Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day & March Challenges

I was going to wait to post this until tomorrow, but this will be my only chance in the next 4 years to post on a Leap Day, so here we are!  Not to sound like an old woman, but I swear this year is flying by!  I can't believe that tomorrow is March, but I am shockingly happy that we're getting nearer to spring.  Very unlike me because I am not a huge fan of warmer weather.  Hilariously enough since I've started to drop weight again I am cold all of the freaking time, which I think still surprises Eric!  We used to argue like crazy about the thermostat in the winter because I was always hot, but now I rarely cry uncle.  It's crazy the different a few pounds will make, I'm constantly having to cover up or throw on a shawl to stay warm.

So during February I didn't have a goal or a challenge to work towards, and while breaks are nice sometimes I think I really do need to push myself more from a physical standpoint.  I do walk anywhere from 1-3 miles every single day during the week and usually at least one day on the weekends.  While walking is great for you and I really enjoy it, it's definitely not challenging me the way I need to be challenged.  It's great that I'm dropping weight, but there are times I'm self conscious over flabby areas, especially my stomach, and really the only solution for that is to start running again or take up something else that will be a little more hardcore.  As I already kind of covered, I'm taking a hiatus from running, so I've definitely been soul searching on what I can do to challenge myself for March.

Obviously there are any number of exercises I could do or take up, and I know I am very bullheaded sometimes (ok all of the time), but there is just certain stuff I'm not interested in and I'm not going to force myself to do something I hate.  For instance, I know I hate gyms and have tried 700 times over the years to be happy going to one, but it just ain't going to happen.  If I wasn't happy at our last gym that had all these great amenities, including a steam room, then I'm not going to be happy at some basic bitch gym.  I prefer to work out alone, so joining classes doesn't do much for me.  Anyway, the list of my quirks goes on but I have settled on focusing on strength training and HIIT workouts for the month of March.  I think especially with being self conscious and unhappy with my fluff and lack of muscle definition, this is the perfect thing to focus on.

A bulk of my month will be following the 30 Day Plank Challenge, the 30 Day Wall Sit Challenge, and doing this basic Hand Weight Workout.  I love 30 Day Fitness Challenges, especially since you can do them anywhere!  In addition to those, I am challenging myself to choose from a list of HIIT workouts I found on Youtube from Fitness Blender at least 4 times a week.  I'm honestly kind of excited to start these workouts because I miss having exercise that makes me feel sore and like I actually did something.  I also am excited at the prospect of tightening my body up a little and hopefully shrinking my midsection!  It will just be good to try different things and shake things up a bit!

I did remember to start taking pictures of my meals this week, so I'll put together a post next week with all my pictures.  I also started typing up my own personal experience with CICO and some tips on how to get started, if people are interested!

I hope everyone has a fabulous Leap Day!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thinner Thursday (doh!) and The Running Sads

Weigh In

Previous Weight:  193.2
Current Weight:  195.8
Difference:  +2.6 pounds

Oof...well, I guess we know what staycation fun gets you, it's a 2.6 pound gain.  I pretty much expected it since we really did go a bit nuts, plus I've had issues in the evening this week with snacking and not tracking my calories.  I guess on a positive note I no longer have the delusions of "oh I have no idea why I gained."  I ate more than I should have, didn't exercise enough and I didn't track everything I was eating, simple as that.  And gains are what happen when I do that.  I think the saddest thing is, it wasn't even worth it.  The food we ate and amount of alcohol we drank made me physically feel like absolute crap.  The unchecked snacking makes me feel guilty and like crap.  So the sensible solution is to just not do those things!  I'm sure I'll be down again come next Thursday.

The Running Conundrum

So you have not heard me talk about running for many months now and for very good reason, I haven't done any!  It kind of began with needing a break after the Seattle Half, but it's become this full blown "thing" where I am completely adverse to the idea of running due to my training experience over the summer.  Whenever I even think about going for a run, I start to feel panicky and remember last summer and how badly my aductor injury hurt, how much my feet hurt, and how miserably hot I was.  It was also the period where the situation with my dad was at its worst and most upsetting, and I unfortunately associate running with that situation now.  I thought it was a matter of slaying the dragon, that if I just got out and did it that it would help things.  Unfortunately, it did the opposite.  I tried to go for a run over the weekend and quit after a half mile because every negative thing started playing over and over again in my mind and my anxiety started going through the roof.  Physically I felt fine, but mentally and emotionally I felt almost damaged afterwards.  I was pissy and upset for well over 2 hours afterwards, which is usually the opposite of what happens to me after a run.

I've really hardcore struggled the last few months with the this new attitude towards running.  I have always had periods where I've taken breaks from running, then I sign up for races and get right back into it, but I've never flat out felt hatred towards it.  I won't lie, experiencing that feeling has been upsetting and I feel a bit like I'm losing a part of myself and my identity.  It's very difficult to put into words.  Do I think I'm done with running forever?  No, it doesn't really feel like that.  I still feel a pang when I see other people running in the afternoons, and I don't think I'd feel that if I was done for forever.  Do I think it will be a very long time before I want to?  Most definitely.  I finally feel at peace with taking a very long running hiatus after this weekend, but it's still very weird.  But part of this new lifestyle is me knowing when to push and when not to, and I feel comfortable with saying this is an area where I genuinely need a break.

Besides all of the emotional crap, there is the weight loss part I worry about.  The fact of the matter is that running was a great way for me to stay toned up and burn plenty of calories to help me hit my goals.  Without it, I feel like both my legs and stomach are flabby and I miss the sensation of working hard, so now I need to find something to replace running.  I've cobbled together a challenge for myself in March with hand weights and resistance exercises, which I think will be excellent for both the toning and filling that need to work a bit harder than my gentle walking I've been doing every day.

A Week of Meals

Lately I've been so inspired by Katie's posts on calorie counting and what she eats on a daily basis, especially since she is now in the 120's.  It's been a good reminder for me that reaching my weight goals are possible while still being a "normal" person.  If I can get my shit together enough to remember to take pictures next week, I'd also like to follow her lead and post pictures and a food log of my meals and the types of things I eat on a daily basis just to show people you don't have to be miserable to lose weight.  Stay tuned I guess, because we all know that I tend to be a bit derpy and forget to do these things!  Starting next week, I'll document some of my meals (that will also be good incentive to not snack when I'm not supposed to!)

I think it's important to show the success of a CICO (Calories In, Calories Out) lifestyle, and to give people the permission and freedom to enjoy their lives while also getting to and maintaining a healthy weight.  I'm so glad Katie is doing that, and I also want to show people that you can have a variety of meals while also eating things you like.

Ultimately, I remember what it was like to feel ashamed, resentful, angry and get into that cycle of beating yourself up over wanting to eat "real" food.  I'd be on whatever crazy diet where you can't have whatever thing, and be so resentful about it and have a horrible attitude towards myself.  The PINK Method is a good example, basically it's a vegan and gluten free diet, (shockingly I lasted about 6 months on it) and in the first phase you can't even really have much fruit because of evil sugar!  My inner dialogue went something like this:  "Man I really want cheese, but I can't because I'm on this diet, and I wouldn't have to BE on this diet if I wasn't so fat and disgusting.  How did I let myself get like this, I'm such a freak I can't even have what normal people eat.  Why can't I just be normal?  Why can't I just eat what everyone else eats?"  So on and so forth.

Let me tell you, that's a horrible way to live and feel about yourself.  It also mentally turns you against healthier food, because that's what "bad" people eat as punishment for being fat, while everyone else gets to enjoy chocolate, burgers, etc.  It took me a long time to change my thinking and realize that I can have anything on God's green earth I want, it just has to be in sensible portions that I track.  I also discovered that healthy food is just as if not more enjoyable than the "real" food, and that I love incorporating it into my day to day.  I no longer view things like salads as a punishment, they're something beautiful and tasty that I enjoy!  I also discovered that hundreds of "normal" people track their food and count calories, hence the reason they are slim and healthy.    Counting calories and keeping on top of things isn't something I do as a horrible fat person, it's actually a very normal person thing to do!  I can't tell you how freeing it is to just eat without agonizing about if it's something I'm "supposed" to eat!  I'm not saying every day is a picnic, it's still a lot of work to plan meals, log recipes and count calories.  But it's not a mental and emotional struggle at least, and I don't feel resentful or anxious anymore.

Here's to finishing the week out strong and staying on top of things.  I'll prep that CICO post and a log of what I eat next week, so be on the lookout!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Staycation Ends

I just realized I never checked back in with the rest of our staycation adventures, whoops!  We were kind of running around so much that I really didn't want to devote a ton of time to sitting at the laptop.  Anyway on Friday we went into Portland and did some frivolous shopping.  We went to one of our favorite record stores, and I ended up going a little crazy due to my Beach Boys fandom.  Hey, why choose one album when you can get five?

We went to Powell's Bookstore and I SWORE I was just going to browse, but naturally came out with two books.  One is this highly reviewed book on Charles Manson, the other is Misty Copeland's autobiography, because lord knows one shouldn't read one without reading the other.  What I did NOT buy was this Marijuana cookbook, I was just mostly amused at how very Portland that display was.  A lot of tourists were loitering around it and kind of clutching their pearls over it, I was just sort of bemused by the whole thing.

Afterwards we had lunch at this new brewery place and I got a ridiculous burger and a beer sampler.  I've really been digging samplers when we go to beer places rather than just getting one beer, it's great for someone like me who has trouble choosing and is worried she might miss out on something good.  This way I can try a bunch of beers, and if one is really gross then it's only a couple ounces of grossness.  I have to say I was very impressed with all of the beers I picked, they were all very unique and tasty.  The best one was that darkest one, it was a chocolate cherry stout aged in whiskey barrels.  Delicious!

The rest of the weekend was mostly us obsessing about finding an accent chair for Eric's "man cave" and a stereo cabinet for the vinyl player we're getting.  We finally found an accent chair he was happy with, but we're having zero luck with the cabinet.  We went to 2-3 furniture stores, a couple of box stores and a handful of thrift places and are just not seeing what we're looking for.  It's very frustrating!  Half of the issue is that everything we're finding is huge and incredibly expensive, and we really just need a very simple setup.  At the same time, we don't want some cheap BS thing that we have to spend 5 hours putting together (Eric and I are not handy people, to put it mildly).  I'm sure we'll eventually find something, it's just hard when you're looking for something that specific for an audio medium that ain't exactly modern.

Our staycation was also riddled with junk food, alcohol and huge portions.  As I told my LLL group, it was really fun for like 2 days, but then by last night I just felt gross.  I've kept an eye on the scale and I really haven't suffered any weight gain, but I didn't feel good physically by yesterday.  I had heartburn, I didn't sleep as well as I have been and I just felt bloated all the time.  I was quite happy to get back to my routine today and eat a damn salad frankly.

Not much more to write about so I will leave you with the project we finished up yesterday, Eric hung the awesome race medal hanger he got me for Christmas in our guest room/my office.  It fits all of my medals perfectly and looks like it was born to be in the room!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Staycation: Day 1

So I am spontaneously putting a pause button on my weigh in for this week!  My sister-in-law and her husband were supposed to be here all week visiting from the East coast, and long story short, they were unable to come due to weather related flight cancellations.  The poor things, their original flight on Sunday got cancelled, they rebooked and tried to leave Tuesday and THAT flight got cancelled too.  We were bummed because we missed them and wanted to see them, but also because we were so looking forward to having a few days off from work.  (Eric was supposed to take the whole week and I was taking 2 days).  Once we realized they probably weren't going to be able to make it and the sads set in, I suggested to Eric that we end up keeping some of the time off and just having a fun little staycation here with the two of us, so we ended up taking Thursday and Friday off together.  I am actually pretty excited to have a four day weekend with him.

Life hasn't really been stressful lately per say, but I do feel like we've gotten into this cycle the last 5 years of constantly being busy and on the go all of the time.  There's also been a lot of change and thrash what with all of our job nonsense, and then my family nonsense, and then a ton of house projects and cleaning this year.  I just kind of realized the other day that we don't really just stop and just play anymore.  Sometimes it's good to wake up and just not have an agenda, so that's kind of our goal for our time off.  We haven't made a single plan and are just kind of winging it as we go.

Part of winging it was deciding to just not worry about my weigh in this week and to be somewhat forgiving towards myself on the food thing.  I mean let's face it we're on a staycation in Portland, which has some of the best food in the United States.  I know we're going to be going around and probably hitting up a couple of places we've been wanting to try, so I just made a deal with myself.  I will track everything in MFP to keep myself honest and informed, but I will enjoy myself and not feel guilty about having fun and indulging.  I mean I'm not going to go absolutely insane, I still want to keep my calories at 2000 or so, but I'm not going to stress about it too mightily.

Today we decided to go wine tasting which is something we used to do all of the time and haven't done in awhile.  It started out as a mission to go out to this antiques store I had in mind in order to find a stereo cabinet for the vinyl player we're getting from my aunt, and this antiques store just HAPPENS to be in wine country.  We didn't find a stereo cabinet sadly, but I did find the most perfect rolltop desk in the world, which is EXACTLY what I wanted for the guest room I just painted.  I truly didn't think I'd find what I wanted because everything I'd seen was too big and a million dollars.  This beauty was a mere $100.

It's hard to see because of the shadows in the picture, but there are all kind of fun slats and compartments up at the top.  (Also yes, that lovely new cream color on the wall is what I just did!)  I am so excited, it looks absolutely perfect in the room, as though it were meant to be there.  I can't wait to use it!

Apparently today was National Wine Drinking Day or some such thing, so I guess it was fitting we went tasting!  We stopped at 2 places and were super happy with the experiences.  One of the wineries was one we'd not been to before named Evening Land (that was another goal for our staycation, was to do things we hadn't done before), and they had pretty amazing wines.  The other winery was Argyle.  I was jonesing for some sparkling wine and they have really good ones.  Eric was also able to get our tasting room guy to give him a sample of a really nice pinot that he had his eye on.

We went for lunch at a place we hadn't been to before named Red Hills Market and I had a really nice open faced ham sandwich and potato leek soup for lunch.  And we mayyyyyyyyyybe had chocolate pots de creme for dessert!

Since we were utterly ridiculous at lunch (yes I tracked everything and honestly tried to overestimate to keep myself in check), we had a more reasonable dinner of roasted salmon, steamed kale and roasted carrots.

We both feel pretty relaxed right now and this staycation was just what the doctor ordered.  I'll have to keep you guys posted on our adventures for the rest of it!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Valentine To You All

So tomorrow is Valentine's Day, which isn't a day that I personally really celebrate.  (Yes, my husband is the luckiest in the world, I don't really like diamonds and I don't like Valentine's Day.)  It's no personal knock to those who do, as always do your thing and rock on.  I was just single for a very long time before getting married, so it wasn't a thing I really participated in, plus the whole cliche "I don't need a day designated for love" argument.  Having said all of that, I did want to write a bit today about self love.  (Not THAT kind, you pervs!)

I have always generally liked myself and have been okay with who I am, and have been more so the older I've gotten.  I am a great cook and gardener.  I love to learn.  I'm generally a pretty nice person and try to be caring/involved with charity and volunteer work.  I'm very outspoken for things and people I care about.  I'm a good writer, when I take the time to really sit down and dust off my poor neglected short stories that is!  I feel like I'm vaguely attractive.  Not like Ava Gardner stop men in traffic attractive, but no one is going to be giving me the brown bag treatment either.  I feel like I'm pretty funny.  These are all things I felt about myself when I was 250 pounds.  There was definitely self love there.

Yet, I was not satisfied.  I knew I was not living up to my full potential.  I knew I was letting myself down and short changing myself by not getting myself to a healthy weight.  It bothered me not from a beauty standpoint or making other people happy standpoint, but a making myself feel 100% standpoint.

Now that I'm at the lowest weight I've been at in years, I'm truly floored at the changes.  There are anxieties I didn't know I had, micro thoughts that flew in and out of my brain so fast that I barely could register them.  I will give you my grocery shopping trips as an example.  The last couple of times I've been shopping I will throw in a bag of Dove Promises or some other little chocolate treat that I can enjoy at night.  No biggie right?  The other night I got up to the counter and realized that all the other years I've shopped that I've been completely anxious that people are looking in my cart, then at me and thinking, "No wonder she's fat."  It was an anxiety and shame so ingrained that I didn't realize I had it until the other night when I realized I wasn't feeling it.  Now that I eat in a balanced way, of course I can have little treats like chocolate or wine because that's what a normal person does.  My cart looked like my daily life.  Plenty of fruits and vegetables, a bag of chocolates, the makings of a nice veggie pizza Friday dinner and fixings for healthy dinners and lunches throughout the week.  Nothing to be ashamed or worried about, because I'm normal.

Physically there is no contest when it comes to before verses now.  Everything in my life that I was doing before like climbing stairs, running, walking, and squatting is 20 times easier.  I am just physically more comfortable, and there's no way to describe it to a person without them experiencing it.  And I wish I could.  I wish I could go back in time and tell old me that yes, it is overwhelming as hell at first, but if I stay with it, my life will be so much better.  I wish I could tell any overwhelmed person starting out that I KNOW it's daunting.  I know it's frustrating.  But the physical changes you feel and the power you give yourself is so freeing that one day, it will make everything worth it.

All of the nice things I felt about myself before I feel 10 times more, plus I am finding new things to be proud about.  A newly discovered determination, more calm, less anxiety.  I feel like I'm nicer and like my brain is more balanced.  I have so much more energy and devote it to things like our house, which gives me more many bursts of pride.  I told Eric that I am almost as proud of the paint job I did on our spare room as I am of the marathon.  Could I have painted the room at 250 pounds?  Of course, but I was never motivated to do those types of things before.  I was always tired and just wanted to sit on the weekends.  Now I feel energized and want to get things taken care of, which is very unlike "old" me.  I honestly feel more energetic now than I did in my 20s.  I'm proud of my organization and meal planning each week, which is the hardest thing to stick with for me, but I think I've missed maybe 2 days of bringing my lunch to work.  I have been logging steadily in MFP.  I finally feel with it.

And am I happy that feeling more physically attractive comes with the package of losing weight?  You're damn straight I am.  There are days I feel downright beautiful, and I am thrilled.  And it's not really from a mentality of fitting in with society.  I'll never fit in with any kind of "ideal beauty".  I've got silvery stretch marks from stem to stern.  My boobs and stomach are starting to look like a train wreck and will look more so once I get to goal weight.  And honestly, I'm good with that because fried egg on a nail boobs and a sharpei stomach are a better alternative to heart attacks, diabetes, joint pain and all of the other misery that I feel I was headed for.

Self love is a delicate balance but it really comes down to this.  You can love yourself but also want to better yourself.  It's like writing a novel.  You may write a pretty damn decent first draft, but you still should go in and read over it however many times it takes and make tweaks to take things from good to great.  That is what this health thing is for me.  I liked myself before, but liking myself didn't mean I was healthy physically.  It didn't mean I wasn't at risk for heart problems or disease.  Self esteem and body acceptance don't will away science.  I was good just the way I was, but now I'm better.  And I'll keep getting better and keep discovering new things I like about myself.

So during this weekend of Valentine's love, remember to take time to love yourself to a place of health.  Mentally, emotionally, spiritually and yes, physically.  There are days when it's tedious and not fun to exercise, plan meals, count calories, pack lunches and make a choice to have something healthier.  But I don't do it to fit in or try to make anyone like me.  I do it because I love myself enough to make my life great instead of good.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thinner Thursday

Weigh In Time!

Previous Weight:  194.4
Current Weight:  193.2
Difference:  -1.2 pounds

So I think I am going to officially change my weigh ins to Thinner Thursday.  For some reason my weight climbs or stalls on Wednesdays then dramatically drops on Thursdays (or sometimes Fridays).  While it is a vanity thing to go with the lower weight day, I also think it's a truer representation of my actual weight.  I can see the difference in my body, and I know I'm doing the right things (obviously if I'm losing), but for some reason my body holds on to it on Wednesdays.  Of course as my ladies said, I'm sure now my body will start being ridiculous on Thursdays.  ;)

I will talk about this more in my food section, but dropping back to 1500 calories is obviously more sensible from a weight standpoint being that I lost a pound instead of a fraction of a pound.  I figured as much, but this is why you've got to constantly tweak and evaluate everything.


The Superbowl was fun, though I thought the game was a bit boring.  I totally was rooting for Denver and was happy they won, but would have liked a bit more excitement.  It just seemed like this grinding defensive battle the whole time and it was just kind of meh.  I know this isn't popular to say, but I actually don't mind Carolina and wouldn't have been super bummed if they'd won either.  I know a lot of people hate Cam Newton, and I totally get it, he definitely has a TON of growing up to do and his personality doesn't exactly make him loveable.  But I think it's fun to watch him play, plus I forever love him for giving a humbling ass whipping to the Oregon Ducks when he played for Auburn.  You could come to me and be like, "But Mary, Cam just stabbed someone," and I'd hesitate and be like, "But he beat Oregon."  Not really, but close.  ;)

And GAWD the commercials this year.  They need to fire some bitches, because that's about the worst set of commercials I've seen.  The only ones I loved were the Doritos one with the dogs, and of course loved the wiener dogs that were dressed up like, well, wieners.  Too cute.  I also really loved the Audi astronaut commercial.  And I think we can all agree that PuppyMonkeyBaby or whatever the hell that was needs to be set on fire and then drowned in a lake of holy water.

On the food front I get an A for effort and a D minus for execution.  So, my aunt and uncle are also on My Fitness Pal, and have both done AMAZING work on their weight loss.  My uncle has lost around 20 pounds and my aunt around 30, they look fabulous and are in maintenance!  Anyway, we are comical now in our MFP obsession, so I logged each of the recipes I made and put it to where they could copy my recipes over to their logs, and my aunt put her deviled eggs into her recipe thing to where we could copy them over to our logs.  So all of that is great, and honestly, my spread wasn't too terribly unhealthy.

I had mini corndog muffins, chips, black eyed pea salsa, Buffalo chicken meatballs and cut veggies.  None of that is too terrible, but my desserts were pretty caloric despite them being tiny!  I made mini cheesecakes and the Pioneer Woman's mint brownie bites, both delicious.

So we all went into it with the intent of keeping track, then the beer started flowing and then we lost track, and I finally just shrugged at life and had another corndog muffin.  My stomach was awfully mad at me later on, but it was worth it for the mini cheesecakes.

Food Chat

So I thought that dropping back down to 1500 calories this week would be difficult, but I'm finding that it's actually been okay for me on a hunger level.  There have actually been days where I have to throw a couple extra pieces of fruit in my lunch bag just to make sure that I hit a reasonable deficit.  I find that I'm back to a point of craving raw fruits and vegetables again, which is always a good point to hit!  You definitely get a lot of bulk for not as many calories, plus fresh fruits and vegetables are so much prettier to look at!

Everyone always goes on about breakfast for dinner and rightfully so, nothing excites me more than having pancakes for dinner.  My otherwise wonderful husband does not agree, so I have to save pancake dinners for when he's on trips out of town!  Tuesday morning I thought, why not dinner for breakfast, so I made a really lovely salad.

It's hard to see but it's 2 cups of spinach, 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, 1 slice of crispy bacon, 1 tsp of avocado oil and 1 tsp of balsamic.  It was delicious, filling and only 300 calories!  I usually have yogurt or cottage cheese for breakfast on weekdays, so this was a nice change of pace.  I had another "dinner for breakfast" salad yesterday morning that was super tasty.  I used some leftover brown rice from dinner, spinach, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, and sour cream to make the most random salad ever, but it was really good!

I also felt randomly inspired to use up a bunch of vegetables in the crisper and rescue the ever forgotten bag of quinoa that always seems to be in my pantry.  I think we've had this discussion before, I actually like quinoa quite a bit but it never crosses my mind to make it for some reason!  It's not like it's difficult to make plus it's very versatile, but I just forget.  I decided to make a salad with a lemon and honey dressing to take for lunches since I am kind of tired of the same old things.

I was very pleased with how it turned out, it was very tangy with the lemon dressing I made and there were so many different flavors and textures from the million vegetables I threw in there.  I loved all of the colors going on!  Hopefully I remember all of them, but I used orange bell pepper, spinach, tomatoes, olives, broccoli, red onion and cauliflower!  It too was only around 300 calories.  I always say this and fail, but I really need to do quinoa salads like this more often!  But for real this time.  :p

Identity Theft

I know a lot of my readers here read Runs for Cookies, and honestly I think most of you came from Runs for Cookies in the first place!  I am sure by now you've read her post about people stealing not only her images, but her actual blog posts.  I felt so incredibly bad for Katie, she is so inspiring and has worked so hard not only on her blog, but herself.  It sucks that people just can't behave themselves and respect copyrights!

It does get my wheels spinning.  I mean I'm not even 1/10th at the level of readership she must have, and part of me hopes that I never get to that place because then I'll have to worry about dumb asses stealing stuff from the blog.  I mean, the world is crazy anymore

Obviously I've got a bit more weight to lose before I post some grand before/after picture, I'm nowhere near goal, but I think that's what worries me most.  I don't want some asshat to use that kind of photo in a false promotion or steal it for some gross weight loss drug and claim it's from that.  That's exactly what happened to Katie.  I already feel incredible sadness over how led astray people are in the weight loss world.  They are desperate, they want their lives fixed, and a lot of people desperately want to believe that quick fix du jour will help them.  Then it doesn't work and they are left feeling all the more hopeless.  Hell, I was one of those people until I finally got it through my thick skull that calories in/calories out, exercise, lifestyle change and consistency are the only things that work,  Anyway, it would make me rage if someone used my picture in that kind of bullshit because I'm violently against all of those types of products and programs.  And Katie is way nicer than me, I would be calling bitches out coast to coast if my image was used in a fake promotion!

Anyway, it's not likely this type of thing would happen, but it's a good gut check for me on privacy and making me think about what I share vs. what I don't.  I don't feel like I share a ton of stuff, but I will definitely be watermarking for the days where I do before and after shots!  I am also going to look into disabling right clicking on my blog.  Sorry if that bums anyone out, but I want to make sure I'm somewhat protected, though I know that's not a 100% solution.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Thinner Thursday & My Painting Hell

As you might have guessed, I weighed yesterday and my weight was up, but I knew it would be down today, so I decided to have Thinner Thursday instead of Weigh In Wednesday.  Yep, I'm still vain.

Previous Weight:  194.8
Today's Weight:  194.4
Difference:  -0.4 pounds

So, I did lose and that's great and all, but after testing out a 1600 calorie daily limit every day for over a month now, I've come to the sad conclusion that I just simply don't burn enough calories to warrant that high of a limit, so I decided to bump back down to 1500 calories.  I'm just not seeing the losses that I expected, and while losing weight slowly is healthy, things are too slow.  I know it's because I'm not getting enough activity for the calories I consume, and I don't see that changing until the weather here improves a little and it starts staying light later in the evenings.  It sucks but honestly, I am not so hungry every day that I think it will be a huge sacrifice.  And I figure if I really want treats then I can move my ass and earn them.  When I get in a regular running rhythm or doing some harder workouts, then I'll feel a little more entitled to bump my limit back up.

Since Saturday I've been in a hell of my own making since I decided after 5 years to FINALLY get our guest room painted.  The house we live in now is the house I bought at 24, and like any 24 year old with her first house who'd never been allowed to decorate the way she wanted, I went completely bonkers when I moved in and painted all the rooms upstairs different colors.  My upstairs looks like a pride parade exploded, and it was fine when I was younger, but now I just hate it.  The guest room is a really dark green, a color my beloved late grandmother would have referred to as "goose shit green".  I'm embarrassed when we have guests come because it's not only an ugly color, but the room is so small that the paint job makes it feel dark and oppressive even in broad daylight.  I've wanted to paint it a lighter color for a long time, but painting sucks.  I absolutely despise it, not to mention that we have vaulted ceilings upstairs (one wall of the room is probably 12 to 13 feet tall) so I knew it was going to be an absolute bitch to paint.  But after learning my sister-in-law and her husband would be staying with us later this month, I decided to once and for all paint the room and make it look nicer.

I blocked out 2 weekends on the calendar to get everything done without it being overwhelming.  This past weekend was supposed to be prepping the room, moving things out and taping all of the baseboards part and the following weekend the actual painting part.  I made such good progress though that I was able to get ahead of schedule and put part of the first coat of primer on the walls, but then hit the wall a bit and had to take a break Sunday.  This week I've been finishing up the rest of the first coat of primer and applying the second coat to ensure the green is completely covered, and it's been an absolute nightmare.  I am terrified of heights so being on our 8 foot ladder is torture for me, especially since to get to the nooks and crannies of our bizarrely shaped vaulted walls, you pretty much have to stand on the step that's just below the "don't step up on this bitch or you'll fall and die" step.  I've spent this week feeling like someone beat the crap out of me with a bat due to my shaking, the weird crouching and stretching I'm having to do, etc.

I texted this pic to my aunt on Saturday, and that has pretty much been my face this entire week with maybe a dash more terror.  Cameo appearance by the OG goose shit green paint color which is now thankfully all gone!  With some help from Eric I was finally able to finish up both coats of primer last night, so I will be able to walk in Saturday, slap the actual paint up on the walls and be done with it.  I discovered that as ridiculous as this sounds, having Eric just stand by the ladder makes me feel safer and made me feel a little more empowered to finish painting, so I was able to get that part done faster.  I call him my comfort horse (like the horses you see walking with the nervous race horses before they put them in the chutes) for a reason!  I know I'll love it when everything is done, the room already looks a thousand times better with even just the ugly flat white primer on the walls, it's just the during part that sucks.

The rest of the week is going to be pretty basic other than my painting project and Superbowl Sunday.  We are having a quiet little Superbowl get together with my aunt and uncle, which will be cool.  I have a fairly healthy menu planned for the savory stuff, but will have good desserts since that's where I like to spend my calories.  I probably should go for a run between my shelter shift and the party so that I can earn some treats!

Monday, February 1, 2016

January Recap, February Goals & Crabby Behavior

Sorry for the later post, I was totally pooped after beginning to tackle painting our guest room this weekend and just didn't have it in me to write a blog post last night.  Plus I got so caught up in watching Grease Live that nothing else existed last night.  ;)  Did anyone else watch it?  I had a few quibbles with it, but overall it was fairly cute.

I wanted to do a small recap about January and close out the month.  Just as a refresher, my goals for January were to do 15-30 minutes a day on my stair stepper and also eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  While I was not perfect this month (there were probably about 6 days where I didn't do the stepper), I am really pleased overall.  I did stop counting my fruits/vegetables after a point because once I got back into tracking my food, cooking dinner at home just about every night and faithfully packing my lunches for work, I naturally started consuming well over 5 servings a day.  Now I'm fully back in the habit of including an apple, orange, cup of pineapple or another favorite fruit with every breakfast, a lunch either filled with veggies or veggies and fruit on the side, and a dinner with at least 1 if not 2 vegetable components.  And I'm not too bummed about the stair stepper thing, we walk at least a mile every day at work and sometimes walk up to 3 miles, so I've definitely gotten my activity in one way or another every day.

As far as February I have to be honest, the month kind of snuck up on me and I didn't really create any goals.  This will sound lame but even after thinking about it, I am fine with not having specific goals beyond making sure I am keeping up with MyFitnessPal and making sure I get daily activity.  I feel like what I'm doing is working well and I feel happy, so I'm not going to stress too much about having some specific lofty goal to hit.  I may revisit that in March, but let's just say that February will be about continuing to strengthen my healthy habits that I've worked so hard to reestablish.

So hopefully she won't mind me talking about this since it was said in the "safe space" of our ladies group, but I feel like the message of this will benefit the greater good.  One of our awesome members did a very normal, sensible thing at lunch today, she brought her running clothes and did a run on her lunch hour, which is fantastic right?  Unfortunately when she came back in she could hear her coworkers snickering and making fun of the fact she did this cool, healthy thing during her lunch hour.  Hearing this story made my blood boil honestly, so I wanted to talk about it and offer support to anyone else in a similar situation.

We've all had this type of thing happen at one time or another right?  The subject of weight loss seems to bring out the worst in some people.  Besides the fact that everyone suddenly feels entitled to comment on and critique your eating habits/workout methods (which it's like where the f*ck where you when I was binge eating, feeling worthless and getting myself to well past an obese BMI?), some people get this weird jealousy/sour grapes thing about it.  As I told the girl in our group today, I frankly think that some people are threatened when someone in their social circle takes steps to improve their health.  Deep down it makes them feel guilty because they know it's something they should be doing as well, so they tend to project their bullshit onto you.  Example:  Say you and some friends go out to lunch.  They all order their meals (burgers and other high caloric fare), but since you plan to indulge later that night with a glass of wine and your favorite type of cookie, you decide to order a grilled chicken salad to level out your intake for the day.  Immediately the comments start.

"Ug are you really just going to order a salad?  Now you're making me feel bad!"
"I'd shoot myself if that's all I ever ate!"
"Thank God I know how to enjoy real food and don't eat like a rabbit."
"You've been working so hard lately, just live a little!"

These types of people are known as having the "crab in a bucket" mentality.  If you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket they could easily escape, however once a crab makes it to the top the others have a tendency to drag it back down into the bucket due to territory issues.  When people make these comments it's to try to drag you back into the bucket of unhealthy habits.  Pretty shitty huh?  So don't let people do that to you!  Thankfully I'm surrounded by incredibly supportive people and also must have a more pronounced bitchy resting face as I get older, so people don't really bother me about what I eat and what exercise I do anymore.  I am past the point where crab mentality would bother me, but I know it's hard when you're just starting out, so I just wanted to tell people that if you run into this behavior from people just ignore it and move on.  Don't let people drag you back into the bucket!