Thursday, February 15, 2018

We Need To Break Up

I just finished my second week of my 28 Day Challenge. I didn't lose any weight this week, and even fell off the wagon once. Considering I lost a lot of weight my first week, I'm not too concerned by the lack of weight loss. Falling off the wagon concerns me more.

One of the things I'm trying to accomplish in my 28 Day Challenge is to adjust my relationship to and with food.

And it is complicated.

We use food to celebrate. We use food to remind us of childhood memories. We use food to comfort us in times of disappointment, anger, and loneliness.

I'm an emotional eater. I tend to eat more when my world is shaken or rocked. The more upset I am, the more likely I am to overeat, and when I'm in that state, I NEVER choose salad or fruit. It's more likely to be pizza, mac 'n cheese, pie, or ice cream. What adds insult to injury is that I'm never happy with just a slice or a cup or a scoop. Having a really bad day means decimating a half bag of Oreos.

Odelia Grey, the main protagonist in my Odelia Grey mystery series, is an emotional eater. She will stuff down a carton of Ben and Jerry's or a box of Thin Mints or cheesecake while stuffing down her true feelings or emotions. But that's a character in a book and it's funny. It's not so cute and funny in real life.

"Put down the cheesecake and no one gets hurt."
Zee to Odelia in Too Big to Miss.

So one of my goals during this month is to break up with food. It can't be a complete break up, of course. I need to eat to live. I just don't need to live to eat.

I did have one night the first week when I received some bad news and was very close to doing the backstroke in a half gallon of ice cream.

But I didn't.

I stood strong again the emotions and long bad habits whispering in my ear to just go for it.

Who will know.
Who will care?

But, you see, I will know. And I will care.

Last night my fall from grace was face-first into a bacon burger and fries, and I know it was because I was so upset over the shooting in Florida. Not that eating that crap would have made things any better for anyone, but I knew I didn't want to go home and cook, and I knew I needed to calm my stress. Seeing that in the past I'd always done that with food, I made the easy choice. But on the bright side, I only ate half of the burger and fries, and I did not have a soda. Baby steps.

My exercise this week was spotty but improved on last week.

I vowed that in 2018 I would fall in love with my life, and this is part of that journey. I like my life, but I need to care for it and truly, deeply, love it. Eating healthy and getting exercise is part of that. And it's never to late to start.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

One Week Like A Boss!

On February 1st I began a personal 28 day challenge.  The challenge was to eat healthy and increase my exercise for the entire month. Yesterday marked the end of my first week - 7 days - and I'm proud to say I did it. YAY! But it wasn't without some close calls.

For the food challenge, for 28 days I vowed to not eat fried foods, fast food, sugar, or dairy. This last one I shouldn't eat anyway because of an allergy to it, but I can't seem to keep my hands off dairy in spite of the horrible rashes, sometimes painful, it gives me, but I'm too much of a dolt to listen to my body.

But I digress..

Anyway, my first near stumble came on the very first day when on my way home, tired and grumpy, I started to point my car in the direction of a fast food drive-thru. But in the end turned the car for home and a healthy dinner. Win!

Later in the week, I received some really disappointing news that put me in a bad funk. I had to go to the grocery store on my way home and once there battled the urge to fill my cart with mac 'n cheese and ice cream - my two favorite comfort foods, along with pizza (notice the dairy theme here, and YES, I am aware of all of the yummy non-dairy substitutes, so no need to be a nag and remind me).  Like with the first day, my strong, determined side, slapped my weak side upside the head. I left the grocery store with only what was on my list, along with a basket of strawberries. Win!

Another challenge for the week was adjusting portion control, even with healthy foods. I fought the urge for second helpings and kept to normal portions. Win!

For the exercise, I didn't jump right into anything strenuous, but I did do senior yoga several mornings and I brought my Fitbit out of retirement and fired it up. I try every day to add a few more steps to those of the day before and have mostly managed that.

Sleep, it's what's good for you. Another health challenge for me is getting enough sleep. I tend to burn the candle at both ends. I get up early and often go to bed late. This week I was asleep no later that 10:30 pm each night, sometimes earlier.  I would get up usually at 5:30, but if I was still tired (and not just being lazy), allowed myself to sleep in a bit.

And the proof is in the pudding! After 7 days of healthy eating and moderate exercise, I am down 5.6 lbs and feel better overall. And I'm much more productive, both at work and in my writing. Do I still want all that yummy fattening food? Yes! But I'm taking one challenge day at a time.

So, what's up for the 2nd week? Incorporating more exercise.

See you in a week!

Thursday, February 01, 2018

28 Days - Go!

One of the attorneys at my law firm who, in spite of having four children and juggling a busy career, is carving out time to challenge herself physically.  For the last several months she has been doing personal challenges such as 30 days clean eating, 30 days of intense exercise/yoga, etc. She's always been one of my favorites and most inspirational bosses and yesterday she left the firm, along with another favorite attorney, to pursue a new opportunity.  I am deeply saddened, but happy for both of them.

Any way, I was lamenting to Hope about how I used to be much more focused on my physical well being. When I challenged myself to do the Camp Pendleton Mud Run in 2009 I set my sights on training for this grueling undertaking, knowing that my doughy out of shape body would be chewed up and spit out. I knew I could not run the course with my gimpy knees, but I did walk the entire course and finished. In preparation, I walked 2-3 miles a day, and on weekends 5-6 miles on a day. I trained for hills and distance. I lost weight and I got stronger.

Okay, I know that was 9 years ago, and I was younger and about 45 lbs lighter than I am today, but more than the weight, I am mourning my lack of focus on my physical care. Last year my doctor diagnosed me with high blood pressure and pre-diabetes.  The blood pressure is now under control and I've lost weight since then, but I'm still depressed/angry that I can't focus on this or take it as seriously as I should. Frankly, I'm pissed off at myself.

Right now I'm focused on packing up my apartment and getting my RV for my retirement next year. I'm also focused on building an independent writing career. But there should still be time to take care of my physical well being. It's especially important as I head into retirement that I be stronger and self-sufficient physically, considering my plan is to hit the road and travel full-time. I need to be the best I can be for that endeavor.

In the movie 28 Days, Sandra Bullock goes to court appointed rehab for drugs and alcohol. Fortunately, I don't have a problem with either substance, and when motivated I eat extremely well. But I still need rehab of sorts.

Beginning today, February 1st I'm putting myself in "rehab."  For the next 28 days I'm going to eat healthy (i.e., no fast food or sweets or fried foods), and I'm going to exercise at least 6 days a week.  There is absolutely no reason why I cannot do this. No reason on earth, considering the other goals I've set and met in my life.

I know you've all heard me say this before, and I'll keep saying it and setting these challenges until I get it right or die trying.

Women like Hope and super athletes like Jessie Graff can be my inspiration, but only I can be my own superhero. And it's never too late in life to be a superhero.