2012 the year that the world Ended… A lookback.

So by now we all have learned that 2012 would not bring about the end of the world, contrary to what some of my coworkers deeply believed.  It would not bring about the apocalypse despite all the snow being dumped just south of my home here in Minneapolis.  What did 2012 bring about… the death of Twinkies, which were never a food  I ate but was often accused of eating too many of… I am glad to see them go.  It was also the year my gym membership was basically “life tuition” as I developed new heath problems, from my feet to my back, hips and knees problems seemed to be the order of things.  Physical therapy replaced the gym for the later part of 2012 and even that has been replaced with no activity as I sit here in a coffee shop on a Saturday morning evaluating what is to come for 2013.

I have been in my job now for almost a year.  Each day I wake at 3am and head to work, I am on from 4am until 2pm Monday through Friday.   My job is extremely high stress and extremely critical.  This week I took my 2 vacation days and I ended up having to go into work to fix a crisis at 5pm on Tuesday.  My job allows no flexibility for me to sneak in things like a quick walk around the block for exercise.  The most working out I get in at work is running into the warehouse to grab parts off the shelves for people when we are super busy, all this while I am doing other things.  It is crazy, and it sucks a lot at times because I feel like a punching bag when things go wrong.  Generally when anything goes wrong, from anyone elses shift, because I am there during primetime it becomes my fault, and my problems and I am the punching bag.  I have not taken to eating my feelings, but I have identified (again) that I know why i never thought I ate my feelings in the past.  It was simply because I wasn’t in touch with anything.  Not the feelings themselves nor the feelings of hunger.  You cannot satisfy that which you do not know.

This year after regaining a portion of my weight, due to lack of exercise I joined WeightWatchers.  Call it denial, whatever.  I don’t like to talk about the gain, but my clothes don’t fit right, I don’t feel good, and I can see it, that “bloated look” is FAT. I LOVE my meetings.  I look forward to Saturday mornings getting to go and share with people.  My leader, Judy, who I didn’t like the first time I love now.  Her passion and enthusiasm is awesome! She is also trying to groom me so to speak to be a WW leader once I hit goal.  It will be a long road from now but she thinks I will be perfect for it.  She is always asking for my imput on the topic and what I have to share, as if I were a lifetime member.  I like the earliest meeting of the day best, it is full of lifetime members, the other meetings of the day are great too, but there is something about the first meeting of the day that is so full of energy that feels like home.

I’ve struggled a lot with the #WW program lately, having not been exercising because of my health I track some days I  don’t track others.  This week I posted a 7 pound loss after the last probably 6 weeks all being small, but steady gains.  Go figure the week full of cookies and treats at every turn I could ignore.  I guess I need the temptation everywhere in overload to be able to ignore it.

HolidayStrategyMeeting

Above is an example of the Holiday strategy session we had this morning on ways to cope with all of the temptations we face around the holidays.  It is great to have a weekly support group meeting.

So really I am heading into 2012, a little wiser, a little wider, and with a lot more support behind me.  Do I grieve for the me that I was in 2011, It would be a lie if I said no, I miss the freedom that I had in my old job.  The ability to just go to the gym for hours, the ability to meet up with my friends and share support and stories and laughter at all hours of the night and day.  However the fact that I now have a routine should work to my benefit, should.  Now if we could just sort out the soft tissue damage in my back, and the issues with my feet… if only if only if only.  I am taking it a day at a time.  I am doing what I can control.  I can make the decision to have the small or medium skim latte instead of the large, I can choose to buy the cut up fresh fruit salad  to save myself a little time at home if it means I will have fruit for work instead of junk.  I used to think that our choices defined us.  I am beginning to rethink that.  I think choices REFINE us.

2013 the year of choice. I choose ME.  What will you choose?

*peeks head out*

Is It Safe? Just kidding! I am still here, still following Weight Watchers.  Still going to meetings working the program.  3 weeks ago I hit the 5% mark, which means I have lost 5% of my starting weight, or something like that.  I dunno I got a big sticker, and they asked me for tips and tricks.  My reply was to just keep going.  Always weigh in, whether you ate breakfast before the meeting or not, whether you went out the night before and had sushi with soy-sauce, and not the low sodium kind.  It is not a race, it is not a sprint, it is a process, an ever evolving process.

My leader, Judy, weighed me in the week I hit my 5% and we chatted a bit before the meeting, she told me that she enjoys the things that I add to the meeting, because I am often very insightful about the topics.  I am only insightful because I have spent my whole life in this never ending battle.  I have read diet and healthy eating/living books since I was a preteen.  One of hte last ones I read is covered in post it notes and actually has a notebook full of scribbles and page number references with it because it made so many good points.

I see a lot of people in my social circle online, (I wish i could see yall more) trying the #Whole30 lifestyle plan.  It sounds really interesting, and I might look into how i can use that in my life, I mean, right now on WW with my schedule the way it is I find I am backsliding into processed food, which is something I have/had worked so hard to eliminate but because it is so much easier to just grab something packaged and know itsWXYZ is a certain # of points I worry about the actual nutrition of it.

I am also off the exercise bandwagon right now.  For those that know me I have been battling a wicked case of PF, I have been icing it down, doing the at home physical therapy, rolling on a golfball, and there has been some improvement, but a week ago something bad happened.  I wrenched my back something fierce.  I could barely move, let alone twist turn or walk without discomfort.  I used every trick in my arsenal, including my fibro pain meds and nothing was touching the pain.  Monday I made an emergency appointment with the doctors office, and they think it is a soft tissue injury.  They did a few tests and dont think there is anything pinched or herniated, and I don’t remember doing anything to injure my back so *finger crossed* we are working on treatment for that.

They gave me a shot, that was supposed to work in about an hour, it didn’t work in an hour… the only thing that happened in an hour was an allergic reaction to the bandaid they put on my backside! (in big red font on my chart is allergic to adhesive, only use paper tape, and use as sparingly as possible UGH!!!) about 24 hours after the shot the pain difference is mostly night and day.  I can move again, without the tears of pain pushing on my eyes.  I am unsure if that is the shot, or the muscle relaxants they game me.  Either way the cocktail I have been downing is at least starting to work.

Friday I will have my first PT session for my back, I am not looking forward to that, I HATE physical therapy.  i need to make sure whomever I end up with understands what ehlers-danlos is, and how extra careful we need to be.  The last round of PT i had was for my knee and they didn’t understand that with my knees the hyper extension is from the disorder and is not something i can actively help and is something they need to be wary of.  *sigh* The thought of PT on my back makes me extremely nervous, and makes my anxiety level go through the roof. However I will get through this, it just means my Fridays will now be Work, PT then home to ice eat and sleep.  Sounds fun…. NOT

Have you been through PT for a back injury? Was it bad?

So how goes it?

Its been a few weeks with no updates in Kris land and I’m pretty sure most of you have come to expect large gaps in my writing, as it’s the nature of the ebb and flow of my busy life anymore. 
I figure while I had a small bit of downtime today while I am off enjoying the holiday I would share that I have broken through the 10+ pound loss mark with Weight Watchers. Yay! I am working the program without fighting it. I’m eating the points like I am supposed to, even ocassionally dipping into my weekly ones for a special ocassion.
The working out is a major sticking point, I’ve been diagnosed with what they are calling plantar faisciatis, and likely a nasty bone spur in my left foot. Its bad, real bad… anything over about 10 mins on my feet and I’m in pain.  Not work through it pain, that’s what got me to this point ignoring it and working through in.  So I’m icing and stretching and doing home pt for it and ill go back for a reevaluation in a while.
Fibro-fog has been really bad these last few days. It has been effecting me worse than I ever recall, I missed my exit for home yesterday while driving, and several other exits over the last few days. Its bad. The wrong words are coming out, words that are close but not right.  Its horribly embarassing amd horribly frustrating.  It makes me isolate myself from people to avoid saying something wrong and embarassing myself. I know it will pass but its just hard.  I’m working on planning meals for the week, atleast one new recipie a week had been my goal, this last week I ate the same thing like 4 days in a row just because it was easy and I couldn’t mess it up.
So here I am on my day off hiding out in the dark, afraid my brain has turned to mush for good, but atleast ill be healther and mushy!
More updates from a coherant person soon I promise!

Can’t Fight the Program

So I haven’t been on the Weight Watchers program long, but when I signed up I pledged that I would give myself over to the program and follow it without question.  Basically I have to let myself put trust into their formulas, follow what they say, and let the system do the work for me.  I am not allowing myself to try and play games with the system.  This may confuse some of you, but I am sure most of you understand where I am coming from.

When I was tracking calories I was always trying to find that magic number, that special balance of calories that golden ratio.  I did crazy things like weigh my fruits and veggies to calculate the exact caloric content of them.  I didn’t track nutrients, i didn’t much account for where my calories came from just that I ate them.

So part of what Weight Watchers has already done for me has made me, or rather forced me to chill out.  When I say things like, I am giving myself over to the program, it is okay to eat this, it is a reminder to myself.  I have had people tell me it sounds like I am part of a cult.  The funny part about it is, I am okay with that.  I ask those around me if I seem more normal, or more relaxed, and the answer has been an undeniable yes.

I am doing my best to not stress about the program, I constantly need reminders that nothing happens without work,  but that the work doesn’t have to be as hard as I made it before. There is a balance to be found, and I am working to find it.

So here we go for another week.

For those counting I am down approx 7lbs down since I started

Week1 at Weight Watchers

So for those that follow me on “The Twitters” You saw something fun on Saturday morning.  Or rather, something that started out unusual.  I was not apprehensive about going for my weigh-in.  See I have kind-of taken this whole new adventure into the Weight Watchers 2012 Points Plus program as a, low pressure experiment.  Seeing as my calorie counting has become such a failure with the added stresses of my job This was logical.  So Saturday morning I tweeted as I headed out to my meeting.  Arrived, hopped up on my scale and collected my very first 5 pound loss sticker.

 

Now those of you that know me, or have known me for any period of time know I am a freaking sticker junkie.  I am absolutely obsessed with all things cute, cuddly and adorable, and also with stickers.  So the simple fact that WW uses stickers as part of the reinforcement for this program is just AWESOME!

 
Changes that have occurred in my household in the last week are things like, planning and packing my breakfast and lunch, instead of ordering Jimmy John’s (mmm vegetarian, add onions and hot peppers).  I have also gone out searching for new recipes again, instead of relying on old standbys.  I made breakfast for dinner twice, once was bacon egg and cheese biscuit cups, and once was hash-brown sausage egg cups.  Both are made in Cupcake tins! Yumm Cupcakes for dinner.

 

I have now attended three meetings, trying to find a group/leader that I mesh with.  I really liked the leader that I met on Saturday, sadly she was a substitute, and her meetings are on Thursday mornings at like 10Am which wont work.  The Sunday morning leader and group that I met yesterday seemed really fun, plus it would put me in the perfect spot to go do my grocery shopping at Target right after.  Nothing like getting inspired, and heading right to the store so I don’t fill the cart with junk right?

 

My fridge is pretty full of good things, I have been eating the same thing for breakfast everyday.  Cottage Cheese with fruit (a combo of pineapple, kiwi, plums, peaches, cherries) and some cucumber slices.  I like adding the cucumber to it because it lightens the flavors and makes it taste even fresher.  You will also find in my fridge tons of mushrooms and zucchini, some salad mixes, grape tomatoes (which aldi had for $.79 a pint!) Seaweed salad.  Then theres the typical base items to build meals from, eggs, chicken sausages, chicken breasts, lean ground beef, steaks.  I want to stop at Coastal Seafood this week and get some shrimp or fish.

 

Of the 5 new meals I cooked last week there was only one miss-fire, which isn’t too bad when you think about it… it called for 4 cups of cheese… I cut it in half… and it was still far too much.  Anything that isn’t a miss goes in my cute little book of dinners along with the point value per serving that should make meal planning a snap!

 
Confession time… I am still not in love with the gym.  Big surprise right? I am trying to keep my modalities mixed, and I am shooting for five days of activity.  I get so utterly bored when I am in the gym, I get in there and I just don’t want to be there.  I know I need to think outside of the box about activity, perhaps a class or something, and maybe shift one of my activity days to the weekend, and maybe try Zumba or something different but I don’t know.  Last week I did 2 days of walking 2 days of elliptical and 1 day on the bike.  I didn’t do any of those things on consecutive days.  I want to keep my body guessing a bit.  I may also spring for a personal training session or two in the next month to familiarize myself with the way the weights in the gym work, because that should become a part of my routine as well.

 

 

 

—–Closing thoughts—–

 

This week did have a rough spot in it.  My friend Mark passed away early Wednesday morning.  I have been grieving, in my own way, trying to feel my feelings, but not let them interfere with my life.  I appreciate my friends that have all reached out to me during this time, and I also appreciate the understanding when I haven’t returned calls because I just needed some space.  This is my first Monday morning without Mark, I mean he hasn’t been in the office in a long time on a Monday, but there was usually a phone call or some laughter.  This is the second coworker I have lost since I started here in 2005, but I was really close to Mark.

 

Mark paid me some of the highest compliments of my life in his last few weeks of life.  Speaking to his daughter and I together telling her how strong I was, and how much of a fighter I am, and how she needs to be sure to get to know me and stay involved in my life because that is important to him.  I am glad that I could provide him some awesome company during his life as well as some laughter and comfort at the end of his life.

 

 

Live Big, Dream Bigger

So yesterday I met my friend Liz for coffee.  Despite me being sick and battling losing my voice, My outcry for help on twitter earlier this week went answered.  Liz got up before 8am, and out of the house to meet me for coffee and try to help me figure out why I am stuck.

We sat at a local coffee shop for nearly two hours talking about where I am, in lots of aspects of my life.  We talked about everything from the eating and exercise component, which I have mostly nailed at this point, but can always stand to use some tweaking, to my job and relationships and the dreaded future.

Yesterday I set two mini-goals with Liz’s help, stop enabling those around me to eat badly by purchasing cookies and doughnuts etc. (which I do for the office, and others around me).  I also intend to get off my diet soda habit again.  Last year at this time I gave up my diet coke habit and it has been finding its way back into my diet now that I am in the office.  On Friday I found that I consumed 3 or 4 cans of caffeine free diet coke.  This is not acceptable!  How much water did I have in that same amount of time that day? NONE!

Another thing we talked about was my job, and how unfulfilled I am.  It is no secret to anyone that sees me at the end of my day that this job is taking its toll on me.  It doesn’t give back, it doesn’t build me up or give my life meaning, it is a job. The tough part of the equation here is that I feel tuck, I need the money from the job, and I don’t know that I am qualified to do much else.  I lack the self-esteem and the knowledge of what else is out there.

Liz gave me some homework of researching 3 potential jobs of my choosing and how to get there, meaning what schooling is required, how much time would it take etc.  Trouble is I am unsure of what jobs I want, or would be good at.  If I suddenly won the lottery and didn’t have to work, would I walk away from my job?  Honestly, yes, but not until they had someone to replace me that was competent.  What would I do after that?  I don’t know, and that is the honest answer.  I know I would want to be somewhere that I could help people who were in the situation I was in.  Overweight, giving up hope, or struggling wanting to change their lives, wanting to get better these are the people I want to build up.  If I could do anything I would love to just be able to talk to these people, tell them not to give up, be a professional cheerleader to them.  I want to inspire people I want to keep them focused on what they want for themselves.  I want them to want success for them as much as I want it for them because in all honesty, I want success for each of my friends quite possibly more than some of them want it for themselves.  I just don’t know how to go about doing that.

I do know that I am not doing that at my job.  The closest I get to doing something that give back at my job is when we do some sort of transport of medical equipment, or transplant type stuff.  When I was young I had such clear goals I was going to be a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon… and then I started college, and realized that due to the lack of preparation I had from my highschool years and previous that I was basically going to have to start over from scratch in remedial classes, I switched majors, continued to work on my weaknesses and explored other options.  It was a slap in the face. I struggled so much at Penn State, and as my health faded, so did my grades and eventually I just stopped going to classes.

I let my failure be the bar by which I measure my worth.  I don’t have a college degree.  I have taken shit for it from people in my life who call themselves my friends.  I have taken shit for it from my family, why don’t you just go back to school.  Well, I still have to work, I still have weight to lose, there are hundreds of reasons.  I also, don’t know what I want to do.

I don’t know what I would be good at.  English isn’t my strong suit and the idea of having to write a paper terrifies me.  So what is a girl to do? Keep plugging along telling myself I can’t change my situation.  I have a resume together for a temp agency, but I feel like that i going to put me in the same situation I am in now, where it is still just going to be a job.  A job where I am unfulfilled a job where I give, and don’t feel.

Liz told me I need to learn to dream bigger for myself, and figure out what I want from my life.  I don’t know what I want from life… how does anyone go about figuring out what they want.  I mean I am 30, and clearly after this long I should have an idea right?  Knowing I was struggling with this we decided that perhaps the better place to start is knowing what I don’t want.  So that is where I am starting from right now.  What do I know I don’t want… Heck, most nights I can’t decide what I do and don’t want for dinner, how am I supposed to decide what I want for the rest of my life?!

I thought this was a weight loss blog.

So if you look back through my blog lately there is just a bunch of bullshit. Really honest to god bullshit. Have you noticed? I certainly have and I don’t like it!

I know that this blog is a place for ME to write about all the struggles and changes that have occurred during the changes of my weight loss but oh my goodness, there has been no weight loss, there has been no weight loss in about a year… I am coming clean. I feel like a fraud. I am living healthy, and the only measure I ever had was the progress of the scale. I never had inches measured, I never had anything other than the scale, and the scale is no longer my friend.

Yes I can use other measures of success like how clothes fit, but those changes have slowed to a stop as well. My fear is that my body has reached that dreaded “stasis point” I have done all kinds of things at this weight to try and get it to shed some more pounds. I have tried eating more, eating less, working out more, working out less, and there I sit fluxing in the same window of weight.
I am endlessly frustrated, to the point of tears. I want to give up so much of the time. I just want to curl up and eat until I can’t move. I want to eat until I am uncomfortable. I want to be reminded of how horrible that time in my life was. That is not the answer. I am not going to do that. However I don’t know what the answer is.
I am not loving my new gym, while the owner is OMG smokin hot, it just isn’t working for me going after work. After I put in 10+ hours in the stress filled, emotional environment that I am in, I find that I just need to decompress, and when I go to the gym I am not getting a release, I am getting more stress. Stress that my hard work is all for nothing. I know losing weight is easy, okay well not easy, but calories in vs calories out, so perhaps scientific is a better way to phrase it. Why can’t I seem to re-crack my own code?
Making the choice to eat healthy is easy for me, I went to the Seward Co-Op lat night and made a HUGE salad, and didn’t bat an eye picking red peppers and cucumbers and onions and skipping all the old pitfalls like croutons and ranch dressing. I don’t miss those things. When I got home I measured out my 2 Tablespoons of dressing for 80 calories, shook my salad and ate it with a piece of chicken. It was great! However temptation lurks around every corner.
My freezer is currently loaded with things like Haagen Dazs Caramel Biscuit Ice Cream and southern style biscuits, and frozen cheese tortellini. The Baking rack in my place, along with pots and pans is home to Oreo cookies (Happy 100th birthday Oreo, thanks for making me hear about you nonstop for an entire day!), and pretzels, and Cheetos, and all kinds of other things. It is like temptation island. One cookie wont kill me, but one before work, then one after work adds up.
I am meeting with a friend today in hopes of getting inspired again, I know I am not going to throw in the towel, but it just seems like such a good idea some days. In light of how sick I have been in the last week or so it just seems like an easy answer. No worrying about how many calories are in the cough drops I am downing to try and get my voice to last through jut one more phone call at work. I know that this is going to be a lifelong struggle, but I guess I had hopes that I wouldn’t have this much of a problem until I was a little closer to my goal.
I need to succeed, this journey wasn’t about weight loss in the beginning it was about living a healthier life, well, I think it is time to change my mindset and really focus on that.
Lean cuisines, salads, and fruit-cups may just have to be a way of life for me again for a while. Also eating the same food everyday for each meal as much as I detest that may also become a staple. It will not be fun but it may have to happen.
I am unsure what it is going to take to get me back out of the slow lane and on the fast track, but I sure as shit cant sit here letting my friends pass me by and life start to do the same. So please, reach out to me, sent me a tweet a text a Facebook message, leave me a comment, bug the crap out of me. As I adjust to the time-change I will also be adjusting to trying to workout before work. May as well make that adjustment at the same time right?
Nothing changes if nothing changes… and something has to change.
This is a weight loss blog… not a weight watcher blog. I am tired of watching my weight do what it wants to, time to grab the power seat again!