Project Me 2014: January/February review and goals for March

My goals for January were:

  • Re-do the ‘running a 5K course’ that I started (then stopped) last year - Although I’d just finished Week 3 (of 8) when I published my January goals, I hit another brick wall at the start of Week 4. Something about the step up between those two weeks had my hip flexors crying out in pain, again, and I had to stop. After giving in to a really horrible bout of depression that was at least partially brought on by my seeming inability to run more than a couple of kilometers at a time (even interspersed with plenty of walking), I decided to give the running thing another go but this time on my own schedule. Miraculously, it seems to be working out better for me and I’m able to run 3/5 of a 5K (in run 1K, walk 1K repeat format) without feeling that I want to die. This, my friends, is progress!
  • Concentrate on clearing out one quarter of the garage, both of us, for 15 minutes each weekend - While I haven’t been perfect with this goal – and TCB isn’t with the whole “let’s do this thing together” program – noticeable progress has been made. I would guess that I’ve put in 30 minutes at least half of the weeks since I posted this goal and I’ve donated several car loads to the charity shop, taken a couple of boxes of old paperwork to the secure document destruction service, and arranged home pick-up for approximately a cubic yard of e-waste, u-waste, and textiles that were too worn or yucky to be donated to charity. I’ve also started a collection of old writing instruments that I find as I go through boxes and bags of crap because we have boxes at work for donating those as well. I knew when I declared this goal that it was going to take more than one month to clear even a quarter of our garage, so I’m not at all disappointed in how much progress we’ve made – at least we’ve made progress!

You might have noticed that I didn’t set any goals for February. Since I was so late setting my January goals and because my time in late January and most of February was really tight due to work deadlines and my new college class I’m taking, I decided that the same goals would do just as well for February. I did add an additional goal, too, although I didn’t post about it here:

  • Go on a spending fast for 21 days – while I didn’t go to extreme lengths, I did refrain from buying any non-essential items from January 13th through February 3rd. I did window shop a lot and I even pinned a few items to Pinterest to go back to after the fast was over. The funny thing was that, on February 4th when I was convinced I would go absolutely crazy with binge shopping to make up for the fast, I couldn’t think of a single thing I actually wanted. I did a lot of thinking during the fast about buying fewer and better quality items – clothing, for the home, electronics – and suddenly it became much harder to justify giving over our hard-earned money. Even items that are on the most incredible sale ever, if they aren’t truly gorgeous items that I can see myself using or wearing forever or if they aren’t of the very best quality, just aren’t worth it. I have too much cheap junk in my closet, littering my home, and cluttering my garage, so the spending fast was a great way to focus on what I need vs. what I want. I’ve splurged on a few items since then but, much like my eating, there haven’t been any binge episodes and I’m pretty proud of myself for that.

Now that we’ve caught up for January and February, let’s think about what I’d like to work on for the next 30 days.

My goals for 2014 have been published and they include:

  • Achieve a healthy Body Mass Index by weighing 140 or fewer pounds,
  • A waist circumference measurement of 30 inches or less,
  • Body fat between 23 and 33%,
  • Complete a 10K event in 75 minutes or less,
  • Park both cars in our garage at the same time

So, where to focus my energy for March?

  1. Keep up the run/walk workouts three times a week - I’d like to get another solid week under my belt on the current scheme before attempting to increase the first running segment from 1k to 1.5k. If I can go slowly, I’m pretty well convinced that running a full 5K before the end of the year is possible.
  2. Continue to concentrate on clearing out one quarter of the garage, by myself, for 30 minutes per week – In addition to the clutter-busting, I am also going to focus on cleaning the newly cleared areas of dust, debris, and grime. Yes, it’s a garage, but there’s no reason the floor has to be absolutely disgusting!

OK, your turn: what small things are you going to work on in March to make your life happier and/or healthier?

Project Me 2014: Goals for January

My goals for 2014 have been published and they include:

  • Achieve a healthy Body Mass Index by weighing 140 or fewer pounds,
  • A waist circumference measurement of 30 inches or less,
  • Body fat between 23 and 33%,
  • Complete a 10K event in 75 minutes or less,
  • Park both cars in our garage at the same time

So, will I work on for the next 16 days?

  1. Re-do the Up & Running 5K course that I started (then stopped) last year - I just started Week 3 of the (8-week) course yesterday and am optimistic that I’ll be able to finish this time. My running is faster and smoother than it was when I tried it last year, although I still have trouble with the breathing part.
  2. Concentrate on clearing out one quarter of the garage, both of us, for 15 minutes each weekend – We have lived in this house, or I have, for not quite six years now and there are still boxes packed from when we/I moved. That’s my part of this mess, along with all of my paraphernalia from my stint as a Stella & Dot stylist last year. TCB is a packrat and also incredibly messy/not detail oriented. He’s got boxes of American Legion stuff that needs to be dealt with as well as just scraps of paper, bits of plastic, etc, plus miscellaneous junk we haven’t used since he got home from Japan in 2009 and won’t ever use, no matter how much we think we might one day. His poor car can’t ever get into the garage so he has to wander like a demented nomad at night when he gets home just to find a place to park. We have a two-car garage and we will be able to park two cars in there before the end of the day on December 31st! By spending just 15 minutes each weekend between now and then, that’s nearly 13 hours for each of us to dedicate to this endeavor, hopefully without getting completely overwhelmed before we’ve started.
 Project Me 2014: Goals for January

this is so embarrassing!

 

Someone please make me feel better and tell me about your own, shameful hoarding/clutter bug ways?

Project Me 2014

“I don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror. Puffy face with wrinkles that weren’t there this time last year. A sad, resignation behind my eyes that belies the smiles I paste on my face for public consumption.

My lower back, hips, and hamstrings hurt nearly every day now – when I lie too long on one side, when I get in and out of Minnie (my Mini Cooper), when I sit too long at work (which I do nearly every day). A not-too-gentle reminder that I need to move my body more while it also making exercise painful; the irony is not lost on me.

And my blood sugar. How painful it was – after overcoming years of fear and pride to ask for a prescription for insulin – to discover that it didn’t make a damned bit of difference. It’s only a matter of time before the complications start, or perhaps just a stroke or heart attack.”

I wrote the above on January 1, 2013 when I decided to launch Project Me. As I read that entry now, I’m struck by the sadness of my words but also my determination and commitment to do things differently with the new year. I don’t know that I’d call it hope because I don’t remember having that feeling as I wrote – it was simply a desperate desire for something more, and something better.

When I think about what I accomplished last year, the word I’d use to describe it all is commitment. I committed myself to improving my health and my life for 365 days, not knowing if it was possible or not, and then put one foot in front of the other to make it happen. Every morning when I woke up last year I committed myself anew to doing what was necessary in order to achieve my goals. And I still do that now, as a lighter, leaner, and oh-so-much-happier person. Every single morning.

So, what will I do this year for Project Me? I still have some weight left to lose before I achieve a healthy Body Mass Index. Most of that weight needs to be released from my abdomen and I need to shrink my waist quite a bit in order to have a healthy waist circumference. For my competitive spirit, I want to complete several athletic events in 2014 as well. And then there’s the happiness component of it all, too. I’ve put a lot of thought into what I’d like to achieve in the next 350 days and here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Achieve a healthy Body Mass Index by weighing 140 or fewer pounds,
  • A waist circumference measurement of 30 inches or less,
  • Body fat between 23 and 33%,
  • Complete a 10K event in 75 minutes or less,
  • Park both cars in our garage at the same time*
6477009555 ba58b7c1f0 o Project Me 2014

Patience by AuthenticAng11 via Flickr

If last year was focused on commitment then this year seems to me to be all about patience. I have always been the kind of reader who can’t stand the suspense and flips to the end to see what happens. Life doesn’t work that way, though, so I need to just settle back, keep doing what’s working while adding in a few new habits to enhance my health and happiness, and enjoy the incredible life I’m blessed to be living.

What are your goals for 2014? Do you have a word that you’re focused on for the year?

(*I'll post a picture later this week of the current situation in our garage but for now I'll just say this: it isn't pretty in there.)

Project Me: December and 2013 reviewed

My only goal for December was to make an appointment with my therapist to deal with my anxiety and the binge eating, binge shopping, and horrible obsessive/compulsive behaviors that accompany it. I saw my therapist at the beginning of December and just talking to her made things inside my head a lot more calm. She asked me to keep track of my moods, particularly when I’m feeling more anxious than usual, so that we can isolate any common triggers. We also talked about letting things just be and challenging my constant need for order with the thought, “What would happen if I just left that mess over there? Will anyone be hurt? Why do I care what others think?” I’m doing more of both of those behaviors and definitely feel less anxious than I was before our appointment. I’d like to follow up with her next month but my work schedule is a little insane in January, so we’ll have to see.

This being the last day of the year, I’m also going to take this opportunity to review how I did with my goals for 2013, which were:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – done and dusted; my fasting blood sugar readings this time last year were hovering near 200 (very dangerous) and now they are consistently below 100 and usually closer to 90. [Clinical recommendation for diabetics is fasting/pre-meal readings between 70 and 130, so I'm right in the middle.]
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – done; last time I had blood work done, my triglycerides were below 100 without any medication, so I’m thrilled by that. [Clinical recommendation for diabetics is triglycerides of under 100, so I'm in the clear here.]
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale)  - as of this morning, I weigh 167 pounds with 37% body fat, for a BMI of 29.6, officially Overweight. I weighed in on February 1st of this year at 244 with 49% body fat and a BMI of 43.2, officially Morbidly Obese. [I still have 27 pounds to lose in order to be within the Normal weight range for my height.]
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches – this was the goal I was most concerned about. At the beginning of the month I still had 1-1/2 inches to go and that just didn’t seem achievable to me. I wrapped the tape measure around me this morning and told myself it would be OK if it wasn’t 39 inches or less. I mean, seriously, look at eveyrthing I’ve achieved this year, so if I miss on one out of five, that’s not too bad. I checked in the mirror to make sure the tape was straight, squeezed my eyes shut while I exhaled deeply, then looked down to see the tape end directly below the big “39″, and I cried – I hit it perfectly. I have lost 14 inches from my waist since February. I know it shouldn’t matter so much to me, but it does. It really, really does. So damn proud. [Clinical recommendation for a healthy woman is a waistline measurement of less than 32-1/2 inches, so I've got quite a way to go to get there but I am SO MUCH CLOSER than this time last year.]
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – this was my “wild card” goal for the year. There is no quantitative measure to show how much my life overall has improved but here are some important (to me) data points:
    • I’ve made it a point to schedule time with my parents every other month in 2013 and have already set up monthly get-togethers for the first four months of 2014. My life is better when I stay connected with my family.
    • TCB and I have taken more vacations together this year than in any previous year of our relationship. While it’s nice to be able to travel on my own, when we do things together, everything just feels more “right”. We have both scaled back on our volunteer obligations and spend more time together being active every day instead of running around like crazy people trying to fit everything and everyone else in. If it doesn’t tie back to our goal of making and maintaining a happy, healthy family then it goes to the bottom of the list. (And we’re OK when we don’t get anywhere close to the bottom of the list most weeks.) We have subscriptions to two local theater companies and have attended five live productions since October, including one last Sunday.
    • I still fight with my depression but not as much as in the past. I recognize it when it comes much faster than I used to so that I can start to deal with it, and once that’s happened it’s well on its way out.
    • I stopped ignoring my dental problems, had 15 teeth extracted (that’s half of them), and am now on a schedule of regular dental exams and cleanings.
    • I walk a 5K before breakfast, five days a week. I take Pilates Reformer classes twice a week. This year I completed a Sprint Duathlon, Couch to 5K, at least one 5K event every month, and I started a group at work that walks two miles every afternoon.
a year of walking Project Me: December and 2013 reviewed

This is the face of a happy, healthy woman!

Twenty-thirteen has been an amazing year of becoming happier and growing stronger, and for the first time since 1998 I won’t start the new year with dread and the knowledge that I still need to do something about my weight. It’s funny: once I stopped worrying about the weight and put the focus on my health, everything in my life improved.

I’m going to get off of the computer very soon until next year, so I’ll share my Project Me goals for 2014 in a separate post. Tell me, though, how did you do in 2013 with your healthy living goals and what will you do more of or differently in 2014?

Project Me: October & November review and my goals for the remainder of 2013

[I somehow did not do a check-in for October nor set any goals for November. Can't fix that now, so we'll just review how I've done with my goals from October before moving on to goals for December.]

My goals for October were:

  1. Stop spending so much time reading other blogs, shopping, and being a social media fan girl and actually start writing here more often – I’ve been a bit better about this and certainly I’ve written more here since setting the goal than I did before, so we’ll call this at least a partial success.
  2. Continue working on eating after 7:00 pm – Well, if you’d asked me before Thanksgiving how I was doing with this, I’d have said that it was firmly in the “win” column, but I’ve been turning to my old way of dealing with stress and anxiety (binge eating); this is not good. It’s always late at night (after 7:00 pm) and it’s always when I’m alone. You’d think the success (so far) of Project Me would have made me more relaxed and less anxious, and to a certain extent that’s true. In some ways, though, it’s actually made me more anxious and compulsive than I was before. I’m at that point now where everyone I meet is taken aback by my slimmer appearance, and most of them remark on the difference. I don’t know how to deal with compliments, particularly not about my appearance, so it produces a lot of anxiety. I’m also obsessing about losing the last six pounds I need to drop before I reach the “Overweight” BMI designation and stop being “Obese” officially. Nothing in my health is going to change in any way from losing those six pounds – it’s just a mental/emotional thing for me and I’m blowing it out of proportion. I must deal with the underlying anxiety in order to keep tight control of my diabetes but it is also a huge source of unhappiness for me and I’m tired of it.
  3. Get my flu shot and figure out what I need to do to get a pneumonia shot – did not do this. Honestly, I never really wanted to, have never done it before, and am fairly certain I’m safe without the shots.
  4. Re-jigger my schedule so that I can fit a weekly strength training session in AND go for an outdoor bike ride -Well, I achieved something close to this – I’m now taking Pilates Reformer classes twice a week, which is great for my strength training needs (and is probably contributing to my fairly drastic drop in body fat percentage). With Pilates early on Sunday morning and Weight Watchers early on Saturday, my only real option for riding my bike is Saturday after WW and that is only possible on days when I don’t have any other engagements on Saturday. I’ve managed a total of two outdoor bike rides in all of October and November and probably two or three more indoor on the stationary bike. Oh well, I’m getting lots of activity now and I’m happy with my body, so I’m not going to sweat this one.

My goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 5 more pounds in 24.5 three weeks (not sure I’ll make this one but I’m sure going to keep trying!)
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches –1 more inch in 24.5 three months (side note: wow, I lost 4-1/2 inches from my waist since August 1 – must have done something right!)(not sure about the likelihood of making this one, either, but I’m going to push hard)
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

So, will I work on for the next 25 days?

  1. Make an appointment with my therapist to deal with my anxiety and the binge eating, binge shopping, and horrible obsessive/compulsive behaviors that accompany it. Period. Yup, that’s it. While the spending and the compulsive straightening up around the house are embarrassing and dangerous for my long-term happiness, the binge eating has the real potential to not just damage my body through higher blood sugars, but also knock me right off track with Project Me. This is a big milestone deliverable and it deserves my full attention for December.

So tell me: what healthy habits are you focusing on for the rest of the year?

Head vs. heart (vs. IT band): A running journey

I used to run. Not in high school, at least not voluntarily, but after I’d lost 110 pounds for the second time in my late twenties, I ran, and I loved it. I loved that I felt light and fast and athletic when I ran. And so I ran a lot – I averaged 35 miles a week and never once felt a twinge of pain, not even when I still had some weight left to lose (I started running when I had about 40 pounds left to lose). When I stopped running, I stopped eating properly and I re-gained 110 pounds for the second time.

Fast forward to present day. I’ve lost 63 pounds so far (of the 110 I need to lose in order to be in a healthy weight range per the BMI charts). I’ve completed a sprint duathlon. I finished the Couch to 5K program and am able to jog for 30 minutes straight, albeit inside, on a treadmill.

I started the Up & Running 5K course last month because even after finishing Couch to 5K, I wasn’t able to run outdoors at all and I want to be able to run the monthly 5K events I participate in. At the beginning, I was quite pleased with my progress – I was finishing all of the running segments in less than the time listed on the Training Plan and feeling pretty good. (Turns out I was the slowest kid in class, but that’s a post for another day.) Then my shins started to hurt so I gave the running a miss for a few days and went right back to it again without any problems. Until last week.

love your body Head vs. heart (vs. IT band): A running journey

Lovin’ my body before The Color Run 5K on my (46th) birthday

The training program I was working on last week features three separate intervals of 1/2 kilometer running with a two-minute rest break in between and topped off with a 1 kilometer run before cooling down. I was a little nervous about the amount of running involved but I trusted that I could do it because I’d done all of the running in the previous four weeks with so little trouble. (Slowly, but I’d done them.) The first run of the week was tough and I hated it, particularly the running uphill involved in any 2.5 kilometer run in my neighborhood. I rested for a day between runs – aren’t I good newbie runner? – then went back at it again. This time it was even harder and actually painful by the end of the third 1/2 kilometer running segment, to the point that I was crying in pain and frustration but didn’t stop running. I mean, I couldn’t, right? To stop would be to admit weakness and then I wouldn’t be able to say I’d done it. (I know that’s crazy personified but that’s what I was thinking.) I finished up the final kilometer, which was downhill all the way, and gratefully cooled down. A day off and then I went for the third and final run of the week at the end of my work day so that it would be nice and flat because surely it was just the hills at home that were causing problems.

I should have listened when it hurt at the beginning of the first 1/2 kilometer run, but I didn’t. It hurt a bit more for the second 1/2 kilometer and a whole lot more by the third and final 1/2 kilometer. I was in tears again but this time from the frustration of not being able to force my body to do my bidding, but I readied myself for the final 1 kilometer push and looked forward to a weekend off from running. When I took the first step for that final run, I could tell something was very, very wrong with both of my legs as well as my left knee – they just felt “off”. And finally – finally! – I listened. I stopped trying to run immediately and speed walked the final kilometer before melting into my cool down.

A little research and a visit to my favorite physical therapist/masseuse led to a diagnosis of iliotibial (IT) band syndrome. I have pain from my hips down my thigh and especially just above my left knee. From what the therapist has told me, if I don’t stop running and cycling (and pretty much anything except walking and strength training) until the symptoms are gone then I risk knee problems and chronic pain that will likely keep me from running again. In addition to the restricted activity schedule, I also have to use a foam roller on my IT band and quadriceps twice a day and stretch after each (walking) workout. For once in my life, I’m following orders without question or resistance; I think I’m finally scared straight.

I’m frustrated and disappointed, not because I have to give up running and cycling for a while, but because of how I got here. Ignoring my body is the antithesis of my motivation for Project Me – to live a healthier and happier life. I spent most of my life hating and trying to divorce my body even as it carried around the (literal and figurative) weight of my world without complaint – I don’t want to live that way any more. Integrating my mind and my body is an important success criterion for my long-term happiness and perhaps this period of being forced to listen and respond to my body’s needs is the right prescription for this recovering control freak.

Project Me: August review and goals for September

My goals for August were:

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program, be able to jog 30 minutes straight – Done & done
  2. Attend one Pilates Reformer class per week – Also done. (Turns out I really love these classes – who would have guessed strength training could actually be fun?)
  3. Consume no more than 20 ounces of latte drinks each day – I achieved this goal most days this month, and certainly reduced my intake of caloric beverages. [I now substitute iced coffee with an ounce of half and half (20 calories) for an iced latte with 14 ounces of nonfat milk (140 calories).]
  4. Complete six cardiovascular workouts of at least 45 minutes each a week - Um, definitely NOT done. With the training required for my upcoming duathlon, my workouts are now longer (two jogging sessions of ~20 minutes each, sandwiched around biking workouts of between 20 and 45 minutes)

My goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 23 more pounds in six four months
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches – 5-1/2 5 more inches in six four months
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

August was a tough month for me. I signed up for a semi-endurance event that was less than eight weeks away at the time (now only five weeks away!), requiring very specific, somewhat physically challenging, definitely mentally challenging workouts. This, combined with a nasty bout of depression (again!), left me doing the minimum required workouts (five a week) instead of walking or jogging every morning as I had been. I did make the Sunday morning Pilates Reformer class a new part of my routine (hello, strength training) and I finally tried Pure Barre Lite, which turned out to be not nearly as bad as I’d thought (but has me still sore five days later, so it’s going to have to wait five weeks until after the event), so all was not lost.

On the other hand, at my three month check-in with my endocrinologist (diabetes doctor), he officially changed my status in the computerized chart from “Diabetes, uncontrolled” to “Diabetes, well-controlled”, and told me I should stop taking my evening insulin shot because it’s not needed. (I need to continue monitoring my blood sugar levels but if they stay as they are, I will only need to take one pill twice a day!) Given that it was the horrible state of my diabetic self-management that started me on this path to create a healthier life at the beginning of the year, that’s definitely something I’m proud of.

Bottom line: I lost 5 pounds this month but actually gained 0.5 inches around my waist and I know I didn’t do everything I was capable of, exercise-wise, but my overall health is steadily improving regardless of what the scale or tape measure say.

So, what will I be working on for September?

  1. Put nothing in my mouth that has calories after 7:00 pm unless it’s fruit – the evening dessert routine is getting a little out of control. I’m having a large latte (200 calories) plus two macaroons (another 200 calories for both combined) most nights. If I skipped that and either had a piece of fruit or just some plain tea or decaf coffee after dinner instead, I’m pretty sure that would be another pound a week off of my body.
  2. Wear my heart rate monitor for all workouts - need to make sure I’m in the right training zone and getting enough intensity to actually burn some pounds.
  3. Do not buy anything unless absolutely necessary - my addictive personality has latched on to compulsive spending to take the place of my compulsive overeating, and that’s going to be just as damaging in the long run, so it needs to stop. I’m going cold turkey and will use my paper journal every morning to work through whatever feelings bubble up when there’s nothing else to numb them with!
  4. Focus on gratitude – While I’m writing in my journal every morning, I’m going to spend a few moments focusing on what I’m grateful for that day. I have so many great things going on in my life and I need to remember that instead of always looking ahead for “what’s next?”

strong legs 300x300 Project Me: August review and goals for September

Alright, your turn: How did you do in August and what would you like to focus on for September?

What makes you happy?

An important component of Project Me involves improving the quality of my life. I threw that om the list of deliverables for Project Me because I’ve  done the whole “lose weight, get in shape, be more active, and eat less” thing before and always ended up gaining every single pound back and more, so clearly something was missing from those previous efforts at better health. Also, pursuing better health without incorporating happiness somehow feels incomplete.

I deal with depression at least once a month. Some months are worse than others but generally it makes getting out of bed and, really, even just giving a damn about anything, difficult for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how serious/strong it is. (Or is it based on how strong I am that month? Interesting thought.)

In any case, as far as I can tell, the depression started a really long time ago – at least in college, if not before then – leaving me with not a lot of answers to the important question, “What makes you happy, Denise?”

 What makes you happy?

Happy day! by ricco via Flickr

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time since I started on Project Me thinking about happiness and even joy – the emotion of great delight, which has been rare in my life, as you might expect – and I feel I’m making progress at understanding what makes me happy. As part of that research, however, I’d like to hear from all of you: what makes YOU happy? When was the last time you felt joy and what part of the experience do you think  pushed you from mere happiness to actual joy? Please share in the comments or send me an electronic mail message if you’d rather not share publicly.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Project Me: July review and goals for August

My goals for July were:

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program (I’ll be starting week 5 of the program this week if all goes well with the surgery), be able to jog 30 minutes straight – I’m very, very close to being complete – just finished Week 7, Day 2 – but I’m not done yet. I’ve developed some sort of mental block about running and I just don’t want to do it. I walk every day, though, so it’s not as though I’m not burning calories, just not running
  2. Make an appointment with a personal trainer to develop a strength training program I can begin – complete fail. I do not like strength training, never have, and while I say that I want to start doing it, in my heart I do not. I’m going to face reality on this one and move it to the backlog for consideration at a later date. [Note that I DID take a Pilates Reformer class this month, though, and that seriously kicked my butt. Nothing like using your ~200 pound body for resistance!]
  3. Reach out to friends & family to make sure that I have scheduled time with at least one person I love every week this month – I think I did pretty well with this one. The surgery at the beginning of July really threw a wrench into the first two weeks of the month because I was on heavy duty pain killers for five days then trying to figure out how to eat semi-regular foods with my new (fake) teeth. Still, I saw my childhood penpal from the UK while she and her family were in San Diego the weekend of July 19th, I went to an event downtown for healthy living bloggers at a great Mexican food restaurant, met fellow San Diegan blogger Kay Lynn for coffee after Weight Watchers, and went to lunch with my BFF, so I think I’ll mark this one as “done”

My revised goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 23.8 more pounds in six five months
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches – 5-1/2 4-1/2 more inches in six five months
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

Given that, what am I focusing on for August?

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program, be able to jog 30 minutes straight – I’ve started it, so I want to finish. It’s not as though it hurts to jog, I just don’t enjoy it
  2. Attend one Pilates Reformer class per week – if I’m not going to do traditional strength training, perhaps I’ll fall in love with the painful experience that is Reformer class!
  3. Consume no more than 20 ounces of latte drinks each day – I’d gotten into a bad habit of swinging by Coffee Bean on my way to work and after dinner, each time picking up a large latte. That’s 400 calories a day and it’s nearly pure sugar because of the milk, so I’m cutting that in half. I want to chew my calories and I want them to have a reasonable amount of fiber, too!
  4. Complete six cardio workouts of at least 45 minutes each a week – I must increase the number of calories I’m burning if I’m going to make my weight and waist measurement goals for the year. I’m currently doing 5-6 cardio workouts each week but they’re 30-45 minutes each and I really need to do 45 or more for maximum calorie burning. No, I’m not getting obsessive here, although getting at least an hour of moderate intensity exercise per day has been proven effective – by the National Weight Control Registry – at maintaining a significant weight loss, which I hope to be doing by this time next year!
lottalatte strong is beautiful 300x300 Project Me: July review and goals for August

a good month

Given that last month started off with me losing 15 teeth, I think I ended the month pretty well. I’ve been fighting with the depression again for the last 10 days or so but I’m not letting it knock me off my healthy routines. Being able to buy non-plus size clothes now is a great motivator, as is hearing that I look “ten years younger” from work colleagues, but honestly, just knowing that each step I take is a step away from early death brought on my diabetic complications is really the best motivation I’ve found to get the shoes laced up and get me out the door for a walk every morning.

You cannot imagine how good it feels after so many years of adding more and more drugs to my daily routine and still seeing my blood sugar and triglycerides rise and rise to see my well-controlled blood sugar readings each morning! When I wonder if it’s worth it to get up earlier to walk or not to eat a sweet dessert that looks yummy, that’s what I remember: sitting in my endocrinologist’s office on November 29th of last year listening to him tell me that there were no drug therapies left to try and I needed to start daily insulin injections.I’m off all but two of my medications and I have to keep monitoring my blood sugar and adjusting my nightly insulin to make sure that I don’t go too low in the mornings. Is it worth the sacrifice to feel this way? Absolutely, without a doubt!

What motivates you to make healthy choices? And, in a related thought, do you have any great songs that you listen to while working out? I find that jogging/running isn’t nearly so awful if I have great music to listen to, but I’m getting bored with the same songs every day, so I need new material, friends!

Project Me: June review and goals for July

I am writing this a few hours before my dental surgery this morning that will remove 15 of my teeth. I’m not sure how long it will be before I am able, or want to, write again, and I want to make sure I’ve got goals for July beyond simply surviving the pain. If you’re reading this and it’s Monday, July 1st, say a little prayer, if you would, that I survive surgery, that the surgeon is able to do everything she needs to do, and that this will be another important step in my journey to better health.

My goals for June were:

  1. Get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio activity PLUS two strength training* sessions each week
    • *Make an appointment with a trainer at the gym! – did not see a trainer, did not do even a single strength training session, but I did get at least the minimum 150 minutes of cardio each week
  2. Have fun: incorporate at least one fun activity into each week (sewing, knitting, crochet, lunch with a friend, bike ride, pedicure, get hair done) – I have been focusing more on working fun into my life and I’m pretty sure I hit my goal to do something fun every week, but I don’t think I’m doing enough to make sure I really experience and enjoy the fun, if that makes sense
  3. At least one fruit or veggie with each meal – this one has been a real pleasure to check off of the list! I have developed a healthy obsession with berries & cherry/grape tomatoes, so that has made this goal super simple
  4. Eat at least 25 grams of fiber every day – by eating so much fruit and so many veggies, this goal has been a slam dunk
  5. Don’t buy any clothes for a month – I sort of managed this one. I did buy two items of clothing but I didn’t wear either of them in June, so there’s that. I wanted to buy clothes many, many times during the month, and it was knowing that I’d have to come here and tell you about it that made me stop and put down the plastic!

My revised goals for 2013 have been published and they include:

  • fasting blood sugar reading below 130 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • triglycerides reading less than 150 mg/dL – already achieved, need to maintain
  • body weight at or below 169 pounds (putting me into the Overweight category on BMI scale) – 35 more pounds in six months
  • waist measurement of not more than 39 inches – 5-1/2 more inches in six months
  • an improved quality of life as perceived by me – well on my way to achieving this!

So, where should I focus for July?

  1. Finish Couch to 5K program (I’ll be starting week 5 of the program this week if all goes well with the surgery), be able to jog 30 minutes straight
  2. Make an appointment with a personal trainer to develop a strength training program I can begin
  3. Reach out to friends & family to make sure that I have scheduled time with at least one person I love every week this month

These aren’t particularly aggressive goals but I need to focus on recovering from surgery and learning how to eat again with temporary teeth. I’m told by my dentist that I will not be able to chew anything with these “flipper teeth” in for 3-9 months – yikes!

OK, I’m off to the gym before my surgery. Hope all goes well. I’ll report back when I’m feeling well enough to do so and I’m sure I’ll be on Facebook and Twitter in the meantime.