Saturday, September 26, 2009

Back at 299!

Saturday is the day I weigh. I want to do it at least once a month and certainly not every Saturday. Well, I decided to weigh this morning just to see what my week of exercise would bring and I was 299! I was so thrilled. It isn't often that I look down at the scale and am shocked (in a good way) by the number there.

After my six-week hiatus from eating intolerance-free (does that sound right?) and consuming all kinds of wheat, dairy and sugar, I was actually very surprised that I only gained 5-7 lbs. It made me realize that maybe all of the hard work I had done for the six months previous was really going to pay off and my body was really responding to and healing from all of my food intolerances.

So, I've dropped a few pounds over the last month but certainly nothing like this week. I think three big things changed.
  • I ate breakfast every day and I packed food each day and ate all day long. In other words, I didn't spend most of the day starving and then come home and eat a big meal late at night. I was on top of my hunger--especially during the morning hours--and I had great food to eat all week an my body loved that!
  • I exercised four morning a week at 6AM. I love working out right now and my body certainly seemed to respond to that as well.
  • I was in bed by 10PM six nights this week. Getting enough sleep definitely affects weight loss.
So, all three of those things are things I wanted to improve on to see if they made a difference in my weight loss because it had stalled. I think they did! The next plan is to continue this trend and see what the next few months will bring.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm Exercising Again

Some brief thoughts on exercising which is my big goal this fall.

I've been to the gym for three mornings in a row. That is serious progress. Especially that I get up at 6AM to do it!

I finally figured out exactly what plan to follow at least for the first few weeks. I'm following the eight-week exercise plan outlined in Jillian Michael's Winning by Losing. I'm really excited to try it because it has variety, is very specific, has changes in intensity, duration, sets, and weight load, and I feel good doing it.

I'm going to make copies of the workout for each week along with the exercises outlined. We will see how this goes.

I also have picked out a trainer at the gym that I want to pay for a half-hour appointment to work with me on technique, form and my plan. We will see how that goes too.

I really like weight lifting. I have a body built for weight lifting. I've always been strong and flexible and I get a kick out of lifting weights. Future plans include trying out some cardio classes, pilates and yoga. Pilates and yoga especially interest me.

I feel gooooood. I've had this big endorphin rush the last few mornings and I love it. I'm sleeping better. I've lost 5-7 pounds. I feel stronger. I feel better.

Here's to hoping this trend can continue.

What about you? How's your exercise routine going? Exercise plans? Exercise dreams? Exercise pipe dreams?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Progress in Month 9

For all of you devoted reader(s) out there (hi, Sis!), I am keeping up with this blog. I really am. I'm just not doing it very well. I'm going to chalk that up to the fact that I'm currently so focused on getting into graduate school that I've begun scheduling my bathroom breaks and daydreaming time into the 6 minutes of free time I've been able to carve out of my daily life right now. But this blog is in my heart often because I feel a bit more honest, a bit more dark and twisty, a bit more real here than anywhere else. So, know that of anywhere I write, this place has my heart.

I've been back on the allergy-free (now changed to intolerance-free) diet for several weeks now and once again my energy is good, my emotions stabilized (except that once-a-month roller coaster so many of us deal with), and my future is feeling bright again. Yeah! In the last week, I've had several people tell me that I look "bright" and "happy" and "good." I'm taking all of that to mean that this food thing really does have an affect on my mental/emotional state. Yes, I know, big surprise there.

It has been quite a journey so far since last January when I started this thing on my fourth attempt and finally had the skills and knowledge base to succeed at eating so differently from mainstream America. I feel like those first three months was more of a white-knuckle experience where I had to encounter the mental, emotional, physical, and social changes that eating like this handed to me. I had to learn how to cook more, how to cook differently, how to prep food for a full day, how to manage social situations and food and how to deal with my own emotions/grief around giving up the familiar, known ways of eating.

The first few months also brought a great sense of RELIEF. I felt like finally, finally, finally after years of trying to figure it out, I had a plan, a vision, a method for how to cook and eat throughout my life. A blueprint for what my kitchen and pantry will look like; a dream for how I will manage Halloween, Christmas, and every celebratory food event; an idea of how to manage this gigantic, overwhelming, emotion-crusted, darkness-infused, gut-busting experience of food/weight/depression in my life.

And I finally feel like me again. A feeling that I first truly encountered 12 years ago when I was serving a mission for my church and really learned a lot about myself and my strengths. It was a golden period in my life full of truckloads of learning and I ratcheted up several truckloads during that eighteen months of service. I learned that

  • I'm a people person
  • I work really well with others when we have a common purpose
  • I love planning
  • I enjoy teaching
  • I love talking to people about their lives, their hearts, the things that matter most to them
  • I like public speaking and singing
  • I have a brain for remembering the gospel and an aptitude for study
  • I do really well on a schedule fueled by a deep purpose
There was much more that I learned as well, but throughout that eighteen months, I repeatedly had the feeling "This is me. This is me. This is ME." It was like I was meeting myself for the very first time.

What I really think occurred was I went from a lifestyle where my weaknesses were highlighted to a lifestyle where my strengths were utilized, accepted and wanted. It felt amazing.

All of that is just to say that the first few months after starting this intolerance-free eating plan, I started to feel many of those feelings again. Like my strengths were no longer cloaked under a mantle of darkness. That my mind and spirit were no longer cloaked either. And like I said, it brought a great sense of relief.

The next few months of summer after that initial white-knuckling phase were a bit more difficult after some of the initial euphoria wore off. I quit cooking as much or even doing much meal planning. That really tends to sink me. As a result, I spent a lot of time being hungry, hungry, hungry. And wishing I had good food. And wishing someone would make it for me. And wishing it would magically appear in front of me. Thus the summer was comprised of
  • a stall in weight loss
  • constant hunger
  • wishing that I didn't have to cook so much every day just to feed little old me
  • mourning that food wasn't convenient or easy any more
  • challenging the elimination diet which turned into an eating free-for-all and a full return to my previous life of wheat, dairy, sugar eating.
Ahhh, the summer. Lessons learned. Time passed. Boundaries tested.

Once again, after plunging back into old eating habits, I was in the midst of that big, loud vortex that takes over my body, spirit and mind. Depression, weight gain, fatigue--it all came roaring back into my life. And when I'm there, no matter how hard I try to convince myself, it is very, very, very difficult to believe that food really affects me so powerfully and that I really do feel much better when I'm not eating those foods. I'm sure it sounds crazy. It feels crazy. I'm not laying all of my problems at the feet of food, but I am saying that eating intolerance-free removes a huge layer of difficulty in my life. It makes my life run more smoothly all around. It helps keep me strong, focused, sane and happy.

So, what is fall going to become? Well, I'm feeling really great about the diet. What needs work in my life is exercise. So, the fall I want to be comprised of working out five to six days a week. I want a plan, a purpose, a goal in my exercise. I want to feel good afterwards. I want to be thrilled to get up each morning and get moving.

So, to fall and to exercise! Here's hoping it will be a success.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Not so Gold

This is to you, little 25-year-old beefy personal trainer at Gold's Gym who tried to shove a personal training plan down my throat today.

I'm sorry I ticked you off when I said, "I didn't realize I would get a sales pitch today so I'm not ready to purchase." I did enjoy the 20 minutes of workout that we actually did. I went into this appointment with the distinct impression that Gold's Gym was offering to give me complimentary workout plan because I forked over far too much of my discretionary income for the "privilege" of becoming a member there. I'm sorry that I didn't realize beforehand that you were going to try every manipulation technique in the book to get me to fork over an extra $100 a month as well for personal training. No. Thank. You.

Not to mention the fact that you hound me every few months for "improvement" fees. After three experiences with your establishment trying to suck me dry financially, I've come to the conclusion that Gold's Gym has one interest and one interest only--getting as much of my money out of me as possible.

You threw out lines like "Why can't you commit today?" and "You should make a decision now." and "I will have to talk to my manager but if you don't act now, this special will go away."

Yes, yes, I hope it will. And you along with it.

Do I have to get mean? I felt so uncomfortable through that whole meeting today once I realized all I was to you and Gold's was a dollar sign. I watched you try to maneuver a commitment out of me. You challenged me, you questioned me, and I felt I had to reveal far too much of my personal reasons simply because I wouldn't commit financially. This is not respectful. Not nice. You get an "F" on the good company report card in my book.

Let's just say, Not Impressed. Not Impressed in a VERY big way.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's About Gym Time

I updated my stats on the sidebar today. Looking over them I see that my weight has pretty much stabilized over the summer--despite my 6-week plunge off the allergy-free lifestyle. I chalk that up as a good thing that my weight can actually stabilize. What a treat! What a joy! To actually be moving down the scale and not have my weight ping pong right back up the scale the minute I eat the tiniest little thing off plan.

Now for the bad news: My weight has pretty much stabilized over the summer. Same news, different take. What's that all about? I was losing pretty consistently there for a while. Being back on the allergy-free diet, I think the losing will start back up again too. Obviously much more slowly than I would like, but it is going just the same. What I want is to add two more items to the mix for the next four months and see what kind of difference they will make. Those two items are:

  • Meal planning=equals regular meals=stabilized blood sugar
  • Daily exercise
I think these are the areas that I have to make the most improvement health-wise. The eating thing goes really well when I have a menu plan and I've shopped and prepared for the week. Then I don't spend hours each day trying to figure out what to eat the is convenient or I don't spend half the day starving and wishing I could eat something delicious.

The other thing is exercise. I know exercising every day will help stabilize my blood sugar, boost my emotions, help me sleep better and help me lose weight. At least that is the practicing theory I am going on. I'm assuming that more regular exercise will assist me greatly in losing weight.

So, that is the experiment for the next four months. Stick to the allergy-free lifestyle, get daily exercise, have a menu plan so I eat regular, well-balanced meals. I'm interested to see what the next four months will bring.


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