Friday, July 27, 2012

Teaming up with my Subconscious

First off I want to thank my good friend Kristy for her endless support on my journey.  I also want to thank Lyza, Cherry, and Sheryl for giving me some support after my last post.  It always helps to be given tips, support and reminders to keep things in perspective.  Despite an expected gain this week (I'm up .8 pounds over last week) I'm actually doing pretty well.  I went to the gym after work yesterday and started with a 25 minute run on the treadmill.  My treadmill runs lately have been to run at 6.0mph most of the time but every 5 minutes I run faster for one minute.  Yesterday I ran the "faster" at 7.0mph!  Would you get ahold of me?!  So at minutes 5, 10 and 15 I ran at 7.0 for one minute.  But at minute 20 I ran at 7.0 for two minutes.  That about killed me.  Except it didn't.  I did my cooldown and then hopped off the treadmill feeling quite pleased with my speedy self.

After the run I did legs/shoulders/core for strength training.  I'm still getting accustomed to change in my routine.  I was doing curtsy lunges and I think I lunged a bit too far back because my left glute was not happy.  I had to baby it for the rest of the workout.  Which was a better option than pushing through and then possibly landing on the DL for a couple days.  The DL, for those that don't watch sports, is the disabled list.  That's the term in our household, picked up from one too many SF Giants games.  Anyway, my workout was fabulous.  I got home late and had to scrounge together a weird dinner of string cheese, 2 crackers, 1/3 of an avocado, and a corn on the cob.  Oh, and lots of fruit salad.

Oh, but I'm forgetting to tell you about the most interesting part of my day yesterday.  I went to see a hypnotherapist.  I have been interested in hypnosis for a while now.  And not the cluck-like-a-chicken TV version but the real deal, which is more like a deep state of relaxation.  I saw a Plum District deal for a session with William Song in San Francisco so I went for it.  And he was amazing!  He did a consultation first and then the session.  He spent over an hour explaining the hows/whys of hypnosis as well as getting a solid understanding of what I wanted to address.  And what did I want to address?  Food of course.  But very specifically, I wanted to address those "episodes" I used to have about once every month or two where I would start eating and couldn't seem to stop despite a conscious desire to stop.  Those food meltdowns, as I have been known to call them, really bug the heck out of me.  I think it's the overwhelming feeling of being out of control that really unnerves me.  In any case, that's what I chose to work on with William.

So the first hour or so were spent learning about how William practices and identifying my issue.  The main goal is to get the subconscious and the conscious working as a team.  Powerful idea, right?  After a short stroll around the office building, we started the session.  William taught me how to get to a very relaxed state so my subconscious mind was accessible.  It wasn't about waving a watch in front of me and putting me into a trance, it was about getting verrrrrryyyy, relaaaaaaaxxxxed.   Then the conversation ensued in which ideas, thoughts, beliefs, etc, were exchanged.  I don't feel capable of explaining the whole process but I can summarize by saying I walked out with a plan to change the habit by changing my beliefs about the habit, as well as my belief about my control over the habit, as well as my behaviors.  I have to say I feel I was ripe for this type of experience.  So much of what I've learned goes hand-in-hand with what William espouses.  Self efficacy, gentleness, non-judgmental encouragement, and being willing to take an active role in your own change process.  Or THE active role in your own change process.  I don't expect it will be too long before I say, "Who was that woman that stood at the kitchen counter eating a bowl of cereal (and getting angry about it) at 11 o'clock at night?".  One thing that's already different is I can think about those episodes without feeling tension and frustration.  I am managing it.  I can manage.  That's a positive thing already.  I have a feeling I'll be back.  If you're curious about my experience and have more questions feel free to email me.  My email link is at the bottom of my FAQ page.

I'm off to the gym after work today.  Miguel is going fishing with some friends so I'll be on my own this evening.  And he works tomorrow so I'll be on my own tomorrow too!  I'm taking the kids to a pool party.  I think I'll pack my own food for snacking.  And in the evening I'm doing a homemade Thai dinner with a friend.  I went to the Asian market and got all the fun, exotic ingredients.  That should be fun!  That's my only social meal planned for this week where I'll be less than particular about what I eat.  The rest of the week - game on! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Slump, Plateau, it what you want, I'm knee deep in it

I'm doing my workouts, all is good with exercise.  But my weight is hardly moving, my motivation is stale and my eating is wobbly.  So I'm focusing on maintenance, trying not to throw the baby out with the bathwater and gain 5 pounds while waiting for my motivation to come back.  But if that happens, I'll survive.  It's not like I'm in a bad place really, I'm just not in a great place.  Treading water and continuing to take my own advice is where it's at.

So I'm totally out of points and I'm going out to dinner tonight.  I've been working on a bad habit of weighing myself too many times throughout the week so I know I'm not going to lose weight this week, maybe even gain.  But I shouldn't let that knowledge lead me to go off the rails tonight with the food.  I shouldn't...but I might.  Man, it's hard to stay focused in the summertime with all the social stuff going on. 

Though like I said, things are rolling along with the exercise.  I had a nice treadmill run on Monday, followed by chest/triceps/core work.  Yesterday I did back/biceps/core followed by 30 minutes of a spin class.  Those spin classes are no joke!  I was working my butt off for those 30 minutes.  I left the gym feeling good. 

Well, that's all I got.  Hang in there with me!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Positive Talk Breaks Through

I'm in the middle of a (well-earned) lazy Sunday afternoon.  The kids are napping and I'm watching bad TV.  Yesterday was an action packed day of fun that wore the whole family out.

But before yesterday there was last week so I'd better catch up with that first.  Wednesday was a rest day so I didn't exercise, though I did take the kids for a little stroll around the neighborhood.  Toddler pace doesn't cause me to break a sweat but at least we moved some.  My eating last week was so-so, I stayed within my points but I didn't always make the best choices.  I know a calorie is a calorie but I feel such a big difference when I eat healthy, wholesome foods.

Thursday I was feeling a bit run down.  My body was sore and I felt tired.  I started wondering if I should skip the gym.  I don't do that sort of thing very often, the gym is a priority for me.  But I know my body pretty well by now and when I'm feeling sore and tired it's more rest that I need, not more exercise.  So I took the day off and felt certain I'd done the right thing.

Friday was weight-check day, 152.8 pounds.  Almost lost the whole 3 pound gain from the week prior, still .2 to go.  I think this weight loss thing is getting a bit tougher.  Or maybe not, who knows.  Anyway, I was happy to be back in the 152 range.  I went to the gym on Friday and had a fabulous workout.  I rode the bike for 25 minutes, level 7.  Any day now I'm going to give level 8 a try.  Then I did legs/shoulders/core.  I threw in a few of the moves Bridgett (the trainer) taught me.  I did curtsy lunges and jump squats.  Oh, and I did some brutal core stuff - namely, the double crunch.  You lie on your back with your knees up and a medicine ball between them, with your hands back behind your head holding a dumbbell.  Then you crunch up, reaching the dumbbell toward your knees and your knees up toward your chest.  Ouch!  This is the closest video I could find, but put a dumbbell in his hands and a med ball between his knees (with bent legs).  I also took my hanging leg raises from the captain's chair to those arm hangy things - much tougher.  I'm sure I'm forgetting something, which reminds me I need to update my current workout page here on the blog.    Anyway, I had a fabulous workout.  After that I had to run some things over to a friend's house and...wait for it, waaaaiiiit...I wore a tank top.  In public.  First. time. ever.  And my friend was so nice, "you should wear tank tops more often because you're stacked."  Ha!  (Thanks Laurie!)  Anyway, I think people telling me that my arms are not as bad as I think finally helped me to settle down.  If you tell enough people about your fat arms and all those people squint back at you like you're crazy, you start to think you might be crazy.  So I did it.  And you know what?  I felt a little weird but I survived.  And not one kid pointed and yelled, "look at that lady with the fat arms!".  Don't get me wrong, I know my arms are disproportionately big, but they are not that big and certainly not so big that I can't wear a tank top.  Gasp!  Thank you to everyone who's given me positive feedback about my arms, it helped me have a breakthrough. 

So I was feeling groovy on a hot Friday afternoon.  And then came Friday night.  A friend (Hi Wendy!) called about going out for a drink, which sounded like fun.  Her husband came over to play poker with Miguel and his buddies while she and I headed out.  I'd had dinner already but it was fairly light and by this time, maybe 8:30 or so, I was hungry again.  So we shared two appetizers, a wedge salad (with vinegar as a dressing) and bruschetta (with avocado on it, that's a first).  Thank goodness I ate.  We had a few drinks and came back home.  That's when I made my mistake.  I started drinking beer.  I think I had 2 but I can't be sure.  All I know is I was drunk.  Really drunk.  Before I went to sleep I tried to drink water and have some bread but my body wasn't having it.  I'll spare you all the ugly details and just say I ended up paying for my reckless alcohol intake.  That's a lesson I won't forget for a while.

Thank goodness Saturday is a rest day.  I woke up feeling groggy and with a headache.  Food was a tenuous venture and I felt nauseous for most of the morning.  I managed to have breakfast though before heading out the door.  We actually had a busy day planned.  The local athletic club had an open house for my mom's group so we took the kids.  It was a super hot day and they had tons of fun in the pool.  I had a burger and some chips for lunch.  That and some pink lemonade and I was starting to feel better.  Playing in the pool with the kids all day was work but we had a fun time.  We headed home for a quick turn around because we had plans to go to a friend's house for a bbq dinner/pool party.  Yep, more pool time.  I can't tell you how much more I enjoy the pool when I'm not busy feeling self conscious about my body.  Fortunately these friends are super healthy so we had grilled chicken, grilled veggies and other healthy stuff for dinner.  And I stayed away from the alcohol, obviously.  What a day!  So much fun, and friends, and sun, and water - I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.

Sunday swim session at IVC college
I woke up this morning thinking maybe the 8am swim workout I'd signed up for was a bad idea.  I had intended to ride my bike the 5 or so miles to the pool but that didn't happen.  But I did make the swim workout.  It was a beautiful morning and swimming was a nice change of pace.  I was talking to another swimmer about how frustrated I am with my swimming, I just know I'm wasting a ton of energy because of poor form.  She suggested I do a video coached swim with Coach Neil.  She said she did it because of her own frustration at being so slow and not being able to get faster and that it made a huge difference.  You do the first session, watch the film, make changes.  Then you go out and practice your new swim for a week and do another video session.  I'm seriously tempted, I need to make some serious breakthroughs if I want to step it up in the swim department, which I do.

After the swim workout it was back home to spend some time with the kids while Miguel played soccer.  Marek ended up going to a friend's house for a while so I took Myra to Goodwill to look for, what else?, tank tops.  I found a couple but nothing to write home about.  But I did find a really cute J.Crew bag that's perfect for beach days.  Score!  I hope to have at least a few more of those before summer ends.

Well, that's it for me.  I'm getting hungry and the kids will wake up any minute now so I need to get back to my movie (Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead) and grab a snack while I can.