Friday, July 31, 2015

Setting Goals

Yesterday I attended the orientation meeting for the community weight loss program. There were four people there, including me. We have homework assignments now: choose a food tracking method, a menu planning method, and three goals.

I will track by pen and paper because it is what I'm willing to do most consistently. The dietitian stressed we should choose only what we are willing to do.

I have three choices for a menu planning method: counting calories, diabetic exchange system, or the plate method. Counting calories stresses me. It isn't quite as stressful using an app like MyFitnessPal, but I don't have a smart phone to have easy access. The diabetic exchange seems a little complicated, but I'm considering it. The plate method may better fit my lifestyle. I may blend the diabetic exchange system and plate method.

For the goal setting, the dietitian had a worksheet to make specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-sensitive, engaging, and rewarding goals (SMARTER). I'm considering what my goals should be. Here's a stab at it:

1. Go to bed between 9:30-10 pm five nights a week for one month. My reward will be a professional massage.

2. Tracking food every day for a week. My reward will be one late night reading.

3. Exercising 3-4 times a week (including toning) for 20 minutes. My reward will be an outing with my sister and mother (no kids!).

I've done better going to bed earlier. In fact, I had energy today to clean my three bathrooms, sort papers, and put some stuff away.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Feel Stressed

Sometimes I feel like I think about too many things. I'm worried about this cause and that cause and my brain runs in circles. Maybe I'm spreading myself intellectually and emotionally thin. The stress affects my weight loss goals, but then I've tried to chill about my obsession over that for the past two weeks. I need to just breathe. It doesn't matter if the world goes to pot. What can I do to change it? Only a little bit.

My mental and physical health need to come first. Causes can come in long after. I'm afraid I posted on my Facebook page for a discussion and I already feel stressed from the first response. I don't want to think anymore! But I do. I want to be heard amid the billions of voices out there. I want others to validate what I say. And I want sanity.

It's been a crazy week so far where I'm just eating to survive and maybe too stressed to sleep well. My husband's car broke down on Sunday when we were visiting family. While his car has been in the shop, he's been using the family van to commute to work (mine!). Today we drove 20 miles to pick up the car from a mechanic my husband trusts during his lunch hour. I didn't get my usual 30 minute lunch nap because of that. The toddler didn't get his nap either. (Maybe that's why I'm so grumpy.) Then my husband had to go into work tonight, which has rarely happened in the past four years. He's my support with the boys.

I get frustrated when I can't write as often as I'd like to. My toddler bangs against the keyboard and plays with our multiple monitors (yes, we have more than one monitor hooked up to each computer; my husband is a computer gamer and software developer). I want my toddler to just sit calmly in my lap while I type. That's the antithesis of what toddlers are.

Tomorrow I begin an educational and nutritional counseling program for the next six months. I hope this helps me. I felt good about signing up for it. Everything just takes so much effort. Let me sleep for a century, please.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Been Awhile

I've gone off the bandwagon probably the last week. Last Wednesday I had an ingrown toenail removed, so I stopped doing my walking. I gave up on the clean eating challenge, though the coach kept encouraging me. I stayed up late for several nights in a row and ate some junk food. I kept my life in survival mode.

So far this week, I've gone to bed about 11 pm each night. It's an improvement, but I'm still not at full working capacity. My mind keeps going for awhile after I crawl into bed.

After last week, I realized I set too many goals for myself. I felt discouraged because I couldn't do it all. I need to concentrate on one goal. That one goal should be going to bed on time for myself. My doctor thinks that is the main reason why I've gained weight. Right now I'm trying to keep life simple.

I signed up for a weight loss program through my doctor's office. I got 40% off by paying it all at once before I start the program. It's a cost-saving measure.

So now to encourage myself to go to bed on time: my only goal!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Boys' Secret

Did well eating clean for a day and a half. We had run out of cottage cheese, celery, and some fruit, so I felt my options were limited. I stayed up late Monday night, so Tuesday I had less energy. Had pizza for dinner. It was healthier than major fast food pizza chains. It has less grease from a local pizza restaurant. I walked for 30 minutes in the morning and biked for 20 minutes in the evening.

Last night, I went to bed by 10:30!! But my oldest has followed my bad example. He has this secret with his brother:

My oldest revealed that he and his brother had a secret on Monday night. I guessed the secret: they sneak down to watch TV after Mom and Dad go to sleep. My oldest wanted to know how I guessed. The clues: he's on the couch instead of in bed when I come down for breakfast; he is asleep on the couch all morning and some of the afternoon; and the TV is still on.

Last night, my husband and I were in bed and had said our prayers. A minute later, I heard a door open and close. I jumped out of bed and called in the dark: "Get to bed!" I saw a second silhouette of my middle son. We told the boys they need their sleep.

Back in bed, I heard the door open and close again. I went out and caught my oldest without his brother. This kids sleeping on the couch. Verdict: they stayed in bed.

I need to be a good example for my kids and go to bed on time.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Trying a Clean Eating Challenge

"Strawberry Splash" by Petr Kratochvil
A friend from high school days is hosting a clean eating challenge this week and I joined. I committed for five days to eating natural foods, exercising 30 minutes a day, and some other things.

So today I ate oatmeal, raspberries, almonds, and cottage cheese for breakfast. I chose regular oats instead of the apple-cinnamon packs my kids eat. Fewer additives, right?

For lunch, I ate a peach, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, strawberries and a salad. I thought about how to keep my salad "clean," so I left out the light ranch dressing and croutons. Instead, I put Parmesan cheese to try and give the spinach, mushrooms, and almond salad taste. It was okay. Thinking I may have to look at some "clean" recipes for salad dressing, but I only like ranch dressing. I hate all the other types of salad dressings.

I ate celery and peanut butter for a snack, but I left out the protein powder. I sometimes add protein powder.

I made a chicken, mushroom, and brown rice entree for dinner. As I added lemon pepper, I wondered if it was "clean." I know what the ingredients are. I made some peach, blueberry crisp too. For the vegetable, I grabbed the frozen mixed veggies. I looked at the shrunk, mutilated veggies and threw the freezer burn mess away. Luckily, we had a second bag of mixed veggies.

I'm wondering where all this energy came from to make dinner: I went to bed by 10:30 two nights in a row! I also walked for 30 minutes today, fell on a few yoga poses, and skipped around. All this with pushing, holding, or avoiding a toddler. All in a day's work.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Nose Job--Sinus Job, Really Improved My Exercise

"Woman with a Cold or Allergy" by Vera Kratochvil
I'm telling this story because breathing while exercising had been difficult my whole life. I was always congested and had colds go on for weeks. I took decongestant from the time I was 12, but it didn't solve all the problems.  I always thought I had severe allergies for 30 years. I wanted to breath better to improve my ability to exercise.

A year and a half ago, I had surgery in my nasal cavity and sinuses. If I get the terms wrong, I am no medical expert on noses. I finally had an allergy test and I was allergic to nothing! What was causing congestion my whole life? The doctor said I had large turbinates and ordered an MRI of my face.

The results came back and I had a Haller cell--an extra sinus--that was catching extra gunk, making it harder to empty my sinuses. So we set up surgery after a fiasco with insurance (the fiasco continued for six months afterward). The ENT doctor closed up the Haller cell and reduced my turbinates.

Several weeks after the surgery, I could breathe! It was the first time of clear breathing in my life--no decongestants! Since then, my ability to exercise has increased significantly and my colds only last a couple weeks. I haven't had any sinus infections either. I'm still paying off the surgery, but my quality of life has improved greatly.

So is your body stopping you from exercising in some way? Maybe a doctor can help you figure out a solution. Take care of the problem soon! It's worth it to be able to exercise better.

Sunburn Funburn

"The Sun" by Maliz Ong
Yesterday I went to the doctor about my ingrown toenails. I asked her if obesity can make them worse. She said yes. Well, I just need to lose 50+ pounds now. She referred me to a nutritionist. I called the nutritionist, but only got the voicemail.

In an attempt to be more active, I went to the pool with my boys. I was spraying on sunscreen when the bottle ran out. Only my arms got covered. I found an old tube of sunscreen and tried rubbing it on me. Well, I'd find out later the results on my skin.

The two oldest played while my toddler clung to me. My toddler ventured out for ten minutes in the splash pool. He smiled at me. Then he toppled off two steps and fell all the way in the water. I caught him and just held him while he recovered emotionally. He was fine otherwise. I hate when this type of thing happens because my toddler gets nervous around water again. He takes a long time to venture in the water on his own.

I didn't swim during the entire time, but I lugged a toddler from the big pool to the kiddie pool several times while chasing my two older boys. I also exercised taking the stroller back and forth.

Last night when I got ready for bed, I saw a sunburn outline of my swimsuit across my back. I guess that other sunscreen was out of date. Sunburns make me exhausted too (or sun exhaustion).

Today I vacuumed the upstairs bedrooms, cleaned the tub, swept the kitchen floor, cleaned the counters, did a load of dishes, couple loads of laundry, folded one load of laundry, took out trash, and told my husband about it. I want to brag to somebody. He appreciates the clean house. He then vacuumed the downstairs. Yea for clean floors! Lots more to clean, but the house is livable and I am exhausted.

I tried out Greek yogurt today. I had some a long time ago, but it was a strange apple pie flavor. I mixed some plain Greek yogurt with raspberries and a couple squirts of agave syrup. It had a strong flavor, but tasted okay. Greek yogurt is the rage because it has more protein in it than regular yogurt, but it is an acquired taste. Does the extra protein make it taste funky?

Tonight I made homemade pizza. I'm wondering if it has fewer calories than take-out pizza. It must. I make wheat/white flour dough and pile on the veggies. I used Canadian bacon too. It has very little grease, so that's a positive. I don't know. My problem is portion control.

Such is life.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Why Stay Up Late?

"Sleeping Child" by George Hodan
This weekend was a tiring weekend, but that was my own fault. I stayed up until 1 am Friday night, 12:30 am Saturday night, and 11 pm last night. Each night I went to bed a little bit earlier. So that means tonight I'll go to bed by 10 pm, if I follow the pattern.

Going to bed on time is one of my greatest weaknesses concerning my health. I like reading my book, trolling blogs, or watching Netflix late into the night. It is my escape from a busy day with kids. Other moms fall into this trap too. Lack of sleep causes weight gain. For this reason, I need to go to bed on time!

Lack of sleep causes irritability (I'm never upset with my boys or husband the next day!). It reduces productivity. It has a huge domino effect into the next day too. This is all trying to tell myself to go to bed on time tonight! If my husband says to go to bed, I often snap at him.

The benefits of enough sleep are wonderful: happiness, energy, more time in the morning, higher metabolism, and more. So why do I stay up late at night? Ask me at 10 pm tonight. That's when I justify it.

So hold me to a commitment: in bed by 10 pm. I'll hold you to 10 pm (or enough sleep too). Let's do this together!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Missing Birthday Cupcakes

"American Stars and Stripes Cupcakes" by Linnaea Mallete
Yesterday we bought cupcakes for two birthdays in the family. My two oldest argued over which cupcakes to buy. My word. We wanted to just walk away. The middle one wanted the cupcakes as soon as we got home. No, they're for tomorrow.

This morning I walked downstairs to cupcake wrappers and an open present. Two boys ate 5 cupcakes and cut open their brother's present. We charged them money for it.

My husband and I went on a date and figured we would celebrate birthdays when we came back. There were still some cupcakes left. Well, they sneaked cupcakes into their mouths even with Grandma there. All the cupcakes were gone! There goes lighting candles.

We went for ice cream tonight, but one boy hated his ice cream and the rest was melting all over. We rushed home amid complaints.

So I'm fed up with birthdays today. My boys really rained on the parade. I suppose I ate fewer cupcake calories. I only had two half-eaten cupcakes. I'm going to have to hide cakes better, or just ban the practice all together.

On their birthdays, I should eat their entire birthday cakes and open their presents and play with them before the boys can play with them. Think they would learn their lesson?

Birthdays are overrated anyway. Holidays are overrated. I like holidays, but we spend too much money on them. I'm averse to the grand gift-giving. Gift-giving should come naturally without any prescribed birthday or holiday. It is a heartfelt year-round gesture. The pressure is too great for Valentine's Day gifts, Mother's and Father's Days gifts. Christmas has too many gifts involved. Then we add Easter to the mix. Really, why so many presents? Take the pressure off and give the gift of time.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Early Morning Body Fat Test

"Anatomy Hight-tech" by Виталий Смолыгин
Before 7 am, I went in for body fat testing. I couldn't sleep all night because I was nervous about making it on time, not the testing. It's hard getting of the house before 9:30 am. I got about half the sleep I usually do even though I was in bed by 10 pm. Before I left, my husband decided he should exercise. Suppose it was good I was awake earlier.

So 39.1% of my body is fat. That's very encouraging. Yea right. The fitness instructor pointed out that I have 14% of fat to lose and then I would be in the healthy range. The healthy range for women is 18-26% body fat for women. Some fat is a good thing!

After my second child, I met a tall 120-lb. woman who tried hard to gain weight. No matter how much she ate, she couldn't gain. I proposed I give her some of my fat. If only it worked that way. I would love to give 14% of my fat to someone who wants it!

I wish I had done a body fat test when I first started with a trainer last October. I had lost inches, but stayed the same weight. My body fat must have been lower. However, I became discouraged around March and April and gained weight again. My psychiatrist said it was from lack of sleep. She said, "Go to bed on time!" Maybe seeing a lower percentage of body fat would've encouraged me. I had to stop going to group training sessions for the summer.

Today I did some toning while watching Love It or List It. Who else likes home improvement shows? My toddler held up his arms for me to hold him. He becomes my weights when I do squats and calf raises.

So far, I've eaten better today. I had cereal with strawberries and sausage (my protein). I felt full for four hours and then I ate the remaining two slices of pizza from last night. (Last night I binged on fruit leather and had three slices of pizza. Good on pizza, but not so much fruit leather.) Had some natural peanut butter mixed with protein powder on celery. I like doing this to get in my vegetables.
Dinner tonight is a toss-up. I have leftover chicken taco soup or I could make something else. Order pizza, anyone? I am not a big fan of cooking for five every day. Occasionally I love to cook. If I let my husband cook dinner, it will be spaghetti. No more spaghetti!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Does Lemon Water Make You Feel Full?

"Close-up of Cut Lemon" by Marina Shemish
About a month ago, my visit teacher suggested I try lemon water to create a feeling of fullness at night. I've tried lemon water now for a few days. I think it has helped. Last night, I didn't feel hungry right before bedtime. There was a two hour gap between eating and sleep. That's a novelty for me these days. So does it really work or is this only anecdotal evidence?

It has multiple health benefits that aid in weight loss, but also in overall health. It helps in digestion by creating more bile. Lemons have vitamin C for the immune system and other benefits. There are more benefits. There was a study done in 2008 by the Sugiyama Jogakuen University in Japan. The polyphenols aid in weight loss. I don't understand it completely, but here's a link to the study.

Adding sugar to the water negates the weight loss benefits because it's not wise to drink your calories. Lemon water is aa good replacement for juice, soda, and coffee (I don't drink coffee).

Tomorrow I go in for a body fat test. How much of me is muscle? (Focus on the positive, instead of fat percentage. :)

Last night I went to bed by 11 pm. An hour later than I should. Still feel tired this morning.