August Action Update–Only 3 days left

Only 3 MORE DAYS until AUGUST ACTION is no more.

Only 3 MORE DAYS before another challenge begins: SURRENDERED SEPTEMBER.

Only 3 MORE DAYS to keep promises I made to myself.

Only 3 MORE DAYS to move more, eat less, wiggle a little closer to my goal, and feel good about the changes I’ve made in August.

In a way, I will be glad to wave bye-bye to August. This month has been a rough one. Over the last 28 days I have had a plate full of stress, and around day 22 the cracks in the walls of my emotional eating dam were about to break.  Yep, a lot has happened this summer, especially this August, among the more stressful events for me were these:

An unbelievably slow healing injury.
An initiative to move more, though I am still injured and healing.
An experiment with food and food choices that included eliminating wheat.
Facing the effects of sugar withdrawal.
The discovery of a spot or two on my injured foot.
Tests done–results pending.
A couple of confusing messages I heard from others.
One totally un-relatable series of lectures I just barely endured.
Taking part in more than one confusing conversation.
Seeing a family member unexpectedly hospitalized.
Listening, as another family member chronicled the unraveling of her marriage.

I also saw a net weight gain of 0/and a net weight loss of 0: Turtling, again.

What you have just read is a chronological listing of some of the stress points I experienced in August 2013.  I won’t bore you with others.  This is not a listing of how the last thirty days have actually played out, mind you.  There was a lot of circling the air field and loopty loops that went along with these events.  Life on my side of the hill is anything but chronological in nature most days. Oh, that it were.

In truth, my life is often blurry, messy, complicated, and confusing.

It’s also sometimes hard for me to swallow (pun intended).

It’s life, though, and like we all say, better than the alternative.

What have I learned from AUGUST ACTION that I did not know before?  Not much, really.  However, the challenge has reinforced principles I had already learned.

During my AUGUST ACTION challenge, I have gratefully been reminded that…

Life has its own terms and I need to fit myself to them, not the other way ’round.

I’m stronger than I think I am…

…but I’m missing that inner mechanism that would make gauging my own stress levels a whole lot easier, if I had one.

I’ve also been reminded that…

Reaching out to others is a great way to help augment my own plan of attack when emotional issues threaten to impact my eating.

Given enough time, most problems either get solved or fade away.

 

 

Expectation’s Pop In the Face

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One of the hardest things about losing weight, whether you have a lot to lose or a little to lose, I think, is dealing with people. This is true of other areas of life, too, but particularly true of the weight loss journey. Everyone has expectations concerning everyone else, and no one is able to meet every one of those expectations. Normally, I am able to process all those demands made on me and sort them according to importance. The ones that are valid and necessary I address. The others, I usually let fall by the wayside. I’m having a bit of trouble sorting them out recently.

People don’t mean to be unrealistic, it just happens, but when it does, I feel like I’ve been kicked in the face and that the whole world can tell how horrible I feel because of my two black eyes.

The second hardest thing about dealing with weight loss, at least in my world, is the emotional toll it takes on me sometimes. I guess its true that these two tough aspects of weight loss go hand-in-hand: the people component and the emotional component. When people ask more of me than I am able to give, or want me to act in ways that are not “me,” it causes me stress. When I am stressed in this way, my reaction is most apt to be that I want to quickly move away from the stressors and return my world to a happy normal.

Of course, when one is losing weight, happy “normal” is constantly changing, both emotionally and externally, as in body image.

Lately, I’ve been “feeling” like I’ve let some people down. I hate that feeling. Mind you, I don’t know I have let them down, because no one has come to me and told me, “Gee, L, why did you have to do that? or Gee, L, why can’t you (you fill in the blank) for me?” Or my all time favorite: “I sure would like it better if you were  (again, fill in the blank).”

No, they don’t really say these things, and maybe they don’t even think them, but I perceive them as thinking and feeling this way.  I “think” I have these thoughts because my brain is scrambling to adjust to dietary changes I am making–changes my body has not had to deal with in a long, long time, if ever.

Emotions: they are affected when we change our diet.

Body Image: it is affected when we change our diet.

Struggles: they pop up, and we have to find a way to deal with them without overeating.

So what do I do about the emotional roller coaster that is the weight loss process? What do I do about expectations and emotional responses to them?  What do I do about hair that is again falling out, because again I have made drastic changes to the way I’m eating?

What do I do to keep my head above water and keep working to lose the weight, regardless of what is going on around me?

I pray.

I write.

I talk to trusted friends.

I try to get to bed early.

I try to eat cleaner.

I try to remember that it’s not “on me” to make others happy.

I try to get some fresh air.

I try to be more gentle with myself.

I try to not project, or analyze, or criticize everything said to me.

I try to turn down the volume on sadness.

I try to remember that food is fuel, God is love, and change is possible.

Today, I’m doing all these things.  Just sayin’…

 

Happy Anniversary

This week, I posted my 100th musing about health and fitness.  Woo hoo!

000100thanniversarylogoThese past one hundred posts have been filled with my joys and my struggles, my ups and my downs, my victories and my fails, and real facts about how I’m working to get healthy and fit before it’s too late.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I’m doing over here at WordPress.  It’s been fun!  I’m hoping to continue blogging about my progress in the future, and I’m hoping to hear from you, of course.  If you have any tricks or tips to share, please do.  If you know of any ways I can improve upon what I’m presently doing, chime in.  If you think adding something to what I am doing now will work for me and make me healthier, please share your wisdom.  I’m open to hear it.

Incredibly, last night I realized that I only have 5 lbs to lose before I will hit the 100 lbs lost mile marker.  Seriously, how did this happen?  I’m amazed and scared at the same time.

100 posts.

100 lbs.

One is done.

The other goal is still out there to be achieved.

Will I do it?  Stick around to see.

My August Action initiative is going great!  I’m moving more than I have in months, and the scale is finally going down, down, down.

Thanks for continuing to read my blog and recover alongside me.  Every day I’m learning to a greater degree that Food is Fuel, God is love, and…

Change Is Possible!

August Action–EOW Report

It’s Friday–the end of another week and the chance for me to spend a few minutes writing about my experiences with my August Action challenge. I have taken action on a few things this week, but have fumbled on a few more.  Here, today, I will honestly tell you where I’m at with my action initiative this August.

What I was able to do:

1. I set up a group on Face Book of other like-minded individuals and we began sharing our action items for August. This group includes all those who said, “I’m in” when I made an offer to include them in this month challenge to take action on their personal goals. I have never set up a group in FB before, so that was new to me, and I was proud I figured out how to do it.

2. I declared some concrete goals for my August Action initiative, after listening to Diane Carbonell’s recent podcast. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to Diane’s podcast, you should do that today. Diane always shares lots of great ways to keep the motivation going when trying to lose weight. My goals this week were twofold–first, that I would not eat wheat (evaluating if I have a wheat allergy or not), and I also wanted to investigate the option of buying an exercise bike for use at home. I have completed the first goal, but I’m still working on no. 2.

3. I posted an encouragement to others in the FB August Action group, hoping to inspire them to remain consciously aware of their goals this week.

Things I did not do so well:

1. I have not moved as much as I would have liked in the first two weeks of this month.  What with having PF and minor surgery on the bottom of my foot last week (stitches don’t come out until next week), I have been slowed considerably in the exercise department. I have tried to move in other ways, but not a whole lot.  Not as much as I need to, let’s put it that way.

2. I have quit reporting my food to my friend. I think I did it only once this week. I need to get back at it. It helps me to stay focused and on track throughout the day and not give in to the urges to snack in the afternoon when I am bored.

The Good News:

The good news is that I still have the weekend ahead of me, and I have plenty of chances to get exercise through various means before we tuck this week into bed.  I’m headed north this weekend to see the kiddos, but its going to be a quick trip up and back.  The hubs would like to get himself a pair of biker boots, so we may etch out enough time to do that while we are with family.  The eating will be the challenge this weekend.  It always is when I’m with the fam, but it’s fun too.

I’ll check back in on Monday and share my weekend in retrospect.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend that you enjoy and that burns calories and keeps you healthy.  Until next time…

Wheat Allergy Anyone?

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On the weekend, I blogged about the book, Wheat Belly. I shared in that post how reading the book made me feel. Eliminating wheat from one’s diet is no small thing–we Americans eat a lot of it!  Plus, a lot of the information in the book goes pretty deeply into the medical reasons why wheat isn’t good for us.  I learned a lot about the increase and danger of small LDLs from reading it, if the information there is reliable, but I’m still not sure I fully understand what it is that makes LDL particles shrink or become so hazardous to the human body when they do.

???

Is it just wheat and wheat-like grains that shrink LDL, or do other foods do the same thing? I dunno.

One thing I do know, and this is SUPER EXCITING for me, is that Saturday morning when I woke up–day THREE without wheat–I did not hurt.

This was a shock to my slightly awake body when I realized it.

I did not hurt anywhere on or in my body that morning. My lower back did not hurt. My feet did not hurt. My arches did not hurt (and I have PF, so they should).  My knees did not hurt, my shoulders did not hurt, nor did my neck hurt.

This was a new experience for me.  Pain free?  How long has it been since I could say I was pain-free?

I hurt every morning, especially in my hips and lower back. Every morning I do stretching and bending exercises that I learned after weeks of physical therapy.  I do these before I step a foot out of bed, because if I don’t, my trek to the bathroom upon rising is PAINFUL to say the least. I have learned to do these exercises in order to avoid the excruciating pain that can be present first thing in the morning.  It was not necessary today.

Don’t get me wrong, I did the exercises today that I do everyday, but the difference is that they did not hurt me. I had no pain, anywhere in my body.  How can that be, I wondered?  Then I remembered, I had not eaten wheat for a few days.

I was tempted to think that my lack of pain in the morning on Saturday was the result of the wheat elimination, after reading Wheat Belly!

But, could it be?

I talked to a woman once who quit the wheat, cold turkey, and she said the difference in her pain levels after doing so convinced her that stopping the wheat was like ingesting a miracle pill.  I thought she was daft and a bit dramatic, and i certainly did not believe that doing only this could improve pain levels the way she insisted that it had for her.

Now, I’m left questioning my skepticism.

I am not a physician, nor is what I am writing here medical advice, or an encouragement for anyone reading this to quit ingesting wheat for the elimination of pain.  I am sharing my experience with my pain levels after three days without wheat in my body, that is all.  In all likelihood, there was still wheat in my body, but much less than normal.  Today, Tuesday, I am still experiencing drastically diminished pain levels, on day 6 without wheat.  It’s amazing.  On Saturday, I took no pain relievers at all.  On Sunday, I took one Tylenol at bedtime, mostly needed because I did too much on Saturday because I felt sooo good.  I still have PF and I have to remember that.  My foot/feet are not fully healed.

Last night, I slept all night without any pain relievers!  I can’t tell you how much of a difference this is for me, and how amazed I continue to be with my progress.

I would love to hear your thoughts about wheat consumption, and especially how you have cut back on wheat, if you have.  I don’t think I have a gluten allergy, but maybe…  One additional thing I will share here before closing off this post is that just yesterday I noticed I have not been incessantly scratching my head for a few days.  Prior to quitting the wheat I had an insanely dry and itchy scalp that at one time required medical intervention from my dermatologist and a prescription for steroidal lotions before healing.  I also had to change my hair care products and my salon services and products.  Weird.  My head does not itch like it did.

Maybe tomorrow morning I will wake up and all the pain will be back.  My reaction to that will be, Yay!-I had a couple of  pain-free days.  Yep, I will celebrate what I’ve been given.  Secretly, I am holding onto optimism and hoping this “cure” never fades.  It feels good to feel awake, and not bloated, and not be itching all the time.  Wheat allergy gone?  Who knows.  For now, I’m just enjoying the calm and only slightly missing my WG bagel for breakfast in the morning.  But hey, I’ll get over it.

I could definitely get used to this!

What to do with Wheat

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It’s day NINE of my August Action initiative and I have lost the two pounds I gained on the weekend, and gone down another 2 lbs.  I have not been able to move as much as I had hoped when beginning the challenge for August, but I have moved more than I would have, without it.  The challenge has reminded me each day of the need to be consciously aware of how much I am moving, how many calories I am burning, and what I am eating to off set the loss or gain ratio.  I love that I am not foggy headed right now, due to the lack of processed sugar in my diet.  I have been reading Wheat Belly for the last few weeks, when I can find the time, and it has changed how I look at carbs, for sure.

I wanted to write a bit about Wheat Belly today, and how it is affecting my thinking about food.  Frankly, it scares me.  I have been depending on whole grains to provide the fiber I need in my diet for some time now.  I have eaten more WGs, because I thought that it would move my digestion along better than before I started on this journey to health. And it has.  Since including more WGs in my diet, my digestion has improved, quite a bit.  Since cutting back on WGs, after reading Wheat Belly, my digestion has slowed.  Not good.  I have tried to replace the fiber in WGs with nuts-most notably raw almonds–but I am still seeing a slow down in digestion.  How does one offset this, if one does not partake of WGs?

I’m a little disappointed in Wheat Belly, since the original premise of the book shifts along the way.  At first the reader is told, just eliminate wheat from your diet and you will see decreased blood sugar spikes (something I want, since diagnosed with the Big D), only to read on and find that no, it isn’t just wheat and grain that needs to be eliminated to achieve health.  At the end of the book, the same wisdom comes to bear in the author’s suggestions for optimal health as I am reading other places: get rid of the junk food, eat more veggies, less fruit, a whole lot less grains and you will lose weight and get healthy.  Good advice, and it works, but that is not the original premise of the book, nor the hook the author puts in the water to attract bait.

As I said early, Wheat Belly scares me a little bit.

I would love to hear others comment on the removal of wheat from the diet.  I do think it is responsible for a lot of the addictive behaviors I have struggled with re: carbs, in the past.  I will be taking whole grains out of my diet for a few weeks, and then reevaluate how I feel.

Have you eliminated whole grains or wheat from your diet?  How does it make you feel?  Please share.  Thanks, and have a healthy weekend!

August Action Report-A Long Weekend!

Today is Tuesday, and Day 6 of my August Action challenge. LAA (Lori’s August Action) has gotten off to a great start, but I still have not ventured out to explore possible exercise alternatives for the month. I would like to join a swim class or try yoga, but have not had a minute to investigate those possibilities. I had tons of people at my house over the weekend, and the kiddos and their kiddos were here for an extended visit. GG’s party was on Saturday, and I was thrilled to see that everybody “played nice” with everyone else. We have some left over bitterness due to divorce in the family, but all parties carried themselves with dignity and everyone seems to get along, at least on the surface of things.

birthday-party

One wonderful thing that happened over the weekend was that my daughter-in-law said to me, “You have a real gift for hospitality.” Say what????? Me?? No way. Never. I couldn’t believe she said that, and my son agreed. I was blown away. For as long as I can remember, I have felt totally inadequate at a hostess. When my kiddos were young, I hosted exactly two birthday parties for them. Count them-two! After that, nails bitten to the quick and hair fully pulled out, I vowed I would never, repeat NEVER do that again. I couldn’t take the pressure. I felt like I was naked and on a meat hook the whole time, men spinning me, inspecting me, judging me against some unknown standard.

We never had another birthday party for the kids.  Instead, we created a shape-your-own-birthday tradition, wherein the kids got to pick all the special activities they wanted to do on their birthdays.  It was designated a family day from that point forward, but only an immediate family day.

The fact that my daughter-in-law would say such a thing is a testament to the truth that Change IS possible. I still do not feel at all comfortable in the role of hostess, but apparently I have been able to sufficiently change my external anxiety cues enough to convince others that I am okay with inviting people into my home. I’m glad, because I never wanted to be uptight about having folks over. It just happened. I became anxious and overly concerned with what others were thinking and it ruined everything. Sounds like how I still process thoughts about my weight and outward appearance some days.  I guess I’m learning to let go of self-obsession and live a little. Maybe.  Most days.

Yay!

With all the activity at my house this past weekend, I felt comfortable not doing additional exercise. My front yard has a very steep incline, so that going up and down all day Saturday was enough for my poor feet.  Looking back, it might have been good if I had done more, though. I tried to mindful of what I was eating and not overeat, really I did, but I still gained 2 pounds. Explain that one? I dunno what it was that made it happen, but I got right back on the plan that works for me Monday morning.

Why is it that the weight never comes off as easily as it goes on?

My goal for August is to pay more conscious attention to my need to move. I’m trying to dance more. I’m trying to exercise my lower back more. I’m trying to do the exercises I learned in physical therapy more.  I’m trying to walk, but that is not working out. I hurt my feet quite a bit over the weekend, so walking is definitely out. My PF is not healed yet. I worry that it never will be. You can read about my PF experience here.

I’m looking for some help finding a good yoga dvd to use–if you know of one, please comment on my page. Someone suggested a yoga video aimed at pregnant ladies, to begin. I’ve never done yoga before, so I’m not sure what is enough and what is too much. I guess the aching muscles will tell the tale, but I don’t want another injury to deal with, so if you have experience with yoga, please, do tell.

I’m still very excited about where August Action is taking me. Excited about the opportunities to move all month-long. I’m excited about the nine other people who are joining me, and taking action themselves in August. I know this will help me do what I need to do. I appreciate the support I’m getting.

If you have any suggestions, send them to me. I’m willing to try almost anything to get a burn going in this long sedentary body of mine.

What do you want to accomplish in August, that you have been putting off? Where do you plan to start taking action?