because as I’m eating the donuts I sure do enjoy them. I still haven’t figured out all the ins and outs of how this thing works, I guess.

So that’s where I’m at right now. Realizing the source of a lot of my sugar addiction. Working on immediacy and presence. Being in the moment. It’s tough stuff, man. As an update on the work snack situation, we’re ordering from NatureBox now and I have input! It’s not perfect, but it’s much better.

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