Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Brain dump on the subject of an "All Talk, No Game" post I read on a blog today...

I've been reading a new blog, http://ronisweigh.com/. Roni is the woman who started Blog to Lose and Fitbloggin'; she started her blog to keep her accountable, has inspired many to do the same, including me. I read one of her posts today, and so related to it, I had to sit down and write about this right now.

Are You All Talk, No Game?

Yikes. Is that so me, or what? How often do I get on here and say, "this is what I'm going to do." And this doesn't only relate to my health, although that has been a primary focus for me lately. It makes my husband, who is most certainly a doer (if it's something he really wants to do,) crazy. He will decide he really wants something, he will gather all available information, somehow keep it all straight in his head, and make a sound decision, make a plan, and follow through. Not me. I said I wanted to take a vacation this year. We haven't taken a real vacation (one that didn't involve staying at a relative's house) in 7 years. I felt our kids deserved a trip, and so did I. My daughter suggested Maine, and I loved the idea - it is a place I have always wanted to visit. I took the time off work, and got excited about going to Maine. But, and here's the kicker, I never actually planned anything. I knew what I wanted to do, but I never really took the time to make any concrete plans or book anything. I blamed it on my husband and kids, and they do hold some of the blame, as none of them gave me any freaking ideas for what they wanted to do, and it's not like they are small children, having to go along with everything we do. But it really all comes down to me. So, now I am missing out on hiking Acadia National Park, a place I have dreamed of visiting, because I never did what needed doing.
Sigh. Isn't that beautiful? Someday, my love.
What I loved reading, though, were the comments. Which is interesting, because you know usually the comments are the worst part of an interesting article. But these were interesting. Some were just like her - doers. They decided they were going to do something, and they made a plan, and they did it. But others were talkers, dreamers, and they had some interesting thoughts on why. And it didn't feel like these were just excuses, either. Some suggested that some who are just talking and not doing are just not ready. I understand that, change is hard, and it is comfortable to just stay the same course. Large changes, like a major weight loss, take a serious commitment, a good, solid plan, and steady follow-through. A related comment suggested the concept of the subconscious mind sabotaging the conscious mind. "They say then want to lose weight, but then they turn around and binge on all the food they are not suppose to be eating….. why do they do this? They do it because there is a subconscious part of them that is more comfortable with being fat." The problem with this, however, is that you can't just focus on your health when you are "ready" or when your "subconscious mind agrees with your conscious mind." There is too much at risk. I've been obese for almost 20 years. Each of these years has increased my risk for diabetes, heart disease, a whole buttful of different cancers, not to mention major stress on my joints and injuries. Then, there are the wasted years. 20 years of not being active, being able to do things I really would like to do, but I'm held back by my own physical limitations, or my perception of my own limitations. 20 years of feeling "less than" because of my size. Unfortunately, low self-esteem is not necessarily going to change with weight loss, but it can't hurt. 

Another commenter suggested that distraction keeps her from achieving her goals. This feels a little closer to my situation. I have a heck of a time focusing. Which seems funny, seeing as health changes are not exactly small work. I've worked with children with ADD in the school district, helping them to stay on task and complete their work. When I think of people having trouble focusing, that is what comes to mind. But consider - so much goes in to a healthy lifestyle. It can be overwhelming. And I am very good at buckling down for 6 hours or so - working out, packing my lunch, drinking my water, and then - ooh, something shiny! - and I am drinking a soda while chatting with a friend. Or my weekend fills up with a thousand things, and I don't take the time to plan for meals, and we go out to eat, which leads to bigger portions, which leads to shame, which leads to me not logging my meals, etc. And who wants to go to boot camp in the morning with the lump of City BBQ in their stomach. It spirals out of control, and you stop focusing on any of it for a few weeks, until you blog again, and then you recommit, and then you stop at the Speedway on your way in to work for a 44 oz Pepsi because you woke up at 4:30AM after not going to sleep until 10PM, and you are trying to keep your eyes open on your way to work.

Phew, you didn't know you were settling in for the long haul through my brain today, did you?

This week has been complicated. My son will be going off to college in a few weeks, and we have not finished dealing with all the financials. My husband is frustrated with my inaction on this, "why haven't you gathered all the information?" "Why start the conversation when you don't have all the information?" "The Boy should be taking care of this, why haven't you made sure he did it?" But. There is so much information out there, and I honestly wasn't sure where to start. I didn't even know who to ask. It's complicated, and scary, and I've always coddled my kid too much, and I'm afraid to make mistakes, and I'm afraid to put him in a place to make a mistake that might make things horrible for school, and...holy crap, I'm overwhelmed, and so - inaction. 

Which is, I think, the key to all of this. My "all talk, no game" problem. I become don't know where to start, I'm overwhelmed, I freak out, I become paralyzed. My way to deal with that is to talk through it...which is how we end up here - at my blog - all talk. 

So, here is where we are for this week's health goals - I've been stressing, not sleeping well, eating crap, drinking pop. I have, however, been logging the crap. I've also been to boot camp once, and I'll go on Friday and Saturday. I've been drinking a ton of water, although I have not hit the gallon mark every day, but I've been close. I have "technically" been completing my action steps for each day. I will weigh in tomorrow, although I am not expecting great results. I will take the picture, though, own the weight, and move on, working on better habits for the next week. 

I appreciate having the ability to unload here. It helps clear my mind. 

Are you a talker or a doer? Do you have any advice for those of us who have trouble following through (besides "just do it", Nike already said that.) Do you want to pay the balance on my son's education? 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Back to the grind

I've decided to really make an effort to add more of a weight loss/healthy living aspect to this blog, mainly to keep myself accountable, and, if there are some here who are looking for a buddy on their own journey, or who have good advice to give, etc (please, no sales, gimmicks, unproven tricks, silly tips you've picked up from the hack at the mall, etc. I'm not buying your stuff, so don't try to sell it here. I will eat fruit after 2PM, I am not dropping all carbs, I don't want your pills or vitamins or wraps, and neither do my readers.) Whew. Can you tell I get a little bitter about these things? It bothers me, so much. I read a lot of very good blogs about healthy living, and there are always commenters looking to sell their stuff. A lot of us who have been working on improving our health for a long time have read ALL OF THE books, research, magazines, etc. We know the difference between the science and the pseudoscience, and we don't want you plugging your wares or your "vague medical-sounding person has proven" techniques on our blogs. Start your own freaking blog, if you want to sell your stuff.
That said, if you have something real to say, please contribute. You tried a new way of journaling, a great new workout, a yummy, healthy snack? Suggest away!
Heh. You like how I am writing this like I have hundreds of thousands of readers? I like to pretend I am very popular.
Anyway - I'll still post my goofy little stories and thoughts, and I will never stop talking about books, but I want to focus so much more on my health. I was driving the other day (to Crossville, TN, home of the ISA World Series of Softball, Go Bandits!), and as I drove I had a thought, as I so often do when I drive.

I had been reading a blog post on time management by a woman who had 3 kids, ran two businesses from home, served on several different committees, took a class, wrote a blog, and played on a women's football team. This is a woman whose color-coded FiloFax uses ALL of the colors. Anyway, I was reading this entry and thinking, I used to have such a busy life. PTA, Relay For Life, MOMS Club, volunteering in the classrooms, team mom, making dinners for new moms, Girl Scout leader, driving the kids to every activity...and now? I work, a few book clubs, the Girl's sports. My guilty subconscious mind is telling me I should add a few more committees to the list, but I will continue ignoring that, and really buckle down and focus on my health. And you lucky duckies, should you choose to read these posts, get to come along for the ride.

You like this? The hills of southern Kentucky. Why upside down? I have no freaking idea - I can't seem to flip it.
But, Missy! You've said all of this before, for crying out loud.
I know. And I will probably sabotage myself again. But...ooh, and here's the kicker...I'm putting it all out there this time. I weighed myself, and took a picture, and I am posting it here for all to see. My starting weight for all intents and purposes.

Yow. That is scarily close to my highest weight of all time - the weight I promised I would never see again. You see why I am a little freaked out? Putting this out there in public, and I will weigh in again next week, and every week from now on, because for some weird reason, I think this might help. I will also talk about my boot camp and workouts and food plans and everything else I'm working on. I will be using My Fitness Pal to track my food intake, because you all know food that piece of the puzzle I just keep turning the wrong way. I get it almost angled correctly, and then I turn it just a quarter cm the other direction...and this analogy is taking off in my head, let's move on.

A month or so ago, I posted a list of "picture a day" ideas, and day 1 was goals. You've seen these goals before, but I may as well start with something that works. So my goals for the rest of July are (I'm just typing these in, but I did write them in my journal and everything):

1. Exercise (moving on purpose), at least 3 times a week
2. Gallon of water, every day
3. Track all food in My Fitness Pal

Ooh, how pretty. I'll track it all in my journal so you all can see I'm really, truly, following through. 
I have actually been to boot camp, twice this week. I've been drinking my water. Have not been tracking the food. Tomorrow morning, it is on.

In other news, there is a family of mourning doves outside my office - two adults and two babies. Did you know mourning doves will often return to the same nesting site more than once a year to lay eggs? And the male sits the nest during the day and the female during the night. You knew you would learn something here, didn't you?

Okay, onward and forward.  Thank you so much, to all of you who commented so sweetly to my post about my Eddy. My kids are on me about getting another cat already, and I will, as I am not a one cat girl, and my one cat does not like being lonely. Not yet, I'm still grieving, but soon. Prepare yourselves for new kitty pictures - they will be coming, and they will be precious.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A sad day, so please be gentle.


I said good-bye to my first baby today.
 I got Eddy when he was 6 weeks old and I was 20. It was the day after Thanksgiving, and I wanted a friend. This little orange furball crawled into my lap, and I fell in love. He has been a wonderful friend, ever since.
He got sick this past weekend, and at 20 years old, there was nothing they could do for him. 
This has been a very rough year for our sweet pets.  First Buggy, and now my guy.
 I have a lot of other things to share, but today's post is for my Eddy. 
I'll miss you, my orange guy. I wish for you a kitty heaven, full of Pounce and milk rings, Taco Bell wrappers and all the KFC biscuits you can steal.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My rather public shame

 We moved from a condo in the Chicago suburbs to a house in Kentucky 10 years ago. This is the first house I've lived in since I was 5 years old, and I love my house.

 It's a fine size - big enough to house a family of 4 (with the addition of a family member or two here and there,) but small enough to clean (when I feel like it.) It is mostly brick, which is nice, and the shutters are green, and we all know that green is my favorite color. We haven't done a whole lot to the house, and there are definitely some bits of maintenance that really should be done, but all in all, I love my house. And my favorite part is the yard. We have a 1/2 acre, mostly flat (which is unusual in the Ohio River valley,) and I would rather be outside mowing the lawn or doing other outside-y things than cleaning inside. Unfortunately, I have some problems.

Here it is, my not so secret shame. Considering that it is in front of my house, it can't be much of a secret. I am a mess when it comes to time management and landscaping - hence, the jungle of my front yard. Let's add the fact that I tend to kill things - I prune over-enthusiastically, or I plant a bizarre assortment of things, or I just ignore everything, which is what has happened over the past 2 years.
This was a Bradford pear tree planted by the builder. Yes, you'll see that it was planted approximately 2 feet from the house. Bradford pears grow to upwards of 26 feet tall, with a large canopy, so our pear spent most of it's life with the back half pruned off to keep it from rubbing destructively against the gutters. Bradford pears also tend to be structurally weak, since their canopies are too large to be supported by their trunks, and they grow so quickly.

Last September, a freak storm tore down 1/3 of the tree. We had wanted to get rid of it for years and never bothered, so Mother Nature took care of it for us. My brother-in-law came over and took down the rest of the tree using his chainsaw, and carted off the wood, which was lovely. Do you know what happens when you cut down a Bradford pear without taking out the stump? It doesn't freaking die, oh no. It just starts shooting off all these little baby branches. So, I guess dealing with the stump of my nemesis, the old pear, is #1 issue with my front garden area.
Then there is the fact that I never prune the holly bushes, or any of the other bushes, for that matter. They grow like crazy, and grow together, and it's all crazy. There used to be 4 holly bushes, I appear to have killed 2 of them, I don't know how. Last year I pruned most of the burning bushes, but I couldn't reach the top, and I asked my husband to do the rest, and he never did, and I never got around to finishing them, and now they are these insanely overgrown, monster shrubs. And the weeds. Good Lord, the weeds. It's gotten to the point that I think nothing short of a flame thrower will deal with the weeds.
When I was staying home with the kids, I was still not a fantastic landscaper, but it didn't look like an Amazonian jungle. I kept it "sort of" in check, although I still always managed to kill things. But now - I've been back to work for years, and I still haven't figured out time management. Admittedly, I do read books, and I do like to go out from time to time, but I can't seem to figure out how to finish much more than dishes and laundry.
All this is to say, I have let this get out of hand, and now it is so overwhelming. I'd like to take out the stump (and all its pesky babies,) Put in something appropriately sized, get all the weeds cleaned up, trim the shrubs to a manageable level, and make everything lovely.  I'm not sure how to do that, or how not to kill everything, or how to find the time to do it, or what to plant, although the people who lived there before had some carpet phlox that I absolutely loved, when I weeded enough to let it grow. My neighbors have been awfully patient with me, but they can't love living near this insanity.
Sigh.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Back to life, Back to reality...

I have pretty much taken the last month off. I did not trip up, mess up, oopsy-daisy. I did not miss a step and fall face-first into a vat of ice cream, as delicious as that sounds. I, quite frankly, completely sabotaged all my months of hard work and ate crap and stopped working out. 

Sabotage. Undermining a cause. I have undermined my own cause - that of my health - over and over. And I know I am not alone. How many of you have a goal you have worked toward - months of energy and planning and buttloads of hard work - and then, for one reason or another, taken time away and completely undone all of that work? And for what?

Last week, Boot Camp Guru texted a bunch of us, asking what we felt was our biggest struggle this summer. She was donating a quarter to a local charity for every answer. I really pondered that particular query - I really could only come up with one answer, and that answer was laziness. Sheer, unadulterated, laziness. We are discouraged from using that word as a reason - you're not lazy, the laziness is just a symptom of depression, or exhaustion, or some deep down emotion you must explore. But what if laziness really is the answer? I've felt pretty freaking good over the past year, emotionally - depression is not the answer here. Sure I'm tired at 4:30 AM, who the heck isn't? But exhausted? No. I didn't feel like getting out of bed and working out - after finishing the Pig in May, I felt I needed a break. Taking a couple of days off would have been fine, but not the next two months. I didn't feel like taking the time to prepare my food for the week, cooking healthy foods. I wanted to sit up and watch television with my husband every night instead of going to bed early so I could wake up early. Chopping veggies is annoying.

I've let sheer laziness sabotage my months of boot camp, my emerging biceps, my renewed energy.
No more.

Check my sexy new Asics - out for their inaugural workout this morning.
One of my favorite new things I've tried implementing with this whole "healthier me" thing is to jump in where I am. If I eat poorly or skip a workout, get back to it next meal, or next chance to get to a workout. It eliminates the whole "I've ruined the whole thing" mentality that can completely derail a new lifestyle. 

There is something powerful about a Monday, though, isn't there?

Yesterday, as we were driving home from Chicago (another post, another time), I received a text from said guru, "See you at 5AM. No excuses." Just the kick in the rear I needed. I didn't get enough sleep - it's hard, after a month of 10PM bedtimes, to go to sleep at 8:30 (I don't think I'll have a problem today.) I got up, and sweated through a Monday boot camp. It was way hard - I could barely hold a plank for 30 seconds, and I had been up past a minute. But I'll be back tomorrow.
This week's goals:
Attend at least 3 boot camps
Log every bite on My Fitness Pal
Drink 100 oz of water each day.

If you want to give me a kick in the butt, please feel free to do so. I need all the accountability I can find. I am happy to do the same for anyone who needs it.

Next post I will share my happy vacation fun, but today I was feeling motivated and wanted to share. Happy Monday!

Monday, June 8, 2015

40!

I turned 40 this past week. A rather uneventful Monday birthday - I went to work, read all my Facebook happy birthday messages (say what you will, psychologists, about the negative effects of social media on self esteem - I never feel more popular than on Facebook on my birthday,) went out to dinner with my family. Unlike many people I know who are past the age of 30, I still love my birthday. I like to be fussed over, I love presents, and I have no problem owning my age. I have earned my crow's feet, darn it. Anyway, I may have been a bit disappointed, but I wasn't blaming anyone. My daughter plays sports, my son graduated, and I'm a busy woman.

The Girl had a softball tournament this past weekend. My dad and stepmom came to town to watch her play.

We had a nice visit. Watched some softball. It was hot, I was sweaty and dusty, and not exactly looking my best. My brother, dad, and stepmom, and I left after the first game on Saturday so we could go to a cookout at my sister's house. I was looking forward to it. She asked us to stop by her brother-in-law's firehouse to pick up some ice. I followed him down to the basement to pick up the ice - and was met by so many of the people I love yelling "surprise!"




Yay!  I love surprise parties! My mom, brother, and sister worked hard to put this together for me. Family from Columbus, my prima I adore, my A from Indiana...so many people I care about. And then, another amazing surprise...



They moved to Florida last August, and there have been times where missing them has been a physical ache in my chest. They were hiding in a hallway as I laughed and hugged, and then they jumped out and yelled surprise, and I ran and hugged, and bawled - horrible, ugly, huge tears of joy.

Once I calmed down from the surprise, I had time to talk to people and actually notice who all was there. There was a lot of food, and music, and kids running around and playing, and so many hugs. And presents! I love presents! I got liquor, and trees, and Pyrex, and hilariously inappropriate needlepoint samplers, and gift cards...and best of all, I got cards, and a journal my mother put out for people to write messages, and they were all full of love. I have never, in my life, felt so completely loved.
How lucky am I? So much work and time, all just to make me feel special.
Thank you, to all of you with anything to do with this. I truly felt special.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A drunken post

Not really. It's been a little while since my last glass of wine. Like, 1 1/2 hours. The Blackhawks just won. Good for them, right?
Are you on Goodreads? 'Cuz if you're not, you should be. Seriously, where are you? I need your book recommendations. I have been reading like a crazy person lately. My last few have been relatively depressing, so on with the cheerful book recommendations.
When I was about 10, I saw the movie Spacecamp. I loved that freaking movie. I wanted to go to Spacecamp so badly it hurt. I never got to go, but I probably laid on the grass and said "I'm goin' up. I am." more than once, because I am a big nerd. I spent 6 years wanting to be an astronaut, way beyond the usual kid dreams. I was outside for awhile this evening, by myself, without my family even noticing I was out there, and watching the stars coming out, and thinking about that.
Tate Donovan, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston, and, who is that? why yes, it is Leaf, I mean Joaquin! Phoenix. You just can't go wrong with this cinematic gem. "Jinx and Max, friends, forever."

I have lots I've been thinking about, but my thoughts are not exactly clear right now. My son graduated from high school today, and I feeling a little fuzzy, so I'm going to bed. Good night, sleep tight, we'll chat soon...