Friday, January 3, 2014

Why Am I Doing This?

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Before I get started on today's stuff, two things I forgot from yesterday. First, tea. I'm drinking the tea again. It's especially nice as coffee and I are "taking a break" and I need somebody to keep me warm. I've mostly been drinking it in the afternoon when I feel myself dragging. I'm sticking with herbal, caffeine-free stuff, since black tea would undermine my caffeine detox.

I have two Republic of Tea teas that I drink sometimes, Get Lost (a weight loss focused tea) and Get Charged (for energy). I like the taste of the Get Charged one better but try to alternate so I don't end up with an imbalance in my tea inventory.

And that's my office electric kettle that I can't believe I've never blogged about. A hot cup of tea on a cold winter afternoon hits. the. spot.

Ok, the other thing I forgot to mention is that I had business right next door to a WW center so I forced myself popped in to get weighed being as it's been a while since I've gone to a meeting. The woman working the desk is the same one that leads the monthly Maintainers meeting. I got to chat with her for a bit and it felt like a mini-meeting just for me. I sure hope to get to the maintenance meeting this month. Anyway, I was a bit nervous to get on the scale, being I had jeans on and all. But I was within range (my WW goal weight is 147 and I was 147.6, or something like that), which was a relief. I forced myself to go in despite being afraid I'd be over.

Ok, on to the other matters of the day. As you know, I’ve been suffering from the afternoon sleepiness lately and it’s been irritating as heck. Today I had 3oz of coffee. That’s 6 tablespoons people! (Assuming I did my math correctly). Not a lot of buzz to keep me going. I was worried about the afternoon lull.

But something entirely different happened today. The afternoon came, and instead of starting to dip, my energy level began to climb! I felt awake, energized and, well, practically like I’d had too much coffee when I’d had only those measly 3oz hours ago in the morning. Was it the “Get Lost” tea? I doubt it because it didn’t have that effect yesterday. I don’t know what it was, but I liked it.

This was around 2pm and I worried it would go away by 4:30 but it didn’t! I still felt like I was firing on all cylinders. I got to the gym and decided to do an outside run. It’s been a good while since I’ve done an after-work run outside. I also decided to just go for it and do my old 3 mile route. Oh man, I crushed it! Unfortunately I did not carefully track my time, I started my heart rate monitor and then chatted for a moment or two with the gym owner before leaving, so some time was added to my time. But when I got back from my run the watch showed a time of 29:30, sub 10-minute mile pace. Boo ya!

I’m back people. Big time. After the run I did chest/triceps/PT exercises and I felt strong and able. Some things are still more challenging than before but overall, it’s getting easier and easier. Today was the first time that I could do all my pushups and maintain good form. It wasn’t easy, I may even have let out a whimper of pain on the final rep, but I did it.

After my workout I went to the informational meeting on the 28day Healthy Living Challenge. The gym owners, Mark and Michael, went over the do’s and don’ts of the challenge and answered questions. I found myself wondering why I was there, why I was considering doing something that had so many don’ts. Normally I am philosophically opposed to eliminating foods for weight management, and this program eliminates a lot of them.

So why am I doing this? What’s the purpose? I wrote about that before, the three reasons, 1: Food – raise awareness of what I’m eating, break bad habits with processed foods, and reign in portions; 2: Experiment with gluten free – I’m curious to see how it feels to eliminate gluten and finally, 3: Weight – I can’t pretend part of this isn’t about dropping the few pounds I’ve gained over the past couple months.

picture of my yummy dinner - curry shrimp over quinoa.
That last reason troubles me. I don’t do “diets” to lose weight, or at least I never have. And I don’t want to start now. So I think I need want to let that purpose go here, for matters of this challenge. If I lose weight, fine. But if I don’t, it’s not that I’m not following the program, “cheating” too often, or any other failure on my part. I’m letting go of the idea that I’m doing this to lose weight so I can let go of measuring “success” on the scale. Success will be about seeing an increase in my awareness, about breaking bad habits, and eating to satisfaction, not overeating. And about checking out the gluten free thing. That’s enough reason for me!

I also know I won’t follow this specific plan long-term. There might be elements of it that I maintain, and I’m sure the learning will continue to influence me afterward, as is always the case when I experiment, but I’m not pretending I’ll be eating “clean” from now on. So, how will I be eating? More on that in my next post. It’s late, I’m tired and ready to rest my weary head.

I am a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice offering Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for weight loss and maintenance. I have an office in Marin County, CA and I'm also available to see people via Skype. To learn more please visit my professional website at

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