Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dressing Room Disaster

I would be a lot thinner if I tried on clothes in a dressing room more often.  I've mentioned before that I think I have a 'skinny mirror' in my bedroom.  I look great in that mirror every morning - then I see myself in a window or mirror in public and don't even recognize my chubby self.  It's frightening. 

Today, I finally broke down and bought new underwear.  I hadn't bought any in over 3 years (before I had kids) aside from a pack of cheap Walmart cotton undies which are hardly flattering.  Target, however, is selling some super cute coordinating sets.  I was in a huge hurry because I had 20 minutes to pick things out and try them on before I had to rush off to the doctor, but I filled up my cart with what I thought was my size and ran to the dressing room to try things on.

The good news - I fit into the smallest size I selected.  The bad news - not only did Target not have 'skinny mirrors,' they had wrap-around mirrors.  Meaning I could see all the chub on every side clear as day.  Since I was 105 lbs the last time I tried on undies, I was used to seeing myself look cute and trim in cute underthings.  Not this time.  All I saw was chub here and jiggle there and that 'mommy belly' staring right back at me.  Ewwwww.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted to go run 10 miles.  I wished I could un-eat the piece of cake I chased my yogurt with at breakfast (thankfully the cake is all gone now).  But it did give me more resolve.

However I may feel, and whatever the scale says, I am NOT thin.  Moreover, I am definitely NOT toned.  I can't actually get away with eating a candy bar or dessert every day.  I can't eat off of brimming regular sized plates.  I can't sit around and blog or nap or read or otherwise be lazy during naptime when I need to be on my elliptical or (especially!!) doing strength moves to get my muscles back. 

I miss going to the store and being excited to try clothes on because they actually looked cute in the mirror.  I miss knowing what size I wear.  I miss going to the beach without terror of being seen in a swimsuit.  I miss looking in the mirror without being sad.  I miss being strong.  I miss being able to run around all day without getting tired, lifting heavy items without wanting to die, standing up straight because my abs could hold me up.  

I'm considering this a wake up call.  I have them all the time and they last all of 2 or 3 days on average.  But this time I have a secret weapon.  Any time I'm getting too complacent about my weight or my appearance - I'll hit the dressing room.  I'll try on a swimsuit or a new bra.  And if I want to cry, it's time to hit the pavement and log some miles. 

It's all about perspective and today I got a healthy dose.  At least I learned!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

12 Week Challenge: Week 5

How did you do with your water intake?  I carried my cup with me everywhere and, as much as possible, tried to increase my consumption.  I did ok most days, though, as usual I sometimes got so busy I'd forget. 

This week, we're stepping it up and stepping out!

Week 5: Make Each Day More Active

Pretty simple.  Be mindful about moving your tush a little more each day.  Get up out of your chair at least once and hour to stretch and move.  If you can take a short walk, great.  If not, do some quick squats or wall-push-ups.  Park farther from the door, take the stairs instead of the elevator, chase the kids in the park instead of sitting on the bench while they play.  Do plies while folding laundry, situps while watching tv, or grapevines while brushing your teeth.  Wander the house/office while you're on the phone.  Turn on some loud music and power-clean the house.   Add random jumping jacks to your daily routine. 

If you're really ambitious - track your week.  When you sit down, jot down the time.  When you get up to move, note the time again.  At the end of the day, tally up all the time you spend sitting.  You might be surprised that you're not nearly as active as you thought.  Or, you could be pleasantly surprised to see that you're more of a mover than you realized. 

Are you a planner?  Do you live by your calendar?  Schedule in regular exercise sessions, even if it's only for 15 minutes a day.  Stick a casserole in the oven, crank up the resistance on the elliptical, and rock out to a couple of your favorite tunes.  Run around the block once or twice when you get out of the car.  Challenge the kids to a dance-off.  Look for the little opportunities.  Putting in a long, hard workout is great - but if you don't have the time (and really, these days who does?) then every little bit counts. 

I can't wait to hear from you next week to see what sneaky little workouts you squeezed in!

This week's stats:

weight: 120 (yay down 2 lbs - though I think these V-day cupcakes will nix that loss)
Days I worked out: 1 (and it was intense.  and the next day I was sick as a dog.  bummer)
Days I ate junk: 7 (the candybar habit just won't be kicked)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Put Down That Fork and Go For A Run

This was me about 5 years ago.  That's not so long ago.  I think I'm around 105 lbs in this picture.  I can't even squeeze into this dress anymore, let alone look good in it. 

What do I do differently now than I did then? 

1) bake all the time
2) eat a candy bar pretty much every day
3) eat 3 HUGE meals a day
4) not work out one minute of the day

Before kids, I'd eat a cup of yogurt for breakfast (if anything at all), a salad for lunch, and a small dinner.  If it were a really special occasion, I'd have a cookie or a piece of cake.  I didn't care much about food.  I'd take long walks in the afternoon, put on some upbeat music and strength train.  I'd go to the gym, or dance - just move!

I tend to blame my kids for my current weight.  When do I find the time to work out when I have them home all day?  I can't let that food go to waste, so I'll just clean their plates.  They love cookies, so let's bake!

No one is forcing me to buy another candy bar.  No one is forcing me to blog/nap/craft during nap time when I've scheduled my workout.  No one is forcing me to watch tv instead of tracking my calories.  No one hid my lettuce and replaced it with mac'n'cheese.  It's my own lack of willpower that's keeping me fat.  It's my own laziness and gluttony.  Some day I'm going to have to stop blaming others and just do it!

I'm armed with a printer and a stack of 5-year-old photos.  I will post them around the house as a reminder of who I want to be.  And by summer, I will be able to wear that dress again (maybe not quite that well, but it will fit).

This is my new resolution.  Here we go.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Could Use A Hug

I've been struggling a lot lately. I know what I should be thinking and feeling and doing. But that's not the way it goes. I know that I should love my body for what it can do. I should be grateful for my health and dedicated to maintaining it through healthy eating and regular exercise. Instead, I'm hating my body. All its lumps and bumps. Its lack of definition. The little irksome syndromes and -itises and intolerances I have. And mostly, my own lack of willpower. Every morning I wake up resolved to eat healthily. And every day I sneak a candy bar, shovel down cereal and cheese, and fill up on warm comfort foods. I haven't stocked up on enough fruits and veggies and it's so easy to think "but I'm chilly, I'd much rather have mac'n'cheese than a salad." I always intend to work out at naptime. I even wrote it into the schedule posted on my fridge. But I'm always too busy, or too tired, or too sick. And then I look with envy at the shapely girls with muscles and think "they're so lucky, why do they get to be so pretty when I'm so chubby and old looking?"  Well, silly, it might be good breeding - but much more likely, they're just more disciplined. 

I want to dance.  Very very much.  I've been looking into finding a dance class I could take that will fit my schedule (aka early evening near by).  I really think that it would give me the push I need to get healthy again.  I could celebrate my body and the beautiful things it can do - and I'd probably get in shape in the process.  It's something I truly love, so I'd be more likely to stick with it - to look forward to it.  And to practice at home.  But it's apparently not a popular happening on my side of town and if I have to drive very far I'll start making up excuses not to go.  I want to feel beautiful, to feel powerful - and I do when I'm dancing.  I'm not very good at it, I'm quite the awkward duck, but the point is that it feels beautiful. 

I'm tired of hating myself.  I'm tired of wanting to see my bones, of wanting my clothes to hang off of me, of wanting to be some twisted form of perfect that I know in my heart is not an improvement over my current shape.   I'm tired of letting the demons win.  I just want someone to sit me down and look me in the eye and tell me "sweetie, you're a woman.  and women are beautiful no matter what shape they are."  And more than that - I just don't want to care!  Some of the most beautiful women I know are beautiful because they don't care how they look.  It's not important to them.  Life is important to them and they live it to the fullest and that is beautiful.  I'm tired of feeling awkward in my own skin.  I'm tired of being so painfully shy that I'm afraid to look people in the eyes.  I'm tired of thinking I'm not good enough or interesting enough for other people to waste their time on.  I'm tired of caring if other people care. 

And I'm tired of whining.  So I'm going to stop.  I'm going to spend the rest of my day seeking out my blessings and numbering them - shouting them out with praise and joy.  Because I am immensely blessed and it's silly of me to let these stupid little demons get in my way.  That's when they win.  I won't let them win.  But if you see me out somewhere today - I could use a hug...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

12 Week Challenge: Week 4

How did you do on week 3's challenge to think more positively?  I had good days and bad days but, for the most part, found that I am growing to be more comfortable in my own skin.  I even went to a meeting the other day in old jeans, a sweatshirt and no makeup and it didn't phase me.  Which is huge progress on my part. 

Sorry I've been a little MIA - I've been trying really hard to get more balance in my life.  It's one of my major goals for the year and I've been doing pretty well - but it does require me to stay off the internet a bit more.  So - here is the next step in the 12 Week Challenge.

Week 4: Drink More Water

Another easy peasy challenge that will do you a world of good.  I've noticed that my oldest son and I both need to improve in the hydration department.  He drinks almost no water (or anything else) all day long.  I'm beginning to think it could have something to do with his constant crankiness.  It's hard to feel your best when you're terribly dehydrated.  

I've taken up carrying around a water bottle with me everywhere I go - in the car, around the house, to bed at night.  Remembering to keep sipping from it can be difficult, but I try to take a drink every time I feel thirsty (which is all the time - yay Sjogren's). 

So your assignment for the week is to drink as much water as possible.  They say to aim for 8 8-oz glasses a day, but any improvement is good.  We like to keep a pitcher full of water that we pour from all day - that way we can measure how much we've drunk without having to count glasses.  You could stick a little dry-erase sticker to your bottle and make a check every time you refill.  Or, it might just be enough to keep an extra bottle or cup with you at all times so you're never without a drink. 

Hate plain water?  Add a little (plain) tea, a splash of lemon juice, or dilute juice with seltzer 1:3.  Just drink up!

That's it for this week.  Don't forget to join our facebook page to keep up with your progress :)  

This week's stats:

weight: 122
days I worked out: 1
days I ate junk: 7