Taking Control Part II

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a bit of a hard time over the last several weeks. I had pretty bad general anxiety and depressed feelings to the point where I didn’t want to do anything or even leave my house. I felt like everything was out of control, and the way I was dealing with it was by not dealing with it. Finally I just told myself enough was enough and did just one thing. That one thing led to another thing which led to another thing, and so on, to the point where today I feel almost 100% better.

Last time I talked about how I put my house in order to help myself feel like I was more in control, and this time, I’ll talk about my diet and exercise regimen.

Even though I started off the year with the best of intentions and some pretty strong motivation, life happened, and I slipped up. Being gone for about half of the month of January certainly didn’t help. I mentioned in my Vegas recap that I did pretty good sticking to my goals, but I ended up not losing any weight which was really frustrating to me. By the time my second trip rolled around, I decided that I didn’t care, and I was going to enjoy my dinners out and not deprive myself. Well, I’m sure you’ll be shocked to find out that I gained even more weight after that trip… That led to even more out of control eating which led to feeling like crap which led to me skipping my workouts.

As with tidying up, I finally said enough was enough. I was eating way too much junk and being very lazy, so I convinced my boyfriend to start a Whole30 with me! We are currently on day 16 and going really strong! I’m actually completely following the rules this time-no excuses! I’m also trying to do it relatively low carb by not indulging in too much fruit or potatoes, and I feel awesome! I have quite a bit of energy, my cravings are nearly non-existent (aside from when I actually see something and have that momentary desire to eat/drink it), and my stomach issues have pretty well subsided! It always amazes me when I build something up in my head so much, and as soon as I’m through the hard part at the beginning, it almost becomes easy.

Steak with roasted garlic aioli, smashed red potatoes with ghee, and garlic roasted asparagus.

This has been one of my favorite meals so far. It was so decadent, but completely Whole30 compliant! Steak with roasted garlic aioli, smashed red potatoes with ghee, and garlic roasted asparagus.

Honestly I was really hesitant to share my Whole30 this time until I was finished because of how many times I tried and failed. I know on my last attempt at a Whole30, I said I really felt like I was going to make it the whole 30 days but ended up only making it about 20, but this time, now that I have my boyfriend for support, and I’m actually following the rules completely, I know I’m going to make it the full 30 days. I’ve even been toying with the idea of doing a slow roll reintroduction instead of trying to reintroduce everything right away. We’ll see though.

It is so nice having my boyfriend for support on this one. It’s great to know that I’m not the only one who’s going through the challenge, and it’s nice to have someone I know I can text or call when I am getting frustrated. Another thing that has really helped is that we’ve been preparing all of our meals for the week together on Sunday. The bf has even suggested some recipes that I never would have thought to try but ended up being delicious!

On the same day I started my Whole30, I got back into my daily morning workouts. My coworker and I have been getting to work an hour early every morning to utilize one of our large conference rooms to play a workout video from YouTube. Our favorite for the past couple weeks has been Winsor Pilates 20 minute workout. It has been perfect to get ourselves back into the swing of things. It’s easy enough that we want to keep doing it, but challenging enough that it’s actually doing something. I have a goal of working out every day during the week, and so far, I’ve only missed one of my last 12 workouts because of health reasons.

I’m finally getting to the point where it’s easy to get up in the morning to get my workout in. I don’t allow myself to make excuses, and I’m even starting to enjoy making that the start of my day. It’s energizing, and it gets me through the morning, so I don’t even need caffeine anymore!

To really give myself a kick in the pants, on March 1, I’m starting the 30 Day Pilates Body Challenge. It’s a free challenge from Robin Long at The Balanced Life Online where every day you’ll get an email first thing in the morning with a 10 minute Pilates video. You do the workout and check in via social media to say you did it, and that’s it! I’m planning on doing this on top of my work day workouts just as an added challenge. This means getting up even earlier to get it in, but I’m up for the challenge! If you’ve been looking for a way to kick start your workouts, I think this would be a great way to get started. You can follow me on Instagram @simply_whole_life where I’ll be checking in if you want to be part of my accountability circle or just to keep up with my progress (and maybe pass along some words of encouragement? 🙂 ).

30 Day Pilates Body Challenge, 10 Minute Pilates

I’m in, are you!?

Finally, I just had to share this picture. I’m at my parents’ house doing laundry and working on my blog while the machines are running, and when I came back from switching loads, I had a new little writing buddy! 🙂

Mordecai cat writing blog stealing chair

Meet my new writing assistant, Sauron Weasley. (Or as he’s formally known, Mordecai. 🙂 )

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Tidying Up and Taking Control

Alright, so first off, I know it has been quite a while since my last post. Forgive me, please? I have been dealing with some stuff that I just didn’t want to blog about. My eating went back to crap, and I stopped working out for a while. Every week felt like the same old, same old, and I didn’t feel like writing about it, and I’m sure you wouldn’t have wanted to read it.

I’ve always been a bit of a worrier. I worry about a lot of things. I get these weird moments when I’m convinced that something bad is going to happen to someone I love or my dog. Usually I can recognize these silly fears and work through them by convincing myself that really there’s a very small chance of my dog escaping from the house while I’m at work and being lost forever. (When I’m not home, he’s kenneled, or more often, I take him by my parents to watch him while I’m at work.)

For much of the end of January and the beginning of February, however, I had general anxiety that wasn’t about any one particular thing. It was just this panicky feeling that wouldn’t go away. Mixed in with that, I had a general feeling of malaise. I’d call it a depression, but it really only lasted for a couple weeks, so I don’t feel like it was a true depression. I felt like things were really out of control, and I just shut down. I would go to work (though there was one day that I just couldn’t make myself go, so I called in sick), and I would come home and veg until it was time to go to sleep.

I recognized the whole time that this was not normal behavior, but I just felt like I didn’t know what to do. I knew that if I could just get one thing in order, the rest usually followed, but when you feel so down, getting yourself to do just one thing is a huge challenge. One day I finally convinced myself that enough was enough. I didn’t have to do everything in one day, but I had to do something, so I got up and did one thing. I cleaned my kitchen. I felt so much better to have a clean kitchen that the next day I did one more thing, and so on, and so on.

During this time, I also read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and it really gave me the motivation to get things into gear. I’ve always felt like I had too much stuff that I just didn’t want or need. It was stuff that I had to keep tidy and find a place for, so just seeing it made me feel stressful. I felt like my house was always messy because I didn’t even know what to do with half of it.

Last weekend, I finally found the time and energy to just completely clean house. I went through all my clothes and got rid of a bunch. I looked at each piece and honestly asked myself if I needed it or wanted it, or if it even fit me properly and made me look good, and if the answer was no, it got tossed. I repeated this same method for every room and everything in my house. After all was said and done, I had 6 garbage bags and 3 bins full of stuff I was either tossing, donating, or selling.

Cleaning House KonMari Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

This is all the stuff I got rid of. I think the picture makes it look like less than it actually was.

You would not believe how much better I feel having gotten rid of so much junk. In the book, she says you should open your closet and feel happy, and I thought it was crazy, but now I do! I do that with my whole house! I come home, and I’m happy to be there. Instead of thinking about all the cleaning I have to do when I get home, I get home, and it’s already clean! (For the most part anyway… we did a whole bunch of cooking on Sunday, and I have to get all the dishes clean from that yet. With a small dishwasher, you can only do so many!)

One of my goals with KonMari-ing my house was to clear off my desk to create a workspace, so I can get serious on my blogging and a few other projects I have going on. My desk is now clean, and I came up with a schedule for myself, so hopefully I’ll be blogging a little more frequently. 🙂

I have taken a couple other steps to get my life back in order, but this post is so long, I’ll save that for next time!

Do you ever get feeling down or like your life is out of control? How do you handle it?

Weeks 5 and 6 Progress

Last week I was in fabulous Las Vegas for my industry’s big expo which is why there was no progress update. I was gone Sunday-Thursday, and then I had a bad weekend, so I didn’t feel like posting a delayed update like I normally would have. My normal weigh in day is Wednesday, but I was at the expo, so I couldn’t weigh myself. I did weigh myself on Friday when I got back though, and I am a bit ashamed to admit that when I saw the number on the scale I got pretty upset, and I ended up having a bit of a “diet temper tantrum” as I’ve been calling it.

Mandalay Bay, Foundation Room, Las Vegas, NV

View from the Foundation Room at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

I’ve been feeling pretty frustrated lately with my progress. I’ve thought that I’ve been working pretty hard, but I keep seeing the same 2-3 lbs going away and coming right back. I was especially upset last week because I worked pretty hard to stay on plan while I was in Vegas-limiting my alcohol consumption and passing on the truly decadent dishes for the more healthy options. I was also walking a ton (like 3-4x what I get on a normal daily basis), and I even managed to get in a morning yoga workout every day. I could have totally gone off the deep end and indulged in all the cocktails and treats and terrible-for-you meals, but I didn’t. I was the good little dieter. I had a couple cocktails, and a treat here and there, but I managed to not totally overdo it. I tracked my calories and exercise every day, and according to my tracker, I should have had a couple pound loss because I was at about a 7,000 calorie deficit for the week. So what happened!?!

Honestly, weight loss is such a fickle, complicated, finicky jerk! You can do everything right and not see the numbers on the scale sometimes because of other factors that you may not even consider or may be completely out of your control. For instance, I have a feeling that I was retaining water when I weighed myself. I don’t think I was drinking enough water in the arid Las Vegas climate, so I’d be willing to bet that I was a bit dehydrated. Then when I got back and was downing the water, my body was probably holding onto it. That’s my hypothesis anyway, but I really have no way of testing it, so who knows?

Anyway, this “diet temper tantrum” is what I know that many others have experienced. I was frustrated with the results I’ve been seeing, so I threw up my hands and said “screw it! My weight has been staying the same no matter what I’m doing, so why not just indulge? I’m going to eat whatever I want and not bust my butt working out because what’s the point?!” So I indulged for a few days and let myself be a couch potato, but after getting some of the frustration out of my system, I woke up.

“What’s the point?” I was asking myself… The point is making healthier life choices, so I can live a longer, healthier life. Ultimately that’s why I’m doing this. Yes, I want to lose the weight because being 115 lbs overweight really isn’t healthy, but if I’m doing everything else right, and the weight wants to be a clingy little jerk, well, then it is what it is. I need to be moving everyday, and I need to be eating the right foods because ultimately that’s what’s best for my body. Yeah, it sucks when doing these things should be reducing my gravitational pull, and it isn’t, but I just need to make sure that I’m truly giving it my all and doing everything I should be doing and be confident in that.

Another reason I think I’ve been pretty frustrated is actually that I’m frustrated with myself. I’ve been lying to myself by saying that I’ve been doing everything that I should be doing. I haven’t. I haven’t been giving 100%. I’ve been giving maybe 60% and pretending it was 100%. Every time I’ve been stepping on the scale and not seeing the results that I wanted, I know that mostly I’m to blame. Don’t get me wrong-giving 60% is still challenging, and I should still be seeing a loss that I haven’t really been seeing, but I know that I could be doing more, and I probably would be seeing better results.

All that said… I do have to face reality now and realize that I am not going to get to my birthday goal. I would have to lose 2.5 lbs a week until my birthday to get there, and that’s not a realistic or healthy goal, so I will have to amend it. I’m still determined to get as close as I can, so now it’s time to really buckle down and get serious about it. No more “one-cheeking” my attempts and calling it working hard. I want to see the results, so I need to do the work. I’m really giving it my all now, but like I said earlier, I’m going to ease up on my scale frustrations. I know I’ll be doing as much as I can do, and the rest is in God’s hands.

Have you ever had a “diet temper tantrum?” How did you deal with it? How do you normally deal with it when you’re not seeing the results you feel like you should be? I’d love to know, so let me know in the comments below!


Week 6 Progress Update

Week 6 loss: 0 lbs

Total loss: 0.5 lb gain

NSV: Being honest with myself-admitting that I could be doing better.

Adjustments for next week: Focusing on making healthier choices because it’s the right thing to do and not just because it will help me see the right numbers on the scale. I will be at another conference from Tuesday-Friday of next week which will be challenging, but I will do my best to make the healthy choices. 🙂

Week 4 Progress

Today’s post will be super short because, well… this week sucked. I’m basically back to where I started 4 weeks ago. I am just finally feeling better today. My cold or whatever it was completely drained my energy and congested my lungs, so there was no working out last week at all. I also had very little energy to cook, so my meals consisted of whatever was fast and easy. Not really healthy.


Week 4 Progress Update

Week 4 loss: 1.5 lb gain

Total loss: 0 lbs

NSV: None this week

Adjustments for next week: Now that I’m finally feeling better, I’m back on plan. Goal for this week is to get one serving of fruit or veggies with every meal and 8 glasses of water every day.

Week 3 Progress

This will be a quick one today. I didn’t do my official weigh in, but I’m sure it’s not great. I’m ok with it though because this week has been unusual. I weighed myself yesterday, and I had a gain of 1.5 lbs.

The breakdown: My week started with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day-my two favorite days of the year. Last week I said I was going to try to track, but I wasn’t going to be super strict about it, and that ended up not happening. I tracked my breakfast each day, but by lunch, I was busy enjoying company, so I didn’t want to stop and take out my phone to track it all. I was pretty good with my main meals, but I definitely overdid it by grazing. I also gave myself a pass on working out because I didn’t really have time in between all the family stuff. I could have made time, but again, I was enjoying family time.

Saturday and Sunday I did fairly well keeping myself on track. I didn’t work out on Saturday because it’s my rest day, and I don’t really have any place I can work out at my boyfriend’s house. Sunday we did manage to go to the gym which felt pretty good after my days of overdoing it and being lazy.

Then Monday morning I woke up feeling like garbage, and I’ve been sick since. My head and chest have been really congested, and I just have zero energy. Obviously working out has been off the table the last few days since all I want to do when I get home from work is lay down, and my eating has been crap. I don’t know about you, but when I get sick, I don’t feel like cooking a huge meal, and all I really want is comfort food. I’ve been overdoing it on the soups and breads the last few days, but again, I’m ok with this minor setback because it’s unusual. If it becomes my new norm, then I’ll worry about it. As soon as I am feeling better, I can’t wait to get back to my workouts and eating better! Hopefully by this weekend, I’ll be back to normal or at least to the point where I don’t feel like death.


Week 3 Progress Report

Week 3 loss: 1.5 lb gain

Total loss: 1.5 lbs

NSV: I did intervals on the treadmill on Sunday, and I was able to run for a full minute 4x. 🙂

Adjustments for next week: Again, sticking to my plan! Hopefully I’ll kick this cold soon and can get right back to business!


 

How do you handle sticking to plan while sick? I think this would be and instance where freezer meals would come in handy…

Have a safe and happy new year!

Week 2 Progress

I am 2 weeks into my weight loss journey, and honestly I haven’t been doing that well with staying on plan. I’d say I’ve stayed within my ranges about 25% of the time. I could make excuses and say that it’s because of all the holiday treats scattered around the building at work, but I won’t. I’m sure it doesn’t help to have the added temptation, but ultimately, it’s my choice whether or not to have some, and I’ve just not been making good choices. As I said previously it is in my plan to allow myself some treats in moderation, but consuming between 250-1000 calories a day in treats is not even close to moderation. (It’s usually closer to the 250 than the 1000, but there was one day that I hit the candy hard!)

One thing that I have noticed that I struggle with quite a bit is staying on plan during my free time. I joined the Sparkpeople Spark Coaching, and one of the things they have you do is assess how you did over the last 24 hours with sticking to plan. You mark on a scale of 1-5 how well you feel you did, and then you write a couple sentences about why you feel that way, and I have noticed a major pattern. I can stick to plan pretty well during the day (even with all the treats out), but when I get home, I go off plan. I end up going out for dinner because I don’t feel like cooking, or overconsuming on the snacks in my cupboard.

I think this is due to the fact that during the day I have a somewhat regimented schedule, and I’m distracted by my work. I eat my breakfast in the morning when I get to work, around noon I eat lunch, around 2 I have an afternoon snack, and then around 4:30, I go home. When I get home though, it’s a different story. I usually try to get a workout in, but then after that, I don’t really have a schedule. Maybe I’ll clean one day or watch TV another, and I think it’s this lack of a schedule or distraction that sends me to the kitchen. So in an attempt to combat this, I am going to work on making up a schedule for myself after work, and I’m going to find a hobby. Last week I colored while I watched TV, but it made my hand hurt, so I’m not sure that can be an everyday thing…

I’m also finding that weekends are difficult for me as well for the same reasons stated above. We don’t really do a whole lot on the weekend, so it leads to boredom which leads to overeating. Last weekend I had a really hard time staying on track. First on Friday, I was really snacky by the time I got to my boyfriend’s house, and we couldn’t eat right away because we had to get to a bunch of stores before they closed. By the time we got to the grocery store it was after 9, and we were hungry for everything and nothing at the same time. It was hard to find something to eat that we agreed on, and after much wandering and some arguing we ended up getting the stuff to make Philly cheese steaks. They definitely put me over my calorie budget, but I’m not gonna lie… they were worth every calorie. Normally I’d be fine and just call that my worth it meal for the week, but I knew I had a Christmas party the next day that I’d probably be overdoing it at.

I tried to compensate for my previous high calorie day on Saturday by eating light all morning. I had a Chobani Flip for breakfast around mid morning, and then I didn’t eat anything for lunch. This was not a good idea.

My parents got me tickets to see the traveling Broadway performance of Beauty and the Beast at the Performing Arts Center, and I went to see it with my mom. Before the show started we had a bit of time to kill, so we ordered some glasses of wine, and then preordered some for during intermission. I was completely not thinking about the fact that I hadn’t eaten much all day, and after my second glass, I was pretty tipsy. An hour after my second glass, I was still feeling it, and we had to stop and grab dinner before heading to the Christmas party. The closest thing on the way was Wendy’s, and being famished and a little tipsy, I did not make good choices. I had a gooey cheesy bacon cheeseburger, fries, and a lemonade. I’m pretty sure that meal was my entire day’s worth of calories right there… and then some… About an hour later, we got to the party, and the usual party snacks were laid out on a table, and I way overdid it by grazing throughout the night. I also had a couple more drinks… I did really well sticking to plan on Sunday though.

Beauty and the Beast Traveling Broadway Performance

Best birthday present ever! Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney movie, and the live show did not disappoint. 🙂

The rest of my week was pretty boring. I just had work and came home. I did well sticking to my food goals with the exception of Monday night. My sister had a bunch of candy that she was eating while we watched TV, and she shared with me. I knew it wasn’t a good idea to eat it because I was almost at my max calories for the day, but I did it anyway. That was my 1000 calories over goal day… The sad thing is, it didn’t take all that much candy to get me to that point…

Best dinner ever, broccoli, pizza rolls, and oatmeal

Best dinner ever… I was feeling lazy last night, but I didn’t want to go over goal, so I had some pizza rolls, oatmeal, and steamed broccoli. 😛

I am a little worried about tomorrow and Friday being Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I have family parties on both days, so I’m sure there’s going to be plenty of high calorie foods and adult beverages. I am going to try my best to track, but sometimes when other people are making the food, it can be difficult. My plan is to try to stick to the lean meats and veggies and have just a sampling of anything else that looks good.

 


 

Week 2 Progress Report

So all that said about how I didn’t do well this week, I must have done something right because I still managed to lose 2 lbs this week for a total loss of 3 lbs!

Week 2 loss: 2 lbs

Total loss: 3 lbs

NSV: I am noticing that my clothes are just ever so slightly more comfortable. 🙂

Adjustments for next week: Sticking to my plan! This week I adjusted my calorie levels down a little from week 1 because I looked at a few different calculators, and I was just a bit high for reaching my goal. Now, I just need to be more diligent about sticking to it.


I probably won’t be posting tomorrow or Friday, so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Let me know in the comments below how you are planning to handle/have been handling any holiday parties.

Week 1 Progress

Well, this should be interesting. I’m typing this post on my phone because I forgot my laptop. It’s a short one, so hopefully it should be ok. Bear with me on any typos. 😉

This week was pretty good. On my Wednesday weigh in, I was down 1 lb. I’m on a 10 day streak of working out every day. 🙂 And today when I did my morning pilates workout, I was able to do all the moves.

The first move we did was a dogging cobra, which if you aren’t familiar, you start in downward dog and then without moving your hands or feet, you shift down into plank position and then dip down into cobra. Then you pull your butt back into downward dog and repeat. We’ve had to do them in videos before, and I never could, except today! The second move I was never able to do was the boat teaser sit up. Again, for anyone unfamiliar, you start laying flat on the ground with arms and legs extended. Then you sit up in a v with your legs bent into boat position. Then you straighten your legs so you’re in a full v for the teaser and then lay back down. I never could do these before, but today I could, and they didn’t even feel that difficult. 🙂 The final move I conquered today was called a windshield wiper. I only managed a couple, but it’s better than the none I could do before. 🙂 For this move, you go into a bridge and extend one foot parallel to the ground. Then you move it out and in. It’s still very challenging, but I’m so excited to see the progress I’ve made over the last 6 weeks, and it makes me more motivated to keep it up!

Well that’s my progress update for this week! I’ve been trying to write more, but this week has been crazy! Hopefully after the holidays things should settle down. 🙂

Please let me know in the comments below if you’re on your own journey, and what you’ve accomplished this week.