Soooooo…where have I been?

31 Jan

I’ve been wading through the craziness of family and work life. I won’t say that I’m any THINNER than I was the last time I posted…but I WILL say that I have made some changes toward the HEALTHIER side of life.

I think that I can FINALLY say that I’ve reinserted an exercise routine into my life. For about the past three weeks I’ve worked out three to five times a week. Nothing fancy or overwhelming — just 45 minutes on the treadmill on most days. However, I’m excited to share that I’ve discovered a new fitness treat: YOGA.

I had tried a yoga class once or twice — YEARS ago…but it didn’t stick. Recently, a yoga class has been offered a couple of times a week where I work.

I. LOVE. IT.

It’s strenuous…and fabulously relaxing.

In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I downloaded an app for my iPad so that I could do a short yoga session at home after I finish my treadmill workout. The stretching is fabulous — and I’m shocked to discover that I might still have some abdominal muscles underneath my fat. I know this because they are SORE the day after a yoga class.

Who knew?

Excuses, excuses . . .

18 Sep

I have this really bad habit of disappearing for a month at a time from this blog. Sorry about that. Here are my list of excuses:

1) I was exercising nonstop — for an entire month.

2) I was too busy buying healthy foods and preparing nutritious meals for myself and my family.

3) I was doing an in-depth research project on all things weight-loss related.

4) I underwent liposuction.

5) I “Macgyvered” my own liposuction with a pen-knife and a 12-pack of Pixie sticks.

OK, ok. So none of that stuff is true.

Truth is…it’s been a rough month and I’ve self-medicated by eating my feelings of frustration, sadness and anxiety.

Though the low-carb thing really, really works for me…and I never, ever intended to give up pasta, breads, etc., forever…but I dove into them over the last few weeks.

I’m lucky, because I haven’t put on a whole lot of weight, but I can already tell that my waist has taken a hit again. Sigh.

I’m moving back toward a more balanced diet — still protein heavy — but allowing more whole grains and keeping calories/fat within reasonable guidelines. I’ll let you know how things go.

 

Food Porn (Subtitle: 50 Shades of Sugar)

17 Aug

Anybody out there seen the “Creme Fraiche” episode of South Park?

I know South Park is naughty. I’m not a proud watcher –but when I happened to catch this episode:  I. Could. NOT. Stop. LAUGHING.

Why? Because it might have hit a little too close to home.

For those among you who haven’t seen it, I will just say that food and sex are tied together in a hysterically funny way.

I’m NOT saying that’s my problem. But I DO wonder why I continually torture myself with watching or reading amazing recipes that are — more or less — food fantasies for me right now.

For example, I have been addicted to the Food Network for quite some time. Last weekend I found myself watching an episode of Paula Deen and her son making this sinful chocolate-caramel pecan layer cake that nearly sent me into ORBIT. I DESPERATELY wanted to make that cake. And eat it. Every bite.

I don’t really even LIKE cake that much.

And now, I find myself freakishly drawn to any and all recipes on Pinterest.

Especially the most decadently naughty recipes that no girl (in her right mind) should be teasing herself with while on a controlled carbohydrate diet.

Sigh.

WHY do I do this to myself??

Is it torture? Yes, kind of. In a delicious, unrequited taste sort of way.

Heaven help me.

Two steps forward, one step back

15 Aug

And just when I was feeling so good, strong, consistent and proud of myself: BOOM — I dove into a mountain of carbs for about three days.

Sigh.

Well, I’m back on track again — and that’s good. But I am frustrated with myself for straying, because I believe that just messes with my metabolism. And my poor metabolism is screwed up enough. I don’t need to mess with it any more than I already have.

So, today I feel bloated and tired. But it does feel good to be ingesting more protein than carbohydrates again. I can honestly say that I didn’t FEEL good when I was “carbing out.” I felt bloated and I had an EXTREMELY uncomfortable stomach. And, of course, you know the the answer to an upset stomach, right? Feed it bread, or tortillas — anything that will soak up the yucky feeling. Then after eating all that stuff, the tummy feels even more full and tight and yucky.

Can I finally say “Lesson learned.”?

I sure hope so.

Time will tell. And so will I. I promise.

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Soooooo, what about BAD days?

10 Aug

We all have them, don’t we? The “stumbling block” days that trip us up just when things are progressing so nicely. I had one yesterday.

Had it not been for: 1) a friend who provided SUPPORT; 2) a dietary BACKUP PLAN and; 3) finding SELF CONTROL where I thought there was none, my bad day could’ve easily spiraled into a disaster. Fortunately, I was able to rally all three yesterday to nip a nasty nightmare in the bud.

So here’s how it all started: A co-worker had a birthday. In the morning someone graciously provided freshly baked blueberry scones…with a delicious glaze drizzled on top. YUM. But not exactly a green-light food when you are following a controlled-carbohydrate regimen.

I broke off a third of one and savored every bite. Then I took a few bites of cheese to cleanse my palate of the delightful sugar and moved on.

All in all, I felt I dealt with that fairly well.

Then I had lunch out with a friend. Again, I crossed that hurdle with relatively no problems.

The stumbling block came mid-afternoon: ice cream…with toppings…AND chocolate syrup.

Triple YUM.

I had a sundae. It wasn’t HUGE. But it wasn’t small either.

Sigh.

Thank goodness for a co-worker who grabbed my hand (as I was reaching for more) and said, “Don’t. You’ll regret it. Where is your cheese?” Those eight words (and the 60 minutes of tennis she guided me through later in the afternoon) saved my day.

Without a little friendly support and a pre-determined back-up plan (have healthier food choices on hand to help curb my fatal attraction to UNhealthy ones) — I would have fallen into old binge patterns in a BIG WAY.

Yep, folks, it’s true: I am a carb-addict and a binger…but I’ll blog on that another day.

The point I want to focus on today is that a STUMBLE doesn’t HAVE to turn into a fall. It’s ALL. ABOUT. CONTROL. And BACKUP PLANS. And SUPPORT SYSTEMS.

I am working very hard on reinforcing all three of those structures in my life right now. I encourage you to do the same.

To drink, or not to drink?

9 Aug

My immediate response is: Yes. Absolutely…if you are 21 or older, it’s legal and you do it responsibly — heck yeah. After all, red wine has antioxidants and the word on the street is that those little buggers are good for you, right? Right.

Still, the experts would probably disagree in terms of consuming alcohol if you are trying to reduce the numbers on your bathroom scale…for a variety of reasons — but especially if you are older. According to “How to Lose Your Middle-Age Middle” by Dr. Mary Dan Eades and Dr. Michael R. Eades, your liver has a much more difficult time processing/metabolizing both alcohol AND caffeine (yeah, right — just TRY to make me give up diet soda…once again, I’d rather try chewing off my foot at the ankle)…and it would benefit most of us in our upper thirties, forties and beyond to give that stuff up. We might find that our bodies respond much more quickly to our health-improvement efforts.

I tried.

I failed.

That’s not to say that this wouldn’t work wonderfully for some people. But — to me — it feels extreme. Especially when you consider the fact that I’ve given up the vast majority of my beloved carbohydrates. I’m saying NO to french bread, pasta, chocolate,french fries (ooooooh, my beloved french fries), tortilla chips, etc., etc.

I’m just gonna have to throw myself a little bone when it comes to diet sodas and the occasional adult beverage.

You decide what works best for you.

But, for me, the answer to the drinks question is: Yes, please.

 

Sooooooooo…EXERCISE?!?!

8 Aug

Just do it. Get moving. Move it to lose it. Move your bloomin’ arse.

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? And, in some ways, it is. At the most basic level, what we all need to do is MOVE — more than we already are. There’s really no need for spendy gym memberships or equipment. And — let’s be honest — who doesn’t have at least ONE (if not half a dozen) workout video collecting dust in our home???

Yet, STILL, we make excuses and practice avoidance.

Because LIFE gets in the way.

I’ve been thinking (and Thinking…and THINKING) instead of doing…and Doing…and DOING.

Sound familiar?

So here is my challenge — to myself, and to anyone who might be reading this blog: START DOING. Something. Anything.

And do it CONSISTENTLY.

Exercise can be addictive. I know this — I’ve been there before. There were YEARS in my life where I never missed an aerobics class. There were years in my life where I just didn’t feel right if I didn’t get a run in. I have to remind myself that — once upon a time — I ran two marathons…and any number of half marathons, 5 and 10K runs.

Right now I would rather chew off my own foot than think about running a marathon.

And that’s pretty sad.

But it’s also OK…as long as I commit to trying a NEW ROUTINE.

Here are my tips — to myself and others — as to how to get such a thing going:

1. Find a workout buddy. These fabulous people build accountability into our lives. On the days we are crazy to get in a workout, they won’t be — and vice versa. We can happily guilt one another into healthier habits.

2. Let’s do something we ENJOY doing. If we don’t, we don’t do it. Simple as that. For example, no matter how trendy it is, or how fabulous and inspiring Lance Armstrong is, I would NEVER consistently do Spin classes. I took one once that was taught by The Devil. Never again.

3. Reward ourselves for achieving workout goals. No, not with a cupcake. But maybe a massage, or jewelry, or a SMALLER SIZE of clothing. Who doesn’t love pampering — and by giving shorter, mid-term and longer-term goals we, once again, build accountability into our new workout plans.

These are all very simple, common-sense thoughts that we’ve all probably read or heard a million times before.

But, guess what: I bet they work.

Let’s try, shall we?

Here are my Week One goals: 1) 30 minutes of exercise for four days; and 2) Put out a RFP (Request for Partner) to my friends and co-workers to see if I have any takers for a workout buddy.

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