Glowing rewards!

My daughter and I did another 5K Fun Run two weeks ago. I was in the midst of still having pretty severe abdominal pain (If you missed those details.) so we did not finish the 5K. But I did dance for 2 hours with a 30 pound toddler on my shoulders before the run


and about another hour after the run, and walk two miles round-trip from the parking lot to the run. So I don’t feel bad about it AT ALL.

I’m proud of myself. My kid is SO on board with fun runs– as long as they involve getting crazy messy. I suppose there’s a foam run in our future. I dunno if I’m jazzed about that.




Anyway, we went, we danced, we glowed, we were tired.




Much fun!



I’ve been listening to a lot of Ben Folds lately. Because every day is a good day for Ben Folds.

You’re not fired, though. My doctor is. OH-OH-OH-OH FIIIIIRED!

Lemme just tell you why I’ve been MIA for a month. ALL OF THE B.S.!

In January, I decided it was time to stop being scared of what I would find out by going to the doctor, and just go. I hadn’t been to a regular PCP doctor in probably 10 years, with the exception of walk-in clinics for things like strep and sinus infections. I’m an ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away-er, a Boober-Fraggle-doomsday-er.


I fear the worst so I don’t look. Well, this is stupid. So I started going. I was referred to a dr by a co-worker, and I began to see him fairly regularly.

I began to see that he was a terrible, terrible doctor.

He is a prescriber. In the past 7 months he prescribed me no fewer than 10 DAILY medications. My only diagnosed medical condition is anemia… for which he prescribed me nothing, HA. Oh, and his Dx of sleep apnea– though there has been no testing or evidence, except that I’m fat and agreed that I am tired (Um, anemic, single-career-mom of a 3 yr old. OF COURSE I’M TIRED.) So now my permanent medical records have his OPINION that I have a condition. Asshole.

I further began to see a pattern in our visits. In one visit he would chastise me for something, and tell me how to fix it. In the next visit, he would chastise me for doing whatever he previously told me to do, claim he never said that, and change his advise to the exact opposite. Let me give you an example.

March: “You are over weight. Lose weight. The faster the better.”

April: “I see you lost some weight. That’s fine, but you are losing it too quickly so you’re just going to gain it back, and more. Don’t lose weight too quickly.”

May: I say, I’ve been working hard to lose weight, he asks how. I say diet and exercise. IE moderately low calories and 300+ minutes/3-5 days a week. Dr: “Well, exercise is good, but you won’t lose weight that way.” –I understand that what he was getting at is that you can out-eat physical calorie burn– but that is NOT what he said.

June: “You need to lose more weight. You need to lose it much faster. ” He asks what I am doing toward weight loss. My blood pressure (which was a little high, but not bad before) had gone down, my A1C was lower (I was “pre-diabetic” in January), my weight loss has been steady and healthy and all kinds of good things. I detailed my food log, my calorie limits of ~1,300 to 1,500 depending on my physical activity that day (and pure hunger), and my 5X a week workout routine of cardio and weights. He told me that 1) I was delusional in my estimates of burning 500-600 calories in my workouts (really?! an hour of intense cardio and 30 minutes of weight lifting?! DELUSIONAL?!). He further explained that if a very fit person and I did the same amount of physical exercise at the same intensity, that the fit person would burn at least 3 times more calories than I would. Which is wrong. Not just a little wrong, completely wrong. Like never-went-to-med-school wrong. Your body becomes MORE efficient at not wasting energy, not less. Your body tries to keep calories. That’s how we’re made. Anyway, he further scoffed at me explaining that my calorie limits of 1300-1500 calories were “Entirely too much food” and advised I go on a 500 calorie diet. He stated I should try more broccoli. He said this with a straight face. He also told me I couldn’t do it, and I would fail. He did not offer any nutritional advice, referral to a dietician, any of the other things a doctor should provide if ADVISING extreme dieting. In addition, I am anemic with a history of eating disorders, so this medical advice is even more dangerous and irresponsible– not to mention just plain bad advice.

So you see a pattern, yes? He is a bad doctor and he doesn’t like me.

While all this weigh garbage is happening, I am experiencing a few other problems. One, I’ve been having this hip pain that is too legit to quit. My right hip has been hurting for, oh, going on 3 months now. Hurts to walk. It’s like internal joint pain. Scary to me. Dr man said I had sustained an injury at some time, and my range of motion was “really weird”. He prescribed me (of course he did) ibuprofen and tramadol. I’m sensitive to pain meds, so tramadol was my bed-time treat, lest I fall asleep behind the wheel of my car or at my desk at work or, say, while caring for my kid. The hip pain has been constant, but tolerable. It hurts all the time but ibuprofen helps quite a lot.

Additionally, I have some lady stuff going on which prompted a change in my birth control, which led to me going BAT SHIT CRAZY. I questioned whether my mood instability, for one, was a side effect of this BC. He said that was (can you guess?) ABSURD. He said the clear answer was that my anti-depressant was no longer functional and changed my RX. Background– my anti-depressant was a SSRI type, and he changed me to a SSNRI type. The second is a bit more hard-core, and the drug in particular is pretty hard-core. After some reading and speaking with other folks who work in the medical field, this was a pretty drastic jump, especially considering this is the first time in my whole life I’ve ever been on any anti-depressants. It isn’t as though I’ve been moving through the RX’s trying to find something that works– which totally happens. But I digress.

This new RX had major side effects, including severe upper right quadrant pain. I learned this after I began having severe upper right quadrant pain. I am gall-bladder-free, but it felt like gallstones. I decided it was liver failure or something terrible, so I went to my Dr. I had no symptoms that make URQ pain urgent– no fever, no abdominal tenderness, etc. Just radiating pain so severe I couldn’t stand without sweating from the pain, couldn’t walk 10 feet without the pain taking my breath away. It was awful and debilitating and defeating and scary. That’s when I found information about Cymbalta and URQ pain. Like a whole page of people saying they had the same pain and it stopped after they stopped taking the RX. I mentioned this to my Dr, who (guess! guess what he said!!) LAUGHED IN MY FACE and told me that was ridiculous. After a CT (which went terribly wrong as well, naturally. Did you know your veins can explode and iodine can just fill up your arm which may cause bruising, hives, and muscle soreness for many days? I do.) came back clean, my Dr decided I was overdosing on pain medication. He told me my pain MUST be a duodenal ulcer from abusing ibuprofen. So, one, I took it as prescribed, two, I had been taking it for maybe 2 months at the time, and I almost never take anything OTC or otherwise. He referred me to a gastro. This required more testing ($$$$$$$)– and I really felt like the obvious next step was to TRY getting off the meds.

I made a decision that day to fire my doctor and, while finding a new one, follow my gut. I stopped taking the BC and Cymbalta. Guess what happened? The URQ pain went away. My brain came back to a regular rotation.

My hip still hurts, but I’m working on it.

Anyway, my point is just that for a month I have been struggling with trying to stay on-task with food since I could not physically do anything (DRIVING HURT! Ridic.) I didn’t even log my food for most of the month, becuase I just didn’t want to know. I ate my feelings some, and over-ate some, and just generally had a constant toddler-VS-mom internal fight at every meal. I’ve also been struggling with all the things that go along with non-stop pain (new found respect for chronic-pain). And now? I am BACK!

Lots of good has come from that month of bad. I have re-learned the value of trusting myself. I know my body. I have to trust that. I was reminded that doctors are people. There are good people and shitty people. I found the shittiest.

I still lost weight, some how. I’m surprised and delighted. I guess I’m more on top of this stuff than I thought.

Yesterday was my first day back at the gym, and it suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.

But I did it. And I’ll do it again today. And tomorrow. Et so on.

So I’ve been MIA, but I’m still here. And today I’m wearing pants I could have worn 3 years ago. They look super cute.

*Edit: Since writing this, I have become STEADILY MORE MAD. It really is worse than I thought. It becomes so apparent when it’s all listed out like this. There are other choice idiocies he spouted, of course, but they’re off topic. That guy is a train-wreck. Don’t put up with bad doctoring! Second opinions forever!!

Red-lipped rewards.


For a 40 pound weight-loss reward, I purchased a $22 lipstick. I don’t buy ridiculous things for myself very often, and I CERTAINLY do not buy a single cosmetic that costs more than $10 AND I don’t really wear lipstick, so this is the splurgiest of splurges. But it is a two-fold reward.

I’ve always kind of had an internal war between wishing I was a super stylish girl and hating the super stylish girl. I was raised by my dad (and later step-mom) for all those influential years where girls learn to explore their fashion tastes and try out terrible hairstyles and learn how to accessorize. My step mother is a very nice woman with generally AWFUL taste. My dad is very much a dude’s dude working-class kinda guy. He picks out a new outfit for a fancy event from Goodwill, and considers a Hawaiian button down church-appropriate. My mother has spent my life telling me that vanity is the worst thing anyone can embrace—and I can get behind this on a very VERY extreme platform, but she views any kind of care about clothes, appearance, etc to be a character flaw.

Ok, so needless to say I always feel like the most boring shirt in the room. Generally speaking, I keep my wardrobe pretty simple, innocuous. I don’t make bold fashion statements, I don’t do, like, animal prints and stuff. I mean, you do you—I just don’t like that on me. When I was smaller, I cared more. I liked shopping and felt good in new clothes, I did my hair often, I enjoyed putting on makeup most days and finding cute earrings. I LOVED shoes and bags, just in an Old Navy/Target price range. As I have gained weight, I have felt so unattractive and so matter-of-fact about my appearance that I have stopped caring what I see. I mean, like I still shower and brush my teeth and wear clothes in good repair and stuff, but when I try on a shirt for work and I look frumpy, it’s fine—because no matter what I put on, I’m going to look much older than I should and frumpy, because of my weight. And it has been going on for so long now that I sort of forgot that I think I can be pretty—that I am capable of looking NICE. Not passable—looking GOOD. It is size related, but deeper than that. I worked at this TERRIBLE job for two years. Terrible terrible—the kind of job where you cry before you go in, on your lunch break, and after work EVERY DAY. It was a very valuable lesson, but I am not grateful I learned it. While I was there, I was depressed, and gained more weight, which made me depressed about that too. One day I came into work with full makeup, my hair done and a nice outfit, because I had personal appointment. Everyone in my office ooh’d and aww’d and were genuinely surprised. Do you know how it feels to realize someone is genuinely surprised to learn you can look nice? It’s awful. I was so horrified to learn that I looked SO BAD most of the time that makeup and a cute top were enough to lastingly shock people who have seen me daily for years. After leaving that job, my appearance improved (did you know not crying and sleeping well and stuff makes a huge difference?) and I remembered that I do actually care how I look. I started wearing makeup more often and spending more thought on my clothes and finally diet.

As I get older, I’m learning a lot about the value of things—I mean this completely materialistically. An $80 bag lasts 80% longer than a $5 bag. Quality is quality, and while price does not equal quality, quality is worth paying for. All of this is just to say, $22 lipstick IS THE GREATEST PURCHASE I HAVE EVER MADE!

I mean, if you like PERFECT lipstick, here’s a link.

I love lipstick, but I just eat it off my face so I rarely wear it. I’m bad at re-applying and I hate that thing where it’s all worn off and you look like you lined your lips and ate a popsicle—not cute. Anyway, in addition to being the ALL TIME BEST EVER MOST PERFECT shade of red (seriously, swoon!), and smelling like vanilla- not wax or something else gross, AND tasting like nothing AND being hyper-pigmented AND not feathering or bleeding, I applied it at 8 am and did not re-apply until 2pm (after I ate a sandwich, and to be honest, I just had to dab a little in the center of my lips). Then I walked at the park, sweat like a fool, and when I got home it was still perfect. (Um, I don’t make it a habit to workout in lipstick (T Swizzle!) but I forgot makeup remover) And!! When I used makeup remover, it came off COMPLETELY, easily, beautifully. No pilling, no dry lip, no weird lipstick residues. I’m not trying to write a beauty blog or anything, but I will never buy another lipstick that is not Besame. And I want all the colors. 1920 red is AMAZING. I think I know some more things to put on my weight loss reward list. And, wearing lipstick keeps me from snacking, out of fear of reapplying. So handy.


In non-lipstick related news…

If you have been following my eternal struggle of life and food, you may remember my recent struggle with UNENDING RELENTLESS cravings that did not seem to be associated with a real food or emotional need. After some research and some different trial-and-error attempts, I decided to try adding a few vitamins to my daily intake and see if it made a difference.

Well. I can’t say for sure that it was the added vitamins, but I absolutely feel better. The cravings have subsided back to normal. I noticed a difference in just a few days, and I feel completely back in control now—roughly 2 weeks later. It could always be coincidence or placebo or just that I got it out of my system—who knows? What I DO know, is I am SO SO glad I don’t feel like a mad woman about food at the moment. I mean, I would still rather eat a hamburger than the stuffed tomatoes I prepared for lunch, but it’s totally fine. I would still like to dive into a tub full of truffles, but I can walk by the Godiva kiosk. Additionally, I have re-lost my weight gained during uncontrolled bingeing AND am at my lowest weight in the last 3 years.


So in an on-going, never-ending cycle of up’s and down’s, I am upping and downing.

I have eaten my feelings for a few days. Over-eaten. Binge-eaten. It has not been pretty. I purchased Twinkies (plural) ON PURPOSE and brought them INTO MY HOME and placed them IN MY PANTRY for CONSUMPTION. This is absurd, for so many reasons. One, Twinkies are not food, they are not good, and I do not like them. But I saw them, I was feeling vulnerable, and I bought them. THEN I ATE ONE. And you know what? Reason two for absurdity: It was foul. It was so sweet it was gross, and I knew at the first bite that I was not enjoying it. It did not stop me from eating it, and a second Twinkie, for good measure. Three: SABOTAGE! I cannot have food like that in my home. I just can’t. I’ve been trying to tell myself that I’ve been doing really well in my weight loss goals and I can afford a small, planned treat now and again. That’s true—if we’re talking like a Friday slice of pizza or a few chocolate squares after a nice walk. But this? This is not that. This is a descent into ED bingeing and emotional eating.

I’ll spare you the humiliating details, but rest assured that through a number of poor choices, too little water, and WAAAAAY too much food, I have gained about 5 lbs. The good and bad of that: Good—5 lbs on me isn’t too much to carve back off in a few days of good choices. Bad—it means a few more days I could have been making progress instead of just doing damage control have been wasted. I am bloated and puffy and I FEEL bad. Emotionally less so than physically. But I physically feel pretty awful. I’m salt-achey and generally yuck.

But I’m disappointed. If you’ve been following my progress, you may notice a trend. I am noticing a trend. I do well for a few days and I’m introspective and thoughtful about my food and goals. Then I get a little cockey and I slip a little—just a little. But I think, that’s ok! You have to have balance! Then I slip a little more, and a little more, until I’m in full-on terrible choice mode. Then I shake it off, pull up my socks, find my head again. Repeat.

But each time I slip a little further, and I don’t pull up my socks quite as far as I should. So I’m regressing.


Okay, look. I started out with food as my main area of change. After a little while getting acclimated to that I worked in exercise—not too much at first. I worked up. I was still being a CHAMPION at food. Nutritious, tasty, filling, low-cal. And you know what? My results were SO GOOD! I lost about 20 pounds in a month.

I’ve slowly slipped a little more and a little more. I started working out longer to account for the poor choice I had ALREADY decided to have at dinner—and I’m not talking like one night a week. I found I was thinking things like “Well, I don’t really feel like going to the gym today, but if I do I will burn a thousand calories so I can eat more at dinner. OKAY!” SO instead of working on my portions—which are a big part of my downfall—I was finding a way to out-exercise my portions… kinda. Except that if I didn’t work out, I still ate the bigger portion I had previously trained myself out of “needing” (emotionally), and defeated the hard work of the week. I didn’t gain for a while. I didn’t lose either. I mean, sure, a little here and there, but not like I was when I was really putting in the effort. Funny how that works.

So now, here I am. Looking hard in the mirror. I can’t rely on exercise to lose weight. I have to get a handle on food. Fully, completely, lastingly. I’m still working on vitamins and nutrition to help the physical cravings—I think it is working and having a positive impact. BUT. It’s the emotional part that I have to fight now. And forever. I guess that’s the part that makes me sad, when thinking about dieting makes me sad. (It doesn’t, lots of the time… but sometimes…) You’ve all thought it. The sinking feeling when you have to admit that, for this to work, it means forever. It means this battle will go on FOREVER. I will never lead a life where I can sit down and enjoy a piece of birthday cake without analyzing how I will feel later, how I will work it off, and whether it’s safe for me to do so without it triggering me into a binge-spiral of self-loathing or days of non-stop eating. It’s so fast—the regression. It’s such a real thing, addiction. I get it. I mean, it feel stupid to even say “I’m addicted to food”, but really? I get it. When I can recognize that I am SO FULL and I SHOULD NOT eat, and I am NOT hungry while I am preparing another plate of food—when I can recognize the guilt BEFORE it’s even happened, and I still eat, I still do it, I still consume the thing I know I shouldn’t—I get it. It’s a problem. It isn’t enough to say willpower. It isn’t enough to drink-water-it-away, or to choose an apple. It isn’t a diet-pill and weight-watcher’s meeting solution. I’m going to start looking into behavioural health options as an additional branch of my diet regimen.

But for now—for the What I Can DO For Me Today portion of my after-school special—I am resetting.


I guess that’s part of the deal, too. Constantly resetting, constantly re-motivating, constant vigilance.

I’m going a little drastic for a day or two. Protein shakes, raw veggies, lean protein, apples, water. And green tea because a life without caffeine is not worth living and you don’t want me in that world either.


It’s noon and I’m fine.

Because I can do this, and so can you.

My little Fun-away, Fun Fun Fun Fun Fun-away!

I did my first Fun Run as an adult this weekend. I did not run, but I did have fun.

My daughter (3) told me all week about how much she was going to heartily DISenjoy herself. She did not wish to run, walk, be covered in colors, or see many people and perhaps friends. Three-year-olds are a joy and a gift. Motherhood is so rewarding.

When my alarm went off at 5:45am on a Saturday, I cursed myself. Why? Why would I do this to myself? I can walk 5K anywhere, at any time. Why did I pay money to have to get up early on my ONLY day to sleep in (and I say sleep in VERY loosely, because 3 year olds do not sleep in unless it is a school day or you are on a schedule)? And, even better– it was raining like CRAZY.

Lovely day for a Fun Run!
Lovely day for a Fun Run!

I thought about just not going. But I went. I knew that if I didn’t go I would kick myself forever.  So we went. When we arrived, we stood in a very wet line for packet pick-up and took selfies. The rain slowed to a drizzle, and all was scheduled to go on as planned. Ish.



I didn’t really know what to expect with a color run, and had the option when I registered to buy extra color packets, so I did. I assumed a “color packet” was like a tiny, one shot kinda deal. So I bought 15 extra color packets. Fun fact: Color packets are BIG. It’s enough pigment to attack 10 people. So we had PLENTY.

Standing at the start line, an employee approached a group of us to let us know the start time had been pushed back an hour. It was 8:30 am. They wouldn’t start till 10 am. A couple of things with that. One, the storm was anticipated to hit again around 10. Clever, race folks. Two, this is in southern coastal Texas. 10 am + rain humidity + Galveston area + June = A BILLIONDY SEVEN DEGREES.

We decided, along with some strangers, that we wouldn’t wait for the start time, we’d just walk and have some fun. So we did.

IMG_5648 IMG_5657


It got pretty intense. My daughter, by the end, was screaming like Braveheart and chasing strangers to attack them with color powder. Luckily, this was an instance where that was completely encouraged… I couldn’t have stopped her if I wanted to. The track was about a mile-and-a-half, then a turn-around, and the same track back to the start/finish line. We made it ALMOST to the half-way mark when the sky opened up again. My daughter was already pretty tired by then anyway… BUT I ALREADY WALKED SOOO FAAAAR! SO TIRED!

We ended up turning around and not quite doing the entire 5K (lightening!!!) and we were completely drenched by the time we made it back. In white clothes. It was cute. We also found out that it was cancelled after-all. HAHAHA. Of course it was. I think they’re rescheduling, so maybe we get to do it twice. And if not, I’m double glad we went.

IMG_5675 IMG_5678

But we had FUN. My daughter insists she did not have fun. Because she’s 3. And 3 year-olds are terrible companions most of the time. But she did have fun. She told everyone about our Fun Run. We enjoyed it so much I signed us up for a Glow Run in a few months and she is JAZZED about it. Even though she won’t admit it.

It’s a very minor accomplishment, but I’m glad I did it. It seems silly to pay money to walk ~3 miles (and in the rain), but money has proven over and over again to be a really good incentive for me. Spending and earning. In this case, I’m glad that I went. I found a new funsies activity for my daughter and I to do together that is teaching her to enjoy exercise as recreation (although, at 3 she’s not opposed to it yet) and has opened a new door of something special for us to do together.



Diet food is boring.

Diet food that doesn’t make you sad or take 45 minutes to prepare is hard to come by. Also, I should note that my current schedule has left me a bit lacking in the dinner department. I’m a single career mom on a diet, so I get off work at 5, drive through 45 minutes to an hour of traffic, pick up my daughter from pre-school, then it’s another 20 minutes of traffic to the gym, 1-1/2 hours at the gym (depending on my energy level and child’s crankiness), then home, where I feed and bathe my daughter, QT for 30 before bed (books and puzzles some days, David Bowie Labyrinth inspired dance parties other), and by then it’s anywhere between 8:30 and 9 pm before I’m able to think about feeding myself. I might start making my dinner while my daughter is eating, but a lot of times I try to shower in that time.

Anyway, the point is that I was eating a fair amount of salad with chicken or tuna for dinner and getting insanely bored. Also, I notice with diet food (and I know some folks don’t like to call it a diet, but it doesn’t mess with my psyche so I do) that it’s so often COLD if it’s a nice low calorie and nutritious recipe. I like cold food just fine, but warm food makes me feel more full, more satiated, more indulgent. So I’ve been making an effort to food prep on the weekend and pre-pack lots of warm dinners that I could freeze or refrigerate and just pop in the microwave or oven when I walk in and wouldn’t be required to over think servings, calories, cooking, etc.  On my food logging app (I use Lose It!, but I think Spark People and My Fitness Pal offer it too) I can type up my recipes (even scan the barcodes on sauces and prepackaged components)  and input the servings to calculate the nutrition facts. Then, once the recipe is saved on my recipe list, I can just type it into my daily log and all the info is right there in my calorie count. It’s a bit time intensive to begin, but once the recipes are there it’s easy peasy.  And I use the recipes I typed in to re-create what I made before. It works for me.


I’m pretty proud of my accomplishments on Saturday. I chopped and cooked and packaged ALL DAY. It probably would have been easier if I planned and prepped more carefully and didn’t have a 3yr old sous chef, but regardless, I accomplished two weeks of homemade, nutritious dinners for around $100. Some will require a side item, but I’m a fresh/frozen veggie or salad on the side kinda girl. The calorie counts I am getting are truly gratifying, too. I’m talking 200-400 calories for main dishes. So some of these I could, feasibly, double a serving if I am still hungry, and some days I am. I’m going to make an effort to post the successful recipes here, with pictures. I’ll try not to make them all terrible cellphone pictures, but don’t hold your breath. You’ll get what you get. I’m not a food blogger, so this isn’t my instagram-forte.

Please feel free to let me know if you try a recipe, what alterations  or improvements you made, and what you thought!

Good Enough! 06-03-2015

Originally Posted June 3, 2015


I found my mojo! It was here, on DietBet** all along.

After my hiatus of motivation and good-choice-making, I am back. Blogging and the responses I received from the kind folks here are totally responsible. I will be working to blog here 2X a week, at minimum, from here on. I can see a marked difference in my own actions and progress when I blog. Interesting.

In my Mojo Shuffle, I have done a few things.

  • One: Pirwaki brought up looking over her Miles Per Month (and making goals around that). I checked out my own MPM, and found that I’m averaging about 100 miles a month. That’s kinda pitiful. 3ish miles a day isn’t even 10K steps a day, and to be honest, if I do not go to the gym, I’m lucky to break 3K steps, so we’re talking a pitiful amount of walking some days and a decent amount others. As such. I am committing to 150 miles in a calendar month. Luckily Monday was the 1st of the month AND my reset day AND my first day back to the gym. So that worked out nicely.
  • Two: I have hit a bit of a gym slump. I have become too routine in my cardio, and I can tell that I need to change some things up and challenge myself more. I like the elliptical. It’s my favesies. I’m one of the gym girls who spends a million years on the elliptical that you read about in fitness magazines making fun of cardio-queens. I know that weight-loss is not done through exercise alone, and I know that cardio is not the only thing of value, and I know that keeping the same routine is counterproductive. But I also know that whatever keeps me going to the gym and whatever keeps me moving is better than forcing myself to do stuff I can’t stand and eventually quitting. That said. I do intervals on the elliptical and just make up my own thing. I adjust the incline and resistance with the music I’m listening to, so I do some really fast with low resistance, slower with harder resistance, you know. And that’s fine. But I started to realize that I can get through an hour without a problem. Like, I’m sweaty and my brain wants me to stop and all that, but I’m not feeling any kind of real fatigue. So yesterday I decided to enter all my info on the machine and do an “Interval training mode” setting on the machine. And you know what? IT KICKED MY BUTT. I couldn’t make it the full hour. I did 45 minutes then shut it off and walked my last 15 minutes. And my muscle groups were shaking. And I woke up sore—like the real kind of sore—in a way I haven’t been in a while. All that fatigue and soreness and WORK just got me all excited again. I’m feeling pumped to keep changing things up and see how hard I can push myself. I really needed that.
  • Three: Music. I use Spotify, which is the best thing ever to happen to music, in my opinion. There are free versions, you should look into it if you are not afraid to stream music at the gym. I saved a bunch of “workout” playlists by different people (fitness magazines, namely) and I have had SO MUCH FUN finding new music and being reminded of music I’d forgotten about. It was a trash-music-sweatin good time. Music is SUCH a stimulator for me. I work so much harder and so much longer if I’m feeling the music. I’m going to make an effort to remember to change it up more, and keep my playlists fresh if I start to feel bored.
  • Four: I’m making a poster. YES I AM. Grade-school style. I’m hanging I ton the back of my bedroom door and everything. I think I’ll post a picture when I’m finished. I made a thermometer-style graph so I can mark off my weight loss. I have printed out some inspiring photos and quotes. There may or may not be glitter involved. I’m planning a tear-away goal sheet—the NSV’s I’d like to accomplish. I think I’ll really like PHYSICALLY removing them from my board. I’m also trying to decide how to arrange some of my goals on there so that I can log/view them aesthetically. It’s a work in progress. Elementary-chic.
  • Five: (working on) Taking the time to document and appreciate my NSV’s . AND my SV’s. We all know the non-scale victories are great reminders and motivators and all of that. And I love my NSV’s. But I have not been giving them the recognition they deserve. I have not been taking the time to thoughtfully NOTICE them. How am I taking them for granted already?? That’s STUPID! In order for me to be proud of me, I have to give myself credit. So I am working on being observant of my progress and my accomplishments.

For example:

My workout clothes are loose. They’re ~ 3 months old. They’re spandex. They’re loose. LOOSE SPANDEX. Let that sink in.

I am drinking 3 liters of water a day. Fairly regularly.  I’m working up to a gazillion, but right now I’m happy with three.

I can do toe touches. Standing and sitting, straddle and pike. Knees straight. I couldn’t three months ago.

I have lost 35 pounds since March 19th.

I am starting to feel pretty in my own skin again. This is a really big one. I forgot how good it feels to appreciate what you see in the mirror.

I can walk up 3 flights of stairs. I am winded, tired, and slow—but I can do it. And I DO do it.

I have lost my motivation, lost my desire to work hard and eat right, AND FOUND IT AGAIN. I didn’t give up. I get a little teary eyed when I say this out loud. I suppose it’s one of those things that people like me have to overcome—I have a hard time finding merit in my actions, in my efforts, in my accomplishments. When someone tells me good job, like for realsies, in person, genuinely—AND I believe their congrats—I want to break down. I’m grateful for the recognition and I LIKE to hear it—but I also sort of don’t believe it. It’s not that I don’t believe the person thinks whatever complimentary thing they say, but just that I am a fraud because they think I have done something really good and deserving of praise but they don’t know that I secretly could have done better and worked harder and generally speaking I have not, REALLY, done a good job. That’s some save-it-for-the-therapist shizz and all, but I’m sure I’m not alone in this abusive thinking. And when I gave myself some credit for pulling up my socks and sticking with my goal to lose weight, I believed it. I believe it. And that’s probably my biggest accomplishment to date.

This whole business is SO HARD. Let’s all give ourselves some credit for that. Cause man. This is HARD.

**If you have come across this blog by some series of events not involving me pointing to it, allow the following disclaimer: These blogs all began on DietBet, and were posted within the site. As such, there are several references to DietBet. I have enjoyed using it as a tool, and it’s working for me. You don’t have to use it. You do you.

Motivation is a Slippery Fish. 06-01-2015

Originally Posted June 1, 2015

I have been struggling to write a new blog post for a little while. I came across the excerpt below, that I started last week or the week before, I forget now.

“Today I weighed out for my fourth verified Diet Bet win. I am now at 3 Kickstarter wins and one Transformer Round 1 win. I feel good.

Last weekend I hit my 30 pound milestone and decided to celebrate with a new bra, because my old one was absurdly too big. I mean, I had chest to lose, but c’mon. Let us evacuate the belly first, body. No? Oh. Well. Ok I guess.

I also celebrated by shopping in my closet. I have a bad habit of buying things online and never getting around to returning them if they don’t work. So I had a few pairs of jeans and a few tops that were various kinds of too snug. I now have two new pair of jeans which fit perfectly (score!).

Lately I’ve been feeling very down and I’ve been struggling to keep motivated. I think I have been able to pin it down, but in the mean time I’ve been trying to find a way to get my head back in the game, as it were.”

So I’m reading this, and it struck me. I have had all wins so far (um, except maybe this next weigh out… it’s not looking good right now) and I have had a lot of scale and non-scale victories.

But I don’t feel good.

I mean, I don’t feel BAD, and I generally feel fine I suppose, but the energized feelings, the jazzed feelings, the elation and the pride and the sense of accomplishment– I lost it.

I have been lax. I have been slipping more and more over the past few weeks. Last week I might as well have been an unsupervised toddler in a candy store the way I acted. I didn’t make it to the gym– I had a good reason or two, but crappy/lazy reasons or 5; I have no excuse for missing a week. So, while some of my good habits have remained solid and kept me from immediately gaining weight, it isn’t enough and it won’t last indefinetely.

And you know what? I feel pretty certain that a big part of me not feeling awesome is my diet. It’s one of those vicious cycles, where I started a new medication that’s messing with an exsisting medication plus hormones plus life plus CUPCAKES FOREVER! Etc. And right now I know I need to get back in the game. I have so many positive reasons to lose weight, and absolutely zero reasons to give up. But I don’t feel the spark. That motivating thing, whatever it is, to inspire me, to insight some dedication. So I will fake it. Fake it till you make it. Kimmying. Outside in living, just for a minute. Just till it comes back. These things are organic, sometimes. I can’t make myself WANT to work out. But I can make myself work out. So I’ll do that.

So this week is a new week. I re-started today. So far, so good.

I am not looking forward to the gym today. But I will go, and I will be fine, and I will feel glad I did afterwards.

Every journey starts with a step, yeah? Yeah.

PLAGUE! And kolaches. 05-15-2015

Originally Posted may 15, 2015

Oh man. What a week.

Mother’s Day was rough.
You know how every holiday has a way of pinging SOME demographic. Mother’s Day is a pinger for me, and for a lot of moms for all kinds of reasons. Mine are fairly common– single parenting means there’s no partner to help your child select (or pretend they selected) a gift or make a card, or to do any of the cutesy things social media and Hallmark lead you to believe happens in every household BUT yours. Additionally, a 3 year old is not a great appreciator-of-mom or respector-of-obligatory-holidays. So, Mother’s Day is usually a bit of a wash, but it kinda bummed me this year.

Her school made a sweet gift from the kids, which, unfortunately, was food. Chocolate covered strawberries. They were DELICIOUS and my daughter, just starting to tap into the idea of gifts and doing for others, refused all but one strawberry, and demanded I eat three while she watched me. Twist my arm, hahaha!

Sundays I work a second job at a church nursery, so we were up early and out the door. Our routine is that Daughter always gets a donut. We stop at the same donut store, she picks out one beautiful donut of her choice (adorably, she picked blue icing because blue is my favorite color), and I gaze longingly but do not get anything for myself. I used to get a kolache every Sunday. If you don’t know about the joys of savory kolaches, then you’re better off that way and you should not investigate further, but here’s insight into the amazing sin of Kolaches. It’s very sad, but my restraint is downright Biblical.

After church, we had to run off, pick up my sister from her assisted living place (she is mentally and physically disabled) and off to visit my mother. Visiting my mother is an entire torment of it’s own for all kinds of reasons.

At my mother’s house, Daughter spiked a fever, causing me to call into the evening portion of my second job at the church and head into a family dinner in full-swing, complete with cake and fajitas. Mmm. Fajitas.

The food parts of MD were rough. The sweetness of my daughter parts were nice. Further, she told me we needed to go to the store and buy flowers and jewelry for me. So she got some brownie points– which is good because she was a plague-induced jerk for the following 3 days.

My daughter had(has?) strep throat, because if there is strep to be caught, one or both of us will catch it. Cue messed up sleep cycles, stress-induced cravings, missing work, and three days primarily trapped indoors due to mass flooding (didja see all those flood pics from Houston from Tuesday? That was my neighborhoodish. Yay!) and illness. My scale haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaates me.

But. I still managed to sneak to the gym three times in four days and sneak in a walk (Daughter got a bike ride) and managed NOT to eat the whole house from boredom — a major downfall for me. I do MUCH better out of the house. And sure, playing Candyland 8,359,322 times with a three-year old is pretty exciting, as is watching EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of Super Why! on Netflix (there are really really a lot of episodes), but, you know. That leaves a lot of time to think about cupcakes.

So. I have a weigh-in tonight and one in a couple of days. I should make one just fine– the other… well, I’ll be eating a lot of raw veggies and water the next couple of days. Hoping for the best. I was at my goal last week, so it should drop off as salt-and-stress weight fairly easily. I ate nachos last night. Carefully portioned, within my budget nachos, but nachos, none-the-less. With regular yellow corn chips. And velveeta. THAT’S RIGHT. Not even real cheese. It was delicious. And today I am puffy with salt.

I don’t have anything profound or insightful or funny to say today. I have to remember that my stresses don’t have to defeat my hard work. I am not bound by grumpiness or hormones or sadness.

Also, my ankle seems to be better. I did not really rest it, but I did buy a decent brace, and it has been helping. Barely any ankle pain. So now my hip hurts. HA! But it’s all tolerable, so not a big deal.

The Struggle is Real: Gym Anxiety Edition 4-29-2015

Originally Posted April 29, 2015

I’ve been going to the gym fairly regularly for about 6 weeks (hooray me!) and it’s become routine enough that I’ve stopped thinking about it– on the whole.

Yesterday, I was set back to day-one-level gym anxiety for a while, so I thought we should discourse.

I KNOW I am not alone on this. Gyms can be so incredibly intimidating. I’ve done fairly well at not projecting what my inner 13 year-old would say onto strangers passing by, buuuuut… I mean it happens. “WHY DOES THAT PERSON KEEP GLANCING AT ME??? Is my machine squeaking? Am I doing it wrong? Do I smell? They’re thinking about how gross I look, I KNOW IT!” Etc. Ok, so, maybe you default to “Why is that person so OBVIOUSLY checking me out?? I know I’m hot, but c’mon!” — so good for you and your self esteem. Live it, go on with yo bad self! I, however, default to the former.

And there are plenty of things to make a person self-conscious at a gym.

You have to wear clothes that allow you to move, which generally means more fitted, spandex in composition, and void of carefully purchased accessories that flatter and disguise problem areas (I love the drapey scarf trend).

You will get all sweaty (if you’re doing it right), and maybe omit… odors. I’m still very concerned about the possibility of asparagus sweat being a thing. Plus coffee, garlic, onions, all kinds of things can scent your natural body odor– plus sweating it out? Gah. But wearing perfume to the gym is equally offensive. You will not win. Fresh sweat isn’t that bad, usually, if you bathe regularly. And if you’re gymming, you should probably also be bathing regularly.

There are mysterious machines with vague instructions printed on them. Ok, so the first time I ever climbed on an elliptical machine (maybe ten+ years ago?) I was MYSTIFIED. Luckily, it was at an apartment gym and I was alone, so I could work it out. “You have to move your arms and your legs at the same time and not fall off?” The weight area is still terrifying to me. I know how to use a few machines (I think) and I stick to those for now until I get a trainer sorted out. And I know there are youtube videos and tons of books and websites with step-by-step instructions, but I’m a kinetic learner– I need to do it. I cannot bring myself to pull out my smart phone and stream a 2 minute video while I try to position my body on the machine, because WHAT WILL STRANGERS THINK? See? I know how stupid that sounds, but it is what it is. Also, the other day I was using the seated row machine and a trainer stopped by to give me some pointers on using it– this was great, and I’m grateful he did, and I have used that new knowledge to my advantage. It was also embarrassing. I felt humiliated– I didn’t need to, he was kind and helpful and nobody, like, pointed at me and called me four-eyes or anything, but I still felt humiliated.

There are some really pretty people at the gym. This is it’s own kind of inspiring defeat. There are some really really fit people at the gym. There are also average looking people, doughy looking people, and fat-like-me looking people. All of those people, and all of those eyes, and all of those thoughts that you cannot control while you are doing something outside your comfort zone can be TERRIFYING.

This all comes back to “Don’t care what other people think!” — yeah yeah, but let’s be real. We do care. If we did not care we would all be stealing, murdering, public-crapping, nose-picking, what-have-youing all over the place. But we don’t, because there are rules and we are civilized, and there’s good and bad to that. And even when you don’t care-care what you look like, you still care what you look like. It doesn’t have to own you and cover every aspect of your self or anything, but you care. And so do I.

This is pretty ramble-y, so thanks for sticking with me.

When I am at the gym and someone gets on a cardio machine RIGHT next to mine when there are other machines open, I think several things.

1.) “OMG, I hope I don’t smell. What is that smell? Is that smell me? THAT IS ME. I feel so bad for you, Gym Member.”

2.) “Why did they pick that machine? There are SO MANY other machines! Buffer machine! Don’t they know gym etiquette?” (then I answer myslef) “Maybe they like that machine best. Maybe they are watching the TV. Maybe they’re checking out the lady’s butt in front of them. Maybe they hate another Gym Member nearby.”

-“Did they glance at my machine readout? Are they comparing themselves to me to feel good? Are they next to me so they look thinner? Are they judging me? THEY ARE JUDGING ME!”
-“I’m going to do this exercise UNTIL I DIE just to show them I can endure Cardio While Fat!”
-“Are they pacing me? Did they speed up because I sped up? STOP TRYING TO BE ME!”
-“HAHAHA! I did it longer than them! I hope they respect fat-exersize now!!”

* I yell at strangers a lot in my head. I’m very rude that way. It comes from working in retail for many years, probably.

I’m probably mostly wrong and crazy, and silly– but I am right sometimes. It’s generally not a part of my life once I’m done on the machine, but those thoughts are still something to overcome and they’re still a part of the gym, for most of us, I think.

Also, the fit people who sneer at un-fit people at the gym.
First, and obviously, they can go F themselves.
Second, they can go F themselves again for good measure.
Third, I am guilty of it too.

That’s right! I can complain about it and acknowledge that I do it too. I am guilty of thinking things like “That person is fatter than me. Thank god. I’ll NEVER get THAT fat.” or “Ugh, that person is TOO fit. S/He looks so gross and veiny. I bet they’re super vain and D-Baggy.” and also “That person is perfect and I wish I were perfect too.” I think all the things.

Also, I stare at the people doing pull-up sometimes. I try not to, because I’m not being a creeper, but I am honestly completely in awe of that ability. I’ve never done a pull-up in my whole entire life. It’s one of my top fitness goals. So I watch and think about how amazed I am that people can do that, and it looks so effortless.

I also look at the women in the free-weights section of the gym next to super buff men, just doing what they came to do. And I cheer them. And I hope to toughen my skin enough to be over there soon.

Long story, long, I’m bringing this up because for a little while now I’ve been fine at the gym. I haven’t had to talk myself into just getting through the front door and that kind of thing. And then, yesterday, out of nowhere, a near-stranger gave the disgusted face while I was working out. not once, BUT THREE TIMES. He gave me the gross-out face while I elliptical-ed, and didn’t see me see him. Then he did it again by the weights, whilst I was lat pull-downing. Then HE MADE EYE CONTACT and a full-body scan + gross-face while I was leaving with my daughter.

So that’s an abnormal amount of rude, and I did not imagine it.

Here’s the part that’s kinda neat, though. I went to highschool with that guy. I know his name, first and last. I also know, thanks to the weirdness that is social media social obligation (why do we add people we barely knew in highschool?), where he works, his girlfriend’s name, where he likes to eat dinner, every time he goes to the gym, his new car (complete with license plates), and his favorite bars. Not like I’m going to go find him and TP his house or anything, I’m just saying, folks oughta censor some stuff. I’d feel pretty bad about myself after all of that, normally. But, in this case, I had the ability to snoop on his page and read all of the terrible political ideas he supports, as well as a TON of really superficial body shaming kindsa comments he posts. And judge his general spelling and grammar failures. I don’t enjoy being the person who grosses out another person, just by BEING. I don’t, it’s not a good feeling. But I am totally fine with grossing THAT guy out. I kinda hope he sees me and my big butt in yoga pants when he closes his eyes. And that? Right there? Has renewed my gym commitment. Not for the sake of toning up so I’ll be attractive, but so, hopefully, I can gross him out all the time.