Not looking so good…literally!

It’s 3:30. I’m the bathroom at work looking in the mirror. I’m nappy, frazzled and there’s chocolate on my pants. Rock-bottom is a little strong so I’ll call this particular state of affairs craptastic or crap-freakin-tastic if I’m feeling excited. Earlier in the day, in front of the same mirror, I thought to myself-I don’t look healthy. First, the aforementioned naps, meaning I didn’t get up in time to take a shower. Then a few inches below, my eyebrows showcase my forehead like two centipedes that haven’t met yet. Beauty parlor of tweezers. Make a decision! My eyes have dark circles, face is deadpan and a couple zits dot each cheek like mis-placed dimples. 

Now, one doesn’t simply wake up this way. It’s cumulative if you will. Weeks of sub par eating and a few too many, I’m-too-tired-to- wash my-face-nights. 

All this gloriousness will be attending a wedding this weekend, which opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms. 

First, the dress. I bought this thing MONTHS ago. To avoid the Friday night I hate my body, nothing fits rights, fitting room meltdown at Kohls. The best part, I didn’t even pick it out, and it’s perfect. I asked my cool young hip (all things I am not) girlfriend at work for some help and voila’. She in-boxed me this cute dress and I was done. 

What’s super awesome (NOT), is that I’ve gained about 15 lb since then. BUT it still looks good. I’m pretty sure there’s an Oakbrook plastic surgery center  that could lipo the annoying armpit/boob area fat on my lunch break, then I would be golden. Haha. Okay, I’m only half kidding. No really. I have a platinum card with zero balance. But the APR is a bear, fine, never mind. Hmph! 

I wanted to look bangin’ for this thing. Like hawt. Instead, I’m just gonna look like me, and that’s great. Yadda yadda. 

Here’s the thing, I’m beginning to realize (at least for me) that external motivation, just is not that, well, motivating. You can always make concessions. I’m fatter than when I started for this wedding and nobody cares. I truly have nothing to gain externally. The gains are all internal and that’s where the motivation has to come from. It has to be intrinsic

That sucks. Internally, I want to eat burritos and sleep.But what I need is to be healthy and vibrant. One of my favorite phrases in self-help lingo is fake it till you make it. So in the midst of my crapiness today I came up with 16 daily things to be less crappy. It’s a mix of things to do and not to do. Perhaps a later post. I’ll start tracking tomorrow. Track all the things! Change can be painful, but is definitely less painful than not being the type of person you know you can be. 

 

Cheers friends! 

 

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Why I Need to Read More Fiction

I love the library. That’s where I am right now. Friday night. Kid free. Call me lame, it’s cool. (That’s actually my next blog 😉 When I was a kid it was my treat after the dentist. I would grab tons of books.

Ideas excite me. Stir my soul. I feel my insides come alive. And not in that way after you have too much chili dip.

But I always feel a little remiss when I’m here and today it hit me.

I stopped regularly reading fiction a long time ago.

I read a decent amount of books.

But not fiction.

I read to learn. To better myself.

I miss stories.

I’ve become obssessed with motivation and sucess literature. And that’s not a bad thing. But I miss prose. Story, craft. And being a person who discuss those sort of things. Not that I ever really did, but still.

So in the aisle today, I said to myself “Self, stop being afraid of being a loser. You are fine. You do not need to Tony Robbins yourself to death!  Take a break.”

But what to read? Sigh. Should I Google top fiction picks? I remember when I, not Oprah, discovered A Million Little Pieces. You know why I picked that book? Cause it had sprinkles on the cover. Boom. It was a good story then I moved on with my life.

I also remember when my friend Tina told me “You like coming of age and civil rights books.” Boy was she on the money. Even better? Coming age during the Civil Rights period. Like Getting Mother’s Body. I love stories. Maybe I don’t remember everything. But I can recall scenes and feelings. Like the blank stare of death in The Things They Carried. I remember The Heart is a Lonely Hunter-how it made me feel, inside. These things stick with me.

You always want to find yourself in a book. Not exactly a book about your life. But something you can identify with, something you can overcome. I feel like in the end, I just want to be better. And that’s what these stories, these ideas do for me. A simple person doing something amazing even if it’s for their own worthwile.

Holiday

The office is closed today for MLK. While I enjoy sleeping in a whole extra 45 minutes there’s one thing I don’t like about holidays, particulalry the ones where you just kinda wing it. There’s no structure. It’s so easy to be “good” during the week. You’re like a little robot. You know what you’re going to have for every meal, what time you can workout and generally there’s urgency in the structure of the 5 day work week. Then the weekend comes and it all goes haywire. Then the 3 DAY weekend comes and forgetaboutit!

I’m not complaining here, just highlighting the challenges on non-structured time, particularly if you’re on a dreadful diet. Sigh.

The biggest beast to slay here is the Entitlement Dragon. “You’re off on Monday. You work so hard all the time. You deserve Chipotle for breakfast. Go to the gym tomorrow, it’s a holiday.”

My biggest barriers to weight loss this year has been that very mindset. Especially when we got snowed in. Why shouldn’t I eat pizza?? I don’t want to starve to death! Before that, New Year’s Eve-you guessed it, more pizza. Curses to you JETS! Damn your square-shaped pepperoni deliciousness.

So I have been feeling rather salty lately (probably the pizza) about my little weight loss plateu and by salty I mean whale-ish. Mad at myself. Mad at the cute clothes that are a good 5lbs away from seeing the late of day again. 5 looooong pounds .Ugh.

Which is why today I took massive action. Go me! Doing stuff. I was determined not to get ANY fatter today. Not in my house obseity! Take your entitlement eating and go somewhere else. I’m busy. Caleb and I went to Xsport for an hour. I did cardio. After that we went on a lot of errands. It was quite a busy day. Now, I’m even writing a blog. Working on all kinds of goals. ALL KINDS. Definitely a good use of some free time today!

 

Weight Loss Update

I get off track quite a bit after the Labor Day Half Marathon. I say it started with the week long binge. Then pretty much gained 1.5 lbs/wk for 4 months. Still squeezing into the size 12’s though! But I’m pretty sure it’s unhealthy to compress my mid-section that much. The plus side is I did find a pair of size 16 slacks in the back of my closet. They managed to escape the donation box when I was getting rid of “fat” clothes. Obviously I wear them for work everyday. Although I’ve cleaned up my eating as of late some I got a pair of 14’s that can get in on the rotation as well. 

What happened? I was 159 lbs. I weighed that when I was 18! The ever-elusive “high school weight.” What happened was, I got bored. There is such a huge difference between a “lifestyle” and a “diet”. This might sound weird, but diets are exciting. It’s a fight. Every calorie is a battle. You push. You strain. You resist. There is a goal! 

Then, one magical day, you’re there. Goal weight. You are “done.” At least, for a minute. It was really hard for me to find some motivation. Especially with fall/winter coming on. So I went from 160 now to 180. And honestly, I’m not even mad about it. It’s only a reflection of the choices I made. 

Now, my motivation is back. And it feels good actually. I feel confident I’ll get back to 160 and this time I will have an awareness that I didn’t before. Which I think will be helpful to transition from diet to lifestyle. I also look forward to stepping up my game a bit. I’m thinking two half marathons this year. In addition to the usual Pretty Muddy 5K and Run Like a Mother 5K. And MAYBE the Waterfall Glen Extreme 10 again. I was third from last, so there’s a goal! I’m feeling optimistic! 

 

 

New Years Schmoo Years!

Ah….a new year! Time for a new me! NOT! Same me, just a little older. Perhaps wiser? Doubt it. I had an epiphany the other night. At my Toast Master’s meeting. The theme was resolutions. Naturally. My table topic was (where we speak for 2 minutes on a random question/topic) “What New’s Year’s resolution have you kept successfully?” In my not-so-short life, I have written PLENTY of resolutions. Even when I was kid. I was determined to suck less at everything. Starting at 12:01. The old me is past! 

So my answer was rather…interesting. NONE OF THEM!!! 

But somehow I have managed to not be a terrible slob mass of a human being and have changed several of my less desirable habits/lifestyle choices. Such as:

Lost 50 lbs.

Quit smoking.

Paid off my credit cards.

Dress up for work. I’ve only worn jeans to work one time since last May. 

Cook majority of my food instead of eating out. 

Joined Toast Masters.

Ran a Half Marathon. 

Started a blog. 

Go to church every week. 

Tithe. 

All very-resolution-y type goals for sure. 

I thought it was cool. You can change ANYtime. And in a way January 1st is like entering into this pressure cooker. Never though I’d be one those “It’s just a day on the calendar” type people. But alas, tis true. 

 

Turn “the media” OFF

I’m getting fired up about this. One the of many epiphanies I have had as of late.

I was reading a blog in response to Maria Kang’s  “What’s Your Excuse?” photo.

(In summary she’s a super hot mom with three little kids and two businesses and she makes time to have a rockin body. It’s worth a Google.)

So at the end of the blog was a slide show from Pin-words showing all these REALLY SAD facts about eating disorders with young, even girls as young as 8 who want to be thinner. And of course the inevitable blame on “the media”. Magazines and commercials, that well, do what their designed to do. Make us feel bad so we buy useless crap to feel better. Oh and here’s a shocking statement, “Only 5% of American women naturally have the body type advertisements portray as ideal. Really????Shut up! See I know this, cause I GO OUTSIDE OF MY HOUSE.

As I read all all these sad facts, I started to hear a tiny violin playing in the back of my mind. A familiar melody called Poor Me. It’s a classic. Been around for ages.

I have an amazing cure for this onslaught of unrealistic beauty ideals “the media” is shoving down our poor defenseless little throats. TURN IT OFF! That will show ’em. No really, it will.

Like, what? Not watch TV? Yes!

I mean, how is it that everyone blames “the media” but no one just turns off the TV. Or cancels the magazine subscriptions or even (gasp) deletes their social medias.

It infuriates me to read that 8 and 10 year olds are worried about their weight. They should be worried about worms! Or cooties. (there’s still no cure, btw). A multi billion dollar a year industry is not going stop picking on us and our children so the next best thing is not to invite it into our homes.

You know what really offends me? Maybe I’m a prude, but the larger than life Victoria Secret poster in a local shopping plaza. I mean there’s a huge perfectly curved butt making me feel inferior and I didn’t even go in the store! Leave me alone!! Now I am going to drown my sorrows in a 700 calorie coffee drink. Cause I will never look like that. (Well I could get could close it wasn’t for those damn frappuccinos!)

So anytime “the media” tries to make you feel bad, TURN IT OFF. Three monthly payments of $19.95 for Ginger Root Super Rain Forest Extract Monkey Poop-Bilobo, Super Weight Loss Hype Drug, has never given anyone a better quality of life. Except for the CEO that is. That guy probably has a Benz so he’s doing good.

The point is, we need to remember that we have a choice in the media we consume and our choices matter. Not just for us and our kids but even each other. When we become independent thinkers and encourage the same in others it starts something. It says, We’re Not the Ideal and That’s Okay. Now Let’s Move on To Our Happy Fulfilling Lives.  And guess what, WE DO!!

I’m not crazy….Google says!

This week I was in a funk. I just now realized this. Bright ideas all over the place here 😉 

I have been acting a fool with my eating choices this week. Today I had a “I’ll start Monday” mantra as I ate cookies for breakfast. 

Yes, Monday I will be a  total bad ass I told myself as I finished off last night’s potato chips at 10:30 am. 

Today, was a busy day. Went to the Children’s Museum, which wasn’t all that tiring, but I busted my butt cleaning this apartment. 

It looks awesome. Well, to me anyway. 

Then something crazy happened. After all the tiring activity of the day, and stuffing my face like there’s gonna be a famine, I started today. Right now. Forget Monday! Yeah, I was beat. But hey, I was gonna be a bad ass on Monday so I know it’s in me. 

I just acted. You have to do-something. 

On my way home from the gym, I thought to myself, I wonder if cleaning the apartment had something to do with it. I thought, yeah, pretty sure that sealed the deal. I don’t think I would have felt like it had the place been in shambles. With everything (mostly) in order, I felt like the type of person who gets their work out in even when they’re borderline food coma. (Cheese sticks I loathe you!) 

Of course I needed to validate myself with some scientific Google research. Check out this link if you’re interested. I feel like this is something I knew of, but going forward it’s going to be something I actually implement. It makes so much sense and really at the end of the day, it’s kinda like multi-tasking. Who doesn’t want to be fit and have a clean place? Yes, please!! 

http://www.fitbie.com/2011/10/25/clean-your-house-lose-weight