Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Learning to breathe again

Recently my low back went out and I was laid up for three days.  And when I say "laid up" I mean I couldn't handle the intense pain unless I was laying down.  It. Was. Awful.

So I've been going to physical therapy (PT) for a couple weeks now trying to strengthen some areas and lessen the chances of it ever happening again.  Because I'll do ANYTHING to make sure that never happens again!

I am flexible.  I am able to bend and put my palms all the way down on the floor.  But instead of curving my back like most people, I fold in half at the hips, while my back stays perfectly straight.  Doesn't sound bad, right?  But it is.

My PT said my low back is constantly "engaged" and we have teach my body to let go so those muscles can relax and I can curve my back.  I am doing a lot of back-curved bending and "opening up" my ribcage and taking deep breaths.  (it's not as simple as I made it sound, but figured you didn't want the 30 minute explantion).

So I got to thinking...why is my low back always engaged? 
Does it hurt so I'm protecting it?  No
Is it not flexible and therefore unable to curve?  No
So what is it?

Now that I've been doing the exercises and "loosening" my back I had a moment of clarity as to why it is engaged!  I had just finished my PT and was walking out of the gym and there was a glass door.  I saw my body and WITHOUT THINKING sucked in my gutt.  And at that moment, I felt my entire low back re-engage.

Awhile back I noted that I have (for YEARS) sucked in my gutt.  That I have very strong abs because I am constantly sucking in my gutt.
Well, years of me sucking in my gutt may have strengthened my abs, but has screwed up my back!!  ACK!!

So I've been focusing on NOT looking at my stomach and NOT sucking it in. 
Did you know (and you probably did) that you get a LOT more OXYGEN when you aren't sucking in your stomach?!   LOL!
No WONDER I had such issues doing cardio!  I only had 1/3 the lung capacity (yes, I suck in my gutt when working out!).
No WONDER I get so tired walking and talking! 
No WONDER my back finally gave out!  The muscles are EXHAUSTED!

So there you have it.  I am giving up on attempting to hide my thick torso. 
Go ahead, have a look.  Here I am...take me or leave me. 
Cause I not losing breath over it anymore!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Make a plan, yes, but actually follow it...?

I am the queen of planning.  I can plan a month of activities in 15 minutes.  I can plan a vacation in 5. 
All I need is a pen and paper and the internet.
And yes, I do like to write out my plans with an actual pen and paper.

I have planned my meals for this work week.
Breakfast:  3hard boiled eggs, 3 turkey sausages, 1 apple
Lunch:  Lasagna (made with low carb noodles and sauce), and lettuce
Supper:  meatloaf and steamed green veggies.

On Sunday I went to the store, I purchased, and I cooked everything I needed.

However, one.  I didn't follow my plan.

I ALMOST made it, but instead of green veggies, I had pretzels with my meatloaf.
Not the end of the world as I didn't have that many, but certainly not as "healthy" as green veggies.

I always strive to follow my plans. 
And I am ready to try again tomorrow.

The food is cooked, measured, and packaged for breakfast and lunch.  Supper is ready to be cooked. 
I can do this!  I can!  I.  Can.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Unknown events

I am going boating on a river with a friend today.
First let me say that it's only going to be 64 degrees and misting.  Yuck!
But anyway...

Being the food addict that I am, I keep trying to ask how long we'll be out on the boat.  I've asked three times so I can plan any food necessary.  But I have not yet gotten a response and we leave in 2hours.

I don't want to bring food if I don't have to, but yet if I don't bring something, I could get stuck in a bad situation.

So, I will bring something.  An apple, some almonds, a few soda's.  Something I can share in case I'm the only one with "snacks".

Planning ahead has saved me enough times that I don't care if I look silly bringing a bag of goodies, better safe than sorry.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Celebrating with food

I grew up (as I suspect many other have as well) that celebrations were rife with food.
And I don't think that's a bad thing.

But....I tend to make a celebration out of MANY things so that it can be centered around food.
For example....tonight we're having a few friends over for a backyard bonfire, and I'm serving popcorn and HUGE marshmallows.  Have you seen those?  They're a HOOT!

So, this doesn't seem like a big deal, right?  Some snacks with the campfire??

But the snacks I chose are two items I try not to eat.  Carbs and sugar.

So what about a "celebration" makes it okay to eat outside our box??
How many of us have "ruined" our eating plans because it was somebodies birthday, or wedding, or anniversary, or or or?

And then once we're off and running...we realize we are not actually running, we're sliding controllable down a very slippery slope to food-coma once again.

What is it about a food addicts mind that we suddenly have "permission" to break out of our regular eating?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Life with pets

My partner and I are dog sitting.  It's a 10 day stint watching my brothers 2 labs (3yrs and 1yr).

I.  Am.  Exhausted.

I realize that pet owners probably have a routine in place, and there is a comfort level within the dogs that, when pet sitting, are missing.  But holy cow.

They are extremely active dogs.  They can entertain themselves, but what that means is that the younger one attacks the older one and they bounce around the living room or backyard growling and barking at each other.  And sometimes one of them likes to be leaning on me while they're fighting.  So I am "involved" in their play and I can't really relax.

Then there's the adjustment to my daily schedule.
I use to hit the snooze until 6:15, but now I'm up at 5:45 so I can get them fed and throw the ball a couple times so they will be a bit calmer (more tired) on their walk.  Around 6:15 my partner gets up and takes them for a walk, one at a time since one walks good on a leash and the other needs MUCH more training.  So I have to have an ear out for the home bound dog to make sure they are not attacking our cats or tearing up the garbage. 

Then I have to go right home after work.  No more running errands or stopping at a store "just because" or meeting up for happy hour.  Straight home.  Let them out.  Throw the ball....A LOT.  Then prepare supper and have it ready so when my partner gets home, we can eat, then walk the dogs (each of us takes one and we go our separate ways).   By the time we're done, it's 8:30pm and we haven't done any dishes or vacuuming.  Heck, we haven't even opened the front door and gotten the mail!   We go upstairs at 9pm and then the cats need our attention.  They are lap cats and need/want a lot of attention throughout the day, but since the dogs are downstairs, they request attention at night.  In fact, they demand it all.  night.   long.


Why am I telling you all of this?  My food choices and eating have been terrible.  One night I was so tired I made popcorn for supper.  POPCORN.  For someone who struggles when eating too many carbs, that was not a choice I would prefer.  But I didn't have the energy to make anything else. 
Yesterday I went to the store (finally) and got a bucket of chicken and some shredded chicken.  I didn't have any protein in the house, and although these are not the best choices, they are pre-cooked protein.  I buy deli turkey all the time, but as soon as I get it in the house, my partner snatches it up.  I truly think she eats 2lbs of deli turkey every five days!  I'm not a tuna fan, and canned chicken only goes so far. 

I know, I'm whining...But I'm tired, and that's what I do. 

What do you do when you have no time?  When work is super busy or the kids have a million games and activities all over the country all within a two day weekend?   What is your process or plan??

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Feeling full

I feel full lately. 
I feel like my skin is being stretched beyond it's normal limits and that there is a balloon inside me constantly filling with air and making me bigger and bigger. 
My weight is the same.
My clothes fit the same.
But I swear I am filling up.  Bursting at the seams.  Bloating.

I do not have a uterus, so I am not aware of my time of the month.  But I know my body still cycles.  Is it possible I'm cycling?  If I don't have a uterus, do you still bloat? 

When I'm having these FULL feelings, I want to live off of brothy soups and pure liquids.  However, since I'm not sick, my body wants, nay, my body needs sustenance.  I have to eat so that I don't get too hungry.  Cause boy-howdy if I get too hungry I won't STOP eating!  EEK

But it's a struggle, because internally it feels natural to cut back, but the food addict in me wants to completely restrict.  It's not only a physical's a MENTAL struggle, which is even more exhausting than running a marathon (I've never run a marathon, I can only imagine how terribly exhausting it would be).

So, I'm reporting that for today, I will eat normal meals but think "lightly" when choosing the foods (green veggies over heavy starches, etc).  And maybe this weekend I'll make a chicken veggie soup that is stuffed full of chicken and veggies so it can be a complete meal for me.

Do you struggle with feeling "full" then resisting restrictive eating??

Monday, September 12, 2011

You Hose-r!!

I have inherited bad veins in my legs (thanks Mom!!), so I have worn pantyhose every day of my life for the last 10 years.
I just wear regular support hose, not prescription, although my mother wears prescription hose, so who knows what's in my future...

I have grown to appreciate wearing hose.  Here are some of my reasons:
  1. I don't have to shave my legs as often, the hose buffer the hair.
  2. I have lost a lot of weight and my skin is loose and saggy in places.  The hose hold my thighs and butt firm so I don't "jiggle".  This is also very helpful when I wear a dress as the tops of my thighs touch/rub and it's nice to have a slippery buffer so I don't get sore.
  3. The support I get from the hose really do help me stay energized through the entire day.
  4. They make my legs look tan without having to do any of the sunning work!
  5. My varicose veins and spider veins have actually "reversed course" from the bulgy ugly beasts they use to be.
Now to be fair, I do have reasons I do NOT like wearing them.  Here are a few:
  1. I cannot wear flip flops.  Well, I can...but it looks terrible and it's not worth it.
  2. People look at me funny sometimes, especially when I'm wearing shorts and they notice the hose.
  3. It's difficult to go on a beach vacation when I have to go back to the room to put on the hose just so I can walk down the beach.  I have walked it without the hose, but my legs ache when I'm done.
  4. It's hard to get a pedicure without a lot of preplanning.
I know wearing hose is taboo these days, but it's what I have to do, and after ten LONG years, I'm mostly okay with it.  But, there are still a few occasion when it embarrasses me.
I went dancing the other night and I was wearing Capri's.  People started talking about leg hair and started feeling everyone's legs. I just put mine under the table and turned away from the conversation.  I don't like to draw attention to my legs AT ALL!
Another time is when it's really really hot.  I HATE when people tell me how miserable I must be in hose.  I'm not.  I'm actually quite use to them and don't notice temperature differences with or without them.
And finally.  Meeting new people.  If you hand around me long enough, you'll notice I'm wearing hose.  I went to a party hosted by my partners best friends and it was one of the first times I was meeting them.  It was really really hot and the party was outside, so I was wearing shorts.
The next day I overheard the friends asked my partner "whats with the pantyhose" and they laughed and laughed.  My partner handled it with a lot of grace and kindness, and the friends understood (after remarking how awful it would be to where them in the heat *see above*) and they haven't said another word.  But this exchange is quite common, and it gets old.

So yes...yes, I am wearing hose.
Feel free to call me a hose-r.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Checking in

Boy, I told myself I'd write every day, and I just realized I have missed FIVE DAYS??  Weird!!

Things are going well, although eating is odd.  For example, tonight I had pudding and peas for supper.  What's up with that?  And not a lot of either, just a few bites.  I am just not hungry at nights.  But I think I'm getting enough food during the day so I'm not worried. 

It is Sunday evening, and I'm exhausted after my busy weekend, but I will write tomorrow, and I will put a lot more thought into what I have to say.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shakin' it!

The state fair is finally over and my back is finally on the mend.
Therefore it's was time again to step on the scale...


Not the worst, but higher than the last time I weight almost a month ago. 
Sooo I'm back on the "shakes for some meals" kick which helps me get control of my eating. 

My plan is to have a shake for breakfast and supper, and have two mini meals in between.
For example, today I had a shake at 7:30am, then 6 slices hard salami at 11am, then low carb goulash and edamame at 2:30, then a shake at 6pm and nuts at 7pm.
I am done eating for the day.
My protein is about 145, carbs are 38, and calories are just under 1500...all very good counts for me although I would like to increase my fats and lower my protein, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet.  Eventually I'll eat more things like avocado, but right now I want to eat the fresh cukes and zucchini from my garden.

Tomorrow I will have a zucchini with the hard salami.  I love hard salami, but it is soooooo salty and greasy that I think it would be good to have something with it.  And I had calculated a zucchini and a small cucumber into my day but wasn't able to squeeze it in. 

I was pretty hungry at 10:30 and at 6pm but otherwise I felt comfortable all day.

My shakes consist of 3oz ricotta with about a ounce of water because my current ricotta is so very dry.  I put in 3oz of fresh strawberries, about 1/3 of an individual packet of crystal light (my shake needed more flavor), 30g of protein powder (GNC Amp vanilla), and a handful of ice cubes.  It's very thick and yummy like a strawberry milkshake. 

So there you go...I'm shaking it up.  I think tomorrow I'll make a dreamsicle flavored shake...Mmmmm.

9-6-11   226

Monday, September 5, 2011

Is free time really free?

Today is a holiday.  I have the day off.  FREE TIME!!!!!

However, a free day can turn into a feeding frenzy.  I remember the days I would PLAN for my day off or holiday by scheduling when and what I would be eating.  My pre-breakfast pastry with coffee, then breakfast.  Of course there's the lunch that required cooking (so I could nibble while preparing).  The afternoon snack which was something like a family sized bag of chips so I could eat all afternoon.  Then supper would be delivery...a LOT of delivery.  Enough you'd get four fortune cookies because the delivery place thought it was enough for four people!
And no leftovers.

Yes, that was my old life.

Today, I started my day with coffee (no pastry).  I cooked breakfast which followed my food plan.  It's almost lunch time and I have a lunch planned...and it follows my food plan as well.  I've been cleaning and freezing garden items and reading the newspaper and doing all kinds of things that, during a feeding frenzy, I don't have the energy or desire to do, because I'm drowning in my food coma.

We make choices each and every day.  And we only have to make the one day at a time.
What choice are you making today?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rainy days and...Saturdays?

It's the Saturday of a three day weekend and it's going to rain on and off all day. 

How wonderful!!

I'm going to the State Fair on Sunday but don't have anything planned today or Monday?!

The old me would have seen this type of weekend as a pure uninterrupted FOOD FEST!  I would have eaten myself silly so that come Tuesday morning, you would have had to roll me to work where I would have accomplished nothing because I was in a food coma.
(I'm not the only one who has experienced food coma's right??)

But that's not me anymore.  That's not how I choose to spend my three day weekends. 

When I realized it was raining today, my brain went directly to three books I'm trying to finish, not to what I was going to eat.  In fact, I've decided to have a shake for at least one meal so I wouldn't have to stop reading to cook! 

And at the Fair tomorrow, the food I'm looking forward to is "salad on a stick".  Sure, I will eat something deep fried as well (probably cheese curds which I'll share with everyone), but that's not what I'm focused on!  Pure progress. 

I hope you have a wonderful three day weekend and because of this weekend's "extra day" get to do something you normally don't have time to do, and I really hope that's not eating.