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March 2011

Step inside my internal dialog, won't you?

Godzilla WALKING
Chilling at home now, with a Greek yogurt and a big bottle of water. But the day started out quite differently ...

(cue the flashback effect -- doodly-do, doodly-do, doodly-do...)

I'm not going to bore you with the details, but suffice to say I've been in various stages of illness for most of March. Flu, then post-viral something-or-other, allergies, asthma, and freaking out about all of that. I even spent Tuesday morning in the ER with an IV of saline and painkillers after the worst headache of my life kept me up all night with pain and freaking out about the pain.

After I was off deadline, I sat at the computer, feeling various twinges and headachiness. The noon news was on and the meteorologist was talking about record highs.

Me: Dammit, I'm going to lace up my sneaks and head outside. I don't care if it's going to be 90 degrees today.

Inner slug: Oh, I don't know. You haven't worked out in a couple weeks. That might be too much for you.

I put on my workout gear and headed out. Walked down the sidewalk at a brisk clip and turned the corner. Feeling good.

Slug: You really should start out slow. Maybe 20 minutes today.

Me: Shaddup! Are you wheezing? Short of breath? In pain? No? Keep walking.

Slug: Are you going to walk all the way to the high school? It's pretty hot out.

And on it went, the big baby in me wanting to take it easy and my Inner Godzilla overruling her.

I walked for an hour, came home and rejoiced with a protein smoothie. I kept walking just to prove to myself that my ailments were minor and diminishing, and the walk really helped to clear my head (and no more WebMD surfing!). I didn't even care how hot it was.

I do believe that March went in like a sack of crap and is going out like a lion.

Rebel without a diet

Fun with Photoshop!

I'm meeting today with my weight-loss "brain coach" (for lack of a better term) but wanted to pop in for a bit today, since I've been pretty darn bad at posting.

Last week we came to the realization that I'm a diet rebel -- I'm always bending rules, ignoring rules and making up my own rules when on a particular diet.

The solution? I have to make my own rules, because I do pretty well not breaking those.

My rule-breaking, rebellious side goes far beyond dieting. I've been questioning authority since elementary school. My second-grade teacher Mrs. Beagley did not like that and threatened once to tie me to my chair.

In middle school, I was calling B.S. on my home-ec teacher's nutrition tips. I can't even remember what it was I objected to, but my chubby 13-year-old self was already well-schooled on "good" and "bad" foods.

I did that in other diet programs, too. I shook my head and objected loudly while one meeting leader told members that grapefruit is a good choice because it burns extra fat -- oh, no she didn't!

I do ascribe to the adage that any diet will work if you stick to the program -- problem is, I can't. I always seem to find something wrong with every diet and play up that one flaw. My sister and I followed a very popular plan that for some reason didn't allow any dairy products at all -- not even nonfat or lowfat dairy. When I asked why, I was told "that's just what the program says." Bad answer, lady. You can't just dismiss something because "it's not on the plan."

Every week I'm going to come up with more new rules to eat by. So far I've got these:

  • No food after 8 p.m.
  • Only clear liquids (water, tea, etc.) after 8 p.m.
  • 8 hours of sleep a night, with an "electronics shutdown" 30 minutes before bed.
  • Exercise at least 3-4 times a week.
  • 100 ounces of water a day.

Have I followed everything to the letter? Not yet, but I'm getting much better at those. My allergy-induced asthma has made my breathing a little "chunky" so I only got in three days of exercise.

The no eating after 8 has been going well, especially since I've been trying to pound down those 100 ounces of water. But even on the days when I haven't fit in that third quart of water I've still had 8 glasses. Before this rule went into effect I was only averaging one quart a day.

It's one of those "shoot for the moon" rules -- even though I come up short some days, I'm still at 64 ounces.

I'll let you know what new rules I've come up with this week.

Shrinking Sisters loves yogurt!

Check out my review of Weight Watchers Yogurt over at Shrinking Sisters Reviews and grab yourself a coupon!


Shaking off the rust, blowing off the dust

Photo: Mila Zinkova, via Wikimedia

Y'know that morning phenomenon known as the "marine layer"? If you've ever been to coastal California you've seen the pea-soupy fog that hangs over the area until the sunshine burns it off.

My "marine layer" finally burned off yesterday.

Not to bog you down with the details, but I had the flu for a week, then midway through the next week, I developed something called "post-viral arthralgia." I describe it as getting hit with the arthritis truck. Every joint in my body was swollen and sore. But after a week of steroids and more Aleve than usual, I'm finally feeling normal again, and yesterday laced up the walking shoes for 30 minutes in the park.

I started out with achy ankles but after about, oh 60 seconds, the discomfort went away. Best thing I did all week.

It's also why I haven't blogged much lately -- my wrists were killing me and you should have seen my left middle finger knuckle!

I have a whole new respect for people who live with severe arthritis. I have a little in my right big toe and more in my neck, but exercise and massage keep those at bay. But this past week I got a taste of what arthritic ankles and knees feel like, and I really don't want to experience that again.

Excess weight and inflammation from a bad diet can speed the progression of arthritis, especially in the lower extremities. So I have a renewed desire to get the weight off ASAP. It was like something from A Christmas Carol, with a visit from The Ghost of Joints Yet to Come.

Because while arthralgia most often gets better and goes away, arthritis is a gift that keeps on giving.

Oh, hey, want a yogurt coupon?

Check out my review of Weight Watchers Yogurt over at Shrinking Sisters Reviews.

The gift of rules

Birthday cake

Today's my birthday, and this week my gift to myself was a meeting with an eating disorder specialist.

Technically, I don't have an eating disorder (I learned that this past summer), but I decided to treat losing weight like substance abuse, so I found someone who specializes in substance abuse treatment and eating disorder treatment. I had my first appointment yesterday, and the first thing we did was come up with some rules because I seem to do well with those:

  1. No eating out of original packaging
  2. No eating at all after 8 p.m.

And in the 24 hours since yesterday I'm feeling very in control. While not eating out of original packaging doesn't seem like a big thing, it's going to make a huge difference in my nighttime grazing escapades. It's not just cereal boxes -- it's things like peanut butter jars, hummus containers and, yes, marmalade jars.

That's my deep, dark, ridiculous secret: I often don't eat "food" -- I eat "anti-food." What's a spoonful of strawberry preserves or an index finger (or four) of hummus?

That sort of nonsense never makes it into the food journal. How embarrassing is it to write down "9 p.m.: 3 spoonfuls of catsup, 2 index fingerfuls of hummus and some spaghetti sauce." I'm also supposed to show her my food journal -- good, bad and BBQ sauce -- so I've decided that if I'm going to write EVERYTHING down, I might as well not consume the embarrassing stuff.

The no eating after 8 p.m. just frees me up to not have to finagle some sort of evening snack out of leftover calories. If it's not eaten by 8 p.m., too bad, go drink some water.

There are no scales, tape measures or diet plans -- just getting inside my head and fixing what has been broken with my food relationship since the age of 10. I'm sure we'll come up with more rules as the weeks go by but these are my two rules for now.

Best birthday present I've ever given myself.

Freakin' flu Friday: Duh, winning!

(Coming out of my flu-induced weeklong hibernation)

Winning The flu has my butt whipped all this week, and I still have a couple of marble-sized lymph nodes knocking around on my neck, but I have winners to announce! (Because, unlike Charlie Sheen, these people actually are winning.)

Shannon is the winner of the BL Body jacket and Erika won the Kobo ereader in our Shrinking Sisters Review giveaways. (And before that, Sugar was the winner of our Multigrain Cheerios giveaway and she blogged about it.)

But I just noticed that no one has entered the Green Giant giveaway, so go over there and enter -- I'll extend the deadline to March 8 (my birthday, BTW).

Aside from fever, chills, body aches and general crappiness, I've also had a bad case of exercise guilt. I haven't worked out all week and feel bad about that. But I want to get this junk out of my system and am too wiped out to workout. So it's been sofa-bound channel surfing for me.