Small Progress?

by Christine on July 25th, 2016

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

I don’t know if I can call this real progress or not…but this past week I did much better eating. I was able to whittle my calories down to 1100 or less almost every day last week. As a result, the scale stopped moving upwards. It has stayed in one place all week. I suppose it’s small progress to stop the RISE of the scale, but I’m EXTREMELY anxious to get the scale moving back down.

I chose healthy snack foods this week, which is good. And I’m eating every few hours, which is good. My portion sizes were also much better. I also did a good job going to the gym and working out–I got my three Ragnar Training Days in this week. I need to continue to work on cutting out the alcohol and continue working on whittling down my calories into the optimal 800-1000 calorie range for me.

7/18: 1390 calories, no exercise << Bad calorie day!

7/19: 1025 calories, jogged a 5K outside

7/20: 1220 calories, gardening 30 minutes << bad calorie day!

7/21: 1190 calories, walking with a friend after work for 1 hour

7/22: 1112 calories, gardening for 30 minutes

7/23: 1044 calories, jogging (4.2 miles total) at the gym, swimming

7/24: 1070 calories, jogging 5K at the gym, swimming

 

I went to the grocery store yesterday and stocked up on lots of healthy snack foods: almonds, yogurt, veggies, apples, oranges, nectarines, grapes, etc. So I should be fully prepared for healthy snacks and some healthy from-home lunches this week. My evenings look pretty clear, so I may be able to cook some healthy meals at home also.

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Untethered Soul and the voice in your head

by Christine on July 22nd, 2016

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition, General Information

I recently was given the book “Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer. I’m only a few chapters into it, and I’ll likely talk about it again on this blog. At the very beginning of the book, the author talks about the incessant, chattering voice in your head. The voice in your head that comments on everything—especially on yourself. The voice expresses judgement constantly, and it can change its opinions at the drop of a hat. That voice is utterly unreliable. You’ve caught it blatantly lying. It’s not nice.

untetheredcover

That voice is your head narrates the world around you. It says, “wow, that sun is really bright.” Did you really need the voice to tell you that? You looked at the sky and already noticed the bright sun—did the voice need to state the obvious? No. Singer claims that the voice’s attempt to narrate the world is actually your psyche’s attempt to place some control over your environment. Because, fundamentally, humans feel uncomfortable when they aren’t in control of their lives and environments.

Singer says:

“If you want to be happy, you have to let go of the part of you that wants to create melodrama. This is the part that thinks there’s a reason not to be happy. You have to transcend the personal, and as you do, you will naturally awaken to the higher aspects of your being. In the end, enjoying life’s experiences is the only rational thing to do. You’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Go ahead, take a look at reality. You’re floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience….There’s always going to be something that can bother you, if you let it.”

 To me, this has a direct relationship to the voice in my head that narrates what I think about my body. “You’re fat. You’re ugly,” the voice in my head tells me a hundred times a day. “You WANT to swim on a hot day, but you better not get in a bathing suit in public. You’ll make someone sick. If you want to swim, you should find a private place to go instead of the water park.” My voice also says, “You fatty, if you eat THIS instead of THAT, you’ll lose weight.” Or it will say, “If you weren’t so weak-willed, you never would have gotten fat in the first place.” And so on.

I have a very active inner voice, and it’s never nice to me.

I haven’t quite gotten far enough in the book to figure out how Singer thinks you can ignore that voice in your head or transform its voice. He does assert that learning to turn it off, to embrace the present moment, and learn to bear reality as it really is—our actual experience of life right now, not just our narrated version—is crucial to finding happiness. This is a very Buddhist way of thinking, of course, to embrace the present moment. He cautions not to let your inner voice define who you are, since we have already decided that your inner voice is a lying, manipulative, awful voice.

“To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them… Once you’ve made the commitment to free yourself of the scared person inside, you will notice that there is a clear decision point at which your growth takes place.” 

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Wow, I’m eating wayyyy too much.

by Christine on July 21st, 2016

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Diet, Food, Nutrition

binge-eating

Okay, I’ve been faithfully tracking my food intake (journaling) for the past week….and the results aren’t pretty. Boy, I should have started to do this a long time ago so I could have been aware that my eating is out of control.

Day 1: 1816 calories consumed, no exercise.

Day 2: 1471 calories consumed, no exercise

Day 3: 1652 calories consumed: ran a 5K at the gym (45 minutes)

Day 4: 2196 calories consumed: golfed for 6 hours at a golf outing

Day 5: 2615 calories consumed: hiking for 7 hours up two mountains

Day 6: 1390 calories consumed: No exercise

 

Wow, did you see that? Every single day I am eating well over my goal of 800-1000 calories per day, and two days I ate over 2,000 calories worth of food! Holy moses!!! No wonder I’m packing on the pounds!

If I look at the information further, I see some general trends:

  • I eat a lot more on days when I exercise. I’m hungry.
  • I’m doing ok eating every few hours, but my portion sizes are much too big. I need to start whittling these down.
  • I’m drinking too many calories. Alcohol. That needs to stop. Over 2,000 of the calories those six days came from alcohol. That’s just silly.
  • My food choices have largely been pretty healthy. Lots of fruits and veggies and healthy protein.
  • I did spectacularly drinking water while at work (and hiking). Less spectacular at home. Noted: drinking lots of water isn’t doing shit to curb my appetite.
  • I did well planning out snacks and meals every few hours. The problem is that those snacks or meals were too high in calories/too large in size.

So: Smaller portion sizes is going to be key here, as well as cutting way back (preferably stopping) the alcohol consumption. This means breaking out the scale and measuring cups, and making sure that my mini-meals are of a reasonable size. That’s my task for Week 2.  I am going to try to start photographing my meals also, for additional accountability. I don’t think I’m going to be able to whittle my calories down to 800 calories by next week, but if I can get them in the area of 1000-1100 calories, that will be some progress.

Tips for myself for cutting back on food/hunger:

  • Quit the alcohol.
  • Quit the sugar. (I really did better with this, this past week though)
  • Eat protein shakes as snacks.
  • Measure and weigh food.
  • Keep some fresh veggies on hand for snacks. (carrots are mostly lower cal than fruits)
  • Leave food on your plate, or cut part of your food off to throw away.
  • Cut back on high-calorie fatty foods. I’m a sucker for caprese salads. The tomato is awesome, but cut back on the mozzarella. More tomato, less cheese. (But…not “no cheese.”)
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Hobbling around the summertime

by Christine on June 10th, 2015

filed under Christine's Life Updates

It’s now June 2015, and it’s been a few months, so I thought I would give an update.

So you know how the last 6-9 months have been pretty crap for me? Well, I got to add some more crap on top of it. Nothing so bad as my band getting ripped out, or my dad dying. If nothing else, those three months gave me some serious perspective. Some things just aren’t as bad as having one of your family members pass away, you know what I mean?

No. Things aren’t that bad, but they continue to be not-so-great. In February hubby and I were skiing in the Adirondacks. I was having a great ski day…you know, really getting the hang of it? And so I thought I would try to conquer a BLACK DIAMOND.

Boy, that was dumb. About 8 feet down the sucker, I slipped on some ice and trashed my knee. It turns out I tore my ACL. And, as I’ve learned, the ACL is pretty important for things like: exercise, losing weight, going down stairs, and in general doing fun things in life like volleyball, rollerblading, playing pickleball, skiing, and other such things. My doc said I COULD live without an ACL. Many people do. But I would basically need to live a sedentary life. I said, “screw that!” and so I scheduled surgery. No way am I going to live life in an armchair. There’s a lot of the world left for me to explore! People to meet! Things to do! Adventures to be had!

Thus, I got to experience my second surgery in the space of 9 months. Let me tell you….even though the general recovery time for ACL surgery is longer and harder than gastric-band-removal-surgery, the fact that this healed quickly and has been pretty textbook has been SOOO MUCH EASIER. OMG. No infection and subsequent hospital visits. Everything is cool. I can’t quite go down my stairs at home, but you know…perspective. I’m on-track, I’m doing well, and I’ll “get there” in due time.

Here is a picture of an ACL. It’s the thing that keeps your knee together, more or less.

I just started physical therapy and had my first real appointment yesterday. That was interesting. I’ll update a bit more about that in a few days.

You know, I can’t help but feel and wonder if tearing my ACL in February had anything to do with fairly dramatic and rapid weight GAIN since my gastric band has come out. I guess I’ll never know, but I can’t help but feel like there’s a correlation there.

In the meantime…I’ve actually gained NO WEIGHT in the three weeks since ACL surgery! Isn’t that something?!  On the other hand, I’m about 42 pounds up from my Goal/Low Weight. Sigh. You know what that means: new wardrobe. Chafing when wearing dresses. Fat rolls when you sit down. Bathing suit season. OMG!

The week before my surgery, hubby and I took a much-needed vacation to Mexico. He actually surprised me with the trip for my birthday? Isn’t that fantastic? Even with a torn ACL, we managed to squeeze in a bajillion fun adventures–nothing too knee intensive. We went snorkeling (I got to pet a wild sea turtle!), we went snorkeling in an underground cave, we went to Tulum, we went rappelling and zip lining, and we went deep sea fishing. I caught a HUGE 43 inch, 20 pound Blue Wahoo! Fantastic!!!  When I was reeling that sucker in, I felt my dad’s presence pretty strongly. It was cool. He would have thought going deep sea fishing was fun. Pics below…and you can see my weight gain. *sigh*

About 2 days after we got back from Mexico, I went to Manhattan with some friends of mine, including my therapist. (I know, what a weird life I lead, that I socialize and go on trips with my therapist? HAHA! But, talk about “ultimate therapy;” he can help me so much more now that we’re closer friends!!) It turns out we did about 10+ miles of walking on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And it also turns out that I was sick from my trip to Mexico (Montezuma’s Revenge + a cold + ACL torn) and it turns out that I was SO FREAKING EXHAUSTED from that trip. OMG. So much walking. I was pretty much delirious the entire time. Our hotel overlooked the World Trade Center site though, so that was cool. (I know you’re wondering, and no no. Boys in one room, Betty and I in another room!)

 

Then I had my surgery 2 days later, after all that romping around. I’m healing up now. Trying to get eating under control. Trying not to balloon up any more than I already am. Better watch out: With my new bionic knee, I’m going to be kicking ass and taking names pretty soon here!

So I wanted to mention this also: Since the beginning of the year, hubby has been losing weight, exercising, and training for a Spartan race later this fall. He’s been doing so amazingly! I’m so proud of him! I admit, I’m a little sad that I can’t be exercising alongside him these past few months, but I am cheering him on nonetheless! This weekend hubby participated in his first 5K/mud/obstacle course race thing. The team’s time was deplorable, but they had a great time playing in the mud and busting out the teamwork to finish the course. I’m super proud of hubby for doing it! I can’t wait to cheer him on at the Spartan Race this fall!

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Balance

by Christine on March 23rd, 2015

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Well, the month is closing in….and I can say that since my (awful, terrible) doctor’s appointment at the beginning of the month….

I haven’t gained any weight.

That’s terrific! I mean, it’s not LOSING weight–which I want and need to do–but I haven’t GAINED. And hey, that’s something I’m happy to celebrate.

I find that I’m pretty good about following a routine with respect to food at the beginning of the week, but things start to fall apart towards Friday and Saturday, including emotional binge stuff. I wonder why that is?

I got several walks in this weekend, including an hour trudging through the snow along the Erie Canal on Saturday. (No idea of miles…it was slow going in the snow and boots.) Sunday hubby joined me on a walk around a golf course at the State Park near my house. We stopped to watch the kids play hockey in the free ice skating rink in the park. It was another hour+ of walking through the snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Above, walking along the Erie Canal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Above: Maple Syrup sugar house, and walking at the State Park)

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