Thursday, January 26, 2017

Just an Update!

Weight loss continues, slowly. Still more slowly than I desire. I wasn't happy with my rate of loss over the last three months. My weight is down, but for the majority of that time it bounced around between the same five pounds and had basically stabilized. I'm having a hard time getting past "last time" and how much faster it was.  Fresh perspective is hard to gain when you know how something progressed so easily once before. That was in 2009. I'm just a little older now.

I was adding more exercise and this week I was forced to back off (the dreaded "crud" found me). Guess what.... It hasn't been detrimental. Weight is stable. I think maybe I've been pushing a bit too hard. I am really trying to back off on doing so much exercise.  On the days I do spin and yoga, I do not need to run.  On run days, I don't need to spin too.  I've been working to add weights/strength training into the mix for at least 30 minutes a day and I'm finding that it's hard and stressful.  Spin and yoga alone are almost two hours; that's the time period I'm gone, but spin is about 45 minutes. Then it's off to work and on lunch I've been running (well, mostly walking this week, since you know...breathing...). I'm finding that leaves me short on time as far as getting weights in. And by the time I get home at night, I'm tired and honestly, I just don't want to. So, I could get up a little earlier and get something done before everything else.  That would probably be the easier option. That will require going to bed earlier... That's pretty much something I constantly need to work to improve.

 I'm thinking of cutting out the serious strength training and doing some body weight training. These random half hour periods I have between clients are used for various this (like this). I can easily do some body weight squats, lunges, and whatever else during those down times. I also don't have to go to my basement gym to use my big, heavy weights, so they're a lot easier to do during the couple hours of relaxation I have at night.  I didn't lift heavy the first time I lost weight and it's okay if I don't now. The important thing is that I'm moving. I like gaining muscle and I've noticed that I look different at my current weight than last time I was here, but I'm getting stressed trying to get it in, which isn't good.  Or maybe I'll cut down a couple days. If I strength train a couple days a week it's okay.  I'm not going to be making any huge muscle gains but I'm also going to maintain my strength and what I have now.  I'm kind of at the point where I'm thinking "fat loss now, muscle gains later." I'll still do strength training because it helps, but I'm not going to exhaust myself or worry because I have it scheduled and don't get to it.

I'm too uptight. I need to learn that it's okay to not have to do things in a certain way.  I have to make it fun again. I have to enjoy it, not feel like it's just something I have to do.  I still like working out but the love I had for it just doesn't have that same spark. I'm probably doing more harm than good with all the exercise I've been doing. Most days my caloric intake is 1200-1500 (on a higher day). I can burn up to 1600 (that's based on however myfitnesspal figures it).

I've been all over the place diet-wise, trying various things and realizing that it doesn't matter what I'm doing, my weight isn't budging. Clearly I need to revise it.  I generally eat healthy. I have treats sometimes but the amount of treats shouldn't be preventing weight loss.  I'm thinking maybe it's the quality. That's one of the problems I had with a certain weight loss plan/company. Eat whatever you want, just stay within this range. That's not okay. I think I can clean up my eating even more and maybe that will help my body. It's time to re-visit my old logs to see where exactly I was at in terms of macros, calories, etc. I don't eat horribly now but obviously there is some room for improvement. I was eating "sort of" low carb but not following any specific plan exactly. I was still allowing for some good carbs but cut down a lot. I was eating  more treats like hard boiled eggs, cheese, and little meat snacks.  You know what? That's not good either. It's just a quick fix. And I know that. It's also really not a good plan for, ohhhh your heart. Sometimes high protein comes with high fat. Red meat could be a factor for me. It's fatty. I buy the extra lean ground beef and lean cuts of whatever else, but the little meat trays at the store...Not so lean. I can allow those now and then but I think that I've had too much of that.

In reading about various "diets" I think that what I used to do looks very much like the Mediterranean Diet.  I'm going to refer to that as a Mediterranean style of eating because I don't diet/do diets. When I refer to my diet, it's my dietary intake. Not some fad or quick fix that does not really work in the long run.  Also? Wine.  If you follow the actual Mediterranean Diet it allows for wine. But it says a glass of red wine. I'm more of a white drinker. Wonder if that counts. By the way, I don't drink very often so that's kind of a funny thought and fitting alcohol into my diet isn't a concern for me. Honestly, I'm not sure when I last had an adult beverage. It must have been New Year's Eve when I had two light beers.

I suppose that's about it... I continue to plan ahead for workouts and fit them in with my work schedule. It seems to be working out pretty well doing that.  It also gives me a tendency to get a little stressed if the day doesn't go as planned and I don't get something done that's scheduled, so I'm trying to just let some of that go and roll with it. I don't need to exercise for two hours a day. If I miss something, I'll be okay.  Sometimes being too rigid can cause difficulty.

Hope life finds you well!

XOXO




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Angel Card Got Me Again.

Yoga has become a huge part of my life.  I love everything about it. I love the physical work, because....Exercise. I have also noticed some changes in my body since I started yoga. I'm stronger. I'm more flexible. Some of the poses are easier (which should happen after two months of consistency).  Some poses, I'm still working on (looking at you crow - I got up and stayed up for like three seconds once; didn't immediately come down. IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN SO JUST COOPERATE WITH ME!).  I leave class feeling refreshed and at peace. I wish my schedule allowed for me to go every day. I can usually work it so that I can make it to class three times a week, plus choreoyoga on the weekend (which is just FUN!). This is the first class (admittedly though, I haven't taken many) that I've looked forward to. I get annoyed if I have something come up and I have to miss a class. I enjoy my spin class too but yoga ranks right up there with running in my little bubble.

The thing with yoga is that it really does become part of a lifestyle. It can release so much from the body that a person can feel different (better?) mentally too. When you feel better/different, you start to see things around you differently too. Yoga is about self-care as well as how you behave toward others. When you feel better, you're more likely to treat others (and yourself!) better. I've never had much of a problem with the treating others well thing. Sure, there have been people who I've allowed to "get to me" at times and I reacted. I never used to be good at standing up for myself. Once I found my voice, the fighting spirit within me was like "helllloooo there!" In terms of reactions, if someone was mean to me, I wasn't going to let them get away with that and in doing so, I was mean to them too. Over time (this was even pre-yoga), I realized that the mean things people said, which typically were exaggerated, didn't really matter.  In the end, it comes down to... Why would they treat me that way?

When people are asshats to you, there's a reason. You did something they don't like. You have something they want. They struggle with their own feelings so your success or celebration brought out their anger. Jealousy. Greed. Lots of things can cause people to be jerks. That kid who is mean to everyone? He's probably struggling with something - home life, self-esteem... None of which is a reason to be a bully, but there's something behind it. Unless that kid wants to be mean for no good reason, which is another type of problem.

Generally when I've been an asshat it's been in response to someone else's high level asshat behavior. Or because I've been standing up for others. Or because someone needed to be called out on whatever was happening. I mean, communication... If you don't tell someone what is bothering you and discuss it, it festers and turns ugly. I guess I've not been a total asshat with that type of thing. People hate criticism and usually the response to it is negative. So, maybe that wasn't as much me as it was a reaction turning it into more. Or maybe I was mean about it. Could be either.

I was getting better at the whole "letting go" concept prior to yoga. I was working hard to stay positive and be happy that issues were no longer issues. I decided that people who really truly know me, know me.  They know the positive as well as the negative (because we ALL have negative). The people who know me take time to understand me, to talk, and to listen. People who really know me will ask if they hear something. They'll want my part of the story. People say that there are three parts to every story: yours, theirs, and the truth.  I hate that concept. Sure, sometimes things are exaggerated but just tell the truth. We avoid the truth because we don't like to look bad, we don't want to admit to our "faults" and we want everyone else to just love us without question. Here's the thing - the people who love you will love you without question despite your faults. I've become pretty good at saying "I did this..." or "you know, I said this and it probably wasn't so great." People, it is okay to admit to your own problems. The more you hide them, the more people start to realize it.

Yoga has brought all of that out even more, but in a different way. I'm learning to be more peaceful about things. Acknowledge and move on. You can't change what anyone thinks or says about you. If they really want to know you, they'll watch and they'll listen. They will give you a chance based on you rather than what someone else said.

My fighting spirit is still there. It's just there in a different way. I'm trying to react to hurt (although, thankfully, I haven't faced much of that recently) in a different way. Instead of reacting and behaving in the same manner, I'm working to better my response.

So, in terms of treating others well, I think I'm doing a pretty good job. I suppose that's because it's my life.... It comes easy. I've always been a good listener, empathetic, and I've always just cared. For a long time, that was my big flaw.  Others first, me....Somewhere down the line.  That's not okay. There needs to be balance.

Over the years I've struggled with self-esteem. There's never been much "bad" that anyone can say about me. I'm smart, I'm driven, I'm motivated, I'm kind... The one thing people will always attack is the thing that they know (or think) is the thing that should bother you the most. For me it was always my appearance. Those "fat" comments or lies about what others may have said are what really got under my skin.  People find out which buttons to push and they push them.  For a long time because of how I felt and viewed myself, I sometimes let others treat me badly and I took what they said to heart.

I'm done with that. I'm taking real, true criticism better (from valid sources). What's different is I like and appreciate myself even more. I am better able to look at the positives before the negatives. Most of the time. I still get on myself about not losing weight fast enough (scale obsession doesn't die even though I know that lifting can impact it; even though I look different/my body composition is different). I guess I don't want to be (sorry if I offend you; this is a personal thought - just for ME not my view of anyone else) one of those people who is like "this is who I am and I'm good with it." Maybe I worry too much about just being "okay" with my body. There is a very fine line with accepting yourself and living behind a belief that isn't really for you. And that's me. I'm happy for anyone who loves themselves no matter what and who can live being over weight and own it without hesitation. I can't do that. It's not for me. I want to see change (various change, not just weight). If you really love who you are, awesome. If you want to change, do it. I guess I worry that if I'm too accepting I'll become complacent and stop striving for my goals. That's not what I want.

We put a lot of emphasis on weight/thinness/bodies. I'd say most women have had some struggle with their appearance at some point in their life. It impacts how we think about ourselves and each other. People are mean. Everyone wears judgey-pants but some people are just cruel and don't see any fault in it or feel remorse later. I if I think something judgmental, I analyze it. I think it's human nature to judge, but how we handle it and what we learn is important.

So....

This morning at yoga, I cried.  A little bit.  Only a few tears, but they were there. I also had the whole tingly nose thing going on as I tried to stop them from really flowing. I've heard that this happens at times. I think it's because yoga is mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes it just happens. Kinda like when people sometimes fart during certain poses. I've read articles about it. I haven't witnessed it. Or haven't noticed it. I guess it's because I'm so connected with what I'm doing, that I don't notice what others are doing so much.

ANYWAY....

I have a really hard time just clearing my mind and listening during savasana. It is one of the most challenging poses for me.  Physically it's not hard to lay on my mat. Mentally, a totally challenge. Just listening and clearing my mind is hard. My mind always wants to go. It's on to the next thing on my list before I'm there. I think that in our society, this is a common problem. Think about it - even when you go to sleep, your mind is thinking of things before you fall asleep and while you dream.

Today I got the "listening" angel card. I've gotten it a few times and think "why this card? I listen really well. I listen all day. I listen to people in conversations. I feel like people are listening to me when I speak. I feel validated and important." Today, as I made a conscious effort (because I remind myself of this after EVERY class) not to let my mind wander as much. I wanted to really be present, listen, and reflect. And I did. As our fantastic teacher, Lauri, was talking, so much of what she said was clicking. Naturally when someone says something your mind comes up with a response. That was me today. I was truly listening to what she was saying and it reached me. The message came through and I reflected. As I did, I felt tears in my eyes. I guess it was just an overwhelming, emotional feeling of making a specific connection. Now I have learned something else about myself and need to work to move through that.

That darn Angel Card. It got me again.

XOXO

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Holidays!

Well, the holiday season took me away from blogging! I honestly didn't even think about it until this week. I guess with shopping, get togethers, and other activities (plus normal life), it wasn't a huge priority.

Now I'm back.

Not much has changed. I'm still working to bring Ainsley's Angels to my area, which also took a little bit of a back seat through the holidays. I've found though, that a lot of businesses wait for a new year to do donations and sponsorships.  I also found some possible state/government grants, but have to check with the AA staff on how to go about that and if it's even allowed.  The applications call for information that I don't have access to. I guess I've been working on it in a different way; more research and trying to figure out how to go about certain things.  It's proving to be a pretty cool learning experience!

Activity is about the same. I let the ST slide but am working that back into the routine the last couple weeks. It has been a little difficulty with holiday work schedules and such but it's progressing. I think next week will be a little easier with my normal routine.

I have had a little weight loss. I (mostly) behaved over the holidays. I indulged a little, so I didn't lose a whole lot.  It was more routine and being places and poor planning that resulted in slowed loss.  But that's okay. I didn't gain a bunch like a lot of people do so I'm okay with that. I have also continued to workout. Working out is one of my top priorities, after work and family. I will work my weekday schedule and fit in workouts where I can.  Yesterday I had to break it up into one smaller period and one longer period. Generally, that's how my workouts go. I get some ST done at one time then cardio at another. Or if I'm going to class, I set aside my time for that and then do something else later. It can be done, if you can plan ahead (as much as possible) and work it out.

I bought an Erin Condren planner last year and have really been using that more often and for everything! I am finding that much easier than having specific planners for things or saying "I'll do this on this day...." but not really looking at my available time.  I got a planner/run journal for Christmas. I'm writing specific workout details in that, as workouts happen. I plan ahead but even then sometimes things come up and plans have to change. And, that's okay.  Because there's always time somewhere to do something. Maybe that means one day is busier, but it gets done.  Where there's a will, there's a way!!

My next half is coming up... Soon!! I think it's coming up on 50 days away in another day or too! SO excited!! I'm already registered for two more! I am doing the Flying Pig and my Mom bought me registration for Run the Bluegrass for Christmas. Those are all between February and May.  I anticipate I'll be doing more than three this year. Hey, that's already two more half marathons than last year!

My training was sort of off. I am still running. of course, but I strayed from the plan a bit.  I have been including the speedwork though so I am seeing an improvement in my time. I really need to get some distance runs in. I think in the last couple months, I've been at a10K or under.... So my last long run was my last half at the end of September. A few long runs and I'll be feeling good. I need to play around with pace too.

So that's about it for now - life is good. All around!