How Did Your Weekend Go?

How did your weekend go? Did you unintentionally undo the entire weeks worth of hard work over the weekend? Did you head out to a BBQ and have yourself a burger and a few bottles of beer along with a good time and forget about all the tracking and working out it takes to undo those choice? Did you sit in the dark of a movie theater shoving handful after handful of salty buttery warm popcorn into your mouth while viewing a summer blockbuster?
I am here to tell you it will be okay, it isn’t the end of the world, however I am also here to tell you that you need to nip that shit right now! I had a VERY successful weekend. I met, and actually exceeded my goals for activity (on both my Polar Loop, and Weight Watchers Active Link both days). I am super focused right now on what “could” happen if I just gave up.
I can’t give up. Right now I have been given a HUGE opportunity. The question is, what will I do with the opportunity. I have two options the way I see it. I can mope around and mourn the loss of my job, eat garbage and feel like I was a failure. Enter a shame spiral and then truly have failed myself, which will accomplish ZERO things to bring me closer to my goals. Or I can take this time to laser focus on what I want for my life. I am hunting for a job, and while I hunt I can take every opportunity to make sure my nutrition is on point and that I am getting as much activity in as possible. Yes this is ultimately causing a problem for my wedding… in that I now need to have my dress altered, but in the grand scheme of things… if that is the worst thing that is going on… that is truly a first world problem.
In general I don’t really find that weekends have been a problem for me, but I know in talking to a lot of people that it is a truly difficult time for most people to eat right. One of the things that has helped me stay the course, and is often focused on at Weight Watchers is having a snack on hand at all times. I ALWAYS have something on hand. I have had this in place since I was young. It was more ingrained in me because of my brother needing to have something incase his blood sugar dropped, but it carried over into my adult life. There was/is always something with me, be it in my purse or car. Usually Almonds, or an apple, I’ve been known to carry popcorn or string cheese (yes it gets warm, no i don’t care, or mind).
Another things that helps keep me on track for weekends is keeping my routine. I still have a bedtime and an “alarm” or wake up time on weekends. Everyone has a bedtime, not just kids. Whether you know it or not you have a bedtime, it is the time at which you go to bed. Mine tends to be the same time every night. This works for me, it helps ensure that I am “operating” at my best everyday. I prefer to get 8 hours of sleep, I can do with less, I don’t usually get much more because my body just won’t let me sleep more unless I need it.
The last few nights I have been up later than usual, like 10 or 11 PM, it’s okay it’s the weekend, but I am slipping out of my routine and that is stopping tonight.
Summer is starting to slip away, despite the fact that it seems Minnesota is now getting the hottest weather of the year. This means soon my favorite new activity (outdoor swimming) will end. Fall will bring the opportunity to find some new activities. I plan on at least a few 5k’s this fall/winter to help keep pushing me through. I also want to start a training plan and squirrling money away to eventually make my goal of a Disney Run a reality.
So now that Monday is here… are you going to be starting it right? I’ll be drinking my water, eating my veggies & lean protein and getting my exercise in. I want to see progress, I want to feel good, I want to know my hard work is paying off. What is one think you are going to work on this week?

Big Dreams for 33, and Food For Thought.

33… Yep, a double digit birthday. I am choosing to look at this birthday that has just come to pass as the birth of a positive year.  There are a lot of traditions and stigma about the number 33.  I believe (but am not sure so don’t quote me on it) that it is the Chinese that believe the number 33 and women are a bad mix.  There is some superstition about buying meat and chopping it?  What a waste if you aren’t going to eat it in my mind.

I am looking at 33 as holding extra possibilities for positive things to come my way this year.  33 when separated forms two prime numbers.  Two positive prime numbers.  I am welcoming the positive things into my life.  I spent my birthday setting a positive intention for myself, and for the future of others.  It can’t hurt right?

Thank you so much to everyone that wished me well for my birthday! It meant a lot to me that so many people from all over the world took a moment from their day to think of me and wish me well.  It lifted my spirits so high.  Thank you.

So I had planned on no cake for my birthday this year… and I mostly made it… mostly.  But the #JustTrollin side of me says it is time to fess up.  There was lots of cake… Sunday I made cake balls… actually Saturday and Sunday I made cake balls, but not for myself.  I made cake balls for a baby shower, and it was so much fun.  I sampled a bite of one.  That was enough.  There was also a very small Carvel ice cream cake that made its way into my house on Sunday night.  It was the smallest ice cream cake I have ever seen.  I only ever eat the vanilla ice cream off of those cakes so it was in the end a very successful birthday when it comes to food consumption.

I am working on putting together a training plan for myself this week.  With my epic sunburn still healing and my cold still in partial swing I have been a slacker at the gym.  I have been yelling at myself for not going already this week. Tonight I went to a new pool! Not a new gym… a new pool!

Bloomington PoolI confess… I love to swim… however I do not think that I have been swimming outside, since I was probably 16 or 17 years old.  Yep, I’ll wait while you do the math… yes, that would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 years of indoor only swimming.

Today I was brave.  I joined my friends Maria and Jean (and Jean’s son, my favorite little boy in the whole wide world Dexter) and went swimming after work!

imageI couldn’t get over how different it felt to be in the water outside in the sunshine.  Obviously I am a summer baby.  Mom tells me stories of how I could swim before I could walk… and how she spent the Fourth of July on a boat on the lake in a bikini because it was too hot for anything else and she just didn’t care what it looked like she was pregnant and uncomfortable.

I felt comfortable at the pool in my suit with my friends.  I jogged and bounced around in the water.  I swam around.  I soaked up some rays, carefully sunscreened 30 mins prior to going out in the sun this time.  I don’t need anymore nasty burns like the one I am still dealing with.

I can’t honestly wait to go back to the pool again.  I think this may have to become a supplement to my summer activity, and it might just be what I have been looking for to change up my summer routine.

Do you have a favorite activity that is different indoors than outdoors?  I know running has to be very different inside than outside, but I never thought swimming was all that different depending on the pools location.  This has been some great food for thought for me.

Cupcake Crisis 2014

Friday got off to a very rocky start. I was driving to the gym before work doing about 65MPH when my car decided to decelerate quickly to about 20-30 MPH. I was thankfully in the right hand land, threw on my four ways as the tractor trailer behind me neared and my car decided to remember how to accelerate again. I exited at the ramp that was thankfully very close and pulled into a flat parking lot over 4 spaces knowing I want going anywhere since the engine light and Trac Off light were now displaying on my dashboard.
I gathered all the info I needed (where I was, where I needed to be towed to policy numbers etc )and began to call for help. Once I got the tow-truck in route I headed into the Byerlys store for something to drink. There is a Caribou Coffee inside most of these stores. I got myself a cafe au lait and walked around the store. It was going to be at least an hour before my tow arrived. I wanted to get some activity in. After all usually by 8:00 on a Friday morning I have 7000 steps thanks to my YMCA class. That wasn’t going to happen.
I made the misstep of walking to the bakery section. See earlier in the week I had made the choice to have a cupcake. Wheat, dairy, sugar, fat delicious hit on all the sensors amazingness of chocolate cupcake with white chocolate cheesecake raspberry frosting and a raspberry jammy filling. Since I ate that cupcake all I have done is think about that cupcake day and night and try and get another fix. This is not a good thing! It shows me how addictive the combo is to me.
Eyeballed the fresh doughnuts in the case. I looked at the wide variety of cupcakes in the window. My brain kept uttering the phrase it’s ok eat it, you deserve it. You’re having a bad day. You’ve got weekly weight watchers points for this reason. I turned tail, grabbed a warm 1 liter bottle of Coke Zero for $.99 and proceeded to the checkout. No I was having coffee, which I planned for.
No cupcakes. No doughnuts. Those are not what weeklies are for. I walked back to my car. I thought more about those effin cupcakes. I thought about last months weight watchers routine. Is it worth it. The cupcake I had before was worth it. It was not eaten in an emotional place. It was eaten because I was in the mood for a cupcake, it was exactly what I wanted, specifically. I didn’t even use weekly a on it. What made the cupcakes and doughnuts in the case Friday morning not worth it then? This took thought, it was because I wanted them to soothe stress. To ease frustrations that were out of my control.
There are always going to be situations that catch us off guard. Whether it’s a cupcake crisis, or a lack of plans for dinner. Situations change and we can’t always be in control. I am slowly learning to keep looking deeper at every decision I make in hopes of finding out more about myself.

Oh and eventually I got towed to the dealership by a super nice tow-truck driver. I made it to work where everyone was super sweet. I was being very hard on myself for being late. I felt like a failure even though things were out of my control. There is a bad sensor in my has pedal, they had been chasing this issue in my scion IQ since I got it in June. Finally the parts have been ordered to fix it!

Hoop De Do!!!

So yesterday I was feeling mighty crummy.  Between my fibro, and my ehlers-danlos I don’t want to move.  Work stress isn’t making my life any easier, I can only imagine that some of the pain in my shoulders and back is due to the “weight” upon my shoulders which included coming into work to fix a crisis over the weekend.  I received much thanks from my customer for my efforts, however not even a thanks from my boss.  :/ Makes me feel like crap, makes me wish I didn’t care so much, but that is who I am.  The shipment I worked on after my bedtime on Saturday night was something near and dear to my heart, and I would not change what I did.  I just wish I could feel better.

My weight continues to fluctuate right around 300 pounds.  I am not happy with it.  The option of surgery lingers in my mind, lingers as a last resort, teases me with its simplicity, I would finally know for sure hunger.  I do what I need to do, and the progress is slow, I would SEE progress with surgery.  However I truck along on the bumpy path where I fight to find satisfaction.  I know I can do anything, you can do anything.  There are answers out there for all of us.

Yesterday was set to be one of my gym days, with my chronic pain I fight to keep a set schedule, I made myself go to the gym with the intention to just soak for a short while.  I wanted/needed the heat to try to get the muscles in my body to relax.  I put my headphones on and sunk into the hottub for just a little while.  The heat is dangerous for my E-D.  It makes my joints more lax and prone to injury.  So I took my whole time slow.  While getting dressed I saw a woman with the shiniest pretty hula-hoop! If you know me, you know I love glitter and sparkles.  I joke that I am a five-year old kid, but in every joke there is a grain of truth. I am a grown up kid.  Do you remember my post about why we have to workout instead of play?

I commented on how much I liked the look of the hoop to my fellow locker room woman, and she told me she makes them.  It was like fate had taken hold and pushed me into the gym yesterday because even though I didn’t work out, I met someone amazing!

I would like to introduce you all to someone amazing!  Her name is Theresa she blogs over at <a href=”http://hoopwoman.wordpress.com/”&gt; Hoop Woman She is a motivational speaker!  She is a Hooper!  I have been intrigued by hooping for a long time but I think I am just too big to hoop.  In my mind I have the Your Momma jokes in my mind about a hulahoop being a belt.  I think about my size 32/34 pants and how big I was and how far I have come and think… someday I want to try it.

We chatted a bit about all kinds of things and Oh My Goodness, Theresa is Amazing and we seem to have very similar outlooks on so many things!  Turns out she is a Ted Talks speaker!  She showed me some of her hoop skills, and I was amazed.  If you have some time please check out her talk! http://youtu.be/OgZVRV7jqWc

I left the gym feeling like I had been put there by the universe for a reason.  A reminder that I just need to keep going, that just like I tell everyone else not to give up, I must not give up.  I keep pressing forward to be amazing, to do amazing things.  I am on the right path, it just takes time for things to get into the right places.

I am a puzzle cube, you have to keep turning the puzzle around, sliding pieces back and forth, rotating the puzzle, trying things, and eventually the answer becomes clear, but you cant just give up or nothing will ever become of it.

I get it universe.  Thanks for the reminder… and thanks for the new friend!

 

Just Keep Swimming, Walking, Jumping, Playing!,

I invite you to climb into the way back machine with me for a moment. Crank it all the way back to your childhood. Remember those awesome school lunches, whether it was mom or dad packing you your very favorite lunch, be it peanut butter and jelly or a ham sandwich. What was the very best memory of school? Was it math class, or science? I was partial to dissections myself so science for sure, but many people think back to recess! I never really enjoyed it, the fat kid that sat alone and had no friends, was not picked last because that would require participation and there was no participation… But that’s not what this is about.
At some point in our lifetime we go from having playtime and recess to having to go workout. Why do you suppose that is? This morning I went to the gym and had a great time. I did my normal 45 mins of water walking/jogging that I had been doing, and was fully prepared to do more as my body allowed but instead found myself with a few friends playing an impromptu game of water volleyball. Now that being said I have exactly ZERO hand eye coordination. I was super hesitant to even join in at all, but with a little bit of coaxing I had what was quite possibly the most fun at a workout ever!
Laughing at the ball flying backwards, getting splashed in the face, chasing people around the vortex pool. We had become a group of grown up kids and it was pretty awesome!
I would have never even thought to play ball ever, let along engage in this activity in a public setting where anyone could see me. I am so grateful to have such awesome people in my life that help me to step out of my comfort zone and push me to do things that I think I can’t do.
Laughter heard the soul, smiles light up the room, and friends lift you to unimaginable heights. I am thankful to have had adult recess today at the pool, today I did not workout, today I played, and I cannot wait to go play again soon! Remember it isn’t about how much you can do, it is about doing something, anything, to get moving.
So what do you do to play? I don’t think that going to the gym and getting on the dreadmill sounds like fun, are any of you on a sports team? Bowling soccer kickball? Do any adults still play?

Day from Hell in Survival Mode.

So Last week I had a day from hell… if I had to pick a day where I was on a path for a disaster of derailment, Thursday would have been it.  I was swamped at work all day.  I had a workout scheduled on the books.  I was tired by the end of the day.  Worn out, and just so ready to call it a day.  I got in my car and headed the opposite direction from my house.

There are several ways I can go to get to the gym from my office and I knew if I went past my house, I would be on auto-pilot and just go home.  Looking back at the day, the self care involved in going to the pool was likely the best thing for me after the day I had already had… but I would have liked the events that followed to have not occurred.

I completed my workout, which included a little bit of jogging with the current in the pool.  I am after-all slowly training to walk a 5k, and I would love to not be last! Anyway the workouts are going ok, although I need to think about saving for some kind of waterproof mp3 player.  I got to the parking lot, approached my car and started slipping on the ice.   I fell most of the way to the ground grabbed the handle to my car-door to stop me from completely slamming into the ground full-impact, my phone bounced out of my pocket and fell to the ground and you guessed it. Shattered the screen.  I wasn’t far from Best Buy, who I have my phone protection plan from, so I went there, which meant I wasn’t on schedule for dinner and bed.  After waiting at Best Buy they told me if I needed the data (the 180+ photos off my phone) I would have to go home and back it up.  So i sadly walked to my car, grumpy hormonal and emotional.  I got to my car, being extra careful not to slip again… I look at my tire and see something shiny.

There was a screw in my tire.  FUCK! I pushed on the tire it was still, as far as I could tell, fully inflated.  I drove the opposite direction from home to Costco where I bought the tires.  They told me it would be 1.5 to 2 hours to get my tire fixed.  At this point I was in toddler-meltdown mode.  I said fine, just fix it.  I grabbed a cart and started wandering the store hungry and crying.

Sample ladies… sampling bananas foster trifle.  Oh lord help me.  I walked past, and I walked past again.  She was just across from the cuties.  I grabbed a bag, and a cooked chicken, and a container of blueberries.  I cried as I walked.  I put the chicken back knowing I wouldn’t eat the whole thing before it went bad this late in the week.  I grabbed some cooked shrimp with cocktail sauce you get an insane amount of shrimp for a low number of points on Weight Watchers.  I was trying to keep my head about me.  I sampled a small cube of Tillamook cheddar cheese and my phone rang.  More bad news, the tire center has now broken the stud on my wheel. FUCK ME! They tell me about 10 more mins and my car will be ready to go.  I just start crying again.

I don’t even want to check out at this point.  I just want to leave my cart and go home.  I grab some allergy meds, and a box of the Fiber One chocolate chip cookie brownies that they finally started carrying (they carried the brownies, but not the chocolate chip cookie kind before) and headed for the registers.  Small talk with the cashier ended with him being extremely happy his day was better than mine.  I was to the point where my small talk gene was just shot.

I went and got my car and wanted nothing more than junk food.  I had not really had that much to eat during the day, I could have grabbed a burger or something.  I drove home, passing a crap-ton of fast food places.   Including on the last few blocks, just before my house, a Burger King and a McDonald’s.  I kept telling myself You do not really want those things, you are working toward being healthy, this is stress induced.  You do not need to eat a burger just because it is quick.  You owe it to yourself to take the time to sit and eat your food.

I got home and sat down on my bed and cried.  Took my medicine for the pain that was growing in my neck and back, and I went to the kitchen.  I weighed out my shrimp, 6 ounces worth, I grabbed some fruit, and a skinny cow chocolate bar.  I sat quietly, and just wallowed in all the bad shit that had happened.  I wallowed in the jury duty notice I had gotten the day before.  I cried over all the shitty stuff that happened that day, and then I tried to find the good things that happened.

1.) The day was over, I was about to crawl into my warm bed

2.) I had insurance on my cellphone, even though I had broken it, it would not cost me anything to get it fixed.

3.)The tire that had a screw in it was not flat when I found it, however if I had not found it, it could have/would have been flat at 3:30 am the next morning when I went to go to work and I’d have been late and had to change it in the snow.

4.)I stayed in control of what I ate despite a bad situation where I would have and could have easily just grabbed a pizza or burger before.

5.)I stuck to my plans to workout.

So I slept through the night, mostly.  I woke up Friday, and greeted the new day for what it was a new day.  I tried singing to my coffee syrup.  I went into the day with a positive attitude, it was a rough day too, but it was one day.  I continue to babystep my way along.  Proud that I survived a shitty day.

Gaining… a foothold.

So here I sit, it is almost 5am.  My neck and back are sore, my body aches, but we are coming to an understanding.  Since Saturday I have been to the gym (well including Saturday) 4 times.  I have had FOUR 45 minute water walking sessions in the vortex pool.  This isn’t just regular water walking, this is against the current.  One of them I have had company for, one I had the pool all to myself for.  I find myself mostly just counting my steps to about 110 then realizing I am just counting and then trying to focus on something else, and then find I am counting again.  It isn’t bad, it is just a thing.  Yesterday I focused hard on the things that are super difficult for me since the vortex was mostly empty for the 45 minutes I had available.  Walking backwards, with my pelvis/spine properly aligned, not hyper extending my knees, and with good posture.  I would do a few laps of that, then do some sideways focusing on trying to get my feet to orient the “normal” way.  My hips aren’t normal, and that contributes to some of my back issues.  It is all connected, and I can clearly see that with my body.  When the problems start below the percolate up, just as water drips through coffee grounds to make things change.

I already feel like I am regaining a bit of strength as I return to the water.  Perhaps it is all in my head, perhaps my body knows that I am not ready to give up this fight.  I have always done my best work in the water.  After all I could swim before I could walk (#Waterbabies4life!) The water was always good for my fibro, and its the safest place for my ehlers-danlos.  I am not going to rush myself onto land anytime soon.  While I feel pressures to try and workout with my friends, and make my workouts and schedules match theirs, I know that this isn’t about anyone but me.  I have to do what works for me, for my schedule, I live a crazy life, it is hard.  The more I flex my schedule the harder it is on my body and I can’t do that.  I can’t keep up. This is my reality.

I am grateful this week that I finally got to have dinner with a friend whom I had not sat down to talk with since last January.  He and I went out to dinner at Matt’s Bar.  (Home of the not diet friendly JucyLucy!) A Burger stuffed with cheese! I counted my points all day long, and I did just fine.  The burger was awesome, the company made it even better.  I laughed, I nearly cried, nothing shot out of noses, not even boogers THANK GOD! We are going to try and work on a more frequent than once a year catch-up session.  (I can only hope for this, as hard as it is to see some of my friends, this guy is the hardest one to nail down it seems!)

So I feel like this week so far has been a success, I am getting the swing of things and moving forward with my progress back into the swing of exercise.  I do have a 5k walk on the books for July.  I signed up for the Minneapolis Color Run, I plan to walk it, as we discovered running is quite possibly the worst thing for me.  (Maybe speed walking?)  I wanted a goal on the books, other than the obesity 5k in April with Gary from Charities Challenge. So yep, that’s where things stand!

Happy Thursday! 🙂