Does My Face Cause Regrets?

compliment or-nsultOccasionally I write about the odd “compliments” I’ve gotten since losing weight. Please understand that I know most of these are said with good intentions, and I do appreciate that. I just smile and say thank you when they are given. (I only rant here in the privacy of the internet with you, dear reader.) And one final disclaimer – I am not “anti-compliment” or anything. I really do appreciate when people take the time to say something nice or encouraging to me, it’s just that sometimes, when you dig into what has really been said, it isn’t really a compliment.

The most recent one came when I changed my profile photo on Facebook. (It’s the same photo of me that I put up on this post.) I don’t post a lot of of photos of myself, so a lot of people commented on it and said very nice things… but there was one that got under my skin. It was from an ex. He’s a good guy and we dated back in my 20s. The relationship was never going to “go anywhere” but we had a lot of fun. Even though we had our issues, I was honestly surprised when he dumped me for his crackpot, creepy boss. This is the compliment he left:

I don’t have many regrets in life, but this photo gives me an additional one.

Now, I know it’s supposed to be nice, but… it isn’t. Not really. Let’s break it down:

If he just had said, “I don’t have many regrets in my life, but you are one of them.” (and not on a photo of me,) that could have been sweet. Without being on a photo, the comment could be because I am an awesome human being and an all-around badass, and he regrets dumping me for his weird, needy and possessive boss lady. Fair enough.

If he had said, “Daaaaaaannnnnnng woman, you loooooooook goooooood. I haven’t dated anything that fine since 1993!” I would have laughed my head off. (And it would have probably been true!)

However, when we unpack what he did say, this is what I get: “You look good, now. I regret breaking up with you, now.” Honestly, that just ticks me off. I may have lost a little weight and gotten a makeover, but I am still the same dang person! The photo gives you an additional regret? You think I look attractive (now) and so you wish you hadn’t been a jerk in the 90s? What if I wasn’t attractive? Would you still regret it? Because let’s be honest, I’m still basically the same person I was a year ago. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but this comment of his makes all my feminist hackles rise.

I don’t mean to make mountains out of molehills, and hey, I like the way I look too. I just don’t have any illusions that it makes me any different (better or worse) than I was before. I’m me, for all that that means: good and bad. If you regret being a jerk because you were a jerk, fine. If you think I am pretty, fine. But if you regret being a jerk because I am pretty, you’re still a jerk.

 

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Long Term Weight Loss

Well, this is depressing as [fill in the blank.]Lost: Weight

From Why Do Dieters Regain Weight?

An Australian research team studied people who had lost weight in an effort to understand some of these changes. A year after their initial weight loss:

  • A hormone that suppresses hunger and increases metabolism – Leptin – was still lower than normal
  • Ghrelin, nicknamed the “hunger hormone,” was about 20 percent higher
  • Peptide YY, a hormone associated with hunger suppression was abnormally low
  • Participants reported being much more hungry and preoccupied with food then they had prior to losing weight

A year after losing weight these people’s bodies were still biologically different than they had been prior to the weight loss attempt, desperately working to regain the weight – and participants had already regained about 30% of the weight they had lost.  One of the study’s authors characterized it as “A coordinated defense mechanism with multiple components all directed toward making us put on weight.”

You can read the rest of the article here. Thanks (sort of) to Fit, Feminist and (almost) Fifty for pointing it out. You can read their commentary here: Weight Lost and Gained.

Okay, so I am down roughly 40 pounds. I bounce around a little, naturally. In fact, have you ever noticed how people talk about weight naturally going up and down (due to water weight, stress, what have you,) when they are losing weight, but once they hit goal they are supposed to stay at that weight forever and ever, amen? As if once you hit that magic number, the scale is never supposed to move up or down from that. Well, guess what? It does.

My goal weight is between 131 and 135. I usually hover between 132 and 135, but I’ve been up and down and all around. However, I don’t care what all these articles say,

I AM NOT GOING BACK.

Do you hear me? I have cut up my Lane Bryant credit card! I donated, sold and gave away my entire wardrobe. I don’t care what it takes, I will not regain that weight back.

Now, I might gain muscle. I’m having a whole lot of fun weight training and building up my strength, and if the size of my shoulders and the number on the scale go up together, I’m all for it. But, that is not regaining my old weight – that’s putting on bad-assery. I’m all about being more of a bad ass.

I’m not saying it is going to be easy. I’ve been in “maintenance mode” since June or so, and I’ve had some ups and downs. Nonetheless, I don’t care what it takes – if I have to constantly up my game, so be it. I’ll do it.

Let me point out that my feelings have nothing to do with anyone else’s weight. There are many, many women out there who are heavier than me who are happy, tough, strong, fit, content, glorious and more. I celebrate them and their awesomeness. This is about me, and I know how different I feel today than I did a year ago. I have more energy, I’m stronger, I have more confidence and I am happier. I’m holding on to that, no matter what the scientists say.

 

Photo credit: jaqian on flickr

 

I Was Mad

"Angry Bear" Yes, exactly.

“Angry Bear” Yes, exactly.

The other night I was mad. It doesn’t really matter what about, the point was, I was heading out shopping and I was mad. The two actually had nothing to do with one another – it was all about timing. I had been planning to go shopping, and just before that, something made me very, very angry.

The people I wanted to vent to about the situation were not available, so as I drove to the mall I vented out loud. I had imaginary arguments, yelled at the top of my lungs and gestured wildly. I must have looked like Jim from Taxi.

You really shouldn’t shop mad, but you are mad enough, you refuse to see it. Angry shopping becomes about “The Principle”. You start thinking things like I WILL find what I want, if I have to scour the earth! It SHALL BE MINE! This is definitely not the best mood to be in while touring through loud, brightly lit stores surrounded by the rest of humanity.

I was looking for my rain boots. Now, a sane person would have realized that most stores don’t think this is rain boot season (despite the fact it has rained nearly every day for the last three weeks) and after a store or two, gone home and done the smart thing – settled in with a glass of wine and shopped online. But no, I was mad – so I was not sane. I have no idea how many stores I went to. I did find one cute pair at TJ Maxx, and was excited, until I turned them over and saw they were from Kate Spade and $100. Seriously?! I am not paying that much for rain boots. (I should have waited, Katy at Living the Life had some great ideas where to go, but I didn’t see her comments until after this debacle.)

When a touch of sanity returned, (or maybe I just ran out of stores to try,) and I turned my car towards home a little devil whispered in my ear, “You haven’t had dinner, you could go out to eat!” I was in a perfect part of town restaurant-wise and there were lots of places to go between there and home, so I started thinking through my favorite spots, one by one.

Then the good, calm angel on my other shoulder said, “You don’t need food. You need to go home.” I realized the angel was right. I wasn’t even that hungry, I was thinking about eating… out of spite. Isn’t that silly? Like the people I was mad at would suddenly feel bad that I was going out to eat. As if they would be at home and suddenly feel a disturbance in the universe which was me, enjoying a lovely meal. HA! That’ll show them!

I know that logically that doesn’t make any kind of sense, but I also know it’s something
I’ve done on multiple occasions in the past. I expect food to comfort me, or at least spite my enemies. (Who in this case weren’t even my enemies, they’re colleagues who were just being a bit short sighted.) The truth is, it doesn’t do anyone any good for me to be sitting in a restaurant like a little dark thundercloud. I’m still miserable, my enemies don’t care or even know about it, and I don’t enjoy it. It’s also a big waste of time and money. If I am going to go out, I want to make it worthwhile! The funny thing was I had just had an experience like this a week before, but it didn’t enter my head. I was just too emotionally exhausted to think clearly.

I did end up going home and I prepared myself a wonderful meal. I also ended up doing some things that actually did help: I walked the dog, I made a cup of tea, and I meditated. I was still upset, so I went to bed early and got some rest. In the morning I felt a lot better.

Here’s the point: friends of mine think that I have my weight loss all figured out. I don’t. I still struggle with things like emotional eating and making good decisions for myself. I’m getting better, but like everyone else on this journey, it’s a long, slow climb.

 

Photo credit: Pascal Wiluhn

Lightening My Load

Luggage by robef

A darn good depiction of what my life has felt like lately.

I haven’t dropped off the face of the planet. The last three weeks have been crazy. It took until now to be able to start carving out a little extra time to write.

It started with my birthday at the end of September. Then came my annual garage sale and then, without time to even breathe, I had an out of state work trip. All three of these things had things in common: lots of calories, lots of booze, a lack of exercise and some amount of stress. My birthday was the least amount of stress, and the most amount of exercise. I am happy to be forty, and I went for a run and a bike ride on my birthday, just because I could. The stress came from planning the night of. It ended up being wonderful, (dinner at a great little tapas restaurant with some of my favorite ladies,) but there were a few bumps along the way. Of course the evening itself resulted in plenty of extra calories and booze. It was great though – I’m not complaining! I dove in with both feet, even snagging the last bites of the shared dessert for myself.

The following week was the sale. The garage sale is a big deal – huge. It took two days of prep just to get the house in order. This summer I was up to my eyeballs with two jobs, so the yard work and housework have been a bit neglected. You know that all had to be done before neighbors came traipsing up my drive. That’s all even before the actual sale preparations – there are also garages to be cleaned and swept out (yes, plural garages), tables to be set up, signs to make and much more. I get help, of course, but I am also fairly stubborn about getting my own work done before people come over, (even my friends.) Then, there is the sale itself: two full days, twelve hours long, of selling our junk to strangers. If that sounds easy, you’ve never had a garage sale. I was on my feet most of the time. Usually the sale is also a fun time to hang out with some of my best friends. We start drinking mimosas around 8 AM, switch to beer in the afternoon, and back to champagne or wine in the evening. We chat, we gossip and have a grand old time. This time, however, our sale was hopping from the minute we opened to when we shut it down at night. There were no relaxing afternoon lolls to sit and chat. There was also no time to eat, so I just treated it like a vacation, grabbed food on the fly when I could (regardless of calories,) and kept going. It wasn’t easy. While the sale was a success, the best we had ever had financially, it was also the most stressful. I was feeling mighty crunchy and blown out by the end.

This place had such very, very good pie. You can just tell, can't you?

This place had such very, very good pie. You can just tell, can’t you?

We wrapped it up late Saturday night. On Sunday I got some much needed rest and a little quality time with Julian, and then on Monday, I hopped a flight to Georgia. My plan was to try and rest up while on the road. I packed plenty of healthy snacks and was determined to eat, and rest, as well as I could while away. Sadly, things didn’t quite work out. What I wasn’t expecting was the moderately terrible hotel, the amount of time I would be eating (and drinking) with clients in less than ideal food situations, and the deliciousness of southern pie. I ate too much, slept too little, and didn’t get nearly enough exercise.

I flew back on Thursday and on the plane on the way back, I made a couple of decisions. It occurred to me that, as exhausting as the garage sale had been, it really got me fired up to clean up. I felt like I needed to take that energy and keep going – keep cleaning up the house, the yard, and even myself. I feel like my body was a lot like my house had been – a little cluttered and a little unorganized. It is time to take that back.

So, Friday I spent the day cleaning out a closet that has needed it (for years), and doing yard work. I also went on a liquid diet. Nothing fancy, I just drank tea, water, and protein shakes. The idea was not to starve myself or do anything crazy, it was just to hit the “reset” button a bit. I just wanted to flush some of the extra sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and whatever else toxins out of my system. It really wasn’t that hard to do, and I did feel better afterwords. I would definitely do it again when the need arises. Saturday I kept cleaning and added in fruits, veggies and nuts to my diet, and then on Sunday I added in a bit of dairy and some fish. I’m not changing my diet forever, I just wanted to eat simply for a few days and let my body recover from some of the things I’ve been putting it through lately.

You know what? I am feeling much, much better. I also spent time this weekend reading, taking naps, writing and taking care of myself. It has been awhile since I have been able to do that.

It feels good.

 

Photo credit: Luggage by robef on flickr

Do’s and Don’ts

I ran across this somewhere on the web and tucked it away as a good reminder:Dos_and_Donts

What I love about it is that it has some good points without being focused on one particular fitness path. For example, while there are several points about eating, the phrase Eat Clean doesn’t appear. (I wrote about why that phrase gets makes me clench my teeth awhile back.) I have heard some conflicting advice about drinking that much water, but considering it is August and high summer in the U.S., if you’re going to be working out outside, it seems like a good plan to me.

I really like the don’s side – especially #1) don’t skip rest days and #4) don’t forget to reward yourself. I think those get forgotten a lot. Since I try to alternate weight training and running, it is really easy for me to skip rest days. (That’s why I don’t get too down on myself when I have a busy week. I just figure they are unplanned rest days.) As for rewards, so far, the results have been their own reward. Then again, taking the time to sit for a while by the river after a long run is an awfully good reward.

Sitting at the river's edge after my run.

Sitting at the river’s edge after my run.

Running, Weight Lifting and Chasing Dreams

heavy weights by apfelfredLast week I ran at some unusual times for me: once at 6:30AM and once at 9:30PM. Why the strange schedules when I’ve been a fairly consistent “right after work” running gal? Well, because I am adding in something new and I wanted to check out some different options for run times. I’m adding in strength training.

Yes, I know I’ve been writing about strength training for awhile, and I’ve actually been doing it for several months now, but it’s been on my own in a somewhat haphazard fashion. Back in April, after checking it out from the library, I bought The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises. The book is great in some regards, and if you want an encyclopedia of weight training exercises, this is a solid choice. There are hundreds of exercises to chose from with all sorts of variations, depending on skill set, equipment and so on. It also has some additional information and training plans, but those are not the main point of the book. The focus is on different kinds of exercises. That was exactly why I bought it. I used it to put together some weight training plans based on what I had, and what I thought I could do.

The problem is that I am really too new at this. I have no idea what I am doing. I used their training plans as a start, but modified them at will. The book makes it really, really easy to do that. Too easy, if you want to know the truth. I felt like I was getting stronger and doing some good work, but it felt really unfocused. I knew that I just didn’t know enough.

Then I read some glowing reviews for Mark Riptoe’s Starting Strength, so I picked that up. And it’s good, it really is, but it almost goes too far in the other direction. It is so technical, I find myself struggling to get through it. I think it is just too advanced for where I am right now. I’m a reader, someone who loves to learn through study, but I had to set it aside for a bit.

Then I read another blogger who was going through The New Rules of Lifting for Women, and so I took a look at that. And like Goldilocks, I feel like I found something that is just right. It has a lot about weight lifting in general, and some interesting information on nutrition (and I have changed how I eat based on it,) but what I love is their step by step guide. It’s a long term strength training plan, which was exactly what I was looking for. Like Women’s Health book, it has exercises with variations (especially helpful for those going to gyms versus those working out at home,) and like Mark Riptoe’s book it has technical information, but fortunately, it is at my level. Best of all is the seven stage multi-week training plan.

I’ve just started on it this week. The author warns that this is an intense program, but I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure I believed him. I mean, when I read through it, it looked really reasonable and, even dare I say, in the beginning stages a bit easy. Wrong! As soon as I got through the first day, I saw that this is going to be a challenge. Which is good! That’s what I’m looking for.

My goal is to strength train at least two, but pushing towards three, times a week. I also want to keep running. In a perfect world I’d run three times a week and lift three times, on alternating days, and take one day as a rest day. I’d prefer to do the strength training in the morning, using my morning dog walk as a warm up, and the run in the evening after work, with the evening dog walk to cool down. Which makes it all so pretty and logical, doesn’t it? However, life doesn’t always let us do what we want. Sometimes I am busy in the evenings, sometimes I haven’t had enough sleep to get up early. Life just is messy. I’ve already been running into this with my current workouts, and I really want to be dedicated to this, so I thought I should try running at different times. Also, I know that as much as I would like to alternate days, there are going to be weeks where I have to do both on the same day, that means being able to be flexible.

I’ve tried a couple of runs at night to see how that goes. One night this week I wanted to go running, but I had an extremely crazy, busy, frantic day. I said to myself that if I could wrap everything up by 9:15PM, I’d head out anyway. I was done by 9:08PM, so I threw on my running clothes and was heading down the road by 9:20PM. Then I had a day where I knew I was going to need time in the evening to work on a few projects. So, I got up early and, after walking the dog, went for a run in the morning. (It was so early that when I turned on the bedroom light, my usual Let’s go out! dog sighed and rolled over and went back to sleep!) So far, I like running both in the morning and at night. I did find out I have to eat something in the morning before I go though, rather than after. I could tell I didn’t have enough fuel in me, so I took it easy. In the future I will have to plan that a bit better, but other than that, I can easily see myself doing either, and you know what that means, right? No excuses.

Wait, you are running AND lifting weights?!? Don’t you know that’s CRAZY!

There seems to be a bit of war between these two worlds right now. The best I can tell from the interwebs is that it centers around marathoners versus body builders, and I see why. You don’t want to have a lot of bulky muscle to carry around if you are running marathons, and if you’re running all your body mass off, it doesn’t make sense to lift. However, the way it comes off to those of us that are new to all this is that there are two camps, one saying “Look you idiot – don’t eat protein! Stay super lean!” while the other is saying, “Hey fool – you don’t need to run! Get rid of cardio! Here – have a protein shake!”

Here’s the thing, I want both of what these worlds offer, and I want nothing.

Why can't I have both? Power and stamina?

Look at her, I mean, WOW. So, why can’t I have both? Power and stamina?

You  know what I want? I want to be a badass superhero librarian who can run, leap, climb, lift, row, ski, hula hoop and throw a mean punch – all while wearing heels, if I want. (No, I am not a librarian at present, but we are talking about what I want, not what it is.) I am not aiming to run marathons. In fact, at this point, I’m not running to be in any races, of any length. I might some day – some of them look like a heck of a lot of fun – but that isn’t my goal. At this point, I run roughly 30-40 minutes at a time. That feels about right for me.

Nor is my goal to be a body builder or enter body competitions. I want: strength, endurance, power, stamina, and to feel great in my body. I want all the gains I have already won against my asthma with running, and also I want to see how much I can lift. This is all about me, not about competing against others, in any forum. So yes, I am running and lifting weights – and getting better at both all the time.

 

Heavy Weight photo credit: apfelfred on flickr

“You Have To Stop”

This is my "Did you really just say that to me?!?" face.

This is my “Did you really just say that to me?!?” face.

So, in the middle of the office today my boss said to me, “You have to stop.”

“What?!” I asked, thinking he was talking about how many tech bugs I had been assigning to our developer staff.

“Losing weight. I am serious. It isn’t healthy, the way you… you need to stop.”

Fortunately, at that minute we were both heading into meetings, because that meant I didn’t punch my boss. Which is good. I just bought a new furnace. I need my job.

But, I can’t get it out of my mind. I had an urge to show him my food logs on MyFitness Pal and say things like, “Hey, what did you have for breakfast? Pretty sure it was crackers and jam since that’s what you eat every morning at your desk. Today I had polish sausage, ham, goat cheese, a fruit smoothie, cantaloupe, and a cup of coffee… with cream.” (All true, by the way.) I also had the urge to challenge him to a push up contest. He looks pretty fit, but I guarantee I’d smoke ‘im.

He’s my boss, and he’s roughly 20 some odd years older than me, so I know he has kind of a “dad” thing. I am tempted to remind him that I was once married to someone older than him, but that probably wouldn’t help either. Look, I understand that “you have to stop” thing is actually an older, awkward male way of saying “you look good and I don’t know how to process that, or say anything nice, since that might be considered sexual harassment.” I don’t like it, but I get it.

Obviously the face of poor health.

Obviously the face of poor health.

It’s the “it isn’t healthy” part that just ticks me right off. Look, I know exactly how healthy I am. And thanks to this blog, you my dear reader, have a pretty good idea too. But my boss? He has no clue. I know to the ounce what I weight. I know my bone density, my fat percentage and my muscle mass. I know where I fall in various charts and graphs on body weight. I also know exactly how much I eat, what percentage of it is carbs, proteins and fats, and how fast I can run and much I can dead lift.

I know there are concerns about eating disorders, and if he had taken me aside and said, “Hey, are you doing okay? It seems like you are losing a lot of weight, and I am concerned.” I might have been a bit flustered, but not mad. That would have been nice. Calling me out in the middle of the office is not nice.

I also understand that we are looking at a big change here. Not only have I dropped 30 some pounds, but I have also drastically changed the way I dress. I now (*gasp*) wear clothing that actually fits. For a long time I wore 2X clothes on a 1XL body. Now that I like the way I look, I am more comfortable with wearing clothes that actually conform to my body. I’ve been working in the office 14 years, so it’s a big change.

But still… it is so insulting! Like I don’t know how to take care of myself! So, I decided to do something about it, something that would help me laugh it off and shake it off. I went into the ladies loo and took these photos. I want you to see what the look of poor health is so you can identify it and call your friends, loved ones and coworkers out on it. They’ll thank you for it.  Jeesh….

One more quick note – I used to hate photographs of myself. Frankly, I’m still kind of uncomfortable with it, but I read this article: Hate Your Body? Take More Pics! on Everyday Feminism, and decided that I loved the idea of reclaiming my self-image. And you know what? Taking these silly photos and writing this post helped a lot. Thanks!

(Also if you want to read more ridiculous things people have said to me, click the Compliments tag. Sadly this isn’t the first.)

The Curse of the Craving

Cravings:cupcakes on wheels by albastrica mititica

So, I wrote this post about Cutting Out Cravings. I have to confess, it isn’t going quite as well as I had hoped. Sigh….

It started awesome. For a couple of days, just having the little mantra in my head of “whether you give in to them, or whether you don’t, cravings go away” helped incredibly. I ate well and felt really good.

Then I got mad. Not at cravings or anything to do with food – it was just one of the moments where something ticked me off. And at my office one of my coworkers had put out a whole bowl of mini Snickers bars. We see where this is going, right? I had successfully avoided those little tasty bricks of worthless calories for a couple of days, but when my temper went up, my willpower went down.

A day or two later, Julian and I celebrated our anniversary and went out for a wonderful dinner. I deliberately decided to just enjoy myself and not worry about calorie tracking or any of that – after all, it was a special occasion. But between the day of the baby Snickers binge and evening of elegant dinner… it was like a floodgate opened up. Most of last week I was like: Mantra? What mantra?

And sweets, good night have I been craving sweets! Ack! I’ve been wanting more sugary confectionaries than I ever remember craving – even at my heaviest. I’ve been trying to do a little mental therapy and ask myself what I am thinking about when I am craving this junk and trying to figure out where I am emotionally. My body responds with: we are thinking about chocolate chip cookies and we are feeling like getting some right now!  What do you think, idiot?!?!

Um… yeah. I spent last weekend up at my cabin and was hoping to reset and get back to firm footing. There are pros and cons to this. On the pro side, the cabin is fairly isolated, and once I’m there, I rarely feel like leaving. So, the only food I have with me is either what I keep there or what I bring up. It’s a good place to be very deliberate about food. On the con side, the cabin has always been a place of complete relaxation. It’s where I take all the restraints and bindings of daily life off and just be. This means I have a rather nicely stocked little bar up there and I always have some kind of chocolate snacks about. Evenings looking out over the lake with glass of wine in hand and a bite of dark chocolate in the other… heaven.

The first night up at the cabin didn’t go particularly well. I think I had some pent-up steam to blow off, but the next two days were much better. All the time outdoors and on the lake made a big difference to how I felt. I started feeling stronger, and my reserves of energy and willpower (and just good old-fashioned sleep) were growing.

Then came Monday.

Everything went right out the window… again. I found myself angry, frustrated, punchy, and giving into almost every craving that even slightly whispered my name. Ridiculous. There was no obvious reason for any of it – not the moodiness nor the lack of willpower. I did do one thing though. I decided not to go to the local sweet shop and go crazy over their chocolate covered graham crackers, (don’t get me started, I love those things,) and instead, drove over to a local butcher shop. I picked up some beef jerky, some cheese and a bit of lunch meat. While perhaps not perfect food, it was something that felt like an indulgence and filled me up so fast I couldn’t even pretend I was hungry.

I think there are a few things going on. One is that I am not getting enough sleep. I did better at the cabin (thanks to some fabulous naps on the couch with my sleeping dog. Really, is there anything better?) but I haven’t been sleeping well at home. I know I feel better and have stronger reserves when I am well rested.

I’m also working on sticking to my eating guidelines. I don’t like the idea of “free days” but I do know that typically, I can eat more deliberately during the work week (when I have a set schedule) than I can during the weekends. So, for a couple of days this week, I am going to really stick to the way I like to eat. No outside snacking, no giving in to cravings. My house is stocked with great, delicious, healthy food right now, so I should be able to do this. I’m packing huge lunches with tons of snacks that fit the way I want to eat. I am not trying to deprive myself of food, just the sugar for a couple of days. My hope is it will let me reassess what’s  going on, and help me build up my “Saying No” muscle over my “Giving In” muscle. I’m going to get more sleep, start repeating my mantra again, and see if some of these things make a difference.

I’m not beating myself up over this. I realize that I am only 3 months in on learning how to maintain my weight loss. I pretty much hit my goals in May, so I’ve got a lot of learning to do in how to keep them! I’ve noticed that flours of any kind are pretty much out of my diet now. I finished up what I had, and just haven’t been buying bread, pasta or even rice anymore. I haven’t even noticed it. I have it when I am out or on social occasions, but that is about it. I am hoping I can do the same with sugar – even though it is fighting me a lot more than flour ever did!

 

Photo credit: albastrica mititica on flickr

This. I Want This.

Handstand

This is a screenshot I pulled off Facebook. I kind of/sort of know some of these people. Not well, but in a distant Facebook kind of way. They are busking in a local town and having a handstand competition, but who they are and what they are doing is kind of immaterial for my post. I bring it up because I want to be able to do this.

Not busking… handstands! I’ve never done a handstand. (Well, except under water.) The thing is, I’m not just working out to rack up miles on my running shoes. I want more than stamina, speed and endurance. Running is helping tremendously with those, but that isn’t all I want. I also want power, strength, flexibility, and balance.

Though I have been writing a lot about running, that’s just because it is my focus right now. I am also currently reading New Rules of Lifting for Women, and have been doing some strength training. (I plan to do more – hence the book.) But, its gorgeous outside and I want to be out as much as possible, so it makes sense to focus on running now, rather than say, in December.

Best shape

I posted a little smart-assed pic the other day about being in the best shape of my life by 2014 and said I am already there. It’s true. I am in the best shape of my life. But I want more. These are things I never knew I wanted, but now I do. Losing weight got the ball rolling, but this is about more about who I want to be than what I want to look like.

What I Want (in no particular order.)

  • To do a handstand
  • To kayak the river that runs through my town
  • To try rock climbing
  • To learn to box
  • To swim regularly again, and regain my swimming form
  • To be able to run 5 miles continuously
  • To finish my 100 mile goal this year
  • To get a bike and use it, a lot
  • To go on some long hikes with my dog
  • To be able to do a deep squat
  • To learn a lot more about weight lifting – then use what I know!
  • To try fencing
  • To go cross-country skiing again
  • To learn to scuba dive
  • To learn how to hula hoop

These are my goals, (so far.) It’s all doable, I know that. It will just take time, effort, and, in some cases, a bit of money. I have no deadlines, this is not a “must do by the end of 2014” list or anything like it. It is me, just knowing what I am working towards.