Sunday, January 13, 2013

Looking Back

I can't believe it's almost been a month since my last post. I am so sorry. A lot has happened in that 30 days!

1. The holidays:

The holidays were a blur. Mostly because when you cram 7 people, two dogs and a cat into one small home, things get blurry. Partly because you're mentally blocking out the whirlwind of mess, stuff, and food that explodes out of every available nook and cranny onto every available surface and party because that many creatures in one home is quite overwhelming!

Christmas was wonderful though, having all of my family with me was so wonderful.  I do not say this enough: I love my family.

From left to right: Scott (sister's boyfriend), Laurel (sister), Aunt Betsy, Dad, Mom, Me, Tyler (mine!)
2. Reinjury:

Another factor to why the holidays were a blur is that on Christmas Eve, I slipped and fell in the parking lot at work, and in twisting to rescue my brain from the corner of the curb, my back went "pop"! Resetting all of my wonderful healing progress back to negative square one. Huzzah!

It sucks. I am so. Done. With. This.

I attempted to work that Thursday after Christmas, hoping the two and a half days of crowded "rest" I got were enough.

They weren't.

I've been out on leave ever since. The only good news is that I still don't need surgery. The bad news is I get to start all over again in that stupid healing process and dealing with MetLife and worker's comp and all that fun stuff. Ugh.

The only thing worse than the pain is dealing with the corporate bureaucracy that is medical coverage and leave. SUCK is what it is. Oh well, at least I know what I'm doing this time around (sort of). And my doctor told me I was the first person she's seen in a while that actually wanted to go back to work. Maybe something to do with the fact that I just did this and it sucks and its boring and I hate it and it hurts and I never want to deal with this again...

3. Wedding rings:

We bought our wedding rings! So fun. So exciting. I can't wait to marry this man of mine. He's pretty stinkin' wonderful.

4. Resolutions:

To be honest, my only resolution this year is that I'm going to run a half marathon. Period. End of story. I'm tired of being injured, I'm tired of hurting. I miss running. I miss it so so much. So, I'm going to do everything in my power to heal and get back on the road in my running shoes.

BUT, I did have a nice reflection over the success of my resolutions last year.

Let me remind you:

1. Bake more/cook more.

2. Blog more.

3. Exercise and Get In Shape.

Now, as for the first one, I did do that in fits and spurts. But it happened. Not as much as it should have, but it did.

Number two was also quite successful. In 2012, I did a whopping 102 blog posts, compared to 2011's 62! Even with the new addition to our family and my injury, I managed to churn out 40 more blog posts than the previous year. Hopefully I can keep that up, though it's already not looking great :)

The third resolution I made last year was by far the most successful. Now, here's where we get down and dirty and talk about WEIGHT. If you don't like the subject, I'd recommend you stop reading right now.

The thing you must know about me is that I have never been bashful about admitting my weight. I might not be happy about it, I might not like it, but I will openly admit it. Because no one is perfect, and everyone is different, so just because a certain weight suits my body, doesn't mean it suits yours. Please, keep that in mind. That's my disclaimer.

In January 2012, I weighed in at 153 lbs. I cried. I climbed into my swimsuit for my family vacation to Mexico and cried. Now, I will be honest: I was not fat by many people's standards.  I was definitely rounder than I would have liked, and unhappy with the way I looked, and definitely stretching it on the "healthy weight" chart for my height. But again, weight is an individual struggle. I cannot stress enough that every body and every person is different, and no one should judge themselves by me or anyone else, simply by themselves.

Regardless, 153 was the most I've weighed, even in my most "fat" moments, I had never been quite that. I did some research, and set some reasonable goals. Healthy weight loss means 1 lb. per week, because healthy weight loss is also about maintenance. If you crash diet, you'll gain it right back.

I also set reasonable expectations for myself. I was honest with how much I would work out and realistic about probable re-gain after I stopped "dieting."

My goal was 20 lbs in 5 months. A little less than a pound a week.

I'm not going to lie. It was really really hard. I am 100% a food-oriented person. I am a stress eater, I am a boredom eater. I like food. Luckily, I like healthy food. I mean, I love me my sugar, but I really really like broccoli. And apples. And bean and cheese burritos. And salad with just lettuce and Bernstien's Restaurant Italian dressing.

I used an app called MyFitnessPal which works on my phone and my iPad and my computer, so I never had an excuse for not recording what I ate. And often, I'd record it before it even went in my mouth. It was eye opening.

I would reason with myself, "I can have this bag of M&M's now, or after dinner, I can have my half cup of Chocolate Mint Chip ice cream." And it worked. Prioritizing what I actually wanted to eat worked really well. Also, eating slowly. Putting my fork down after each bite, and cutting things (like apples) into small pieces to force myself to consume them less quickly. Did you know that it takes 30 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you're full? And that the average recommended portion size is half of what we usually serve ourselves?

Try it. Weigh your food. You'll be hungry for the first couple days, and then you become acclimated to actual portion sizes, and you'll be satisfied. I'm not as neurotic about it as that sounds, but I discovered that I could still consume enough nutritional calories to stay healthy without overeating. And that was the biggest struggle, not recording my food, not watching the calorie intake, but putting my fork down when I was satisfied.

I still ate what I wanted. I drank beer, ate ice cream, had cookies. I did start drinking less juice, because I noticed that 150 calories is quite a lot of satisfying food and in many juices, there's 150 calories in an 8 oz. glass. That's 2.5 apples. Frankly, I'd rather eat the 2.5 apples and feel full than drink the 8 oz. glass of juice and still be hungry.

The other thing that worked for me was that the app would calculate exercise as negative calories, which means that if you run more you can eat more.  There were a couple evenings that I ran an extra mile so we could go have Chinese food, or so I could have my 150 calorie glass of wine.

Anyways. I succeeded. At my lowest weight, I was 132.5 lbs., though I didn't hit that til late June (6 months). I have bounced back up a little bit, and am at 138, but I expected that — I factored that in. I've been maintaining at that weight and I'm satisfied with it. Is it the thinnest I've ever been? No, most certainly not. Am I honestly, 100% happy with my body each and every day? No. But that wasn't my expectation.

I am proud of my accomplishment, I learned new things about eating habits that have for the most part, stuck with me. Do I still overeat at times? Yes, old habits die hard. But I got to watch my body go through a noticeable transformation. Did everyone notice? No. My family didn't notice when they saw me at the end of May, but more people did than I expected.

Tyler didn't notice either, but then, he lives with me and by default he pretty much thinks I'm the most beautiful woman in the world.

Most importantly though, I noticed. When I went to the gym, I saw it in my butt and in my shoulders. I saw it in my face and in the way my watch fit on my wrist. I saw it in the way my workout clothes fit me and in the way my pants went from snug to comfortable to baggy.

I'm done talking about weight and food and such now. I can't guarantee that I won't talk about it again, but for now I'm done. It's a sensitive subject, and if any offense came from this, I promise you, none was intended. I simply wanted to share my journey and my personal success and my personal pride.

Hopefully your resolutions were successful in 2012, but even if they weren't, the good news it's a new year and you can try again!