Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Back to Work

Get it?  "Back" to work.  Wink. 

Today is the 4th day of what I'm now calling my 7 day realignment.  I can't tell you how much better I feel about everything.  One of the lines of faulty thinking I fall into when I'm off the wagon (or on shaky ground) is that "dieting" is so hard, it's so much work.  But I forget that it comes with an incredible payoff - feeling good.  I never said it would be easy, I said it would be worth it.  So true.  But it *does* get easy too.  The early days/weeks/months can be a challenge, depending on where you are in your journey, but it gets easier over time, as new habits are established and eventually become second nature.

A good example are vending machines.  I made a firm breakup with vending machines years ago.  For a time they tried getting back together, calling out to me as I had that random vending machine encounter.  Now I hardly notice them and when I do, my response is often indifference.  They aren't really a part of my world anymore.  If I happen to be hungry or cravy then I might take more notice but the automatic response of, "I don't eat from vending machines" pops into my head.  No fight, no big resisting, it's easy.  And experiences like that build up over time. 

By the way, I'm loving that word I just invented - cravy.  I love how it describes the feeling of craving food (as opposed to hunger, right?) but also that it sounds a bit like crazy.  And gravy.   Ahem, back on topic.

So to pick up where I left on Sunday.  Yesterday was good. I had a pep in my step that I know was about being back on track.  I started the day with a physical therapy appointment.  The PT (Kate) basically said that while I have a strong core, there are some tiny stabilizing muscles in my back that are relatively weak.  They need some attention.  So I have to cut way back on the core exercises and do the exercises she gives me to build those up.  Six months ago I would have been irritated by this but now, I'm ready.  I get that my body needs what it needs and that it's foolish to force it to do other things while creating or exacerbating injuries in the process.

Kate said it was fine to run and do all my other exercises (except back extensions) while rehabbing my back/core, "just don't increase over what you're doing now."  Welllll...that will work for a couple weeks but, well, I won't try to predict the future.  I'm going to PT twice a week for a month.  My neck/upper back is still all tweaked from whatever I pulled on Saturday morning.  But I felt good enough to at least enter my gym and start with reestablishing that habit.

So I went after work and started with 10 minutes on the upright bike.  I decided to go ahead and ride at Level 8.  I've been doing Level 5 lately and there's good reason to stick with that for now, sort of a rehab level, but darnit, I'm feeling like I want to push somehow and the bike seems like a safe place to do that.  So I rode for 10 minutes and it was challenging but not painfully so.  Then I ran for 5 minutes, 4 minutes at 6.5mph and 1 minute at 7.5mph.  Whew!  That was not easy. 

Then I did weight training.  I decided to do a light full body workout.  I chose a few exercises from each of my three routines and did those.  I skipped all my old core exercises and did the ones she taught me, which quite honestly feel like "baby" exercises, but I'm doing as I'm told.  I want to be strong and able again.  Throughout my routine I kept having all these negative thoughts creep in....

You've lost so much strength.
You'll never get back to where you were (i.e. 25% body fat and STRONG).
This is going to take forever.

But I challenged each thought with something positive and...how should I put this...SANE.

I'm still quite strong and still have visible muscles.
I will get back to where I was.
It will take as long as it takes, and part of the fun will be in the journey back.

A lot of self talk going on in that gym.  It's amazing how a small slip backwards can make you feel like you toppled off a mountain top and have to climb back up.  No, I slipped a few feet down sure, but I'm not back at base camp.

Food wise things are going great.  Wait...I need to say that again because it's been so long.  Food wise, things are going great!  I like the sound of that.  Can I get an Amen!  I'm eating just as I planned, 3 healthy meals and 2 healthy snacks per day.  I've been posting some of my meals on my FB page and will share those here too...

Lunch yesterday: Chicken, avocado, tomato sandwich on Alvarado bakery flax seed bread with watermelon. Yum!  
Dinner last night:  Rice, red beans, avocado, Pico de gallo and a bowl of Trader Joe's Latin style black bean soup.
I'm not tracking or following any specific calorie guide, food list, etc.  I'm focusing on whole foods and eating what I know are healthy, balanced meals and snacks.  Last night after dinner was the first time since starting this realignment that I felt some internal pressure to snack.  I felt a tiny bit of hunger and almost used that as a reason to eat (it doesn't get much better than actual hunger as a reason to eat) but decided in the end I'd rather stick with my plan for these 7 days and keep a clean break from after dinner snacking.  I know my resistance muscle isn't strong enough to re-introduce the evening snack just yet. 

As far as snacks go, I've gotten much better about remembering to pack a healthy snack, what WW are calling "routines".  Today I have a banana and some greek yogurt (which I'm going to eat in just a minute) and a string cheese and apple for this afternoon. 

So I planned to exercise today too but I woke up with neck pain in the middle of the night and am quite stiff this morning so we'll see.  I have decided to go to the gym regardless, to keep that habit going, and will walk on the treadmill and read a magazine.  I need to go easy on the body or I'll be too disabled to run the 4th of July run coming up on Thursday.  My legs and glutes are also a tad sore from yesterdays squats and lunges so they need some rest too.  So my current plan is to run on the 4th and then...well, I have to take things as they come right now.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Time and a Place

It's working! I realized that I was avoiding a hard-line approach because I've put so much work into moving away from a hard-line approach. Balance, moderation, Intuitive Eating, eating activity points and weekly points (when I was tracking) are all about learning how to indulge while still maintaining a healthy diet overall. I really have made a ton of progress in this area, so much so that I believe I was viewing a "strict" diet as a step backward. But I really needed it. The bad habits that had snuck back into my life, that I let back into my life, they weren't going away without some equally bad(ass) push back.  So here I am, pushing back.

Stop!  That's what I'm telling my cravings. I'm going to conquer my cravings (at least for the time being, I'm not saying cravings are always bad and to never give in to them).  I'm in full thought-assault mode and it's going great so far.  I am on Day 2 of my 7 day realigning.  I took a couple steps yesterday that I'd like to share.

First, from yesterday's post:
#4.  Drawing a line.  This is a tough one.  I'm generally opposed to extreme behaviors, to extreme "diets" but I think I need to go cold turkey on the junk for at least a week to break the bad habit.  Not sure exactly what this will look like but I think I'm just going to eat my 3 meals and my 2 snacks per day - all healthy ones - and avoid all the rest.  I'm going to write this commitment on a piece of paper and read it every day.
As I sat down to write out my commitment I had the desire to start with the reasons I want to make this commitment.  I've written down my reasons for wanting to lose weight many times but I have yet to write down the reasons I want to maintain my weight loss.  Without much thought I made a list of whatever popped into my head.

Looking at this list the only thing that I'd love to edit is #5.  It's "possible" to wear cute clothes even if I didn't maintain my weight, I think the difference is in how I feel in those cute clothes.

So, after making this list it was on to the line drawing.  Again, I wrote without taking much time to think about it.  Put pen to paper and go!

Whew.  Just reading this back is almost emotional.  This is MY line.  I am drawing it.  For me.  Ooh ra!  I drew the line and then decided to put the days/dates above/below it. 

So, after my line drawing I tackled the doughnuts.  What doughnuts you might ask?  When my mom came over on Friday she brought a dozen Krispy Kremes with her.  Of course I ate one two three of them in short order.  There were 2.5 doughnuts left in the house.  The kids had said they wanted them with breakfast on Saturday but they'd had breakfast and seemed to have forgotten about them.  Why was I holding on to them?  I decided to put them in my favorite spot for garbage food - the garbage disposal.

#7 on my list yesterday was to clean up the house food.  Doughnuts have no place in my house right now.  Buh bye.

So I'm on to Day 2 of my 7 day realignment.  My back/neck is still tweaked so despite the strong urge I have to go for a run or the gym or something I am holding back.  I don't want to make matters worse.  I am reminding myself that even Olympians sometimes have to give their body a break.  That when I can, I will get back to exercise and find my way back to enjoying those badass workouts I so enjoy.  But for now, I am going badass on the food.

Can you feel the energy?  Is my drive jumping off your computer screen and smacking you in the head?  I hope so...get moving people, we have work to do!