Thursday, July 31, 2014
Stand on the scale. Just like every morning (and night. Yes. Crazy).
My low last summer, immediately after the spartan sprint was 173. It's not that. But it's below 180, my nemesis from the winter and spring. Add to that two things-- I am eating clean, natural and healthy and I'm working my way up in a 5x5 program lifting, adding more lean muscle to my frame this time.
So. One Seventy-Eight.
And as I stare down and smile, I relish this part of the new me. Waistline sitting at thirty-three, and a box of new clothes in my closet.
See, I signed up for the trunk club. Because my big boy pants were starting to look like hammer-pants (woot woot, kids from the late eighties) and I was starting to feel really healthy. That and I always loved fashion and always wanted a designer closet. Yes, it's expensive, but damn, I know one of these days I will rock a varvatos shirt like a boss.
And when I tried them on, I realize I'm a little too ambitious. Perhaps that's good because it means that I won't spend as much. But it's bad that I struggle with the size of a large as too big, but a medium is too tight. It's terrible that some of the skinnier pants make me look like I have a monster muffin top. It's annoying that as I lose, I might turn this thousand dollars of clothing into something that is too big again.
At least my feet won't get smaller. Oh, and the sebago spinnaker boat shoe? Damn. I'll rock that on my vacation.
Which starts tonight.
And includes my 20 year high school reunion.
Which I will rock my new digs at like a boss.
And I'm a little nervous, that my hard earned weight will be thrown off by a week vacation with my sicilian mother who, with her many talents, has the gift of homemade pasta at her fingertips. And with my family, whose tradition is built around food. And the fact that it's vacation and I really (I mean, really really) love beer.
So it's a battle. One of those "make sure you get 10,000 steps, dude" weeks where I need to pay attention.
with a book.
and my kids.
and my new body as it develops.
I suppose I like the idea that I can lose a bit more weight and say "Hey Amanda, send me a new trunk. Make me sexy" and it will come. And I like the fact that this sort of high investment in clothing will force me to keep my figure moving in the right direction. Because who buys a $250 Eton shirt and then gets too fat for it? Not this guy.
So wish me luck. Both in keeping myself out of trouble on vacation (a thing I'm not so good at) and rocking my new trunkclub digs while I'm at it.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
So I'm in the office of a coworker, and we're talking wedding dresses and diets.
What is it with the wedding dress and diet correlation? I mean, there is this strange sense that the preparation for this fantastic and wonderful day is tied intimately to a desire to lose weight.
I get it, really. Trust me. For the first time since I entered self-deprecating-humor-based-on-weight status in the nineties, I am wearing flat front pants. The kind that you don't wear when you're fat because the pockets bulge and you get funny looking folds on the front of the pants, and not the kind that inspires a "are you just happy to see me" comment. Flat front pants are the first step in the fashion revolution I have set for myself. I wear them now. Like a boss.
So I get it, for weddings you want to slim down and fit into that perfect dress and have it hug the curves in all the right ways.
But it struck me as I was sketching on the board my current eating plan (70% vegetarian, of which, trying to achieve half raw; chicken and fish 20%, red meat less than 10%, no processed food, minimal gluten and processed sugars) and how I balance my cravings with handfuls of raw nuts or fresh fruit that the diets that are often undertaken for a wedding are the kind that won't last. It's not a lifestyle change. The reward is a dress you wear once. The approach is short term at best.
And I get it. I've set a lot of short-term goals in life. I've fallen off the wagon only one fewer times than I've gotten on it, and I reset often. But there has to be something else, a view beyond the immediate.
I'm a sucker for fashion. I embrace my metrosexuality with a passion. I have product and I have a sincere desire to find my way into a burberry pea coat and a zegna suit and to some day pull off gucci loafers like a boss. I can, in as masculine a way possible, get giddy over someone wearing a perfect kitten heel or putting together a solid outfit with beautiful accents.
And this woman is beautiful already. She's going to rock her dress in the way that most women dream of rocking their dress. And she gets fashion. So she'll not only be a knockout at exactly the weight she's at now, but she'll be a catwalk style wonder in her beautifully crafted, elegant, and non-traditional gown.
So I smiled and continued to outline a lifestyle of diet that might be considered.
It's not the short term approach, but neither is a marriage. amirite?
Monday, June 30, 2014
So. It's like, you run and you work out and you eat better. And then you finish a crazy ass race like a spartan sprint, and you get a crazy medal, and you're super happy, but you take a few days off.
and a few days turns into a few weeks. And then it's winter. Not just any winter, the kind where the snow keeps falling and the kids are off school for days and you really just want to eat that stick to your ribs sort of food. It's meat and potatoes, and hot cocoa after shoveling. The gym, although only ten minutes away was ages away -- who wants to drive in this winter anyway -- and you sort of fall off the wagon.
And gain it all back. 172 to 192 in a matter of months.
And you wake up and the spring has erased the snow, melted it away, but guess what? the fat, that ridge in your belly, oh, it doesn't just melt away. Nope.
So, slowly but surely I try to get back on track. Work has gotten stressful, the kids are growing into those years where they flip from angel to demon in a moment, and then personal relationships sort of flounder. You get older.
And your knees start to hurt. What? I was running sub-30 minute five kays just a few short months ago. The soreness was ripping me apart. One run in the spring air and I'd limp home. Changed shoes, that wasn't it. I think it was the body telling me. Time to lose this weight, dude. Time to lose this weight.
Just wait for it, there is a happy-ish ending.
Three weeks ago I started a new diet. An elimination cleanse. Gluten-free, sugar-free, processed-free. We added in a bunch of other stuff too -- no eggs, no corn and corn products, no nightshades, no peppers, no soy. The theory is a) retrain the tastebuds and b) add things back in slowly to find out what they do to the body. Pay attention. Be conscious.
So I was. Every day. Watching what I ate. I found amaranth and millet, I rekindled my love for quinoa. I get myself up each morning now with a homemade juice -- I know exactly what's in it -- the pressed output of carrots and celery and cucumber and beets and apples. No sugar added, only the natural sweetness of the fruit (and using a vertical auger juicer prevents oxidation and heat keeping all the yummy goodness).
And the weight started coming off.
And although I'm only to 181-ish, halfway to my low last summer, I feel much better. At the ballgame last week, I had a hard time finding something good, so I opted for roasted chicken. It's imperfect, but was better than the hot-dog or hamburger or ribs. But I remember thinking "I really wish I had some vegetables - broccoli or brussel sprouts or shelled peas" and the thought struck me that it had worked. I was craving good.
Today is my first day after the strictness of the diet (today's addback -- the nightshades. I miss eggplant) and I still woke myself up with a homemade juice. I'm still drinking massive amounts of water. I'm still working out (and my new fitbit is helping a lot).
I'm only halfway back (and then, that elusive ten pounds at the end that I never got to last year) but I'm more than 80% the way there mentally.
And that's what counts right? That when we fall we pick ourselves back up. That when we wake we know the only thing in our control is our attitude. That when we choose to be healthy, it is a lifestyle. That today I have the same choices I had yesterday, and that my choice is to be healthy.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
You ever get that feeling like you're invincible? Or, that slight, gym-related amnesia that forgets how long it's been since you've really done this? Or that thing where you decide that you need to make up for lost time by, you know, just sort of doing it?
But, yay. I mean, yay? Wait, what?
So, I'm dripping sweat and I feel this gnashing cramp in my left side and my right shoulder is fighting me and halfway through a straight leg dead lift with the kettle bells my thighs go all quivering jello and I suddenly think to myself "self, perhaps you should have taken it a little easier on yourself. I mean, self, honestly"
But the snow is still piling up (a cool 11 inches according to the purple ruler I jammed into the snow on my deck around noon) and I am unlikely to make the gym tomorrow morning before my big morning meeting (which is also unlikely to happen as planned) so I figure why not crank up the workout mix and go at it.
And, if by go at it you imagined a buff, sexy, workout machine with rippling muscles wearing only sport briefs and glistening with sweat, well, you'd have the outfit and sweat part right.
But I wouldn't call it glistening. And it certainly wasn't pretty (so, no, no photos this time. I mean, it was dastardly).
And I have a nasty bruise on my shoulder where I let the kettle bell swing a little too much over the shoulder (although, an upside down and backwards 20 would make a good workout gang tattoo) and I have trouble moving up and down the stairs and I am still having that feeling that the cramp in my side is ready to return at any minute, but guess what. I did it.
So take that limited self. I beat you. Or me. I beat me. or.
(let's just take this as a sign that I'm on my way to "back on track")
((p.s. a special thanks to a special someone who sparkmailed me to bring both inspiration and friendship. you know who you are, and thanks.))
Monday, January 20, 2014
The gym is packed.
"Damn resolutioners" I say, because that is what I say, but you know, I haven't been here in a while, at least not consistently.
And I wait patiently for a treadmill and an elliptical and at the bench and at the dumbbells (because that is what I am, a dumbbell -- the kind that says "three hours at the gym today seems reasonable).
And I still drink a couple beers that night at dinner, but I'm making slightly better choices and I'm starting to lose the weight that I put back on that I had just pulled off. You know, that yo-yo thing, just call me yo. Rather, don't,
And I'm signing up for another spartan, because I can. And I am going to be in the best bathing suit weather I could possibly be in when I take my family vacation in August, and I intend to rock my way to my *gasp* 20 year high school reunion in November, and despite the myriad of other challenges in life, I'm embracing a few things about myself that I often struggle to embrace.
I was told by my therapist (oh, dear reader, had I failed to mention that aspect of my weekly routine, one I did not quit when I fell off the wagon) that I can either spend copious amounts of time trying to change myself to suit others or try to accept who I am and be that person as best I can. That means acknowledging a lot of faults pretty head on, and also having some very very difficult conversations. Life. Eh. But I need to accept who I am.
oh, hey there, you sexy beast.
I mean, really, it's more than that -- sure, accepting me will allow me to regain my mojo, but it will also mean being fully present and understanding what that means. And I need to decide if things I do are truly me or not. And it's a lot of processing for a highly intelligent, experience laden writer-type who wants to indulge in every aspect of life like I was dying tomorrow and who gives a flying squirrel about it all. So I process.
And it's a lot of work, lots of resolutions, but realistic ones, lots of struggles and attempts and not getting too down on oneself and trying to recover a little bit of who I am and why I am and how I am through it all.
So yeah. Granola bar and apple sauce this morning, in pain from the gym (dumbbell, why did you even consider 3 hours realistic?) and sort of... meh.
I mean, it's a positive story in the end, right... it's a journey, and I'm journeying.
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