Monday, August 25, 2014

The Conscious Bender


No, this was NOT the hotdog I ate yesterday.  (Wiki)


Yesterday, I took what I am calling a Conscious Bender.

This involved relaxing, having fun, drinking some drinks and eating some eats. I let loose a little bit.

I had planned to make it a work day in my studio, getting ready for a big showing of my paintings in a couple weeks. But I was stressed out and cranky and snipping at my partner, so I let myself just have a day to do whatever. It felt good, I am not going to lie. It was much needed, I realized by the end of the evening.

My partner wanted to try out a couple drink recipes that involved fresh fruit juice and bourbon. One had lime juice, one had grapefruit. Both were delicious. I think he found the recipes on this blog if you are curious. There are many yummy recipes there if you indulge in that sort of thing. Anyway, I had three of those delicious drinks over the course of the late afternoon and evening, which on its own would have been OK, except that generally when I imbibe I tend to want to snack as well.

We'd had a late lunch that was very satisfying — a quintessential summer meal of hotdogs with coleslaw and a little bit of chili and mustard. He had potato salad, but I cut up a fresh cuke for myself and had a couple super hot pickles as well! (I LOVE spicy things, but these were a bit much for even me, though a thin slice of one on my dog was excellent!) Later on, though, I raided the leftover pizza I had in the fridge and finished that off... and also had a small dish of that new Breyer's gelato, which may well give Talenti a run for its money. OK, wel, not really — they are totally different and both delicious. Oh, and yes, I had the raspberry cheesecake flavor. Of course.

It wasn't a disaster of a day, though. I did get a nice, sweaty 30ish-minute walk around the neighborhood in after my first drink (I know, weird, right?) and I planked for 45 seconds after that. Along with the other little bit of physical activity I got in, it almost completely balanced out. And that's really what I am after. Balance, baby. Still, I went a little over in the calorie department and showed a couple extra pounds this morning.

Oh well. It'll be gone again before I know it. And I did enjoy myself.

Today I am back in the zone, both with this stuff and with my work. Once I get home from my 9 to 5 and have a little dinner, it's back to the studio for me. A little structure never did anyone any harm, now, does it? But then, neither does a little bit of chaos.

Enjoy the week!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A __________ A Day

Me, last Thanksgiving season looking at a book about
human anomalies at University at Buffalo's medical library.

Hi. I am big. (see above photo reference)

Which, of course, is fine. It's no judgement, it's merely a fact.

I have now lost 30+ pounds, which is also fine. I've been feeling much better in general, able to do many things more easily, and presumably might be more healthy than I was last Thanksgiving, though that may or may not be because of the weight loss, but certainly because of eating better in general, exercising regularly, and changing some habits.

I'm going to keep doing these things, even if I end up losing all the weight I think I might want to lose. How much? Not really sure. Don't really care. Though there are two things I want to be able to do easily: Ride on an airplane comfortably, and shop in "regular" clothing stores. So when I get there, I'll figure out how to proceed. Oh, that's right, I won't have to – because what I am doing now I need and want to do for life!

Anyway, I've been thinking about good habits a lot lately because I recently added another one to my list that I've been having good success with: Flossing my teeth. :)

I've made many positive changes in my life since I joined the gym last December. It's been quite gradual – for instance, I don't really consider my journey to have really, truly started in my heart of hearts until I started training with current trainer, Rick, back in early May. So, there's one, a big one — regular exercise. Once I got paired up with Rick, I've been doing 2-4 days each week of either gym time or neighborhood walks. Exercise is still a little bit of a chore for me, but not really. It's a chore in the same way that painting in my studio is a chore. It's something I love doing, and that once I get myself to that place to do it, I'm so happy, but... for some reason, I guess pure laziness, it's hard for me to get there. Isn't so much easier after a long day at work to just sit in the recliner and watch TV all evening? Why yes. Yes, it is. Anything that takes an effort once I get home from the 9 to 5 is an additional chore, whether I love it or not. Sad, but true. It just is what it is. I'm hoping that by the end of this year, exercise will be something I look forward to in a genuine sense. 

So, the gym. Then the eating. Eating more whole foods. Eating fewer simple carbs but more complex ones. Trying to eat more protein (that's a hard one for me!).

Then, things like taking vitamins every day. B12, B-Complex, Calcium, a multi, fish oil, D, and C.

Drinking at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day. I usually get twelve in.

Moisturizing my face. I'm hit or miss with this one. 

Flossing is the newest one. I need to take better care of my teeth. I also want to start bringing a toothbrush to work so that I can brush after lunch, too. 

I can't really think of others I want to add right now, though having done a couple planks in the past week, I kind of want to make them an everyday thing – even just one, for however long I can hold it, every single day. Can you imagine? The first real plank I did recently was held at 15 seconds. 

What kinds of good habits do you perform? Which ones do you want to add?




 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

90 Days

On MyFitnessPal, I've logged 90 days' worth. Three months! I feel like a lot has changed in such a short time. Now I am halfway to that nefarious six month mark, where in the past things have always crumbled. Not this time!

Nope!

Last night I saw a friend whom I haven't had the pleasure of hanging out with in a while. She mentioned to me that she could really tell that I've been working out, that I look good, and the best part: when she gave me a hug, she could feel some muscles! Wow!

That made me feel good, especially since I'm not even the one that brought it up.

I mean, I haven't been super hard core about anything I'm doing, but I am being consistent and diligent enough that it is making a difference, bit by bit. I have to keep reminding myself that this isn't a race and that I am in this forever.

There are so many things that are so much easier now. Just with not even 30 pounds off yet! Imagine how I will feel in another three months!

Anyway, just wanted to check in and say hello, and say that I am still on it. I'm still HERE.

Like Joaquin, I am still here.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Times Flies!

Sheesh, another week has passed already? This summer has been flying by.

Things are still fine over here. I went back to the gym last week after a two week hiatus, and it felt great – I really enjoy working with my trainer and challenging myself physically. I still need to figure out how to make exercise a more natural, go-to activity for me. It's always easy to find reasons NOT to go, I'll be honest. The nice thing is that I am enjoying walks around the neighborhood again, and that's an easy go-to thing I can do; I've also learned many exercises that can be done without special equipment at home. I guess what I'd ultimately like to do is get something set up at home so that I can exercise easily on a whim. This would be a good project to embark on now, which will give me plenty of time to prepare for when I don't have training sessions anymore and for when I maybe don't go to the gym anymore — this is something I have been considering canceling once my membership is up at the end of the year.

Anyway. I will enjoy it for now, and learn as much as I can for when that time comes. I will try to put a plan in place. Hey, if nothing else, incorporating housework into my schedule more regularly could solve two problems!

Eating has been good, even in the past few days when I want to eat ALL THE FOOD because it is that time during my cycle. I have been indulging in sweets more, mostly mini candy bars and birthday cupcakes (it was my partner's birthday yesterday!), but still staying within my limits pretty well. Not perfect, mind you, but not bad.

At one point, I had decided to stop weighing every day, but I then decided not to do that. So, I'm weighing most every day. A revelation I had this morning related to this was pretty awesome: What the scale says no longer makes or breaks my day. Today's weight had me up THREE pounds from yesterday, and while I was slightly pissed, at the same time, I also knew what I would say to someone else who experienced the same thing: "Well, it's that time of the month, and you had some Chinese food and canned black beans yesterday, and you feel bloated? Yeah, don't worry... it'll come right back off again once you get through that point in your cycle." Not to mention this other, more important fact: That I am doing all the things I need to do to be healthy, and that is the main impetus here. It doesn't matter what the scale says. I'm going to keep on keeping on, either way.

This is a huge sea change from how I used to react to my scale readings, so I am chalking this up to a BIG WIN today!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Little Things

Kurt C. in his Chuck T.s. Photo source not known. 


My Chuck Taylors, which I haven't worn in a couple months, seemed to fit better when I put them on today.

When I took a bath this morning, I noticed that I fit more comfortably in the tub!

I can wear a 2X band t-shirt again.

Food just tastes better. I feel like every time I eat something, it is SO GOOD!

Food is more satisfying. I eat regular meals, and they are enough.

My taste buds and my cravings seem to be shifting. (For the better, of course.)

I still must eat chocolate every day.

I will always have the freezer stocked with Talenti Roman Raspberry gelato.

I'm starting to find more pleasure in cooking again.

I definitely have more of a spring to my step.





Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thinking about Goals Again

Logging into MyFitnessPal this morning, I noticed that today is my 72nd day in a row having done so! Wow! And then I thought, well, that's not quite two and a half months—hey, not bad! And then I thought, yes, but it'll be really something once I hit the six month mark and then sail beyond it. And that is definitely my intention.

In the past attempts to lose weight/get healthier, six months has been a crucial landmark in that it's when I tend to stop what I have been doing for whatever reason. Or sometimes even no reason at all. So this time around, the time, I'm going to especially take care that the same thing doesn't happen. After all, I am in this for life, right?

ABSOLUTELY. I don't know how much more emphatic I need to be. Maybe that is just it—I need to keep it turned up to volume 11 at all times for myself in order to keep the momentum. There is little more that is important as this because it is my body and it is my health. Period.

I want to write down some goals here today, to help keep that momentum, that excitement (because everything should be done with energy!), that belief that I am worthy of living a comfortable, active, colorful life. (Just in case you're keeping score, note that I don't think I can't do those things as a fat person, only that my body as it was when I started back in May was making those things more difficult, OK? OK.)

MyFitnessPal tracking

Though I am not a huge fan counting anything that I eat, this tool has been helping me see patterns in how I eat, what the macronutrient ratios are, and just have an overall sense of how much food is a reasonable amount (something I have had trouble with for most of my life). I can see myself doing this for a very long time—it is easy to do and acts as a reminder every day of the positive things I am doing for myself.

Goal 1: 100 days (August 23)
Goal 2: 180 days/six months (the week before Thanksgiving-ish)
Goal 3: 365 days (mid-May 2015)

Weight loss

My focus is definitely less on losing weight, but there is no doubt that it is a big piece of the puzzle and one the expected results of my efforts. In the past I have pushed myself to lose fast but now I see how problematic that can be. I'm chugging along, and here are some milestones I can shoot for, but I am NOT attaching due dates to them.

Goal 1: 350 pounds Met 7/26/14, 23 pounds lost
Goal 2: 335 pounds/10% of starting weight (I wouldn't mind hitting this in time for my next doc appointment on September 22nd, but we'll see!)
Goal 3: 320 pounds
Goal 4: 304 pounds/10% of Goal 2
Goal 5: 299 pounds

I will set new goals once I finish this group.

Clothing

I have a lot of clothes that I can't wear, but should be able to once I hit the next couple weight loss goals. I generally wear 26/28 or 3X/4X sizes now. I will certainly report on newly fitting clothes as I go along.

Exercise

I feel like I need to think on this more. There are a few for sure things, though.

Goal 1: Walk 5K comfortably
Goal 2: Run a mile comfortably
Goal 3: Complete C25K (again)




Saturday, July 26, 2014

!!!

I'm not religious, but...

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Sweet baby Jesus hallelujah! I am now officially below my previous high weight, 350. Clocking in at 349 and change, thank you very much. Wow. It feels good to be back on the south side of old three-five-oh again.

After a raucous night of old fashioned cocktails and a partial viewing of the must-see documentary I Am Divine (major props to my college friend Jeffrey Schwarz, who directed it), I found myself waking up super early and getting the proverbial worm. I ended up finally assembling a bookcase that has been sitting around in pieces for months. It took a couple hours and was as good a workout as any—I was sweating like crazy. Nary a hangover.

Have a great weekend, everyone!