Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hopeful Saturday (178.6)

I wanted to talk about Vickie’s comments about therapy to start. I totally agree with you. There’s definitely another component to this weight loss business that has nothing to do with food and exercise. The “fat head” thing is a big deal, and needs to be dealt with. That’s why I have the CD’s and the workbook and book from Karly at the Sugar Addiction website. And I guess it’s why I keep searching for the “why’s” and not just the how’s, since I know the “how’s” very well.

My big problem with a therapist right now is that we are self employed, and my individual policy with Anthem doesn’t cover mental health issues—I didn’t know this when the policy was issued (long story—it wasn’t excluded in the material I signed up with, but when the policy was approved & issued, it wasn’t included… freaking health insurance company). I found it out when my Wellbutrin was a fortune at Walgreens, the first time I had it filled through the policy. I get it filled at Sam’s now for about $40 a month. I pay my psychiatrist $150 for each visit. I’m not sure what the MSW’s charge—I need to check with my psyche’s office and see if it’s something we can afford. Even if it’s $100 a visit, I couldn’t afford more than one visit a month. Is that even worth it? (I’m asking in all serious—let me know what you think, Vickie. And this isn’t a “isn’t your mental health worth anything?” issue. We are stretched pretty thin right now; I can’t fight the bank balance, at least not at the moment.)

So, onto the hopeful stuff. I exercised 6 days in a row this week!!! I just got back from a 4 mile run—outside—and I feel like I can conquer the world. I ran the entire first mile without walking; my pace was 11:48 for that mile. That is fast for my 178.6 pound body. For every 10 pounds I lose, my pace should improve by a full minute (that’s been my experience in the past anyway).

This week alone, my pace has gone from 15 min/miles (3 miles total) on Monday to average of 12:29 min/miles today (and that was with a big ole hill during mile 2—I mean big, like, channel Jillian Michaels on my shoulder yelling at me to run until I puke or die, kind of hill. It was awesome.). I put 12.39 miles on my feet this week. Woot!

I did two 90 minute hot yoga classes this week—Thursday and Friday nights. Vickie, you’ll appreciate this… last night in standing head to knee, I was able to hold my foot & extend my leg with a flat back. My leg wasn’t straight, but it was up & out there. I can get through the whole 90 minutes now without stopping and usually only want to throw up once or twice now. I’ve found I can’t do the floor poses where we lean our heads all the way back—forget hero pose… I get dizzy and feel like I’m going to pass out. One instructor mentioned there’s a syndrome where people can’t lean their heads back because they get dizzy, and I guess that would be me. I really love these classes. They are very difficult, but at every class I’m doing better and better. They are clearly helping my endurance when I run. And my flexibility is going off the charts.

I found that I’m getting headaches from eating Thin Mints, so no more of that “crack in a box” for me. I guess it’s a blessing, really. I haven’t started the LA WL program yet. Waiting till I can get to the store tomorrow and get my food stocked & my week planned. My food is pretty good. I’m making healthy choices, not eating like mad at night, and having good breakfasts every day.

Right now, I feel like if I can keep up the working out, I’m going to be just fine. Mentally I’m doing better, in large part because of the warm sunshine that’s been blessing us, and the nearing of spring is intoxicating. Mark is happier that I’m happier, so he has a vested interest in making sure I get my time to workout every day. It’s important to have a buy-in from the husband, so he can help with the kids.

I guess Sunday will be a rest day, even though I would love to do the afternoon yoga class. But, my body needs the rest, even if my mind says GO.

Here’s hoping for continued hopeful days.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday Rambling Update (179.0)

So Monday, after an emotional & binge filled Sunday, I hit 180.4.

I was pretty freaking depressed Monday. I’d been doing great.  I either walked/ran or did yoga 7 out of 8 days, then took the weekend off for no good reason other than I just didn’t get around to exercising.  Sunday night I felt the usual looming MONDAY, unusually heavy for some reason.

I think it’s because I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders right now.  A lot of unfinished business, a lot of unfinished projects, a lot of unfolded laundry.  Mark isn’t much help lately—he’s taking the CFP exam on March 18 & 19th (which happens to be our 16th wedding anniversary on the 18th), and he’s studying 5-6 hours a day, on top of working and earning our income.  So I’m just shy of being a single parent the past month or so.

I’m still grieving my dad, and the lack of relationship I had with him the past 10 years.  I see a commercial or TV show or movie about fathers & daughters, & it gets to me.  I ran yesterday outside & was pushing pretty hard, and that always brings out emotions.  I started crying and couldn’t stop, so I had to quit running after only 30 minutes.

Even though I had a crappy food filled weekend, I’m not giving up.  I’m listening to my sugar addiction CDs, I’m working on eating right, I’m working out and training for a half marathon on May 7th.

I ordered LA Weight Loss material from their website last week.  It worked in the past.  It will work again.  I need a program I can stick with and not have to count anything (like points or calories), & that’s been the only thing that’s done it for me… ever.  The materials & accompanying LA Lite bars & Take Off juice should arrive today.  

I still haven’t bought any clothes, aside from one pair of capri pants from Goodwill that don’t really fit me right (they are 14W, too baggy in the crotch area) and a couple of XL tops from Goodwill.  I’m wearing the same two pairs of jeans almost every day, and have one other pair of black pants that fit if we have meetings with clients.  I just can’t bring myself to buy size 14s.  I tried on some jeans at JC Penney last Friday afternoon when they were having a sale, & nothing looked good. Instead, I did get several pairs of workout capri bottoms & some nice tops for yoga and summer running. At least I have stuff to workout in.

Today I finally lost a pound and am out of the 180s.  I have been watching The Biggest Loser season 6 on, and I can’t decide if it’s inspiring or discouraging. To see women who weigh less than I do & they still look really big… puts what I must look like into perspective.  I know it’s stupid to compare myself to others, but it’s a long ingrained habit that I doubt will ever go away.

Anyway, I’m doing better today.  The weather is warmer & the sun is shining, and it’s staying light well after 5 pm.  I can feel the hopefulness of Spring. It was this time of year in 2007 that I first joined LA Weight Loss.  I was almost to goal in only 7 months.  This time I’m starting the process weighing 27 pounds less than I did in 2007.   That’s something, at least. 

My clothes are packed to run again today. 

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Five Days (176.2)

That’s the number of days I’ve worked out in a row since Friday.

Friday was Yoga (hot, 90 minutes) in the morning, before work.  Almost threw up a couple of times.  Great workout. 

Saturday was 30 minutes at home on the treadmill.  I phoned it in—wasn’t really feeling like it, but I did it anyway just so I’d have done something. I was glad that I did something, but because I didn’t work hard enough, I didn’t get the mental benefit from the workout.  That was an interesting discovery, actually.  Not putting forth a real effort isn’t the end of the world, but it’s not going to pay off in good brain endorphins either.

Sunday was Yoga (hot, 90 minutes), in the afternoon.  I will probably never eat at Olive Garden again (not like I eat there a lot anyway), because we had lunch there after church, and I had yoga only 2 hours later.  Trust me, 2 hours is not enough time for soup, salad, and breadsticks to digest.  Not when you plan to scrunch your body into any positions other than flat on the couch.  So, I researched and learned you need to eat FOUR hours before a hot yoga class.  Okay… duly noted. I’ll try not to make that mistake again.

Monday, treadmill 45 minutes (3.2 miles), walking with running intervals thrown in.  I worked hard.  Then 5 minutes of abs, including plank.  I stretched my legs really well afterwards, too. 

Tonight I only had time for 30 minutes on the TM at the gym (2.15 miles).  Walking with running intervals, and 5 minutes of abs (timed my plank this time--- a full minute on my toes; rest, then 30 seconds more on my toes.)

The consistent days of exercise are peeling away the layers of sloth and fear.  Fear that I don’t have it in me to work hard anymore. Fear that I can’t lose weight again. Fear that I can’t change.

Every day I move my body & reconnect with myself—and get out of my head—is a victory.  It’s one more brick ripped out of the wall I’ve built around myself this past year and a half.

I love the combination of Yoga and Running.  Yoga finds muscles I didn’t know existed.  And even after only 5 classes, I’m improving.  I’m actually astounded at how strong I’ve gotten already.  And since it’s hot yoga, I’m sweating more than I ever have in my life.  It’s nuts, but I love it.  Running is like coming home, except I’ve got an extra 25 pounds I’m carrying around right now, so I’m not quite all the way home.  I’m making my way there, though. 

My food is much, much better.  Not perfect, but it does fall in line when I’m exercising like this.  Especially because I’ve been focused on eating a good breakfast every day.  That really makes a big difference in how the rest of my eating goes for the day. 

Hopefully my next update will be just as positive and I’ll have some actual weight loss stats to post, too.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Lame Brain

The Sick got a hold of me & wouldn’t let go.  Then one kid got sick.  Then the other.  Then I pretty much lost my mind.

Literally.  The serotonin is completely absent from my brain. At least that’s how it feels.  Lame. Brain.

I’ve felt like this before. I know what causes it, pretty much.  SAD is part of the problem, which I can only do so much about.  My grief from losing Dad and all that drama is still hanging in my head.  On top of that, the leftover estate stuff is weighing me down.  I go through long periods where I don’t take time for myself, like to exercise or cook healthy meals.  I have stress at work, bickering children, a stinky dog, laundry piled to the ceiling…. there’s just a lot to deplete the happy brain chemicals, ya know?

I know how to fix it, mostly.  I fix it the lazy way with food.  We all know the consequences of that. I do feel better for a while. Ice cream and cookies take the edge off, just like any other drug addict’s weapon of choice. But there’s always the come down, which is guilt laden and serotonin sucking. 

And so the cycle goes, on an endless loop until I finally get so sick of it that I’m forced to pull myself out of the muck. Or, sometimes, someone else pulls me out. 

Tonight my husband told me, bless him, that he can’t handle me like this anymore.  He’s been nothing but supportive to me—he didn’t say it in a hurtful way. Here’s how it went down:  I was sitting in the recliner, watching the kids be silly together, and I was enjoying their banter but I felt empty inside.  My husband knows how I work better than anyone else, and I’m a pretty open book.  And he asked me what was wrong…. the usual, I said.  I can’t workout. I want to eat so I can get numb.  I can’t stand myself anymore.  I hate myself like this.

And he said, it’s not your fault.  You should feel no guilt.  No guilt, Laura.  What happened to you this past year is not your fault.  But I should have been stronger, I said.  But I should have been able to handle it better.  No buts or shoulds, Laura. And no guilt.  Just do whatever you need to do to feel better, whatever you need, just do it, he said.

So, first thing, we are working out a schedule where I can get to work three days a week at 8:30 (which I’ve been horrible about for months—getting to work after 10 or 11, very bad for my mental state—and my work that needs to be done) and go to yoga the other two days a week and get to the office around 11:30.  It will be a start at least.  A built in time just for ME. 

I’m still listening to the CD’s by Karly, but I’ve not done the work in the workbook.  The acceptance CD, the second time I listened to it, was a big AHA moment.  I don’t do acceptance.  I deny.  Denial is my happy place, the “Think Happy Stuff” shop says on a t-shirt.  And that is so true of me.  I’ve been in denial my whole life.  About lots & lots.  And I can’t accept the bad stuff, or the good stuff.  I guess there’s magical thinking in there, and a lot of other psychological issues I ought to pay $150 an hour to get figured out.  But anyway, I realized that simply working on acceptance might be a HUGE deal for me, if I can figure out HOW to do it.  I’ve got the workbook by me.  It’s next, after the blog. 

At least it’s February 3rd and the sun is almost still bright at 5 p.m.  Closer and closer every day to spring.  Something to look forward to.