Tuesday, September 02, 2014
My cat hasn't been himself for nearly a week. I started noticing that he wasn't his usual suck-up, pushy self. Then there was that he self-selected NOT to go outside for a few days. I could see he still drank his water and ate a little, used the litter box. But he just wasn't his usual self.
Finally on Sunday morning, he decided to go outside, and I let him, even though he wasn't looking his most robust. He didn't come back until this morning. And he's a little more himself.
Why tell this tale? I suppose because I've had "one of those weekends" when I kind of implode on myself. Three days in a row without 10,000 steps. No workouts. Binge TV watching with Netflix (finished my last book). Eating what was in the house, at one point to feeling bloated and not tracking (did a little after the fact tracking of one day, then just gave up on it). Sleeping quite a bit, both late in the morning, and taking naps. In short, being a slug. Did just the minimum household things. Didn't even leave the house.
This morning? Trash is out, cat is back, and I am rousing back to what I now know is my natural self. It was indeed reactionary behavior, and I think a LOT of it has to do with identity.
The "who am I?" question always comes back whenever I step into the spotlight. Because being in the spotlight, only the part played shows up. And the actor is NOT the role. I had some pretty heady experiences with the governor in the audience. And I have three events in September. I think the "down" weekend was both reactionary and anticipatory.
Time to get back. It's taper/race this month. Treat yourself gently was only the beginning... recognizing that even this kind of lapse is part of the process? A form of growth.
LIFE is good. It's better when I'm fit. Being well rested is a HUGE part of being fit. Life is at its best when supported by and supportive of kindred spirits on their own journeys to a healthier lifestyle. Creatively, consistently, and consciously making choices that support that journey, I remain GRATEFUL for each and every day.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
I have commented back to a couple of blogs this morning that I actually read last night while in the midst of a reactionary binge. Yes, people. I have reactionary binges. I can almost predict them any more.
What is a reactionary binge in my world? It's a binge brought on from being out of balance in some way. The old HALT acronym? Never let yourself get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired? (I could add over-peopled in my lexicon, but that is a specialized form of Tired for an introvert like me.) Those are the times when I am vulnerable.
I've had four of these "corrections" in the past thirty days. I think there are elements of each of the HALT things in them. If I have been under-eating for my training range, that would trigger the H. If I have been pressured to do things that I really don't feel in harmony with (either at work or because someone asked me and in a moment of flattery-induced weakness or people-pleasing I said yes...) that could be fueling the A, even if I'm in denial about being angry (I'm not real good at identifying anger in myself). If I am feeling "misunderstood", or "out of place" in a crowd, that can be the L, even (and sometimes especially) if I'm surrounded by people. And finally, sleep deprivation and over-peopling can feed that T. So can trying to make too big changes in my lifestyle at once, because it requires effort.
It's very important for me to stop some things "at the grocery store" so that when one of these vulnerable times comes up... I have to stop and think about what I'm doing. Sometimes the great justifier steps in and says... "It's H... it's really H... you haven't been eating enough." And when the scale says so, too... and it has since about the end of June... a moderate amount of excess eating is probably justified.
I can sometimes see myself setting me up for such a thing, even as I walk through the aisles of the grocery store. Which I did on Thursday after work. I purchased several things on the premise that they would be used as recovery fuel after my long workouts. Only... I'm about to enter taper weeks for my next Olympic triathlon... hello! I bought chocolate milk. And some chocolate bars. And 85% cocoa dark chocolate... do you see a pattern here? I do!
In my defense, I also bought Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, bananas, pineapple, and a gorgeous fresh peach! But in my vulnerable state, which do you think will be consumed?
OK, so now let's talk about the A. Has anything been bugging me? Have I felt put upon? Well, I don't know if it's Angry, but I've been a bit anxious about work... the old deadline pressure.
And the L? Misunderstood? Eh... not sure... sometimes there is this reaction after I've spoken in public, which I've done twice in the past two weeks, telling my tale first at the Governor's wellness award luncheon, and again to a smaller group including a doctor from the CDC who was here looking at the State's workplace wellness program. Yeah, condensing your tale down into 10 minutes can make one feel that you've left important things out... and of course having the attention, and people come up to me later in the week to thank me? Distinctly uncomfortable... I'm not crazy about the pedestal thing, you know? Because I'm NOT perfect, I'm so very human with flaws... too much praise tends to make me feel like a bit of a fraud. I KNOW some of you out there totally "get" that!
Which leaves the T. Tired was definitely in play. I've inserted extra rest days this week, but I have NOT been getting the sleep I need. And over-peopled to the max (work had lots of meetings, in addition to those speaking things). I had promised myself a cave weekend this weekend and then I had knee-jerked response said "yes" to an open water swim event for this morning... and I hadn't been feeling terrific all week (ragweed season is in high gear, and we've had weather fronts).
So... perfect storm? Mayyyybe?
And yes, I went through most of those treats between work and bedtime. It was compact, but it was nearly 4000 calories. This morning the scale was back up into my maintenance range, and I felt cruddy. I bowed out of the open water swim, and have given myself permission to have a cave weekend. It is what I need. The binging? Stopped. Analyzed. Ready to move on. Because we all have reactions. Sometimes we handle them better. Sometimes not so much.
LIFE is good. It's better when I'm fit. It's at its best when I am NOT too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired... when I parent myself, often with the help of those kindred spirits who hang out in real life and online, walking their own journeys! Creatively, consciously (even when conscious of the reactions in progress), and consistently (not perfectly) making choices that support the long term healthy lifestyle... I remain GRATEFUL, for each and every day!
Friday, August 29, 2014
As I was cogitating over what I wanted to share today, several topics went through my mind. Then I read a couple of blogs by my Spark friends, and came across this one: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Yes, Monty, I'm pointing you out, I'm "liking" and setting you up! Because what you said so resonates with me.
Another that contributed to my Spark this morning was Gaye's Inspirational quote for the Day, so THANK YOU for spurring my motivational juices, too:
I scanned back over the things I've written and focused on the past few weeks, and came up with the subject: MORE.
A healthy lifestyle is about MORE. That's the thought. It's not all about food. It's not a diet. It's not all about exercise. It's not a race. It's not ALL about addressing your feelings and issues. This isn't therapy. But ALL of these things, and MORE... lead to a healthy life.
It's surrounding yourself with support. It's making sure you get things checked out medically when appropriate. It's trying new things and keeping what works. It's balancing your life to include things that feed your soul and spirit. It's taking care of yourself so you HAVE something to give back to the world, so you CAN fulfill whatever your personal mission is on this plane.
A Spark program is so much MORE than any one element. And people, SparkPeople.com is a powerful weapon in the war against all kind of woes. It gives one belonging. It gives one the knowledge that one is NOT alone. It gives one the tools to take action. By sharing, we inspire one another. By asking, we bond. Sparking for me, is the difference between the roller coaster of long relapses and a journey interrupted only by smaller bumps in the road.
LIFE is good. It's better when I'm fit. It is at its best when balanced and shared at touch points along the journey, with kindred spirits who are working on their own journeys. Creatively, consciously, and consistently making choices that support those journeys that make up our LIVES, I remain GRATEFUL for each and every day!
Thursday, August 28, 2014
To continue the story of the book:
Those of you who read regularly will remember this was a book recommended for my sister by her daughter. Some Spark members have gone the whole nine yards (pun intended) to try the Whole 30 program, i.e. eliminating all the things they tell you to eliminate for 30 days, and moving on to reintroduce food groups one at a time. This is a fine experiment to determine just what food sensitivities, among the most common, one might personally be affected by.
Considering this to be a bit on the extreme side for me, I am nonetheless taking some of their information and trying it out. I mentioned trying out their recommended fats (they are kind of "down" on walnuts, which was one of my go-to's), so I'm trying switching it up, with cashews, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts. I have enjoyed the difference. They are REALLY "down" on sugars and artificial sweeteners. I have reduced the number of times I put artificial sweetener in my coffee, but I haven't given up the sugar free gum.
Some of you are aware that I had continued to use the Jenny Craig brand foods as the bulk of my "training table", simply due to convenience, and because as processed foods go, they seem to have better published nutritional counts than what I see in my grocery store for similar products. BUT... at the level I've been training at... I have to supplement, and that means real, fresh, cook for myself food.
So I'm reducing the amount of JC foods, and introducing the healthiest options I can. I am NOT giving up my steel cut oats or my organic skim milk (no matter what the book says). But I AM adding in organic, range-fed chicken eggs, and organic meats, beef, chicken, wild caught fish... which is every bit as pricey as the JC stuff, but with high quality nutrition and the calories I need.
Thus... cooking for myself. Which takes some more planning and organization than I'd had to do. It's work. But it's also creative endeavor. And... so far the results are? I'm more satisfied with my dinners... I feel full, I sleep better, and several nights I have not felt the need of the evening snack. But it's still work.
This is an experiment. We shall see how it goes... will I get to the point of giving up dairy and grains completely? I very much doubt it... the experiment is in some ways tempting... but as I said in an earlier blog while I was still reading and not fully convinced... what I was doing seems to work. This blend seems to be working, too. So, why try to fix it? Other than to satisfy curiosity, that is.
LIFE is good. It's better when I'm fit. It is at its best when I find I have touch points with kindred spirits as I travel on this journey. Creatively, consistently, and consciously making choices to support a life of health and activity, I remain GRATEFUL for every single day.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Makes a Barb healthy, rested and... well, time passing and experience takes care of the wisdom side of things.
I woke early (before the alarm) to the sounds of rain on the roof, and when I took the garbage can to the curb it was cool and wonderful out there! Yes, I'm feeling much better than I did yesterday at wake up time! It's a good thing, because I get to repeat my "testimonial" for the wellness program for a site visitor this noon. I might tell it somewhat differently this time (every time I tell my tale it's different), and I'm taking my envelope full of before and event photos. You've seen many of them here as I've rotated them on and off the Spark page and through the blogs.
I had a little extra time since I woke early, and noticed that the avocado I bought last weekend was ready to use... thus the status. I removed the skin and seeds, added lime juice and fat free Greek yogurt to come up with a "kinda-sorta" guacamole combination. Thanks to WATERMELLEN for the suggestion about the cilantro... maybe next time I'll add that, too. Last week I had tried a ripe banana & avocado blend with added cinnamon and vanilla to make a pudding like thing... very good, too. It's kind of fun, learning new things, trying new flavor combinations, and marveling about how my tastes have changed over time.
I am still working on regaining those "couple of pounds" (which was why the full milk latte yesterday... I had thought about ice cream but it wasn't quite hot enough for me to feel it was really needed... and the latte sounded good). Despite this "splurge", the scale is still below where I want it to be this morning, and I'll keep an eye on the calories to get more in there!
The consultant at the weight loss center told me yesterday that she would have me on 2300 calories a day in maintenance with my training schedule, but I'm having a hard time keeping it averaging in the 1800-1900 range. Been trying to push it to 2000. Thus the experiments with healthy fats. I'd be willing to bet if I ate the way I did LAST year, I would not be having this problem... but then I would not be feeling this good, either. Crap food makes one feel like crap. Bottom line. So I'm going high quality while looking for those calories, latte notwithstanding.
Enough of that! Yesterday was a rest day. Today's plan calls for an easy run. Hoping for cool and dry after work for it.
LIFE is good. It's better when I'm fit. And it is of course at its best with Spark friends who are kindred spirits touching our journeys at common points (and parallel ones). Creatively, consistently, and consciously making choices to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I remain GRATEFUL for each and every day!
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