Monday, January 30, 2017

Whole 30 - Day 1

Yesterday was the official start to my Whole 30 challenge. I have been waffling about doing this challenge for months now. Not even for the weight loss aspect but because I have just been feeling crummy lately. I have had stomach issues, fatigue, fuzzy brown, depressed, anxiety, and low energy. My goal with this challenge is to see if some of these issues can be corrected and which foods are causing them (the weight loss is just an added bonus if it happens).

I weighed in on Saturday night. Once the challenge starts, you cannot step on the scale for 30 days. This is to make sure the number on the scale isn't affecting your eating. I don't want to see a gain on the scale and throw in the towel. Instead I need to focus on Non-Scale Victories (NSV). When my pants fit better, having more energy, my better mood, and any other improvements in my life.
On Saturday we went grocery shopping. We went to 4 different markets and it took forever. I had to read the ingredient label on everything I bought that wasn't a whole food to make sure they weren't sneaking in things I couldn't be eating (alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes, sugar, and soy). My grocery bill was on the high side this week but I am hoping that is because of the staples I was purchasing and going forward the bill won't be as bad. Plus, I am hoping to eliminate eating out for the month (for the most part) so that should help the budget as well!

Sunday, January 29th, was the first official day. I wasn't expecting too much since my body wouldn't really know anything had changed. I also have this mild lingering cold that I just can't shake (I am praying that it doesn't get worse because if I take OTC medication, I will have to reset the challenge because they contain sugars and sometimes soy). I was super sluggish (I took a 2 hour nap during the day) with a sore throat and a headache. I think these had more to do with the cold and not the challenge.

Eating wise it went fine. I enjoyed the food I cooked and managed to stick with just eating the three times during the day. You can have a snack if needed but it should be more of a mini-meal and not something that is a waste of calories. They would prefer that you stick with just 3 meals a day if possible.

I am already missing my soda. I usually drink 2 cans of diets coke a day and I was sad that I couldn't have any yesterday. Drinking my coffee black wasn't ideal but I was able to get through a cup of it. I think it is more of a habit of mine in the morning then something I actually need. Fortunately for me I never put creamer in my coffee anyway so it is just the taste of Equal that I am missing.
I took this picture of me this morning. Hopefully in 30 days there will a real difference. I will have Gabrian take some full body shots of me this evening so I can have them for comparison later on.

I am going to end this post with some pictures of what is been happening in our life lately (Riley has already headed back to school after Winter Break so sadly I don't have any pictures of him).

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Day After the 2016 Elections

Did everyone survive after yesterday? I am seriously dragging today. Gabrian and I voted yesterday! I think it is so important at his age to start getting him involved in the elections. This was the first year he was aware of what was going on (to a certain extent) and actually knew the Presidential Candidates. We did a lot of talking leading up to the election. About how it important it is to get out there and vote to get your voice heard. We also talked a lot about how it is ok if someone else prefers a different candidate. It doesn't mean they are wrong, just that they think other things are more important (and that is ok!).

Gabrian thought it was the absolute coolest thing to go into the cubicle with me and see how the process went. This morning he is still rocking his "I Voted Today" sticker.

Last night after voting, I dropped Gabrian off at home with my Mom and I did a little driving for Uber (just because it is election night, doesn't stop the bills from rolling in). I got home about 9 and was glued to the television for the next 2 1/2 hours until I finally went to bed. I woke up at 12:30 and then again at 5:30 (where I then decided to stay up) to check the results. It was a nail biter all the way to the end! I am definitely paying for the lack of sleep today at work.
I have no easy way to change subjects, so lets just jump into the highlights of my week. I received an email from Panera Bread this week letting me know I can get a free bagel, every day in November! What an amazing deal! I have been bringing these bagels to work each day and I got around their trickiness by bringing in my own cream cheese (I am not getting sucked into buying there expensive cream cheese or delicious coffee). I order online and pick up from the shelf in the back of the store so I don't have to be embarrassed about my cheapness.
I signed up for one of those book chains on Facebook. Basically, you respond to the person's post saying you would like to join. They then send you a message that has the person's name they signed up with that you need to send a book to and then their name and address. Then when you post it on your social media accounts and have people sign up, you put your name on the list and the people that sign up with you will send the last person a book.

This book was appropriately named because it was a complete scam...ok not really but I didn't have anyone sign up. So that means I had the expense of buying and sending a book but I am going to get no return on this deal. I apparently need more Facebook friends!
On Friday, I wasn't feeling well and just didn't want to make dinner. Gabrian was super excited to make his own. He was all about that peanut butter and jelly sandwich (don't worry, the wine wasn't for him). He was so stinkin proud of himself.

I had forgotten that Saturday was observation day at Gabrian's ballet class. Thank goodness for phone cameras that take good pictures now a days. I love his dance studio. It is in an old warehouse with huge windows. It is almost impossible to take a bad picture.
Gabrian and I came across this row of carrots at Whole Foods Market. I honestly can't tell you why I was so impressed with them that I felt the need to take a picture, but I did and now you get to look at it!

So here are the results for this week. I am excited to say I went down by 1.3 lbs. I wasn't perfect in my tracking (when I wasn't feeling good this weekend, I kind of let it go by they wayside) and I didn't get in my 30 minutes of activity. But I think the simple act of tracking (most of the week) has led me to be more conscious of what is going into my mouth. I was definitely way over the calories most days but I can honestly say if I wasn't tracking, I would have eaten way more. Which is so scary considering how many calories I was already eating.

I like the direction I am going in and would like to continue to make progress with my plan. This week, I am planning on tracking every single day. I am going to do a do-over on the commitment of getting 30 minutes of activity in at least one day this week. I am also going to add in water. I am aiming to get in 8 cups of water a day.

How did your week go? Did you find something that worked for you or an area you think you can improve on?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Spooky Halloween Numbers

Happy Belated Halloween! I hope you had a great night of spooky fun and didn't eat all the candy like I did.

It has been a crazy week for us here. This past weekend my Mom had her huge indoor Moving Sale to get ready for her big move (she will be moving in with us pretty soon). We have been going nonstop trying to get ready for the sale. Not only is she trying to downsize but I am trying to get rid of stuff so we can fit her stuff into my condo!

Based on these pictures I am not sure if Gabrian and Peeps were helpful or annoying. I guess they were mostly cute!

On Thursday night Gabrian, his friend, and I headed up to my Mom's house to finish prepping for the 3 day sale. We spent 3 day in the rain and cold (at least I did because I was assigned in the cold garage for the sale) but we got it done. We didn't sell everything but we sure made a huge dent in everything that had to go. Most of the big stuff is now gone. We even managed to have some fun while we were there.

Not pictured here, was when the boys found a box of packing peanuts in the playroom. When I discovered them they were making snow angels in the peanuts. It took them over 2 hours to clean up their mess and it still looked pretty bad when we left. My mom and I are still laughing over it.

Halloween was tons of fun on Monday. Gabrian and a couple of his friends were able to hit up the neighborhood. I can't even begin to tell you how much candy is in our house right now. Gabrian totally scored with his haul.

So these are my horribly spooky numbers for the week. I weighed in at 309 and I am so upset with myself. I am going to admit it, I am not even trying to hang on this past week. I eat everything that crosses my path and I barely get off my butt.

I am not giving up but I feel so lost lately. I am so excited about my Mom moving in but between the preparation for that and the panicky feelings I have that not enough money is coming in, food has been my go to.

This week, I will record everything I eat on MyFitnesspal. I am not promising I will stay within my calories but that everything that passes my lips will be recorded. I also am committing to one day of doing 30 minutes of some type of activity.

These are small baby steps but hopefully they will start getting me in the right direction. See you next week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Thanks for the Nudge

I want to start off this post by thanking the people that reached out through comments or emails to gently remind me that I promised myself to be accountable. I was definitely spiraling out of control and this was the nudge I needed.

I know from past experience that when life starts getting tough, the healthy lifestyle goes out the window. My stress is at an all time high lately. I am snippy, grumpy, and just not handling it well. I am using food and television as a way to give myself a reprieve. I can't let myself do this.

When Gabrian's father ran away from the US back to his country, for awhile I was able to handle the finances without his child support. But if I was being honest, I was just juggling things. I tried working at the campground and the fast food restaurant but resented the time I was there away from the family. And while I was doing it, I was quite feeling the pinch of the missing money.

September happened and all of a sudden it seemed like there was nothing left to juggle. I either needed to cut stuff out or actually start earning more money. I am now driving Uber a couple of nights a week. I am not going to get rich with it but it gives me the flexibility that I enjoy. However, it can be daunting when I know the shortfall I need to make up at the beginning of each week. Between living expenses and Gabrian seems to have hit an age where all of a sudden he is joining things and they all cost money!

There are some other family things going on. Nothing bad at all but they just contribute to the stress. So healthy eating when bye bye and comfort eating was welcomed with open arms.

For awhile, it seemed like no matter how much I was stuffing in my face, I was at least maintaining my loss. It was like I was trying to defy science with how much I was eating. However, these last two weeks the gains have been coming fast and furious. It's like my body is saying "What? You were thinking we were going to forget you ate that whole bag of doritos? way!".

This morning I hit a low (or should I say high?) for myself. I weighed in at 306.3 lbs and I feel horrible in my body. I just feel bloated and gross. This weigh in along with the perfectly timed nudges has put me in a new mind frame.

For now I am using MyFitnessPal to journal my food intake. I had been playing around with it for the last week or so just recording what I ate (though I would usually fizzle out by lunch time and stop journaling the food for the rest of the day). I was just trying to get an idea of where I was with calories (and it was super duper scary). Today I will actually try to stay within my calorie allotment and record all day long (even if I end up going over). My username is ridlee and as of right now I have my journal set to public.

Ok, see you guys next Wednesday (or sooner...but we know how that promise usually goes)!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

300 Even

So here I am, straddling the line of either getting myself together and do what I am supposed to do. Or, give up (like usual) and gain back everything I lost and probably find some more along the way. I do this to myself every freaking year. The only thing different is that I keep getting older. I am sick of this. This is not the life I want. I need to stop allowing myself excuses and just do what I am supposed to.

It is not too late. I had gotten down to 296.2 and I am now back at 300 (even). It is not quite a 4 lbs. gain. I can still fix this and get back on track. I cannot turn 37 next year back where I started this year (or even heavier).

I had a fantastic weekend. I was able to fly out to Illinois to see Riley during the Family Weekend at his University. I traveled and spent the weekend with Riley's Dad and step-mom. I was so nervous about the weekend because I had no idea how it would go. Would everyone be miserable? Would I be on edge the entire time?

Everything went so much better than I could ever hope for. I would say that Sandy (Riley's step-mom) and I parted ways on Monday as friends. I hope she feels the same way. We got a whole weekend of having great conversations and really learning about each other. I feel sad that it took us 16 years to get to this point.

Seeing Chris and Sandy together gives me hope that there are still really great couples out there and someday I might find someone for myself. I had spent a lot of time in self-reflection after seeing how happy they are together about what would make me happy in life.

1. I need to lose weight and get back into exercise. I need to do this for health reasons along with getting my confidence back in myself. When I am on plan and following an exercise program, I feel so much better about myself. I carry myself a certain way when I know I am doing what I am supposed to and working towards a better me.

2. I need to be fluent in Spanish and follow through on my plans to get there. I need this skill in about a year (someday in the future I will tell you why) and I am not about to allow that dream to get away from me because I didn't take the time to learn Spanish.

3. My finances are not so great. I am still recovering from the hit I took when Gabrian's Dad went back to his country and I stopped receiving the Child Support. I need to up my game on my side hustles and start getting more income coming in. I also need to stop spending. I need a working budget and then stick with it. This paycheck to paycheck thing is for the birds. I am 36 years old and need to get something in the bank. I can only imagine how my stress level would decrease if I didn't always have a pit in my stomach about where I am going to come up with the money for everyday items (not to mention any emergency that may come up).

4. I need to get myself out there. I would like to have someone in my life but it doesn't mean I shouldn't start living until they come along. Chris and Sandy (who thought I would get dating advice from my ex?) suggested finding clubs and groups that share interests of mine. I might not meet my soul mate out there but I will probably find some friends. And if I don't get out there, how will I ever meet anyone. I am certainly not going to meet anyone while watching television in my living room.

Since this is my weight loss/exercise blog, I will mainly focus on #1 on the list here with you.

This morning, I woke up and took the first step. I got on the scale. I so did not want to do that after a day of traveling yesterday. However, I knew that I needed to face the music. While the results were not pretty, at least I got that out of the way.

I also packed all my meals and snacks for the day. It was getting completely out of hand with all the eating out I was doing in this last month. First of all, I simply cannot not afford to eat out as often as I was doing. Second of all, I cannot afford the points I was using when eating all this food. I need to learn to be happy with what I have at home. This will help the bleeding of money I have been doing lately. It will also help me stay on my Weight Watchers plan a little easier. I had to make do with the food I had in the house today but next week I intend on having a fully working plan for that week.

My plan is to start walking at lunch time again on any day that doesn't have rain. I need to start getting some steps in somewhere and this seems like a great place to start. I don't want to give up running either but I am finding it hard to commit to it. My plan is to start with running once a week. I can hopefully increase over time but for now I would be happy with once a week.

I am committing to posting here once a week with the weigh in results. If I want to write more, that would be great. However, I am not putting pressure on myself do more than once. Hopefully this will keep me focused since I will need to put it out in the world.

Thanks for letting me ramble and getting my feelings out into words. See you next week (or sooner if I am feeling up to it)!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Trying to Break the Pattern

I have had an ah-ha moment these past couple of days. Every year I join weight watchers and I do really great.  Than I go on some type of vacation either late July or August. I do ok on the trip (I have fun treats but don't go out of control) but than I get back home and weight watchers goes right out of the window. I will try for another 6-8 weeks until I finally quit until my next birthday.

It's like I don't want to stop eating like I am on vacation and I refuse to get back on any type of exercise schedule. I am basically driving myself crazy trying to get back on track.

I have big plans in a year from this November so quitting is not an option. Part of my plan is to be at or super close to goal weight by November 2017.

This week I planned for my meals so I am not so out of control with the eating. I went grocery shopping and stuck to my list. My money has been super tight all of a sudden so I am hoping that my money budget will help my points budget. I am trying to stick to my financial budget (I am using mint). My eating out has been crazy so I am getting a tighter reign on it.

I have come to a huge decision. I am not going to run the half-marathon. Between working the two jobs and trying to come up with side hustles, the training involved for the half-marathon is stressing me out. I don't want to do the long runs and end up doing no runs.

I was happy before running around 3 miles. I was pleased with the amount of points I was earning and the amount of time I spent doing it (about 50 minutes of running). I still plan on running a half-marathon and than a marathon in the future, but I just don't have the time to commit to one at the moment.

I plan on running 3-4 times a week about 3 miles. I will start looking for some 5k's to run and slowly work on improving my time. I may eventually work my way up to a 10k. This spring I will start searching for a half-marathon and maybe early summer or next fall for my marathon.

I will weigh in on Wednesday and report back. I think that this blog helps keep me accountable. When I am not writing at least once a week, it is too easy to start slipping. I would love to write more but I am going to commit to at least once a week.
So back to more fun stuff. Gabrian and Emmett recently competed in a Fun Run.
We got there early and the boys jumped off some of their excitement. It was for the Maine Vets and we got to see a parade of the vets before the beginning of the race.
It was a short race but the boys gave it their all. Emmett and Gabrian sprinted the entire time! Emmett came in 3rd place and Gabrian was 5th (out of about 50 kids). Our kids are fast!!

It was a great time for the boys. I am excited any time we can find something active that they enjoy. In fact Tenney and I found a class led by our local community center this Fall for Track and Field. Next Saturday the boys have their first class and at the end of 4 weeks they will have a meet!

See you this Wednesday when I am back to report on my most likely gain (but rest assured I will be working this plan so it will only be temporary!).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The End of a Vacation

I knew this vacation was going to have to come to an end but I didn't want it to. We are sitting in the Midway airport as I type this waiting for our flight. We arrived super early hoping to check in our bags and explore some of Chicago but alas we were foiled by the "no earlier than 4 hours rule" and instead have been sitting around the airport since 9 this morning (only 2 hours more to go).
This was such an emotional trip. On one hand, I was excited to see Riley get settled at his College and see him experience some of his first times on the campus. On the other hand, I can stand the fact that I am about to fly away and leave him here (he seems A-OK that we are about to fly away). Thank goodness I will be back in less than 4 weeks for the Family Weekend on campus. It doesn't seem too bad knowing I will be back shortly.
Our days fell into a pretty nice rhythm. We arrived on Tuesday and by Wednesday we had him mostly moved in and started his orientation. The rest of us would wake up each day around 7 or 8 and make our way down to the free breakfast. The rest of the morning we would run errands for Riley until we were ready to stop for lunch. Sometimes we had a few more errands afterwards. We would make our way back to the hotel where some people would take naps and the rest of us would head to the pool for most of the rest of the afternoon and early evening. Around 7 we would head back to the room to take showers and eat dinner (we usually picked something up during the day). We would relax the rest of the night watching television or reading our books.
I will be honest. I only got in one day of exercise. I stopped counting points after the first meal. I really had a solid plan in place but it just went out the window. I feel okay with my decisions. I stuck by my no eating chips rule. I tried to pick things that I wouldn't normally have an opportunity to eat. Whatever the outcome is, I will be on the scale tomorrow and reporting back the damage. I also plan on counting points as soon as I wake up tomorrow.

It was a fantastic trip. It was so relaxing and exactly what I needed. I can't say I am eager to get back to work but I feel like I am in a good place come Thursday when I am back in the office.