Off to the First Fair of the Year

So Friday night I went to the Washington County Fair…
Kris at Washington County Fair
Whether it is a local carnival, a county fair, or the big state fair these situations tend to be very tricky for people to navigate when trying to eat healthy. As you can clearly see in the background of this photo of myself just outside the midway of the Washington County Fair, things like corndogs, ice cream, cotton candy, funnel cake, deep fried cheese curds and mini doughnuts are scattered like landmines throughout the entire event. Navigating to the healthy choices can prove to be difficult, but it is doable… but let’s be honest… it is an event. However when going to the fair… for me at least food is not the event. I love taking the camera and shooting photos of anything and everything. I take photos of animals, people, rides, abstract colors, anything that catches my eye. I also get a workout in while I am at the fair. By the time I left the fair yesterday I had over 13,000 steps logged. (I aim for 8000-10,000/day.)

So what is a person to do? Go all out balls to the wall and indulge in EVERYTHING? That will surely lead to disaster… that choice leads down a road of destruction that just derails progress. I like to head into these situations with a plan in mind. It is okay to deviate from the plan, but if you go in with a plan in place it is okay. I planned on having a funnel cake for dinner. It has been YEARS since I have had funnel cake, I am a bit fussy about it to be honest. It needs to be big fat tubes, only have powdered sugar on it. It needs to be fresh… yeah… otherwise it’s not worth it.

I planned for funnel cake… I didn’t have it. I DID have… gluten free cheese curds from one of my favorite food trucks. Sadly the truck is up for sale… I felt like it was a sign from the universe… one to have them before I can’t anymore, and two… I need to buy the truck. (Kickstarter anyone?) I split my spicy cheese curds with my friend Jennifer who I was attending the fair with. I ate a good 1/4 to 1/3 of the order, and once I felt that my craving had been satisfied… I stopped. The cheese curds tasted amazing, I wanted to continue eating them… but I know what they do to my body.
Crazy Puppy Gourmet Workshop Spicy Cheese Curds

I knew as soon as I decided to have the curds that the funnel cake was not a priority for me any longer… In fact it is entirely possible walking into the fair that it was off the proverbial menu. I practice this strategy, and it works pretty well for me, so I figured I will share it with you. If I really want something, like I can’t leave it behind or I will feel regret about not having it, I will get it and enjoy it. No biggie right? If I am only feeling so-so about something I tell myself I will just get it next time. I know I will be going to the Great Minnesota get together in a few weeks (the State Fair) and that there will be funnel cake there… but there will also be OTHER things there that I might want to try. So if I simply defer my desire for this food until it is more intense by telling myself next time, and then forgetting about it until the event approaches again I have navigated around the landmine.

I am all about doing what works for you, for some people sharing these high calorie foods is a great option at the fair… some people can eat two or three bites and throw them away (I was prepared to throw away cheese curds). For others avoidance is the only thing that works… if that means not eating at all during the fair, that is acceptable. If that means not putting yourself into a position to be tempted by the foods at the fair or carnival that is okay too. I think it is perfectly okay to make the decision that is right for you.

Cotton Candy

Saying Thanks

So I spoke up in my Weight Watchers meeting today. I do that a lot. My meeting is full of amazing people. You wouldn’t think at 0700 on a Saturday morning people would be so lively but truly the meeting is awesome! The thing about the first meeting of the day on a Saturday is the people who are at the meeting… really want to be there and are truly motivated to, well… get shit done. I am a front row sitter. Studies show people who sit in the front row lose more weight… that isn’t why I sit in the front row… I just like it better there, and I didn’t know about the statistic when I started sitting in the front row. I am always so thankful for all the information all the members have, and I like giving back to my meetings when I feel like I have something valuable to share.
Today we were talking about “BLT’s” bites licks and tastes, but more specifically being accountable for them. I felt the need to bring the group off on a momentary tangent on accountability. Specifically not taking your team for granted. I had gotten myself into a routine with my new job of going to the gym 3 times a week. I had been eating well, and then… they closed our pool for cleaning. This shouldn’t be a big deal they do it every year, and the nice part a about being a YMCA member is I have other locations I can go to.
Instead of going to another location I started just walking as my workout. While it was an okay thing, when the pool opened back up I didn’t head back immediately. It took a nudge, a strong nudge from my support team to get me to get back into my routine.
Once I got back to the gym, after one strong push, Robb said he had hoped that I wasn’t upset that he said I needed to get back to the gym and that he was only doing what I had asked him to do. It was in that moment that I realized how very crucial it is that we thank our support teams when they step up for us. When we ask for help we do so for our benefit. It’s easy to forget that it can be very difficult for those close to us to step into the “danger zone” and mention things that may be deemed sensitive subjects.
For me things like portion control or going to workout when mentioned by people I haven’t explicitly asked to help keep me accountable might be enough to turn me into a raging bitch! It would make me feel vulnerable and violated. When approached by someone I have deemed safe and supportive it puts things in a different light.
I wanted to remind others to thank their support people and not take them for granted. It can be difficult for people to speak up even when we ask them to do so. Just keep this in mind as you move along. If your support person/persons are mentioning things to you, make sure you are thanking them, because speaking up is hard!

Fitbloggin is Days Away!

OMG!! Fitbloggin is days away! The excitement is building inside of me, but I am trying to keep it quelled. I have not set my sights yet on my one don’t miss thing in Savannah like I did last year. Last year was my first Fitbloggin. I was a ball of hundreds of feelings. Portland was a great experience. It was a culmination of so many things that actually led me to be reunited with my cousins whom I had not seen in basically half my lifetime. I was set to travel with friends last year, we had flights booked together and things started changing and I ended up flying out on a flight alone. It was fine, I wore my branded shirt in hopes of someone approaching me at the airport, because I was destined to spend the first several hours alone… or so I thought.

I was so blessed that Brooke approached me at the airport. Turns out she was on my flight! We rode to the hotel together, and bummed around the city a bit. We bumped into bloggers in the lobby that I was stunned to find out knew who I was. I don’t expect anyone to know who I am this year, nor did I last year.

This year my original roommates have had to sadly cancel. I luckily was able to join forces with Liz and will be sharing a room with her for the duration of the trip. (which means I get baby-holder dibs!!) I will miss so many of the wonderful people that won’t be making it this year that I bonded with last year. I know situations aren’t always ideal to get away. Family, work, costs all effect being able to get to the family reunion. Know if you aren’t there this year, you are being carried in peoples hearts, truly. You will be missed.

To those that are coming for the first time this year, please come find me. Last year I was so scared to branch out and say hello to people. I stuck close to those I knew, and I Was afraid to approach people for fear of it being clique-ish. What I quickly came to learn is everyone is so wonderful! We all have stories, and the more you talk to people, the more you are going to want to get to know people! I hope to make more of an effort to engage with people this time, however there is only so much time.

Be prepared to laugh and cry. Be prepared to feel things you didn’t expect. Be ready to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. Be open to opportunities this is a safe place. Be prepared for “the hangover” which isn’t alcohol, but a desire to be with your tribe.

Look for me, and I will look for you, be warned I won’t remember your name. I am horrible with names. I may address you by your twitter handle or blog name. Be in photos! I barely took any last year, this year I want photos and lots of them. Experience the event, and take it in in whatever way you do.

Tweet me/DM me, friend me via the Facebook group and I will give you my cell number to text me if you are worried you won’t have someone to talk to or sit with.

It’s time to dig out those suitcases kids! Kris is Coming to Savannah!

A Swimmers Life

I do believe that I have officially returned to my “swimmers” life. I was sitting at Starbucks drinking my coffee and I could smell the chlorine on my skin. I showered and scrubbed after my Aqua Zumba class on Saturday morning. (Which by the way I LOVED!!)

I think it must be time to start investigating some new soap again. I have some tea tree soap from Trader Joes that I guess I might try.  I am unsure how to get the chlorine off of my skin. I suppose google will give me 1000 different answers but I was hoping maybe someone that reads my blog might have a “tried and true” product they love? I know I need to find a shampoo that gets the chlorine out. The UltraSwim I have been using is killing my hair. Too many Sulfites I guess.  I may just end up having to give up the coloring on my hair.  I know that sounds like a horrible though.  I mean, I just do it myself at home anyway.  It isn’t as if I am paying hundreds of dollars to have someone put color and highlights in my hair… heck I have issues paying to get my hair cut some days.  My hair is short, my color is important.  As I get older the grey becomes more apparent and I am not vain about it, it’s been there since I was 12… henna was my dye of choice at that age… and it was MESSY!!!

So I guess what I am saying is to the swimmers out there, aside from winning the lottery and being able to move somewhere with my own private water source, be it a body of water that is natural, or putting in my own with lighting to treat it in addition to the chemicals does anyone have any suggestions on chlorine removing shampoo or body products?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the smell of the chlorine… I kinda like it (does that make me weirder than I am?)  I just figure it can’t be good for my skin.

Treat Day

I think I am blessed in a way. My job isn’t one that has “Treat day”. We don’t usually have a ton of snacks in the office. Around the holidays there are treats, I have been known to supply the office with baked good and snacks on an occasion but overall it isn’t a minefield like I hear some places are.
It is a pizza junkies dream as I have mentioned before. I would say 3 days a week or so there is delivery pizza coming into the office. With me being off gluten and dairy it isn’t even asked of me if I want to go in on a pie. … Even before I started my “No Dairy, No Wheat, No Fun” Mantra as the boys here call it I wasn’t much for ordering in except an occasional Sushi delivery, or Jimmy Johns Unwich. I usually bring my food… I don’t get a lunchbreak during my 10 hour day… so I need food that I can eat cold, I strive for things that can sit around. Hot coffee Cold water? What are those things!
One of my new employees called in today to tell me she would be stopping by the office to drop off some paperwork. I said it wasn’t necessary, to which she said she had a treat and “You should never turn down a treat”. My mind immediately went into self-hate-negative space… which it does, but I am learning to recognize, and I though, never turning down things is how I ended up the size of a house. I didn’t let myself stay in that headspace long and told Patty I would see her soon.
When Patty arrived she placed a gallon size bag of cookies on my desk… My eyes went wide like cookie monster ready to go on a binge! I immediately grabbed the bag said thanks so much! Everyone will really enjoy these, and turned to give them to my supervisor without another thought. I plopped them on his desk, without taking one. She looked upset, and I explained in a playful fun way that the guys here all say I am on the no dairy no gluten no fun diet. I said that I appreciated it but that I just couldn’t eat it.
She understood, no drama, the world didn’t end. I have spent a good bit of time thinking about this whole, treat yourself thing. I do treat myself… I treat myself by eating the foods that nourish my body. I treat myself by buying the foods that I like to eat. I treat myself by enjoying a better cup of coffee… I am sorry buy Folgers just isn’t my cup of choice. I will drink it, but I prefer something better. I am not one to blankly turn down a treat but I am one to be selective of what treats I have these days. A treat doesn’t have to be defined as food, it can be getting a new bottle of nail polish, or a new dress. It can be a trip to a new gym to try out a guest pass, or even making an extra deposit in a savings account for something bigger.
It is all about framing what you want and finding and fighting for what you want out of life. For me those cookies… they aren’t the treats I am looking for right now. Yes the looked so good, and I LOVE the thought that was behind them… but I will let everyone else in the office enjoy them, and rest more soundly knowing that I treated myself by making the choice that respected my body.
I may or may not have treated myself to a can of the new Apple-berry LaCroix fizzy water when I came home from work, and I may have even changed my dinner plans with the crockpot cooked chicken to spicy pb2 chicken and cantaloupe. I feel good about my day. The sun was out, the puddles of slop were abundant for splashing in… and now I will retire to bed… on schedule!
xoxo ❤

Focus

So, 2014 is underway… I look at my blog and I have FOUR blogs that I started, and never got back to… Do I lack focus on my blog? Possibly… more specifically I have been reaching out microblogging with my instagram account (Do you follow me over there? my name is KrisGetsHealthy) 2014 the year of Honor, honoring myself, my choices… making sure I am focusing on what I need to do to set my lifestyle up for those sustainable changes we need to make to have a lifestyle stick.

Since I took my new job back at the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 I have had an increase in my bottom line… meaning my rear end… not cool! My focus has been to try and make my life, that WAS working to get my weight down, work with my new 10 hour days of high stress near non-stop desk work.

I found that looking at the big picture was SO overwhelming, in as much as it wasn’t working. You can’t manage everything at once. There is too much to control! I have taken to breaking it down into more manageable parts and I have been trying to establish each part into it’s own manageable little bubble.

The first thing I worked on was to establish a bedtime routine… in my job I need to be sharp, I need to look at the bigger picture, visualize traffic patterns for the time of day, cross reference with the general layout of the state/city in my mind, estimate recovery times from airports, think critically etc etc etc… Dealing with brain fog from fibromyalgia is bad enough some days, add a lack of sleep and my goodness a lack of sleep spirals my brain into a VERY messy place!

I have a fairly strict bedtime that I keep. I am slightly more flexible on the weekend, but not every weekend… and if I do it one day I try to keep the regular bedtime the next. (for example if I am up Friday night, then Saturday night I don’t usually stay up). I sleep with headphones on, (sleepphones actually) that I can pull down over my eyes and use as a blackout mask. This is not to say that I don’t have insomnia come visit me on occasion… I have melatonin and a few herbal sleep support things I can take. There is this awesome thing called Sleep Water that I drink on occasion that helps too. My sleep routine is, I would say, pretty well established, it is a habit. A healthy living lifestyle habit. People that tell me they get 4 hours or 5 hours a night on a regular basis and can’t figure out why they aren’t feeling well, or can’t do X (whether that is focus, or be on time, or lose weight, or whatever) I just want to grab and shake… sleep is a foundational element.

So now that I have that habit well established I am looking at what are the bigger holes in my life… what are the things that are SO IMPORTANT to health, and wellness and well being, that I just don’t have a handle on. One of the things that happens with my job being so busy is that I forget to drink..not just water, but anything… So many night I would come home from work and find that I had only had a cup of coffee in the morning, and then whatever I was drinking with dinner! How horrible for my body!! I took to taking a 3 liter bottle of water with me to work, and I’d work to drink that during the day. I did pretty good with that, since it was in my line of sight most of the day. Having something visually there means I can’t avoid it, I can’t ignore it. However ambient water gets old… it started cold in the morning but by the end of my 10 hour shift it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. What is a girl to do… if I don’t see it I wont drink it.

The last few weeks I have been having great success at monitoring my water intake with an app from the iPhone marketplace called Plant Nanny… it lets you set reminders to “water your plant and water yourself.” You set your weight, your activity level and it tells you how much water your body needs. I am set to sedentary since I have a desk job, and since even when I hit the gym it isn’t much activity… it would put me at normal at most. The default reminders you can set are every 2 hours between 8am and 10pm, I have mine set to start at 0400 and run till 0500 reminding me every hour to drink. Even if I don’t go get a drink right away when the little alert pops up it at least puts the idea in my head that I need to be hydrating my body. I need to make drinking a routine that comes as naturally to me as going to bed. I need to focus on hydrating my cells, pushing toxins out of my body, and helping my body learn that perhaps what I felt as hunger is thirst, or a combination of both.

So here I am bringing my #Focus to one thing at a time. I can’t do everything, I am spread so thin at work trying to control everything that I am glad to be finding a balance and being able to pick and choose one healthy goal to focus on here in my everyday healthy life. Finding the focus and determination not to give up. Honoring my body by making sure that I am establishing some kind of healthy routine, and making sure that I am putting it into place. The more you do something the more ingrained it becomes.

Do you track your water or do you find it’s just one more thing to try and keep track of? How much sleep do you get a night? Do you try to get 8 hours? What kinds of healthy living routines do you focus on in your life?

Catching Zzz’s and the Fourth Meal!

One of the things I neglected to post about yesterday was that among the things Cassie spoke about on Saturday was how crucial sleep is for each and every one of us. Especially for weight loss. As many of you know I work some pretty crazy hours, right? I get up at 0300 in the morning M-F and work 0400-1400 (meaning I am in the office at 0345, because I start on time, knowing what is going on and if my relief is on time I finish at 1400, rarely do I get my feet out the door of the office before 1415) this means I spend 10+ hours a day at work. How much time does this leave for the rest of my “life” In short, not much. I used to work nights, and I kept a crazy schedule, sleeping when everyone else in the world was awake… I used to have sleep apnea and slept, and even napped with my CPAP on. It didn’t take long for me to realize just how crucial sleep was in my life. Being behind the wheel for my job as a driver meant i could be putting others at risk if I was drowsy.

Did you know that sleep helps your immune system? Yep! Your body works to restore your body when you rest. Think about it, it makes so much sense right? All day long it has so many things to do to keep you functioning that when you finally sleep and rest it can take care of itself. So sleeping, and taking care of yourself, is truly letting your body take care of itself!

Sleep also regulates Leptin and Ghrelin which are the two hormones that regulate hunger and satiety. Cassie spoke about a common phenomenon that gave me a chuckle as I used to see it all the time when I worked nights. I call it the bar closing munchies. The longer you are awake the hungrier you get, and the less satisfied you are. Have you driven past a McDonalds at about 2:30 in the morning? Have you ever seen the line that extends around the building? Is everyone on the planet SO HUNGRY they can’t go home and make something, and they are never small orders… it is always several burgers, multiple orders of fries, junk garbage and crap. (no offence) You eat the food you would normally eat, plus extra, because you just aren’t satisfied. That’s the leptin and ghrelin being disrupted by being tired!
This is why I believe TacoBell has cornered the market on the “Fourth Meal” Cheap carb laden food that will carb bomb you into sleep. If you believe that it is the tryptophan in the turkey at thanksgiving dinner that makes you pass out, you would be mistaken. It is the stuffing, the potatoes, the rolls, the starchy corn, the ticking time bomb of carbohydrates sending your body into shock, nap needing mode. That “fourth meal” at TacoBell will do the same thing, fill your stomach up enough to make you “full” send you crashing out to sleep just long enough to wake up in the morning wondering why you did that to yourself.
I know when I am up late I find myself starting to get hungry, I look at the clock, often times it truly has been 8 hours or so since I last ate and my body might actually be telling me it is in need of something as time has slipped away from me. Other times, I have been consistent, had enough to sustain me and I can tell myself it is time for bed and I don’t need anything else. It is okay to be hungry.
Sleep helps the brain, it helps the body. Adults should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night, how much do you get? I have a bedtime… yes a 30-something adult with a bedtime. It sounds superlame right? My phone goes into Do Not Disturb mode at 1700 (5pm) meaning you can’t reach me by phone unless it’s an emergency. This is the time I get into bed. Yes it seems excessive, but I am one of those, I need a drink of water, oh I have to pee again people.
I get somewhere around 8-9 hours of sleep a night. I need it, my job is high-stress and super demanding on my brain. I can tell when I am not getting enough sleep because it starts to effect my work. I occasionally slack on getting my sleep and I pay for it for the next day or two. It’s usually the second day that is the kicker.
Being consistent with my sleep is the key. I vary a bit with my sleep on the weekends, staying up a bit later on Friday, but still getting 8-9 hours. It is just something I find valuable to me.
How about you? Is the only time you get the proper amount of sleep when you are sick? Do you think this might be an issue? Do you have a bedtime?