Friday, November 27, 2009

Phew! Thanksgiving's done, 35 days of celebrating to go!

I just got home from spending a few days with my sister and her family for Thanksgiving.  I enjoyed my time with them, but it still seems like an awful lot of work invested in such a small degree of return.  By the end of the day, I was too tired to relax without falling asleep, and I didn't even eat that much!

I had a little bit of everything: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner roll, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, Brussels sprouts, spanakopita and a turkey meatball (that last one was my mother's contribution - I have no idea why she brought meatballs).  We had opted not to make any appetizers, and that was a very wise decision.  I made all the desserts and didn't eat any of them!  Just didn't feel like it.  I did go back for seconds on the turkey, stuffing and gravy.  Still, I wasn't overly stuffed at all.  So, combine all that food with a couple glasses of wine and by 4:30 p.m., my sister's leather sofa was singing its siren song and not even the general squealing of elementary school-aged kids could rouse me.

Today I'm feeling okay, still a little sleepy.  I just read that turkey doesn't contain any more tryptophan in it than any other poultry.  Yesterday's somnolence was probably more attributed to my being such a light weight when it comes to drinking alcohol.  First glass of wine makes me agreeable and the second one puts me to sleep.  Add to that recipe the carbs...I should have brought a Snuggie!

So, I didn't exercise at all, formally.  But doesn't slaving in the kitchen for two days count for something?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Getting straightened out

I went over to my parents' house the other day. My dad answered the door. It was the first time that I noticed I'm taller than him. He's got multiple myloma, a cancer that eats away at his bones from the inside out, and right now it's feasting on his spine. As a result, his once 6'4" frame is curled over to achieve a height of 5'9". He reminded me of my grandmother, his mom, who in her youth was a solid 5'8", but by the time she reached her 70s, had a pronounced dowager hump...and that caused me some alarm. Because I favor my dad and grandmother, and I'm starting to curl over at my shoulders. It's just starting to be a little bit of an effort to stand up straight to my full 5'11". And I like being tall!

It's time to do something about this, but I'm not sure what, exactly. As I consider my postural dilemma, I understand how sitting at a computer for hours isn't helping me at all. I have an ergonomic chair, but it just doesn't fit at my bedside table where I'm working right now. I need to rethink my workspace.

I see how the weight I carry in front (the belly) pulls my whole posture forward and down. That's where the effort to stand straight goes. That's an issue with my core, and despite how much I loathe core exercises, I need to get over myself on that as well. I think I need to find some good back workouts to strengthen the muscles that pull me up as well.

I tried finding some advice on this online, but as usual, tons of site and books that talk about the problem and not many that actually show you what to do. I went to one of my sources for info, and a fellow fat-burner gave me some tips on what to do.

"Training your core and upper body will help your posture tremendously.

For the core I recommend plank variations of all kinds and make sure you include side planks for the obliques.

For the upper body, there are so many variations, but I think push ups and pull ups and chin ups are great. For the upper back area decline push ups with your toes on a bench are incredible for posture support. If you can't do them with toes on a bench, lay across the bench at thigh or knee level and then work your way down to the toes.

I highly recommend body weight exercises done in plank positions for over all posture.

Also, make sure that your glute, hams and quads and hip flexors are conditioned and gently stretched...especially the hip flexors. When you sit alot they get shortened and pull your upper body down and forward. Doing a lunge stretch for the hip flexors every day will go a long way."

I just sent an email to the senior executive physiologist at Vermont's Green Mountain Spa, LynnAnn Covell, about this. As soon as she writes back I'll share what I've learned. In the meantime, I'm seeing some planks in my immediate future!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The slippery slope of holiday eating

I recently heard (I think it was Dr. Oz, so it must be true) how eating the amount traditionally expected at Thanksgiving gets one's stomach so distended and digestion system so out of whack that it takes six weeks for the stomach to recover.  And what lies just six weeks after T-day?  Christmas.  And six weeks after that, it's my 49th birthday!  Good God!  How much eating can one body take?!

Okay, so, with all that overeating, it's normal to gain 5 to 10 over the winter months.  I do NOT want to go down that road.  By my 49th birthday, I am determined to break the 300 lb barrier!  It's just 13 lbs away!

My body has been highly resistant to shedding weight for the last year. I had scaled back the calories, often, plus cut way back on the carbs, but nothing was budging.  Or if the scale did dip down below 310, I quickly rebounded.  I recently experienced a series of three days when it seemed to be my mission to eat out the whole planet, as well as single-handedly ridding the world of carbs by eating them all.  I was eating nearly 3000 calories a day (but there was absolutely no junk or fast food involved).  And I didn't gain a single ounce!  This morning, my weight popped up to 315.  I think I just needed to re-fuel my machine, get the engine burning again.  So today, I'll get my calories back down to 1800 and see where we go from here.

I'm not waiting till New Year's Day to make a new fitness resolution.  It starts now...15 lbs. by my birthday.  That's just 12 weeks.  I hear my divorce should be finalized by my birthday too.  Damn!  That's going to be an awesome week!

So, here's the plan...

Take my meds and vitamins, religiously.

Daily caloric intake: 1800 Calories
Nutrient mix for fat burning: 40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat
Eating sugar, no processed foods, NO SOY!!!  Lots of veggies and plenty of water.

60 - 90 minutes aerobic activity, 6 days a week (rowing machine, elliptical cross trainer, walking and Fit Ball)
2 - 3 days a week core DVD work
6 days a week weight training, split routine (upper or lower plus abs)

Since I haven't exercised in awhile, I'll spend this weekend with gentle walking, getting used to my equipment again, and lots of bouncing on the Fit Ball.

Maintenance of sleep hygiene: Go to bed by 10, get up at excuses on this one!  I've found that adequate sleep is the make-or-break for me with regards to exercise.

Get outside for an hour everyday for sunlight.

Remember to laugh and spend time with my boys, friends and to spend my one day off from exercise doing something fun.

Weekly massages.

Okay, that's enough for now.  My first action is to drink water and take my meds and vitamins!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Weight is down again

Back down to 313 this morning. I did a little overeating last night and still dropped weight, so the meds do work with reducing water retention.

It's the first foggy day of the year...I really missed this weather over the last 25 years! I love the fall, the crispness of the air, the leaves changing. I've got my sweaters out and I'm happy to dress in cozy knits. Wish I could burn some logs in the fireplace. I'll have to ask the landlord if I am allowed to use it, because it looks like it's never been utilized.

Today I'm cleaning out the pantry, again. It's amazing how quickly it gets messy. Over the last few weeks I've bought some OXO storage canisters and I need to fill them and organize the whole place. The boys have reluctantly agreed to join in on the healthy eating routine. Quinn has lost 20 lbs since he moved in with us in July, and that's just from changing some of the things he was eating. Rhyan struggles, just like his mother. I evaluated his diet, because I'm the one who provides all his calories, and he's just not eating enough to be gaining weight on, and he's not eating unhealthy snacks or drinking sodas or fast food. So I don't know why he hasn't lost any significant weight since July. Only about five pounds. And that fluctuates.

Rhyan's got a terrible dry rash all over his body, so I'm putting us all on an elimination diet to discover allergies. It's a similar rash that Quinn has, and I had it as a child as well. For me, it just went away after I turned 20. But I don't think I want to wait that long for the boys.

I think we're going to do some form of Dr. Weil's anti-inflammatory diet, plus eliminate all dairy and processed foods from our diet for the next few weeks. Hopefully we'll see some good results.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Weight is up again

I'm back up to 318 today. I haven't weighed this much in weeks, and I'm very annoyed by it. I know why I've gained and I guess I'm annoyed because I was off plan for only two days in very small ways. It took so little to gain the weight back.

First I didn't take my water pill yesterday. I drank my usual amount of water and my body decided to retain it. Not happy about that! Second, soy has been creeping in to my diet again because I relaxed my vigilance. This creates inflammation and that means retained water.

Back to keeping a tight rein on everything. I have to stay on top of this!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

At peace with the food and moving forward

Today, I'm feeling what I think is a healthy disapproval of my body. I still feel good about myself as a person, I feel centered and I also feel attractive. I recognize that I'm not doing everything that I can to be losing weight, and I feel a renewed sense of urgency to shed more weight...not the typical frustrations and lament that the statement "I'm so fat" brings with it.

I can see now and accept that I've been very subtly sabotaging my progress because I wasn't entirely ready to move forward. I am a stubborn woman. I do not want any part of my weight loss journey to be for anyone but me, for the purest reasons. I think I've sufficiently gotten over enough of my divorce/relationship/expectations demons to move on.

I am soooooooooo over fast food! And soooooooo over emotional eating! Is it possible that I've made my peace with food?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Three gulps of Coke

Tonight I went through the Jack-In-The-Box drive-thru on behalf of my son on our way home from his night class.  I had finished eating dinner around five o'clock and didn't plan to eat after that. I forgot to plan about how to handle the drive home from night school, which is a new but short-lived part to our routine.

(Must remember to plan for tomorrow night.)

I ordered a Jumbo Jack meal, with small fries and small drink. The drink was far bigger than I wanted. I wasn't hungry to begin with. I don't really know why I agreed to this detour. I ate the burger, a few of the fries (they were NOT what I wanted and I'm really not going back there). And again, the Coke tasted bitter. I had a few gulps, then threw it all out, with the fries, when we got home. Blech!

Now I feel itchy and my brain is on the move. I hope I can go to sleep.