Still NOT dieting

I eat what I want, when I want.  I admit for over a year, I didn’t make the healthiest food choices.  And I gained 27 pounds.  Some people may find that unbearable.  But for me, facing another failed diet was unbearable to me.  Just could not do it anymore.  The calorie counting, point counting, tracking, weighing, measuring, fretting over a one pound gain, and crying because those new pants I bought last month are now too tight!!

Now I have freedom from all that nonsense.  My doctor wasn’t impressed by my weight gain, but when I explained to her that I have spent most of my life with disordered eating patterns she let go of the diet advice.  I asked her once directly how could I successfully lose weight and keep it off for good.  She mentioned something about the Mediterranean diet but was not able to offer any evidence that it works in the long term.

My weight has been very stable the last couple years and only fluctuates a pound or two. I’m currently forced into inactivity due to my accident and I’m not panicked like I used to about potential weight gain.

My eating habits are improved now, but I focus on nutrition AND taste.  I am NEVER eating kale, and please don’t tell me how great it is in smoothie, I can taste it in there… BLECH!

I am proof there is life after dieting. For me it took a long time to transition from a dieter to a non-dieter.  But I am also in my 40s and went on my first diet as a child.  If someone wants to diet, I would never discourage them because it’s none of my business.  But likewise, I wish people would cease with dispensing the diet advice.  The no-sugar thing seems to be the trend of the month.  I like sugar, I’m gonna keep eating it.  If dieting taught me one thing, the moment I restrict myself from eating something then that’s all I want.

Now excuse me while I go eat a pop tart.

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What getting hit by a car taught me…

Today is two weeks since the accident. Although I wasn’t critically injured by the accident, I’m still very sore.  I am still surprised by how tired I am, not sure I thought about how I’d feel later after the accident.  Once I realized I was still alive and not paralyzed that was all that mattered.  That moment was so surreal and I felt numb emotionally, I’ve been told that is shock. Hearing my friend scream out my name still rings in my ears.

But I have to back up to what the last year or better has been like.  I haven’t posted because I was disengaged from everything.  The depression I started feeling over a year ago didn’t just linger but it slowly got worse.  Fall of last year I ‘gave in’ and went to my doctor for help.  That turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.  After that, I quit school… at least for now.  I could not remember why I started working on the degree, and was so exhausted that it felt overwhelming to try and continue.

Fast forward to mid-January this year and I really started to get my groove back.  I started to run again, went back to martial arts and was eating well. I went to someone to share how I was feeling and to get additional support. I even started meditating!  I was doing all the things I needed to do to take care of myself.

And then, I got hit by a car.  I learned that I can endure a lot of pain.  I learned that my initial reaction to the driver was not anger, that was a shock to me!  And I learned in spite of the pain and hassle of doctor appointments and insurance paperwork I can still be happy.  I shudder to think how I would have felt a year ago if this happened, when I wasn’t doing such a great job of taking care of myself.

Don’t get me wrong, this has been a painful and stressful experience.  And I have hours of physio and other appointments ahead of me.  I am also concerned about this major interruption in my workout routine… walking is exhausting right now!  Now that I know I was able to bring myself back from depression because I asked for help, that’s the way I can recover from this, to rely on others for help.  There’s no medal for going through any of this alone.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Suck

I know a number of people that make resolutions each new year, and usually they fail to keep those resolutions.  I’m not certain when that tradition started, but it drives me nuts every year.  Specifically the number of advertisements that pop up for weight loss crap, whether it’s a cereal product or piece of exercise equipment.  I saw at least a dozen today while trying to watch football.  Each commercial proposed in some way that this can be a new you!  a fresh start!

I think the reason resolutions fail is that people believe proclaiming they are going to start on January 1st, that magically because of the date they will be successful.  And usually this means there’s no plan.  I don’t care what the resolution is, if there’s no plan, there’s rarely success.

My own struggle to work out in the morning is a perfect example of not having a good plan At first, I just told myself I’d work out in the morning.  But I didn’t change how I organized my mornings, I just set my alarm earlier.  Fail.  I didn’t plan what I was going to do specifically, I’d wait until the morning to see what I felt like doing. Fail.  Of course I know better.  Anytime in the past I had a plan I completed the goal that I set out to do. For example, having a schedule to train for a half marathon was crucial. My goal has shifted to schedule activity in every day, sometimes that means doing it in the morning but not always.  I am planning to do a race in the spring, and I am scheduling those runs in.  I have started strength training sessions with a good friend and her personal trainer (more about that soon). Those sessions are planned ahead of time on a regular basis, and it makes it easier to stick to when I know someone is expecting me there.

Resolutions suck because there’s no magic in January 1st.  It also sucks because I’ve seen people really enthusiastic at the start of the New Year, and then they are beating themselves up by end of February because they didn’t stick to that diet, exercise, not smoking, whatever.  They would be far more successful if they had made a solid plan, and if they strayed from the plan they could just pick right back up from where they strayed off. It doesn’t have to be perfection vs. failure. And the day you start is not that important.

Morning workouts, STILL a work in progress

I’m still working on working out in the morning.  So far I’m managing only two or three mornings a week.  However, I did have a cyst develop in my foot and that affected a lot of what I could do.  And then I got sick. 😦  One round of antibiotics later and I seem to be on the mend again! Although I am not a morning person, I am going to keep trying.  I can not deny that I feel AWESOME all day when I do yoga or get on my treadmill in the morning.  I feel all shiny and refreshed all day.  It also feels good when I get home from work knowing that I can make dinner and then just relax.

I’m giving up my gym membership.  The gym and classes are just not for me anymore.  I have had enough negative experiences at the gym now that I rarely feel like going.  I have received unsolicited advice, usually from people that seem to assume from my appearance that I’m new to working out, and it’s a waste of my time and energy to try to explain to them otherwise.  I have also ended up beside people that smelled like they bathed in perfume, and one guy that frequently gets on a bike near me in spin class that always smells like tuna! gross!  And now that cold and flu season is starting, there are people that go to the gym and proceed to cough all over the place.  I realize it may help some people recover faster from a cold if they go workout, but I’m a germaphobe and this just freaks me out.

Tomorrow I’m going to try a workout with a personal trainer that I know.  Working out with her in a small group with other women I know at a friend’s house.  I do enjoy the social aspect of working out with others and this arrangement will be much more comfortable than the gym.  If I enjoy it, I may make it a regular part of my week.  And I have always found the expense of trainer (a good one) is well worth it if you can afford it.  It gives me someone else to be accountable to, and the extra encouragement when I don’t think I’m progressing fast enough is always great.  But we do call her Tara the terrible, because she in no way takes it easy on us.  I’d better get to bed early, I’m gonna need the rest!

Morning workout update

So far… not so good.  Am I the only one that sets goals and then immediately something comes up to derail my efforts?  At least it seems that way sometimes, guess I’m just feeling a bit pessimistic right now.

I am still convinced that if I can manage to work out in the mornings, I will be more successful at being consistent with my workouts.  First week, I managed three morning workouts.  I did yoga each time, and I felt so good at work each day I did!  I had more energy and generally felt happier all day.  However, I was not able to be consistent each day.  One night I didn’t sleep at all, so just getting to work was huge for me.  Also, I was not able to run at all because of this suspicious cyst that has developed in my right foot. WTF??  This is what I mean by setting goals and having a derailment.  I have dealt with all kinds of running injuries which is exactly why I am being very cautious getting back into regular running, lots of walk breaks, slow speed.  And then this lump shows up in my foot. Good grief!

This week, Mr. B and I are on vacation and getting lots done around the house. In other words, I haven’t had time to stick with the morning workouts, my routine is completely out of whack!  I ran once, and the lump seems to be subsiding after a laser treatment from my massage therapist last Saturday.  Hopefully (fingers crossed, hard to do when typing – ha!) this will mean I can get back on track for my running goals for the coming year!

Why is everyone else having fun?

Well at least it seems that way.  I’m either at work, or at school or working on something for work or school.  I am tired.  This time of year never used to bother me, but last year was one of the worst for me in terms of anxiety and depression.  And now this year it’s starting again, and it worries me.

I am doing my best to stay active.  I am trying something new, to get up early to do some sort of activity, even if it’s only 20 minutes of yoga.  Because I get done work at 5, and if I don’t have a class I just want to come home and curl up in a ball. Which means most of the time I don’t work out at all.  So I have been searching online about working out in the morning; make it a daily habit, takes 30 days consistently to make a habit, start with shorter workouts, alternate different types of activity.  I’ll give it a try, because I know if I can stay active that will help with how I feel emotionally.

And I need to plan regular, fun stuff.  Life can get pretty depressing if all you do is work.  One weekend hanging out with friends can really boost my mood.  But sometimes, just making the effort to do fun stuff seems almost insurmountable. (big sigh here)

Progress so far on the 30 day habit!  Monday was day one, did yoga for 30 minutes.  This morning, woke at 3 am thanks to the cat, was awake for almost 2 hours, ended up sleeping in too late to do anything before work. Ok, so I’m at 50% so far, that’s a passing grade!  Ha!  Day three tomorrow… or is it day one again since I wasn’t consistent??

Back in the Saddle

This post is hopefully a return to regular posting on this blog. I have neglected it for several reasons.  First of all, I felt like I wasn’t able.  Last fall my health was on a downward spiral, and I needed a lot of energy just to take care of myself.  Secondly, I was not doing much running or any sort of activity and that’s what I wanted my blog to be about!

I have finally returned to some form of regular exercise.  For several months I was unable to stick with anything.  I was mentally and physically exhausted.   My family doctor told me that the vigorous exercise might not be helpful with the anxiety I was experiencing.  She said sometimes the high release of adrenaline can actually make anxiety worse in some people.  She encouraged me to scale it back for a month or so, walking, yoga, some form gentle activity.  And of course being the over achiever I opted to do nothing for months. Not exactly what the doctor ordered.

I attempted to get back into running in the spring because I really missed it.  I had been running consistently since 2006 so it was really a big part of my life.  It was so tough getting back into it; my cardio was crap, my legs felt like lead.  I was a beginner all over again and I felt so frustrated and discouraged.  I was pushing myself and was not enjoying it.  Then I ended up with the flu and I took another month or so off.

I stopped making running a priority and decided to try to get back into cycling, it was also tough but I saw improvements fairly quickly and I was in a better place mentally and I was able to stick with it.  The weather this summer wasn’t great, but if I couldn’t ride outside then I’d go to Spin class at the gym.  I had a goal, my husband and I would ride in the MS Bike Tour in Niagara.  It was a great goal for me to work towards; 75km was not overly ambitious.  I actually felt really good until the 60km checkpoint, and the only thing that bothered me was my butt!

Now I’m back at building my running again and doing more strength training, but all gradually and without forcing it.

It feels good to be active again, and with the focus on fitness instead of fat loss it feels much more rewarding.