Archive for the ‘ Goals ’ Category

Lost and Found

When I last left off, I had made a vow to get back on the straight and narrow, log my food and exercise like a woman possessed and really get serious about all of my goals. None of that happened. For the last month I’ve been in this freefall…a downward spiral of ennui and poor choices.

Not that the scale has noticed…much. Even though I counsel patients all the time not to become a slave to the scale, it is not a truth I live by.  The first thing I do when I walk into the office each morning is kick off my shoes and jump on the scale. I never get disappointed when I don’t see a big drop, rather I keep waiting for that hard slap in the face when the number goes up. Which it rarely does. Even after vacation. That Monday morning I stepped up to a six pound loss. I was flabbergasted, to say the least. A few of those came back just a couple days later, but I wasn’t shocked by that. Since then, the scale steadily moves (down, thankfully) a tenth of a pound at a time.

I think I’m in test mode. Like I’m trying to see how much I can get away with before the scale jumps up and bites me in the ass. That’s a dangerous place to be. I’m making poor food choices, particularly in the evening, and my old friend the Carb Monster has been cozily camped out in my head.  I’m considering trying the Five Day Pouch Test just to get back to the basics of my prescribed eating plan and rid myself of these insidious carb cravings.

The one thing with which I have been consistent, though, is my exercise. I’m going to the gym at least four times per week and I’ve recently started a Couch to 5K program. If someone had told me 9 months ago I’d like running, I’d have had to see that they were institutionalized. But, I do enjoy it.  I’m also doing a lot of strength training. However, for the last week or so, I’ve felt pretty uninspired about my workouts. I feel like I’m just going through the motions. In my head, I know that any exercise is good exercise, but I want more. More effort, more focus and more results. I come home from the gym, drop trou and curse my thighs. How many squats and lunges do I have to do before they firm up? I’m considering hiring a personal trainer, for at least a few sessions, who will work with me to develop more effective workouts that will give me the results I’m looking for. I’m not unrealistic. I’ve lost 120 lbs from my highest weight (in 2008), 90 of those during the last nine months. I know that I’m going to have some amount of loose skin, it is inevitable. I just want to minimize it as best I can, and I know that filling in some of that skin with muscle will help.

While I’ve lost a bit of my discipline and committment, I have found a couple of things…my biceps. I have (little) muscles. In my arms! I’ve always had strong legs but my arms are weak, weak, weak. Tonight, while putting my hair up before going to the gym, I noticed something entirely foreign to me. Definition in my arms! I didn’t feel the least bit foolish standing in front of my dressing room mirror flexing and checking out my new muscles from all angles. Not one bit.

That’s all I have for now. I know I’ve been lazy about posting, mostly I’ve been procrastinating because I don’t like to put my failures on display if I can help it.  But, I’m not going to pretend that everything is rosy all the time.  I do want to say a little thank you to my bestie who listens to all of my “woe is me” ramblings and always knows exactly what to say to make me feel better…even if that means lying about the shape of my thighs.

 

Goal Number Two

My focus lately has been goal number two, Get Fit.

Last week, my sister and I joined a gym. It is one thing to join a gym, quite another to actually GO to the gym.  Right after Thanksgiving, I paid fora gym membership and had two sessions with a personal trainer. It would be easy for me to say that it was bad timing on my part and use all of the craziness of the holidays as an excuse for not going more often, but that would be a lie. I could easily have gone to the gym every evening on my way home and on Saturdays, but did I? Nope. I chose to half-ass my way through some Zumba and Pilates DVDs at home and play around, here and there, on the elliptical.

This time is different. Having my sister to go with me is a great help. We tend to push each other and she doesn’t let me get away with making excuses.  Since we’ve started going, I feel so good about myself.  So good, in fact, that when Sis had a work event last night I dragged off to the gym on my own.  I simply decided that I couldn’t let her excuse, however legitimate, be mine. And, the encouragement of my online friends always helps.  Thank you, Plurk buddies!

In a half-hour or so, we’ll trek off to the gym again and stop at the grocery store before the BIG STORM hits. BIG STORM where I live is anything where snow accumulations are expected to be over an inch. There is always a run on milk, eggs and bread, but I don’t care about any of that. My yogurt supply is getting dangerously low. Running out is not an option. Oh, and we need fat free half and half at the office.

As for the rest of my goals…

I am getting more organized. My office is mostly clean and my filofax is filled with all of my to do lists, appointments and plans. I’m journaling regularly and it is helping me to keep my thoughts organized and focused on my goals. I won’t lie, it was slow going at first, but they are starting to get more insightful and inspiring.

I am still logging my food intake, but I need to be more consistent. I was positively compulsive about it for a while, and I’m finding it hard to get back to that consistency.  I’m getting there, slowly but surely. And I suppose you can be the judge as to how well I’m doing on my goal to blog regularly.

Time to pull my yoga pants from the dryer, lace up my sneakers and throw my hair in a pony tail. My plan for tonight, in addition to strength training, is to run one minute out of every three during my 20 minute warm-up on the treadmill and complete a full five minutes on the stairmaster. I loathe cardio. But I want to be a runner. Go figure.

Transitional Invariance

tran·si·tion (tran(t)-ˈsi-shən)n. Passage from one form, state, style, or place to another.
invariance (in-ˈver-ē-ən(t)s)n. The property of remaining unchanged regardless of changes in the conditions of measurement.

This is my dichotomy. Is it possible to make true changes in my life while remaining unchanged as a person? Is it naive to think that I can stay true to myself while committing to making these changes? And, if I really believe that significant changes are required, then how well do I actually know myself?

Every year, since I was able to understand the definition of the word “resolution”, I’ve vowed to do better, be better, stop this, change that. I do pretty well for a few days, a few weeks, sometimes even a few months. Sooner or later though, the old habits and familiar tendencies creep their way back in. Change is good, yes. But, change is damn hard. Particularly when I am the only one holding myself accountable to these resolutions.

So, how will this year be different? I don’t know the answer to that for sure yet. I just know that it has to be. Two years ago, I made a promise to myself but I’ve not done a very good job of keeping it.  Keeping that promise requires a great deal of faith and confidence, two things I’ve been woefully lacking. At some level, I suppose, I haven’t felt like I deserved the eventuality of that promise.

Four and a half months ago I was given an amazing gift (I’ll tell you more about that in my next post) and finally I feel like maybe that tide is turning…that I can be invariable in this transition.

The List

Some people have a bucket list, but I’m not ready to think about all of the things I want to accomplish before I die. I just want to focus on the things I need to do so I can really Live. With a capital L. For the last thirty-something years, I feel like I have merely existed and that is no way to Live. Here’s the start of my list, the steps I feel like I need to take to make my life my own again, to learn how to live…for the first time.

  1. Get Organized. My life is a mess. Both literally and figuratively. I’m too easy on myself. I don’t hold myself accountable and I’m horrible at planning. I took a page from Gala Darling‘s playbook and placed an order with Filofax. This pretty little pink binder will become my lifeline for the next year. I’ll use it to plan, organize and journal. I can’t wait for it to arrive.
  2. Get Fit. It would be a bit trite to list “lose weight” as one of my goals, though in the end, that will be the result. I have the tools in place that I need to lose weight, I just need to use them wisely. That means I need to commit to an exercise regimen. Ultimately, I want to learn to think of exercise as something I do because I enjoy it, not because I have to.
  3. Log. Log. Log. That tool I mentioned, it has a few specific dietary requirements. To meet those requirements, I need to be diligent about logging what I eat. I really like using FatSecret.com for logging. The website features a great tool for building recipes and calculating nutritional values, it keeps track of your most recent food choices and there is an app for my Droid and my iPod. The best part is I can save my food diary as a .pdf document and email it to my dietician for review and analysis.
  4. Journal Compulsively. This will be a tough one. I have a hard time thinking about, much less writing about, what I’m thinking and feeling. I really want to learn to be present in each moment, so to that end I’m going to journal more to force myself to focus on my own thoughts.
  5. Blog Regularly. Blogging will be my way of keeping myself accountable, keeping track of my changes and being honest with myself when I stumble along my transitional path.

There you have it. I’ll add to this list as time goes along, adding mini-goals and checkpoints along the way. Tomorrow, I’ll start telling you more of my story.

Happy New Year!