Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Busy, busy, busy (169.2)

I'm swamped, but checking in because I'm back under 170.

I also wanted to report my recent workouts:
Saturday, 5 miles in 65 minutes (13:00 min/mile)
Monday, 3 miles in 37 minutes (12:20 min/mile)
Tuesday, Group Power free weights

I am quite sore today.  I will be more sore tomorrow.

I am walking with my friend Debra tonight, for at least an hour, maybe more if she can hang with me.  (the kids go to a two-hour church kids' night for every other Wednesday) 

Next week after our annual audit is over, I will have room to breathe. 

In the mean time, I am keeping up my healthy habits (eating well, morning light therapy, taking all my supplements, getting to bed early, doing chores a little at a time so I don't get behind, weighing myself every morning) so that I can survive the chaos with grace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Turning Weaknesses into Strengths (170.2)

I often curse my weaknesses, wishing I was something better or different than what I am. 

As I grow older and more mature, and just plain more experienced and appreciative of who I am, it is being revealed to me that the very weaknesses I see are leading to strengths.

Here are a few.

*Weakness: I have struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for years.  Last year was one of the worst.  It can sometimes be crippling, and I have hated this disorder and what it does to me for a long time.

This year, I have prepared myself by investing in a quality light therapy box and started light therapy two weeks ago.  Every morning I sit in front of this light for 30 minutes. 

Strength:  I don't just sit for 30 minutes, though.  I am reading my Bible. I go to church on Sundays, I teach the 2-3 year old Sunday School class, and I sing in the choir.  But my relationship with God often feels "one way"--like I send out my requests and pleas for help, but I don't take the time to listen or accept the gift of his Word.

These past two weeks have not only helped eliminate my SAD symptoms--truly, the light therapy is proving remarkable for my energy level--but my faith and relationship with God is being strengthened. 

Because of SAD, I am growing in my faith in a way I would never have made time for without the excuse of light therapy.

*Weakness:  My hips and thighs.  My rear view is THE reason I want to lose more weight.  If I were proportional and didn't have the ugly fat pockets of my saddlebags, I would most likely be happy with my weight and wearing size 12s.

*Strength: Because I want to get rid of this fat permanently, I am eating healthier than I ever have.  My mood is better and more stable. My skin, hair and nails are stronger and clearer.  Certainly there are internal organs that are getting healthier, too. 

I'm exercising because I want the fat gone forever, but exercise will make my bones stronger and my muscles grow, so that when I'm 80 I can get myself up and down without assistance.

Because of my saddlebags, I'm making changes that will help me live longer for my kids and grandkids.

*Weakness: I have emotional damage from my childhood that has negatively influenced the last 30 years of my life.  The primary reason for my obesity is because of what happened to me when I was 12 years old.  There are issues other than weight that resulted from my childhood baggage--fear, anxiety, OCD, the need for control, attachment issues.... there are certainly more. 

*Strength:  I found an amazing therapist this year, who has helped me work through all these issues.  Because I had this baggage to work through and heal, I now have more patience for others when they are struggling.  I have a better skill set to help my kids deal with their concerns.  I am learning to be a better listener, a better wife, a better sister, a better daughter, and a better friend. 

Weakness doesn't have to derail me.  It doesn't mean failure. It doesn't mean inferior.  It doesn't mean hopeless. 

Weakness allows me to examine the why's of my life.  Socrates said "the unexamined life isn't worth living."  Therefore, because of weakness, my life is worth living. 

Weakness is an opportunity to let something new happen in my life. And that something new may be beyond anything I could ever hope for or imagine.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Checking in (170.8)

I'm fine, doing OK, but stupidly busy. 

I'm actually a bit overwhelmed by everything I need to get done in the next two weeks -- work obligations, mostly, but also a church project and busy weekends.  Our calendar is already filling up through the end of the year.  Crazy!

Everything kind of hit me last night and I had a cookie binge (7 oreos and 2 chips ahoys).  Thank you, sugar and fat, for the weight uptick this morning. 

I haven't exercised all week.  I did great for two weeks, now this week--nada.  Tomorrow I've put on my calendar (and Mark's) that I'm meeting a group of girls for coffee at 7:30 a.m, then I am going to a Group Power (free weights) class at 10 a.m.  I'm planning to hit the treadmill or the pavement in between for some cardio.  I cannot wait.  I need the restorative power of both the Adult Intelligent Female IRL conversation and the physical activity.

If I'm sparsely present in the next couple of weeks, it's not because I've given up on the healthy life or I don't care about my blog or yours.  It's because I'm working really hard to keep my head above water.  Hopefully I'll have more time than I think and will be on here as often as possible, but I'm planning for the worst and hoping for the best.

I hope you are enjoying the almost-fall weather.  I certainly am, even if it's just gazing out the window occasionally and not sweating my butt off walking from the car to the indoors.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Weight loss to date and no one has noticed (or at least, no one has commented to me) (168.6)

On April 19, I hit my highest weight this year of 186.8.  I've now lost 18.2 pounds.  10% of my highest weight, which in WW land is a big milestone.

I started acupuncture and therapy in April.  I lost 7 pounds in 2 months, then I started taking lamotrigene and also started the Kay Shepperd plan in June.

Since then, I've lost another 11.2 pounds in 3 months.

I've gone from a tight size 14 to now wearing size 12s comfortably.

Slow & steady.  Working to win the race.

Interestingly, no one (other than my mom, unprompted, and my husband, prompted--because I want to know if he can tell) has commented on my weight loss this go round.

Which is fine--honestly I'd rather they not mention it.  I don't want the attention (I've got that invisibility issue I'm aware of but not sure how I'm going to handle when/if it comes up again).  Nobody commented on the weight as it was coming back on (thank goodness), and I'm fine with nobody commenting as it comes off.

But it's perplexing.  Is it because it's not noticeable yet? Is it because they don't want to mention it for the same reason I don't want them to mention it?  Is it because most people have better things to do than ponder whether I'm losing weight? 

Is it because there really isn't much difference in how I look from a size 14 to 12?  (this is, I'm guessing, most likely the reason). 
I'm not sure what it means (if anything) that I am even noticing that no one has commented.  This is a weird thought process.  I am making myself dizzy.

Guess it's better to just keep my head down, do the work, get healthy & feel better, and enjoy the smaller sizes that *I* know are on the tags in my pants.  I just needed to get those thoughts out of my head so I can move on.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Avocados (or, The Story of My Hair) (170.0)

I got my hair cut Friday.  When my stylist was drying and hot ironing it, she said it was super healthy & shiny.  That's the first time she's observed these things about my hair, or at least the first time she's mentioned it to me.

I smiled & said it's because I've been eating avocados and other healthy fats every day.  And I was tickled by this unexpected benefit.

Last week I re-discovered Chocolate Covered Katie's website, and on her FAQ's page she mentions her shiny, healthy hair, and that she eats lots of avocados and other healthy fats.  I didn't realize until I read CCK's FAQ's that your hair benefited from eating healthy fats.  I just thought they were making me stay fuller longer.

When my stylist mentioned my shiny hair, I knew it was the avocados and nuts I eat every day. 

I had never bought an avocado until three months ago, when I started eating whole foods (based on Kay Sheppard's plan).  I was a bit intimated at first--they are quite freaky to the ignorant, or at least they were to me, with their strange green/black skins, soft flesh, and humongous stone pit. 

But I have since warmed up to this incredible fruit and look forward to having it at breakfast every morning.  Some days I'm also inlcuding a small amount in my lunch salad, too.

What a bonus to know that the hair I put through torture every day--blow drying and hot ironing--is strong and healthy thanks to my diet.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hey (170.6)

Sorry... weekend was a combination of swamped and lazy, and I never got online.

Today has been nuts.  We had a bomb scare at the Armory next to our building, and the police wouldn't let anyone in our building, so I went home and cleaned out Sophie's closet.  I'm at work now, but it's crazy so no time to write.

Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

When you push through, when it's the hardest, when you most don't wanna but you do it anyway, that's when real change happens (171.8)

Yesterday I got home and had 45 minutes before we had to be at the kids' Wednesday night church group at 5:30.  I had had such a stress filled, anxiety driven day, I was craving a workout.  I didn't feel like the treadmill.  I couldn't run outside because I had the kids.  I decided to do Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.

This is rather a legendary DVD.  But if you're not familiar with it--it's 25 minutes long, consists of a brief warm up, 3 3-part circuits of weights, cardio, and abs, and a brief stretching cool down.  This workout never fails to make my muscles burn, and I ache the next day.  I'm still on level 1, but there are 3 levels.  I tried to do level 3 a few months ago and couldn't get through it, it was so intense.

At one point, Jillian says (the gist of, this isn't word for word) "when it's hard and you push through, that's when real change happens." 

I know she's talking about lifting weights and working out. But it got me to thinking about how this applies to other aspects of losing and maintaining weight, and to life in general. 

When is it hardest for me?  When have I pushed through and made real change happen?  What areas am I struggling in and need to push through?

*Breakfast used to be hard.  I was in too much of a hurry.  I wasn't hungry.  I saved my calories for later in the day. 
When I committed to eating breakfast--regardless of my hunger or time restraints--I pushed through the (mostly) mental barrier and completely changed how my entire eating day goes.  Other than (mostly) eliminating processed foods, eating breakfast every day has done more good for me than anything else.

*Eating "real" food used to be a chore.  I was lazy.  I claimed to be a lousy cook. I didn't like to grocery shop. I was too tired to make lunch before I left for work or make dinner after I got home from work.  I ate out at restaurants or fast food places for more meals than I'd care to admit. 
When I committed to the Kay Shepperd food plan, eating real, balanced food 3 times a day at meal time, everything changed.  My cravings (except when I deviate from the plan) went away.  My PMS has gotten better.  My face sweats in the morning have lightened up tremendously.  I'm losing weight, slowly and consistently.  I don't feel like I'm a slave to food anymore.  I am happy with what I eat.  I have discovered that I am a good cook, and that meals don't have to be complicated to be delicious. I can prepare healthy meals for myself and my family in about the same time it takes to drive to a restaurant and wait in line (and for much less money).
*My emotional "black boxes" used to keep me safe.  I buried the hurtful things of the past, some so deep that I didn't even know what they were.  I was afraid to drag them up.  Afraid that I wouldn't survive if they were out in the open.
I started seeing a therapist this year, let the light into those black boxes, and I not only survived, I have thrived.  I pushed past the pain, found forgiveness, found enlightenment, found peace.  I learned the WHY's of my weight gain.  I learned the HOW's of being a better person.  I learned what forgiveness means.  Therapy has been one of the hardest things I've ever done.  Some sessions have been brutal.  I pushed through (thanks to my brilliant therapist), and I came out stronger and better than I ever imagined.
*I no longer give advice; I listen.
The lesson of un-attaching from other people's lives and circumstances has been one of the most freeing I have ever experienced. It has changed my life, and given me a lightness of being.  I can be compassionate without being attached to the outcome. I can listen to others, responding to their words in order to probe how they are feeling, instead of talking about myself.  The lesson of "people just want to be heard" is one that can never be repeated often enough.  People just want to be heard.
*I have eliminated the words "try" and "someday" and "maybe" from my vocabulary.
When I am tempted to use these words--and yes, this is a constant work in progress--I substitute the words "working on" and "my plan is to" and "I'll think about it/No/Yes."  Try is an excuse to fail.  Someday is code for never.  Maybe almost always means no.  Some people may say this is just semantics.  For me, it is a way of thinking about life that is more positive.  Words are powerful.  Choosing words carefully affects our thoughts.  These new words allow my thoughts to not hang on the future, the indefinite, the coulda/woulda/shoulda's.  And my thoughts either lead me to action or inaction.
Where do I still need to push through?

I still struggle with night time munchies.  It's not as bad as it used to be, but it is a pattern and a habit that I have not pushed past--I have not allowed my brain to be retrained into a new neuropathway. This food habit, more than anything, hampers my weight loss and my complete sense of peace with my way of eating.

I still struggle with regular exercise.  This is getting better over the past two weeks. I know it's in me to make time for myself--I've done it before.  It is still a matter of pushing through the "I don't wanna's."  Every time I lace up my running shoes, I take a step closer to real change.

I still struggle with keeping my mouth shut when it's not my business.  Yes, I have improved the attitude of being attached to people's outcomes.  But I still say things to others that are best left unsaid.  I still jump to give my opinion, when what the person I am talking with only wants a listening ear.  This is something I struggle with daily, and I plan to catch myself more and more.

I still struggle with negative thoughts about myself.  I am my worst critic.  I see the negatives much quicker than the positives.  I regularly engage in negative self talk.  Words are powerful.  The words I speak to myself every moment of the day are powerful.

I still struggle--tremendously--with envy.  This could be a blog post unto itself.  One of my worst faults, or struggles, is not being able to deal with other people's success.  I envy women who are thin.  I envy runners who are faster than me.  I envy women who don't have to work outside the home.  I envy the youth of people in their 20s and 30s. On really bad days, I can't read posts on Facebook because it is one happy-joy-joy post after another, and I can't stand it.

I still struggle--tremendously--with comparisons.  On the flip side to envy, I am judgmental about people and compare myself favorably to those I think aren't up to my standards.  This is a very ugly trait, and one I don't talk about.  It's all internal talk--I'm not gossiping about how I think so and so is not doing this or that.  On some levels, it's me trying to make myself feel better about my accomplishments or how I raise my kids or how I look.  Or it's a form of rationalization, that even if I'm not doing my best, at least I'm not like "that person."  Bottom line--it's ugly, it makes me feel ugly, and I want it gone from my thought process.

There is surely more, and there will continue to be more, as I grow and change. 

Today, I pushed through the exercise issue by running 4 miles before work.  Today, I pushed through my long list of "I struggle with's" by simply writing about them. 

If I've learned anything this year, it's this:  letting the light in is the first step to real change.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

weigh in Wednesday; SAD irritability (170.8)

I couldn't help it.  I got on the scale this morning, out of morbid curiosity and habit.

I think 169 is just around the corner...

I have been very irritable today.  I've been hitting a lot of brick walls the past couple of days a work, which are frustrating.  I'm behind on laundry at home, I'm worried about some life stuff, I want to work out every day but am having trouble fitting it in like I want to (still no weights or yoga).  

It hit me this afternoon that irritability is a side effect of SAD light therapy. At the start anyway.  I've been sitting about 30" from the light; they recommend 40" to start.  But I figured, hey if 40 is good then 30 will be better, right?  Wrong. Going to 40" tomorrow.

I also read some information today that the light needs to come from above your eyes, and not straight on.  The light simulates sunlight.  The sun is above our eyes.  The light receptors are in the bottom of our retinas.  So, duh, the light box needs to be above where I'm sitting.  I will have to figure out how to position the thing so it works right (which may include buying the stand that goes with it, darn it, but it has to work right or what's the point?).  But for now, I'm moving it away from me another 10" so I'm not a grouch again tomorrow.

Food is good today. I'm planning on doing yoga or hitting the TM when I get home after work. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Running bug & my back (no weight today)

I ran 14 miles last week, during a total of 4 runs.  3 during the week and my 10k race on Saturday.
I should say I "wogged" (walk+jog) 14 miles, because I'm nowhere near a running pace.  But it's easier to just say run and it helps me mentally to think of myself as a runner, since that is what I am, even though my pace per mile isn't there.  Yet.
Last week gave me the running bug again.  I loved how I felt after every run.  I had so much energy after the 10k Saturday (thank you endorphins), that when I got home I cut the grass* for an hour and spent another hour trimming tree limbs.  Yes, by 11 a.m. I was done like a turkey on Thanksgiving.  But I felt great afterwards.  My quads burned Sunday and yesterday; they are almost back to normal today.

Yesterday I took the afternoon off because we went out to dinner to celebrate Mark's CFP success (that's the reason for no weight...I know am carrying water retention from eating out, and I'm not going to weigh for a few days).

This morning after the kids left for school, I put on my running duds and hit the pavement.  I had some trouble breathing, even though I used my inhaler.  I think it may be the muggier air today (hotter temps today).  I didn't have any breathing problems Saturday, and my pace Saturday was 12:50 min/mile and today it was 13:30 min/mile, so it wasn't my speed or exertion.

Other than the breathing, though, I felt great.  I love running.  Love how I feel afterwards.  Love that it is ME time.  Love that I can feel myself getting stronger with every run.

That leads me to the "my back" part of this post.  In Sept of 2007 I went to visit my BFF in Arkansas.  We went to a spa for a massage, and the massage therapist said I had the loosest upper back she'd worked on in a very long time.  Very few knots.  I was shocked.  I carry all my stress in my upper back/between my shoulders.  I joked with her that we need to make sure that didn't get back to my husband/boss, because he'll think I'm not working hard enough.

Now that I've had the recent upper back issues again--which are 100% better since I installed a keyboard tray and got a new office chair--I realize that my loose upper back had little to do with stress.  It had everything to do with running.

When I run, my upper back muscles get a lot of work.  So do my shoulders and biceps.  My upper back muscles show up quickly because I lose weight first in my upper body.  I am starting to see them already as the fat is making way for visible muscle underneath my skin.

When I stretch my chest muscles regularly (which I've been laxed on the past week, and I can tell a difference is how much poorer my posture is when I don't stretch) by lying on a rolled towel down the length of my upper spine, my back and my posture are even better. 

Running rewards me in so many ways.  I just needed to get this body in motion and keep it in motion, and now the running bug can stick around for good.

*We have had our lawn mowed by someone else for years and years.  Mark can't cut it because of his serious allergic reactions to getting overheated (and to the grass).  I refused to cut it for years because I have so many other responsibilites, I didn't feel like I should have to take that one on, too.  It's a man's job, afterall, right? :) 

Anyway, our lawn guy that we've had forever broke his leg in the spring and had to quit his business.  I hired the young man who sold us the Scott's lawn treatments this year, since he'd mentioned he cut grass on the side.  I paid him the same amount we paid our lawn guy, and the kid does half the work.  He was doing a really poor job of it, and I finally just got tired of spending the money on half assed work. I figured I could do half assed work for free.  So I bought a push mower for $125 at Walmart.  My mom set it up for me (she is invaluable to me, truly).  And I cut the grass for the first time in probably 10 years on Saturday. 

This may sound silly, but I loved the sense of accomplishment afterwards.  Now, granted, it was only in the upper 60s and overcast, so I wasn't dealing with the heat.  I'm sure next summer I'll be bitchin' a plenty when I'm out there. 

The bonus here is also that I don't want our kids getting a sense of entitlement.  They already have that in so many ways.  We are a convenience family.  My husband doesn't know how to do anything handy man wise; his dad died when Mark was 8, and his step dad was a verbally abusive alcoholic who never spent any time with Mark.  So I don't blame him; it is just a fact.  So we have to pay people to do everything for us. 

I started having a girl clean the house this summer once every 3 or 4 weeks (yes, it's glorious; yes, it's a total splurge; yes, it's worth every penny).  When Sophie told me "I don't need to clean my room, mom.  Courtney will do it the next time she comes," I knew I was in trouble.  I put a stop to that attitude right away; Courtney no longer picks up their rooms, the kids do before she comes to clean (with no picking up--just deep cleaning). 

I figured the lawn was of the same caliber.  Our kids need to see someone in the family cutting the grass, or they'll never know that's something you DO and not pay someone else to do.  When they are old enough, they will do it (allergies permitting). 

I don't want them coming to a rude awakening someday, that life requires a lot of work.  They are going to learn that as young people.  It's my job (and my husband's) to teach them.

Monday, September 12, 2011

PASS! (170.8)

Mark passed his CFP exam!!!! 

We got the news in the mail today.  Such a huge relief. 

3 1/2 years of hard work and sacrifice--on both our parts--and it ends in success. 

I ran the 10k Saturday morning.  6.2 miles in 1 hour & 20 minutes.  It felt glorious.  Never once did I feel like I couldn't do it.  Yes, I got tired.  Yes, I ran more the first half than the second. The last 2 miles I ran .1, then I'd walk .1, over & over until the finish line.  Didn't matter.  It felt amazing to be in a race again. 

Last week I ran/walked 4 days for a total of 14 miles. 

My food has not been great.  I've been eating decent meals, although not balanced at every single meal (so a macro nutrient or two has been missing).  It is throwing me off & making me crave cookies.

Food wasn't in the toilet, either, so I at least am maintaining in the 170 area. Now, I just need to coordinate exercise with getting all my meals back to healthy combinations.  And cutting out the nightly cookies.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Low pressure system implosion (172.6)

It is scary how closely tied I am to the weather. 

Yesterday a low pressure system came through in the afternoon.  Cloudy, on the verge of rain, barometer dropping quickly.  As it dropped, so did my energy level. 

I also have another sore throat, probably from allergies. I have had the windows open in the house for the past four days, but on Thursday morning I closed up the house and turned on all 4 of our air cleaners (in each bedroom and in family room) to suck out the ragweed because my eyes and throat were burning and scratchy.  Last night my throat started hurting like mad, and it still does today.  It's not strep, I don't think--at least it doesn't look or smell like it yet. I'm not sick, really, my throat just hurts.

Anyway, last night was a total bust.  I skipped Sophie's Girl Scout meeting (just parents, Sophie didn't miss anything), I skipped church choir.  I dove head first into food.  I was tired at 5 pm, but instead of sleeping I ate.  Actually, I did pass out for about 45 minutes in the recliner after a carb binge.  I kept eating most of the night.  I felt worse--very, very moody--but I couldn't stop.

So... obviously I have discovered another trigger and need to watch myself during these dark and stormy seasonal transition months, and get a plan in place to deal with them.  This won't be the last time I am hit by a weather change. 

I have my old SAD light on at work, for several hours yesterday, and several hours today (it is lower lumens, so I am using it for longer time periods and hoping it starts to help).  My new SAD light should be delivered today or tomorrow.  I plan to use it at home when I first wake up.

I am eating well today.  I am going to run this afternoon, 3 miles.  I am signing up for a 10k that is tomorrow morning.  A couple of my girlfriends are running it, and it is a JUST DO IT thing for me.  I need the accountability and motivation--they are there for the taking, so I am taking them and going to run with it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Taxes (171.4)

I won't be around much the next few days.  I am compiling our 2010 tax information (because we are self employed, we file an extension every year) and it is due to the accountants on Friday.  I'll be eye ball deep in numbers the next 3 days.

A couple of notes:
I ran/walked yesterday, 3 miles in 40 minutes.  The sun was shining.  I felt much better afterwards.

I am not planning to do the half marathon in October.  I can't hang out in limbo land any longer, wondering if I can get it together enough to do the race.  It feels right to make the decision against doing the race.  I am not in my 30s any longer--I cannot risk injuring myself by pushing my body to get ready for 13.1 miles a little over 4 weeks.  It's not worth it.  I have the Princess Half Marathon in Disney World at the end of February to train for.  That is enough for me right now.

Mark has finally decided to eat healthier.  His brother had a "come to Jesus" talk with him when he was visiting from Colorado.  Both of Mark's brother's had heart attacks at age 52.  They were both lucky, because they survived their first (Keith had 3, the third of which was massive and killed him; Jeff has had 2 and had bypass surgery a couple of years ago).  Mark's dad died of a heart attack at age 50 when Mark was 8 years old.  Mark will be 50 next July. 

Now that his degree is finished & he's taken the CFP test and has some time to deal with his "afters," he's ready to eat right.  He is responsible for what he puts in his mouth, but I told him that I would feed him whatever I eat each day.  He puts his own breakfast together (I'm keeping cooked steel cut oats in the fridge); I bring lunch and snacks to the office, and then make dinner or have the fixings for dinner ready at home.  We have a gym membership, he just needs to start going.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

SAD already? (172.0)

I had a weird weekend.  For the most part it was good--we spent time together as a family, everyone is healthy.  I even spent a couple of hours with my mom that were some of the best I've had with her in a long time.  But for a good portion of it, I felt out of sync and like I was moving through mud.

I couldn't make myself do more than the bare essentials of cleaning and laundry and taking care of the kids and the dog and grocery shopping and going to church and taking the kids to the pool Saturday....well, I guess the bare essentials are a lot more than I give myself credit for.

But when I wasn't doing those things that I had to do, I did nothing but sit and read or watch TV.  I even hit the carbs on Sunday and a little on Monday like I haven't in a long time.  I wanted to workout yesterday when the weather had cooled off, but the idea of making myself move my body seemed monumental.

Same with this morning.  I had planned on going for a walk/jog after the kids left for school.  It was in the upper 50s, partly cloudy and breezy. The perfect antidote to the 100 degrees we had on Saturday.  But I could not make myself move.  I had my coffee and a piece of toast with peanut butter (not my usual, but I was planning to workout so I didn't eat a big breakfast).  I couldn't make myself change my clothes.  I gave up and lay down on the bed.  I read for an hour before I finally got up to get ready for work.

I once had a therapist who told me she had clients who described depression as moving through mud.  Like your limbs and mind meet resistance no matter where you turn.  It's easier to lie down than it is to move. 

That's how it felt and how it still feels.  I've been here many times.  But I have been doing so much better, that it has taken me by surprise.

I've had seasonal affective disorder for years.  I am taking 1200 calcium and 6 fish oil capsules a day--and have been for a long time, although I only recently increased the fish oil from 2 to 6--to help combat depression and SAD.  I don't usually experience symptoms until October.  I suppose this year it is starting early.

My acupuncture doctor, who is also a psychiatrist, told me I should use a 10,000 lux light box to treat SAD.  I have a 2,500 lux light which is over 10 years old.  I just bought a new light box this morning (which killed me on the cost, but it will be worth it if it works) from  I will start using it the morning after it arrives.  I hope it helps.

There could be something else going on, but it feels like SAD.  I'm just surprised at the early timing.  I did notice the other night that it was 7 pm and almost dark, and I was a little shocked--wasn't it just yesterday that the sun was out until almost 9 pm?

I should live on an island near the equator.  I'd have to deal with hurricanes, but at least I'd get an even dose of sunshine year round.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Doing well but no exercise yet (170.0)

I'm continuing to do well, esp. with food and mental health, which are huge.

I've been talking to my mom more, just about life in general, and that is going well.  I think when I dropped my defenses and opened up, it made a big difference. 

My parenting skills seem to be improving, as I use my listening skills more and more, especially with Sophie but also with Luke.  Listening more is also is helping my relationship with Mark.

I am a bit behind on laundry, but nothing a busy weekend can't fix.  The house is clean and orderly, even the kids' rooms.

The biggest hole in the process is that I'm still struggling to fit exercise into my routine.  I'm going to take a serious look at my daily schedule and make myself find the time to workout.  It's not just the workout time that's an issue.  It's the time it takes to prep for it.

There are basically 3 different times of day I could feasibly fit exercise into my life. 

1) At 5:30 or 6 am.  This would require "prep" time of going to bed at 9:30 or 10 pm.  Most nights I am still doing laundry or dishes or reading or watching one of the few TV shows I DVR until 10 or 10:30, and I don't fall asleep until 10:30 or 11.  An earlier bedtime is possible (esp. if I'd do a better job of getting kids to bed before 8:30), but there is a time cost there.  Plus, I am soooo not a morning person. It would be a sacrifice on that front, too.

2) Right after the kids leave for school, which is 7:30.  This makes the most sense.  There are classes every day at the gym at 8 am, and I can get ready for work there and be in the office by or before 10 am.  Or I could go running when the weather gets nice and be at work by 9:30 am.  The "prep" time here is getting up early to eat breakfast and getting my gear packed for the gym (when I get ready there anyway).  I would also have to have an earlier bedtime of 10 pm so I could get up at 6 am to eat.  Also, I often clean the kitchen or do a load of laundry before I go to work, so I would be giving up that cleaning time and would have to do those things after work (which would be a very worthwhile tradeoff, but it is a factor).

3) At home, after work/school.  This is what I've been shooting for, and it's just not happening.  Twice a week we have after school activities and I don't have any time to workout.  So that leaves twice a week (not counting Fridays) where I could workout at home after work/school, which would be around 4:30 or 5.  This has worked a couple of times, when I've done yoga at home.  The kids can unwind after school and for the most part keep themselves busy for an hour (Luke did the yoga DVD with me the last time, which was a hoot) while I either do a DVD or hit the treadmill.  There's not much "prep" time with this, and theoretically makes the most sense, but I'm also often wiped out by the time I get home and I just don't wanna.

I'd like to think a combination of these things might work, depending on what each day holds.  I can plan ahead and put WORKOUT on my calendar, and then stick to it.  I just need to make up my mind to Just Do It. 

I can also workout on Saturdays.  The draw back there is that I like to sleep in on Saturdays, since it's my only real day off.  I just need to make myself realize the pay off for working out is much bigger than getting an extra hour or two of sleep. When the weather cools down, Saturday afternoon runs are a definite possibility.

I wanted to run the half marathon on October 9th this year.  I'm 50% sure that isn't going to happen. I could still train for it.  I've got 5 weeks, and I did it last year with only about that much training time.  I just have to get moving NOW, or my training window will close in about a week's time. 

The biggest motivator to do the race is that I've run it the past three years in a row.  It's a great course, it's in town, and logistically it's an easy race to get to and away from (small field, about 2,500, and it's very walker/slow jogger friendly).  It's also the one year anniversary of my Dad's funeral--last year I ran the race the day of his visitation--so there is that to consider. 

The obvious drawback is, of course, I've not been running much at all this year.  So I don't know if it's even possible for my body to get up to speed that quickly.  I guess I would find out if I'd just start running.