Gaining weight and self knowledge

On June 14, before starting a 10 day trip to the southeast followed by a 5 day trip to Seattle, I stepped on my scale to find that I’d officially dropped belong 150 pounds and 26% body fat, representing a loss of 95 pounds and a 50% reduction in how much of my body is composed of fat since starting this journey in February 2013.

When I weighed myself last Thursday, seven weeks later, I saw 154.1 pounds and 28% body fat on the display; I have regained 7 hard-fought pounds and that weight is pure fat (as opposed to increased muscle mass). Given the way I’ve been eating lately, this was not a surprise to me, but it was – and still is – difficult to accept. One thing I’ve realized in the last 18 months, though, is that the lessons I learn when the path becomes bumpy are those that stick with me and form the structure of a healthier, happier life if I focus on finding the lesson in the experience rather than beating myself up for not being perfectly perfect.

So what will I do differently going forward?

  • Stop mindlessly eating sweets before bed – I convinced myself that I could have hundreds of calories of dessert every night because it was all low-glycemic and wouldn’t affect my blood sugar. While that’s absolutely true, extra calories add up over time and they aren’t doing my body fat percentage any favors. I’ll focus on fruit and nuts after dinner instead and see where that gets me.
  • Stop watching television with Mick after dinner – school starts back up in a couple of weeks anyway, so I need to get into the habit of reading and/or writing before bed anyway. Mindless eating while doing something mindless doesn’t align with my goal to live a happier, healthier life, so it needs to be replaced.
  • I’ve started taking one yoga class a week – anxiety is a regular part of my life that I’ve used mindlessness to “treat” for most of my life. Yoga encourages being present in my body and observing myself without judgment; I need more of that.

I’ve also been giving a lot of thought lately to what my goals are in terms of a happy, healthy weight and when to shift from weight loss to weight maintenance. At a Fitbloggin’ session this year, I was confronted by these questions as well as this troubling (for me) thought: what needs to happen inside my body for me to feel satisfied with where I am physically? I still haven’t wrapped my head around that one yet and it feels like a great topic for a session – or several – with Dr. Jennifer, my therapist; let me make an appointment to find out what wisdom she has for me.

Look, I wrote a whole post in MS Word without getting overwhelmed – perhaps there’s hope for this blog yet!

Giving it a go

I compose blog posts in my head while I walk in the mornings. While they never seem to make it to the screen here, trust me when I tell you that they’re filled with angst and wisdom, and would probably make great reading. The process of getting them from my brain to the blog just seems like too much effort most days, in a life where every decision about what to do (and what not to do) starts with the question, “Will this thing that I am contemplating help me create a happier, healthier life?” When held to that standard, many activities that previously formed the routine of my life have fallen off my plate, blogging included.

It didn’t used to be that way, though, so what’s changed? Well, I have changed, for one. I’m not a single girl with no one at home to spend time with. Running, biking, Pilates, walking, and now yoga take up the majority of my discretionary time. Blogging has changed, too – so much focus is put on publicity and writing about things that will appeal to the larger audience. Back when I started blogging, it was about sharing your thoughts about life with whoever showed up to read them, with emphasis on the honesty and quality of what you produced, rather than how many people commented or tweeted or shared it on Google.

For a long time, I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by the shiny blogging objects that surround me when I sign into WordPress to write: SEO, categories, tags, keywords, featured image, publicity options. I get so overwhelmed with all of this that I tell myself “it’s too much work to blog, let’s do something fun instead”.

But then the thought occurs to me that if I pretended that I was back in 2003, ignoring all of the distractions, and just wrote things down without worrying about who is reading or what they think of me? I used to compose my posts in MS Word then cut and paste into Blogger (my original blog lives on that [much simpler] platform) – I could do that again to see how it feels.

Until next time, then.

Project Happy/Healthy Me: June Review and Goals for July/August

My goals for June (and half of July) were: Work back up to run/walk workouts three times a week - Done. I'm jogging 3/5 of a 5K three times a week and it isn't totally awful most of the time. We'll call that a win! Continue to concentrate on clearing out one quarter of the garage, by myself, for 30 minutes per week - Umm, not much was accomplished on … [Continue reading...]

Project Happy/Healthy Me: March review and goals for June

My goals for March were: Keep up the run/walk workouts three times a week - I was doing well with this one until the training rides for the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure bike event started getting longer and more intense. I found that my hip flexors were very painful when I tried to combine running with the high intensity and/or long … [Continue reading...]

Dear Comrades: It’s been a little while since last we spoke

Way, way back, so long ago that it hardly seems real now when I think about it, I used to write blog posts as naturally as if I were casually checking in with a friend every day. Heck, I sometimes posted more than once a day if I had a particularly interesting - at least to me! - day. I didn't worry about what anyone wanted to read, or about how it all came … [Continue reading...]

Creating a new habit

post-5K 9/3/2011

I never used to walk anywhere if I could drive. I never used to bring my own food - healthy or otherwise - to work with me. I never used to walk a 5K every morning before work so that I could start my day off with 8,000 steps on the pedometer (that I didn't own). I never used to do anything about it when I had worrisome medical symptoms. ...but I do … [Continue reading...]

Not an athlete

post 4 miles, 4/26/14

I was in a Weight Watchers meeting this morning when I had one of those annoying "a-ha" moments. It wasn't my normal, early Saturday morning meeting because I walk/jogged a 4 mile event to honor Pat Tillman, an American football player who quit the NFL to enlist in the Army after the events of September 11, 2001. I was feeling pretty good because I was down … [Continue reading...]

Just Write

"I need to include at least one picture with every blog post, for SEO, Google+, and Pinterest." If you don't write anything, there's nothing for a search engine to fine and nothing to be shared on Google+ or pinned. "I need to finish that major project on the blog before I write any new posts." The project isn't as massive as you're making it out to be in … [Continue reading...]

Three things I’m grateful for this week: March 27

Making lemonade from lemons!

Our vacation to Phoenix for Spring Training. Oh my gosh, it was so good to get away and relax for a few days - I'm so grateful to my husband for organizing everything (and doing all of the driving) so that I could focus on the enjoyment of it all. Gentle rain. Last month's gully-washing rain in San Diego were awful because so much moisture came down so … [Continue reading...]

Surround yourself with inspiration

More Than Coffee, a  limited edition print by Lehan Veenker on minted.com

This is a sponsored post; it does not contain affiliate links. For as long as I can remember, having bright, pretty things to look at has inspired me. From the colorful posters I plastered on the walls of my on-campus apartment freshman year in college to the bright red, patent leather heels that make me smile whenever I wear them, I am happiest - and do … [Continue reading...]