Sunday, September 25, 2011


Ok, I have no idea what day I'm on and if I'm totally honest, I've monitored my diet for fewer days over the past few weeks than I've not. But, tomorrow morning, I'm seeing my doctor. Even though I'm feeling better now, I'm telling him about these last three weeks and how I've felt as well as about some nagging issues that have bothered me for a while. I'm sure that many of the problems I've had lately are related to my hormone levels and menopause. I was a bit upset when I heard Roseanne Barr talking on the Sunday Morning program today about how she was finally past her menopausal symptoms and the interviewer asked her how long it had lasted and her answer...ten years! I had no idea but according to her, that's the norm. Egads!
I have made a lot of progress over the past few days and I'm once again enthusiastic about not only the future but each new day. I've set up my lap top in the kitchen where I can more easily use the nutrition and exercise software, Diet King, that is installed on it. I'm not procrastinating but rather I've been preparing. I'll be ready to start monitoring my diet and exercise through the software as well as using this blog as a kind of diary of each day and my progress...which I'm sure I will have. It's nice to feel confident again.
I had something happen yesterday which didn't really hurt my feelings but it did open my eyes a bit. We were at a charity chile supper and auction to benefit an ill friend. One of my friends who was there with me and who is prone to interruptions and finishing your thoughts (usually incorrectly) and words before you do, commented on a very young woman who was quite over weight. Both of my female friends, who were sitting on either side of me, are extremely thin and always have been although one of them constantly thinks she is over weight. And also despite the fact that they both seem to eat sweets and junk food constantly and neither ever gains an ounce while I try to eat low fat, high fiber, healthy food and can gain weight if I just smell something fattening...and good! So, the two of them are discussing this young woman. I started realizing just how they see me. Even though I feel guilty over it now because it was almost like a betrayal of this young woman that I didn't know but felt a kinship to because of our shared obesity, I start defending myself. I say that I have no room to talk now and when they both just kind of look at me I say but I haven't always been overweight, I use to be quite slim. The one friend says, "Really?" and it was almost like she didn't believe me. So what do I do but get more defensive. I say that I didn't start putting on weight until like ten years prior and I knew exactly why. And then before I could tell her why, she pipes up, "Because you've had three or four children. That's why you're SO fat!" Well, I had to tell her that no, I never had any children and then I finally did explain about how I use to work out, walk, and ride my bike daily and now, I mainly sit either in front of my art work or in front of this computer. But the entire time I was explaining that, I was thinking, "Despite what the scale says and what the label in my clothes says, I've never really seen myself as really over weight; most of the time, I still see myself in my mind's eye as trim and athletic. I suddenly saw myself as they see "so fat." That is eye opening and it didn't help when the friend to my right's husband started talking about his last trip to the doctor and how much weight he's gained. He was just so upset because he now weighs more than he's ever weighed in his life, twenty-five more pounds than his heaviest....and still, 12 pounds less than me.
This doesn't make me happy. No, my feelings weren't hurt by one friend's bluntness or the other's revelation but it does make me sad. Suddenly, I see myself as others see me and I'm shocked. Maybe though, this will be the motivation that I need to finally take that first step that I have been putting off for weeks. I had a false start two months ago but I plan to do it right this time. I will monitor and keep my diary/blog and schedule exercise and meals no matter how hectic my days are. I'm starting it right tomorrow not out of procrastination but because I'm going to see my doctor first thing in the morning and I'm sure that he will ease my mind about how much exercise I can safely do and just where I need to set my fitness and weight loss goals. This past week has taken its toll on me emotionally, I have several friends who are very ill and not improving, one where I just discovered the severity of their illness and one who passed away. And what Steve and I both keep telling ourselves is it isn't the number of our days (although we would like them to be many) but the quality. It's time that both of us take the first steps toward increasing the quality of our lives through fitness and health....and if, by this time next year, I can fit into some cuter and more stylish clothes, so much the better:)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day ?

I've been neglecting this blog, my diet, my exercise, my self for several weeks now....maybe even a month. I guess I haven't wanted to look at it too closely or I would realize how far I'd fallen off track. The honest truth is, although I started this blog and I bought into an online diet/exercise program, I don't think I truly ever committed myself fully to losing weight. I kept saying that I was digging for the underlying causes of my weight gain and I did discover several surprising "secrets" about myself that I'd literally been covering up with fat. But I don't think I ever truly committed to losing weight.

This short movie is deceptively titled, 3 Fast Ways to Lose Weight. Deceptive because there is no fast track to weight loss. It takes commitment to hard work, monitoring what you're eating, moving more, and truly changing your lifestyle so that the weight once lost, stays off. And basically, that is what this video tells you. The keys to losing weight, keeping it off and getting healthier: 1) Nutrition 2) Exercise 3) Lifestyle. 

So, I might just call this Day ONE. I could say, "I think I'll start my new life tomorrow because today is already half over. And after all, it is off to a horrible start. I woke up sluggish and with a horrible headache that kept me immobile for several hours. I really haven't accomplished anything today. So, I'm thinking that besides putting off the diet and exercise that I also just do the minimal amount of chores since the day is already gone. There's just no sense in starting anything major today but I will do good tomorrow. I will accomplish a lot tomorrow and I'll start eating right and walking...." Well, you get the point and I'm being totally honest here, that is the dialog that plays through my head most days. It seems that the days I don't wake up with a headache, sluggish and exhausted are rare. Lately, the days that I do accomplish something feel stressful because I'm so far behind that little victories are never enough and I still end up feeling like a failure. 

I really did appreciate the support and encouragement from that on-line group. They are a great bunch of people and most of them are very dedicated to changing their lives. I don't think I was quite as dedicated and I was using their encouragement to make me feel better when a good swift kick to the seat of my pants might have worked better. 

So, here is the plan: I am going to dust off the software on my laptop (which is currently hooked up to a TV in the kitchen serving up movies and programs to me while I pretend to work in there) that is a great diet monitoring program. I'm going to write down every single bite that goes into my mouth. I think what has made me feel so sick for this past month is how I was eating on my "diet." Yes, it was low fat and low calorie and yes, I was losing weight BUT I got hooked on eating the same thing over and over, blueberries and cottage cheese. It wasn't an unhealthy choice but at the same time it was because of all of the sugars, although complex, and what they were doing to me. My pee actually started to smell sweet and I was afraid I'd developed diabetes! I see my doctor next Monday and I've got a long list of complaints for him. I think many of them are menopause related but others I think are caused by my diet and still others that I need to ask him about. So, I think I'll write everything down so I'll know which are most important and need to be addressed now. Ok, on to number 3 on the list, I keep making excuses for not exercising. I told everyone that I would start walking as soon as Steve bush hogged a path for me around the pastures. Well, he did that three days ago. Do you think I've taken the first step on the trail or even put on my new walking shoes?....No.  Lastly, life style change. I've been putting off living until I lose the weight. I've been putting off living until I finally get my house remodeled and pulled back into livable shape. I've been putting of living until I look like I did twenty years ago. Ok, that last one just ain't gonna happen! However, the point is, none of them are going to happen at least not until I do start living again. I can draw up all of the plans in the universe and say to myself, "Ok. This is like boot camp. Starting tomorrow, every minute of every day is going to be accounted for and you're going to work your butt off and make progress and I've got this mapped out for the next three months! No, go!" I end up staring at the list and revising the list and being disappointed in myself for not accomplishing anything on the list and feeling sad because I can't be happy until the list is done and I realize now, I'm just one more day behind on my goals. While I admit that goals are accomplished through planning and hard work, this all or nothing plan is evidently not working for me so I think it's time I drop it. I think a plan is needed and maybe even a list but it has to be more flexible. No more writing and scratching out and simply destroying my calendar because I can't meet these self imposed dead lines. I don't think Super Woman could do what I expect of myself. So, I'm drawing up a new plan, a new list, which gives me more time and has "fun" things added in that I force myself to do. Isn't that a funny concept? I'm forcing myself to have fun and relax occasionally. I don't mean just goof off. I'm a pro at that. I can veg in front of the TV with the best of them. No, I'm thinking up things that I would love to do or either currently enjoy doing or use to enjoy doing and I'm going to force myself to do at least one fun thing a day. 
Now, that sounds like a plan to me and I feel better already!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 34

Well, after several weeks of introspection and quite a bit of self pity, I'm ready to get myself and my diet back in hand. I discussed the influence of menopause on diet several posts ago. I heard a doctor say that the only reason a woman gained weight once she experiences the "change" is that she is less active and eats more. I do agree with that to some degree. When I was younger, dieting was easier and exercise was a breeze. I've discovered over the last ten years or so that I tend to throw myself into exercise and expect myself to be able to do as much and as well as I did ten or more years prior. When I disappoint myself, I quit. Maybe it is the age I am but I've dealt with a lot of emotional baggage this time around and it really threw me off track for several weeks. Also my entire life is in upheaval at the moment because of changes happening with my work, home and just life in general. It probably hasn't been the best time to start a diet and exercise program as well but then again, I desperately need the extra energy and balance that they provide. The one factor that "male" doctors don't take into consideration about menopause is the fluctuation and sometimes almost absence of hormones. I don't know what's caused it but I can tell that mine are on the war path of imbalance at the moment. I feel as if I have extreme PMS. I am tired all of the time, I ache all over, I'm depressed and sad, and trying to control my emotions is like trying to catch a lone pea in a pot of boiling water. My time of month use to be the true test of any diet. If I could make it through, I was good but the odds were against me. I'm feeling a bit like that again but the fact that I'm still keeping up with this diary of my journey gives me hope that I'll finally triumph. So, no, I don't think doctors know what they are talking about when it comes to diet and menopause. Perhaps the fact that we slow down has a lot to do with it but they never ask, why do we slow down? It's like I've been saying during this roller coaster ride of a diet I'm attempting, in order to change, you have to get to the root of the problem that brought you here in the first place and to get to the root takes a lot of digging and getting dirty in the process but like digging for hidden treasure, it will be worth it in the end.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 33

What do you do when you reach your rope's end? You have a good, feel sorry for yourself cry and then you tie a knot in the end of that rope and start climbing again. I think sometimes that over eating is like any other form of addiction, you have to hit rock bottom before you can start to change. I'm not saying that I have had any great catastrophe in my life, nothing that exciting. No, it was the self examination of the last month which sent me into an emotional tailspin that threatened to topple this precarious house of cards that I call a life. I could go into every self pitying detail but my story isn't as bad as some and I know that this emotional dungeon I find myself in is of my own making. Anyway, I've gone over and over the details both in these posts and in my mind ad nauseam for at least three weeks now. My cry is over and it's time to move on. I could just keep describing the problems that have been the spark that started this train wreck but it is much better to get off my duff and do something about it. People don't want to hear problems; they have enough of their own. People want to hear solutions and that's what I'm hoping to show over the next few months. I can't control what other people are doing but I can control the amount of influence their actions have over my own. I can take back control over my life.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 32

I'd love to see that I'm full tilt back with the program but I'm not. I do think I'm getting a handle on my sleep or the lack of sleep that's been controlling my life for the last few weeks. I took a couple of benadryls before bed time last night and if it hadn't been for the huge bowl of watermelon that I consumed right before that, I think I would have had a great night's sleep. I was up and down going to the bathroom at least six times before 1:00 AM and then the benadryl kicked in making me feel more hyper and groggy than sleepy. I did finally fall asleep so much so that I don't think I ever really woke up after I heard Steve stirring getting ready for work. I packed his lunch and made him a turkey sandwich for his sleepy as I was, he's lucky that he got that and I do admit to a few puzzled pauses as I assembled it. Then I tried to go back to sleep. I watched most of the latest Misfits episode on Hulu and then switched over the Netflix to watch Mad Men. I remember little of Mad Men past the first five minutes. I woke at 9:00 because the phone rang. It was obviously some salesman because they blocked their number. I worked on my email for about twenty minutes, fixed myself breakfast which I ate in front of the TV re-watching the Mad Man episode that I'd slept through earlier, and then decided to watch another for the next 45 minutes. That brings me to here three hours later (I never know how that happens), and I still haven't fed and watered my poor horses. I know they must wonder what's been happening to me for the last two weeks. I am gradually getting better though and getting with the program more even though I'm not leaping in head first this time but gradually dipping my toes in to test the waters. I have been watching what I'm eating more but I have had a few "controlled" slips. I haven't binged for several days and I've been taking short walks every night after the horses are settled in. Steve's been home and has been walking with me. That is a nice change and reminds me of the "good ol' days" when walking or riding our bikes was a nightly ritual. I'd really thought it would be that way with the horses but we've had the pair of geldings that were to be our riding horses for two years now and we've only ridden once. I'm determined to do several things over the next two to three weeks. First, I'm going to start spending at least an extra hour with the horses, grooming them at first and then gradually working into riding again even if I have to do it solo. Second, I'm going to buckle down and hit this house hard. I really want to be downstairs in my studio/workshop carving, painting and making jewelry by the end of next week. Third, I'm going to get in charge of my finances again and get our books both business and personal up to date. Fourth, I'm going to diligently work at learning my Dreamweaver software so that, after I've got at least two weeks' worth of carving finished and ready to pack and ship, I can have the new gallery pages up and ready to go. Fifth, I need to start pushing the magazine again as soon as the website is ready and the ad prices set and I need to start doing that by sending out a press release to as many outlets as I can muster up. Sixth and possibly the most important, I need to start using my diet software again and keeping track of every bite that goes into my mouth, I need to start following the exercise program from the RTN site, and I need to start walking daily and using the weights and other exercise equipment ritually as soon as the room is done and the equipment set up. As for what I need to stop: One) emotional eating Two) procrastination Three) spending as much time as I do sitting in front of this machine especially wasted time playing games on Facebook (we will get into the psychological aspects of that problem later.) I think I am headed in the right direction but I am off to a slow, tentative start. Still, forward movement is always progress and in this case, change is, too.