Friday, January 22, 2010

not missing...just conflicted

Did anyone see the Biggest Loser on Tuesday?  When the red lady only lost a pound and Jillian was screaming at her?  I was yelling at Jillian, and my kids are going "wow, she's just like you".  That's exactly how it goes for me. Exercise exercise exercise....count calories, count every bite......and...nada.

I started this blog believing that if I just exercised a lot more, and was super-hyper vigilant about every mouthful that I put in my pie-hole, that somehow, eventually, the stars would align and I would prevail. My husband watched me, encouraged me and comforted me when nothing happened. He also gently told me that I had to consider other options, because he could see me going through this for the next 8 years, as he has watched me for the last 8 years.

So.....we went together to a seminar on bariatric surgery to find out more. I went reluctantly, not believing  that it was an option, and I didn't think it was an option that was attractive to me. I didn't want to cop out, and take "the easy way" out and I wanted to do it "the natural way" but the more I listened, the more it seemed that it was a tool, and one that might help my metabolic problems. Apparently, this kind of surgery lets the brain know that the stomach is full, and that there is no starvation going on. I am going to find out a lot more about which procedure would be the most appropriate.

So, there you have it. I felt a bit worried about putting it out here, because it feels a little like I'm letting someone down, but that's crazy. This is my life, and my journey, my body and my health. I need different tools to help me succeed because my metabolism is screwed, so I'm exploring my options

Monday, January 11, 2010

Alice not in Onederland

I didn't make it to onderland this week. In fact, I put on .6 of a pound. I don't know why. If I could find something to own, some reason for not losing, I would claim it happily - but I don't, and there is something about it that defies all logic. I ate on plan, and did not cheat - not once.  I exercised for between 1.5 and 2 hours per day using a mixture of exercises. I sweated,  wore a cardio monitor to make sure my heart rate was up and i wore a pedometer to keep track of all the steps taken. All I can think of is that I built muscle and that might account for the lack of loss.

This process does make me feel a little like I'm Alice and I'm falling down the rabbit hole. There is no logic, and no explanation. It gives me the shits and make me feel just a little crazy. I wish that I had some dreadful vice, like going through the drivethrough at McDonalds or KFC multiple times in a day, or eating gallons of icecream, munching on dozens of donuts or drinking like a fish. Then....I could heroically go through the painful withdrawal and learn to live without them and bingo bango...the scale goes down. But no. Crap, Crap, Crap.

I won't give up though. I will continue to exercise, because I really really enjoy it, and I am seeing a doctor tomorrow who can hopefully point me in some direction that may be helpful. Wish me luck.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pizza Saturday

Pizza Saturday is a tradition for us. Every Saturday night we go pick up Ron's mum, and go to the local Pizza Factory. We've been doing this just about every week since we moved here 5 years ago. We go in, Ron has a bit of a whine if there are more that a couple of people there, we ignore him. He goes to the jukebox and puts some money in. If I'm really lucky, he doesn't play the string of songs starting with "Hey, good lookin""...I swear, I frigging HATE that song.  Anyway, I digress.

There are 6 of us, and we generally get the same pizza. 1 extra-large, 1/2 pepperoni with mushrooms, and 1/2 Serpent special without cheese. It has tomato sauce, onion, mushrooms, green peppers, olives and ham....just no cheese. We get some spicy chicken wings and a serving of breadsticks. Usually we each have 1 piece of pizza....the kids eat the pepperoni and the adults eat the other side. I have a piece of pizza and a chicken wing, no breadsticks, no ranch. There is always a bunch of pizza to take home. So, you really could safely say that we don't overdo it.

However, the next day I always feel bloated. I KNOW that I didn't go overboard, but my body tells me I did. I don't really know what the calorie count is on the pizza we have is. If anyone has a good clue, maybe you could let me know. The crust is a normal, not thick, not thin crust. I'm not sure what to do about it....what to cut out. I know that we enjoy the tradition, even the cheesy music, but I have to change something that I'm doing. I want to weigh in on Monday and have registered a loss. I don't want to stay the same.

On the up side, I have done a LOT of exercise this week. I have really enjoyed it and I'm seeing subtle changes. I have eaten on plan, and I hope hope hope that I get to onederland by tomorrow.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sadness, and a new challenge

As you know, I am a substitute teacher. I do enjoy it, and I'm pretty good at doing it. It isn't easy for many people to walk into a room full of teenagers and get them to 1) do what you are asking and 2) not set the room on fire (this really did happen to another sub) and 3) want you to come back again. I'm a gifted sub - I can do those things, teach a variety of subjects while I'm at it AND have a laugh with the kids. I also have the luxury of assessing whether or not I want to work on a particular day. This week I have been at home, and loving it. I've exercised like a woman on a mission (Wait!!! I AM a woman on a mission) and it's been great.  Yesterday I got a call from the school asking me to do a stint full time and I accepted.

The computer teacher at the junior high is a lovely woman - fun, vibrant and a great teacher. Her only child, a daughter aged 23, was killed in a skiing accident. I can't even think about it without crying. This girl, who had just graduated from college in June, was spending some time in Colorado, teaching skiing. She was an extreme skier, was skiing with mates in the back country, got separated from her friends, went into a tree well and couldn't get out. The weather got bad and they didn't find her until the next day, when it was too late. I never met her, but her mother was just as proud of her as a mother could be. So Rose and her husband have gone to be with their families and to mourn their beautiful girl. So I will try to keep her room running and the computers from being trashed while she is away.

Working full time presents challenges for someone who is used to calling the the day her own. I know, I know...most other people have to do it everyday, and yes, I do know that I'm lucky.Anyway.... I have to plan ahead - not just food, but most particularly, exercise. I will have to get up a bit over an hour earlier to get my yoga and cardio workout done, and then walk the Giz when i get home from school. Having planned and made a decision to stay on track without the excuses I would have made before feels somewhat easier. It isn't a day to day decision that I either make - or don't make. Plan, lay out my workout clothes, get up, put them on and get on with it.

So, say a prayer for strength for my friend, and tell your kids, or the people you love, that you love them.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Small changes already

The human body never ceases to amaze me. I've been exercising consistently, but in a kind of half-arsed manner for years. I walked the dog most days, did a weights workout a couple of times a week and I think my body got really comfortable with just doing that.  It's like.....nothing new, no big deal. blah, blah, blah.

During the past couple of weeks I have really worked over my workout schedule, and I can tell that there are differences already. I start the day with a 20 minute yoga workout - a different one each day, then either the BL cardio or body sculpt workouts. Then I go about the day's chores and then take Gizmo out for a really fast walk. I'm getting nearly 120 minutes of good and varied exercise each day, which involves sweating, weights, lots of fast movement and a lot of stretching.

The changes I've noticed already are:
  • My posture is better, or rather, I'm more conscious of doing the things that make posture good. I notice that my abs and rear end are just tucking in naturally. Weird (but good)
  • I can do things from the dvd's that I just couldn't manage last week. I can do many of the stretches much better, and I can do ALL of the cardio work, without quitting.
  • I am going up and down the stairs quicker
  • The hip that was giving me gip is feeling better, more flexible and much less painful. I am getting closer every day to that elusive "comfortable crossed leg postion". Before, there was absolutely no cross leg position that was even remotely comfortable.
I'm amazed that I can tell a difference already. I don't know what the scales will say on Monday. I've been counting my points and eating really clean foods. I've been drinking lots of water and doing everything that I need to do every day. I'm just used to having no change, and part of me just prepares for that. I am thinking that there will probably be little or no change, because I've added some muscle. I know that saying that sounds defeatist, but past experience tells me that I can't get too excited. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This (apart from all the personal stuff) is why it's important

I have four daughters, aged from 14 up to 20, who are the lights of my life. Three are my biological children and one is my step-daughter, so in fact I do have two seventeen year olds who are not twins.  My fight for a healthy weight and lifestyle has as much to do with them as it does with me, and yesterday, I was reminded, again, just how important the example that we set for them really is.

One of the girls has a light schedule at school this year so she comes home before leaving after lunch for her job. Every day, she was lying around on the couch, sleeping and watching tv, and then complaining about how tired she was. I suggested getting out and going for a walk, but that went down like a lead fart, I can tell you.

Yesterday, I was carrying a load of laundry down to the basement, and there, in the basement lounge, was Em, giving the BL cardio Dvd her very best. She was really going for it, and I just called out, "I'm really proud of you". She paused the DVD and said, "we are all so proud of you. You have made this a habit, and healthy eating a habit, and it's because of YOU that we know what to do, and why it's so important." Then she added, "I feel so much better if I exercise hard instead of lying about,  so I'm going to do something every day".

Yay! Yay Yay Yay!! I just can't tell you how happy it made me.

So, while I struggle to beat the scale for myself, I know that I am winning other battles - really important ones.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

heading in the right direction

I had a great day yesterday. I wasn't called in to substitute at school. It would have been a very bad sign if I had been called in on the first day back after the vacation, but then again, our school district is somewhat less than stellar.

I started my day with a 20 minute yoga workout. I love this dvd. It is divided into 20 minute segments and while it could be said to be not for the purist, it works for me. It is approachable, and doable. It is geared at moving fairly quickly from pose to pose, rather than holding poses for a really long time. I did the "power weight loss" segment, and I tell you, I was sweating like a man by the end.

Then I did the BL cardio workout, level one. I am getting so much better at this, but there are still things I just can't do. I have plenty of boobage, and jumping that imaginary rope, with me coming down, while they are still going up, is just not going to work. So I do the low impact version and that's ok.

I cleaned the house, cleaned the fridge and even did the downstairs beer fridge. I chucked out the humongous red velvet cake that a friend had given us, that had a colossal amount of frosting that was sitting in there, doing no one any good. The amount of red food coloring that must have been in that thing just boggles the mind. I don't know why it is, but even though the cake was just gross, it still called out. It's gone, and I feel so much better.

I planned our meals for the week, and did the shopping. Then I took the Giz out for his walk. We just had a lovely time. It felt good to be on top of things, and facing in the right direction. Clean house, clean food and plenty of exercise.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

worries, and why exercise will save me (I hope)

I had tests done last July to measure my Resting Metabolic Rate, or RMR, which is the number of calories the body burns while at rest. Given my age, weight and height, my RMR ought to be approximately 1620 cals. Mine measured in at 840 cals/day. This is not much. This is not good. They repeated the test again and again, but it still came out at that. It has worried me terribly ever since.

After the test, the doctor basically blew me off. He offered no explanation, and no solution. If you were a doctor, wouldn't it pique your interest? Wouldn't you WANT to solve the problem and get to the bottom of why my metabolism crawls like a snail?
It would me. The result upset me terribly. On one hand, it explained things, but on the other hand, it removed some measure of hope. I wake up at night worrying about whether the test was right. I wake up worrying THAT it was right. Then I worry that the worrying has so affected my mindset that everything I do gets screwed up by it, you know, if you believe that something is so....then it is. The whole thing has me in a bunch.

So....what to do? I believe that my thyroid is stablilizing and my next blood test and appointment is at the beginning of March and I have an appointment with another doctor in mid-January. I can't maintain a healthy 750 cal diet but I know that exercise is the best thing in the world for me, and I do enjoy it. In the past, the times when i just forgot about food because I was so busy being physically active were the times when the weight just "fell off". I have to get back to that place. Kind of like my own biggest loser campus.

Every day I take Gizmo out for a fast 40-50 minute walk. I have the best walking track in the world - solitary, beautiful (in a desert beauty kind of way) and soft, because it's a network of dirt roads.I can go a variety of different routes, depending on my mood and the prevailing winds. I am starting to do some yoga every day, which is good for both body and mind. I use a dvd by Sara Ivanhoe, which is great because there are 6 different 20 minute workouts. I am also doing the Biggest Loser cardio workout and am going to start the BL body sculpt workout. I also have to be more active just doing what I do....moving more, moving faster. And somewhere there I need to work in a regular weight training session. I have a great machine....I just need to USE it regularly.

So....that's my plan. Eat clean and count my WW points, but get BUSY, busy, busy..oh, and relax.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

me and my lazy dog

I have heard that having a dog is a great tool for health and fitness. Whoever wrote that obviously hasn't met my dog. He isn't the one panting at the door, guilting me into going out into the cold for a long and invigorating walk. No. He is the one lying semi-comatose on the couch, acting as if he has never heard the word "walk".

Yesterday, the new year dawned gray and cold. It wasn't windy, frigid or snowing but rather just kind of cold and depressing. I did my biggest loser cardio routine, but I still wanted to get out and get some fresh air. I mentioned this plan to Gizmo, who looked at me as if I were completely and utterly barking mad. I think that if he had a voice he would sound a bit like Stewie - "What? in this weather? woman, you have departed whatever senses you ever had". I left it for a little bit but then my beloved husband came down and told that dog that he was going for a walk, so I went too.

The minute we got out, Gizmo's demeanor changed. He got right into it. He certainly stopped to pee on quite a few bushes, but otherwise, he trotted along with his head held proudly. At the end of our 40 minute brisk walk, everyone felt better. Cold, pink cheeks (me, not the dog) warm hands and a feeling of having done well.

It just goes to show. Showing up and getting out there is most of the battle. When we just put all our wimpy excuses aside, get out there and do it, we usually end up feeling great.

No more excuses! My new mantra.