Fat Fridays: Still Broken, but Working on It

Happy Friday everyone. Hope you all are well. I was dragging my feet about writing today. Mostly because I cheated on my diet last night. And that does not motivate me to want to write about diet and health. But, a nice car ride this morning gave me some thinking time and perspective. So here I am, writing again. 

This is what happened. The past two weeks I got determined and stuck to a super strict diet. I lost three pounds. Yay. Then last night I snuck down after the kids were asleep and ate two bowls of chocolate cereal. Not yay. 

It’s a really tricky balance. On the one hand, I have to learn how to not beat myself up and say harsh, mean things to myself when I do things that aren’t in line with my diet or quest for health. On the other hand, I’ve got to be curious about why I self-sabotage. What is broken inside of me and how can I fix it? 

I feel like I’ve got a good handle on my food history. I can look back and see patterns and events that shaped the way I deal, unhealthily, with food. But, I haven’t figured out yet how to break free from those patterns and habitual thought processes. Two weeks seem to be my limit on sticking to a strict diet. A not-so-strict diet is easier to stick to, but the results come a lot slower. And I’m impatient. I had set a “wish” goal for this year when I started my journey in January. It’s now October and I am only ten pounds away from reaching my goal by the end of December. It’s so close I can feel it. So why am I eating chocolate cereal late at night? 

I am still waiting for a breakthrough in this area. The progress I’ve made is that I can tell you why I did it, all the history that led up to that decision. The progress I haven’t made is figuring out how to break that cycle.

In other news, I have started running three miles instead of two. I still have to take walk breaks, but I can now run an entire mile without a walk break, and I’m pretty sure that I could push myself to do at least a mile and half, maybe even two, without stopping, if I was motivated enough. My new goal is to try and run three miles in thirty minutes. I’m at thirty-seven minutes right now. Yeah. I’m a real speed demon. 🙂 But, I’m not trying to be fast. I would just like to be able to run a 5k and not be embarrassed about how long it takes me. Thirty minutes is decent for a middle-aged, still overweight, lady who has never been very athletic. So, that’s my goal. 

I would like to point out that I didn’t think I was able to run three miles until my trainer gave me a very ambitious, difficult workout that had me running for forty minutes. Doing the workout, finishing it and not giving up, that was what I needed to realize that I was capable of doing more than I thought I could. Being challenged to do something hard, taking up the challenge, and then succeeding: I’m learning that all those things are key to upping your game. 

Here are my takeaways. When you mess up, don’t beat yourself up, be curious instead as to why you did it. Try to figure out the root that is causing the behavior. And, let yourself be challenged, it’s the doorway to doing more and being more. 

See you all next week. 

Fat Fridays: A1c and Mountain Biking

Happy Friday everyone! Hope all is well with you. I had some good news this week. I went to the doctor for a regular check up and got my A1c checked (a blood test that gives you an accurate snapshot of how your blood sugar control is doing). So, my numbers came down this year from 6.0 to 5.6. Yay! It’s low enough that the doctor wants me to go off my Metphormin and see if I can maintain these numbers without medication. 

Weirdly enough, the thought of going off my medication is a little scary. I think the medication has always felt a bit like a safety net. Ok, I’m not eating exactly the way I’m supposed to, but this medicine will help with that. Not the healthiest thinking patterns. So here I am, taking the plunge and having to take full responsibility for keeping these numbers down. No medicine to help. It has certainly reinvigorated me to get back on my diet more strictly. 

I’ll be getting another A1c check in about three months, so that will be enough time to tell if I can continue to be responsible with how I’m eating, and keep up the exercise. It would be great to get that number even lower. 

In other news, my husband got me to go mountain biking with him last night. He is an avid mountain biker and I have never been in good enough shape to go with him. At least that has always been my excuse. Now I’m in good enough shape to go, but the real truth is that mountain biking terrifies me. The trail we went on was so narrow! And then there’s this cliff-edge drop off. And I fell several times because I couldn’t figure out how to downshift, pedal and do a switchback turn all at the same time. Fortunately, all my falls were in slow-motion cause they always happened when I was climbing. But still, I feel way too old to be falling off a bike. 

I know that Mountain Biking is something my husband hopes to share with me (evidence, he bought me a really nice mountain bike). So, I’m going to commit to his suggestion that I just ride the same trail over and over again until I get comfortable with it. But, I better get comfortable fast cause I am NOT an adrenaline junky! And that ride, for me, was pure adrenaline.

But, it was a good workout. Heart rate was definitely up. My fitbit informed me that I burned 575 calories in an hour. And I did have some satisfaction in knowing that I tried something that scares me. 

Today, I’m tired and sore. I had already run two miles yesterday before I went biking. So now I’m just going to get my workout cleaning my house. Have a great week everyone! 

Fat Fridays: I really don’t want to mess this up.

Hey All. (Short for the Southern: All a y’all or all of you all or everybody.) Hope you have had a good week. Mine has been busy. As usual. In fact, it would be really weird to say that my week has not been busy. You would think by now I wouldn’t be surprised that I had a busy week. But here I am, still looking back in wonder, Wow, that was a busy week! Like it’s a surprise or something. 

This week of diet and exercise has been up and down. I’ve stayed consistent with the exercise, and most days I’ve done more than my trainer assigned me. Food, on the other hand, has been a bit more difficult. There have been days when I have breezed through the day eating salads and berries and lean meat and I haven’t had a single urge to eat anything else. And then there have been days when I’ve been stuffing the Chocolate Brioche into my mouth which my mom bought for the kids. And days like yesterday where I have stayed healthy all day, and then my teenage daughter asked if she could make pancakes for supper and I said sure, and I went off and ate a salad on my own. But then my four year old needed help serving his pancakes, and I got called, and so I ended up preparing these beautiful homemade pancakes with butter and syrup, cutting them up for him so he could eat and then running from the room because all I wanted to do was grab his plate from him and stuff my face with pancakes. And then I sat in my room trying to not think about pancakes, and I was about to sneak out and just grab one when I remembered something I’ve said to myself a lot. “If you’re going to cheat, cheat smart.” So I went and got the last of my skinny pop kettle corn popcorn. And ate one serving which was only 140 calories and which satisfied my sweet tooth. And then I stuck a piece of gum in my mouth so I’d stop eating. 

In other words, it’s been a pretty normal week. Small victories and lots of challenges. 

To tell you the truth, I’m getting nervous about this weight loss journey. About four years ago I tried to lose weight and I got right around the weight I am now before lots of stuff came up that derailed me and I ended up gaining all the weight back plus some more. I have a tendency to do well for about six months and then start petering out. 

I really don’t want that to happen again. And I don’t trust myself to not mess it up. So I’m feeling a bit on edge. I just want to get past this weight zone and into a lower level so I can assure myself that I’m not going to repeat old history. 

I don’t know what to do about it except make myself self-aware so that my “falling off the wagon” doesn’t happen so slowly and gradually that I don’t really notice. So, right now I am on High Alert as I try to keep this weight coming off. I really don’t want to mess this up. 

Me and My Spanish Class

Have I told you all about the Spanish class I’m taking this summer? It’s kind of a crazy story. 

Sometime in the spring the school sent home a notice for the parents. They had a grant to do some kind of community outreach to the parents and they sent home a list of options of things they would like to offer. One of the things on the list was Adult Spanish Class. It looked interesting. I checked the box, Yes I am interested, and sent it back with my student. A couple months later, another notice was sent home. Ok, we’ve narrowed down the options of what people want, we are offering these things: Adult Spanish Class…and a couple others I don’t remember. So, I again checked the box, Yes, I am interested in the Adult Spanish Class. Then maybe another month later, they sent home another notice. These are different times available for the Adult Spanish Class, which ones could you do? I checked off the right boxes and sent the notice back. Then a bit later, I got an email asking me to confirm that I wanted to take the Adult Spanish Class at THIS time, on THIS day. I sent back an email confirming and wrote it down on my calendar. 

So, this was my thought process. It looked like a fun way to get to know other parents in the community, and it would be a great chance to brush up my Spanish and maybe get some better grammar skills. I lived in Chile two different times and I picked up a lot of Spanish, but my grammar is pretty poor. I did not study Spanish in high school, I did French. So, I have a lot of gaps. I also haven’t had to speak Spanish for almost twenty years so I had forgotten a lot of what I had learned. I knew it was a beginning class so it would be easy, but maybe I’d learn some new things, meet some new people…

I signed into the first class via Zoom and met the teacher. We sat and chatted while we waited for the other students to sign on. But no one signed on. The teacher was puzzled. She said she had eight confirmed students signed up for the class. We waited, chatted. After twenty minutes, we finally decided to just move on with the class. By the way, this is a two hour class. She ran me through the paces and started figuring out where I was in my knowledge and what my goals were. And we spent a lot of time talking in Spanish, me frantically racking my brain trying to remember very old vocabulary. But it was fun. She gave me homework and said she really wasn’t sure what we would do the next week when, hopefully, other students showed up, but she assured me she would find a way to keep it challenging for me. Yay. 

I signed into class the next week and again, none of the eight confirmed students showed up. Just me. And so began my weekly, free, two hour, personal Spanish lessons that will go all summer. She started off keeping it pretty simple, but this week I am having to memorize the Preterite Verb conjugation and be able to use it easily in conversation next week. Yikes. But, it’s nice to be challenged. 

I am, of course, a little nervous. This feels like a set up.  Like God just flung open this door and let me have this opportunity and now I’m nervously looking around me, pretty sure that sometime in the near future I’m going to be having some non-English speaking people show up in my life. Cause we get blessed so we can bless others. Right? I’ll let you all know when these people show up. In the meantime, I’ll be practicing my verb conjugations.