Monday, January 30, 2012

Gravy (My Life Monday)

Bet you thought this post was going to be about food. Maybe biscuits and gravy, or something kind of like?
This is Gravy.

Gravy is sad.
He has a hurt paw.
His back left paw is sore and swollen.
Gravy is walking kind of skijawed. (That's a word, no?)
Gravy will be going to the vet later today.
He doesn't know this yet.
Poor Gravy.

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Life Monday - Foot Scan

So when I went in to my friendly neighborhood Curves this morning I noticed something a bit different going on. A local chiropractor was offering free health screenings on balance and posture. Well, this should be interesting, I thought.
I am quite possibly the least balanced person I know. I can fall dead-down to the floor while standing perfectly still. Not to mention the damage I can do to myself when I'm just walking along.
I filled out the little questionnaire. Back pain? Check. Neck pain? Check. Headaches? Occasional Check. Trouble sleeping? Check. Foot pain? Double Check! I figured the lady was going to take one look at my health history and politely point me in another direction. Or maybe that was dollar signs I saw in her eyes. She was probably calculating just how many of her children she would be able to send to Harvard based on my office visits alone.
She had a fascinating little machine that looked like something from the holo-deck of the S.S.Enterprise. I stepped on it and through a little window it literally scans your feet and the pressure you exert as you stand. I felt like a can of peas at the grocery store.
Just a sample. Not my actual scan. My left showed a lot more red and my right only had pressure in the heal and on the ball. Weired, huh?
It was, however, pretty dang interesting. I learned that I place a lot of pressure on my left foot. Not surprising since I've broken the right one like a hundred times. (Really only 4 - but oh, my god, have you ever broken your foot? OUCH!) As a consequence my spine and therefore balance are severely out of alignment. Add in my not-at-all-attractive ginormous boobs and you can see how the back and neck pain can come into play.
So I will be going to the chiropractor on Wednesday. I'm not sure at all how I feel about having someone crack on my spine, but I am very interested in the custom orthotic inserts for my shoes that could help correct the balance problem. We'll see what the good doctor says before I actually agree to a treatment plan. But I will definitely let you guys know.
Now I'm tired and I'm going to put my feet up.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Life Monday - Accountability

I know, like everyone else in the world, that when you're trying to lose weight it is super duper important to track your food and exercise. You've got to keep a food diary and you've got to write down everything.
Every. Freakin'. Bite.
There will come a time when you think you've got it licked and you don't need to write it all down anymore. You will be wrong.
If food is your problem - and god knows it is mine - you have to take away food's power. Yes, I know I sound like Dr. Phil, but it's true and it's taken me a long time to get here so listen. You gave food all the power to make you happy or make you feel better or occupy you while you watch TV. Now you are going to give food the power to fuel your body and make yourself healthy.
I am not saying that you can't enjoy your food - far from it. Because, listen, I really really really like my food. I like to cook it, I like to read about it and write about it, and heaven knows I like to eat it. And I don't see that changing anytime soon. To think otherwise would be ridiculous and unrealistic.
However, by writing everything down I am held accountable. Not so much for what I am eating but why I am eating it.
"Oooohhhh, cookies!"
"Do I really want to eat that cookie?"
"I'm going to have to write it down if I do."
"Do I really want to look at that on my report?"
"Hmmm? Maybe I'll just wait and see if I still want that cookie in an hour."
Sometimes I do, and if it isn't going to wreck my calories for the day then I go ahead and eat the cookie. And write it down. And move on.
And sometimes I don't even want the cookie. I know. . . Mind Blown!
I've tried Weight Watchers. Didn't care for it. Too much math and pressure and math. And I've tried keeping a notebook with me and writing everything down manually. And I've tried pre-printed calorie counting journals. None of it worked .
Then The Captain got me the Kindle Fire for Christmas and I downloaded the myfitnesspal app. I am in love. This thing is so easy.
Seriously go to my fitness pal and set up your free account. It could not be easier!
I input all my food for the day (this thing has, like, all the foods and their nutritional info) and all my exercising and it calculates everything for me and gives me my own customized little daily report.  And you can get weekly and monthly reports for everything including food, exercise, and progress.
And my very most favorite thing of all is that after you have added all your info for the day you get a little graphic that says : If every day were like today you would weight X pounds in 5 weeks. Talk about a real motivator. Incredible!

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Life Monday

As many of you may (or may not) know along with writing here at Fat Girl Slim, I also write at Bit of the Bluegrass. Also I have recently returned to working on a novel I started years ago. Recently things have gotten a little hectic, shall we say?, here in our little house on the hill and I haven't been able to give as much attention to my writing as I would like to.
In November I had a bit of a health issue (nothing serious, just a little something to throw a wrench in all my plans). Right before that our refrigerator died resulting in countless visits from the repairman and hundreds of dollars into his kids' college funds all culminating in the eventual purchase of a brand new fridge. (I hate you, Kenmore!) Then there was the 14 hour road trip to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving (without The Captain). And the holidays tried to kill me. Seriously. And of course both the kids have school and practice and games and guitar lessons and gymnastics and on and on and on. . . Always keeping in mind that The Captain has his own home and away schedule that rolls around every 28 days.
All of this has added up to one very stressed out mama. (see health issue above).
But all of that is finally in the rear-view mirror. Excepting, of course, the kids and The Captains schedules. It's a New Year and I am trying out a few new get-my-ass-back-on-track tips and tricks.
There were two main areas of my life that I really wanted to try and tackle. My house and my body.
Sooooo. . .
Part One.
My house. (cue the ominous music - DUN DUN DUN)
As anyone who know me will attest, I am not a good housekeeper. It's OK, I know. I can keep things clean in the sense that the health department is not going to come and shut us down but the clutter is where I get completely shut out. I wash the clothes and get distracted forgetting to fold them. The kids leave papers all over the house and it never occurs to me to pick them up. There are shoes all over the front hall. Books get left wherever it was they were last read. And the magazines! My god, the magazines. I will confess to having a serious magazine addiction. So much so that The Captain thought it a good idea to get me a Kindle Fire for Christmas in the hopes that I could subscribe to at least a few of them digitally. Love him!
We have had various cleaning ladies who have left for a variety of reasons. No, they didn't quit because my house was so unmanageable. I don't think. And when they were here all was nirvana. I had one particularly wonderful cleaning lady who I will call Angel, because that's how I thought of her, who washed down all the blades on all my ceiling fans! Did you know you were supposed to wash those things? Hmmm?
However, I have been without a cleaning lady for the better part of a year and the state of my house has definitely reflected this. I have thought about interviewing for another, and I still may, but I really do need to do better on my own. To that end, I took a long hard look at myself. Man that hurt. I discovered that my true problem with cleaning was due to two main factors.
Number one - I never learned to clean. No, it's true. My mother is more than slightly OCD about housekeeping. Added to that my dad and my grandmother always employed housekeepers, so that having someone else pick up after me was just what seemed natural. Even after I was married with a house of my own and there was no one there to do it.
Number two - I am easily distracted. Seriously. Like a squirrel on crack. It's why I can wash the clothes but never fold them or pick up the shoes but forget the magazines. It's also why I can go help a friend with her deep cleaning project but be completely stymied by my own.
I know that I do better with everything when I have a concrete schedule to stick to. So that's what I did. Made myself a little schedule. It seems to be working after the first week. I plan on keeping with the cleaning schedule for the rest of this week and sharing with y'all the results this time next week.
That takes us to Part Two.
My body. (the music that accompanies this is more like sad little violin music)
I have been overweight my entire adult life and I am sick of it. Sick. Of. It! A few years ago I got serious and lost 40 pounds. That's when I started Fat Girl Slim. At that time I never would have dreamed that I would still be struggling this far into the future.
Another hard look at myself resulted int the discovery that I had just, flat out, gotten lazy. Yes, I had managed to keep off the first 40 pounds but I hadn't gone any further. I had gotten complacent with my workouts and worse, my eating was atrocious.
So I'm back in the gym. And I'm adding more cardio because I know that, even though I desperately HATE it, my body does so much better when I get a lot of cardio. I'm shooting for gym time 4x/week and cardio for at least 30 minutes for 6x/week. It's actually easier time-wise that I would have thought. I go to the gym right after I drop the kids at school and add the extra cardio right after that so that I am usually done with all of it by 9:30 am.
I did this all last week and did really good. I feel sooooo much better to get back into a workout routine. My back and knees feel better. I am sleeping better at night. And I just generally have more energy on days that I workout that on days that I don't.
This week I'll be working on continuing this while focusing more on my eating. The plan is to limit carbs to whole grain only, adding more water, and breaking things down to 5-6 small meals a day rather than 3 (really) big ones. Next week I'm going to focus on adding more protein. I'll let you know how it goes.
So there you have. More than you probably wanted to know about where I am right now. But guess what? I don't care because this is my blog and I can write what I wanna. And if I'm still alive next week, I'm going to share even more. So there!