Friday, April 27, 2012

Afternoon Inspiration

These past two weeks have been sort of hellish for me.

Not once have I gotten enough sleep. I'm stressed out to the point of nausea most days. I only managed one work out each week.

My house is a wreck, my fridge is empty, and today at work I feel like I may be placing my face in the keyboard.

I've also noticed that the more tired and stressed I become, the harder and harder it is to eat healthy and exercise. As much as I've tried to make exercise a priority, I am apparently still putting it below my dog club and so as of late, it has suffered. I'm so tired most nights that dinner is 'What can I just open and eat right away' rather than taking time to cook something.

I'm just so tired that I want to open it, microwave it, eat it, and go to sleep. Yesterday and today I couldn't get out of bed before 7 AM, and I ended up grabbing Burger King on the way to work both days. I don't even remember what dinner was the past two nights, but I know I didn't have left overs for lunch, so I will be going out.

I fell off the wagon, and fell hard. It's going to be very, very hard getting back on and trying to make fitness a priority... but I have to try, because it's very important that I get healthy and stay that way.

To that end, today's Afternoon Inspiration is sharing one of the reasons I want to accomplish being in shape and a healthy weight - Cosplay. I love Cosplay - I love making costumes and dressing up and seeing other people do the same.

I have always wanted to cosplay Tifa Lockheart from Final Fantasy VII.

I know that one day, I'll be able to - if I pick up and get going again.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

In which I return to calorie counting

A while ago I wrote about why I was giving up on calorie counting.

I also wrote about recent failures, in which my weight is steadily climbing back up - and I don't know why.

I feel like I'm eating right all the time - but that might be the problem. I think I'm cheating myself.

Yesterday and today I returned to MyFitnessPal and I logged my food. What did I learn? I was eating closer to 2100 calories a day, over the last two days. My trainer suggested about 1800, based on my activity level - but remember I also wrote about how I hadn't been able to make it to the gym all week because I had stretched myself too thin.

It's also been over a month since I stopped tracking my food - so I can't even tell you for certain that I really did stay within a 'healthy' amount of food.

I can tell you that I keep a bag of Reese's miniatures in my desk at work to snack on when I need chocolate - and that I seem to need it several times a day. Yesterday I admit to eating five of them without thinking.

This tells me that I not only am not a good judge at what I should eat - but I am especially bad at determining how much I should eat.

I'm going to go back to trying to keep track of how much I eat. I have no idea if I am going about this the right way - I'm constantly reading things that contradict each other.

All I can do - is tell you what I'm trying, and then tell you if I am successful.

We'll see...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Afternoon Inspiration

Today's inspiration is a little different than previous weeks.

Yesterday, I had what can only be called a 'Pity Party', (and I have to admit that I unfortunately have them often). I whined on Facebook about how I felt - my incredibly slow progress with my weight loss making me feel like a complete failure, especially when I compare myself to other people who are doing so much better than me in less than half the time.

I didn't expect more than a few 'Cheer ups', and I also confess to needing SOMEONE to tell me everything was ok. Everyone needs to hear it once in a while.

So instead of the usual scouring the net for posts about fitness that inspire me - I'm going to share that post and call of the comments from Facebook. Because today, my friends inspire me.

My friends remind me that I am loved.
My friends remind me that I am beautiful the way I am.
My friends remind me that I am working hard.
My friends remind me that I have improved.
My friends remind me that I have to keep going.
My friends remind me to not quit.
My friends inspire me to be better.

Please note that all names and images (except myself) have been blacked out for privacy, but otherwise - this is a screenshot of the comments.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stretched too thin...

This week, I have officially stretched myself entirely too thin.

I have so far, had only one workout this week - and even that workout didn't go as well as usual due to my unusual level of distractions.

So what's going on?

My husband was here this past weekend. I fell behind on my obligations - and felt guilty about spending time with him. Feeling guilty about spending time with him after he's been gone all this time should have been sign number one that I had bit off entirely more than I could chew.

I spent Sunday trying to catch up on my obligations, and of course - my weekly night of Dungeons and Dragons with my friends that I refuse to call off because I need SOME socializiation in my life.

I stayed up too late Sunday, and overslept my workout on Monday.

Monday evening I had to go to my obedience club to prep materials for an event this Saturday.
Tuesday night I have my Kinderpuppy class that I teach, and I had to work on entries for the upcoming trial, as I am the trial secretary.
Last night, I had an agility class with my puppy - followed by more entries for the upcoming trial.
Tonight, I will be finishing up with trial paperwork.
Tomorrow will be Flyball practice, and loading up my car for Saturday.
Saturday is the SPCA Pet's on Parade event.
Sunday is the Mud Crusade.

All on top of my 40 hour work week.

I'm exhausted - physically and mentally. My sleep has dropped from a solid 8 hours to 4-6 hours becuase of late nights working on trial paperwork. I was supposed to make invitations for my mother's wedding too - but I had to hand those to another person due to my overly strapped schedule.

In my overbooking, my eating habits are falling apart all over again. I'm trying to stick to a fitness plan provided to me by my trainer - but I can't find the time to cook or pack lunches.

I'm staying up late trying to finish things, and it means I'm exhausted in the morning and I have an even harder time trying to wake up to go work out.

Skipping my workouts is making me feel lazy and unproductive - and today, I am in the 'I don't care' camp and 'What difference does it make' pity parties - so I'm eating Chick-Fil-A for lunch.

I read on Facebook about a good friend of mine who has happily lost 28 lbs and reached a BMI that is no longer considered obese. While I'm happy for her, tremendously so - I'm incredibly depressed about my own progress.

She managed this since January. I've been struggling for over a year, and I've barely peeled off 20 pounds.

I don't know what to say or where I am going right now, but I can feel my motivation slipping away from me. Not only does this bring in old, bad habits (overeating, eating junk, not sleeping enough, too much stress) but it's causing me to abandon my good ones.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sometimes.... bailing is best.

This morning, I went to my CrossFit class.

I was tired. I wasn't really in the best mindset, and I was very distracted by a plethora of things I have to accomplish between this week and next.

When I went to lift my 85 lbs into a push press, I should have been paying better attention. As I pushed up to lift the bar over my head, I also pushed out. Pushing out made the bar lean way out in front of me instead of directly above, and I nearly fell forward.

If I were smart, I would have dropped the bar.

However, since we're talking about me here, and know that at times I have very little brains - I tried to correct it. I swung it backwards - with a little too much force, causing the bar to then go behind my head.

Again, if I were smart, I would have dropped the bar.

I stupidly held onto the bar, as I promptly lost my balance and fell backwards. Fortunately, the bar was over my head - so it did not hit me. However since I was still gripping the bar, I did not have hands to put out to break my fall. I landed flat on back, and my head hit the ground - hard.

I was pretty dazed after. I sat up and closed my eyes for a moment while a slight wave of nausea washed over me. A few deep breaths and it passed. My trainer rushed over to make sure I was okay - I'm sure concerned about how hard I hit my head.

A few more deep breaths later, I managed to stand up, pick up the bar, and carry on.

What did I learn from this?
  • Get your head in the game. I was extremely distracted, and as a result, not able to focus completely on what I was doing. I could have been seriously injured - possibly dropping the bar back down to my chest, or it could have hit me on the way down. If I was more focused, I would have lifted straight up, or known when to bail. I should not have attempted to pick up the bar when I was that distracted.
  • Don't be afraid to bail. I had two opportunities to drop the bar before I fell - one when I felt it being pushed too far forward, and again when I started to lose my balance and fall backwards. While it's true that dropping the bar is not always advisable, if it becomes a safety issue to yourself go ahead and bail out of the movement. I could have really hurt myself if I had landed any differently, or had the bar come straight down on top of me. I don't think I need to elaborate on how dangerous it can be to drop a weighted bar onto yourself.
  • Don't quit. The old me would have taken this as an opportunity to quit. I fell, and it hurt. It was embarrassing. If I had been more injured and actually needed to stop, I would have - but I am fine. I needed to just stand up, laugh off the embarrassment of falling, realize what I did wrong, get my head in the game and pick up that bar.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lacking drive

I missed going to CrossFit again today, and this makes day 5 since my last workout.

My husband was visiting and I knew I wouldn't go while he was home. Sunday came and went, and then it is Monday. Only, I couldn't get out of bed this morning. I had the gym bag packed, my breakfast and lunch ready - all I had to do was get up... and I couldn't do it.

Well, I'm not sure if it's a couldn't... so much as a wouldn't.

I was tired, I know... I have trouble sleeping at times (medication side effects) so I can struggle to wake up - but I know I could do it if I pushed. I have been doing it. Today just lacked the extra push.

Where does that push come from?

Is it a drive to look better, feel better, or brag that I go to CrossFit? I couldn't find a reason this morning to move out of my warm bed.

I felt lazy, sluggish, and tired - something that is still carrying over at work.

I also feel guilty - I know I should have gone and I know that I am not able to go tonight due to another engagement.

Still.... that little spark seems to have died out and I don't know what to do to get it back.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Afternoon Inspiration

Yesterday, I took an off day as my arm was telling me it needed rest. I fell off a box during a box jump a few months ago, landing my full weight on my fully extended left arm. I was fortunate not to break it, but it caused a bone contusion and tendinitis that took some time to heal.

While it is usable and no longer painful, it is now substantially weaker than my right, and more subject to overuse injury. Yesterday, I felt my arm muscles tighten and become sore just from rotating my wrist, so I took the day off.

This morning however, I meant to go... but I struggled with a headache that is still on going. I had a headache when I went to bed, and usually when I go to sleep it alleviates them - but not today. I woke up with the same awful headache that was causing sensitivity to light and sound, as well as making me feel very ill. I let myself sleep another hour, and am trying to get through the day of work. The show must go on.

Tonight my husband will be home, and will be here through the weekend - meaning I won't go tomorrow, either. By Monday, I will have missed 4 days total.

But I shall remain vigilant, and stick to healthy eating and be sure not to indulge. A little break now and then is okay, as long as you get back on the horse after.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What does 20 pounds look like?

A coworker found a photo of me on Facebook today, and... I was horrified to look at it. I was so fat! I had no neck, my stomach was bulging and my face was about to pop.

Then she found a recent photo of me, and I was amazed at... how good I look.

I realized that the first photo was over a year ago, and the second one was this past February.

I have lost 20 pounds since the first photo. Being one to always look for progress, I can't help but share the same two photos.

Left is before, right is after. (Yes, that IS a Dalek!)

I am amazed. I still have a very long way to go, but I have made a huge change in my physical appearance.

I'm suddenly very, very proud of how far I've come.

Monday, April 9, 2012

This one's for the girls...

Starting on Friday night, I'm no longer Wonder Woman. Due to entirely natural events that tend to happen once every 28-30 days, I'm now an emotionally charged over eating bloated mess.

This event, like it has every month before it, has a severely damaging effect to my efforts on my journey into fitness.
  1. I have an IUD (Paragard)- and because of that, I experience very severe cramping and.... well, to put it lightly, the flood gates are open. Neither of those things put me in the mood to get off the couch - let alone exercise.  
  2. I bloat like mad. I have watched myself gain as much as 10 pounds during this time. (Although, since I am staying off the scale lately, I don't know how much I have gained this go round) It generally sheds back off the next week, I can only assume it's water weight. I do not exaggerate this aspect in the slightest - suddenly my wedding ring is so tight I can't take it off, my clothes are tight and I just feel... sluggish and awful.  
  3. Breast swelling and tenderness. I am already rocking a D cup and I am usually very happy with them - however for the week leading up to and during, I have to wear triple sports bras to keep them from aching. Running becomes unbearable, and every little bounce makes me wince. 
  4. Crying. I'm sure every woman has gone through this at some point - I'm no exception. I become suddenly extremely emotional, and even something as silly as dropping my keys on the floor is enough to send me into tears. 
  5. Eating. I dub this Shark Week for more than one reason - there's the obvious, and then there is the fact that I become absolutely obsessed with eating - especially if it's chocolate. No one should stand between me and my chocolate this week, especially if you like your limbs attached to your person.
These five effects do not mix well with my fitness goals, and I have yet, in the years of dealing with it, found a way around it. My cramping is severe enough that I end up on the sofa in the fetal position surrounded by tissues, chocolate, and remote in hand for 2 days, or trying to survive work without biting anyone's head off.

Although I've been told exercise can relive some of the pain, I've found it so painful I can barely walk, and I can't bring myself to suffer a workout just for post-workout bliss. Midol doesn't even come close to relieving the symptoms.

My current plan is to just try to ride it out, but I lose about a week a month to this - and I'm sure that it majorly halts my progress.

Some questions for my female readers:

What do you do during this time?
Do you still work out? Do you experience leaks?
What do you do for the breast tenderness? Do you have any suggestions on bras?
Do you have any suggestions on ways to combat the side effects?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Afternoon Inspiration

I feel that today's inspriation is really just for me. My week has been stressful - both at work, and with my volunteer work. My husband's schedule does not align with mine, and I rarely get to talk to him anymore. We aren't even able to text each other. My eating habits have really been strained, and I've eaten out almost every single day and my alcohol consumption has gone up tremendously. My evening runs have all been forefit.

The only thing I've maintained is making it to CrossFit every day. So here is the Friday Inspriation, and know that I need it more than anyone right now.

A thousand times, yes.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Breaking up is hard to do...

I broke up with my scale.

I have been using WiiFit Plus as a way to track my weight – I have over 4 years of obsessive weight checking logged. Obsessive meaning I have been checking at least 5 times a week.

The scale affects me too much. I can't use it as a simple way to track progress, because I'm extremely emotional about the results.

If I lose weight – even if it's .01 lbs, I'm happy. I'll update all of my weight tracking tools, make a happy Facebook status, and spend all day with a smile on my face.

However, if it goes the other way and I end up gaining weight – even .01 lbs, I panic. I begin questioning whether I'm eating too much, how much salt did I eat, am I exercising enough, what did I do wrong? I work myself into a frenzy because I feel like such a failure, and I end up berating myself all day until I just collapse into a sobbing wreck.

I'm  obsessed with what the number on the scale says, so I've decided to not let it rule my actions anymore. Losing .01 lbs is not a cause to celebrate with cake, and gaining .01 lbs is not a cause to call myself a fat cow.

I've let that number rule me for far too long, and my happiness should not depend on what the scale says.

I've had my fitness goal set to 135 lbs for a long time, but why? That's what I should weigh, if I had a healthy BMI, apparently.

Right now, I have a BMI of 32.4, which is classified as Obese. 135 lbs would give me a BMI of 22.4, which is in the Normal range. However, BMI is also just a mathematical formula designed to help you figure out an estimated healthy weight, and it isn't always accurate.

If I manage to reach 150 lbs, but I reach a toned, athletic and fit state of being – am I still overweight? Or is hitting 135 by being extremely strict about my caloric intake, even if it results in 'skinny fat' a better goal?

I'm beginning to learn that my fitness can't be measured by how much I weight or how much body fat I'm carrying. In CrossFit, there are 10 general physical skills to focus on rather than your weight: Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.

I feel like those 10 areas combined really do help you determine fitness, and so I'm working towards changing my goals completely.

I broke up with the scale, and I will no longer let how much I weigh determine my self worth. I can't say that this will be easy and happen over night – I have years of self-degradation to undo. I will, however stay off the scale.

I'll continue to monitor my workouts through Fitocracy and my journal at CrossFit and track my progress through what I accomplished rather than my weight. I'll also continue to take monthly photographs to better see the actual changes to my my body.

It's time to stop being obsessed with what the scale says, and work on being fit.