Thursday, September 5, 2013

Teeny Trainer Kicks My Arse

Yesterday was a definite teeny victory, perhaps even a biggish one. I had my first post-surgery workout last week and my first trainer meeting yesterday with Gretchen. Gretchen is the cutest darn pocket-size ball of fitness fire and boy did she ever kick my ass. I'm embarrassingly out of shape after a summer of Percocet and laying on the couch recovering. Gretchen is having none of that. For the next two weeks (until we meet again) I have the plan pictured below to master. For you fitter folks who aren't pathetically out of shape, you will probably snicker at my list, but let me tell you, I was sweating my ass off and I can barely walk today. Gretchen says I can whine all I want as long as I do it. No mercy! :P

The two items at the top were the killers. My knee is still really weak and it's going to take some time to improve my strength, I think. The bench squat is meant to be done by squatting to hover over the bench, but my knees are still too weak and I have to sit on the bench and get up again. The slow step ups are using a wooden box that's about a foot or so high and I have to step up and step down. Stairs are still really hard for me so this is a definite challenge. My knee just doesn't want to cooperate sometimes. I'm looking forward to when this becomes an easy task. I did finish

Anyhoo, otherwise, things are going ok. I counted calories all week last week and gained three pounds. I can only assume water weight is responsible and I have not been drinking enough for sure. Today I have challenged myself to get all eight glasses in. Again, this probably seems easy-peasy for most folks, but it's one of those things I haven't been able to make a habit of. Coffee just always seems like a better idea. There's no time like the present, right?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Calm and Relaxed

Well, hello again.

I'm on the upswing now, but there were a few weeks in there where I was eating my feelings. The end of a relationship, that was in many ways like trying to cram a square peg into a round hole, took it's toll more than I realized. As of late, I've been doing a lot of thinking about how I want to be healthier in general in every area -- emotional and physically. In relation to food, I'm hoping that this new sense of awareness will be the key I need to keep things under control. I'm not a big binge eater, or a jumbo portions person, but I will go straight for carby comfort foods and sugary treats when I'm looking for an emotional pick me up. I also realized I was sleeping WAY too much. I thought at first I was sick, but then realized later it's my easy escape from feeling anxious. If I get too anxious, then I get overwhelmed and just sort of shut down.

Realizing this pattern was not really good for me overall, I decided it was time to get a new therapist (and some better coping skills) and I love her, YAY! My previous therapist and I were together for 8 years and she recently moved to Austin. Even though I didn't see her often it gave me a sense of stability to know she was there if I needed her. I guess I sort of dreaded starting over again, but I got lucky and hit the jackpot. I'm hoping to get some of this stuff sorted out a bit more for the long haul. One thing that she's doing that's new to me is hypnosis. I'm not 100% convinced it's working yet, but I'm working on being a believer. I have a recording of the hypnosis/guided meditation we did last time I was in her office and I've been listening to it a few times a day and it does seem to be helping. I'm not sure if it's the dedicated time to just sit and be quiet and relax (but not sleep) or the actual words that are being suggested, but oh well, I kinda don't care -- I'm feeling better and that matters more. The gist of the mantra is "calm and relaxed" so I made myself a little poster to hang up in my office as a visual reminder.

Last night was my first trip to the gym since knee surgery. That felt good, too. I know that if I increase my activity, my energy and mood improves, so it's a definite step in the right direction. I didn't do anything crazy, just a little warm up (8 minutes) on the bike to get my knee loosened up, some free weights, leg presses and squats, then 15 minutes on the elliptical. It was a little uncomfortable since I've been essentially inactive all summer. Nothing I can't tolerate though. Next Wednesday is my first trainer appointment. Way back when I met with Gretchen once to do a fitness test (which is when I probably injured it -- not her fault, just dumb luck) so I'm looking forward to seeing her again. I've already paid for three hour sessions and I really need accountability to stay on track until I make habits. 

One decision I have made is to cut way back on carbs, specifically wheat. God do I love anything with wheat in it, but boy does it make me bloaty and miserable. Soft pretzels might as well just go ahead and be crack. This weekend I'm going to take advantage of the long holiday and do some planning. The kiddo is coming home from college and we'll be spending the day at Carlyle Lake, but other than that I have zero big plans. I'm kinda excited about that, actually. Gym, garden, and some freezer cooking. 

Enjoy the holiday!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Well, it's been a wacky few days, I got hit hard by carb cravings, but I'm committed to writing down the good, the bad, and the ugly. I figure even if it doesn't stop me from indulging every time, knowing I'm going to write it down does deter me from total pandemonium most days. I haven't gotten brave enough to publish my food diary from MyFitnessPal just yet, but I'm working on it.

I seem to derail mid-afternoon and I suspect boredom is the culprit not real hunger since I'm a later luncher. Something about 3:30 just makes me hungry. Maybe I should try taking a short walk instead of stuffing my face with snacks. I'm still making some teeny victories along the way, making better choices over all even on the "bad days." Monday, I got half way to the vending machine when I turned around and marched to my bag full of veggies instead. Veggies and hummus is way yummier than anything in the vending machine. I also find that I like crunchy foods. It almost doesn't even matter what it is, as long as there is some crunch to it. Crunchy or sweet. Yep, that pretty much describes my two favorite food groups!

Here are two of my favorite snacks:
Snack veg. Usually there's hummus, not Ranch.

At least 3 days a week this is my breakfast and often an afternoon snack.

What do you love to snack on?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It Happened...

So it happened. I turned 40.

It was so much fun! For my birthday, instead of a somber event I decided to combine my graduation party and birthday party for one big silly bash with a Grumpy Cat theme. Grumpy Cat is so much better than an over-the-hill theme. Ptooey on that.

The invitation

Me practicing being grumpy for the "photo booth".

The photo booth was a huge success in that lots of people took photos with grumpy cat, but the construction was seriously lacking. I forgot about wind. Oh the elements, you are a harsh mistress! Oh well, fun was had! 
The super awesome cake thanks to my buddy, Sira.
People, a Grumpy Cat Cake? Come on, so awesome. Ask and you shall receive.

Some of not very grumpy friends.
This is what you get when you meet people on the internet.
Reddit, specifically. Aren't they adorbs?

That last photo represented the Reddit section of my party. Those yahoos are all about ten years younger than me and mostly don't make fun of my age too much. They are still fairly new to me and already adored.

This is my friend Diane. She's really sick, like the kind I don't want to talk about and she took time to come to my party. Keep your fingers, eyes, and toes crossed that she's feeling better soon. Her lungs are being jerks and I love her so much. She is an amazing person who deserves to have every one of the days she has left pain-free and full of joy.

So basically, my day was super awesome. I think people had fun and I know I did. There were presents (I got a coloring book of unicorns and lots of other cool stuff), cake, snacks galore, and lots of laughter. I couldn't have asked for anything better. Thanks to every one of you who came to celebrate with me.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Hobble Holly - Part II

Gimp report: things are improving. Lots of physical therapy and good improvement. I'm sick of being broken though and would like to be able to return to my "nomal" activities with ease.

This is the knee squish. There's a pillow under my knee and I have to squish it with force 20 times.
I'm going to attempt to minimize the whining, because, of course, it could be worse and some people don't have the luxury of being able to go to PT. I still reserve the right to hate it though.

Pain meds. Hoping to make these a thing of the past soon.

In more joyful news, this hummus is pretty rad. I have a confession, I'm an addict. I eat three or four containers of hummus every week. I love it. Anyhoots,this can of stuff isn't bad in a pinch, at all. It's got a really nice creamy texture, perfect for dipping veggies.

I've been pretty good about counting calories lately and logging them on MyFitnessPal. Only a couple days have been over the maximum allotment of calories, so not too bad after all! YAY! I'm down a couple more pounds and wearing my "skinny" pants and not dying. 

Tomorrow is my gradubirfday party. I turned 40 on the 10th and we're celebrating my recent graduation from grad school and my 40th. It's a bit of a big deal birhtday. I'm excited! More later, taters.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Let's Get Physical (Therapy)

I started Physical Therapy and it's kicking my ass. I can't believe a few tiny exercises are so exhausting! Even though the doc says I can do the elliptical, my physical therapist says only for five minutes and suggested waiting anyway. Based on how hard it's been, I'm going to heed her advice. My physical therapist's name is Allison and she's a cute little thing and has already warned me that she's a bit of a task master in a nice way. Bring it on, kid!

The last exercise is my favorite. It is a really great hamstring stretch and I can actually walk less like the Hunchback of Notre Dame for a few minutes after I do it!

In other news, eating has been going well this week. I feel like I've really gotten into the groove of things. I'm just doing old fashioned calorie counting with MyFitnessPal (southcitystudio if you want to be my pal!) and I can already tell a difference in how I feel and I'm less bloaty for sure. One thing I am doing differently though is changing my breakfast. The last couple days I have been eating a whole wheat muffin with turkey sausage and egg. It's been a much more filling choice than my usual Greek yogurt and almonds and is a fewer calories. Egg sandwich = 300 calories, Greek yogurt/almonds = 380.

Lastly, the new foster babies are being adorable like usual and I feel it's important to share their cuteness with the universe. Meet baby Ellie (8 weeks) and Reilly (10 weeks). Two little adorable fluffy princesses. Ellie is the sweetest little snuggle bug and Reilly is too, but ornery like her big sister Fifi. She's been running laps around the house day and night. Both are available for adoption through Tenth Life Cats

Ellie, she was telling me a really juicy story.
Reilly is a funny and sweet brown tabby with white socks.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hobble Holly

I don't seem to be very good at not getting injured. As soon as I got some steam going for getting in shape again, I blew out my knee. :(

It started with a fitness test with the trainer I hired. My doc suspected I tore my meniscus doing a wall squat. (not her fault, just crummy luck) That's the squishy stuff that sits between your knee joint. I felt something burn, but I figured I was just being a wuss and I probably needed to walk it off or stretch more, or something. So, that weekend I still felt hurty, but I had hiking trip at Taum Sauk mountain planned with my friend and I didn't want to miss it being a sissy. Let's just say by the end of the hike (4,000 ft down, then back up 4,000 ft) I pretty much wanted to die. Again, I figured I was just being overweight and out of shape and told myself to buck up.

By the following Monday, Memorial Day, I couldn't walk at all and spent the afternoon in the ER. If I can't get from my bed to the potty to pee, I will finally surrender.

The Devil a.k.a the leg immobilizer. Don't let all that velcro fool you, that
sumbitch won't stay up where it should more than ten minutes at a time.

This saga ends with me having surgery to remove a cyst, torn meniscus, spurs, and arthritis in my right knee.

This sexy outfit was free of charge at the surgical center.
My photos aren't cooperating today, but trust me, it doesn't improve if you flip it right side up. 

Surgery was last Wednesday and I'm coming along pretty well. There was a full 7 days of captivity on my couch/bed. I'm back to work today and finally off the heavy-duty pain meds. I can put together coherent thoughts again.  I am on crutches, but only one most of the time. The past 36 hours have seen great improvement. YAY!

My follow up with the doctor is next Monday and I'll find out how soon I can start going to the gym again and if I'm going to need physical therapy and whatnot. The anticipated healing time is 6-8 weeks and I'm hoping I can shave a couple weeks off that. A girl has things she wants to do! :)

Later taters.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hello, again. Looking Ahead.

I won't waste time with excuses for why I've been absent, that just frustrates me, frankly I'm sick of listening to myself make excuses, and besides is probably nothing you haven't heard before -- busy, work, school, blah, blah. Well, my school excuse has officially run out, I graduate on Friday! *happy dance*

Tonight was day #1 back at the gym and it felt good. I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical and burned about 475 calories. Which makes up for the crummy snacks I had earlier in the day, or mostly anyway. The gym felt like a big victory in a lot of ways, it's been that thing I'm not doing that I know I need to do sort of looming in the background. I'll admit peer pressure is playing a role in my motivation, I seem to be surrounded by health nuts at the moment. However, I must say, it's definitely a positive and encouraging vibe. On Thursday I meet with a trainer and will put together an plan for gym time. I am thinking also that I'll rotate in some belly dancing classes again and yoga. I know I like both of those things and hopefully that will help battle the boredom.

I'm formulating an action plan. That's right where I'm at. Also, it's good to be back. :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Curry in a Hurry

Yesterday, Parker and I had a healthy cooking day and whipped up a few things to start stocking out freezers with healthy quick foods. We pinned recipes all week, then picked out three to make. We settled on three hearty vegetable crammed recipes: turkey chili, sweet potato and turnip curry stew, and cabbage and chicken sausage stew. Once we decided what we wanted we made a list and headed to the Farmer's Market for supplies, then hit Aldi for the remaining items. We spent a total of $30 and ended up making about 36 cups worth of lunch stew and chili plus a nice vinegar slaw to use for a side dish. Nice! Less than $1/serving for preservative and chemical free delicious noms. We ended up adding brown rice to both stews and some cream cheese to the curry to thicken it and ease the heat (I may have been overly generous with the curry paste, oops!). Our little cooking adventure was really motivating and I'm excited to have some fast food that's good for me and my wallet! I'm also eating curry for lunch today and I might actually be breaking a sweat...that's good for my metabolism, right?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hey, It's Thursday!

Honestly, there's nothing special about Thursday in particular, I'm just glad after 10 days of vacation to have a short work week. If today is Thursday, that means tomorrow is Friday and I'm closer to another two days off work. WAHOO! I get excited about being the mistress of my time. If only I could find a way to get paid to pursue my hobbies. Le sigh.

The past couple days have been pretty good. Last night, a couple hours after dinner, I was getting sort of hungry for nothing in particular (read: bored) so I went and burrowed under my covers with a circus of animals and went to bed. It was kind of nice actually, especially since I'm always freezing (thank you crappy thyroid) and I suppose it's no surprise that I'm pretty well-rested today. I'm not sure sleeping is a good long-term plan for dealing with boredom hunger, but it got me over the hump. Besides, those kitties needed some attention!
This kitty needed a scritch right under the cheek. See!
Today has been good so far. I had blueberry Greek yogurt, cashews, and coffee for breakfast. String cheese for a snack. Lunch was a burrito bowl (seasoned chicken, pinto beans, grilled veg, sriacha sauce, tomatoes, etc.) , an apple, and then some dried apples because they tasted so good. My big challenge for the week is to drink a bottle (25 ounces) every 2 hours. I read somewhere that you should drink about half your weight in ounces (if you weigh 100 lbs, then 50 oz). I never drink enough water. It's going fine, but I'm not loving having to pee all the time. Oh well, small price to pay for good health. 

Tonight I'll have something quick and easy (I still have 800+ calories left) and then I'm off to do some homeless outreach. It's going to be 18 degrees by morning. BRRR! 

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody!

I am planning for the New Year to be one of success and achieving goals. My thinking got a little screwy for a while and I was able to mostly maintain without any big gains, but it's time to unkink my kinks and get back on the wagon for good. There's no time like the present and I'm going to focus on moving forward instead of punishing myself for every time I swore off unhealthy eating and fell short of my goals. It's a process and I feel ready again.

I've got a buddy system set up with my pal, Parker who is going to lose 50 with me. I'm excited to have someone to support me and someone to support in this crazy process. Yesterday we took "before" pics so that we have something to compare to. Accountability is so, so, good. I think that's what was lacking before and how I got off track. Part of the reason, anyway.

My current short-term goal is to lose 5 by Feb and focus on crowding out the "bad" with "good". First step, eliminate the white stuff. Heavily processed sugary treats, potatoes, and bread. I've been letting those creep, then flood my diet and I can feel the icky bloat that is the result. I'm going to focus on making better, lower-carb and lower-sugar choices because it feels good to be good.

Return the Fraggle Rock's Red crazy cheering in my head for each teeny victory. Didn't eat the crap in the break room - Yayayayayayya! Dancing Fraggle explosion! Ate fruit instead of cookies - YAYAYY!!!

Over my vacation I watched Hungry for Change. In that film they talked about the importance of visualization. I need to dig up a photo of me from when I felt confident and happy with my body to post in my room as a reminder that I was there before and I can be again.

I'm excited to have a partner on the journey to being fit. It really boosts my motivation to know I'm not alone. I've also got a couple friends who are running Facebook groups for fitness and diet that are a nice addition to the support network.

On a totally unrelated topic... I've gotten involved in a group here locally that does homeless outreach in the winter (days where the temp is expected to dip below 20 degress) and it's been such a gratifying process to get to know these folks who are on the streets and being able to be a part of something that provides a little assistance and a little comfort to the suffering. It's made me really grateful to have a home to go to at the end of the day and especially grateful for the support of friends and family. It's a wonderful, humbling, experience to do outreach. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, I can't recommend something like this enough. It's good for the soul!

In more unrelated news, I've decided to adopt my foster kitten, Fiona. This little stinker was in bad shape when I got her at four weeks old, nearly died, and spent a couple days in the hospital. She's 100% better and has totally stolen my heart. So cute and so much fun.
What's new in your neck of the woods?