Why I do this here (W.I.D.T.H.)

by Christine on September 15th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

The amazing and clever Jack Sh*t coined the “Why I do this here” program a few months ago. This is my take on it, but you should read his — the responses are insightful and wonderful!

Or, perhaps more importantly, what are you going to do today to ensure that you lose weight?

Today I started by pre-planning all of my meals to ensure that I don’t eat too much. My plan for today is:

8 a.m.: almonds (60 calories), red bull (220)
10 a.m.: Half a Cucumber (12) with 2 tbs low-fat ranch dressing (66)
Noon: 1 salad (30) with tuna fish (70) and LF ranch dressing (66); some leftover minestrone soup (50)
2 p.m.: 1 applesauce cup (50)
6 p.m.: 2 oz grilled chicken (100) with some spinach (7) and cannolli beans (60) and EVOO (60)
Total calories: 851, right on target

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Yes you can do it!

by Christine on July 27th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

This morning I was making the first of three rounds of catching up with my blogs. I have the blogs I follow separated into three categories, and I do my best to hit the first group in the morning, the second around noonish, and the third in the afternoon. I seems that a lot of my bloggy-friends are having issues today finding the motivation to continue on with healthy eating, exercise, and staying committed to the promises they made themselves. I think this is due, in large part, to a hectic summer schedule, weeks of hauling children around, vacation schedules, and so forth. If you find yourself as part of this group, here is what I want to say to you:

YOU CAN DO IT, AND YOU CAN DO IT NOW. Don’t give up. Please don’t say, “I just have to get through this week, and then I’ll be back on track with the diet.” Please don’t excuse your behavior and say, “Well, I can eat like crap because I’m on vacation and I deserve it.”  Please don’t say, “I have been too busy to exercise. Once the kids go back to school, I’ll get back to the gym.”  All of these phrases are self-defeating and are the things that people who are not committed to their own health and well-being might say.  These are things that people say who think everyone else in the world is more important than themselves.

You are probably a very good person. Caring. Generous to a fault. The type of person that can’t say “no” to bake sales and PTA appointments. The type of person that stays late at work because the boss asked you to. You’re probably the type of person that is constantly tired, increasingly irritable, and tries to live a life of “convenience foods” in order to accommodate your busy schedule.  You’re probably the type of person that puts everyone’s needs before your own.

I have heard each one of you say, not so long ago, “I am important. I am worth it. I am fully committed to lose this weight and keep it off.”  And yet, lately, you are letting go of this resolve. You are letting life interfere with the goals you set for yourself.

Don’t fall into this mid-summer trap. Don’t let your busy life swallow you up. I promise, you will find yourself standing knee-deep in regret come September, re-affirming the goals you set at the beginning of the year and wondering how on earth those 10 pounds crept back on.  Don’t let this happen to you!

I want to say this to you: You’re important. You’re worth it. The world will not fall apart if you say “no” to one activity today, in order to allow you time to go to the gym.  The children will not burst into flames if you say “no” to that special pizza party and instead decide to cook a healthy meal at home.  You can do this, because you are worth it.

Besides, there are plenty of ways to fit in happy summer memories without compromising your individual goals.  Your goals are probably to enjoy the living crap out of summer, and to spend quality time with your family.  You can do all of this by taking a bike ride with the family. By hiking in the woods. By renting canoes and going for a ride. By playing frisbee with the kids. By packing a healthy lunch and going for a picnic in a park filled with flowers.

If there’s not time to be active and cook healthfully, then start saying “no” to activities that are preventing you from being healthy.

You can do this, and you can do it now. Please stay focused and please stay committed. Because you’re worth it.

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In other news….

Yesterday was an infuriating day for me at lunch. I ran out of soup here at work, so I decided to run down to the little store on the corner to get a side salad with a scoop of tuna fish. It’s a take-out joint, but I ended up waiting well over an hour for my salad! I would have left, except that I had already paid for the salad.   I finally said something to someone, and they were extremely apologetic and offered me a $6 credit to a lunch in the future. I’m not sure I want to go back. I know they were just busy (the staff was working so hard!) but the experience has left a terrible taste in my mouth. When I took the salad back to work, to eat at my desk, I only ate about half. I had lost my appetite!

For dinner I was craving a hamburger. It had been ages! I defrosted some ground beef and made homemade patties. I weighed each…pre-cooking they were 4.5 ounces each. I ate one. My husband was supposed to have only one, then put the rest away for leftovers in the week, but he ended up eating all three extras! I added some corn on the cob (I ate 1/4 of it) and a little scoop of homemade guacamole. Delicious!

After dinner we took a short walk (with my cat trotting at our heels the whole way). Then we sat outside to read our books outside for a bit. around 9 p.m. we headed to the gym for a workout. I still don’t feel well, so I took it easy on the stair-stepper. Then I had us do some crab-crawls, and downward-dog-leg-lifts, followed by 200 situps.

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Just getting through the day.

by Christine on July 15th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

Good morning Revolutionists!

Welcome to all my new followers! Thanks to my guest blog post (“Pink Fuzzy Handcuffs”) over at Laurie’s blog (LINK HERE), I gained 10 new followers! That’s wonderful, and I appreciate the support and encouragement! I will do my best to check out all of your blogs, too.  I like reciprocation, yo.

Today I am in a terrible funk. I woke up this morning and felt too tired to get out of bed. However, my brain got active….and I still didn’t get out of bed.  I felt emotionally glued to my bed.

What had me so down?  Work.  I just can’t seem to stand to come into work. I started a new job in January, and I have been struggling a lot with it since the very first week.  This job is not a good fit for me, and I have been actively looking for a new job – networking with former colleagues, searching the want ads, sending out my resume. I have gone on a few interviews, but I don’t want to just settle for another mediocre job.  This job pays okay and has decent benefits, so if I switch jobs it should be for something that I see as a long-term fit. Right?

But this morning my brain had enough of settling for mediocrity. In fact, I’ll say it: I positively DREAD coming to work.  I don’t enjoy this. Today, I didn’t want to get out of my bed and come into a soundless and soulless environment.  I couldn’t stomach another day of it.

I started this slump yesterday afternoon, and it demonstrated the issues that I still have with food and how it relates to stress. From the moment I got home from work, I wanted to gorge myself. Oh, I wasn’t hungry; on the contrary. First I pulled out exactly FOUR tortilla chips and had four scoops of hummus, thinking that the protein would fill me up and shut up my brain.  For dinner I grilled a few sirloin tips and made a small side salad for myself.  However…and I don’t exactly understand this…but I think perhaps my stress made my gastric band feel tight because every bite I took got “stuck,” and I had to puke every single bite up.  I had 2 chunks of steak (purged) and three bites of salad (purged) and then gave up on “dinner.”

At this point I WAS hungry, but more than that – I felt bingey. Stress = eating for my brain, and I hate that correlation. I kept chugging my water, thinking that that would satiate me, and it did to some extent, but my brain wanted “comfort food.”  I nibbled on the cucumbers in my salad for a while. Then I made some fat-free cheesecake-flavored pudding (25 calories), but still I wanted to eat.  Thankfully, I’m a few years into this struggle with binge-eating, so I was able to talk myself down from the ledge and make myself recognize that this is counter-productive to my goal to lose weight. I chugged more water (I made my 64 oz yesterday), then went to bed.

Today, as I said, I just wanted to stay in bed and sleep through the day. I wanted to avoid work. No wait, I wanted to eat! NO WAIT! I wanted to sleep! No…eat!!  I threw myself off of my bed with 10 minutes to brush my hair, brush my teeth, feed the cat, and raced out the door.  Yes, I forced myself to come to work. I had two slices of cheese (50 cals) and four crackers (50 cals) at work. I’m not hungry, but all I can think about is the vending machine and the chocolate in it.

I also feel extremely tired. I haven’t been sleeping well, stressing out about this job. (Not that the job is stressful – I have ZERO responsibilities –but I stress about the fact that I hate it and need something different.)  This water challenge hasn’t done a thing for my energy. Perhaps I should have gone to the gym last night (“they” say that working out gives you more energy) but I was so lethargic, I couldn’t force myself off the couch. It’s not a physical tiredness but I mental one. Physically I feel great. Emotionally I feel distraught, worn out.

I’m still fully committed to the goals I set out for myself this week: eating healthfully, exercising, and drinking my 64 oz of water every day. I will continue to meet those goals, but today it will be a particularly hard challenge for me. Today, I will just be surviving, hoping to get by.

Drinking water today

Above: Drinking my Saratoga water this morning. Feeling disheveled and tired.

anniebeth

Above: A picture to make me smile! Me with Annie Beth, the beautiful little girl, while on vacation last week.

Above: Me with Aunt Alice and Uncle LeRoy. They were gracious hosts!

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Penelope the Frog

by Christine on June 4th, 2010

filed under Short Stories

Penelope the FrogPenelope was a frog that lived in Round Pond. She was pretty as far as frogs go – she was had a lovely green color and big round eyes. Penelope was sad though. She didn’t like how she looked or where she lived, or anything about her life, really. She was listless and sad; she slept a lot and didn’t croak at night with the rest of the frogs.  She spent a lot of time moping and dreaming of what could be.

“What’s wrong?” her friend Liz asked her one day while lounging on a lillypad. Liz was her best friend since tadpole-age. They couldn’t be separated.

“I don’t know,” said Penelope. “I just feel down.”

“I know what you should do!” said Liz. “Figure out what you would like to do. Set some goals. Then set about trying to achieve them!”

Penelope thought about that for a minute. “I guess I could do that,” she said.

After some serious contemplation, Penelope decided that her life would be much better if she lost a little weight. She was plumper than the rest of the frogs, and the male frogs didn’t pay too much attention to her. Plus, jumping from lillypad to lillypad was difficult and hard on her knees. Yes, she decided to lose some weight.

So Penelope constructed her strategy. She planned out her meals and exercise for each day. She kept a motivation diary by her bedside, and she asked Liz to support her.  Everything was going great. The weight started to fall off of her! At first Penelope felt great, and she basked in the new compliments that everyone gave her. But soon she fell back into her depression. She was thinner and prettier, and the guys paid attention to her, but she was still sad.  There was something missing in her life.

“Set a new goal!” said Liz. Liz still supported her, although she didn’t get to see her friend every day. Liz was dating a new frog and was often busy going on dates.

After thinking for a while, Penelope decided her life would be better if she was a marathon jumper instead of a lillypad swimmer. She wanted to be the highest frog-jumper that ever lived. She constructed her strategy; every day she had her strength training routine and cardiovascular routine. She practiced for many hours every day. Soon she became the highest frog-jumper in her pond. She went to other ponds to compete, and she won many awards. Soon, she was the highest frog-jumper on the planet!

At first Penelope felt great about her accomplishments, and she basked in the compliments she received and trophies she won. But soon she fell back into a depression. There was still something missing.

“Set a new goal!” croaked Liz while fussing over her nest of tadpoles. She flicked her tongue to keep them in line.

Pondering, Penelope decided that everything would be much better if she had a lot of money. Then she wouldn’t have to live on crummy Round Pond. If she had a lot of money she could do anything she wanted!  But first she had to figure out how to make money.  She decided that she was a good frog-jumper, so she took that idea a step further and made high-frog-jumping-boots! The spring-loaded boots were a huge success, and they sold like hotcakes. Soon Penelope had more money than she could keep on her lillypad! She started a bank of lillypads and loaded them all up with money.  She decided she would move to Sunshine Pond, about a day’s hopping journey away. She hauled all her money with her and soon came to the expensive resort pond, complete with filtered pond water, regular feedings, bright flowers, and gorgeous frogs.  She bought an expensive lillypad in a gated community and sat down to enjoy her new life.

Oh, Sunshine Pond was nice all right, but soon Penelope started to get sad. She didn’t have anyone to enjoy the pond with. She had so much money she ate all the time and started to get fat again. Frogs began to sue her when they discovered that pond water eroded the spring mechanism in the boots.  It seemed like nothing was right in her life. Money didn’t make her happier at all.

Forlorn, she wandered back to Round Pond one day to visit her old friend Liz.  Liz was surrounded by her now-grown little froggies and was playing water games with them. Penelope watched Liz laugh and smile and Penelope became sad that she didn’t laugh and smile like that as often.

“What is your secret to happiness?” Penelope asked Liz.  “What goals did you set to find such freedom?”

Liz looked surprised. “I don’t set goals at all,” she said. “I just enjoyed my life and my Self, whatever stage that I was in. Life is good. I just enjoyed it.”

“You never felt sad or the need to set goals?” Penelope asked.

“Sure I felt sad, but then I would realize that I am very lucky to have all the things I already have.  I didn’t need to set goals: I had all the things that were important to me already!”

Frustrated, Penelope went back to Sunshine Pond, to her expensive lillypad, and sat down to think.  “Maybe the answer was inside me all the time!” she exclaimed.  She took a deep breath and jumped into the water and back-stroked across the pond, noticing for the first time the warm rays of sunshine on her face. Penelope smiled!

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