Monday, January 30, 2012

Sometimes Lightbulb Moments Reveal Cockroaches in the Bathroom

As I have approximately 4,932 times on, I once again encouraged at least one person today to look not at the big, overwhelming picture, but to concentrate on one choice at a time.

I said it because I know it works, and it does....

But I also read a couple of buddies' blogs in which they posted some very simple, concrete goals and how they were doing at achieving them.

And then the grumpy lightbulb lit up.

The lightbulb moment isn't always fun. While usually bringing light to the darkness is awesome and liberating... sometimes it lets you know that you have cockroaches lurking in your bathroom at night.

I do not actually have cockroaches in my bathroom. At least I don't think I do... Oh great, now I'm paranoid that there are bugs doing all sorts of weird things in my house when I'm not home, and being a child of the 80's/90's, I of course get immediate images of Joe's Apartment and have mixed feelings because they might be HILARIOUS cockroaches, but even in that case are still gross cockroaches.

I don't think I set out to write about bugs... where was I?

Here is what the lightbulb moment revealed to me today (but that I have probably known for quite some time and just wanted to ignore)

1) Taking life one choice at a time so that the big picture isn't overwhelming is awesome, and something I should stick to, but that doesn't mean I should lose sight of the big picture ALTOGETHER.
"Oh good for me, we ate out but I ordered a really healthy option" doesn't really properly put into perspective that we ate out about 6 times last week. Even if I'm ordering the best option every time, and the options are actually good, they are not great, and I am wasting money.

2) Goals are awesome, but vague goals aren't particularly helpful.

Wanting to fit into the very last pair of "someday they'll fit again" pants left in the drawer is a good goal. Do what makes me feel good about myself instead of just "good" in the moment is an awesome goal...
But how exactly do you track your progress on those? In the meantime my water intake is dropping off, my freggies are inconsistent, I'm not sleeping enough, I'm not planning ANYTHING ahead of time when it comes to food... The seat of my pants is a pretty dependable flying mechanism lately, after so much practice (and new, smaller pants), but certainly not as safe as a PLAN.

3) There is something going on in my brain that I'm avoiding thinking about. So even though now that I'm making myself face and think about it I don't really have any explanation for it, I'm going to write it out:

I think I am afraid of ONEderland.

There, I said it.

I do not know why I am afraid. It's a HUGE goal for me, one that I'm literally ONE TENTH OF A POUND from, and have been for nearly 2 weeks.
So why that tortilla instead of making myself a burrito bowl?
Why grab a diet soda when I know I need to be drinking more water?
Why choose an easy workout on Friday when I have the time and energy for a better one?
I'm not binging, or skipping workouts entirely (well, I had to miss 2 last week due to a car accident, but I complained about it a lot and got back in the gym the second I was cleared for exercise)...
I'm just... not putting in that final push to break through this milestone, even though I'm perfectly capable of it.

So what the heck is going on with my brain?!?!

Here is my very non-professional theory on the craziness happening inside me, no matter how much I ignore it:

The last time I lost weight with SP I made it into ONEderland... barely. I remember replacing too many meals with slimfast, doing weird, crazy, but inconsistent workouts. I remember getting hyperfocused on that goal, and super excited when I achieved it.

I also remember that I pretty much stopped trying after hitting it. I was happy with my clothing sizes, we were about to go on vacation.... I lost several more pounds, but in retrospect it was all muscle. I started shopping for vacation clothes instead of going to my swim class. I stopped working out entirely. I ate more and more junk. I got down to the 180's BRIEFLY.

And then I gained all the weight back.
It wasn't instant, and I'd try to recommit myself and lose 5-10lb now and then, I think even 15 or 20 once... but my heart wasn't in it.
So then I gained another 20lb than where I started from, and despite being back on SP regularly, and wanting it so bad, and trying pretty hard more of the time than I wasn't, I stayed the same or gained some of those 20lb, and it all seemed hopeless.

But then the happy ending, right? It clicked in my brain when I wrote that blog way back around this time last year about making choices that make me feel good about myself instead of the ones that make me feel "good". I honestly feel like it was that moment that started my real break with emotional eating. Things are going awesome. I'm in the best shape I've been in since highschool, I'm thinner than I've been since 2005 (even if I'm technically heavier), I feel like there are real changes going on in my head and my life instead of just my body...

But I'm stuck. And I'm not stuck like "everybody plateaus" stuck, I'm stuck like I'm caught on some obstruction in the path and am just ignoring it and spinning my wheels down into a rut instead of figuring out how to get unstuck.

I'm pretty sure I'm stuck because I'm afraid.
I'm not really afraid of ONEderland.
I'm afraid of what happened to me the last time I got there.
And spiders.
And heights.

So I'm confessing it here, semi-publicly. I can't pretend these feelings aren't going on if I took the time to write them down where other people can see it!! Well, I could try, but that's pretty silly even for me.

Friends, and readers who are yet to become friends, I'm scared.
I've made mistakes in the past when reaching the same milestone that had devastatingly major consequences.
I know exactly how capable I am of messing everything up, and it's making it really hard to focus on how equally capable I am of making everything awesome.

BUT, this isn't a woe-is-me blog. This is a lightbulb blog, remember?
It just happens to be the cockroach kind instead of "oh, that's where I put my keys".

Luckily, now that I wrote it out, I'm pretty sure I see my keys over there under the cockroaches. It's really going to suck to stick my hand through those creepy crawlies and get my keys out of there, but I can do it.

The ONLY thing in my way is me, and oh how lucky, that's also the only thing I have the power to change.

Attitude change and positive action commence!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Or "Albert Felinestein." Or "Ben Purr."

My feelings about one year ago:



Self Esteem:

Me today; 57lb, over 3ft in inches, and approximately one major airline carousel's worth of emotional baggage shed through hard work and dedication:




I say "hard work and dedication," and sometimes it is, but mostly it's a lot of small changes adding up to big differences.
I could not be more glad that I have made, am making, and continue to make these small changes in my life.

Change is hard, but it's not nearly as hard as we fear it is, or as hard as we sometimes make it for ourselves.
It's one glass of water over a can of coke.
It's the sense of accomplishment we get over that small choice.
It's the decision to forgo seconds at dinner that this sense of accomplishment inspires us to make.
It's taking the sense of pride from that sense of accomplishment and marching it right down to the gym, or around the block, or in place in our living room where no one's watching.

I always hear people who've lost weight and otherwise changed their lives encouraging others by saying "If I can do it anyone can!"

Well I've got news for you, if anyone can do it, YOU can

Friday, January 13, 2012

Plant/People Hybrids are a Real and Scary Looking Possibility

Wednesday was a pretty impressive day in the land of Lulu Legume. In case braving the "manly room" and getting to be among the first to welcome a baby bro into the world and doing PULL UPS on the intimidating assisted pull up machine wasn't quite bad ass enough... I ended up going to a turbo sculpt class later that evening.

It was probably a bad plan.

I was already sore, and exhausted, and was pretty sure I was going to die or have a limb simply refuse to be my friend anymore and abandon me for putting it through such torture.

BUT I DID IT!!! The WHOLE class, and I felt awesome.
And also like really ouchy geletain.

Quickest cure for ouchy geletain (in my world)?
Eat like a WHOLE FARM in miniature.
Dear BF and I decided to go to one of our favorite local taquerias for dinner, and it's probably really awful, especially as a former vegan, but I thought it would be AWESOME to get 3 tacos, 1 chicken, 1 carne asada, 1 chile verde (pork) - soft tacos with no cheese or any of that stuff and only 1 corn tortilla, of course... I needed a good protein boost!

Feeling quite accomplished at being evil on my own scale of maniacalness, I decided to also try NEW new trainer's suggestion for the soreness: Coconut water and 30 minutes of stretching.

It doesn't quite have the same sense of world-domination, but it does seem practical...

I explained to dear BF that I needed to pop next door to the grocery store to pick up said coconut water, and when I got the expected really funny look (because I hate coconut with almost all of the hate you can hate with) I explained that I had googled it and it was full of potassium and magnesium and something called cytokinins. I told him I put a lot more faith in stretching than water made from nuts, but why not?

To which he, very maturely, responded: "Hehe, nut water."

After even funnier second look number 2, I explained that cytokinins are basically like the plant equivalent of stem cells in humans.

"And nuts, right? Nuts are good for you!!!" (snicker snicker snicker)

After letting out a spazzy laugh at the nut jokes, I explained that some people apparently think that this will help muscles repair faster, but I think that's silly. I am not a plant. A plant stem cell is not going to encourage my human cells to repair themselves any faster. That's retarded. But I do know that our cells are HUGE fans of potassium, and that coconut water is a lot less calories and carbs than a banana, so why not?

Then dear bf dropped the bomb. "If comic books and horror movies have taught me anything, it's that plant/people hybrids are a very real and scary looking possibility. Better be careful with your NUT WATER!!" (more snickering)

I simply laughed at the further nut jokes, and took the opportunity to dance down the beverage aisle singing about my new coconut water purchase.

But then I got to thinking...
What if I DID become a comic book style super villain legume person / coconut hybrid?

If I'm going to have to wear a spandex unitard I better keep working out and watching what I eat...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Braved the Land of the Bro's !

I did it!!

With the help of my NEW new personal trainer, I braved "the manly room" at my gym. My gym has an unusual floor plan, so the weights and strength training machines are spread out over 3 separate rooms. "The manly room" is the one with all of the 'heavy lifting' machines, as well as a few of the ones that just take up more space.

I don't like to go to there.

There are always several really burly dudes in there grunting and sweating all over everything and saying "bro" a lot.

I do not call people 'bro.'

There is also evidence of some sort of creature that is rather sneaky and fast and subsists on the t-shirt sleeves of its prey: the 'bro's.
There is no other logical explanation for why all of their sleeves have been forcibly removed.
Perhaps it makes a nest in there somewhere with them... Or really likes pit stains for lunch.

Well today I ventured into the land of the bro's.
NEW new trainer started me off in a safe little corner, behind a post, so there was a nice buffer between me and the nearest bromantical weight lifting scenario playing out at the next machine. There were a lot of things being said over there that should probably never be said between two men in public (what they do in private is fair game, so far as I'm concerned)... lots of things about breathing and pushing. Maybe one of them was actually having a baby? I was too busy doing my OWN thing, thank you very much, to look over there.

Had absolutely nothing to do with the fear that I might burst out laughing hysterically if I put an image to all of that man-cooing.

Anyways, comfort level achieved in my safety nook behind the post, I even ventured out into the room and used the big manly METAL dumbbells, instead of the neoprene coated bright purple ones from the aerobics classroom, like for REAL worker-outers.
It was pretty neat.
I even did a squatting pulling on a weighted pulley maneuver out in the very visible part of the room (I'm pretty sure the baby was a bro, in case you were wondering)!!

Point is, the work out with NEW new trainer was awesome, and she even actually used the whole hour to work out and then talk a little about what I'm eating instead of spending half of it trying to sell me stuff and then running out of ideas after I do 4 very similar things and ending the session 20 minutes early like old new trainer.

Have to stop typing now, I'm pretty sure my arms are going to fall off.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We'll Always Have 7/11...

Okay, okay, you got me.
I'm jumping on the 2012 goals bandwagon!!! I'm not really into new years resolutions, because I believe we can make goals and changes whenever we want, but that doesn't mean that the beginning of a new year isn't an AWFULLY convenient time to do it, right?

So, goals for 2012

1)Go from 35% body fat (current as of Saturday) to 23% body fat.

I don't want to make a specific weight on the scale goal, but I do have a scale that measures body fat, and 21%-25% is healthy for women, so I'm aiming for the middle!

2) Drink a whole hell of a lot less diet soda.

To give you an idea, I just chugged the rest of the can of diet cherry coke I was drinking so that I wouldn't be drinking a diet soda while literally typing that I need to drink less diet soda.
This one is going to be REALLY hard for me.

3)Don't get frustrated and chop off my hair.
This one might be a little silly, and certainly isn't health-related in any way, but I don't care. It's a goal and I'm sharing it!!! I always get tired of it and chop it off, but this year I wanna grow it long!

4)Be able to do ALL of the moves in ALL of my work out classes (meaning crazy plank maneuvers and whatnot, I don't expect to suddenly become less rhythmically challenged in zumba) and to complete the free weight sections using 10lb weights (currently at 8lb, up from TWO last february, so totally doable).

5) Dress like a grown-up at work 3+ days/week.
No one but me actually cares at all what I wear, but I find that I'm in a different frame of mind when I wear "business" attire and also that people take me more seriously when I'm dressed like they should. I buy the clothes because they're cute and then only wear them once or twice before they get too big. That's just retarded.

6) Continue with swimming at least once a week.
I love swimming, but I end up going on stretches where it sounds "too inconvenient," don't go for a long time, and then get so pleasantly surprised when I go and remember it's basically my favorite form of exercise. Duh. I've been swimming 1-3 times/week the last few weeks and it's been fantastic, I'd like to keep up with that!

7) Exercise on Fridays and Saturdays!!
These are my tough days because there are no gym classes to go to, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be working out!! I have work out dvd's, on demand and netflix at my disposal at home, and it's not like the gym doesn't provide other forms of exercise aside from my classes. What a perfect time to incorporate that swimming from goal #6!! (which is what I've been doing lately, so I'd like it to stick.)

8)Spend less time being a boring lump in front of the TV.
Ya, the tv is cool, but that doesn't mean I need to spend hours and hours in front of it literally just lying there. I can crochet, bead, paint, sew, whatever, I don't care, just stop being such a lump.

9) STOP the mindless spending!!!
You know how a food journal was so great in making me really look at and then change how I eat? How many times have I told myself I needed to do the same thing with spending and done it for about 2 days tops? I can't even keep track!!! So: keep a spending log with every cent spent, work toward paying for most things in cash rather than just using my debit card, SAVE for expensive items rather than financing them.

10) The biggest, for me, is to fit into a size 6 pant by the end of the year.

If I manage to get down to a size 6 I will be the smallest ever in my teenage or adult life and I will literally jump up and down and scream and cry and generally make a scene in the fitting rooms and have to share with everyone in shouting distance. I've been a 7, but never a 6 (though I did once force myself into a friend's size 6 jeans in hs, I wouldn't describe them as 'fitting').

If I reach 23% body fat and do not fit in a size 6, then oh well, I'm tall and have the awesome broader muscley frame of my viking ancestors and it's just a number on a tag, a number that's not nearly as cool as 23% body fat.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Walking Funny

Happy New Year All!!
I've now had 2 sessions with my new personal trainer, and a couple of things have become clear

1) I really hate the damn mirror in the work out room. I knew I didn't like it; I always hide somewhere near the middle of the room and way off to one side for my classes so I wont see myself...


My trainer makes me do the stuff he shows me RIGHT in front of the dang thing, and then if he catches me looking down at the floor or around the room he doesn't let me get away with it.

There is NO convincing yourself that you look any different than reality when the mirror is right there.

And I hate it.

2) I am not quite the ninja bad ass (to quote SP buddy THELILEA) that I thought I was. He is kicking my BUTT with some seemingly very simple stuff. My quads have literally been sore and stiff and non-cooperative since my last work out SATURDAY MORNING. I've hot tubbed, I've swam, I've rested, I've turbo-jammed, I've stretched, I've eaten lots of potassium and calcium, you name it, but I'm still walking funny.