Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Eulogy

From my first year on this planet, you were in my life.
You gave me sustenance, made me feel good, kept me quiet, helped me sleep, and made things easier for my parents.
Since I have known you, you were at every holiday, and almost every meal.
In my family, you were a star.

The first time I heard someone speak ill of you I was seven.
I didn't understand.
When you were so much a part of my life, how could you be a bad influence?
I began to notice people, not just in my family, but on the tv, doctors, Oprah, etc. saying things like too much of you was a bad thing...and they needed to cut you out of their lives.
My mom would question our relationship frequently, yet kept you a star in the family, and never stopped talking about you, obsessing about you.

It wasn't until I was in middle school or so, I realized my relationship with you was unhealthy.
We spent too much time together.
At birthday parties and sleepovers when I had to share you with others, it would cause panic in if I wasn't going to get enough of you.
I began to notice that my friends didn't feel the same way about you I did, you weren't always on their minds, they weren't always thinking about the next time they got to see you.
I began to hide our relationship, but I could not hide the effects you had on me.

As I got older I began to evaluate our relationship.
I tried many different times, many different ways to let you down easy.
I always went back to you.
I was addicted.

Now you are gone for good.
You are not coming back.
I will need to learn to live without you.
There will be inevitable moments that test me, and I will want nothing more to reach for you, but you won't be there.
As your memory is fresh, people will ask me about you, how I'm living, what I'm doing without you.
I will tell them the truth.

Much like a sapling being shaded out by invasive weeds, I needed you to die in order for me to grow.
I need better nutrients, and to not be held down by your weight.
In your death, will come life. My life.

Going Out With a Bang

My sister and brother in law were visiting me this weekend, and I took every chance possible to indulge in sugar, carbs, and other foods that will soon be out of my life. We dined at some of the best and favorite restaurants around Seattle. In fact, it seems that from Friday dinner to Sunday brunch, all we did was eat. The weather played a large factor in that...we had every intention to go for a hike, but it was 50 degrees and pouring rain.

Instead, we stuck to touristy things like Snoqualmie Falls, the outlet mall, and attempted wine tasting (ran out of time). And we ate. And I filled their heads with my new-found Paleo knowledge/plan. I'm pretty sure they were sick of hearing me talk about it, and looked at me in disbelief that I might actually go through with Paleo for more than a day as I gorged on bread, chicken and dumplings, strawberry shortcake, biscuits and gravy, bacon, cinnamon rolls, baklava, croissants, and chocolate covered strawberries.

I did manage to sneak a run in this morning, and it kicked my ass in a good way. I felt less guilty eating the brunch items listed above once I had a run under my belt.

Once my sister and brother in law were on the way back to Oregon, I hit up Whole Foods to get some provisions for the week. It had been quite awhile since I had been into a Whole Foods, as I found the location by my old house incredibly pretentious, overly crowded, and overly priced. I decided to check out the newest Whole Foods on the other end of town. I started with produce, just checking out prices, and seeing what looked good. Um...everything...and I found some items that were organic that were comparable to Safeway prices. Then, I decided to check out their meat section. Meats consumed on the Paleo diet are encouraged to be grass fed, hormone free. I thought that would mean prohibitively expensive. Nope! I found great deals on chicken, beef, and pork! I even got some preservative free/all natural bacon! Then, I headed over to the milk section to see if they had to the coconut milk creamer I researched. They did, and? It was $1.00 off!!! It was like it was meant to be. On impulse, I picked up some ground flaxseed to use in the place of flour for things like meatloaf. I got about 1/2 a weeks worth of food (maybe more) for $36.66. I was beyond surprised!

This weekend has been a great send off to the foods of my previous life...I'm on to bigger and better things.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Information, Preparation, Clarification

Over the past 2 days, I have been doing a lot of research on the Paleolithic diet. The theory behind the diet is that our bodies are not designed to eat foods post-agricultural revolution (agriculture has been around in some form or another for over 10,000 years). The goal of the diet is to normalize insulin levels.

When you eat food, it raises your blood sugar, which in turn raises the level of the hormone insulin. The basic food components- Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates all differ in the amounts they raise your blood sugar/insulin. Fat- no change, Protein- very little change, and Carbohydrates- a lot of change, depending on complexity.
When you ingest too many carbs or bad carbs, your blood sugar spikes causing your insulin level to spike, as mentioned above. Consistent insulin spiking causes your insulin sensitivity to decrease, meaning you cannot control it.

Insulin: 1) controls the storage of fat; 2) directs the flow of amino acids, fatty acids, and carbs to tissues; 3) regulates cholesterol; 4) is a growth hormone;
5) involved in appetite control; and more...

Consistent, long-term insulin resistence leads to the inability of the body to shed extra fat; the inability of the body to absorb nutrients; and leads to hyperinsulinemia. Hyperinsulinemia is a condition that can be passed through heredity and eating too much carbs, a body becomes insulin resistent. Your pancreas cannot tell or control how much insulin is being secreted. This consistent and high level of insulin in the body leads to hyperinsulinemia. This condition can be linked to almost ALL diseases: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, myopia, PCOS, gout, acne, excess fluid retention, immune disorders, diabetes, arthritis, and more!

Based on the information above regarding insulin, the Paleolithic diet removes the following mainstream items, and focuses on protein, healthy fats, nuts, vegetables, and a little fruit.

Sugar raises insulin levels. Period. Even sugars found in fruits have this effect, so fruit is eaten in moderation.

In short, grains contain no nutrients, and are not suitable for our digestive system. They are known causes of weight gain and bloating. Grains and legumes contain anti-nutrients called phylates (see NO LEGUMES). Grains contain lectin (a grain protein that causes gut irritation) and can be traced to things such as gluten intolerance (celiac disease) destruction of villi in intestines, and a vast array of digestive/gastrointestinal problems: constipation, heart burn, colon disease, IBS, varicose veins, indigestion, colitis, gall stones, hemorrhoids, appendicitis, hiatal hernia, and duodenal ulcer. Gluten found in wheat and oats disrupts insulin signaling (1 in 33 people have celiac disease)and can lead to carb addiction...hmm, sounds familiar.

Phylates bind w/ bone minerals and rob you of nutrients (hence anti-nutrients).

Dairy products are high in sugars and spike insulin levels. Dairy products are nutrient deficient (cows are fed grain) and loaded w/ antibiotics and growth hormones.

Today I made a day by day menu plan for next week (Day 1 is Tuesday, June 1st) and a shopping list:
Breakfast: scramble eggs/ground turkey/garlic/spinach/onions/pepper/sea salt/avocado, coffee with coconut milk “creamer”
Lunch: Pork/veg (broccoli w/ olive oil and garlic)
Dinner: Salad w/ chicken/nuts/avocado

Breakfast: scramble, coffee with coconut milk “creamer”
Lunch: salad/avocado/chicken/nuts
Dinner: Turkey meatloaf (grain and dairy free) and veg

Breakfast: scramble, coffee with coconut milk “creamer”
Lunch: chicken breast/veg
Dinner: Spaghetti squash “pasta” with ground beef tomato sauce

Breakfast: scramble, coffee with coconut milk “creamer”
Lunch: salad/avocado/chicken/nuts
Dinner: meat and veg

Breakfast: bacon and fruit, coffee with coconut milk “creamer”
Lunch: salad
Dinner: meat and veg

Breakfast: bacon and fruit, coffee with coconut milk “creamer”
Lunch: salad
Dinner: meat and veg

I'm actually kind of excited about this, because after I wrote everything out there, my week didn't look so bad food wise...there is a lot of room for creativity and variation. My boyfriend is already concocting ideas on how to make my food taste better (roasted garlic, carmelized onions, spices, etc.)

Giving up my morning latte with a splenda is going to be tough, but I will adjust. I've given up sugar in my coffee before and survived. Salad dressings without honey and vinegar are going to be another challenge as well, but I'm going to replace vinegar with lemon juice and see how that goes.

In ALL of the readings I have done, "cheating" is encouraged! Hello! I think this was my first clue that this is actually a legitimate diet. Many people recommend easing into it, and occasional cheat days/meals since the process of completely changing the modern way we eat is not accomplished over night. The cheating "go-ahead" came with the caveat of- the more you cheat, the longer it will take to see results. Ha! Of course! My goal is to be good 95% of the time.

I mentioned in my previous two posts that I would be 'giving sugar and bad carbs a funeral' on Monday, May 31st. This does not mean that I will be gorging myself on anything and everything that I can no longer eat. I will literally be giving items in my cupboards a burial (in the trash) complete with a eulogy (I never said I wasn't lame). I think its silly when people eat "one last meal" before a diet, because then you have that one last meal to burn off in addition to all the other crap that got you fat in the first place!

The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain
The Omega Rx Diet by Barry Sears
Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden
CrossFit Journal #15 by Greg Glassman
Damn Dirty Grains by Robb Wolf
CrossFit Nutrition Seminar (live event) with Robb Wolf
Monique Ames, Crossfit Evolution

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Don't Talk About It, Be About It

With my decision to begin eating Paleolithic on June 1st, came extreme excitement. I couldn't focus on anything else all day yesterday once I made up my mind that I was going to be removing sugar, refined carbs, dairy, and legumes from my diet for at least a 30-day trail period. I began doing research on the foods I can eat, the science behind eating SO much protein, and if there were any major BAD reviews out there. I found 95% good stuff, 5% bad. I'm ok with those odds. So, I practically busted through the front door last night after getting home from work, because I couldn't wait to share my new plan with my boyfriend. Actual conversation:

Me: *excited* So, I've decided I'm going to start a new way of eating.
BF: Oh, yeah? What's that?
Me: Paleo. I eat what early man refined crap. Meat, veggies, nuts.
BF: So, Atkins?
Me: NO. Not at all. Atkins is no carbs. This is no refined carbs.
BF: *Blank stare*
Me: Ready to go to dinner?
BF: Well, what can you eat there? Nothing?
Me: Whatever I want, I'm starting June 1st.
BF: So, you are just going to give up till then?
Me: *RAGE*
Me: No, what the fuck are you talking about "give up?" *Begins silent treatment*

Arrow through heart...I was crushed. I took a moment to reflect on why this conversation had gone so badly, and why I was so upset. There is a lot going on here. First off, my boyfriend is not new to me. In the past five years, he's seen that excitement in me before. He's seen me go on kicks where I lose 20 pounds, and then slowly gain it back and more. He's seen me give up meat, try more fiber, join at least 4 different gyms, train for numerous running events...etc. I understand, he thinks he's seen this before. Sometimes (heh) I'm all talk, and my follow through is poor. Secondly, he's been skinny his whole life. He is a 7-foot tall chef who weighed only 6 pounds more than I did when I started this blog (I'm 5' 5") and constantly eats, loves to eat. His metabolism is ridiculous. Lastly, he doesn't know anything about nutrition/exercise/sugar/insulin/carbs/protein. He doesn't need to.

The car ride to the restaurant was quiet. I think at some point my boyfriend realized he may have hurt my feelings and began asking me more questions about the plan. He was looking at it more from a perspective of what he is going to have to start cooking for me and what I can no longer eat. After more explanation, he says "well, I guess we'll be doing a lot of grilling!" He was almost excited about helping me invent good tasting Paleo recipes for my blog. I tried to explain to him the hold that sugar and carbohydrates have over me. How they make me a monster. I told him about the funeral, and he shook his head. He thinks its silly, but he loves me, and he will support me.

Anyway...I'm very stubborn, and I have made up my mind. I will stick to this plan for 30 days just to prove to him that I can do it. I come from a family of talkers, always with these great plans and schemes, but perhaps we spend too much time talking, and not enough time doing. This blog has done wonders for me and my accountability, for the past 5 months I have been honestly putting my money where my mouth is. When I write down here that I'm going to do something, I almost always actually do it.

That's right, don't talk about it, be about it. (courtesy of Busta Rhymes)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

As I find myself in this holding pattern, I have been reading a lot of weight-loss/health blogs, searching for the post that will speak directly to me...the post that will make my attitude go away, and renew my commitment to myself.

I think I have mentioned it before, but now I'm giving serious thought to a Paleo-lifestyle. Deep down, I know it is the best thing for me. I have observed the way my body reacts to sugar and refined grains. They are toxic, addicting, and keep me from being the best me I can be.

I want so much more for myself then this up and down, on-again/off-again lifestyle. I've always had visions of being such a fitness bad ass, trail running 10 miles one day, biking 50 miles the next; knocking out 50 push-ups every morning, having ripped arms and 6-pack abs. Its this fantasy that always gets me to start, but somehow fades after a few days/weeks/months, and I realize what a joke it is- cause the food always overpowers my will to be fit.

For me, food and exercise have always been separate things. Exercise is something one does to compensate for the food that they have consumed. There is a major flaw in this can eat anything they want, as long as they exercise enough to counter act the calories. But what about the composition of meals? I've learned by paying attention to my body that eating a bagel for lunch (300 calories) versus a chicken breast and a piece of fruit (300 calories) is NOT the same thing. Not necessarily because of the nutritional content, but because of the way MY body reacts to refined carbohydrates and sugar. If I eat a bagel, I'm more likely to crave more carbohydrates, and make poor decisions. I'm more likely to get lethargic, skip a workout and fall into a off-again cycle. I'm convinced that not everyone is like this. I think there are plenty of people out there that can eat a 300 calorie bagel everyday for lunch and be fine. I however, am not one of them, and for that reason, I need to shift my thinking from food and exercise being separate things to them being ONE thing.

Food is about to become fuel for my exercise. Exercise is not going to be something I use to remedy my food intake. See the difference? Each thing I put into my body will have a purpose, and I will only put in what I need for my muscles to perform. It sounds so simple that way. If I have learned anything at all from maintaining this blog, it is that I cannot keep up the way I'm going. Something has to change fundamentally. Decisions have to be made. Things must be forever removed from my life.

My biggest dilemma is deciding when to start this new lifestyle. Sure its so easy to say NOW! But, for me, (and I know this is a HORRIBLE parallel) its like a loved one with a terminal disease on their death bed. I know I can never taste or eat these food items again, they will be gone forever. I think of all the good times we had, and how much I *love* them. I know they must go. I know I will live once they gone, but I will be sad sometimes, and miss them. What is an acceptable amount to time to prepare myself for their absence? What is an acceptable amount of time to stand by their bed (aka eat them) before I let go for good?

Do I really need to give sugar and carbs and all the other things I'm giving up a funeral? I think I might. So...lets say tentative funeral is Monday, May 31st, and June 1st is Paleo all the way. Yikes. Oh, and in case you are curious, here is the blog post I found that "spoke to me."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Feelin' Good and Sore

I just wrapped up another weekend of non-stop work, and I am feeling it today! My calves are sore, my inner thighs are sore, my hamstrings are sore, my arms are sore, my back is get the idea. Starting with Friday night, I had a whole 3 days to make up from not exercising. Luckily my eating has been ok, I just haven't been able to wake up on time to get to the gym.

Friday, I promised myself I would hit the gym after work for the fartlek (giggle) workout I had been trying to get in for the previous two days. I love going to the gym on Friday nights because for an evening, it is uncrowded. I find parking, I get a good machine, and I don't have to worry about someone staring me down waiting for me to finish my workout. I completed 6 X 400 meters at a 6.2 pace, with roughly 2 minute breaks in between. I was so sweaty, but felt great.

I woke up early on Saturday morning, immediately put on my running clothes, and headed down the hill to the trail. From my house to the bike trail is roughly 1 mile down hill. Some of it gradual, some of it rather steep. Going down is easy. When I got to the trail, I ran about one mile before heading back (I needed to save some energy for the big hill). I felt good and relaxed the whole time. I got to the base of the hill, and told myself I was going to run as much as possible. I felt like I was moving at a snails pace, but slowly, more of the hill got behind me. I had to walk for a little bit, but for the most part, I ran up the one mile hill! A big improvement over the last time. My overall run was 4.5 miles or so. I love how 5 mile runs are just my norm now.

After my run, I got dressed for yard work. I had a "clean-up day" at the condo, and seeing how I am still on the homeowners board, I needed to be there. From 11am to 4:30pm I was cleaning, pulling weeds, bagging up garbage, and pressure washing around the complex. We then held a BBQ for everyone that helped out. I got home around 8pm, and I was spent.

On Sunday, I woke up early again, headed to Home Depot and the grocery store. After spending way too much money, I began prepping the front room for painting. The last piece of furniture that we haven't moved into the house yet is a huge 80 gallon saltwater fish tank. Before moving the fish tank into the house, we had to have the floors done (and they are now) and have the room painted since once the tank is inside, there is no moving it. From 10:30am to 7:00pm I was painting. I finished the ceiling in the front room, which was WAY hard, and I covered the existing horrible brown painted walls with a nice bright white primer coat. I also began painting the bathroom with primer as well.

The goal is to have the front room completed by Wednesday, since that's when my boyfriend Dave is planning on moving the tank back in. Once the front room is done, we can start working on the bathroom, and by the end of Thursday, we could possibly have most of the bathroom mini-renovation done. How amazing is that?

I was too tired to go to the gym this morning, but I brought clothes with me so I can hit the YMCA after work today. It is true what they breeds energy! Oh, and I weighed in this morning, I'm down a fraction of a pound, but not quite enough to claim a full one pound loss. I definitely can tell in my clothes and in the mirror that I am smaller.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Inside My Head

I'm afraid that if I lose all the weight I want to lose, I'll have extra skin.

I'm afraid that I will have horrible stretch marks.

I don't want my boobs to shrink, but I'm ok with everything else shrinking.

I'm afraid I'll lose weight, then gain it all back.

I'm afraid of remaining at this weight for any longer.

I don't want to get diabetes/cancer/heart disease.

I'm afraid of how hot I'll be if I'm thin.

I don't know how to be thin.

I'm afraid of chocolate, cookies, candy, thai food, donuts, cake, ice cream, chips and salsa, pasta, scones, bagels, and Trader Joes chocolate covered pretzels.

I'm afraid of missing out on things I really want to do but don't because of my size.

I'm afraid I won't ever get to eat my favorite foods again.

I'm afraid I'll be so mad at myself for not losing the weight sooner.

But, MOST OF ALL- I'm afraid of having this same dialogue in my head 10 years from now.

Almost all of these are ridiculous, I know. Each one of these has been a reason, either subconscious or not to keep me from doing the right thing. The brain is a complicated thing. I know the sooner I get a handle on my habits/actions, the better off I will be, yet I continually make decisions that counter my best intentions. I don't know a way around that. The fear of being fat forever, or getting some health related disease does not over power my fear of not getting enough food, or not getting the food I want at a particular moment. That...that goes against every rational fiber in my brain. WTF.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ready. Set. Gone.

I FINALLY got my ass to move yesterday. The eight day spell of no exercise was finally broken. All in all it wasn't so bad. I was able to knock out a non-stop 30 minute treadmill run, in the immensly stuffy-hot YMCA, while trying not to crap my pants the whole time. I think I could have gone farther/for longer had it not been for the indoor nature of a treadmill run, and the additional amount of effort I was putting forth to save myself from embarrassment.

I woke up early to hit the gym again this morning for speedwork, but then remembered a bunch of stuff I had to get done before 9am at work. I'm having people over to the house tonight, and can't stay at work late. I will make it up tomorrow at the gym for sure. The 1/2 marathon is creeping up faster then I would like. Even though I'm better off this year than I was last year, I'm still not exactly where I had hoped to be.

This month before the race will be put to good use. I work best when I have deadlines, I become more efficient. I have sort of been stuck in "maintenance" mode the past month (or 2 months), but I need to kick it back into "losing" mode. Ready. Set. Gone.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Still Got It

This past weekend I headed south to the border between Oregon and Washington, also known as the Columbia River Gorge. It is one of my favorite places, for many reasons. It is gorgeous (ha, get it?) no really, it is, as well as an incredible place for all sorts of outdoor activities. Hiking, camping, biking, and most notably to myself and my friends, windsports (sailing, windsurfing, kiteboarding).

I have known how to sail more years of my life than I have not. Pretty much from my junior year in high school until my senior year in college my life revolved around sailing, and all the social activities that went along with it. The majority of my friends were sailors. I received sailing magazines, read sailing books, wore sailing t-shirts. I knew a whole other language that was shared with this group and easily bored and repelled anyone who did not speak the language.

In college, sailing became a lot about weight (sailing is, and always has been about weight, but it's magnified in the competitive college arena). The ideal weight for these boats that we sail is 240-280 lbs. For two people. In order to be competitive, that ideal weight range means: 1) The two people in the boat must be in a "normal" weight range. 2) There isn't much leeway to find a partner of the right size if you are taking up the majority of the combined weight (example, if you weigh 180lbs, you need to have a crew that is less then 100lbs to be competitive, AND that is on the heavy side).

I spent my freshman year on the team being on the heavy side. I would do ok at Regattas because I had a lot of experience, but anytime I didn't do well, I made a lot of excuses. None of which were related to my weight, because that couldn't be it...

Well, after I lost about 40 pounds over my sophomore year, my sailing really started to improve. I was consistently competitive. Part of my success I'm sure came with the confidence that losing 40 pounds gave me. Also, I had a consistent sailing partner (a perfect 105 lb crew). At the time I was one of few girls that would "skipper" meaning, I would be steering the boat, along with other various skills.

Sailing is one of the few sports where men and women directly compete against one another. The theory is that the boat is the "equalizer." I was fine doing the job that was typically held by the boys on the team, and I was able to gain their respect by being competitive. However, I was always so envious of the female crews. In a sense, they were just along for the ride, looking cute in their boardshorts and braids. They never had to worry about where to set up on a starting line. They never had to make any of the hard tactical racing decisions. They never had to worry about being accepted into the "good sailor" category. All the pressure was on the skipper to make it look easy. That being said, I'm sure a female crew never got to feel how good I did every time I pulled off an incredible race, and that's what kept my jealousy at bay.

I took a long break from sailing for a number of reasons, and in the process gained a lot of weight. So much weight that I kept thinking it impossible to be able to get back into the sport where SO much depends on being a weight I haven't seen since 2001. But I missed sailing incredibly. I had reconnected with all of my sailing friends that I sort of abandoned during my hiatus, and I saw how sailing was really the glue holding all of us together. I decided I would just do it. I would start taking every reasonable opportunity offered to me to go sailing, and perhaps that would aid in my motivation to lose weight, since I like to be competitive, and have seen what I can do.

This past weekend was a reasonable opportunity. It was a college regatta with an alumni division. I knew there was a good chance I could rotate in and do some sailing. This stressed me out to no end, seeing as it had been 9 years since I attempted to sail these particular boats, in this particular format. My opportunity came quicker than expected. It was a little bit windier then I was hoping for, but that means I could be competitive since I'm way heavier now then I was in college. My first race was ok. It was an adjustment for sure. There were 22 boats, so I was overly cautious, but quickly remembered how to do most things. My second race, I got an incredible start, had nice clean air, and decided to head over towards the first mark. As we were coming in to the mark, I didn't see any boats rounding it, or around me for that matter. I asked my crew "are we coming into this mark in first place?" We were. Holy shit. I rounded, panicked, and then 3 boats snuck past me. The wind had picked up even more, and I was way out of practice for safe down-wind sailing. We capsized. I did not finish the second race.

When I got back to the dock to rotate, my team member was SO excited and asked how I finished that second race. I was dripping wet, and was like...uh...then it dawned on me. All the people on shore had seen me round in first, but they didn't see me capsize! An ideal situation! I was honest and told him, but it didn't matter. For the rest of the day I had people commenting on me getting to the mark first. It felt good.

I STILL GOT IT. Somewhere.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tabula Rasa

Ha, yesterday when I was feeling so bad, it was because I really did have the flu. Well, not really a full blown flu, more of a 12 hour stomach bug. After a few prayers to the Porcelain God and a good 11 hours of sleep, I'm feeling better. I'm a little dehydrated and sore, but I feel well enough to keep my awesome weekend plans of camping and sailing in the Columbia River Gorge. I freaking love that place.

I am still using yesterday as a reminder to keep myself in check. Since expelling all my insides, I have only put back healthy, organic foods. Its a clean slate for sure. It might be a day or so before I brave running again though.

Its setting up to be a great weekend weather wise, so I'm hoping to get more vitamin D, and re-energize my commitment to a healthier me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 1, Revisited

I started this blog because I was fed up. My whole life I've had ups and downs with my weight, but last December my body reached a size it had never previously been. This forced me to have two reactions: fear and motivation. Something took over in me, and I was just able...Able to wake up early before work and work out. Able to resist sugar/carb/too much food temptations. Able to focus on what I needed to do. Able to be perfect in my routine and choices.

Like any sane human being, this awesomeness began to fade. Slowly at first, with a few slip ups here and there. A few missed workouts, a few cookies after dinner. But for the most part, I was still going strong. Finding reasons to stay motivated and get back on track. I have A LOT of reasons to be motivated.

So, before I head any further down the road I've chosen so many times that leads straight to weight gain, I'm stopping. I'm turning on my heels right now, and heading--no, sprinting back to the awesomeness I know I am capable of.

I feel like crap today. I feel as if I'm hungover and a train hit me and I have the flu all at once. I know exactly why. Even better, I know this feeling that I have right now is my wake up call to REVISIT DAY ONE, and be stronger then this. Its going to take a few days for this feeling to leave me. But it will.

If I want this time to be different, I must do things that I have not done before. This...this path I'm headed down, I've been there before. I know all the turns, I know each tree and rock I pass, I know where I end up. So, here's the deal: I know what works for me, I know what makes my body perform well. When I'm in the routine of giving my body what it really needs, and not what my f-ed up head wants, it is easy to continue forever. Its only after a little bit of being good, I justify something my head wants, and get derailed. There will be no more of this. I must be 100% all the time. It sounds a little neurotic, even to me, but I know this is the only way. One slip up leads to another, and then...yeah.

Hello day 1, again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Vitamin D Injection

So, Seattle when the sun comes out is the best place on earth. Er, I mean, it rains all the time...don't move here. I finally got a healthy 2 day dose of vitamin D, and plenty of exercise to make me feel back on track.

Saturday, I started my day off with a walk around the neighborhood. I was meeting some friends at the big lake park (Greenlake) that attracts every person in Seattle when it is sunny out, for some frisbee at 3pm. I had my boyfriend Dave drop me off early so I could run the perimeter of the lake before our intense Ulitmate Frisbee game. The route I usually take is 3.1 miles. I was feeling good, so I added an extra chunk of the lake, and probably ran about 3.5. I could have kept going, but knew I had to save some energy for the big game. I met my friends and we played for about 45 minutes. My team won!

On Sunday, I was a little stiff, but it was so GORGEOUS out, I decided to tackle some yard work. I asked my boyfriend what needed to be done. He mentioned two large stumps that needed to be dug up. How hard could that be? Heh. Well, there is something crazy about yardwork. I never feel like I'm working when I'm doing it, maybe because the progress and results are so evident immediately? Or maybe I love hacking away at dirt and roots? Today I feel like I ran a marathon yesterday. I'm sore all over, and really, the only explanation is the yard work.

I had a slight gain on the scale today, but I know that is directly related to last week where I ate at a restaurant at least once for five days in a row (AT LEAST once) and only exercised one day during the work week. No matter how good my weekend was (and it was) I could not erase all that damage. Here's to a new week!

Oh, and for added motivation, check out Jack Sh*t's post today...See if you can recognize the last note card holder.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shredding Makes the Sun Come Out

For the past two days, and today (to make 3 days) my boyfriend Dave has been busy re-finishing the hardwood floors on the house we just bought. Our intention was to complete this project prior to move in, so that there was no furniture in the house, and therefore all of our stuff wouldn't be covered with sawdust. Well, life happens, and closing on the house got delayed, so we (he) had to put off the floors until now. His boss kindly gave him a 3 day weekend this week, after giving him only one day off last week. The three days were MUCH needed, because this is turning into a bigger undertaking then we had presumed.

This floor project is also taking a much bigger toll on my routine then moving did! I thought moving was going to really throw me off, but as I sat in bed last night, grumpy as all hell, I realized I hadn't worked out since my 5 mile run on Sunday, and I had eaten at restaurants the past 3 days. It had been cold and stormy for the past 3 days- rain, hail, thunder, the whole deal. I shouldn't have to be turning my heat on in May, but it was 47 degrees out!?

Last night when we went to bed, Dave asked me if I had still been working out. Here's where the grumpy comes out...I said (irritated) "No, I haven't worked out in three days. Ann (my co-worker) has been giving me rides to work in the morning so you can have the car, its been crappy outside, there is dust covering everything, the house smells like a wood shop, and its MAY, we shouldn't be this cold." I have mentioned before how I am severely affected by the weather. Seattle is probably not the best place for me to live, but, when the sun is out here, there is no place I rather be. I discovered that in order to keep my sanity, I need to exercise during the winter, and during the (lack of) spring. I knew my grumpiness was due to lack of exercise.

I woke up this morning 30 minutes before my alarm, and I said "I'm going to shred before my co-worker comes to pick me up." I got dressed, I almost succeeded in talking myself out of it twice, but then realized how much I needed to sweat. I put on Level 2 of the Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred (the hardest level, imo...) and sweat my ass off. Needless to say, when I was done, I looked outside, and saw clear blue skies, birds chirping, and rays of sun. I felt like me again.

Its official: Shredding makes the sun come out.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Suck it up Buttercup

This is pretty much how I feel today. I keep waiting for someone to write something interesting on Facebook, or send me an e-mail, or for one of my favorite bloggers to have a new post. I keep incessantly checking these things, wanting instant gratification, and a distraction from the work I should be doing. The work I'm getting PAID to do.

What I really need to do is just focus on my job. The distractions will always be there. In fact, there will be enough distractions that are unpredictable/unplanned that I do not need to continue to keep searching for them. Working at this job is sort of a metaphor for my weight loss journey. When I first got hired, I was so eager, and would work 10 hour days and weekends without thinking about it. I came in at 7am, ready for anything. Now, I can barely pull myself out of bed to get here (I show up around 9am, after I work out or even if I don't). I know having this job is essential, because it pays all my bills, but I'm just not that into it. Time for a new job? For sure. But how do I hang on in the mean time?

I see the same pattern happening with my new routine/lifestyle. At first I was flawless. Now, I'm just kinda...meh. Still going through the motions, but not nearly with as much enthusiasm as in the beginning. Don't get me wrong, I know this routine/lifestyle is essential to my well being, but I just feel like its time for something new.

This thinking I believe is a product of our culture. At least my Generation X culture, needing things NOW. Being able to always get things NOW. Never being "bored" yet always being bored. What it comes down to is a lack of patience, and a lack of being grateful for the things I do have.

My job is a pretty sweet set up. I can come in after 9am. I can wear flippy-floppies and jeans every day. My boss is rarely in the office. I do most of my blogging at work. I can come and go as I please, as long as I put in an 8 hourish day. I DO have to put up with a crazy boss, low pay for what I do, and a very unconventional working environment, but hey, I should probably be thankful that I have a job in this economy!

I have made great progress towards being a healthier individual with my new eating and exercise routine. I have lost 20 pounds 4 months. I can run 5 miles! I have a blog that people read everyday. I need to be thankful for what I do have, and all that I have accomplished so far. I need to remember that just as its essential for me to have a job that pays the bills, its essential for me to have a routine that keeps me healthy.

Here's me sucking it up and moving on...
Back to work (both paid and unpaid)!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Yay For May!

Lets see how many of my readers are perceptive...notice anything different?

That's right. 2-0. Twenty pounds gone. After two months of hovering around it, this morning, I was there! I know it has everything to do with my increase in running distance, and the non-stop action of moving the past week that gave me the boost I needed.

May is going to be a good month, I can feel it.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nothing But Motion

I realized about half an hour ago that I haven't stopped moving all day. Once that thought passed through my head, I was instantly exhausted. I finished up some dishes, and crawled into bed with my laptop. Laying down in my bed feels fabulous!

So, my day. It went like this: Woke up, put the 8 finished drawers I painted the night before back in their spots. I pulled the last 6 drawers out and painted the first coat on those. Did some dishes (we no longer have a dishwasher). Woke up the boyfriend, made some coffee. Unpacked 3 boxes of stuff that was waiting to go into the drawers I finished painting. Started some laundry (full size washer, OMG!). Boyfriend and I went to the condo to do last minute cleaning there- renter moves in on Friday. Got dropped back off at the house, and proceeded to go to the front room and pull the remaining staples out of the hardwood floor where we ripped up the carpet (Dave is re-finishing the floors Tues, Wed and Thurs, so they need to be ready). Swept and vacuumed all the staples/foam bits/dust. Swept the rest of the house. Switched laundry/folded laundry. Did more dishes. Went for a 5 mile run. Made dinner. Switched laundry. Finished painting the 6 drawers. Did more dishes. Folded laundry. I'm even more tired now just reading this.

I guess my point here is that energy breeds energy. I can't imagine being able to have a day like this 4 months ago. My day wasn't filled with "chores" I was just doing. I don't know how to explain it. I just seamlessly moved from one thing that had to be done to another. Including getting my exercise in for the day. Lately I have really been inspired by some of my close friends. They are doing amazing things- running 6.75 miles and then completing level one shred, completing 6.9 miles at the gym, hungover 6.15 mile run. Its all so amazing, and continues to set the bar higher.

My run today was great. It was my first run beginning at my new house. I mapped out my route ahead of time, but was unsure of the exact topography. I knew the first part of my run would be downhill, and that means the last part would be uphill. I need to learn/practice hills, now is as good a time as any! I was nice and controlled the whole time. The downhill part was nice, and when I got to the flat bike path part, I noticed the wind was blowing like crazy! I was running with the wind. Now, my return trip would not only be mostly uphill, but against the wind too! Lucky me. Honestly? It wasn't so bad. I did it. I felt great after. I also realized my new neighborhood is adorable.