Oct 152014
 

The words Weigh In on a scale representing the need to check you
I knew I wasn’t going to like the number on the scale before I even got home from Maui. I was expecting it. I’d been sick for a week before the wedding (no gym, poor appetite), then the wedding frenzy with lots of restaurant eating and just plain eating things I don’t normally eat (i.e. cake). We went to Maui and I didn’t count my calories at all. I just kind of went with the flow, ate whatever I felt like, didn’t think about it and ignored the consequences.

Honestly I had needed a break. I’d been stressing about some weight gain this year, the wedding stress, the chaos that followed, I just needed a break. So for about 2 weeks I stopped tracking my food.

In Maui we stayed in a condo and we cooked breakfast every day (scrambled eggs and fresh watermelon or pineapple, tea and coffee). Then we’d go to the beach for a few hours. I’d say out of the 9 days we packed lunches like 7 of the days. It wasn’t the healthiest of foods–sandwiches on sandwich thins with some fresh fruit and chips–but it was better than eating out every day. As for dinner, we cooked at the condo I think 4 or 5 of the nights we were there. I’m glad we did because I definitely needed a break from the restaurant eating and expense.

I worked out in Hawaii but not consistently. I was swimming and snorkeling in the ocean every single day of our trip (and we went for a run twice) but I don’t know how much of a workout that actually was. When we got back home I weighed myself and I was up 5 pounds. Yep, I’d gained 5 pounds this month!

weight

I was definitely disappointed seeing such a jump. Especially considering I have not been OVER my goal weight (150 pounds) in like 4 years. Even with my fluctuations I’d always been able to stay under 150. It was a bummer for sure.

My diet on vacation wasn’t great. Didn’t eat the normal amount of fruits and vegetables I usually eat. Definitely ate things I don’t normally eat. And I drank fruity umbrella drinks like this:

maitai
In Maui I discovered Mai Tais! I’d never had one before and absolutely loved it. The passionfruit juice was to die for. These fruity drinks are packed with calories and something I rarely ever indulge in. Once I started to lose weight I switched to lower calorie options for drinks (1 or 2 glasses of wine, 1 beer, or a vodka tonic), things that were in the 100-200 calorie range. These mixed cocktails though can be up in the 400 calorie range depending on what you get!

So yeah, I drank a lot of those. I made Bloody Mary’s at the condo to enjoy on the beach. While I wasn’t drinking a ton (and never really got drunk) I did have at least one beverage a day. Those calories definitely added up fast I’m sure!

I’m not beating myself up too badly because I mean come on, it was my wedding! And honeymoon! It was a once in a lifetime trip and I enjoyed every second of it and I do NOT regret any of the experiences we had. But that doesn’t mean I’m okay with the gain. I knew I was starting on a slippery slope and that it would be easy to fall into bad old habits if I didn’t correct it ASAP.

We got home from Hawaii late on a Wednesday night and I weighed myself first thing Thursday morning. <whomp whomp> Then I got dressed and went for a run. It was a short run and nothing special but I wanted to get out there and start getting consistent with my fitness again.

runoct2runoct21

I took Bella with me so she got a little exercise too and was able to explore a new route. It felt so good to just MOVE. Especially after being cramped on a plane for so long the day before. In addition to the run I got back on track logging my calories on my MyFitnessPal app. Every bite, sip, nibble, I logged it. I felt relieved to be doing it again!

I had a healthy lunch–sandwich on a sandwich thin and cucumber slices on the side. For dinner we had baked chicken breast with sauteed Brussels sprouts and onions. I made a salad with romaine and spinach, yellow peppers and some tomatoes from the garden (there are still tomatoes!!).

chicken
dinnersalad
It felt good to eat healthy again. And vegetables! I missed you!

Michael was out of town all weekend for a friend’s wedding. I stuck home because I had to go to work and I also wanted to stay home with the animals. It was also a good time to de-compress after the wedding and honeymoon and try and unpack some of the stuff we accumulated!

On Friday I went to the pool after work and got an okay swim in and then I suddenly started to feel sick. Not sure what was going on there but I cut my swim about 10 minutes short and went home. I waited a few hours to eat dinner because I just felt sick. When I decided to try and eat I stuck with some veggies and a cooked up one chicken spring roll from Trader Joe’s. Dinner was less than 400 calories total.

dinner1

The next morning I was feeling better so I went to the gym to try and get back into my weight training. I hadn’t lifted weights in over 3 weeks! I was slightly scared at how sore I would be afterward (and I was but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, so that was good.)

satgym

It felt nice to be back into the routine, even though I was feeling slightly bored with it. I need to re-evaluate soon and see what I can mix up to get my mojo back. But at the very least, I am back going through the motions and that will help.

Sunday I went to the gym and used the spin bike for a bit then hit the yoga class. I hadn’t been to yoga in about a month. I can’t believe how much I had missed it. It felt so good to be back at class and get some stretching in. (And I was reminded of my regret that I never got around to doing some yoga in Maui…)

Sunday night I made a crockpot dinner for when Michael got home. It was a super easy dinner and really low in calories. I had a seaoning packet for the chicken and mixed that up, put the chicken breasts, carrots, onions, red potatoes and green beans in the crockpot and let it cook for about 4.5 hours.

dinner2

Dinner was delicious. I made a green salad with tomatoes from the garden to go with it. It felt good to be back eating “normal” foods and I just felt healthier and better all around.

I am continuing all of this and will weigh in again soon! Stay tuned for progress…

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Oct 072014
 

body
For so long my body defined who I was. At first it was as “the invisible woman“. Then I was the Girl Losing Weight. Then for a long time I was The Girl That Lost 110 Pounds! I got so much press and attention. I was defined by losing a lot of weight and keeping it off. Sure it was positive attention and the kudos were encouraging. But as the years went on and I continued to keep the weight off, the attention faded and I was Just Me.

For awhile I wasn’t sure what that meant. I didn’t know really where I was going with this blog, my book, my story–I had an agent but because I wasn’t famous publishers weren’t interested in my story, no matter how much leg work my agent did. It was definitely disappointing and I put my book away and walked away from the whole thing for some time. It hurt to think about it and relive the rejection whenever I thought about trying to get it published again.

What do I want to be my “thing”? What defines me? I really don’t know. I do know that it has to be something other than my body. As the years go on, my body will change. I’ll get older, will find wrinkles on my face and sunspots on my hands. I look at my 94 year old grandmother and think about her amazing life and realize–how much she weighed or what she looked like doesn’t define who she is. She’s an old woman–at one point she was a gorgeous, tall, dark-haired beauty. But that all fades. What remains is family, the friendships, the experiences.

gravity

I was reading a fictional book recently where the main character was a second grade teacher. A quote struck me so profoundly I wanted to share it:

“…sometimes the first graders even, and by the time they get to my classroom, to the third grade, they’re well and gone–they’re full of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry and French manicures and cute outfits and they care about how their hair looks! In the third grade. They care more about their hair or their shoes than about galaxies or caterpillars or hieroglyphics. How did all that revolutionary talk of the seventies land us in a place where being female means playing dumb and looking good?…We’re lost in a world of appearances now. [pg 4 from The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud]“

We are definitely lost in a world of appearances. Just look at the cover of all magazines. Plastered with plastic celebrities with distorted bodies–too skinny bodies with too big heads, plastic surgery faces, unrealistic body shapes. Reality has been morphed and the “norm” is no longer what is natural. So how DO you define yourself in a day and age when we’re held up to unrealistic standards? I don’t want to be defined by my body–I don’t want to be defined by what size my pants are or that number on the scale. For too long it’s been that way. For too long I’ve had my entire happiness wrapped up in what the scale tells. That isn’t healthy!

war
Something else that has been bothering me lately…it’s bothered me for awhile because in general fads annoy me. But I find this particular fad difficult because it makes me feel badly about myself. I’m talking about Crossfit. It seems like EVERYONE does OMGCROSSFIT. And with a lot of fads, when someone gets into it, it’s all they talk about. My judgment is not about the friends that are doing crossfit and posting about it on social media ad nauseum…what bothers me is that the people that are really into it and do it every day of the week transform their bodies in amazing ways. The pictures I see are people with six pack abs, rock hard muscles, little to no body fat. Why does this upset me? Because it feels like it’s creating this standard and if you DON’T do crossfit and DON’T get OMGRIPPED, you’re somehow failing at fitness.

I know, I know, this is all pressure I am putting on myself. No one is putting this pressure onto me, it’s just the feelings that are evoked in me whenever I see these people with kick-ass bodies. It’s feelings of inadequacy, feelings of jealousy, and feelings of comparison when I shouldn’t be comparing! Why do I let these feelings bother me? Instead of admiring a fellow athlete’s dedication and strength, I compare my own body and wistfully think That will never be me...?

The truth is, no one can keep up with crossfit, or any intense fitness, for their entire lives. Hardcore fitness isn’t sustainable. Our bodies break down, we get injured, we age, we find other things to be higher priorities. So while doing something amazing and transformative NOW is a great accomplishment, will your body be the same in 20 years? 30? Probably not.

I let these feelings bother me because I’m currently allowing my self-worth be defined by my body. I don’t really know how to shut that off. Maybe none of us really know how to do that. I want to make peace with the loose skin, the stretchmarks, the muscular thighs and curvy figure. I do not want to define my self-worth by my body. Can we all get there? Someday?

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