Thursday, November 10, 2016

Time for Me

In the past few days I have been struggling with old thoughts that are seeming to come back as if by habit; thoughts about dieting and "working harder" because I don't look a certain way.  I have been disgusted and bothered by my reflection and by the fact that I am eating a little better but don't seem to be moving anywhere.  It is the old fashioned diet mentality, and it is a slippery slope in the opposite direction of where I want to be.  In my habitual mind I am whining because I feel like if I got on the scale, I'd still be the same weight or maybe 3-5 pounds less than where I was when I started cleaning things up a handful of weeks ago.  My calm, settled, reasonable mind reminds me that I did not start eating better to look a certain way, I did it to help myself avoid having a heart attack.  And, I did want to move easier, have less aches and pains, and breathe easier.  I am not going to say it has been real dramatic changes, but I do feel like I've made definite progress in those areas.  And, I do look a little better than I did when I was eating all those sweets. Still, part of me can't help wondering if I am eating too many complex carbs.  For instance, this weeks' menu is: bagel with cream cheese, macadamia nuts, homemade bean and beef-substitue burritos with cheese and taco sauce, light greek yogurt cup, veggie burger without bun, and yogurt cup.  As far as South Beach goes, this is perfectly acceptable, but I have less energy and am seeing less results as when I was eating much lower carb.  While I don't think it is sustainable for me to be super-low carb always, I am wondering if I need less carbs than I'm currently getting; wonder if there is a magic threshold, a carb line which I should stay on one side of.  The other part of me thinks that tinkering with what is working and easy to sustain might make me a little nuts and hurtle me back into hardcore diet mentality which always sets me up to fail. 
So, there is the place I'm in.  I wish I had more energy.  I think the only way that is going to change is if I get the blood flowing in the morning, which is going to mean getting up even earlier than I already do (5am).  There are logistics to be worked out with my husband getting up at 4:15 or 4:30 as well, because he is usually on the stationary bike at that time, but right now I'm sort of in a place of taking back my space and time, making my own needs as important as everyone else's.  I have spent so much of my energy accommodating everyone else, at the expense of my own needs and wants, it's part of what makes me feel so worn out all the time.  If I don't take care of myself, all those people who count on me will be let down when I just can't do anymore. 
So I have a list of things that make me feel good or rejuvenate me and I want to work on at least one, but ideally as many as I can each day.
  • Deep, long stretches
  • Strength training
  • Cardio
  • Writing
  • Hot bath
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Lymphatic drainage massage
  • Meditation with breathing
  • Having meaningful conversations with my family
  • Snuggling with my dog
  • Facial mud mask
There will be more I'm sure, but at least these are some things I can do to start.  I think it's a good combination of phsyical and mental things I can do to make me feel better on a daily basis.  I also know that I need to add more produce to my diet, it might be one of the reasons I had more energy;  while I was eating lower carb, I was using a lot more produce as a base for my food, zucchini noodles, salads, etc.  I have gotten a little more lackidasial about things as I find convenient ways to get protein without having to put much effort in.  I am determined to find some recipes that are tastey, healthy and include more veggies.  That will be my task/goal to complete this winter, so that by summer I'll have an awesome arsenal of recipes to fall back on. Plus, my kids like to weigh in and rate each recipe, it's a fun way for them to be eating something healthier and get a say in what I make. 
I did buy a Fitbit Zip on Monday and have been using it as religiously as I did my Pebble pedometer I used to wear.  I clip it on every day and take it off at bedtime.  Unless I'm working on a specific goal, I don't pay it much attention.  Honestly, I got it for work, because part of my annual review is my participation in Wellness activities.  My tracking device reports directly to my work website so they can see that I am "participating" in healthy activity.  I get monetary rewards for certain amounts of activity too, but that's not a driving factor for me.  It helps my hourly wage go up in the long run.  I do sometimes look at my numbers out of interest, like the crazy increase of steps daily since getting a dog, but for the most part, I treat it like and invisible accessory.  But maybe it's time to start using it to its full potential and challenging myself.  I'm still in a place of not knowing whether my ideas are coming from residual "diet brain" or if they are genuine in my goal of feeling better and maintaining a certain level of health and mobility as I age. 
December is going to be an even busier month for us, with another move, but at least where we are moving is literally across the parking lot.  I'm not discounting having to lug everything down the stairs we have now, but at least our new apartment is a lower unit without stairs.  It means I have to be more commited to using the bike and working out my lower body so I don't annihilate my knees going up and down the stairs all those times.  I also have my annual physical scheduled in December, and I want to come out with sparkling bloodwork this time.  Last year my triglycerides were a little higher than I like, I'm hoping the lower carb eating will help to bring them down to normal levels.  I know, I will also be weighed at this appointment, at my last appointment on Oct 3, I weighed 199 lbs.  At the time, this was a loss for me since in September I was over 200.  I will admit that it will be interesting to see what my weight is next month, after a couple months what I would consider "mostly normal/decent" food choices.  I am tempted to weigh myself before then, really tempted, but I think I am going to try and divert my attention back to feeling better and making things easier on my body in the long run.  The number on the scale doesn't matter if in ten or fifteen years my hips have gotten so weak that I need a hip replacement or am left needing to use a walker or cane to get around.  I need to refocus on what is important for my quality of life, instead of thinking about how I look in the mirror or my percieved manner in which others will judge me based on how I look.  None of that matters at the root of things. And it's not just mobility that matters but getting rid of some of my aches.  Many of them are caused by my need to stretch and strengthen so things are in proper alignment, hips,back,knees,feet,shoulders; everything that hurts on me relies on proper alignment, and I sleep in a weird position, so I am feeling it more as I age.  So, my goal is to be proactive in hopes of preventing more issues with joints.  That is a big goal, but as I have often heard in regards to college taking so long to complete; that time is going to pass anyway, you might just as well fill it in a productive manner. 
Now it is time for me to go get my stretch on.  Happy Thursday!

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