January 13, 2012

Roses and thorns

I'm going to get better about consistency with posting weigh-ins. My semester of maintenance is over, and I'm ready to move on and get back to what I know works best for me, a big part of which is the accountability I feel from blogging regularly. Will I get back to daily blogging like before? I don't know. I like the freedom of writing when *I* want. But I do want it to become more regular - at least my Fridays and Sundays. Fridays have always been weigh ins, Sundays are new recipes ... plus Mondays are challenge posts (when there is one going on), and you're subject to my various throughts and ramblings on the other days.

That said, this is a weigh-in post, and I'm down 3 pounds this week, to 198. I'm pleased, for a few reasons. One, because I said I'd be back in onederland and here I am. I may slip sometimes, but I haven't fallen just yet. This plateau hasn't gotten the best of me. And two, because I didn't overdo it with calories in *or* out this week - no excessive bike rides to counter bad eating.

Things that have helped me stay on track this week:
  • Drinking a gallon of water a day - not only does it flush you out, but it definitely helps curb overeating.

  • Not buying my trigger foods - huge NSV when I won over the bargaining voice in my head and didn't buy wraps at the store ... "to make sandwiches," the voice said. Ha! Yes, they're a great lunch. But I also know I have a hard time with eating just one wrap, so it's easier to avoid them entirely. Anything good on a sandwich is also good on top of a salad. Win, win.

  • Eating lots of delicious and healthy foods - using my food processor to make green smoothies (and my new favorite, using half the smoothie to make overnight oats!)...

    ...and roasting tons of vegetables (I'm entirely addicted to broccoli and brussels sprouts)

  • Keeping my goals in mind - long-term, I have about 40 pounds to lose in order to reach the higher end of my goal weight spectrum. With a loss of less than a pound a week, this means I could reach my goal weight this year. A little scary, but really awesome. And short-term ... well, I've got some big stuff coming up this weekend.

I can't believe I'm at the end of the training schedule. I can't believe this weekend is here. I can't believe that in a few days, I will be a half-marathoner. It's a crazy feeling. I've been rereading some of the half recaps and lessons learned that I've bookmarked over the years (one of my favorites is Ann's, seriously so helpful!), trying to get as mentally prepared as possible. I'll be heading to Los Angeles tomorrow morning, with plenty of time to think and do some offline writing.

What about you? Have you ever ran a half-marathon? What suggestions or advice do you have for a first timer? Also, what are your favorite overnight oat mix-ins? I want to keep it different all the time so I don't get bored!

January 10, 2012


When we got to San Francisco, I had lost some of my Connecticut binge weight, but I was still over 200 pounds - the highest weight I'd been in six or seven months.

It's interesting, then, that looking at the pictures, I look really, genuinely happy. Not hiding my body. Not ashamed of the regain.

Walking up Lombard Street

Lombard Street and Crissy Field

Coit Tower

I'm out there, actively enjoying a great city with someone who is incredibly supportive of my healthy living goals - and who reminds me that I am lovely and successful even when I see my body at its recent worst.

I've been thinking a lot about seeking peace since reading a post by Mary a few weeks ago:
It may not be my dream, but it is my life and I need to make peace so I can live a full life from where I am.
I know what I want long-term, and I know what I need to do to improve on where I am, but for now, I'm at peace with everything, and that is so completely important. Getting back to Geneen Roth and her ideas about not waiting for "someday" to be happy - when we reach our goals, she says, they will be in the Right Now. And we absolutely have to be mindful of that.

I'm still doing well - eating well, drinking lots of water, running and biking everywhere, and back in onederland as of yesterday morning. My weight is not ideal right now, but the conditions are right and motivation is high, and I am pushing forward in hopes of finally breaking the plateau, of getting to the 180s and then moving forward. It's not a formal resolution, but I know I'm capable of reaching my goal weight in 2012. I'm really looking forward to making progress on this and my other healthy living goals.

In the meantime, though, I'm happy. I've found a peace that has been largely absent since moving to California, and I'm finally feeling settled and ready to pick up where I left off back in August. The semester starts soon, but I'm no longer new here. It seems simple, but this one bit of consistency will help incredibly with getting back to the kinds of routines I had back in Chicago.

What about you? How do *you* make peace with the "right now" - that is to say, how do you stay positive in the present while remaining optimistic about the future?

January 8, 2012

Dietary indiscretion

The day before I left Connecticut, I woke up at 4 a.m. to hear someone shouting my sister's name. It was my dad, and since my sister was deep asleep with her bedroom door closed, I ran out to see what was the matter.
... I need to go to the E.R.
I woke up my sister, threw on some clothes, and helped Dad to the car. A half an hour later, he was on a hospital bed, being tested, poked, prodded, and questioned.

Flashback to a few hours earlier. My father is diabetic, and has to regularly test his blood sugar levels. Whether you are diabetic or not, the things you eat and drink affect your blood sugar - but being diabetic means my father needs to be extra careful with what he consumes because his body simpldy does not make enough insulin to properly process glucose. In addition to the diabetes, my father has other health problems that have forced him to need to follow an exeptionally strict diet: he has to watch his sugar, sodium, protein, and liquid intake. The liquid is one of the biggest issues right now, as it is fairly new. Because of kidney failure, my father has to carefully restrict his liquid intake (even with watery foods - tomatoes, for example, count as liquids), and he has to go to dialysis a few times a week. My sister cooks on-plan meals for him and his brother drives him to the dialysis facility since he really can't drive himself anymore.

Since he's started going to dialysis, he's felt better, because he's been more careful about his diet. How he feels is directly related to what he eats. And the night before we headed to the emergency room, his blood sugar tested so high, his home test kit couldn't even register the number. I gave him a shot of insulin to help regulate it, then waited an hour to test again. Still too high - more insulin, another hour. Finally, we got a numeric readout - it was over 500. To put this in perspective, a healthy/normal range is typically between 65 and 105. We waited another hour, and then it was in the 400s. Then the 200s. And then he felt better ... until 4 a.m., when he woke us up because he hadn't slept, and because he'd been having trouble catching his breath all night.

We waited next to his bed as doctors and nurses filed in, one after the other, asking questions, drawing blood, checking his pulse and blood pressure. Finally, he fell asleep and the doctor said they would have him stay for observation now, but we could bring him to his scheduled dialysis later that day, and my sister and I could head home for a few hours to sleep.

Upon returning, we found our father's bed missing from the E.R. The main doctor who had been caring for him said a bed had opened up and he was being dialysed on-site. Dad was wheeled back in shortly thereafter, and after a few talks with several different doctors, it was decided that he didn't need to be admitted to the hospital overnight, but he *would* need an extra trip to the dialysis unit the next day.

It was both a relief and a frustration. Good, because he was mostly fine and I could see him at home before I left. But tough at the same time, because the reason he ended up in the emergency room was, according to his doctor, "dietary indiscretion over the holidays."

Dietary indiscretion.

It's something bloggers have all been talking about since before Halloween - worries and concerns about overdoing it with our holiday eating. For me, it's an important concern, but not life threatening. For my father, though, it's near fatal. He consumed way too many liquids, and his body simply couldn't handle it. It doesn't matter how much he enjoys something - his body has limits and he has no choice but to respect them. There cannot be such thing as an off-plan day for him.

One of the most stressful things about being home for me is seeing how my father takes care of his health - or, more honestly, how he doesn't. I laid out all his pills for him in his daily pill case, but he didn't always take them. He knew he can't be drinking so much, but he did anyway. It's incredibly tough not only to see someone you love deteriorate in front of you, but to know that there are things he could be doing to stay in his best possible condition, yet he chooses not to do them.

It really made me think a lot about my own eating habits. Like I mentioned on Friday with my weigh in, there are a lot of weight-related health problems that run in my family, so I need to control what I can control and do whatever I can to stay as healthy as possible.