Thursday, May 10, 2012


30-ish day challenge to myself.

I want to do 15 specific minutes of self-care every day.  I'm thinking that breaking it into 5 minute chunks will be a way to get in some nice variety and make it manageable when things get busy.  My initial thought is:

5 minutes meditation
5 minutes stretching
5 minutes writing/journaling

I'm wondering if there are other things I can throw in there to mix it up...  

5 minutes yoga?
Might be a lot of prep work, with generally needing a change of clothes and kind of falls into similar categories as stretching and meditation.

I've played around with the idea of throwing housecleaning into the mix.  I've gotten into the habit previously of spending at least 10 minutes a day cleaning/straightening up the house and it's been pretty good for my mental health.

I also wonder how to put sleep into the mix.  I've gotten into quite a habit of gazing into my iPhone at night before bed instead of reading or just shutting off the lights and letting sleep come.  I value putting more sleep into my self-care schedule, but not quite sure how to quantify it.

I'm noticing quite a bit of internal resistance going on.  My mind seems kind of scared by the idea of 1. committing to specific self-care activities and 2. committing to introspection.  It's a little farther out of my comfort zone than I'd like to admit, but I also know that the first step is the hardest.  It's not often that I sit down to write and struggle with the words or the process.  Usually when I meditate I can get into a positive space pretty quickly.  But it's getting over the hump that really challenges me.  

So, the 30ish day challenge is named this because it will be both a challenge in the sense of naming my commitment as well as stretching my comfort zone.  But I suppose that's where all the good growth is supposed to happen, right? :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Breaking through

The last few days has shown me that I've made major strides in my fitness level.  I hit the gym for a strength training workout on Saturday and was impressed at how smoothly my walking lunges went.  I was able to do more reps on the pullup assist machine at 15lb under my body weight.  Weights that used to be impossible are now becoming easy. 

My balance is becoming stellar, my strength is growing by leaps and bounds, my endurance is (slowly but surely) picking up, and my newly-amazing core is enabling me to do things I never would have dreamed of.  I did an exercise today that, when complete, left me in amazement of my current athletic level.  I've never even come close to considering myself an athlete, but I think if I keep this up no one will be able to deny it. 

That is So. Amazing.  Me... An athlete?!  Whoa.

I'm starting to think of it like this: When I'm able to do exercises that blow me out of the water, and see how effective, efficient, and strong my body can be, who cares about 10 extra pounds?  It would be nice to have them gone, but now that I'm creeping up on hitting some of my fundamental goals the number on the scale seems to matter less and less.  I wish I could have captured the form I had during a very challenging exercise today, or even just bottled up the feeling I had when I did it.  For so long, I've had physical activities be impressive when I compare them to my own level or where I've come from.  But I'm starting to creep up to a point where I'm doing things that are impressive for any level.  Granted, I'm no Olympian or personal trainer, but when compared to the average person who works out on a regular basis I think I'm starting to hold my own and really excel in some areas.
Through this journey I'm learning new strength, both physical and mental, that I had no idea was within me.  It's an incredible feeling and I stand in awe of how hard I've worked and what I've accomplished so far.  It really makes all the struggle worth it when I have little breakthrough points and take a big leap into new territory.

This is what I'm fighting for.  And I'm incredibly excited to keep fighting :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Dear Self,
Remember that 5 fruit/veggie servings is the minimum.  Really we should be aiming for more like 8.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Road Trip Recap

Well friends, I'm going to go ahead and call the excursion to Eastern Washington a success. Here's the rundown.

Goal #1 - Track Everything
~ Done!  I also kept track of my good health guidelines and was a superstar at getting in my water, fruit/veggies, dairy, and multivitamin.  The points picture wasn't super pretty by the end of the weekend, but I wasn't holding myself to that so I'm not beating myself up about it.  The important thing was to write it down and get a realistic picture of what I was eating while away from the normal routine.

Goal #2 - Do Some Form of Exercise Every Day
~ Done!  Wednesday I walked.  Thursday I did C25K.  Friday I did pool aerobics (just kind of winged it) and walked.  Saturday I did C25K.  This was a big victory for me, and I feel really good about it.  It did mean sacrificing the ability to sleep in, but it was a major step in the right direction of keeping with my weight loss goals while away from home.  Score! :)

Goal #3 - Plan Ahead
~ Done!  It meant obnoxiously taking up way more room in the car than my two travel companions with my cooler and grocery bag full of stuff, but the planning ahead paid off.  Observe the awesomeness of my hotel mini-fridge, stocked with healthy goodies:

Goal #4: - Avoid "Vacation Mode"
~ Mostly.  I did indulge in more high-point things than normal, but was able to use effective ways to reduce the negative impact when I did.  Case in point: ordering a cheeseburger at a restaurant and only eating half the bun.  Things like that.  And giving in to the Dairy Queen a block away from the hotel only once :)

Overall, I think I did pretty spectacularly.  It was eye-opening to see how much damage some foods do when none of my normal options are available.  It was also good practice for the planning ahead and exercising on vacation. You may remember that I set up a planned perfume reward if I accomplished all of these goals. 

The end result?  Sweet smelling victory.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Road Trippin

So far so good for my first week of WW recommitting.  In my groggy state this morning I forgot what day it was and weighed myself a day early, but the news was good: down 1.8lbs! 

I seem to have a pattern of doing well and then slipping up when life happens.  Vacations, camping trips, holidays, birthdays, etc have been at the outset of many a bad week (or month...).  Tomorrow I'm leaving for a 3-day conference on the other side of the state, and am determined to keep the good progress going.  It's historically really hard for me to maintain my good intentions while away from the usual routine.  I can usually hold out for a day or two but then the freedom gets in my blood and I remember things like "french fries are tasty" while conveniently forgetting "a full serving of fries is 1/3 of your daily points."  Luckily I'm fresh off the energy of last week's motivation freak-out so I'm being proactive and creating a plan in advance:

1. Track everything.  Even if I eat way more than normal, I'm at least holding myself to tracking it.
2. Do some form of exercise very day.  The initial plan is a C25K workout on the gym treadmill every morning but this could be expanded to include swimming/water exercise or walking around the city.
3. Plan ahead.  I'm planning to bring a cooler with some healthy options for snacks, breakfast, etc.
4. Don't go into "vacation mode."  AKA, give a shit about my goals even when I'm out of town.

I discovered a perfume that I fell in love with at a little shop in downtown Vancouver last week, and if I come back from Yakima feeling good about things and having met those 4 goals, I plan to reward myself with that.  Cause we all know that next to looking good, smelling good is where it's at :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It's ass-kicking time

I'm at a fork in the road.  Something has got to change.  I'm getting really anxious seeing my scale creep up and actually having pants in my closet that I can't wear because they're too tight (it's been a long time since that has happened, something I've been pretty proud of).  I see my options as this: recommit to the program I've been doing, or find something new. 

For the last 2 1/2 years I've been following Weight Watchers Online.  Many of you know this, many don't.  I'm kind of strangely guarded about coming out of the WW closet, but I feel like now's as good a time as any.  Part of the blogging thing is increasing my accountability and opening myself up to shedding some light on my journey.  It's been a good run with Weight Watchers.  I started the program 40lb down from my highest weight ever, and was able to lose another 23lb through the program - 7lb away from my goal weight.  Fabulous, right? 

The problem seemed to come when they switched methods.  The program I started on was called Momentum, and assigns a points value to each food based on a formula calculating calories, fat, and fiber.  The new plan is called Points+ and takes calories out of the equation, relying on carbs, fiber, fat, and protein to calculate points+ values.  I love the theory of the new program as it focuses on eating less processed foods and more fruits & veggies, things I value anyway.  The problem?  My slow but steady weight gain of 11lb.  Beginning?  When they switched over the program.  Oof.  I don't know why it took me 6 months to figure this out, but hey, at least I'm here now :)

I'm not quite ready to give up on WW yet though.  It's been a good run and I've learned a lot of good things from the plan.  So I'm recommittng to giving it another good shot and if it still doesn't work for me after trying my best then I'll move on to something else.  Here's what I'm thinking...

Things I do well:
-Exercise (been in a really good routine the last month or so)
-Drinking enough water
-Tracking what I eat (tracked every day for the last month, yay!)

Things I need to work on:
-Hitting my healthy checks each day (WW recommends: 64oz fluids, 5 fruit/veg servings, 2 tsp healthy oil, and 2 servings dairy as well as exercise & taking a multivitamin)
-Planning meals ahead of time (I'm so-so good at this, what I think will help is tracking the full day ahead of time)
-Moderation.  Specifically when it comes to sweets.  I've been eating way too much chocolate and other tasty dessert things lately.  A few times a week is ok but I'm finding that doing it every day isn't helping anything
-Staying within my points.  I kind of fail at this. 

A saying I've heard from other WW members is "if you kind of work the plan, it kind of works."  I'm totally guilty of this.  "If you really work the plan, it will really work for you."  Gotta do it.

So, there you have it.  My plan.  I'll give it a few solid weeks and then re-evaluate.  I've done this before, and I know I can get back to confidence about my weight loss journey. 

Time to kick some ass :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nugget of Inspiration

At this stage of the game, mediocrity can no longer be allowed to fly.

-Eminem, Cinderella Man


p.s. I'm pretty hit or miss on Eminem, but I LOVE this song.