Here we go again…

I seriously need to get to the root of my consistency problems. I start out strong and I go along doing really well for several weeks and then I just stall. I slip back into old habits and eating the unhealthy foods simply because its “easier”.

Why?

Some say that its good that I never give up, I always come back–but in the meantime I’ve backpedaled on all my progress and its like starting over–over and over and over again.

Why do I do that?

Some would say its because I don’t value myself enough. I’m not sure if that’s it or not. Maybe its true. Maybe I don’t. How do I fix that?

This summer I’m headed back to grad school to finally finish my thesis and my MA of History. I have until next Spring to get it all done. So if I can get readmitted to graduate school in time I’ll take 2 credit hours this summer, 2 this fall and 2 in the spring. On the positive side of all this I’ll gain access to the athletic training facillities at the university I go to. I may be joining a friend’s “Physical Training” group too.

Putting my goals and needs first will have to happen for me to complete this academic goal. Maybe finally finishing this degree will help me finish other goals too?

An All or Nothing Mentality

It’s my biggest downfall.  I have issues–perfection issues.  If I can’t do it perfectly, I don’t do anything at all–and in fact I go to the opposite extreme.  The all or nothing mentality kills me every time.  If I could conquer it, and accept that every little change I make, every little effort I make–actually could make a difference over time–then maybe I’d be down 30-50 more lbs in the course of a year instead of back up the same 30-50 I lost while I was being “perfect” for 3 months.

The yoyo has gone up and down for too many years as I lose and gain back the same 30-50 lbs over and over again. I can lose 30-50 lbs in 3-4 months and turn around and gain it all back in 2!  And I’m left feeling like my efforts to lose are wasted when I gain it all back.

I’m still working on it.  I wish I could find a therapist to talk to about my food issues.  Several years back I called around town asking if anyone dealt with eating disorders and food addictions and had no luck.  So I keep muddling through trying to figure things out on my own.  I’m self-aware enough to understand what I’m doing, my problem is I don’t know how to correct the problem.  I need coping skills and behavior modification therapy.

I’m cutting back on my time at work.  I’ve taken steps to make my work commitments less demanding so that I can focus on my family and myself and my home as well as helping my husband with his endeavors–and let’s not forget my thesis too.  It’s still out there unfinished.

Honestly, that’s one of my biggest roadblocks–this struggle to finish what I start.  I’m trying to set myself up in a position to succeed though.  I’m still here (or back, rather!) and my motto remains:  “Never give up! Never surrender!”

Rough Month and Half

I haven’t checked in on sparkpeople–or done much of anything else regarding my health–for almost two months now. It’s been a rough couple of months.

My father-in-law passed away suddenly. He had just turned 62 year old.

Six years ago, my husband and I passed through the hell of the worst week of my life when my dad died suddenly. Senselessly.

We went through it again with his dad’s death. The cause of death has finally come back–it was something that could have been taken care of if he had only seen a doctor. Something that could have been managed with medication. But my father-in-law was too afraid of going to the doctor, of being told he’d have to take pills, or have an operation. He was afraid of growing old. He was a very unhappy man.

It’s been rough on my husband and my in-laws.

In the course of this ordeal we found out that diabetes runs in my husband’s father’s family. I have suspected for about a year now that he was diabetic. Turns out he had even said he probably was, but refused to go to the doctor and get checked out. He refused to change his eating habits too. It’s why he was always so grouchy and didn’t feel good all the time. His blood sugar had to have been constantly spiking and dropping with the way he ate.

It’s stupid really. If he had just been willing to make some changes in his lifestyle–like my husband has–he would have felt better, and probably been a happier man. And his health would have improved as well. Maybe if he’d been willing to make those changes he would have also managed to take better care of his heart as well.

Ah, the “maybes” and “if onlys” get you every time. Just like when my dad died, we are going through them again–only with the hard earned lessons learned from my own father’s death. By the way, in case its not totally obvious, this has brought back to the surface many of the issues I faced with my dad’s passing six years ago. The grief isn’t as raw, but it’s there, and I’m hurting for my husband and his sisters (one of whom has been my best friend since 9th grade) and his mother.

As I’ve always done, I’ve gone off the rails with my eating. I haven’t been tracking my food. I haven’t been making an effort to eat homemade meals. I have been drinking diet coke to get me through the day. I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep–because my husband has been having difficulty sleeping–so I’m up late too. Then I am up to take the kids to school and get ready for work while he sleeps in.

That means no energy to exercise. No focus to eat right.

I’ve managed to stay in the 280s. So at least I haven’t gained all of the weight back that I’ve lost this year. But here I am again, looking for the bright side, saying “at least I didn’t” do whatever it is that I didn’t do THIS time. I need to stop doing it all. Period. I need to find a way to manage stress and emotions and lack of sleep without giving up on taking care of myself.

The other morning I had a fasting blood sugar of 127. That puts me firmly in the diabetic range. Forget pre-diabetes. I’m diabetic. No denying it anymore.

Damn it.

I know that lack of sleep and stress affect the insulin levels too, so maybe that’s part of the problem with where my blood sugar is–but I know it’s also the food choices. I’ve made a few too many trips to McDonalds for breakfast the past month and half. I’ve also gotten into the bad habit of picking up icecream or frozen custard in the middle of the afternoon whenever I’m out running errands. I’m self-medicating with food again. WHY DO I DO THAT? I know that I shouldn’t. I know that I’m doing it when I do it. I know that my triggers are stress and fatigue and diet coke.

Yet, here I am again. When do I conquer this? When do I reach the point where I have the will power, the strength, the determination, the resolve or whatever it is that it takes–that says, “No. I’m done. I won’t self-medicate anymore. I won’t abuse myself anymore. I deserve to take care of myself. I deserve good health and I’m going to make sure I get it–no matter what.” And then DO it?

When does that happen for me? What’s it going to take?

Week 11: The scale moves downward

I joined the local YMCA’s weightloss “competition” this week. I did their version of the “biggest loser” last year and quit part way through out of disappointment in the organization and what the program was offering–or not offering. I wasn’t going to join again this year, but some friends joined and said it was much better and invited me to join their team.

So I decided to give it another chance. So far, it does seem to be better run with more support than was offered last year.

I weighed in and of course the YMCA scale measures me nearly ten pounds higher than the one at home does–some of which probably has to do with the clothes and shoes I was wearing and the time of day I weighed in.

I got back on track this week, really stuck to my plan despite hormonal challenges, until Friday. Friday I tried to choose a healthy lunch by getting a salad–but because it was a fast food salad it was higher in calories and sodium then one at home would have been. Then we ate at the Hideaway for dinner.

For those unfamiliar with Stillwater, the Hideaway is a local pizza place that has been in operation since 1957. It’s very popular and we very rarely go there as its slightly higher priced than the chains. But the pizza is sooo good.

So there was that–I definitely ate more pizza and garlic bread than I should have, BUT, I didn’t have any diet soda–I drank water. That’s huge for me. I’m continuing to swear off diet soda and stick with water only. I refuse to drink my calories and the diet soda leads to cravings for sweets and refined carbs that make it extremely difficult for me to exert self-control and will-power. I won’t go back down that road.

Yesterday, I did well until dinner when we had KFC. I should have gone ahead and had a few pieces grilled, but I didn’t and I also had the potato wedges and two and a half biscuits. Lord, how I love biscuits. We also had corn on the cob–which I love and we made a pan of green beans here at home to go along with it all.

So, I’m paying for Friday and Saturday on the scale with a slightly smaller loss than I would have logged had those choices been healthier. Oh, and I forgot to mention the cake. We bought one of the cakes that was auctioned at the Boy Scouts Blue and Gold banquet earlier this week and instead of just letting the kids have a piece and toss the rest, I had several pieces Friday and Saturday. I clearly still have a long ways to go when it comes to these kinds of things.

All in all, I’m lucky to be logging a 1.3 lb loss for this week–which is totally due to the exercise I worked in as well as the really great days I had the remainder of the week with my nutrition.

This coming week, I will build upon the progress I made this week and hopefully I’ll double the loss I had this past week.

Week 9: Frustration and Celebration

I’m seriously hoping that I’m just facing that “time of the month” and that I’m retaining water. Because I was NOT happy with my weighin yesterday. I refuse to record it right now. It was a gain.

Meanwhile, Friday, my husband and I marked our tenth year of marriage. We spent the day with our children, as school had been called due to snow. Then on Saturday the roads were clear enough we could take the kids to my mom’s for the night. We ate dinner out–and I didn’t make the best choice, but it was my only meal that day, so it shouldn’t have been too many calories–and then went to see Sherlock Holmes and The Blind Side. We never get to go to the Movies, it was nice.

So, back to my regular routine today. And somehow, I have to find the time to work in some exercise. Its a major part of this journey, and somehow I have to make it a priority.

Week 7: Facing Adversity Without Turning to Food for Comfort. 2.5 more lbs gone

This was not an easy week for me. The stress at work has continued to build. I can feel the pressure of so many deadlines crushing down upon me.

Then there’s the sixth anniversary of my dad’s death. I’ve written about it many times before in other blogs, so I won’t go into detail now, except to explain to new readers that Dad was mentally ill, his meds were off, and he drove himself into a lake. In January. He went missing on January 14th and we didn’t find him and pull him and the  truck out until the morning of the 16th.

So…yeah. Tough week here.

I faltered a little bit on Friday night–but I held strong on my choices the remainder of the week.

One thing I did let slide is my exercise. I just didn’t have the time or energy for it. I’ve fought the stress, fatigue, and headaches all week–I didn’t have it in me to make time for exercise. It was all I could do to stay focused on not making poor food choices and sabotaging myself.

So, if you are following along, here are the stats:

In the last 7 weeks I’ve lost 13.2 lbs total. If you count my high weight during Thanksgiving when I creeped back across the dreaded 300 lb mark to 301, then I’ve lost 15.7 lbs.

From November 29th to December 27th I only lost 4.9 lbs. And while I say “only” I DO count that as a huge victory because I halted the weightgain and began a trend of losing during those four weeks of the holiday season. I may have only averaged 1.225 lbs lost each week during this time, but I proved to myself that I can enjoy the holidays and still lose a modest amount of weight. In the three weeks since then I’ve uped that average weightloss to 2.76 lbs per week–and I’ve accomplished this during one of the most stressful times of the year at my job.

Not to mention an emotionally difficult time of the year for me, personally.

Earlier this week, I also took my measurements and found that I had lost a little over 5 inches overall from my waist, hips, thighs, and biceps.

I’m happy with that. And determined to continue to build upon that progress–both on the scale and off.

If it often seems that I’m repeating myself in these entries, its because I need to remind myself of these things to keep my head straight.  I can’t allow myself to forget what I’ve accomplished so far and how I’ve accomplished it–because when I do, that’s when I allow myself to slip back into old, unhealthy habits–the habits that have gotten me over the 300 lb mark time and time again. 

The goal this year is to get me UNDER the 200 lb mark and never allow myself to cross that line again.  This is the year to make the changes stick.  And no one can do it for me.  I have to be the one to do it, because as the saying goes, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

Pushing through

I ate well for breakfast, snacks and lunch on Thursday and Friday, but in the evening not so great. Thursday night we went to Hideaway and the pizza is just so good. My husband doesn’t like it that much–mainly, I think, because its kind of pricey compared to the chains.

But I love it. And I ate a lot of it. I also had a diet pepsi with it, but that’s okay, because I won’t have any diet pop this weekend. I’m allowing myself diet pop with a meal once a week and that was it.

Last night I thought I had made a good choice when we went to McAlister’s but turns out I was wrong. The grilled chicken club is nearly a thousand calories. Good grief. Seriously? So I’m gonna have to figure something else out for when we go there. I also had some of the chips and queso before dinner.

I didn’t exercise Friday at all. Just so very tired this week.

But today I slept in and because I didn’t get up until nearly lunch time I had my usual breakfast for lunch, a banana for a snack and then we had chili for dinner with fritos and cheese. I had a nice big salad before hand to get my veggies in. And because I was low on calories for the day, the addition of fritos and cheese to my chili didn’t hurt my calorie totals for the day.

I spent the day cleaning. Lots and lots of cleaning. Only got the living room and kitchen done but its cleaner than its been in a while and that feels good. Tomorrow, I’ll attempt to tackle the kids rooms. As much as I hate to. I’m counting all the cleaning as exercise for the day.

I’ve been fighting a bad mood all week. It continues. It’s hormonal–so the fact that I’ve been able to push through this week is absolutely amazing. I’m counting it as an accomplishment and whatever the scale reads tomorrow, I’m going to remind myself that its a victory that I didn’t dive head first into a pan of chocolate chip cookies and that I’m still taking it a meal at a time, no matter what my last choice may have been.

It’s all “good” progress

It’s not easy to be “good”. It’s so not easy to make the right choices. I wanted to order the boneless buffalo wings soooo bad tonight. I wanted to order them and combine them with the baby back ribs and a side of fried potatoes.

I could almost taste it.

But I didn’t. I ordered the grilled chicken salad instead–with the ranch dressing on the side.

Some days I don’t manage to hold out against temptation. Some days I let it all go and I have what I want. I did that several times this weekend–starting early with Thursday night when we went out to the fanciest place in town for our 9th wedding anniversary.

I was not so good that night. Nor was I good Saturday night when we ate at a buffet.

But tonight I was good.

Tonight, I made the right choices even though I’ve been fighting strange emotions that keep tugging at me telling me that I’ll never make my goal weight, so why bother trying? Sometimes, I wonder if I really even want to make my goal weight–especially when I start thinking about the possibility and I don’t feel excitement and anticipation so much as a trembling fear of the unknown.

How can that be?

I’ve been fighting this fight for a very long time, and I’ve never been more aware of those conflicting emotions than I am this time around on this path to weightloss. I suppose I’m making progress. I’m recognizing the emotions, verbalizing them, and trying to understand them instead of covering them up with cookie dough and brownie fudge sundaes.

That’s an intangible kind of progress. Something that only I–and maybe my husband–are aware of, as I talk this stuff through with him, when I’m agonizing over self-doubt.

It’s good progress. It’s what will help me keep making the tangible kind of progress I’ve seen during the month of January, when I lost 14 pounds and 2 inches off my waist, and another 2 inches off my hips. Oh and a half inch off my neck, too.

Good progress indeed.

*cross posted at my Sparkpeople sparkpage*

My Buddy

I’ve had a bad cold since the week before Thanksgiving.  If you are counting, that means that this last week was my fourth week straight with this cough.  I finally broke down and went to the Voodoo clinic (university clinic) on Friday–which was also the last day of the semester.

Diagnosis?  Bronchitis.

Doc sent me home with antibiotics and cough medicine as well as a “just-in-caser” for yeast infection.  Joy Joy Joy Joy…down in my heart.

Dude.  Can I catch a break?

Meanwhile, more and more responsibility is getting piled on at work as I take up the slack for a coworker who isn’t carrying her weight.  I don’t think she’s going to still be on staff at the end of January.  I hope not anyway, I’m tired of the money we are hemorrhaging in her direction while I clean up her messes.

We were both hired at the same time to work together to get the Museum on track towards growth and more public awareness.  We were hired for 20 hours a week for a six month probationary time period and the only thing she has produced are disasters and embarrassments.  On the other hand, I may be getting more hours and possibly a raise.  I’ve been told repeatedly that the Board is extremely happy with me and my work and that I’m on track for the directorship. 

There currently are not any full time employees let alone a director, but if the fundraising goes well over the next couple of weeks and the museum’s investment portfolio recovers and doesn’t take anymore of a dump than it already has in this market…well who knows.  I might be working 40 hours as the new Museum Director by the end of the year.  In the meantime, I’m just hoping to get 10 more hours than the 20 I’m working now. 

Keep your fingers crossed for me.  The exec committee meets  this coming Wednesday to make their decisions.

I am starting to feel better, we restocked on groceries last night and I’m beginning to feel well enough to get a bit of exercise in without going into a coughing fit. 

Then, yesterday afternoon, this guy wandered into our yard.

He’s an un-neutered, young male weimaraner.  I’m not sure if he’s even a year yet, definitely not 2 years though, he still acts like such a puppy.  He was starving.  He has no tags or anything else to identify him.

I don’t know if he got lost or was abandoned, but if he ran away from home it has to be due to abuse or neglect.  This breed is extremely loyal and requires a great deal of attention and exercise.  This is not the kind of dog you leave in the back yard for long periods of time.  I’ve posted “found” ads at Craigslist, Petfinder, and a few other sites.  I’ll put an ad in the paper on Monday and check with Animal Control before seeing if my vet will scan him for a microchip for free. 

There’s a big part of me hoping he can stay, he’s lifted my spirits like nothing else since Hank was killed by that car last Sunday.

He’s extremely high energy and from what I know and have read about the breed he requires a lot of exercise and is extremely attached to his family.  He seems to have adopted me.  He’s glued to my hip, and I can’t go anywhere without him right on my heals. 

Before we introduced him to our dogs last night, we had to go to the store, and for lack of anywhere else to confine him I put him in the bathroom.  He didn’t like that.  He clawed up the door frame and door.  Turned on the water in the bathroom sink–there are paw prints all over the bathroom mirror too– and chewed on a roll of toilet paper.  He’s got some serious separation anxiety issues.  Once we established that he and our other dogs could get along and introduced him to our big backyard, he did better without me in sight. 

He has a marking issue (he needs neutered bad!) so he spent the night outside, but he was waiting for me at the back door this morning.  He gave me the incentive this morning to get up and go for a walk and burn off some of that abundant energy of his.   I’ll probably take him for another walk later today.

Perhaps he’s just what I need to make me get moving each day.  We are calling him “Buddy” for lack of anything else to call him.  I’m not fond of it for a name but I’m also trying to keep form getting attached just in case he actually has a good owner looking for him.

Sick and Tired

I’ve been sick for over three weeks now.  The coughing.  Oh the coughing.  I could really do without the coughing.  I can’t exercise, because the heavy breathing causes wracking coughing fits.

I’ve back slid some.  And I’m totally blaming it on this mother effin cold.  My husband had it first and his lasted 3-4 weeks too.  I’m hoping that means I’m almost over it.

On top of the cold, I’ve been super busy at work.  I am only supposed to work 20 hours a week but the amount of responsibility I have requires so much more.  So it’s nose to the grindstone all the time.  We got through a major exhibit opening last week as well as a mailing to businesses asking for donations (I work for a non profit).  Now it’s on to preparing the annual report newsletter and the letter sent to our membership and other community members asking for their 2009 annual contributions.  All this in addition to my regular responsibilities managing the place.

Then there is the heartbreak we experienced last week.  In the course of 7 days–from one weekend to another we lost two pets.  The first was a sick kitten we rescued.  He didn’t make it.  The second was our Houdini dog who refused to be confined in the yard.  He’s normally very street smart but this last Sunday he took off after a neighborhood dog who doesn’t stay in his own yard either and instead of paying attention to the traffic like he normally does he barreled straight into an SUV and got run over.  It broke his neck.

I saw it happen.  I’m really gonna miss that dog.

So with all of that, and our finances being so tight, I haven’t been eating well and definitely haven’t been exercising.  No time, no energy, no money and then there is the coughing too.  I’m thinking the universe owes me a break pretty soon.   I’m so ready to get back to feeling better, not mention losing this weight.