Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Truth about Losing It.

A few words on the truth about losing particular, if you are not genetically gifted and are rather inclined to overeating junk and not working out (like me).

1. You will learn to love working out. Truly. This is one of the myths I had heard about from other folks, and could never believe until it happened firsthand. The days I have scheduled as rest days now feel weird to me. And every 13th week when I have all week off, I am cranky and out of sorts without my dumbells. It takes about six weeks, but you will get there if you push yourself.

2. The extra skin might be a problem. I am a large boned person, and gave birth to two large babies. The middle guy was "normal" size. But still, my skin has stretched in the thigh, belly, and bosom areas and will never go away on its own. Never. I have accepted that truth, and frankly, if I keep the weight off for the next two years a tummy tuck and boob revision will be a gift I give to myself. I will have earned that.

3. Exercising is another one of those things that you do alone--like when you play golf, it's against yourself. It's great to go to the gym with a buddy, but your buddy isn't inside your head. Your buddy can't make you do one more rep (even with encouraging words), only you can dig in and get it done. Or the last five minutes of your workout tape, or one more hill on the treadmill, or getting up off the couch, or whatever your goal is. You need to accept that you are responsible for your energy outputs.

4. And for your energy inputs. A fitness guru can write you a beautiful, concise meal plan, but you are responsible for those extra pretzels you eat, or the three bites of cheese, or whatever. Writing it down can help keep you on track--this is another line of crap I didn't believe until I had to live it out. Now I understand the equation, and that I am the person in charge of balancing it. Food and exercise are like a check book, and it's up to you to make sure you are not deeply in debt to the energy side. Likewise you can't starve yourself--make sure you are fueling enough to keep your activity going.

5. On the other hand, you will find eventually that you are NOT ALONE. I have a colleague/friend/fitness coach who is shaped beautifully, graceful as a dancer with long clean lines and she isn't done working on her physique. What might be goal achievement or fitness achievement for you, is someone else's "work in progress". Fitness allies are everywhere you look, and finding emotional support isn't hard at all. On the days when you realize you really are alone, and that inner voice doesn't sound strong enough to keep you going, the outside encouragement of friends, family, coworkers--it's essential. But you have to stop comparing yourself to other people and be realistic for the goals you set with the body you are living in.

6. Energy might be a problem...or is it motivation? Some days I feel energized, ready to tackle every challenge and deal with the growing complexities of life. But the rest of the time, I don't get the energy until I put some work in. Energy drinks or caffeine intake can only help you so much. Sometimes you have to give a little in order to get.

7. Life is never going to be simpler, easier. You will not be getting any "extra" time. What would you do with it if you did? It's so easy to speculate that you could get your workout done if you had more time. You could plan healthier meals if you had more time. Honey, quit wasting time and get busy doing something. If you truly examine your life and reflect on where your time is going, you might be suprised to realize all you have to do is turn off the TV. Put the phone down. And go run laps around the pool with your kids. Do 10 jumping jacks. Somebody is going to be doing it with you, more than likely! A gift to give your kids now is love of exercise. Build it into their physical being just like you are building their emotional intellect, their brains, their spirits. Nourish them with that and make an example of it.

8. Recognize that your spouse might not be ready. I will admit it's been tough for me. I don't want to be alone in this, but I am. I just hope it comes together eventually. Adults are independent, responsible citizens who unfortunately have to be responsible for themselves. You can't change them, and they will come to resent what they feel is "nagging". I won't apologize for it, but I do accept these facts.

Meanwhile, I am going to be eating some of these beauties:
I have about 6 of these beauties, about 5" across so far, and a couple smaller than that. They will be harvested next week or so. This second planting will be a real gift! Everyone here loves broccoli.

I call this "lunch". Gonna saute the onion, wilt the chard, and toss in some grilled chicken. I'm saving the lettuce for dinner!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Plain, Simple, Real.

15 months, yo!

I can't believe it's been 15 months since I wrote to you. That is a LONG time, and I have been busy. So here's my accounting of the time passed. Right before my last post, we went from a two income family status down to one. I picked up a metric shit ton of extra hours at work, barely saw my kids, and was struggling under all the pressure. I also gained a few pounds...I'm not proud of it but there you go. I took the winter to wrap my head around life, the universe, and everything I wanted to be when I grow up.

 For a while things were looking up...we had a couple of episodes of positive cash flow--just enough to lure us into a false sense of security. Then we were robbed, my entire jewelry box was stolen and my world went sideways. I kinda lost my mind for several weeks. I really just lost touch with reality and neglected my family while I nourished the hurt of losing family valuables, the sense of lost privacy and home invasion, and the feeling of security I had about our remote mountain aerie. So, eat a few more pounds of crap mmkay?

Winter turned to spring and the other false sense of security was gone once more. But I had decided in the interim to stop being a victim. In March, I started a weight training regimen and began once again the attempt at eating clean. I took a new approach to diet, and only have occasional flings with white carbs anymore. I lost 30 lb and 30 inches. I am still tipping around 200 pounds, plus or minus two, but I feel so much better physically. I see muscles starting to trace in the shadows and light of my body plane. I feel STRONG. And that physical strength is helping me deal with my security issues.

I took a class in the spring on statistics, and started a program to become a Family Nurse Practitioner in June. Time is going so fast I can hardly believe it. My children are growing and thriving, my husband is doing cool home projects like getting the deck painted and firewood cut and stacked. It would be nice to have more money, and gosh I sure miss having mom's pearls to wear, but in the end my most dear possessions and loves in life are safe. I feel very lucky overall.

My grandmother made her celestial translation this summer, and it was kind of beautiful and bittersweet to say goodbye to her. She did it her way, she made the choice after a full and wonderful life of 93 years, so no regrets. We had lots of time together to speak our hearts to eachother. My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby and we were so lucky to see them twice this summer! It's a long road between Texas and PA. I miss them more than I can possibly say. My brother and his family are doing great, big important family things and it's awesome. My parents are happy, healthy, and I see them frequently. THESE ARE MY GIFTS.

My in-laws are healthy and happy, and I see them frequently too. My kids are beautiful and smart, and have such bright outlooks. Snuggling them close and giving them kisses is the best part of my day, every day. My husband is staying strong, trying to keep a positive outlook, and really working all his contacts. I have faith in him, and respect him so much for being so resilient. Things are going to start happening soon, I believe.


Things move forward. So, I will keep plugging away at my course work and move forward on my education plan. I will also keep "picking things up and putting them down". I knew eventually exercise would need to be part of my lifestyle, in addition to responsible eating, but I never suspected I would learn to love that part of my day. It took six weeks to start liking it, and start feeling like I couldn't go a day without it. I don't typically become such an advocate but if you aren't exercising, building muscle and getting your body to work with you, it will start working against you in the long run. Find the thing you love. With so many options, there really isn't an excuse. Ain't it fun living in the real world?