Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Darn cat

I'm tired. Eyes drooping, fingers stiff and unyielding, ready to drink a pot of coffee tired. This is not great when my job, every day, is to sit in a room lit by fluorescent lights (no natural light) and look at a computer screen for, oh, I don't know, eight hours? This does not lend itself to me becoming more and more awake.

It's the cat. Every morning - yesterday it was 2:30 a.m., today it was 3:20 a.m. - she feels the need to wake up, meow loudly, and make noise until I grab her. I've tried throwing her out of the room, I've tried cuddling her, I've tried shoving her under the covers where it's warm and hoping that puts her to sleep, I've tried putting food in her already-full bowl, thinking she needs the sound of the kernels against the metal dish to get her salivating like Pavlov's dog. Oy. If I lock her out to the room she'll paw at the door. That's not so conducive to a good nights' sleep.

Today at 3:20 I just got up, same yesterday. Got up, got ready, went to work. I'm lucky enough that I can go in early. I start at 5 a.m. on a normal day anyway, which is why it's so hard to go back to sleep sometimes after el gato has made the noise she deems appropriate. It's almost time for me to wake up anyway, so then I just either lay in bed and wait for my alarm to go off, which I do sometimes and then I doze, or get up and go.

She's cuddly, she's cute, but my lack of sleep means I'm hungrier throughout the day. It's like my body needs more food to keep going because it's not getting ample rest at night, and then I definitely don't have the energy to work out. I had a run planned for yesterday. I took a four-hour sleep instead. In total that means yesterday I got eight hours of sleep! But then, wretched cycle, I wasn't tired last night at nine, so I went to bed at 11:30 p.m. and then woke up at 3:30 a.m. I'm trying for a walk today no matter what. I may not have the energy to run, but I can still walk my butt off.

So that darn cat. Any ideas on what to do to either make her quiet, or make me tired earlier? Throw 'em at me!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Where I'm going

I focus a lot on the weight I lost. I focus on the things I have accomplished. I focus on what has been, how far I've come. Sometimes I think I need to stop looking behind me and start looking at what is in store for my life. I'm making a plan, goals, things to achieve. Whatever you want to call it, I'm making it.

I have come far. To recap: I've lost over thirty pounds. I still have more than thirty left to go (forty, actually). I can run. My dream was to run and I'm doing it. While I let some muscles waste away this summer due to a bout of laziness (I swear it's catchy) I'm back on track. Running at least half of my time on the treadmill, hopefully in a few weeks I'll be back up to almost the whole time! I've lost inches. I've lost gobs of fat. I feel better. Every day when I exercise I feel happier. Cardio has this amazing way of lightening my mood, making my face contort into this weird, euphoric smile. I can't help it.

Now, where I'm going. I'm GOING to run 10 5Ks this year. I've been getting my body back on the running track since October, so that will be one year of working toward this goal. By then end of March I aim to have run two 5Ks on my treadmill with times and water stations all mapped out (it's cold in Iowa and I am NOT prepared to run outside right now!) and hopefully, weather willing, my first road 5k of the year in March. Anyone know a good one in Iowa? My ears are open. After this year (and hopefully those pesky forty pounds) a half marathon is my dream. I want it, and I'm scared of it. I'm thinking a running coach may be on the horizon, if affordable, because I've never trained for something like this, and 13.1 miles is a little more daunting than a 5k.

I can't wait until I look back on this next year and thing of the races, think of my goals, and am happy looking backward at where I've been and all I've done. Two years ago I would not have believed that running - or any form of exercise for that matter - would make me this happy. Two years ago I was falling into despair, into sadness over my life and what I had not done with it. A year from now I want to be at goal, ready to smile and look at how strong I found myself to be.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Biggest Loser

So, I'm actively on again. Loving it. And I'm signed up for the Biggest Loser Challenge 15. You get placed on a team and then your team competes against the other teams in the challenge to lose the most weight. If you win, you get your name in lights! And Bragging rights. Since I've been doing SO well (insert sarcasm) at keeping myself motivated, I am going to ask all these wonderful people for motivation and help and support. I have such a wonderful support system, but knowing these people are, in a way, counting on me and for me, I think it will push my boundaries.

I need my boundaries pushed. For a second, just a split second I thought about getting a personal trainer. The problems with that are that then I have to join a gym, plus pay for a trainer. I have almost everything I need gym-wise/dvds to keep me going, but only good a trainer would do me is they would be paid to kick my butt on a daily basis. Maybe when it gets warmer out I'll invest in some time with a running coach, I could definitely use some help there, but we'll see how things go.

For now, I'm happy to be part of a community again where if all you do is talk about weight, that's fine. I've dropped some teams that I never followed, so that frees up some reading time, and I'm gonna kick butt in this next round!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Epic Fail

Over over over on calories. Oh yes. I blame Buffalo Wild Wings. Okay, really? I blame myself, but Buffalo Wild Wings did put me over. I just need to develop this ability to say STOP.

I had eaten a half-hearted lunch (approximately two point five hours earlier) when the SO asked if I wanted to go out for lunch. Of COURSE I wanted to go out with him! I figured I'd do what I normally do, order a bit of this or that, not much more than a snack, and go alone with my day. I should have held myself to that. Then we decided to go to Buffalo Wild Wings. Having never been there, I went way to far out. Cheeseburger (a slammer, but their version of a slammer is MUCH different than mine) fries, and, of course, four wings.

Totalling up my calories for that meal alone was more than I normally eat in a DAY. Lesson learned, eat a couple of wings, maybe something else small, but enough is enough. Oy. Luckily until that point I was pretty light on calories, so I erased two days of "good eating" and averaged out at maintenance mode for three days. It's pretty sad when one meal can erase the first part of your healthy week. That was yesterday.

I need to kick it in butt. I want three months of GREAT eating. A tiny treat here or there, sure, but I want to see how clean I can eat for that period of time. It might be hard, but the more I try the better I'll get, right?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eat what you love

I recently was reading this post by fitbottomedgirls. She says in it, "eat what you love and savor every delicious holiday bite."

I don't do that.

I love cheesecake. I have cheesecake in my fridge at home right now. When I go to eat it, I do not savor every bite. I stuff it in my face so quickly that by the time the taste of that delicious cheesecake hits it's already down to my hips. Then I want another piece. Or ten. I find that when I do take more time with my food: When I savor it and wait for it to register in my mouth instead of swallowing it whole, I am more satisfied. I have less mindless eating, I choose my foods carefully. Do I really want to ingest 300 calories of something I don't enjoy and then have to run three miles later to make up for it? Most times the answer is a resounding "No."

So my goal, especially for this month of December that is chock-full of amazing delicious treats, is to savor. Not to miss or cut out or deprive myself of, but to look over a table of goodies and to pick those I find the most appetizing, and then savor. Just because it's there doesn't mean I have to eat it (a lesson I could stand to have beaten into my mouth) but if it looks delectable, I will not say "cannot" or "may not" because I may. I just need to keep myself in check a little bit.

I'm pretty sure the cheesecake at home will be joining me on my trip to work tomorrow. It's not that it's bad, I enjoy it, but I've enjoyed 1/4 of that thing now, I think that's plenty, now it's time to share. Christmas is about giving, after all :D

Friday, December 10, 2010


Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember,
you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion
to reach for the stars to change the world.
~Harriet Tubman
I need a push. A shove. A form of movement that may need to be induced with a plow. There are days when faced with the decision to get out of bed or have a root canal I seriously consider the root canal. I think of how hard my life is, how much I would love things to change, and then I put on my big-girl panties and get over it. My life is not hard. I am healthy, I have a job I love, family who supports me in everything I do and a man who surrounds me with unconditional love. My life, when you break it down, is a big huge wonderful thing that I am very lucky to have.
When I'm feeling down, like everything is meaningless and that I don't have a purpose, one thing I turn to is other people. People were blessed in an amazing way. We have the power to lift each other up, to show beauty and love to those who are hurting, and to push others along the way so they can get through another day.  A smile, a word, even just a look can send someone tumbling down, but can also raise them to the greatest heights where they feel that maybe they are important, that they are loved, and that all things are possible. 
People are my inspiration. When I am down I visit blogs. I hear the positive comments and I feel like it's worth it all over again. Take one of the new bloggers at (actually, his is Ever since I read his blog I feel like I have new energy. He knows he has a long way to go, but his way is set before him. All he has to do is walk it. He inspires me.
I know I am not made to be unhappy. I am made to want to be better than I am. I am working toward that goal and hope to reach it, in so many areas of my life. People are one thing that helps get me there. Thanks for giving me such beautiful hope.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Trouble with more

So, in my last post, you know how I said I did pretty good at portion control? Well, I don't know what has happened but in the last three days that went out the window. Maybe it didn't go out the window, maybe since I'm tracking my food again (yay me) I'm just realizing that my portions have gotten out of control in the last few months. I'm not necessarily eating to gain, but I'm eating to maintain. That's not great when I still have over twenty pounds left to go (maybe thirty!)

But I'm hungry. Super hungry. I had oatmeal with pomegranate seeds about two hours ago and my stomach is calling for more. Add to that that I've been drinking my coffee and water, my stomach should be full, I'm a little disappointed. I know I've upped my workouts. I did an hour of walking yesterday for my off day from running. I ran for forty minutes the day before that. Today is an off day, maybe, we'll see, as I ease back into the hardcore exercise.

I'm trying to eat filling, sustaining, low-calorie food and I think I need some more. I have a banana that I can pull out of my lunch bag, then beef stroganoff for lunch. I just like to try to hold off on lunch because if I eat it too early (like at 8 a.m., which is what I want to do right now) I crave more food before supper.

So, part of my hunger I'm pushing off on exercise more, but part of my eating, I think I'm a little scared. And I'm sabotaging myself.

I've lost over thirty pounds. I'm at least halfway to my goal. I'm not crazy happy where I am right now but I am pretty content. I know I look better than I have in a long time. Now I'm just questioning if I have the spirit and motivation to make it the rest of the way. The first half wasn't easy, but it really wasn't that hard either. The weight came off at a decent pace, I changed a lot of things, so I ended up losing weight just because I started exercising. I started eating better. Now I need to do more. Just eating better won't keep me at the same weight-loss level I was before. Just working out won't allow me to see the results I've become accustomed to. I need to do more.

More is a little harder for me. Instead of running three days a week with some light activity in between, I need to run, have moderate activity and start lifting. Instead of just eating more vegetables, which in turn had me eating less fatty meat and fewer starches, I need to organize my meals so they give me the energy I need to maintain my exercise schedule while keeping me full and allowing me the creativity and variety I personally need in cooking.

I just feel like it's getting so hard. I want to keep doing this, I want to win. But my resources are dwindling. I can't afford to hire a trainer and I can't afford to hire a nutritionist, but I want this, and so I keep at it, but I feel like I'm getting lackluster results. I'm back on the wagon after a little failure. Does anyone have a piece of leather so I can strap myself to the seat?

Monday, December 6, 2010

A better tomorrow

Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.
~Doug Firebaugh

My tomorrow has in store some precious, precious fruit. When I eat a grape instead of a cinnamon roll I try to remind myself of that fact. Food is quite fleeting. The pleasure I get from food is instantaneous and yet gone in a second. The joy I find in giving someone else something I have made is wonderful, because I like to give people some little pleasures, but in the end it's the time I took to make someone happy, not what I end up giving them that is important.

There is so much consumerism going on right now. Part of me enjoys it. I like buying, I like giving, I like cooking and eating. I consume more than I need when it comes to shopping but also when it comes to eating. When do I say enough? When my wallet is empty? When my stomach is so full it almost bursts? So I change. I eat what I should eat (most of the time) not what my stomach says to eat because my stomach lies to me. One moment it says it's still hungry after consuming pork chops and potatoes and lots and lots of water! Then, ten minutes later, suddenly it's full to the brim and I can't fit one more thing in. It's said the moon is harsh mistress. I think the stomach is a fickle one. When do I cease to buy? When I can't possibly think of one more thing to get for someone? I've been doing better, but I have to admit I get sucked into a great deal as quickly as the next person. 

Choices are important when it comes down to our stomachs and our wallets, and obviously, everything else in life. I try to choose things that will make my life better. I eat fresh fruits and vegetables instead of pastries (ahem, most of the time!) I try to cook things in a way that will make me healthier, not heavier. I like to buy eco-friendly products to make my life here on earth more fulfilling and to keep the earth as healthy as I can. 

Every choice, even one as little as putting a piece of trash in a bin or on the ground, or a grape versus a donut hole can make a big change. What choices are you willing to make?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day-to-day struggles

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves,
and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” 
~Agnes Repplier

 Struggling is never easy. It's not easy to admit, because I'm proud. It's not easy to do because I like to do everything 'right.' It's just a Debbie downer. While I'm doing much better than I was a month ago, I know I can do more. Mostly because it's that time of year and goodies abound. I'd have to say I'm doing ok. At Thanksgiving with my family - which was amazing - I partook, but I didn't really overindulge. I was pretty proud of that fact. I did taste almost everything, but it was one or two bites worth of food instead of a heaping serving, and though I left stuffed after onetoomany pieces of Grandma's apple pie, I had rationed my food through the day just so I could indulge and not feel guilty. Okay, I still felt guilty, but about 90% of what I would have felt otherwise.

Exercise is going pretty well and I'm pleased with that. Wednesday I absolutely did not want to face the treadmill.I had been at work since 5:30 a.m., came home for a moment after work to gather coupons and write out my shopping plan, and then I didn't get home again until 4:15 p.m. Ugh. I was still supposed to get a workout in, make supper and get to a gathering around 8 p.m. to send off a coworker, the jerk is leaving us. As the SO came in the door from work I was seriously contemplating skipping it altogether. But I couldn't. 

Down I went. Good it was. It's even better now that we have cable on all our televisions. The satellite hadn't been working in the basement for over a month, not very motivational when sometimes the television - and my focus on it - can get me through a workout when no amount of willpower can. But I turned to the Simpsons and their comedic antics were enough to get my blood racing. My walk turned into a walk/run and suddenly I had more energy, more oomph! I love it.

I never thought I would be one of those people who liked to exercise. While I don't necessarily love the actually exercise I can't argue with how it makes me feel. I feel alive, happy and vibrant. I love feeling vibrant. And so I continue to struggle. I'm succeeding in my struggle, but I feel one step away from a fall. I figure as long as I can get through Christmas relatively unscathed I can count it as a victory. That's one more notch in my belt to get me through the next month, and the next month, until this thing I feel like I'm playing at because more a part of my life than other. Until then, here's to the treadmill.