Monday, September 24, 2012

Feeling Good.... Well, Better

I was pretty quiet on the blog front last week. I just had one of those exhausting weeks and by the time evening came and I had time to sit down, my stress (from varying sources) built up and I was not in a writing mood.  I didn't sleep well.. I'd wake with odd dreams that were so vivid it was like I was watching my life (in the dream; not accurate to real life) as though it was a movie. On top of that I was experiencing a lot of stress and the weather was kind of yucky (cold and rainy quite a bit) which I allowed to impact on my mood. I spent a lot of time being angry, mean, and even more time crying. I just didn't want to be bothered or deal with anything.  I was content in my own little bubble, doing as I wanted, without regard to anyone else.  It was just one of those weeks, I guess.

My mood was just awful. I felt horribly depressed but luckily I did not allow that to impact on my health as I would have in the past. In fact, I used it as motivation. The first thing that I had a hard time with was my weight. I felt so fat. My weight loss as stalled, meaning I'm at a plateau. I'm not where I want to be, but apparently my body likes this range. Everyone tells me I look good, but of course I don't agree. My eyes zero in on the areas I dislike (which can only be corrected with surgery, so it is silly to even let it get to me!). I just felt like my clothes didn't fit right and thought I looked horrible. I felt disappointed with where I am after lipo and a tummy tuck, and where I thought I would be. I compared myself last year to this year and wasn't happy. I feel like I should be at my ultimate goal by now. There were other things that happened, too, and the week just seemed to get worse.

I felt like a horrible failure at everything all week long. I'm still feeling a little down and dealing with some not-so-great feelings but I'm better.

I felt so bad that I didn't even think of the fact that I didn't let my weight-related issue influence my behavior... I  was stuck seeing the old me but most definitely did not behave like the old me. I didn't go on any eating binges and did not rely on junk food to get me through my state of depression. I didn't go buy junk food to gobble down. I didn't say "forget this" and eat fast or take out food. I continued to cook healthy foods. I think I even managed to increase my fruit and veggie intake (I'm up and down with that - constantly). Instead of binge eating I let myself cry if I needed to. I think that's why I cried so much... I allowed my feelings to come out instead of keeping them inside. I got the release I needed.

I didn't sit on the couch and do nothing, as much as I wanted to. Actually, I didn't even want to. The old me would've done that right away, bag of chips or popcorn in hand. I worked out... I got back on track with high calorie burning workout days.  I spent at least an hour working out.. One day the rain was too bad after work so I just did an hour on the treadmill, nothing else... Or maybe that was two days. Other days I did shorter treadmill jog/walk intervals (35-45 minutes) and then walked the dogs for an hour later in the evening. Instead of being lazy, I worked even harder. Being lazy would not have done anything for my body or my mood (especially since so much of it had to do with how I saw myself). Working out, even those hour dog walks, did. It helped my mood a little and did a lot more for my body than sitting around feeling sorry for myself would have.

By Friday I was feeling a little better, but busy... I picked up some things at the grocery store to try a new dinner recipe (a new topping for turkey burgers). I baked a butternut squash to have with the burger. It felt good to try something new and healthy. I also cleaned up the house a little, walked the dogs (earlier rather than later because the night before I ran into some drunk creepers on the walk and didn't want to risk that again - yikes!), and got some stuff ready for the weekend. I was in bed pretty early. I felt that I should have at least done some biking but by the time I got done with everything I was doing, I was tired, my back was sore, and it was about 9:30 - a bit too late for a workout! I was pleased that I had at least gotten an hour of some light fitness done.

Saturday I was feeling even better, but still kind of down.  My Mom and I went shopping, which, having had a week of hating my body, I wasn't as excited as I would be normally. Feeling so fat, I thought for sure I'd be buying my pre-op size in pants and such.  I didn't.... I bought a size smaller (I had a few things that size pre-op but not many - and lately even my pre-op size felt like it wasn't fitting right). I got six or seven pair of pants, all in the smaller size (which I've felt like I've struggled to get into lately). I know that pants differ greatly and obviously in the smaller size pants I already have, the cut was different than the pants I bought on Saturday. I tried on some pants in that smaller size that didn't fit. I went to one store and bought a large in the items I liked, even in tops... I typically wear a medium. That store is geared at younger people and follows the junior sizing guidelines. In fact, at that store I bought an XL in a pair of shorts (because I want to be able to wear some thicker tights under them). I was totally okay with that purchase... Probably because I knew I'd be adding a layer and that they are junior size. The large fit, but I wanted a little extra space for those tights. At another store I bought a medium sweater and wore it today - it feels a little too big and I probably should've bought a small.

I'm learning to accept sizes for what they are... Numbers.  That's it. Numbers should not determine how we feel about ourselves. Especially since there can be such a difference in numbers between brands. I know this and on good days (like today) I'm totally fine with it. Then on other days, I hate the fact that I might have to buy some with a "L" on the tag. Even trying to tell myself that those items are cut for juniors who do not have wide hips like me, I still let it bother me. I'm glad I'm not letting it get to me as much. It was a big step for me to buy those XL shorts. Maybe it was because it was a conscious decision, it wasn't as bad. It's not like I was forced into it - I chose the larger size.

I spent Saturday evening with my cousin, and we went out (in obnoxious outfits) for a bit. I splurged and had pizza for dinner. And we spent some time just hanging out at my parents' house and playing with my cousin's little girl. We wore metallic leggings and shoes, with neon yellow t-shirts that I made into belted dresses. Despite the freakish nature of the outfits, we pulled them off well and looked super cute! I spent a good part of Sunday with her too. I made out my healthy grocery list, full of items for four new recipes, and did some shopping in the evening. I'm excited to try these new recipes!

I know a lot of people who cook ahead for the week. I haven't quite mastered that, although I do love the idea of spending Sunday afternoon/evening cooking various things. Last night I made one meal ahead of time - spaghetti squash with Italian style meatballs and pasta sauce. Although it wasn't for dinner last night, I sampled some and it was delicious!! I didn't miss regular noodles at all, and I'm sure that they're better than tofu shirataki. I just can't bring myself to try that... I've bought it a few times and have never cooked it. Every time I think I can, I'm wrong. For me, the spaghetti squash is a great alternative to regular noodles.  Strangely I did buy some other form of pasta (little shells) to make an avocado, lime, cilantro salad. I'll make some and portion it out so that I don't eat too much at once. I love pasta in any form and definitely could eat too much of it. Hopefully it'll be something that freezes well!

I probably could've cooked another item for the week (I was thinking about broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken breast) but instead I decided I wanted to be crafty. In addition to clothes and groceries, I stocked up on some new craft supplies. I have a couple Halloween costumes to make and some other items that I'm making for gifting or selling on my etsy site. I worked on the latter items last night, and will start on the costumes this week. I definitely feel my crafty side kick in more this time of year. I am not a fan of the cold or snow, so I spend a lot of time working on crafts throughout the fall and winter.

Don't fear - just because my crafty time of year is kicking in doesn't mean that I'll cut down on workouts. I'm preparing to have to spend more time inside on the treadmill, but will make the most of gorgeous fall days before it gets too cold. As always, workouts are a priority over my crafting... I'll find a way to fit everything into my day, but working out is my number two priority (second only to my job).

I decided that because my weight has plateaued, I'm going to cut back on some carbs again. I am not "going low carb." I continue to believe that carbs are an important source of energy and that, as a person who works out, I need them - the healthy kind and in moderation. I prefer to eat my carbs from things like bread earlier in the day, so I will continue to have toast for breakfast. Other than that, my source of carbs will come from fruits, and a few from snacks like pita chips, pretzel crisps, or whole grain crackers....At times. I'm not going to eat them daily. Oh and not as much sugar... I don't eat a lot of it to begin with but I generally eat like that but I noticed that I have been including more carbs with other meals (bread, more pasta, etc.). Weight loss can be a lot of trail and error, so I'll try this and see what happens. I will also continue longer workouts like I did last week. It feels good to see 700+ calories as a total for my daily burn through exercise! I'm definitely adding more ST workouts (I'm off-track with that again) because that helps the body burn more.

I'm definitely already doing super well with my healthy eating (thanks to the new recipes, I'm sure!). I tracked my entire daily intake this morning and had nearly 100 more calories to eat - before my workout was included. I love eating healthy because you can eat soooo much more.  Sometimes I look at people who eat some unhealthy foods but stick to a calorie range and think "wow... that's ALL they ate all day long." Then I think about how it is not only unhealthy to eat the foods that they did, but that it is unhealthy to have one meal and a snack with no other foods all day long. Eating healthy is not JUST about the calories, fat grams, carbs, etc. in the food... The quality of the food is super important too. Some people may think that because they're eating a fast food meal and only one snack, and are in their ranges, that they're doing well. They are really only fooling themselves. It's good too eat often - and a lot - but only if it's healthy!

Here's what I had today with 93 more calories to eat just to reach 1200 (which I will make up sometime this evening, by adding another salad to dinner or another small snack like an apple and a tablespoon of natural PB this evening):

Breakfast: 4 oz orange juice, 12 oz coffee (from a k-cup), two pieces of light whole grain toast with a buttery spread and a slice of cheese. A cup of grapes.

Lunch: A salad (mix; from a bag) with dressing, left over bun less turkey burger with a light sour cream based topping.

Dinner: One cup spaghetti squash, two Italian style meatballs, spaghetti sauce.

Snacks: A small banana, a cup of whole strawberries, six ounces of blueberries, three ounces of baby carrots with two tablespoons of hummus.

Other than the coffee and OJ - water all day....And maybe some chamomile tea when I relax this evening.

Given the choice between all of that for around 1200 calories (probably more like 1250-1300 by the time another salad or snack is added) or a 1000 calorie fast food meal and some chips to snack on, I'd choose the healthier foods. Eating healthy foods, in smaller portions, more frequently is so much healthier than the other option. Plus, I get to eat MORE food by being healthy! That's more variety, more flavor, and a belly that is full until the next meal time.

Another thing that I've noticed is that my water intake is down. I'm thinking it's because of the cooler weather. I was drinking around 20 (if not more!) eight ounce glasses of water a day. Lately I've been ending the day between 12 and 15. I know I can drink more, so that's on my list of things to improve upon.

Plateaus are horrible and sometimes it's the little things that can make a difference for someone who has reached a plateau... That's me... So we'll see what happens with a few small changes.

Here's to a new, healthy week!


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