Friday, August 31, 2012

You're Stronger Than You Think You Are

So Yolanda had us doing lots of lunges and squats in our Body Works class last night.  One thing that kept resonating with me...when we were on our last set using the heavy weights and it was getting really tough to keep the form and raise the weight one more time...she'd call out "You're stronger than you think you are!"  When we were doing side plank raises, she'd call it out again "You're strong than you think you are!"  She must've said this 6 or 7 times throughout the hour and by the time the hour was through, I believed her.  

One of the biggest things I think we all struggle with is believing that we CAN be successful in our weight loss journeys.  We all have big confidence issues when it comes to fitness and healthy living.  We had tried and failed so many times...what would make this time any different?  For was just KNOWING that THIS TIME would be different.  THIS TIME, I am different.  THIS TIME, I'm not giving up.  No matter how many times I stall or for how long, THIS TIME I'm not going to give in and resign myself to being fat and unhealthy.  THIS TIME I'm going to push through.  THIS TIME I'm committed.  THIS TIME, I know I'm strong enough, physically and mentally, to get where I want to be.  

Pardon me for not linking back but no time for that this morning, but we have great role models of people overcoming their lack of confidence to do great things.  BethAnn and Holly are doing crossfit...the epitome of building strength and endurance.  BethAnn has written how she hates always being the slowest or last and Holly has written of progressing from lifting a pvc pipe to actual weights.  They are stronger than they think they are!  By continuing to do this they prove this to themselves every time they run a little faster, lift a little heavier and can do more than they could the day before.  Every time JRD goes to yoga and can stretch a little further or rides her bike to work and can get there a little faster, she proves it.  Every time Adorkable walks a little less and runs a little more.  Every day Jenn gets to the gym or the other Jen uses her lunch hour to work out.  THIS TIME, they can do it!  And the days they don't want to where motivation or laziness or frustration or despair tries to get in their way, they need to remember they are stronger than they think they are!

It's a mental game folks.  I truly believe that the only thing that gets in our way is ourselves.  We have to BELIEVE we can do the things we set out to do.  I have to BELIEVE that I can run 3 miles quicker than a turtle's pace.  I have to BELIEVE that I'll be able to pull myself up over walls, walk on balance beams, run up a really steep hill, drudge through mud and then jump over fire.  I have less than 2 months to make that a reality.  I have less than two months to train my brain that I CAN do that.  I am stronger than I think I am.  

It's not just physical strength.  We all have our crosses to bear, the obstacles of life, the emotional ups and downs that come with it.  There are deaths, job losses, natural disasters, familial upheavals, financial distress and geographical relocations that can all create havoc in the mind.  Combine one or two of these and it can start a domino effect where nothing is good in your life.  It is in these times that we must remember that we all have good things in our lives and things to be thankful for.  Sometimes we just need to look a little harder to see them.  We will get through anything life throws at us...keep breathing...keep going...We are stronger than we think we are.

Last night, as this post was forming in my head, I realized that I had heard these words before.  I couldn't put my finger on where until my girls came bounding down the steps with whatever mess they had been working on and it clicked.  Winnie the Pooh.  They have a book called "Winnie the Pooh's Grand Adventure."  I think they may have made a movie out of it at one time but I'm not sure.  Anyway...Christopher Robin has to go to school and leave Pooh and his friends alone during the day and so he tells them:
You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

And we are.  We ALL are!

And on that note...a Friday Funny:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another Day, Another Dollar...

Just doing a quick accountability post.  I did spin and weight training again yesterday.  I tried a different spin class yesterday.  This class wasn't nearly as full as the Tuesday class is and I can definitely see why.  I didn't like this instructor AT. ALL.  Just very different styles and I like that Satan-esque one more.  Let's compare:

Satan:  She tells you what gear she wants you on and then how to tell if it's too high or too low and how to modify it.  "Level 1, you should be here...Level 2 is here...if you can't push that pedal over, you need to be lower...if you're RPM is below 80, you need to be lower," etc.  She has you visualize going up the mountains and down the mountains and around curves and bends and you can almost feel that breeze on the way "down."  She also changes it up between sprints and hills and ups and downs, etc.  so that you don't get bored and stay energized.

Satan Worshipper:  She NEVER says what gear would be ideal and instead says things like "You should be at 75%!"  75% of what?  Someone like me will only push to higher gears and stay in that pain zone if told too.  I find I think my 90% is lower than it actually is until someone pushes me to try harder.  Also, we NEVER hit 100%???  How does that work?  She also doesn't change it up enough...a whole song's worth of Sprints doesn't make me feel like I'm going to die of the exercise but of boredom.  She's just not very motivating.

So I've almost got a plan for every day of the week if I decide to go to the gym.  Chelle had a post about how she plans her week out but usually deviates from it in an organized way.  I realized last night that I'm doing that with the gym.  I'm finding a class, a workout, SOMETHING that I could do every day depending on what day I get to the gym.  Monday - Bodyworks, Tuesday - Spin, Wednesday - Running with weight training (Although I might try a cardio kick boxing class just to see how it is), Thursday - Bodyworks (at a different location because Yolanda rocks!).  All I'm missing is Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The beauty is with doing classes most of the time, on the off days where I don't know about a class I like, I can do my run and weights and feel good about that.

So I've gotten 2 workouts under my belt this week...only 2 more to go.  Hitting Bodyworks tonight and then maybe Saturday morning.  I think I'm going to take Friday off.

I've also been PRETTY good with my food.  Hubby has made carne asada and kabobs this week.  Both were very delicious.  Kind of interesting though.  We haven't had cooked veggies with any of our meals this week.  We got a bunch of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and carrots and have just been having some of that with ranch every night (Not too much ranch..well..maybe for the girls).  My daughters are loving cucumbers and I've actually been digging the peppers.  Go figure.

Hope y'all are having a great week and only one more day to go before a nice, long weekend here in the States!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I Worked Out

But not without help.  So yesterday I had a whole list of reasons why I didn't want to...most being emotional.  I had a crappy day at work, was feeling stressed at home and just generally didn't feel like it.  So this was my list:

  • I only got 4 hours of sleep Monday night and I was freakin' tired all. day. long yesterday.  I just didn't feel I had the energy for a trip to the gym.
  • Aunt Flo came to town yesterday so the last thing I felt like doing was getting all sweaty and even more tired.
  • Work sucked.
  • The scale hasn't moved in 2 weeks despite some real effort on my part so working out apparently doesn't matter anyway (oh yeah...I went there).
  • I'm annoyed with Blogger because not only can I NOT unfollow people but I can't seem to block anonymous commenters either.  I'm getting spammed really badly.
  • Feeling generally frustrated by life.
So first, I did what BethAnn does.  I asked myself why I really didn't want to go to the gym...and I didn't have any earth shattering answers other than "I'm tired and I've had a crap day and I just want to go crawl into bed and be lazy."  Well, that's not a great reason, eh?  Yet, I still didn't have the motivation I needed so I did the only thing I could do.  I text Jenn and Ronnie and told them to tell me go to the gym.  And they did.  They talked me right off the ledge and off to the gym I went.  I did the spin class and weight training.  I sweated a lot, hurt a bit during parts of it but I got it done.  I went home and ate dinner...put my kids to bed... followed very shortly by putting myself to bed.  I feel good about it.

Gym day again today.  Just running and weights.  Another crazy day at work beginning now so must get to it.  In honor of my blogging buddies, a Hump Day Happy Thought to get you through:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baseball and Peanuts...

Go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Mmmmmm...peanut butter and jelly.

Anyway...I went to a baseball with my parents last night and indulged in a couple drinks, peanuts and a hot dog.  I was surprised by how much I wanted a, peanuts, baseball...perfect trifecta but totally not worth the carbonation pain that would follow.  A couple pics...

My parents  :)
Dbacks lost but had a good time at the game.  The seats were awesome...13th row from the visitor's dugout.  Hands down the closest tickets I've ever had.  Thanks to Mom and Dad for the invite!

That DOES mean I didn't make it to the gym yesterday.  Between being on conference calls from 8 a.m. until I left at 2 pm, kids' homework, baths, dinner and the game...I'm feeling the need to get a good workout in.  The plan today...Spin class AND weight training if I can manage it.  Depends on if the class fills up before I can get there.  Time to start making stuff happen.  On that note...let's talk about fills.

So, my last fill was in December.  I believe it brought me to 6.5 or somewhere close in a 10 cc band.  It really didn't do a whole lot.  I probably should have gone back in February or March and gotten gotten another one but that's about the time I had my trip to ER and the other medical bills started pouring in and I simply didn't want to deal with another doctor or insurance or anything else.  Then I started playing the game that I've consistently railed against on my blog.  I don't want the doc to "yell at me" so I want to lose x number of pounds before I go in.  Ladies and gents, this is stupid.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, the docs are there to help.  If they give you a talking-to, you probably deserve it.  Pull up your big girl panties, go and take your medicine.  I've really been paying attention to how much I'm eating and how long I'm staying full and I'm due for a fill...have been due for six months at least.  The hope at this point is the doc will give me one (don't know why he wouldn't) and it'll give me that little extra push I need to finally reach my goals.  I'm also thinking of going crazy paleo...keep threatening that but now that I've got a Sprouts nearby, it may be quite a bit easier.  We shall see.

So that's all I got today.  Hope your week is off to a great start!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Payson & Bandster Lunch

 So I had a pretty good and productive weekend!

Friday started with a mile run and weight training:

 Saturday, the family and I went up to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park.  This thing is awesome!
The Bridge - there's actually a little waterfall but this picture doesn't capture it.

The View

Decided we were going down there to that little bridge.

On the way down

On that bridge looking up at the Natural Bridge and waterfall

About to go under Bridge

There were a lot of these steps throughout

I look like a dork but it was a great day! :)
I was very proud of Hubby on this trip.  The steps up and down weren't easy for him and to get through the bridge involved some boulder hopping and stuff that isn't so easy on a bigger guy.  He took it like a champ!  As for me, I could've done the whole thing twice I think...makes me feel good about my fitness level.

Sunday, I met up with the AZ Bandsters for lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.  It was so fun to meet even more bloggers in the area!  We're already planning our next one in September.  Special thanks to Amy for putting this one together and sharing the pics!

From Left - Jenn, Me, and Elizabeth

Starting Front Left - Kelli, Amy, Jen, Jenn, Me and Elizabeth

From Left - Kelli, Amy and Jen
I can't wait to get together again!  I spent before and after lunch cleaning my house.  It looks pretty darn good.  Hubby and I are going to a Diamondbacks game tonight with my parents so that'll be fun...assuming my babysitter doesn't bail on us.   So no gym for me tonight...actually makes me a little sad.  Imagine that...bummed that I can't get to the gym.  Who am I?

By the way,  I'm biting the bullet.  I have a fill appointment on 9/10.  I realized that I've probably been living too loose for about 6 months now.  Eek!  I'll have another post dedicated to that another time.  So for a Monday DEMotivation:

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Letters 8-24-12


I couldn't link up this week due to blog issues where I found this but I like the letters anyway.

Dear Blogosphere:  Thank you so much for the warm comments on my 2 year bandiversary post.  Also, for all the requests to do blurbs for the BOTB posts.  While I have yet to meet most of you in person and I'll be missing Chicago yet again this year, it means so much to me that y'all like my little blog.  :)

Dear Yolanda:  A coworker recommended I visit your Bodyworks class last night.  Oh boy!  I was wrong about meeting Satan earlier in the week...she was merely your minion.  You kicked my butt and I'm really feeling it today.  See you next Thursday!

Dear Boss:  You're still an idiot but even you had to pat me on the back this week when I made $127k for the company.  Also, thank you for the gently used books and clothes for my was uncommonly generous of you and they love them!  Maybe we're turning a corner in this working relationship...we can hope.

Dear Work:  This week was so freakin busy!  I'm hoping for a lighter week next week.

Dear Scale:  I've been avoiding you...not because I know I've been "off plan" but because I've been very much ON PLAN and I don't want to be disappointed in what you have to say about it.  It seems I stall out when I start working out and it derails my motivation.  So, that being said, I'm avoiding you for at least another week.

Dear AZ Bloggers:  I can't wait to meet y'all on Sunday!  I'm a little nervous but it makes me feel better that Jenn and Jen will be there.  At least y'all already know how crazy I am in "real life."

Dear Weather:  I really hope you clear out for the weekend...we're heading North....

Dear Mayans:  I'm convinced you were right.  December = End of the World.  The world has seriously gone crazy...mothers decapitating their children, the crazy official in Texas who believes a civil war is coming and the cult in Mexico who are believe public schools are built by the devil.  Seriously...what has happened to the world?

Dear Norway:  Your legal system is seriously effed up.  A guy kills 77 people and is ruled sane by the court is only sentenced to 21 years?!?!  How is that justice?   You're anti-death penalty...that's all well and good but 21 years for 71 souls?!?!  Un-effing-believable!

Dear Weekly Check In:
There's my list of No's:
NO Starbucks - 2 so far this week
NO carbonation (easy one but I still list it because it will always be a temptation) - Check
NO fast food - Check
NO eating lunch out during the workweek. - Mostly Check - Going out today

The my list of DO's:
DO work out at least 4 times this week. - 3 down/1 to go
DO drink at least 64 oz's of water every day - Check
DO go to bed at a decent hour - Check
DO resist urges for sweet treats - No Check - 3 cookies this week

Dear Friday:  You make me giggle.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the News 8-23-12

First up...

'The Beast' races to lose 100 pounds

What an inspiration this guy is!  He started at 380 lbs and since February 2011, he's run a 5k, a 10k, a half marathon and a full marathon!  Now he's training for a full length Ironman competition.

What I love about this guy's story is that it's one I've heard repeated time and time again out here in the blogosphere.  He went to an amusement park with his daughter but wouldn't fit on the rides.  How many of us have spoken about the one thing...the one instance...that pushed us over the edge and we decided that enough was enough?  But that's certainly not the only similarity.  He found inspiration through social media.  An old friend on facebook lost 240 lbs and he looked to her for tips and support.  A great read if you're lacking in motivation this morning...

Let's move on to bad melons...oh the puns!  The puns!

FDA names Indiana farm tied to contaminated melons

So a salmonella outbreak has been traced back to a cantaloupe farm in Indiana.  So be careful when buying cantaloupes!  Is it just me or are there more and more food recalls lately?  Beef, lettuce, spinach...cantaloupe.  I mean...were there always this many recalls but the internet has made it easier to spread the word (which is a good thing) or it because there are more mass food producers out there? Back in the day when you used to buy produce from your local farm..and they had salmonella...I suppose it would only affect your local community so it wouldn't be a big deal, right?  It goes back to buying local...probably just a better way to go.  Smaller chance of getting it, you know where your food comes from and if you do happen to catch some deadly disease from it, it's a lot easier to nail down the culprit responsible.  Just sayin'...

Next up...for the empty nesters out to keep your college kids healthy.  So their tips and then my thoughts in blue.

How to help your college student stay healthy away from home

•Get vaccinations, medical exams - You should be doing this anyway.

•Plan ahead for emergencies:  Have your health care provider prepare a written summary of any acute or chronic conditions for college records. Parents and students should review the details of the students' insurance plan.  If these plans are anything like the plans I had in college, you're better off sticking with your parents' plan, especially since you can stay on until 25 now. 

•Self-help 101: Basically, make sure your kids know their basic health status (allergies, etc.) but also make sure they have a first aid kit, epi pens, etc.  If you have a child who has chronic illnesses, you should've been making them more aware of it long before they're heading off to college!  Have they been in a bubble through high school?  Or have you been hovering so much that they've learned virtually no independence?!?!

•Prioritize sleep, good nutrition and exercise: Talk to your child about monitoring these (habits) and keep track of them.  If your child is living in a dorm or actually went to a different state for college, how are you supposed to track them??  Again...teach your kids some responsibility.  

•Encourage the use of support services on campus:  This one's a good idea. Most kids don't even know what's available to them.

•Stay alert to stress, anxiety and emotions:   Again, if your child doesn't live with you anymore, this is going to be tough.  Hopefully if your child is really struggling, they'll come to you with it but there's a good chance they won't.  You can try your best here but going to college is a major life change and can be emotionally taxing.  Again..if college were that easy then EVERYONE would go!  It's supposed to be a little demanding!

My issue with this article is that it just reinforces the idea that these "kids" aren't ready to be on their own.  I'm not saying don't prepare them.  You MUST prepare them.  But for the love of pete, start doing it in high school!  At 18, they're technically adults and there comes a time where you've gotta let go.  Now I've never been there.  My kids are little but I remember when my sister went off to college and then I went off to college and the whole idea was to find your way.  Don't worry so much.  College is NOT the real world yet.  They've got 4 more years to figure it all out..ahem...cause god knows WE all have it figured out, right?

And now it's time for the segment I like to call "From the Duh Section of the Paper..."

Study: Obesity surgery can help prevent diabetes

Do I really need to even go into this article?  OK...Fine..Some highlights, taken directly from the article... Again my thoughts are in blue.

Doctors are reporting a new benefit from weight-loss surgery — preventing diabetes. Shocker!

It is "provocative and exciting" that surgery can prevent diabetes, but it is "impractical and unjustified" to think of doing it on millions of obese adults, Dr. Danny Jacobs, a Duke University surgeon.  Really?  It's much better that we keep building dialysis centers every 10 feet.  

"If surgery is the only treatment we have, we have to accept the cost ramifications of that" and give up "the naive notion" that we can just teach severely obese people how to lose weight, said Roslin, who consults for some makers of bariatric surgery equipment.  I'm real surprised that a consultant for makers of bariatric surgery equipment would feel this way *rolling eyes*  This also shows how it is a money making proposition for them.  They don't care if you're one of the types that COULD lose the weight on your own.  They don't want you to...and they don't want you to believe you can.  Surgery is NOT the only treatment we have...people can diet and exercise and lose the weight themselves...  it's generally not as successful long term but it can be done!  There are hundreds of bloggers who prove that...The Beast up top proved that... my BFF proved that.  I don't like the negativity this guy puts out there.

Researchers led by Dr. Lars Sjstrm of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, tracked 1,658 patients who had bariatric surgery — mostly bands and stomach stapling — and 1,771 similar patients who just got usual care and counseling on how to lose weight.
None had diabetes when the study began. After about 10 years on average among those still in the study, 392 developed diabetes in the usual care group versus 110 in the surgery group. Researchers calculated that surgery had reduced the odds of getting diabetes by 78 percent. not much in the news today but a few things caught my eye.  Tomorrow's Friday, thank goodness and I've got a long workday ahead so off I go.  :)

Special shout out to Jenn who faced the inner demon yesterday and overcame it.  I'm proud of you!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spinning Revisited

So y'all read my self loathing post about my last jaunt at spinning class last week where I was shunned and turned away because I had broken the cardinal rule of not knowing that you needed to sign up for said class.   I was so embarrassed that I ran like hell out of there, never to be heard from again.  Well...almost.  I tried again last night.  I signed up with the front desk, found a bike, adjusted everything and waited.  Then it started...people coming in and seeing the room was full.  Miss Know-It-All-Smarty-Pants asking them if they had signed up and they had.  Immediately I thought to myself "Self, you DID sign up right?  Yes...double checked twice on how to do it and the guy said I was good to go.  But why are these people hovering if you signed up?  Well, it's possible SOMEONE ELSE didn't sign up, right psycho?"  And sure enough, two people were kicked out for not signing up.  And like me last week, Miss Know-It-All-Smarty-Pants was pointing at them and actually said, "You have to leave.  You didn't sign up. (then turning to the hoverers) He's leaving.  He didn't sign up.  You can use that bike. (and then turning her hawklike gaze upon the girl behind me who was trying desperately to get herself out of there without being noticed) She didn't sign up either! (Queue the pointing) so you can use that one too!"  I really wanted to take a chair to this bitch.  So I turned to the girl behind me and said, "Don't worry...I did the same thing last week."  And she smiled at me...almost gratefully. Now both of these folks were fit.  They looked like they "belonged."  They just didn't know you needed to sign up.  It reiterated how silly I felt for being so embarrassed about it and the instructor was right last really does happen all the time.

So how was spin class.  Well, I have seen the devil and her name is Michele!  Holy gluteal muscles Batman!  Seriously...I was dripping sweat by the time I left...water completely depleted...shirt clinging to my body...could barely get up the stairs last night SORE.  But it was a great workout and you can bet your ass I'll do it again...and I'll sign up...and I'll BELONG...and maybe...just maybe...I'll shank Miss-Know-It-All-Smarty-Pants because people like that SUCK big fat donkey balls.

I also wanted to point something out that is I'm sure glaringly obvious to a lot of you...Thin ≠ Fit.  In my Body Works class...we did sort of these slow burpees type things...down, push up on the step and then back up.  We were supposed to do twelve.  The young, thin little thing next to me barely made it through 8.  I made it through all 12 and could've done more (not many more, but still).  In that same class, we did wall squats.  First...that is freakin' hard!  Second, the "wall" behind me is the glass that leads out to the gym!  Real nice...hope they all got a great view of my sweaty back fat.  I look over at Miss-Young-Thin-Little-Thing and she's embarrassed too and made a joke about the glass popping out.  What do you know?  She didn't like the idea of everyone seeing her nonexistent back fat either.  Who would've thought?  Skinny people are people too!

So checking in on the week so far...
There's my list of No's:
NO Starbucks - 1 so far this week
NO carbonation (easy one but I still list it because it will always be a temptation) - Check
NO fast food - Check
NO eating lunch out during the workweek. - Check

The my list of DO's:
DO work out at least 4 times this week. - 2 down/2 to go
DO drink at least 64 oz's of water every day - Check
DO go to bed at a decent hour - Check
DO resist urges for sweet treats - Check

So far, so pretty good.  And since I'm feeling pretty good about my progress this week...a little Hump Day Happy Thought:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2 Year Bandiversary

So it's been two years since I've had this little plastic ring placed around my stomach.  How have I fared?  Well, I don't have many deep or heart wrenching thoughts about my second year bandiversary so we'll start with the numbers...


I've lost a total of 74 lbs and 14 points from my BMI.  I've lost a total of 44 inches all over my body.  You'll notice only ten of those lbs and 5 of those inches were lost this year.  Am I disappointed with my second year?  Yes.  But I want to be very clear about what I'm disappointed about.  Am I disappointed with my band?  No.  This was all me.  I got lazy and I got complacent.  The band took me as far as it could go and it was up to me to get me the rest of the way.  I didn't get it done.  But I'm still so happy with how far I've come in 2 years and I didn't gain...that's the most important thing.  Am I giving up hope?  Never!  This year saw some great NSV's....

  • I've run 4 5k's this year!
  • 2 5k's in one day!
  • I've broken out of my shell a little bit and engage in social behaviors!
  • I'm taking impromptu fitness classes!
  • I'm looking for active things to do - groupons to rock climbing (which I still need to actually spend), taking the stairs, etc.
  • I'm not associating food with the movies anymore...once in awhile I won't get popcorn if I'm not hungry.
  • I did 43 floors on a stairmaster!
  • I'm able to do so much more without being sore or achy or just worn out for the day - cleaning the garage for 4 it's nothing.  I can walk for HOURS!
  • I can fit into my high school graduation dress.
  • My high school class ring fits!
  • I can walk sexy in a skirt - my hips (and yes, you can now tell I have some) actually swivel!
  • I can wear an apron that ties all the way around to the FRONT.
  • "One Size Fits All" fits me!
  • Seat belts on planes are no problem but more than thighs don't even touch the sides of the armrest AND I can cross my legs on the plane!
  • 11 mile hike - not so bad!
  • I wore a work out tank top in PUBLIC!
  • My Inner Demon isn't as loud as he used to be and I think even HE'S starting to enjoy this new body..instead of telling me not to work out at all, he tells me to make it a short one
  • No more granny panties!
  • I did a turkey trot with my daughter...we front of others...and built a lasting memory and maybe a new tradition.
  • I wore a shirt tucked in for the first time in years.
  • I can bake stuff without sampling now.
  • I haven't had a soda or beer in MONTHS.
So there you go.  That's a year worth celebrating regardless of what the scale or measurements say.  Is Year 3 too late to reach goal?  Absolutely not!  Writing this post has truly reinvigorated my resolve and motivation.  Maybe that's all that's been lacking this year.  So...without further ado...the progress pic...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Already?

This weekend absolutely flew by.  We ended up doing very little.  We didn't head up north as there was a pretty good chance of rain and it's too long of a drive with the girls to get there, turn around and come back. We're hoping the weather will look better this weekend.

One thing I did do which I don't recall ever doing in the past is go to the gym on a Friday night.  Sad commentary on my social life?  Maybe.  But I had nothing else to do so off to the gym I went.  I did a 5k on the treadmill and tried to do my assisted pull ups but felt my shoulder give and thought it was best not to push it.  I had one of my best times on the treadmill since I was training for my first 5k and felt really good about it.  

Not sure if any of you are paying attention so I'll point it out...That's a 13:33 mile...Finally broke below 14!  Interesting mix of folks at the gym on a Friday night.  You have your die hards and then you have those who you can kind of tell go on Fridays because very few other people do.  They're still trepidatious about working out in front of people.  Bravo to them for doing it!

I had my 2 year bandiversary on Saturday.  I hope to have a post out about that tomorrow.  I was expecting to have it done today but couldn't locate my tape measure so it'll have to wait.

So how did I round out the week?

There's my list of No's:
NO Starbucks - Check
NO carbonation (easy one but I still list it because it will always be a temptation) - Check
NO fast food - Half Check (mall food, 1 stop at Jack in the Box)
NO eating lunch out during the workweek. - No Check - Bbq

Then my list of DO's:
DO work out at least 4 times this week. - 3/4
DO drink at least 64 oz's of water every day - Check
DO go to bed at a decent hour - Check
DO resist urges for sweet treats - No Check

OK...So not terrible.  I really did curb the eating out quite a bit and the Starbucks last week.  I didn't hit 4 visits to the gym but would've if not for my midweek meltdown.  The sweet treats wouldn't have been a big deal if I had ONLY had the cheesecake this week but I had some tidbits during the weekend too.  My goal is to be pretty pristine during the week and loosen up on the weekends...I don't mean all out binging or "Eff it" weekends...just not stressing over every meal and having stuff planned down to the T like I do during the week.  I'm putting the same goals out there this week and feel pretty good about my my breakfast and lunch packed for the day, drinking my coffee from home and got my water cup ready.  

So that's it for me this morning.  I had a hard time getting up this morning...seems I'm still SO tired when my alarm goes off, even when I go to bed early.  Maybe it's a vitamin thing?  Hmmm...  Anyway...on to our Monday DEMotivator...

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Chemical Side of Food


I'm not doing Friday Letters today because I've been meaning to put this post out there for a little while.  We all know that most of the food we buy have artificial flavoring, "natural" flavoring, preservatives, chemicals and all other kinds of crap (see "natural" beetle coloring of Sbux drinks post).  Chemicals are even added to food to make it smell better as we all know the olfactory senses play into how food tastes too!  But do we know what these do to our bodies?  Not really but we all agree it's probably not great.  But do we know WHY we still prefer the TASTE of this stuff over, for instance, chicken and broccoli?

Many fast food chains and mass food producers (think chips, mac & cheese, soda, etc.) actually employ food chemists to alter their products to make them not only last longer but to taste better.  Why is this a bad thing?  On the surface, it doesn't seem like it is but it has an interesting effect on the body.  So some basic anatomy and chemistry right?  You've got taste buds...they have all these sensors that react to the atomic make up of food.    Well, when you're talking're talking chemistry so chemists can actually add chemicals to food or change the genetic make up of food to make it taste better.  That's great!  Except they aren't changing the taste of broccoli or kale.  They're being employed by big food companies to make their products taste better.  So what's wrong with that?  Well...nothing at first.  Having these foods once awhile has little effect on the body, it's when we have these foods more often than not.  It eventually changes your chemical make up.  And by changing your chemical make up, they're creating an addiction of sorts.  There have been several studies that support this and I'll list out just a few highlights.

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrogenated oils, refined salt, and various other chemical preservatives found in processed junk food does the same thing to a person's brain as cocaine does. One study conducted by researchers at both the University of Texas in Austin (UT) and the Oregon Research Institute found that prolonged consumption of junk foods results in reduced activity in the striatum, a section of the forebrain that registers reward.   In a correlative study, researchers identified a similarity in dopamine production levels between drug addicts and junk food addicts. Addiction to either one essentially causes the brain receptors that receive dopamine signals to lose their responsiveness so you have to have more to feel the same level of satisfaction.  Hmmm...eating more...more often.  OK so more sugar and chemicals in prepared food could have this affect, especially when eating sweets but Panda, you said fast food does it too?  How do they do it?

McDonald's has been surprisingly open about the chemicals in its french fries used to keep their golden color and keep them crispy.  The taste of (whole) food naturally loses it's strength of flavor after the first bite and then with each additional bite.  Chemicals are added to manufactured food so that each bite is as flavorful as the first.  The last french fry tastes just as good to you as the first french fry did.  So you were probably full half way through the meal but kept eating because it was just so good.

Back to the chemistry, a chemical reaction produced by our stomachs tells our brain that we're "full."  It's gotten to the point that the chemical make up of our bodies has been so jacked up with additives that the "pleasure" part of the brain is now overriding the "full" part of the brain.  That's part of the reason there's always room for jello.

This constant barrage of chemically enhanced foods bombard your taste buds so that regular, whole, healthful foods don't taste as good as the chemically altered crap.  And just like getting off of any addictive chemicals (nicotine, controlled substances, alcohol), your body needs time to heal and resync.  Unfortunately, that can take upwards of a month.

Here's the scenario and how many of you can relate?  You start a diet.  You're doing good with your chicken and broccoli, or even atkins bacon and eggs for a few days.  But you're fighting the sugar cravings...OK you bust through that after about a week.  But it's beyond the sugar...the healthy stuff just doesn't taste as good as the crap.  Natural foods and spices do not trigger the same addictive characteristics in the brain as junk food chemicals do, because they have not been chemically engineered to overstimulate taste buds and the brain.  Basically, they won't "taste" as good as the garbage. Next thing you know, you're in a stop for one fast food meal (no bun, no fries) and for some reason, that burger with no bun and a salad tastes better to you then anything you've eaten in weeks!  Chance are you've just reignited the cycle...cravings will start coming back and you'll eat more of the hamburger and salad than if you had just made it at home.  Two identical will taste better than the other.  Obviously, it shouldn't.  But it's so hard to stay away from processed, prepared and fast food for a whole month to where your taste buds and chemistry are given an opportunity to "reset" and enjoy the healthier foods.

Let's say you stay on track...even your fruits and meats have chemicals in them these days (anyone remember the "pink slime" uproar?)  Diet foods...a lot of protein bars, shakes, diet food, "100 calorie packs", etc. are laden with chemicals to "make you feel full."  But your body processes "fake" vitamins and minerals differently than natural.  Generally, stuff made from mostly man made ingredients don't hold much nutritional value.  You're still messing with your chemical make up.  And...if all this stuff worked, then no one would be fat and how would these companies make money?  Something to think about.

This is all science and make no mistake, there's a lot of money to made by these companies to keep you eating...and eating...and eating...garnering virtually no nutritional value from the food.  I could go all conspiracy theoriest on you and talk about the link between pharmaceutical companies that make blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetic meds and supporting you not actually getting healthier but that's a post for another day.

OK...that's my rant for the day. I hypocrite?  Yes.  I just made a ringing endorsement for the Zone bars yesterday.  The fact is I eat processed crap...I try not to but it's not easy as it's the prevalent lifestyle in America today.  Am I hoping to get better?  Yes.  Am I actively TRYING to get better?  Yes.  And that's all we can do.

Alright...a Friday Funny to lighten the mood...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Big Ol' Thank You - TTT Style

1.  A great big thank you to everyone who commented on my last post.  It does help to know that I'm not necessarily alone in my lunacy.

2.  Yesterday was a better.  I hit the gym right after work and did 9 miles on the bike and 1 mile on the treadmill.  Today is a rest day for me as my arms are tight as heck from that Body Works class (yes...from MONDAY!  WTH?) and just needing some family time tonight.

3.  I got my daycare situation figured out, at least temporarily.  My mom is going to pick them up on Wednesdays.  I hate inconveniencing her like that but she offered and I do like the idea of my girls being able to spend a little more time with her.

4.  I was worried the kids would be a little upset when I told them yesterday was their last day at the center but when they found out they'd get to go to Grandma's house every Wednesday for awhile, they were excited.  So that's a load off off the shoulders there.

5.  Remember all those medical bills I had been putting off paying?  They are all paid now except for one.  And that particular one shows how screwed up insurance companies are.  I got a bill for $7 to a radiology place (from my stint in the ER in March). I called to pay it and they show us owing $143.  Say what?  The very nice lady on the phone looked into it more and said that although they bill the insurance all in one statement, the insurance pays out by individual code and they haven't made their way through all the codes yet but each time the radiology place gets a payment, they generate a statement.  So since the insurance hasn't made their way through all the codes yet, there's no point in paying it yet.  She said she'd note my account so that it doesn't show me late or anything and we'll wait another couple months until the insurance is done processing everything.  Seriously?  I thought I was terrible because I went to the ER in March and hadn't paid yet only to find out the damn insurance hasn't finished paying yet.  What a mess!  And I got individual bills for everything!!  One bill for the ER itself, one bill for the doc, one bill for the scan they did at the's absurd!  *sigh*  But it's a small bill left even if insurance doesn't pay anything else so another weight is lifted.

6.  It's not a secret that I hate protein bars.  I've never found one I liked...same with shakes.  The issue with the bars is more textural.  I hate astronaut food.  I found one that I absolutely LOVE!  Zone Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.  It, LITERALLY, has the consistency of cookie dough and it's delish.  It's not a meal replacement and the carbs are a LITTLE high but there are 10 grams of protein and since I'm not real hungry in the morning, they work perfectly.  They should rename all protein bars into some kind of cookie dough because that apparently allows me to overcome the mental texture thing.
On my desk - I've been having one every morning this week
7.  Yesterday's Check In:
There's my list of No's:
NO Starbucks - Check
NO carbonation (easy one but I still list it because it will always be a temptation) - Check
NO fast food - No Check (mall food)
NO eating lunch out during the workweek. - Check

Then my list of DO's:
DO work out at least 4 times this week. - 2 down/2 to go
DO drink at least 64 oz's of water every day - Check
DO go to bed at a decent hour - Check
DO resist urges for sweet treats - No Check

8.  I had dinner with BFF last night...did alright with the dinner part...actually went to the mall and ate at the food court but I had a smashed potato with chicken, peppers, onions, mushrooms and cheese.  YUM!  But then we had a drink and cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.  Oops!  But it was delicious!

9.  Hubby and I were thinking of driving north this weekend to do some hiking and escape the heat.  I'm thinking this is a great idea.

10.  So my boss' boss is starting to mentor me and he gave me 3 tasks, one of which was to tell him what I want to be when I grow up.  I considered this for over a week before providing him an answer.  I really struggled because, honestly, I haven't had a "career path" at my company because I never considered it a career, so much as a job.  I think it's official though.  I have a career.  That's very grown up!

Happy Thursday everyone!  And thank you again for the amazing support.  I sometimes forget what an phenomenal group of people are in this blogosphere and how much you can get out of blogging when you really open up.  :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mental Regression

This is a difficult post to write...especially after all the wonderful comments on yesterday's post and especially after how I good I had felt while I wrote it.  I'm also not all that sure I'm ready for all of the blogosphere to know what an absolute nutcase I am but here goes...

I had a full on meltdown yesterday.  While I didn't want to put it out here, I need to because this is my blog and my journey and my mental craziness is part of that.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who has responded to something in an absolutely ludicrous way and then beat themself up over it.  So here goes...

Yesterday...I picked up the girls from school, went home, helped with homework, helped with reading (even my youngest...she's getting better) and even texted Hubby asking if he'd make home in time for me to make the 5:30 spin class.  Yep, he sure would.  Awesome.  He got home and off to the gym I went.  And that's when things unraveled and Panda became unhinged.

I got there 20 minutes before the spin class started and already saw people reserving their bikes.  So I went in, picked one, adjusted the seat height and handle bar height and started lazily pedaling until the class was to start.  The class filled up...people came in, couldn't find a bike and left.  I thought to myself "This must be a pretty good class," and was still feeling pretty good.  The instructor came in and there had been one person hovering.  Turns out you had to sign up for this class (still free but you had to reserve a space) so the instructor asked if everyone had signed up like they were supposed to because this poor girl up front had signed up and now there were no open bikes.  I realized my mistake and yes...I could've said nothing and probably have gotten away with it but this girl had followed the rules..why should she not get her work out?  So I raised my hand and started getting my stuff together.  A couple people reiterated to the instructor that I had not signed up so it was repeated several times as if I weren't already getting my stuff together to get out of there.  Seriously?  Is it necessary to keep pointing out that there was one idiot in the class that didn't follow the rules that she didn't even know existed?  You know THIS was the kid who would tell the substitute teacher in school that you were supposed to have a test that day.  *sigh*

EVERYONE was staring at me.  I immediately felt SO embarrassed.  I felt my face begin to flush and I just couldn't get out of there fast enough.  I immediately felt like the fat girl that didn't belong.  Like everyone was just thinking "Of course she didn't sign up.  Isn't it obvious she's never done this before?"  It was like finding yourself in the wrong classroom in high school and not wanting to leave because then everyone would know you're an idiot.  I was so flustered by the time I was out of the spin room that I just kept walking...past the weight machines...out the my car...and drove home.  Halfway home I was furious at myself for reacting that way.  It was such "Old Panda" behavior.  I got home and threw a full blown little hissy fit about the gym not giving any notice that you need to sign up for these things on their website or with the weekly class list.  Hubby could not understand why I was so upset and I just couldn't verbalize it for him because I felt humiliated on several levels.  As someone who abhors being the center of attention, having an entire room of fit looking people staring at me and "accusing" me of not belonging was enough to make my head want to explode but allowing one little thing derail my workout effort for the day was just totally freaking me out!

Logically, I realize this was not a big deal.  How was I supposed to know you had to sign up? notice anywhere.  I had taken spin classes at this gym before and it never required signing up.  Even the instructor told me on my way out that it happens all the time.  I also realize now that most likely no one in that room was judging me or anything like that.  I should've just shrugged, said "oops" and hopped on the treadmill.  But none of these logical things were making their way through the mental lunacy that had taken over yesterday.

I'm sharing this to merely show that we all have those days where the mental toughness just isn't there and that sometimes old insecurities can still get the better of us even after losing a significant amount of weight.  Or am I the only crazy one around here?

Today I go back to the gym.  I promised Hubby I would but more importantly, I still have work to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday Check In

I just wanted an accountability post, so checking in:

There's my list of No's:
NO Starbucks - Check
NO carbonation (easy one but I still list it because it will always be a temptation) - Check
NO fast food - Check
NO eating lunch out during the workweek. - Check

The my list of DO's:
DO work out at least 4 times this week. - 1 down/3 to go
DO drink at least 64 oz's of water every day - Check
DO go to bed at a decent hour - Check
DO resist urges for sweet treats - Mostly Check

So yesterday, I picked up the girls from school, went home, did some 2nd grade homework and then Hubby got home and I headed to the gym.  He got home a little closer to 5:30 than he usually does so I got the gym just as the Body Works with Abs class was starting.  Now usually I research the classes a bit...what's the general fitness level, do I need my own mat, that kind of thing.  But I felt like it was kismet so I headed in.  I walked up to a complete stranger and asked her, "Excuse me.  What class is in here right now?"  
Stranger: "Body Works Plus Abs."
Me (looking around as the last class was leaving and new people started filing in):  "What do I need for it?"
Stranger: "A step, mat and 2 sets of weights."
Me: "Got it.  Thanks!"
And I walked over, got my equipment...which included a light set of weights and a heavier set.  I set up a spot near the back and waited for the class to start.  It wasn't bad.  It was mostly strength building using the weights.  I don't feel like my abs got much of a workout.  Honestly, I didn't feel like I had gotten that much of a workout at all so I did a quick quarter mile sprint after the class just to feel like I DID something.  I was thinking it was a waste of time...until I woke up this morning.  My arms and legs are sore, sore, sore!  Holy cow!  I'm not sure that it'll become part of my regular routine but it definitely worked some muscles that I hadn't been working.

So quick recap of the NSV's here:

  1. I walked up to a complete stranger and talked to her.
  2. I attended a FITNESS class that I knew nothing about ahead of time.
  3. I felt that the class didn't give me quite the workout I needed so I went for a super quick RUN right after it.
  4. I had tweaked my knee earlier in the day going up the stairs in the parking garage, decided it didn't hurt bad enough to thwart my work out efforts, so I wrapped it up and went anyway.
  5. I had a conversation with overweight coworker who walked down to my car with me and asked why I don't park on the 4th floor since I get in so early and I responded with "This way, I can take the stairs."  I didn't say "This way, I have to take the stairs" or "This way, I force myself to take the stairs."  
5 NSV's in just one day.  It's easy this far in my journey to take these little things for granted and not congratulate myself for them on a regular basis.  I think to myself, "These are things you do every day now.  Of course you should be doing this by now.  You've been on this road for 2 years now!"  But let us not forget how far we've come and what a different mindset this is from just 2 short years ago.  

How many NSV's did you have yesterday?