Self Care. The Realization That I am Worth More!

Self Care and the realization that I am worth more has been a long and winging road. In my new job I am learning a lot of things, about a lot of things.  Sports haven’t really been a big part of my life.  I enjoy watching baseball, I like a good MMA fight, I do enjoy a football game now and again.  I find myself diving into the sports world to become more educated in hopes of being better at my job.  As I learn more about the great athletes of the past I find inspirational words.

Muhammad Ali once said “I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest! Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.” I really like this quote.  I like to think that he is talking about me, setting my goals and knocking them out one by one.  I can do all the hard things.  I just have to keep trying.

In having moved forward in my life, trying a new career path, being persistent and tenacious in my goals to be healthy and find happiness in my life I have discovered something.  The better I feel the more I take care of myself.  In both the sense of eating better and working out I do better, and in the sense that I enjoy the little things more.

Since I started my new position I have found a new way to reward myself for doing things like going to the gym, eating a balanced diet, and just frankly learning to be nice to myself.  I am of course talking about the simple act of pampering.

A few months ago I went and got a massage… it was not for me.  I spent the next several days, maybe a week sore beyond belief.  My chronic pain and connective tissue issues don’t allow me to enjoy the feeling.  I don’t relax.  I know having my haircut can be a double edge sword for me, sometimes its okay and sometimes it is very stressful. Yes it is just hair, but it’s too much pressure! I have found that getting my nails done is a really great way to spend just a small amount of time on myself.  I can’t do anything except just relax and focus on nothing.  I go every 2-3 weeks for a gel manicure at Ulta.  The girl there that does my nails is fabulous! Her name is Theresa, and she just makes me feel relaxed.

It seems silly that having my nails painted makes me feel more put together, but it does. Some people need to have mascara or lipstick on before leaving the house, I sort of feel that way about my nail polish. I am not a makeup girl.  Mom never taught me how to wear it. We would be late to a lot of things because she was putting makeup on.  It may be part of why I am so resistant to makeup.  My resistance to makeup might also be just that it feels so heavy or oily.

Every time I look at my bejeweled fingers, like little gems, 10 tiny presents on my fingers it is a reminder to me that I am worth taking care of.  IT seems so silly that one little change could do so much for me but it can.  One small behavioral change can be a visual reminder saying Hey Kris! You are awesome! Look at these awesome gifts to yourself!

And since I can, I’ll show off the two April gel manicures.

Self CareSelf Care

Weekend Struggle

What is it about the weekend that just seems to make it so damn easy to stop doing what you know works so well for yourself?  For me I find that it is so easy for me to skip drinking the proper amount of water that needs to be consumed.  I will drink my coffee, and grab a coke zero or a diet root beer when I feel “the thirst” finally hit me.  I am not being proactive about my healthy habits.

My Plant nanny nags me, give me a drink and get one for yourself.  I look at my water bottle and think, It’ll be okay I drink enough.  I have my activity level set as sedentary because realistically I can’t keep up with over 200 ounces of water a day which is what it recommends for my body weight.

I want to be healthy, I want to live balanced.  I don’t however want to spend my entire day in the bathroom.  Saturdays and Sundays are in my mind supposed to be spent relaxing.  The darkness of a movie theater is the best place to be on a hot day.  Sipping on a cold soda shoveling handfuls of salty buttery hot fresh popcorn into your houth in the dark is how I wish I could spend every spare moment of my life.  It can be animated, horror, action the genre matters not, I love the feeling of it… despite people on their cell phones… and I will get up and tell you to get off your phone.  I have been the person to have people ejected from a theater, I have also been the person to tell my own friends to put their phones away.  (I know buzzkill)  This isn’t about movies though.  This is about choices.

Monday morning I didn’t attend my normal Aquatic Bootcamp at work because it was a holiday for me.  Opening Day is a bit of a big deal where I work now and we had the day off to watch the game.  I woke up, got myself a good breakfast at home, and made my way to one of the gyms closer to my home.  There was a shallow water aerobics class I was going to take.  It was, unchallenging.  I pushed myself as much as I could but I felt that the workout was just not sufficient.  While this was a victory of sorts, showing me that I am not as bad off physically as I have built myself to be in my mind, this was supposed to be my activity for the day.

Wednesday morning I arrived to my normal Aquatic Bootcamp class to find that the instructor wasn’t going to be there.  She was sick.  I was faced with a choice, stay and workout or go to work early/get coffee etc.  I stayed.  Others played waterball/volleyball in the pool, I grabbed the water barbells and worked it out.  I did my best to get a workout that felt comparable to what I was missing. However when I honestly look at it I felt a little defeated having not been “worked out” by an instructor.

Friday we had another “weather event” straight out of hell. If hell were made of ice and snow.  I set my alarm early, 5:30, and I still didn’t make it to class at 07:00.  It was 07:30 by the time I made it to the area where I work.  It was a very tough commute.  I felt defeated that I didn’t make it to the gym three times.  I did however keep my water and food on track.

Friday night I went out to dinner with Robb to celebrate his birthday a little early.  We had steaks, and I chose a sweet potato and veggies over some of the naughtier things on the menu.  I ate all of my allotted food yesterday.  I drank all the waters.

As I was in bed last night I found myself looking at all the possible pool workouts for the weekend.  Pickings are slim for sure.  Lots of kids in swim lessons on weekend mornings. I suppose it makes sense, but it is disheartening.  Then there was a glimmer of hope.  A location not too far away, 08:15 Aqua Zumba.

Visions of the fun from Fitbloggin danced in my head as I drifted off to sleep thinking about Zumba, and the ease on the joints the water provided.  At 08:00 this morning my keycard was scanned in at the gym.  I owed it to myself.  I missed a workout.  This wasn’t a makeup workout, this is the beginning of a new relationship with my body.  I am working so hard on ending the cycle of self hate that exists in myself.  Working to end the train that you’re not good enough parade that goes through my head.

I am choosing to focus on one thing at a time that I can change within a day.  I won’t be the same thing each day, and may not be the whole thing each day.  Right now I know that I struggle to drink enough water when I am doing “other” things.  That has to stop.  Water before coffee on weekends will be mandatory.  Slowly I am learning how to take care of myself, by listening.  Are you listening to your body? Is there something you are doing during the week that you aren’t doing on the weekend that might be leading to self sabotage?

 

 

Beating the House

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Have you watched House of Cards? House of Cards isn’t about playing cards or anything like that. It’s political drama. I was sucked into the first season, riveted by the first episode of the second season… But it’s sitting unfinished on Netflix… Someday I may go back to it. So what does this have to do with beating the house, or better yet a healthy living blog? Well the quote above resonated with me in recent weeks.
If you don’t like how something is change it. If you don’t like the way you feel, do something about it. If you want to be healthy and lose weight, stop hitting the drive thru and ordering the large cheese fries with extra everything. If what you are doing isn’t working, try something else.
It is scary to turn your life on it’s head. I can’t even put into words how scared I was to change jobs. To give up something safe, something I knew and was I’ll say it was phenomenal at, to try something I might fail at is scary. There are almost no guarantees in life (we are guaranteed death and that’s about it right)
I have turned my life on it’s head in the last 19 days. I am now in a new job, with new hours. I am working out three days a week again. I am eating whole foods, unprocessed, real foods. I am still getting my 7-9 hours of sleep a night based on how my body feels. I have returned to trivia.
My word for 2014 was honor. As we are approaching the four month mark of this year, 1/3 of the way through the year I am examining how I am doing at honoring myself. I would ask you all to weigh in on this, but honestly we all know that isn’t the point. Do I think I am truly honoring myself? Hell yes! Was I honoring myself in January as I tried my best, kind of. In February as I struggled but made it to the gym occasionally, maybe. What was March about… In March I beat the house. I took the table, flipped it over, spun it around and made life my bitch as it were.
I am finding my footing, with both feet right now and I couldn’t be happier about it. The people that see me continue to see the change in me. People that don’t see me ask how I am enjoying my new job and I tell them my life is like night and day. Truly I feel so blessed by the opportunities that have been presented to me.
So I keep pressing on, feeling better each day. Looking forward to seeing just what I can do next to amaze myself keeping in the back of my mins that honor word and the goals that I have set for myself.

Take a seat, I have a confession.

Thanks. *scrunches face awkward silence* So I have a confession to make.  I have not been completely transparent for the last bit on my blog.  Everyone knows that I have been struggling with food prep, meal planning and my schedule.  I have been hanging onto the end of  my rope.  I tied a knot in it, I am kicking my feet, using the tiny bits of nails I have to dig in and gain back my lost ground.  I have mentioned that just before fitbloggin I went for a bariatric surgery consult. I cancelled my followup because I didn’t have time with my job to do all the work that was required, meetings with therapists, and nutritionists etc.

I was also a bit taken back from my consult that the expected results from my surgery were to land me back in the 200-250 range.   To be fair they never know for sure where you will end up from a surgery, but based on how large I was, looking through my records he actually found a recorded weight close to 450(!) that my expected outcomes would likely land me at 200-250.  Based on my body structure, (large frame) and extra skin, and a million other things the idea of surgery right now has been shelved.  Back onto the options for a later date it goes, and refocused I go… but what is a girl to do? Give up? Continue to spiral upward in this new job?

I don’t have time to workout like I had been, for several hours at a time, nor do I have time to cook my meals at home everyday.  Not from scratch, not the way I used to.  I also have that wonderful compulsion that kicks in when I start with the foodscale again.  Calculating calories down to the gram of foods… not healthy.  I love my shakes, but that can’t be healthy, I am not getting veggies, or fiber for that matter at those meals…

About the first week in August I was reaching my breaking point… knowing that I can’t continue on the way things are.  My body is in pain, my stamina is suffering, my mental state is… well just yeah… it’s just not great.  I sat down with Robb and looked at options.   I was packing my lunch everyday for work, but it wasn’t always healthy.  I was kinda planning dinner, but we weren’t sticking to it.  Things were slipping away.  Portions were starting to get out of control, and he just wanted things to be easier for me.  He was supportive of me doing whatever I need to do to be successful.

I researched the different options available, sadly a few of the prepackaged food delivery services that I looked into aren’t available in Minneapolis.  *wahwah*  I looked into Seattle Sutton, I know several people who have used their meal services with great success and have truly enjoyed the foods.  With them you pick it up twice a week and have no control over the foods that you get, it is a preset menu that from what I am told is on a six-week rotating cycle.  I have a few food allergies and sensitivities and the lack of ability to control what I am eating kind of turns me off to this plan.  What I like about this idea though is that it is fresh food not frozen.

The other option that I researched was the Nutrisystem plan.  Please don’t give me that look ok, a lot seems to have changed since your grandmother tried it!  There are two sides to Nutrisystem these days, frozen and shelf-stable.  You can customize what you want to receive in your plan, there is a wide variety of things from breakfast burritos, waffles, or cereal for the morning, pasta, sandwiches, or bars for lunch and tons of options for dinner, stuff like stuffed chicken breast!  You even get dessert/snack options things like icecream sandwiches or popcorn.

As someone that never really knows what they want to eat until the day of, and being able to avoid things that I can’t eat (like walnuts) Nutrisystem seemed like a better fit.  I placed my order online through the web, waited for the shipping confirmation and the shelf stable stuff arrived on Tuesday the 13th of August.  I started that night.  The plan is pretty dummy proof, it tells you how much of what to add… add “power fuels” to breakfast, morning snack, and lunch these are things like an egg, a yogurt, lean chicken, that sort of thing.  I can also still have my shake as a power fuel with breakfast if I like.  You also add a SmartCarb to your afternoon snack, and dinner.  It tells you how much of the suggested things to add, these are designed to sustain your energy a bit longer, so things like a banana, corn, green peas.  Veggies are “unlimited” just like many other plans, but still counted and tracked.  I add veggies to just about every meal, for example if lunch is the cheesy mashed potato cup I add broccoli to it.  YUM!

So Tuesday (the 13th) marked a week since my initial weigh in, which I did at night, after eating and drinking normally during the day.  I weighed in up about 74 pounds from my lowest weight.  It was a true blow to my system, but I know why it happened.  There are a million reasons, and excuses.  Most of them related to my current employment status.  50+ hours a week, with no breaks for lunch, or fresh air, at a desk does not a healthy lifestyle make.

I weighed in again on Tuesday the 20th, after a full day of eating normally and hydrating etc and was surprised to find that my weight has gone down.  2.7 pounds lost on the first week.  I am expecting far smaller losses in the subsequent weeks, as that is generally the trend a big loss the first week and them smaller losses along the way but I’ll take it.

Along with the diet changes I am pushing the gym aspect of things.  I am forcing myself into the gym for three 30 min cardio sessions a week.  I don’t have to like it, I just have to do it, and on the heels of my half marathon announcement I NEED to do it.  I also need to learn how to use the weight machines at the gym.  I am so intimidated by them, but I want to use them, and I don’t want to look like an idiot doing it, so perhaps I will invest in a personal trainer session or two.

So yeah, I am sorry for not being more transparent with y’all.  It was a hard decision for me to come to that I needed to switch to a pre-packaged meal service for now but I just need one less thing to focus on.  I guess I am just looking at it as one more tool in my toolbox, not a forever fix but as a temporary helper until I can gain some momentum back.

Have any of you done a prepackaged meal system?  Nurtrisystem? SeattleSutton? HelloFresh? I am sure there are about a million of them out there, what is your experience with them.  Have you ever thought about it?  I will be documenting some of the successes and Fails as far as my opinions on the foods I taste.  So far all but one of the foods have been great! Just remember the opinions are my own, results may vary, and no they aren’t paying for this, and have no idea I plan on writing about it.

Quitting Weight Watchers

So since July I have been doing Weight Watchers.  I have done as I promised myself, I gave into the plan.  I followed the weird math, I did the plan as it was intended.  I didn’t use my weekly points, I used my weekly points.  I used all, I used some, I worked out a lot, I worked out a little.  I ate my target daily points, I ate less than my target points and here I sit, fluxing the same 15 lbs up and down.

Now there is something to be said about staying close to the same weight for a long period of time after having regained a bunch of weight, however I am not happy with this.  I wrote, I believe last time, maybe the time before, about how I am switching to VERY low carb, and gluten-free eating.  I would love to continue my Weight Watchers membership to get the meetings and the weigh in’s (I prefer to weigh in on someone else’s scale that doesn’t move around as opposed to mine that gets tossed in the closet after I weigh) however almost $50.00 a month is not worth getting on the scale 4 times.  I will miss seeing the excitement and progress others are making on their journeys, and I haven’t told anyone goodbye or why I am leaving.  I know my leader will be sad to see me go, but it isn’t working for me.

That after all is what this whole process is about. Finding what works for you, not what works for everyone else.  I can’t sit here and say, oh such and such worked for Emma and blah blah worked for Joe, because when it comes to these things, I am not them I am myself.  I have never been one to follow the crowd, actually that is something I pride myself on.  I may have my f2fpack, but I never run with the pack.  I follow my own drum and listen to what my body tells me is right.  I did far too much damage to my body when I was young by not eating enough thinking that was the only way.  Now with the wealth of knowledge available to me I know there are hundreds of ways to do things and I need to find what works for me.

I do know that tracking is the answer, however I think that tracking calories isn’t my answer. That led to a very dangerous world for me.  I know that when I track calories I become so hyper-focused on tracking every crumb and every morsel that it becomes a sickness.  I start to lose my grip on reality after a while.  It didn’t happen luckily when I was tracking points as much, but it was still there.  I think somewhere in my mind I just want so badly to succeed that I cannot let anything go.

I know that it takes time to get where I am going, and like everything worth doing it is worth doing well, and the right way.  So I bump along, wondering how anyone ever loses weight working full-time (50 hours a week minimum), squeezing in working out, and trying to maintain a relationship with loved ones, and friends.  It truly is no wonder I feel like I can’t ever catch up sometimes.

I find my center as I close my eyes, my bedtime is my time.  It is the commitment I make to myself.  It is the way I show myself respect, to let myself have rest.  When someone asks me how much sleep I got the night before I like to be able to answer 7 or 8 hours. I could take time from that to keep up with everyone else… but it is not worth the expense. I am doing what I need to do for me… and in the end, no one else can do this for me, or do it like me.

Struggle

When there is no struggle there can be no progress. 

*Sigh*

Since last Friday my body has been in a mode I like to call, the hunger train.  I want to eat everything in sight!  I am fighting with all my might to not inhale everything I see.  When I went to brunch with my friends, as I posted here on the blog, I custom ordered to find something that would hit on exactly what I thought I needed and wanted, some fat, some greens, and here I sit almost a week later and the metaphorical train barrels on.

I believe that it is hormone related, I am due for that wonderful flux in the next few days, however the fact that this is now on a week of struggle I am just so very tired of this.  The week prior to this I didn’t eat all my Weight Watchers points, in fact most days I had to force myself to get close to my goals.  This week I am eating into my “weeklies”  I find myself not wanting to track my extra points to that I have enough extras left in-case I get hungry… which is silly because all I would be doing is telling myself lies. Track honestly, or you aren’t doing yourself any favors.  Eat the right foods if you are hungry.

So I am trying to cut out the unnatural carbohydrates from my diet over the next few days.  I am thinking perhaps what I am experiencing is almost a sugar detox.  Last week I ate a LOT of carbs.  Not really good carbs either, and in my world I don’t view carbohydrates as the enemy, however I do have two different divisions of them in my mind.  Natural, and unnatural where the natural ones come from veggies, fruits, dairy etc, natural sugars and starches, and the unnatural ones are the ones that come from pasta and things like that.  I ate vegetarian Pad Thai (homemade) 5 times last week.  All were within my daily points totals, reasonable serving sizes however that much pasta, even though it was rice noodles, sweetened with honey, and veggies.  The amount of carbohydrates consumed may be exactly what has triggered me into this mega food rage.

This week I have been eating chicken salad for lunch, 4 ounces of chicken, with celery puree, and some good fat mixed in to keep it  together.  Breakfast has stayed the same, my breakfast sandwich (Special K Veggie Flatbread or Jimmy Dean Delight spinach sandwich) and yogurt and I think I need more protein.  I am guessing that I am in need of more protein.  Last night I had breakfast for dinner, egg beaters, ham and mushrooms (natural carb).  Today for breakfast I am swapping out my flat-bread for egg beaters with ham and mushrooms and laughing cow, and a Greek yogurt.  Coffee with half & half, and maybe some fruit.

I am dropping the triscuits from my lunch in favor of string cheese, and an extra few snow peas and I am currently unsure as to what dinner will hold as it is my takeout night as I will be hitting the pool right after work.  Maybe an unwich from Jimmy John’s.    I don’t like that I am struggling so much, I don’t like that I am waking up during the night wanting to empty the fridge.  I don’t like that no matter how much water I drink, or how many good choices I am making the hunger keeps coming back.

I am frustrated but I am putting my faith in the program, one choice at a time is all I can make.  I will stumble, I will fall, I will get up, brush myself off, and continue along.

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.