Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It seems to be working ...

So I went to bed late last night (technically this morning), almost 2 hours later than I had intended. As I was getting my stuff ready for today, I realized that the code sheets for my research project had not been updated; this is critical as I cannot add anything to the stats program for analysis until all the code sheets are updated. If I had realized this a couple of days ago, I would've printed the revisions and worked on them before today. My plan for today was to use a friend's pc (to download the trial version of SPSS) to enter the info and do the analysis. I went to bed knowing that I'd have to make a trip to the library to print out the revised code sheets and then spend time manually updating them before I could even think about SPSS.

I fell asleep thinking that I'd just give up and work on all of this some other day, however, that day would not be until next week, and I really can't spare another week. The new semester starts in 3 weeks and I really want/need to have this paper done by then. So I did what I never do: I got out of bed on time, showered, put on makeup, and started my day. Not only would I normally not do this, but typically I'd be upset and stressed about the oversight and extra work. However, because I'm learning to live in the moment, I'm not stressed at all. Amazingly, I just feel really good, probably because a) I got up and showered earlier than normal, and b) because I'm doing it, getting it done.

Yay for me!!

LL xoxo

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

... Part II

... continued

I'm noticing things about myself, like how I never, ever live in the moment. I'm always focused on the future, be it an hour or a week. On the extremely rare occassion when I'm able to stay in the moment, I feel calmer and my mind has peace and clarity. I've been trying very hard to do that all day today. It got better as the day went on. My man came over for a bit and while he was doing some homework, I cleaned the kitchen. The house is fairly disorganized and messy (by my standards of course), and typically I would get very upset when I'd start cleaning due to how much I was focusing on the mountain ahead of me rather than on the fact that I was actually taking steps to reduce it to a mere molehill.

As the evening went on, I was able to get a few things done in addition to enjoying some downtime. Not bad. I had actually shut off the laptop so I could get to bed when I felt the urge to press on a bit and do a couple more things (such as work on this blog), so I fired the laptop back up and here I am.

It's 1:08 a.m. and I'm very tired, so I doubt this is all going to make sense, but I wanted to share my current emotional state.

Something clicked in me yesterday that caused me to step down from the high horse I've been riding and embrace my man. He has trouble concentrating, sometimes for more than a few seconds, and I became very frustrated two days ago because of it. I gave up and begrudgingly accepted the fact that he will never be any different. I decided that I had no choice but to deal with it. Now this wasn't a good thing, it was born of bitterness. I am a very logical, analytical person, and to be with someone who is the complete opposite drives me batty. Earlier that day he had gotten lost twice while driving to some stores. I refused to help him even though he kept asking for my help. I couldn't believe that I was riding in the car with a native of this city who somehow forgot how to get around. I even admonished him for failing to read the highway signs which resulted in him heading south instead of north.

Fast forward 18 hours (give or take a few). He mentions quite randomly that I had been upset the day before. I calmly explained that I just didn't understand how he could do something for years on end and still need help (driving, putting away dishes, etc.). This is the moment that did it for me--he said simply, "I don't know. You're right, I do blink in and out. I don't know what's wrong with me." Therre was something in his admission as well as his sadness that melted the ice wall I've had up for nearly the past year. He said that he was just not good with directions, and I told him that from now on, I will help him (inside I was saying that I would help him without saying things to make him feel badly about needing my help).

Add to this that on the same day he was taking me to dinner, one of his Christmas gifts to me, to a restaurant I had never been to before. It touched me that all he wanted was to take me out, show me a nice time at a romantic restaurant, and do it without any expectations of getting anything in return. He was happy simply by doing something nice for me.

The admission of confusion over his forgetfulness and his dining-out gift somehow showed me what an amazing person he is becoming. This is not the man I got together with on August 16, 2008. That man was selfish, self-centered, and didn't care about anyone but himself. He had no conscience, didn't care if his actions hurt anyone, and his moral level was almost as low as it could go. I've fought him tooth and nail to be a human being and to treat others the same. He's done a major overhaul and has successfully modified the beat-up, rusty clunker to a shiny, solid body with warm, plush interiors. He's done it for me, and he's given me all the time I need to be sure that this is now the real him.

I missed him today while he was at work. That's something that pretty much never happens. I hugged him sincerely before he left to go back home tonight, and when he kissed me (a series of pecks), I didn't tense up like I usually and turn away after a few seconds. I relaxed and allowed him to lead me through his ritual good-night pecks. I told him that he's amazing, in part because he loves me even when I'm unlovable. He laughed alot at that! Then he agreed with me :-D

I really hope that this is a sign of things to come, not just with us but in my outlook on aspects of my life (and there's certainly alot of 'em).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Where to go next

My disappointment in myself (a.k.a. lack of weight loss) has kept me from blogging, but it's the day after Christmas and I'm feeling a renewed sense of self, so here I am.

There have been a few times in my life when I was able to diet and exercise to a point of losing quite a bit of weight. The key factor in each of those was that my life followed a set schedule, one in which I could easily plan for working out a few days a week. The first time was when my child started prexchool at the local YMCA. I would take the little one to the top floor for a few hours of play time and education, and I would head to the basement to exercise. It was great! I then supplemented this with step aerobics at home when I felt the urge to jump around when she wasn't in preschool.

The next time in my life was when she started at a different preschool and I was a nanny for other children her age. After taking everyone to their respective preschools, I would head to my neighborhood community center to exercise. I then went home (we had moved back in to my mom's where my brother also lived) to a quiet, empty house to spend an hour pampering myself. I'd crank up my music, shower, curl my hair, and dance. At noon I'd pick up the kiddies and start the second half of my day in very good spirits.

The third time was a few years later. I'd drop my child off at school and then head to campus where I worked and studied. Arriving a couple hours before my first class, I'd head to the gym to work out and then take time to shower. It was great. The rest of the day was filled with energy and a strong, positive mood that was useful for all the things I was juggling.

The one reason I'd stop, every time, is because I'd start a relationship and give up myself to the new man. However, the second time (as listed above) I was already in a relationship, and I felt myself drawing away from him. I felt so good about myself (exercise does wonders for my mood) that I started to not care about the relationship based on the fact that he wasn't giving me what I needed; I felt myself pulling away from him. When I realized this, that I no longer cared about being with him, it scared me to death, and I gave up working out so I could refocus on keeping him near me. Which brings me to a much deeper problem, how I find myself in relation to my relationships. There isn't one relationship that I've had, since childhood on, that hasn't proven to be highly conditional. This applies to parents, a grand-parent and siblings. Even when I've done nothing wrong except break the dysfunctional rules laid down by the other person (e.g. refuse to keep lying in order to even have a relationship), even when I've played their games to the best of my ability, every relationship has turned on me. So I guess it makes sense that the only time I could feel good enough about myself to focus on my health is when I've been single.

I've been in a difficult relationship for over 2 years now. Because he has done a LOT of work on himself, it is much better than it was, but I still find it impossible to let go and get lost in the zone that is necessary for dedicated weight-loss. Between that and my absolutely insane schedule, which doesn't allow for regular workouts, I just don't know what I'm going to do.

To be continued ...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Here I go again

261.2 (+2.2)

Frustrated. I've been hovering just above 260 for a while and anytime I dip below into the 250s it's only for a day. I have not eaten perfectly but I don't think I did so badly as to deserve a 2.2 lb. gain. :-(

I sat in bed last night with my book "The Beck Diet Solution" which consists of an daily to-do item for 30 days, each item taking the unhealthy eater closer to a permanent lifestyle change. The first step is to write down on a card the advantages of weight loss and healthy eating. This is to be kept in my wallet and read several times a day to remind me why I'm choosing to pass on the sweets and fried food. Many things I thought of really touched me, like wanting to be able to reach my feet. I have a hard time putting on socks and tennis shoes, and I can't even come close to doing my own pedicures.

So I'm committing myself to eat better, but honestly, I'm at work right now and I forgot my healthy lunch, so I have to go to the cafeteria. I already know that I'm going to get the chicken strips. They are fabulous and I haven't had them in weeks since I've been working from home so much. But, tonight I'm going to eat healthy. My man is staying the weekend with me and he's going to make burgers and fries, but I'm going to have a baked sweet potato (so yummy!) and a salad. That really sounds good to me whereas the burger and fries do not. Again, it's not perfection, but 3 chicken strips truly should not make that much of a difference. When I've lost weight before I allowed myself to enjoy small portions of less-than-healthy food.

LL xoxo

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I did it!!



I am pretty thrilled about losing 2.6 lbs this week. I'm not going to say that I did nothing, but I didn't do too terribly much. I've stopped eating so close to bedtime, and I've stopped eating 2nd helpings. I went out to lunch with my mother at Denny's a few days ago and none of the fried food (98% of the menu) looked even remotely appetizing. I did the Pick 4 breakfast slam and chose all of the healthier options, including a cup of fruit (I hate ordering fruit from restaurants because it's rarely ripe). I've been stopping eating (is that grammatically correct?) when I feel satisfied, and I've greatly reduced my intake of sugar while increasing fruits and veggies. Wow, now that I've typed all that out it looks as if I DID do a lot.

Let's not forget exercise. Last weekend I wanted to do The Biggest Loser's 500-step challenge so last Monday morning I did just that. I was soooo sore for the next few days, but I did it again Thursday and again today. I'm thrilled!!

My writing is going slow but I have been making progress and meeting my deadlines. I was a day early on my 20-page paper and spent all day Thursday peer editing and critiquing the papers of fellow students. I just finished another paper for tomorrow and I have one more to do before 3pm tomorrow. Then, oh boy, then I get back to my thesis.

Overall I had a great, successful last week. Let's see how the next one goes :-D

LL xoxo

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gettin On Track



I took a couple days off because, believe it or not, writing this blog actually takes a bit of time and ends up taking me away from schoolwork. I've had a rough time this week. I've been home every day but have found it hard to stay focused on the oh-so-many tasks at hand. Monday I was able to finish the 20-page paper that took far longer than I expected--12 days! The good thing about it is that I used the same paper for two classes (the professors were aware of this). Today I was VERY focused and worked ALL DAY on assignments for one class. I just finished it all and am totally done with this course. YAY!!

As for eating and exercise, as you know I've been watching The Biggest Loser Season 10. At the start of the season half of the contestants had to compete in a 500-step challenge using a stepper (as in step aerobics). It was really hard for them and I was wondering if this li'l couch potato could do it. I have a step that I used to use regularly, so I brought the cob-webby thing up from the basement and went to work. It was hard but I did it without any trouble.

I've been very sore the past two days but I didn't exercise. That's not good. It doesn't do a thing to just exercise once every three months, so this morning I did it again--500 steps. This time I added arm movements to about half of the steps. I'm already starting to feel better and I honestly wish I could've done it again tonight, but I decided to work instead.

I've been making better choices with food too. For one, I'm doing my best not to overeat. Monday night I met my man at Subway. The sandwich wasn't very healthy but I went for the baked chips and iced tea to reduce calories (I realized later that the chips did nothing for me, so I think I'll pass next time). I ordered a foot-long because I was starving, but I didn't eat the whole thing. I saved some for lunch the next day. Do you have any idea how hard it is for me to NOT finish really tasty food? That was a big step for me.

Additionally I've started tracking what I eat with the notepad on my phone. I'll add them to my food log on when I get some time.

So I weighed myself and I'm 260.6. After my shower I took a hand mirror and held it to my right to see the profile of my body. My abdomen is huge and is further out than my chest. This isn't just my stomache, this is my entire abdomen. What's odd is that it's the uppoer part that is so far out. The lower "gut" part is not sticking out as far. I tried sucking it in and it barely made a difference. I didn't feel badly though, wich is great. I did it so that I can face my body for the first time in a very long time. The only mirror I have is the medicine cabinet mirror and the hand mirror, so I never see below by shoulders. Doing this little exercise simply reinforced why I'm making changes.

As for my mood and focus ... Monday was good, Tuesday was pretty good (got up earlier than normal but I avoided work and just played online most of the day), but yesterday was not good. I woke up and was exhausted physically and mentally. I'm sure it would've been legit to take the entire day off but I can' afford that at this point. I sat and watched t.v. and played online for hours. I got up at 8a.m. and didn't start working until 2p.m. Terrible, I know. Of course as soon as I started I got a call from my child that a tire had blown on the highway. I had to go and change it (I was within a few feet of cars wizzing past me ... I felt kinda brave for doing this) and when I got back I made something to eat cuz my child had to go to work. I did just a few minutes of work before my man came and got me at 6:30 to go to the store. I hadn't changed out of my bed clothes (which are regular clothes I wouldn't be caught dead in out of the house) all day (not even when I changed the tire) and I was embarrassed. I washed my face and brushed my teeth and changed my clothes but that was all. My hair was not clean and I hadn't showered. We went to the store and had dinner. I started doing more work while he was still here and later continued working until 2a.m. It was past the time I should've gone to bed, but I had started the day wanting to accomplish this one thing, so I pushed myself until it was done.

I felt so good about this that I started off today feeling much more dedicated. I got up at 9a.m., did the dishes, straightened the house, had breakfast and exercised. Then I got to work. I was distracted for a bit by talking with a friend online but I didn't avoid the work for long. I started working at about 1p.m. or so and I didn't stop except to eat until 11p.m. Ten hours of work time is not bad at all. It's about what I want to accomplish at this point in the semester, so I'm really proud of myself.

So tomorrow I plan on doing it all over again: dishes, straightening, breakfast and exercise, then work.

I can't wait!!