I am starting to wonder if my obsession with what the scale says is detrimental. I was so mindful this week - not just putting stuff in my mouth willy-nilly without thinking about what I'm truly eating. That's worthwhile, and I was talking to some friends about how I keep getting frustrated with what the scale does, and how I have this ideal that I either weigh 165 and be a size 24, or else weigh 450 pounds, as long as I'm a size 12, and neither the 2 shall meet. BUT - I am fitter and stronger than I have ever been in my ding dang life, I am full of good foods and good intentions. Again, I need to release myself from the guilt and feeling of failure. Obviously, my body is really, really happy at 216.4. I don't know if I can ever let go of the idea of weighing less than 200 pounds, and hitting that 100 pound loss mark, but I'm starting to consider it. Also, weighing a little more after I had a spectacular week of good eating and great exercise, means that I am not as upset as I could be, knowing that I didn't spend the week eating cheese and chocolate.
In the last few weeks being full of travel and busy work stuff, I haven't been around to support some other bloggers - I apologize - I'll try to make up for lost time soon.
Here's my meal plan this week. I'm sticking to it!
Breakfast - Lowfat plain yogurt, blueberries, FiberOne cereal
Morningstar Farms soy sausage
Coffee with cream
Lunch - French Barley salad (recipe here)
Half cup 2% cottage cheese
Dinner - Lima bean, corn and greens succotash
Tamale or grilled chicken, salsa
Snacks - cherries, plums, apple with peanut butter, hummus and pita
Tasty and doable, yes? Onward to a better week!
But now I'm a woman who has lost all commitment. Motivation? I've got it. (fertility, health, beauty) Tools to use? I know them all. Cooking skills? I can steam a veggie like nobody's business. And come up with wacky things that only taste good to me. Budget? Yes - I can afford both my gym membership, and weekly purchasing of organic produce. So what's the problem? I don't know. The only thing I can point to is the commitment. Committing to NOT doing stuff. Not putting the following in my body:
Really, those are the only 2 I struggle with. And every time I put those up there, I think everyone who reads that doesn't know me in real life is going to think I walk around with a wine bottle in my purse. I think focusing on the NOT is also a negative way to approach it. I should focus on committing to only eating the meals I plan. No extras. I'm reading Geneen Roth's Women, Food, and God to find out some other whys and hows. Current reaction: uncomfortable. She touches on some nerves, boy howdy. Operation lose a pound a week, I mean, committing to eating only what is healthful, is on. I think. If I can get it together.
Before and after:
The Dandelion Circus
Scary Spider Habitat in the ivy:
Sad, sad bed looking for some room to breathe:
Overgrown bushy tree thingy(that's the techinical term) and dying rose bush:
And now, Willow tree happiness!
Trimmed down the star flower bush into a tree shape, and ripped out the dying roses:
Au revoir, ivy!
Grow, shrubbies, grow! And lavender. Breathing room for you!
My other great accomplishment - not eating all day on my vacation. I lost a little weight, and feel great. I was really concerned that I would find myself bored and munchy and eating things I shouldn't. But I didn't! For one thing, I wasn't bored. For another, I made sure I had good things for me to eat in the house, as well as making meals. I am so proud of myself, I can't even explain it in colorful terms - I just ate when I needed to, and focused on fresh. I'm planning my menu for the week and plan to keep up this eating only when I need to train, because its the right thing to do, sister. Sunday cooking commences, for a stellar week. Returning to work will not be easy, but mama needs some money.
I'm approaching the week as a time for rejuvenation. On my list
- Weed my GD yard. I loathe weeding. Have roped in the husband to a full day on Sunday, so we can just call it good. Planting shrubs, laying down mulch and building a fence for the tomatoes. Fun!
- Creating my new menu for jump starting weight loss. I am so good about exercising. I mean really good. Its not an issue to work it into my day, the issue is telling myself that the exercise justifies extra snacks. Although that's a lie! It does not. Must start restricting extras. Bleh.
- Reading in the hammock - the weather here has been pitch perfect - high 70's. I could even take a wee bit hotter. Please don't let typing these sentences call forth rain.
- Purging clutter. I can tell my eating is in discord partially because I am on my cycle, I am worn out and tired, but also, the disarray - I need to clean up my environment - too too messy!
- Visiting friends - I hope!
- Eating watermelon. Making watermelon popsicles. And possibly a watermelon mojito. In the hammock? Oh yeah, baby.
I also made myself the most delicious salad this week. Cobbled together from what was in the fridge, and modified from a recipe I saw elsewhere. Make it. Make it now. It is delicious - creamy and crunchy and fresh, but if you mash up the garbanzo beans, I'm told it could sub as a mock chicken salad filling in a pita pocket. However you eat it, you'll be glad.
Garbanzo bean salad - serves 2
1 1/2 cups Garbanzo Beans
1 cup Celery Hearts (about 3 stalks)
1 cup Savoy Cabbage
1 cup Cabbage, Red, Raw
1/2 cup Orange Bell Pepper
2 tbsp Sour Cream
1 tbsp Mayo
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp dried Dill Weed
- Rinse and drain well, 1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, or cook enough dry to yield 1.5 cups.
- Crush the garbanzo beans a little with a potato masher, or your hands. Or leave whole, the mashing is best for a sandwich filling.
- Dice celery, and bell pepper
- Shred cabbages to equal 2 cups
- Mix beans and veggies together in a large bowl
- In a small bowl, cream together sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice and dill. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour dressing over salad, stir well.
Serve chilled or at room temperature. Yes, I used high fat dressing ingredients - I was out of plain yogurt. And fat, she satiates me.
Amount per Serving
Calories from Fat 95.0
Total Fat 10.55g
Saturated Fat 2.5g
Total Carbohydrate 37.56g
Dietary Fiber 6.66g
My personal outlook has improved, thankfully. I had a very productive conversation with my manager about where to move forward in my career development. I am so lucky that she's willing to work with me.
I am truly looking forward to taking a week off next week. Time to recharge and renew - and some hammock time to boot! And time to iron out a better meal plan. My body is a little sponge, so time to really cut out the refined things that it doesn't like.
I was planning on a gym night anyway, but now knew that I had to step it up in the strength department. I did 20 min on the elliptical, my full strength routine, and then finished with some core stuff. The whole time, it was as though I was clicking undo over and over again in a frenzy. Also, I didn't do any strength training at all last week, and I expected to find the exercises super challenging - but I could still do it - hooray. I went home, ate my fabulous Asian coleslaw, and some melon and called it a night.
I am telling this long story because... I always weigh more the morning after a strength training workout. Always. This morning, I was 2 pounds lighter than yesterday. Oh the scale, she messes with me, everytime. And thus concludes the tale of the foolish girl who ate bacon and cheese at noon.
So here's my plan of attack list for feeling better remedies.
- Plan a 1,400 calorie meal plan - more on that later
- Take a week's vacation even though Mr. Black can't go anywhere - spend it cooking, reading, visiting, enjoying the weather, cleaning up the cluttered areas in my house, and exercising.
- Spend time with my family and friends, and my fun little dog
- Send out some loves. It sounds cheesy, but when I am feeling blue, I find the best thing to do is to send out some gifts or notes to the people in my life that I love.
I hope everyone is having a great week.
I am starting to feel like my updates here are like an alcoholic who gets drunk every night and then says "No, sherioushly, I'ma gone get betters." and then passes out. I'm not binge eating, which is good, I've cut back on the candy - but not entirely - and I am still planning my meals. So what's doing me in? The extras. The wine with dinner, the handful of pretzels and mini babybel cheese for a snack that I love, and sometimes ice cream. I think that the last year and a half of being stuck at one number has got me into a maintenance mode. I think I'm going to have to really start saying no to the extras. It will be like my own little EXTREEEEME sport. Extreme dieting. Because ya'll know I can only say no to the cheese for so long, so it is a diet, not a lifestyle change for right now. Thank heavens for the fruit, the fruit! I love summer fruit.
Although I understand their choice - they'd rather focus on teaching someone our office and database rather than teaching someone marketing - it is still disappointing. I felt hurt and frustrated by the rejection. Like I don't have any special skills and that I'm not worth developing. So I was a cry baby for a little while - but now I'm moving on to the positives.
The good stuff is this. I've been noticed! The head woman told me I was their second choice - even compared to the other 2 candidates who had a lot of marketing experience. I specifically asked if she thought I was a wasting their time, and she said no - she was very impressed with me, and said that all four people I interviewed with were impressed by me. She said she was glad to get to know me better, and she was glad I applied, because she liked that I think outside the box, and am willing to learn new things, and that she wants to work with my current manager to help get me where I need to be. Also, the HR recruiter said that she thought I did very well, and she'd like to give me some feedback about what I did correctly, and talk about where to go from here. That's going to be a fantastic conversation!
I know I'm not going to go to my grave thinking about my career - my family and friends and health are so much more important. But there's no shame in looking for a little fulfillment outside the home. I hope all of you are spending time with those you love this weekend!
In other news, I started physical therapy, and my hip can now withstand a long walk without making me want to cry and take a bunch of ibuprofen! Progress! Tonight I want to do a really long workout so that I can conk out early, and be refreshed for my interview tomorrow. I'm already nervous, which is oh-so helpful. Nothing that 30 minutes on the elliptical can't dissipate!
Who wants to hear my speculation about why I'm not succeeding? Again, and again and again. I am strength training, I am cardio-izing, I am watching my calories, I am writing down what I eat. I guess I'm a great maintainer. I can't help but focus and wrack my brain over what I am doing wrong. I thought it was sugar. I know that there have been days when I have gone over my calories significantly, like by 300 or so, but I am eating so healthfully, so proportionately overall, that I truly can't understand why I would have this much trouble. Maybe I am not challenging myself enough in exercise, or maybe I shouldn't eat the extra 200-300 calories that I burn at exercise? Color me frustrated.
The positive news is, I changed my strength routine a bit, to be 3 sets of 10 instead of 2 sets of 12. That's a little more challenging. I also have found a new machine at my neighborhood YMCA rather than the downtown one near my office, that I LOVE. It is like an elliptical on steroids. You can do stair stepping on it, and then there is an increased range of motion. You can run on it, I swear, and you're flying - and you can go backwards. I love, love, love it. I asked at the front desk what the name of the machine is, and no one knows - they call it a climber/stepper, but I don't think that's right. I asked someone who was on one of the machines next to me, and he said "I don't know, but I've heard it called Robot Machine." Ha ha ha ha! Robot machine! Loving it.
So, here's to a month of HOPEfully losing 4 pounds. 4 please. 4.
But now instead of weight loss matters, I want to talk about exciting things. A few weeks ago I posted about a job I interviewed for, then promptly thought "Oh, well, that was a mistake." because the HR recruiter seemed to have a checklist for marketing manager thingies that I did not fill. I made peace with the fact that someone encouraged me to try out for this job, and then I did not meet the needs, and I went back to my regular, safe, satisfying job. Fast forward to three weeks later, and they pass me on to 2nd level interviews. The interview is with the most lovely woman who is in that position now, only more senior in another office, and the 45 minutes is basically spent with her telling me what the job entails. She also wants to make sure I do know how to coordinate a webcast for large groups, order catering and use the company-branded templates. And I assure her with confidence, that's 30% of my job as an admin. (Secretly, my response is "Uh, yeah. With my eyes closed." But that would be rude, so I don't say that.) She also wanted to hear about my attention to detail and my extracurricular audits of other offices. A very pleasant interview. I even felt comfortable enough to tell her - how do you know which groups of people to pull together to meet and chat about Human Resources issues? To which she was so generous and told me exactly how she executes her job. It was a fabulous experience. The next day, I met with my boss(es) (the merger has muddied the waters a bit as to who is in charge of my personal development) and I let them know that I had applied - and they were incredibly supportive. I seriously work in the best office ever. They wanted to know what the position was, and told me that they don't want to see me go, but of course they support me trying on something new.
The day after that, I am invited to meet with the big boss, and an Account Director. The big boss is the woman that I met with to say "I need more responsibility!" that scares the hell out of me. I have 9 days to prepare a knock-out interview. To say that I'm excited, is an understatement. I can't believe that I've made it to the final round - and I also am relieved to find that I really want this job. I made a pros and cons list, and sent it to my Mom and a friend, and they both said - whatevs, just go for it. I know that I have many advantages to being an internal candidate, but the fact that I have little to no experience with coordinating "strategic thought leadership" is very intimidating. Basically, I'm frightened of leaving my safe job where I excel because I've been there for nearly 6 years and can do it with one hand tied behind my back. I'm afraid that I'll fail in this position, but speaking with that woman who does the job now, she made everything seem engaging, fun and doable. Really it comes down to the fact that I currently work as an administrative assistant - someone tells me what to do. This job requires creative energy, and coming up with my own ideas. I've never been paid for my ideas, you know? I love that this job is a mix of coming up with creative events, but also has a nice mix of following required initiatives. I'm a sharp girl that can go for it. Right? Right. So anyone reading this, keep your fingers crossed for June 30th - I need to shine!
I'm back on the straight and narrow - went to the gym last night, whining all the way, but I felt great when I was through. I'll get back to normal soon. This week, I'm not ready to kick sugar altogether, but I have to stop eating candy. I love candy. I love junky, fruity, gummy candy. It is horrible for me. I especially love fake watermelon and apple flavors. There's no value in eating it, and it takes away valuable calories from my daily budget. I love black licorice. That stuff, I get the good kind, the really dark Australian stuff. So this week, no more candy. It's a small step. So far, I've got 2 days behind me. Yahoo!
I think I also suffer from just not wanting it to count. I want to have 5 great days so I can have 2 eat what I want days, and then hope my body does not notice. A virtual "nothing to see here, folks, let's move along.". Because the reality is, everything counts, even when you exercise. See also: Why didn't I take care of this healthy weight thing when I was in my twenties? Sheesh. Now I'm headed to the land of the South Beach diet, so I imagine the worst thing I'm going to have is a slice of Key Lime pie, a mojito and pork. I'm glad to know that I'll have easy access to salads and fresh fruit. Hope everyone else had a great week!
I interviewed for a new job last week. Within the same company, but something totally different from what I've ever done before. (not the new job I originally wanted) It's a marketing position, and I was encouraged to apply by a woman in the marketing department, who after I submitted my resume, promptly gave notice so she could follow her husband to his new job in another state. Frustrating! I actually had a sitcom moment of "You wha-?" with the sound effect of the needle screeching off the vinyl. True story.
It was interesting to interview for this position, when I'm not miserable in my current position. I thought it would make me feel more confident, and it did to a degree. However, the HR woman made sure to tell me that they had over 100 applicants, and it was her job to make sure that she found "the right" candidate with "the right" experience. Well yes, of course we all want to hire the perfect person, I thought. My marketing experience is limited, and as I described my meager experience, I felt sort of silly and inadequate. BUT I know I'm a sharp girl, I know the Seattle office, I know the team, and I know the database that we use, AND I was asked to apply based on my performance as an admin, and I know I can do the job, and it would be interesting. So I am 50% okay with not being passed on to the next round of interviews, only because it was something I thought I would try on, and not a position I was in love with. But the other 50% really wants a chance to meet with the local team, to talk more about the position since we speak the local language, I know our clients, etc. I would rather be rejected by them, than the HR lady with her checklist. I agree they need someone talented, but I'd like the opportunity to hear from the actual team what their expectations are. So, que sera, sera. By the end of the interview, it felt like I dropped it over the side of a bridge into the river and watched it float away. And it was okay. 50% okay, I mean. So tomorrow I'll go to Miami and do some good work, and eat some tasty black beans and Cuban sandwiches, probably have a mojito and remember I have it pretty good in this life.
* 10 points to anyone who can name the reference for this post title!
Seattle gave us beautiful 70+ degree days this weekend. I know elsewhere it is probably even hotter, but here, this is a big deal. Friday I picked up all my groceries, and we had a very healthy rice, asparagus, cashew and Asian vinaigrette dinner. Delicious. Followed by a nice glass of wine while laying in the hammock. Does it get better than that?
Saturday brought more sunshine and dinner with friends - which always does my body good, no matter what we eat. We had a delicious dinner - outside (!) and chocolate fondue for dessert. It was so fantastic, good friends, good food and kids and dogs and laughing. I ate very well - a bonus!
On Sunday, I had plans to exercise and do my chores. But then we were seduced by the call of the Seattle Cheese festival. Two words: Free. Cheese. How can I say no? Our new favorite is little blocks of smokey sharp cheddar, and a Camembert that was so creamy delicious. And who knew that there was a Parmesan that I would consider eating by the slice? Walking around the market, snagging toothpicks of cheese to sample, people-watching, and buying a famous Pike Place Market bouquet, it was enough to make my heart soar, especially side by side with my sweet (employed!) husband. Plus - the samples were tiny, tiny - I estimate that at the most, I had 4 ounces of cheese total. And that's giving me some wiggle room. We headed home, and I was full of good intentions to go to the gym. BUT - it was sunny, and the floor needed mopping, and I needed to pay bills and stamp them, and paint my toes and make dinner, and I skipped my workout. I didn't even make dinner. We cobbled together something to eat out of what was in the fridge. And I am religious about making Sunday dinner. It felt kind of freeing, and I'm learning to realize that just because I don't get all my fruit and veggies in on one day, I'm not going to die of scurvy, or gain 50 pounds.
Oh! And I watched Geneen Roth on Oprah, talking about her new book, Women, Food and God. It cracks me up how the guest is supposed to be talking, but really it was a chance for Oprah to dump out all her a-ha moments. I found myself thinking a few times - hey, Oprah, let her tell us about that chapter, rather than just your reaction and interpretation. But I know what it is like to be excited and you can't stop talking about it. (see paragraph 1) Would love to hear if anyone else has read it.
That is my super duper fun and productive weekend. Mostly I'm just excited that I had a combination of doing fun things but still eating on plan. Gooooooooo...lifestyle change! Ha! I crack myself up.
So here I go again - you can kick me, scale, but you won't win! Hope everyone had a successful week.
I actually did very well at the buffet, thank you very much. I got hit with a killer cold this weekend - something crawled inside my chest, and moved into the cavity where my lungs used to be. This made me not so hungry. Since the cold, and the hacking cough, I haven't exercised since Thursday. And boy howdy, when you listen to your tummy - and wait to eat until you're hungry, I am reminded again that a body that does not exercise, does not need a lot of food. Who knew? The old adage is still true - move more, eat less. I'm anxious to get get back to my normal, able to breathe and laugh and not use an entire box of Kleenex in one day, self. I hope everyone else is healthy and happy and smiling!
Oh! I almost got mauled by a lady in her seventies on Sunday. I usually work out downtown near my office after work, but the YMCA in my neighborhood is offering water aerobics a few times a week. My favorite class is on Sunday. It is at 5 pm for 45 minutes. It's a great time of day for me, because I have all Sunday to do my chores, or laze about, and then go to the gym for strength training, and then hop in the pool for water aerobics, then go home and eat dinner! Love it. So anywho, the instructor decided that we would play water polo for that class. I groaned inwardly and wanted to hop out of the pool and say "Um, I don' t do sports, thanks anyway." but I decided to stick it out. First of all, it turned out to be a GREAT workout - 10 ladies scooting around the pool on their noodles which we're all riding like horses - oh we must have been such a sight - at one point, a woman looked at me and said "This is exhausting!" I concurred, as we were all red-faced and sweaty. So this other woman was so aggressive, at one point, I had the ball and she lunged at me and tried to hit it out of my hands, but when that didn't work, she held on and started desperately trying to pull it out of my hands. It was brutal! And the funniest part was that the teacher kept shouting "Virginia! Virginia! We have to just stop, and put the ball back in play!" As much as I wanted to say "Lady - it's just a game, let go!!" I also hope to have that kind of grip when I'm in my seventies! There's my anecdote for the week. Hope everyone else at HYC had a great week too!
She gave me a prescription, and within the first month of taking it, those 3 pounds I’ve been losing/gaining in all of 2009 were gone. Oh, I love my thyroid med! Hooray! And I wasn’t so tired on the weekends. A little, but not like before. Awesome, am still in love with thyroid medication. Then I go in for my 8-week follow up in April. My levels are still not right. Apparently getting the dosage right is a very sensitve calibration, and can take a lot of tweaking. So we're playing around with the dosage, trying to see where I need to be.
The relief that I felt at finally knowing that my body was working against me in late 2008 and all of 2009, was tremendous. (Also, kind of embarrassing that I never thought anything was wrong with me.) I look back at last year's fiber goals and protein goals, and exercise goals I was meeting and trying my best to meet and I was still getting nowhere, except MAD. The frustration that I felt last year at getting nowhere on the scale led me to some lazy behavior about tracking food and saying no to sugar, which made things worse for myself. I know it wasn't entirely my little thyroid gland's fault that I got stuck, but this diagnosis has renewed my faith that I can continue to lose weight, as long as I realize that my body is pretty sensitive to what I put in it. More fuel, less junk!
Dedication is going to the gym on a Saturday when you don't want to, and riding the bike AND doing my strength training, thankyouverymuch.
So now I'm going to be dedicated to my health this week. Less cheese and sugar, more good for me stuff.
Anywhoee, big boss lady confirmed to me that she doesn't even know if that job will exist yet. She asked me to be patient, and to consider that things may be happening in a few months, even if it doesn't happen now. (I'm looking for the secret message in that). Not the slam-dunk I was hoping for. No words of encouragement that of course, you'd be perfect for that - we'd love to see you apply. The position I want (Office manager - but with a little more responsibility) will likely go to an incumbent who is doing a similar thing now.
But a pat on the back to myself for asking for what I need, yes? Scary - but now it is out there. It was really cool to just do it instead of sitting here at my desk wishing I had done something. Now I have to tell my boss that I want to move to another part of the company. Yikes. No wait, I can do it!
This week will mark my first week at trying to stick to 1600 calories a day. Oh wait, what does Yoda say? Either you do, or do not, there is no try. Either I’ll stuff my pie-hole, or I won’t. Yesterday I had a delectable three-course French meal for the Seattle Restaurant week promotion. So I'm not off to a great start - but one day does not make you fat. Right? Right. Hope everyone else has a great week.
Normally I stop blogging due to the shame of sitting in my house eating cheese and cookies by the handful, but that's not the case, this time. I've just been busy and frustrated and stressed out, and happy and full and content in a great big pile, and not writing about it. Which also means that sadly, I have also abandoned leaving comments for all my favorite bloggers in the HYC - bad support person! Personal reflection shows that inherently, I am not a writer. (I'm a storyteller! Listen to my funny tales - if only I could talk into my blog, this would work.) BUT, writing about my life and my lifestyle change brings focus to my weight-loss efforts, and so let's just do it, already.
Since it is Tuesday, and time to check in, today the scale said 220 - and has been there for about a week, so let's hope it isn't a fluke. I'm grabbing a 70 pound badge from ScaleJunkie and posting it with pride. Here's to moving forward and downward. And to blogging!