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Happy April

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

I'd been sort of slacking on my Spark commitment -- I'd been getting my login points, but not always tracking food rigorously. But I'm back with a new commitment. Happy April!

Passover ended this evening, so starting tomorrow it will be easier to eat healthy since I can have my morning oatmeal, granola on my yogurt, beans in my salad, etc., etc. And at the same time harder, since I love bread :)

I also realized that I'm quite stressed out. I actually turned down one freelance assignment this weekend, because even though I'd like to take every job that comes my way, I just don't have the bandwidth. With my main project, my secondary project, my teaching, and then extra stuff that comes up (like a guest lecture I am giving on Monday), plus being a mom and running my household, I just don't have time for a tertiary project. I've been having stress dreams: on Sunday night I dreamed I had no friends, and last night I dreamed I was taking a class and just could not grasp the material, no matter how hard I tried.

That was a sign for me -- so today I took a yoga class, my first in a few months. Aaaahhhhh! Wonderful! This is what my body had been crying out for!

So my resolution for April is to be easier on myself in terms of expectations. I plan to track my food, but be easier on myself if I go over my calories. I plan to exercise, but allow myself to do what I want to do rather than to lift weights or go for a run because today's the day for it. If I do go for a run (or even enter a race, which is planned for April 20), I want to be kind to myself and allow walk breaks when I need them -- achieving, I hope, a comfortable balance of exercise benefit (as measured by my heart rate monitor) and sanity. And I want to do more yoga -- goal is 1x a week. I know it's not strength or resistance training, but it's got plenty of benefits for both my body and my mind.

Happy April, everyone! And here's to a new month of refreshed living and being kind to ourselves.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RACEWELLWON 4/10/2013 5:26PM

    Sounds like good goals - why take on more than you can handle ? Thanks for the visit - feeling much better - Hugs K emoticon

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    Way to go, Hillary! It sounds like you are recalibrating and doing what your body needs. I have been slacking for the past 2 weeks, not even tracking my food. I've recommitted as well so I'll be cheering for you!


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CARI2012 4/3/2013 9:19AM

    Great goals! It's great to recognize when you need to relax a little and take steps to do what you need to do for yourself. Way to go :)

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JESSIKA_56 4/3/2013 8:03AM

    Take it easy on yourself so you don't burn yourself out!

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RORYLYONS 4/3/2013 3:01AM

    emoticon emoticon

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AEGISHOT 4/3/2013 1:47AM


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Weight and sense of self

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Just read a fascinating article from someone who had weight loss surgery and felt that since she hadn't changed her habits and thought processes, she lost her sense of self along with the weight.

What do you think? Is your weight associated with your sense of self?

I may be kidding myself, but I don't think I feel any of the self-loathing that "fat" people are supposed to feel. Part of that may be because I am not seriously fat (I am a size 12, and have been a size 16 but never heavier than that), but I think it is an exaggeration to say that all fat people hate themselves. Simply not true! I am here to develop healthy habits and hopefully improve my appearance, but honestly, I love myself and my body now, even though there are parts I know I can improve. And the things I most want to change about myself are not appearance related at all.

Here's to loving ourselves even as we work towards positive change.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GAYLLYNNE 3/21/2013 8:37AM

    Anyone, fat or thin, can hate themselves. I have been there in both stages. Thanks for giving us something to think about.

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BARBARASDIET 3/20/2013 3:26PM

    I don't think I ever hated myself but I am bewildered by people who judge me for how much I weigh.

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PAL2010 3/20/2013 2:45PM

    I've never hated myself. I know there are issues I need to work on, which is why I am here on SP to begin with. As for weight loss surgery, not something I would consider. I would rather learn how to live a healthy life style so my weight loss will last for years to come. Thank for the blog. It really got me thinking about how other people perceive themselves and others around them.

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Go weigh your food!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I recently fell in love with my kitchen scale. OK, love/hate. I love that it tells me accurately how much I am eating. I hate that what I used to think was a single serving of cereal, now I know is actually 2 servings by weight!

It was very eye opening to weigh my food for the past few mornings. I wish more foods had weights on them in the Spark nutrition counter. For example, a "medium" baked potato is so confusing -- but if you had a weight in grams, I would know exactly how big that potato is supposed to be.

When I weighed my food, I learned that I'm probably WAY overeating, which would explain my plateau of the past few weeks. Sigh. I did lose 1.4 at my last weigh in, but it still feels like a plateau because I am still above my recent lowest weight. But I should still give myself credit for moving in the right direction!

In happier news, I just finished Couch 2 5k week 6 day 1 (8 min run, 3 min walk, 8 min run). It wasn't too bad, though I still need to be better about slowing down so that I can keep running without a break for longer periods of time. Oh, and I also need to be better about getting out of the house to RUN!

I was disappointed to find that the race I was planning to do, the Redondo Beach St. Patrick's Day 5k, is actually this weekend (March 3, 2 weeks early). I'm not going to be ready then, so I need to find another race in my local area -- hoping for something in early April. And then I guess I'll have to do a race every month or two just for motivation to keep on training. There are worse things than having a collection of race finisher T-shirts! Unfortunately I don't think 5ks give you medals the way marathons do.

Hope you all are having a great week -- we're over the hump now, and coasting toward the weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GZELLEFRO 3/14/2013 11:05PM

    I agree with you about the scale. I got one and I am thankful for it because it takes all the guesswork out of portion sizes. I just have to stop eating junk now!! emoticon

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JENKOP11 3/7/2013 11:51AM

    Now I have to go and buy one. But I love new high-techy things. Any recommendations on types?

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CAMETHYSTE 3/1/2013 3:32AM

    I love my food scale, too and have also been wishing that more foods on Sparkpeople were listed by weight. And I had the same revelation about my breakfast cereal! Portion measurements other than weight are so imprecise. Keep on weighing your food and I'm sure you'll do better. emoticon

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AEGISHOT 2/28/2013 4:24PM

    I actually kept mine at an arm's reach.

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RACEWELLWON 2/28/2013 2:41PM

    I have taken out my food scale once again - and my measuring utensils. Accuracy is major part of this journey. I also have been surprised in the past of what I thought by eye balling portions - what a shocker !!
In regards to the 5k - the T-shirts are a nice accomplishment due to the fact that most races are held to benefit something and the 5ks do give out medals to the top contenders in your age group - first, second and third . For me just be able to participate in the race makes me a winner. It took six surgeries for me me to walk again so speed is not my first goal to finish and be a part of something that is healthy is my medal - it all depends on how we look at a situation - Keep up the fantastic work - oh yeah - I have few miles before my next spark buddy visit - lol - thanks for the visit- Hugs K emoticon emoticon New Jean Size

Comment edited on: 2/28/2013 2:44:06 PM

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    You said it. That food scale is a REALITY CHECK for me. No more eyeballing portion sizes for me. I end up entering a lot of my own foods so I get the right weights.

Congrats on losing a size in jeans. That is so great! I know the GAP and J CREW are both having sales! Have fun! emoticon

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RX_2_RV 2/28/2013 1:14PM

    The food scale is my friend...bathroom scale, not so much! emoticon
I'm considering a monthly weigh in alternating every 2 weeks with taking my measurements so I stop driving myself nutty over this and just focus on the RESULTS.

Have fun shopping for new jeans! How exciting! I'm still in the same size as when I started but they are loose/comfortable now instead of cutting off my circulation! LOL!

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LHLADY517 2/27/2013 9:59PM

    I so agree. I also wish more foods gave us exact wts.

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Thankful for my Spark friends

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I have noticed that some people on Spark make an effort to respond to every comment that's written on their blog. They'll send a goodie, or leave a comment on that user's page. I prefer to do it a different way. I try to keep track of what's going on with my friends, leave comments on their blogs, and send goodies when they're down -- and I expect them to do the same for me. So if I don't acknowledge each comment individually, it's not that I don't care. I just see it as part of the exchange of Spark friendship.

As for me -- I've had a week off of work, so as a consequence I've been having trouble focusing on getting stuff done, even though of course I have a list a mile long of all the little odds and ends that should get done when I have a week off of the urgent stuff. And my knee has been bothering me, so I took yesterday off of running. It's feeling better, and I was able to finish c25k week 5 day 1 today, which was great, but I think I'll make an appointment with the therapist guy because I already have a partial ACL tear and I sure wouldn't want it to get worse. I haven't specifically done therapy or knee strengthening exercises in several years, but now that I'm stepping up my general exercising and running, maybe it's time to take better care of known weak spots.

My last weigh in was disappointing -- exactly the same as the previous weigh in, which was up. So I'm plateauing 2 lbs up from my lowest weight. Very frustrating. But I've been slacking off a little bit in the Spark department, eating slightly less well than I should, and clearly it is time to be conscientious. In NSVs, it's also time to buy new jeans, since mine are sagging, and plumber's crack just isn't a good look.

We had been hoping to go to the snow this weekend, but unfortunately both my son and my husband are sick. So instead we'll be staying here. Fortunately, we do have some Purim-related events and other fun things to keep us interested over the weekend.

Hope you are all well, and rest assured, I am indeed grateful for each and every one of my spark friends. Even if I'm frustrated by my current plateau, I've lost 15 lbs, and I couldn't have done it without all of you. And I'm sure that with your encouragement, I will lose the rest of the weight as well!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GZELLEFRO 2/24/2013 9:45PM

    There are other indicators that you're doing well in your exercise and fitness goals. You said your pants are fitting looser, and that is one wonderful indicator! Also, how are you feeling emotionally and physically? That's another indicator. Do an evaluation of yourself and only you can decide, but the scale can be a downer, so don't let it bother you! YOU ARE DOING GREAT!! emoticon

Thanks for the blog. It's important that we remember that we're not the only ones in the world, and others may need encouragement more than we do at the time. We only have a fixed number of hours in the day and we have to use them to the best advantage!

Hope you're doing well, and have a GREAT week! emoticon

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PHEBESS 2/22/2013 7:12PM

    Some of us plateau a lot (I'm like that) - others don't.

And I don't respond to every person who replies to a blog, either - time is limited, you know?

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CARI2012 2/22/2013 2:44PM

    This may sound silly, but HOORAY for plumber's crack! You've made a lot of progress, and this plateau will end and you will make MORE progress! Thanks for being such a good source of inspiration and support for me :)

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USMAWIFE 2/21/2013 9:10PM

    You will break your plateau soon and reach your final goal

emoticon emoticon

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CASSIOEPIA 2/21/2013 8:51PM

    I hope your household feels better soon. And great job about taking care of known weaknesses. So often, we tend to ingore.

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MOMMY2MADILYN 2/21/2013 8:48PM

    Of course you will reach your goal! You WILL succeed!! Have you thought of switching up your workout routine? Oftentimes, that can help break through a plateau. Like you, I am also very thankful for my Spark Friends!

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CKSCARBERRY1 2/21/2013 8:40PM

  Keep up the good work!

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Me vs. Depression

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Since I was an adult, I've spent some time on antidepressants. The first time was when I was at a point in my life where I didn't know where my career was going, where my relationship was going, where my life was going ... I fixed my career problems, and my boyfriend proposed, and I was able to get off the antidepressants with no negative effects.

More recently, when my baby was 5 months old I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. I cried a lot, worried incessantly about whether I was a good mother, and felt like I was trapped in the role of caregiver rather than enjoying my new baby. With the medication (and all the other usual help from a caring husband, good friends, and healthy habits) I was able to find joy in my new life.

A few weeks ago, my prescription for the antidepressants ran out. I thought to myself, maybe I'm cured! My son is now 12 months old; I'm not technically postpartum anymore, and it would be nice to enjoy life without medication.

However, as they've worn off I've found myself more and more in a funk. I find myself feeling overwhelmed but unable to concentrate on the tasks I need to get done; I feel more and more insecure about myself; I feel fatigued more easily; I feel hopeless and helpless. It has affected my sex drive. And it's been harder for me to eat well and easier for me to turn to chocolate and other junk foods to make myself happy from an external source, since the happiness is coming from outside. This has affected all areas of my life, including my parenting skills, but also my eating and my exercising.

The thing about depression is, it's insidious. It's a mental disorder, so when you have it, one of the symptoms is that it's hard for you to realize that this isn't the way your mind normally works. So even knowing what depression is like, it took some time to realize that this funk that I'm in isn't the real me, it's what happens when the chemicals in my brain are in disarray. We don't know why they don't always work correctly, but body and brain chemistry are mysterious. It's tempting for everyone, including myself, to say that I should just snap out of it, but that's not what depression is all about it -- it's not about maintaining happiness by force of will, but about correcting an imbalance that allows me to live life as I should be living it. I don't feel bad about taking a thyroid supplement to correct an underactive thyroid, and I shouldn't feel bad about taking an antidepressant to correct a brain chemistry problem.

I'm sharing this here in part to remind myself that the depressed me isn't the *real* me. The real me can accomplish great things without feeling distracted, out of focus, fatigued, and overwhelmed by life. The real me is lots of fun, is someone I enjoy being, and soon, I will get her back.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARI2012 2/19/2013 10:42AM

    There's no shame in taking antidepressants... the stigma is (or should be) in the past. Also, I don't see any reason to stop taking them if all you're having is good "side effects"? I really appreciate your honestly and open-ness in this blog.

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RACEWELLWON 2/16/2013 9:42PM

    You are normal to me , I am Bipolar and have a thyroid problem Hypothyroid. Depression is a disease, its not you its a disease just like Diabetes. I had those feelings when my son was born , Its difficult to be a Mom and you have a right to your feelings and a right to speak freely without judgement. Their is no manual on being a parent -I am sure that you are a wonderful Mother and are being hard on yourself. Have some alone time with your husband. See your Physician - that is part of taking care of yourself !! Hugs Karen - Here if you need me emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/16/2013 9:43:18 PM

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    Dear Hilary,

I have struggled with depression too, and it is such a difficult road. I have been on my anti-depressants for a few years now. They make such a difference in my life, sometimes I am tempted to go off them. I have to remind myself that they are the reason the depression is in recession! I think of it like eating healthy -- if it is working, why do I stop doing it?

I hope that you see your doctor and begin to feel better soon. You deserve it. You deserve to be the healthiest you can be, including your emotions.

Love to you,
Janet emoticon

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NELLJONES 2/16/2013 8:49AM

    My oldest son is on antidepressants, and will be for the rest of his life. I'm just glad they are available now. No one thinks twice about needing insulin or blood pressure pills for life. Why would antidepressants be any different? There is no moral component to any of them. All are medical conditions, conditions for which there are now, thankfully, solutions.

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JESSIKA_56 2/16/2013 8:03AM

    Thank you for your honesty. You're right, it does take time to realize that you are in a funk, but at least you DID realize it! Go see your doctor and I hope the cloud will be lifted soon. emoticon

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    You did a great job of explaining the truth about antidepressants! Take advantage of the medical technology so that you can feel alive and well, and live the life you know you were meant to live! God bless!

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PHEBESS 2/16/2013 4:35AM

    Sweetie, go back to your dr. Talk to him/her. Antidepressants may not be needed all the time, but you need to taper off them, going off cold turkey is rough on your body and can cause chemical imbalances. Really, please, go see your dr. You don't need to feel bad.

(My MA is in Psych, my husband is bipolar - trust me on this one, okay? GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR. Please.)

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