Sunday, September 14, 2014

Here I Am

It's been a brutally tough week, where I have contemplated running away to escape the simultaneous and unrelenting pressures at home and work. Mama couldn't catch a break this week. Sigh.

However, I did recently read Lose It Right, by James Fell, who writes a great blog called His approach is all about moderation and drumroll please, getting in great shape and getting super consistent with workouts, and starting with baby steps on the diet, in three phases. He calls it the Virtuous Cycle, and I have totally experienced that in the past. I work out consistently, and just feel better and more able to say no to treats, because I'm feeling less stressed. He talks a lot in the book about that, about what physically happens to the brain when you work out, so you're less tempted to stress eat. It makes so much sense.

Upon finishing the book, I cancelled weight watchers and stopped weighing and counting anything. I can't tell you how much of a relief this is.

Phase 1 exercise is all about finding what you love and just doing that. I love, love going for long walks and lifting weights. So I ordered new walking shoes, which arrive tomorrow, but in the meanwhile have been going for walks just to clear my head, and getting in strength training when I can. I also ordered a monthly calendar and am going to give myself a star for every workout. So motivating, seeing that whole week filled with stars.

I took a picture of the diet part of Phase 1, here:

Naturally, because I am me, I read the book and started last week all gung ho and made changes that ended up being too drastic. This week, I'm going to make smaller changes to see how that feels. He talks about reducing fast food, which isn't a place where I know I can cut back. Where I know I can cut back is chips. Since having Espen, my hormones have changed and now I just want chips all the livelong day. Any kind will do, but I generally cave and have them at least a few times a week. For this week my plan is to swap out chips for popcorn, which is salty and crunchy too.

I'm going to try to remember to take my measurements tomorrow morning so I can start trending down in that regard too.

I hate feeling like I'm not on a plan, but honest to god, this past week nearly broke me. Onward.

Monday, September 01, 2014


Not sure what happened last week, but peeps, it was bad. I felt super moody, almost in tears daily, my clothes were tight and I felt super puffy. I suspect my period is making a comeback soon (it hasn't returned since July 2012).

So my weight was up 2 lbs this week.

What went right: Um. Not much. I didn't eat many WAPs until the last part of the week, so I did a great job of choosing Filling Foods.

What went wrong: Basically from Sunday to Wednesday I was miserable. Miserable. I went to the gym Thursday night and almost left in tears. I did my warm up then aborted mission. I just couldn't do it. I felt fat and like I shouldn't be in the gym at all. Ugh.

Starting Weight: 133
Ending Weight: 135
Difference: +2

I'm feeling better this week and will have a more positive update on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's on like Donkey Kong

Ok peeps. After jacking around and eating too much/too little, getting on the bandwagon, jumping off face-first, I am going to do a little challenge. I mean, it doesn't make much sense to keep paying for WW if I'm not going to follow it. 

So. My 41st birthday is in 12 weeks. I am going to get down to my goal weight, which is 13.4 lbs away, by then. That's a little over 1 lb per week. I SO got this. 

Here is the plan: 

Each week I'll check in with what went well, what went wrong, and plans for the coming week. 

One of the things that has worked the best for me is forecasting out events where I'll want to use my points, i.e. I'm going to a birthday party this weekend and I know they'll have GF goodies. Awesome, I'll save up some points for that. Other tricks up my sleeve include hordes of popcorn, as I reach for it when I really want chips, and shutting down the kitchen at 7. I.e. no eating after dinner, at least on non-workout days. My last and final trick, which always works for me, is to envision the number I want to see on the scale, and think hard about it when I'm feeling the need to go off the rails. 

12 weeks. 13.4 lbs. I'll be back weekly with updates. Weigh in is on Wednesdays.

Here's my starting point:

Starting weight: 133.4 

Number I want to see next week: 131 something. 

Plan for the week: Pete is back from Norway and I can resume a normal workout schedule, which will start tomorrow night after the kids go to bed. Workout plans are Thursday = intervals, Friday = lift, Saturday = intervals, Sunday = off, Monday = lift, Tuesday = intervals. 

Birthday party goodies on Sunday, likely a glass of wine at some point this weekend to celebrate Pete being home. I'm not buying peanut butter and we're almost out of almond butter at home (phew). 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Back to That Other Way of Eating

Good God, I'm already annoyed just even READING that headline.That OTHER way of eating. As if there's distinct ways, as if there's one way that's better than the other.

Which is exactly why I've backed away from Paleo in general, because of how dogmatic it is. As I've documented ad nauseum, in the past it really triggered a lot of disordered eating for me. The black/white assignment of good and bad foods.

So why the hell would I consider going back?

Because I feel better on it. SIGH. I feel better, I have more energy, I sleep better, I don't have cravings or desire to empty the potato chip bag.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this. Of course I have. Eating more protein and fat and less grains made me feel better. But going into BEING BACK ON PALEO and NO RICE EVER or no popcorn or no whatever makes me bananas just thinking about it. Weight Watchers, as we all know, still thrives on the antiquated low-fat dietary style, which uh, runs counter to Paleo. But I tried going off WW a few weeks ago, and being without the limitations on portion control of almond butter, dark chocolate, avocado, etc. made me feel all weird and before you know it I was happily making GF PBJs daily. I need a cap on the amount of "treats" I have, and here's the thing about eating Paleo: because I'm so satiated from the fat and protein, I have less cravings for crap in general, so its also way easier to cap it.

So this is what I decided:
  • Stay on WW Simply Filling plan, which enables me to eat unlimited meat, fruit, veg and aims for 3 tsp of olive oil a day. (full disclosure tho: I've never ever counted olive oil and have done pretty well so far on WW to date, ahem). 
  • Use by 49 Weekly Allowance Points for avocado, bacon fat, and almond butter, GF bread, etc. Basically anything that I have a hard time portion-controlling. 
  • Experiment with dropping my morning oatmeal and banana and switching to protein and fruit or a yam for post-workout refuel. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gym Plans: Adjusted

I'm back. I need to write some things down. Here goes.

Topic 1: I am horrendously out of shape. Sure, I am a size 4-6 and weigh 131. But squishy and flabby. The definition of skinny fat. I started Lean Eating over again, on my own terms with Phase 1. I don't love Phase 1 - there are two exercises in particular that annoy me, due to the fact they use bands. My current gym set up is in our office park, which is basically like a larger version of a hotel gym. Three treadmills, 2 ellipticals, 1 recumbent bike, full set of dumbbells and some stationary machines (for lat pull down, etc.) It does not have bands. I could purchase the bands, but they're $80. Alternatively, we have a "CrossFit" room at our actual office, which has a bench, squat rack and bands. We're free to use that, i.e. I could go in there and bang out some squats, pushups, etc. but it's not my fave place because it's basically a 10x15 room without ventilation, so I'd have to "work out," and I use that term loosely because there's no place to warm up, stretch, foam roll, etc., and then I guess just go back to work? That's weird. And since they're not my bands, I don't feel like I can borrow them to go to the other gym. And because I couldn't do the workout JUST PERFECT, Phase 1 was like a stone in my shoe. Annoying.

I finished Phase 1, then started Phase 2, which I loved so much more. Then I started coming off my medication, and um wow, did not see those side effects coming. The days after I worked out I felt like I had been hit by a car with fatigue. Like, bone tired. First-trimester style where you sit down for a minute and wake up an hour later. Naturally, this was a bit of a problem with the whole working at a startup/supermom thing. I tried eating more, and that helped marginally, but what helped more was just stopping. Ugh. I think part of the problem was that I was lifting too heavy: when I look back at my LE experience and that year, I can see that when I lifted heavier was when I saw real results. I started lifting pretty heavy, and was impressed with how fast I was seeing my strength come back. Which was awesome and super inspiring. And my muscles weren't too sore, i.e. I was warming up and cooling down and lifting within my range. But I was feeling so damn tired all the time, grouchy and the worst part: I started dreading my workouts. I guess it was just too taxing on my body. SIGH.

Once I realized it was coming off the medication -- which apparently was a stimulant? YIPES -- I decided to just lay off the GETTING IN SHAPE PLANS OF 2014 VERSION 87828374. Let the medication fully get out of my system, aim to get more sleep so *that* becomes a habit and go from there.

And now that I'm feeling more like myself, I'm ready to get started again. So here is my plan: Start very small. Go for a walk tonight without putting parameters around it, i.e. do my same familiar route but remove any parameters around it, i.e. do it within a certain time or get my heart rate up or wear the right shoes and etc. etc. etc. Instead I'm going to just go out there and walk it. Here's my plan for the week.

Monday: Phase 2 Workout A, at the starting reps/sets but with EASY weights for the first week only. The second week, I'm telling myself I can hit it a little harder, if my body gives the thumbs up.

Tuesday: Easy walk again

Wednesday: Phase 2 Workout B

Thursday:  Day off, or walk if I'm feeling like it

Friday: Phase 2 Workout A

Saturday: Run intervals. I'm missing going out for a run, desperately. I want to start again, so I'm going to follow the Phase 1 intervals guide: start with 1:3 ratio of work:recovery.

Sunday: Day off or easy walk

NOW. These things can only happen if I get my ass to bed by 10 p.m. every night. I cannot expect to take on extra "work" as the case may be, and demand more from my body without properly taking care of it and getting extra rest.

Beyond the squishy factor, as I have documented here uh, for the past FOREVER, working out  1. it increases my confidence 2. it gives me space to decompress and have dedicated just to me every day 3. it is my thing.

I've been struggling A LOT lately with taking the space and time to do things that are just MINE. I made an apple and almond butter yesterday and ate it huddled in the kitchen (our kitchen is no lie, 3x5) because it was the last apple in the house and I knew if the kids saw it I'd have to share. I share everything. Working out is MINE and no one else's. There is a MARKED improvement in my overall temperament and demeanor when I'm working out. I need to take part of my life back, and get real about where I'm squandering my very limiting time (I'm lookin at you, Facebook), and making better choices that give me more ROI for my quality of life.

So that's what I had to say about THAT.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FB Page

Friends, I'm migrating sorta over to a FB page. Come on over! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Oh Hey.

Dudes, my life has been bananas lately. My job is craaaazy, for a lot of different reasons. Tons of responsibility, somewhat unreasonable expectations and just the inherent stress that comes with acclimating to a new team, new ways of doing things, etc. It took a few months to get my footing, but I feel like I'm finally rockin it. Phew and hooray.

But a few things resulted while I was in that awkward figuring it out phase; some of them surprising, some of them not: 
  1. Because I was on unfamiliar terrain at work and um, terrified, I decided I was going to valedictorian the crap out of supermomming and everything had to be perfect at all times and WHY ARE YOU DOING IT THAT WAY PETE, WHICH IS CLEARLY WRONG WTF. Suffice it to say it got a little tense around our house. 
  2. I was pretty much an anxious mess all the time and felt like I had to be ON ON ON ON ON and working from 8-11 everynight. Insert exhaustion and feeling like I'm running in place, i.e. tons of effort and not a lot to show for it. Which brings me to... 
  3. I was having wine or chocolate pretty much every night. Mostly, I will admit, because of #1 and my unwillingness to budge even a little and after the kids went to bed I was so wound up I needed something to soothe me. Sigh. 
However. Once I realized these things and let go and stood back and let Pete step in, a little magic happened. I started to loosen up a bit and not have that scrunched up stress face thing going on 24/7. 

[The kids are also crazy. Espen is reaching the almost walking screechy phase, so that's fun. Lucia continues to be so challenging (sassing, combative about everything, etc.). It's a LOT. But letting Pete do more and getting out of his way has really helped with that too.]

To that end, some exciting (ha!) updates over here pertaining to fitness/health/wellness, in no particular order:
  • I am VERY behind on my LE workouts. I am starting over this week, which is hilarious because I forgot my gym bag today. I was all IMMA KILL IT TODAY, then realized my bag is at home. Dammit. I'm going to do a bodyweight workout instead tonight -- also serves as a release valve from the craziness of getting the kids to bed. 
  • However, this means I'm "behind schedule" on my LE Phase 1 and I'm trying to care, but also trying to be flexible and to remind myself that I made the rules around this LE redo, so I can certainly change the rules. 
  • I cancelled my WW account today. I haven't been following it lately, mostly because as I believe I mentioned, when I follow it to the T, I do not have enough energy for the LE workouts, which are way more important for my health and longevity than a number on the scale. The weeks that I followed WW and did the workouts I fell asleep sitting up in the middle of the day. Sure I could increase my brown rice servings or oatmeal, but as I've documented here ad nauseum, I feel better when I eat less carbs. So I don't really want to increase them to boost my calories; I'd rather work in some peanut butter and avocado, dudes. Because... 
  • The eating until you're 80% full rule is SO HARD. Try it! It's very, very hard. I started last week and have had a very difficult time doing it. It's mental jiujitsu, for sure. 
  • I'm off sugar and alcohol for the week. I am looking HAGGARD, you guys. OLD LADY haggard, and know that means I need to reduce my stress levels, clean up my diet and get more rest. So...
  • I'm going to bed early every night this week. Early = 10. Espen is off the nightcap nursies (yes!) so I can technically go to bed when the kids go to bed. The fact is, in terms of what benefits me and gives back, sleep investment is way better than jacking around on Facebook. 
Hi, I've aged 5 years since starting this job.
Have also started the unfortunate habit of nervously
twirling of my hair. Gah.