Part tortoise, part coyote

If the tortoise’s motto is “slow and steady wins the race”, then I am becoming part tortoise. I have been slack in the exercise department, which will make the Firefly 5K interesting in a couple of weeks. But I have been very good in my eating habits, and have almost broken into the 170s. My target weight range is 170-174, so that’s a significant milestone for me.

Dance is picking up significantly, with practices nearly every day this week to prepare for upcoming shows and festivals. And while I am already happier with how my costumes are fitting, I think I’ll be able to hit my goal by the start of festival season. Call me silly, but I find the idea exciting!

If I expand my definition of “fitness” to include “emotional fitness” (which is also important, IMHO), then that is improving, as well. Aside from an emotional breakdown last week that was triggered by several of my friends losing loved ones, that is. But the fact that it didn’t send me into a week-long tailspin – which it would have done this time last year – is significant.

Progress, slow and steady. Thanks, tortoise.

Owning the results

For the past couple of weeks, I have gotten on the scale and found a way to rationalize the lower number that I was seeing. “It’s water weight.” “I’m dehydrated.” “It’s hormonal.”

This morning I got on the scale, looked at the number and tried to come up with all the reasons why the number wasn’t accurate…then asked myself, “What the hell are you doing? You’ve been eating better for several weeks, you’ve been staying in your calorie range, you’ve been exercising a bit… Why are you so afraid of success that you’re not willing to acknowledge what you’re doing is making a difference?”

I hate my brain sometimes.

So with the new month comes new ownership of the results, bad AND good. If I can accept the blame when my weight goes up, I damn well better be able to accept the credit when it goes down!

I have 10 pounds to go before I reach the goal I have set for myself. A couple of years ago I got within 1 pound of my goal (but never actually reached it), decided that was close enough, hung out in that weight range or a few months, then the weight crept back up. Now I’m wondering if that’s tied to some fear of success? Or is it my general tendency to leave half-finished projects lying around and never getting back to them?

Or maybe those two things are related. Hmm.

I think an experiment is in order…

Small changes taking hold

It’s always nice when it feels like the effort of making better choices and passing on the really tasty (but really bad for you) junk food of yore is getting easier. There are still many changes to be made, but the fact that it’s getting harder to find something that sounds good for dinner when rifling through fast food options is encouraging.

I really didn’t feel like cooking tonight, and being a Friday evening, finding room in a restaurant was practically impossible. That left drive-through, but nothing sounded even remotely appealing. Taco Bell, Burger King, Quiznos, McDonald’s… nothing sounded good. Which is weird, because it used to be really easy to pull into a fast food joint and find something.

Is this progress?

I ended up driving through Boston Market as the “lesser of several evils” option and getting half a Tuscan Rotisserie Chicken, then put more than half of it in the fridge for future meals. Maybe I can throw it into the crock pot this weekend and do something with the rest of it. Some potatoes, some carrots… Hmmm.

This is looking to be a busy weekend. Tomorrow morning at 8:30am I am picking up an Anatolian Shepherd Dog from boarding and helping him on his way to a new foster home by driving him to a town about an hour away. There I will meet another driver who will take him on the next leg, and by tomorrow evening, he will be at his foster home in Little Rock, Arkansas. After I get back from that I have dance class, then our dance studio has a Hafla (dance show) at the studio, then to karaoke where a friend is having her birthday.

There are worse things. ::grin::

It’s a month until the Firefly Run, which means I should start digging out the glow sticks and black light shirt again. Ready for spring!!

All good things…

Well, I knew the downward slide couldn’t last forever. Saw an uptick on the scale this morning, but I’m still down from where I was two weeks ago. It just means I’m going to have to start working for it now.

The challenge will be keeping my emotional balance so I don’t stress eat and overindulge like I did this evening. I’m hoping the relatively light breakfast and lunch I had today will offset the “way too much Pei Wei” that I had for dinner. I think I’m going to take pity on my nerves and not get on the scale tomorrow morning. I’m learning to pick my battles.

I’m supposed to be working on my philosophy homework right now, but since the discussion topic is “the meaning of life” and right now I’m in an uber-pessimistic mood, it really would not be good for my grade to try and contribute to the discussion at the moment. Maybe if I get on the treadmill for a while it will help clear my head.

Or I could go find some more Girl Scout Cookies…

Title (optional)

Since I don’t have a pithy subject line popping into my head (or a non-pithy one, for that matter), we will go with the default.

It seems like every morning for the past week or so, I’ve gotten on the scale and the number has been lower than the day before. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but since I haven’t consciously been doing anything different, I’m starting to wonder if my scale is screwing with me. Maybe I was just eating so much junk and salt that I was retaining more water than I ever thought possible.

I have noticed that cravings are getting easier to suppress (except for the two boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that arrived last week). Maybe the audio I’ve still been listening to regularly has been leaving little footsteps in my brain. Now to nurture it from the subconscious into the conscious… I’m working on my Mindful Eating approach to the Samoas, but have only had limited success so far. I still have a box left to try it on, though!

Last Saturday I went back to belly dance class, and promptly got my butt kicked by the new choreography that we are learning. I haven’t been to class in nearly a month, so everyone else in the class had already had the basics broken down for them. The teacher did a quick breakdown and refresher, and I managed to keep up with a decent chunk of it by the end of the class. My personal goal is to nail the choreography by the beginning of April – I need to find a video of it somewhere so I can drill it at home. I also got reminded yet again that I’m not quite up to my former endurance level, since I was out of breath halfway through it!

Chalk up yet another reason to get my butt back on the treadmill.

Whirlwinds and roller coasters

I like roller coasters, but not the emotional ones, and the past couple of weeks have had some really intense highs and lows. Ramble follows, not strictly fitness-related.

The conference came off really well, with only a couple of small hiccups. My boss was happy, her boss was happy, and her boss’s peers were happy, so all in all, a good experience. I was able to look at myself in the mirror and admit that I was damned good at what I do, and it’s the first time I can remember that I actually believed it.

On Wednesday, the last day of the conference, I got a call from the place where my dogs were boarding that they were having some digestive problems. I knew rationally that it was probably just stress from boarding, but it still made for a rough last day of the conference worrying about them. I got home Wednesday night and picked them up – they’re fine, it was just stress.

Festival season is just around the corner, so our Performing Company started figuring out which choreographies we are doing at which shows. Rehearsals start next Tuesday, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s also motivation to stay on track with my exercise plan, since there are still some pounds I’d like to lose before the season starts. I am also signed up for some 5K events in the next few months – the night run in March, Foam Fest in April, and the obstacle run in May. Starting March 4 I am joining the three-month TEAM Fitness plan – my left shoulder had been giving me some problems in January, but is feeling much better now so a couple more weeks of rest is probably a good plan.

Wednesday the roller coaster plunged when I learned my mother went to the ER with leg pain. X-rays showed old spinal fractures, and an MRI on Thursday showed some new ones. They aren’t looking at doing surgery yet, so it sounds like the treatment is rest and physical therapy… which she has been doing for the past several months after being hospitalized last summer, so what is this supposed to do that’s different?? I feel horrible and guilty and wondering what I can do to help – even though I know there really isn’t. I wish she didn’t have to go through this. I wish there was some way to just fix it.

Even though it’s almost 10pm, I’m contemplating jumping on the treadmill for a while. Maybe it will help settle my mind. Tomorrow is dance class and the chance to get caught up on the four weeks of class that I’ve missed, tomorrow night is karaoke (and the return of NASCAR), and Sunday there is a dog-related event that I am going to. I have no idea where this roller coaster is going next…

Back in the saddle

The past several days have been crazy busy getting prepared for a big conference next week, as well as doing a multi-team meeting for about 80 employees, and there’s several webinars and conferences coming up that we still need to register people for and promote. While we’re at it, we’re onboarding two new employees, interviewing people for two other positions, and I am up to three managers I support full time, two I support part time, and one that I support on a technical needs basis.

And, by the way, I turned 42 on Friday. Life is not boring.

On Thursday I helped with an 80-person meeting that brought together a bunch of people that I have emailed for years but never met, so it was really cool to be able to put faces with names. I was on the planning calls for the meeting, which meant that I was disqualified from participating in the Teambuilding event before dinner. I was okay with that, because it meant I got to be on the judging team, and the event was a guacamole and margarita making contest. I got to taste-test the fruits of labor for all 10 teams, including the margaritas… and I don’t even drink. It was a lot of fun, and a chance to mingle with a lot of folks, and a chance to actually interact with most of my managers in person – they’re scattered across the country, so I don’t get a lot of face time with them.

Friday was a late day at work, so between that and Thursday I was dog-tired by the time I got home, and made the mistake of dozing off on the couch. That meant I was awake until about 2 in the morning, and then couldn’t motivate Saturday at all. At least not until the evening when I went to karaoke with my friends. That meant another late night (or really, really early morning!) and a hard time with motivation on Sunday.

Long and short of it is that I have not had any real exercise since Wednesday (although cat herding on Thursday counts for something, considering how much walking I was doing at the event), so tonight I got guilted-slash-motivated into spending time on the treadmill while watching “The Biggest Loser”.

It’s frustrating because I am again having all the mental “I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna” demotivators running through my brain, and if I just get off my ass and DO it, it’s not that bad and I actually feel better afterwards. Is there a magic button or pill or something to shut off that negative voice and make it easier to motivate?

Some good things that came out of this week – I do actually have a swimsuit that fits decently enough that I can bring it to the conference and not feel embarrassed in it. It’s a two-piece, but the pieces are modest enough that I could wear them. I’ll pack it on the off chance I have time to use it. Also, the weather for the conference is looking good – highs in the lower 60s and less than a 20% chance of rain. Since many of our activities on Tuesday afternoon are outdoors, fingers crossed that it stays that way. We have hiking, biking, kayaking, golf… all sorts of “get out and get active” things that hopefully will go over well.

Goals for the week – stay within my calorie allotment and do something physical, like another half hour on the treadmill, or maybe some weight lifting at home. Wednesday I have a massage scheduled (90 minutes – woot), and Thursday I can make the Yin/Restorative Yoga class at 7:30 if work isn’t too crazy that day. Friday will be laundry, Saturday is dance class and packing, because Sunday is a travel day.

I’m really looking forward to the conference and seeing all this insanity come together, but I’ll be really really glad when it’s over!!