Category Archives: health

Know Thy Self

I don’t know why I can’t figure myself out.

I mean, I’ve been myself for almost 25 years. You would think that in that time, I would have learned something about myself.

This is all to say my paleo challenge is going, well, it’s not going.

I am not one for programs. I am not one to say “I can always have this” or “I can never have this.”

This whole thing was probably a bad idea and instead of feeling guilty about not following through on it, I am going to say, “I tried it. Not for me.”

So technically this is another thing I am quitting, but in 8 days I have not had one single completely paleo day. It does not feel very realistic for me. So, I am going to take what I am calling the “Katie Day Approach”: Eat smart. Eat when you’re hungry. Eat what you know is good for you. Sometimes that is something that comes from a box that you put in the microwave. Sometimes it is fruit. Sometimes it is protein. Sometimes it is a damn carb.

I also lasted two days tracking my food.

Dedicated, huh?

I am working on getting some more realistic expectations in place for what I am capable of. I have also really slouched off posting my progress every Monday which I think was doing a really good job of keeping me accountable. I am going to get back to that.

This has been a post.

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Tude, Dude

I have GOT to get a better attitude.

Not just about this weight loss thing (or lack thereof) but everything. Everything, everything.

I need a pick me up. So that is what I am going to do. Instead of whining, dwelling, analyzing why I feel gunky- I am going to move on. I am going to do something creative. I am going to eat something yummy and healthy. I am going to take a nap when I am tired. Drink water when I am thirsty. Run when it feels good. Walk when I need to.

That sounds so easy, but I know better. Why is it hard to be gentle on ourselves?

When I started this weight loss journey my friend Rachel L. seemed a little, well… not leery, but cautious. Instead of out and out encouraging me to lose weight, she kept reminding me that she needed to take an entire year to “love herself.” She gained a little weight in the process but came out feeling healthier than ever. (And she’s quite healthy.) It sounded very nice, but did not seem entirely relevant to me. But now I get it. She totally understood what I did not, which is that a person can be rough on themselves.

Sometimes to move forward, you really have to pause. Be present where you are and then step forward. I am trying to make some positive changes in a lot of areas of my life and this message needs to pervade my thoughts. I am okay where I am and it is my choice to change directions. The choice is okay. The change is okay. I am okay.

I am going to try to be proactive about all this in the coming week. Firstly, I am going to make something. I think I am going to make this:

The full tutorial is here (or click on the image). I am a pretty novice seamstress, but the instructions are really clear and straight forward. It is an adorable bag and will be perfect for toting my sunscreen and beach towel to the marina this summer!

I also have a date to bike to the Farmer’s Market with a friend this weekend. I am going to try to keep blogging and blogging about things other than losing weight. I am also going to stop making so many resolutions. Except maybe this one:

catnaps

Paleo (Lite)

april

So April was a bust. No point in posting progress today because there was none. I actually gained back 2 pounds so it’s like April never even happened. Ya know what? I am okay with that. Let’s just say April never happened. I am not going to let it discourage me and I am not going to let it keep me from moving forward on this journey. Our Paleo challenge starts TODAY and I am not messing around.

paleo

So here’s how I’m messing around. (Ha). I like the basic structure of paleo, but like anything I need to make it a perfect fit for me. So here are a few things that I am planning to modify:

1.) Legumes are allowed. I love black beans and pinto beans. I think they are a great source of protein and a good meal filler. Peanuts are also technically legumes, but they are such a cheap snack (when unsalted) that I want to keep my options open.
2.) Some dairy. The need for dairy decreases quite a bit when you stop eating processed foods or baking, but I still want the option to have a glass of milk. I am also not going to cut out cheese entirely, but I do want to limit it.
3.) No expensive substitutions. No almond flour here. No coconut aminos. I am on a budget here people. I am going to do lots of shopping at our local farmer’s market, but grass-fed, organic whatsits is not always an option for me. When possible, I will be using the cheap stuff if called for.

So there you have it! I do plan to be quite strict on a few other things. One, just for this month- no alcohol unless it is a special occasion (which this month include a wedding and my husband’s birthday.) When I do drink it, I will do so lightly. Also, no bread, no buns, no pasta, no white potatoes. Lastly, back to the meal plan. My lesson in April was loud and clear-

Fail to plan, plan to fail. 

So we are getting back on track. I have a little over a month left until my 10K race. The weather is nice enough to start biking to work regularly. Kickboxing is now twice a week.

I see good things for May!

lake

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Schlump

Whoa guys. Sorry for the out and out cold shoulder. I did NOT mean to let the blog go neglected for so long! This week I helped host 5 Brazilians on the Rotary Group Studies Exchange Team. It was amazing to get to know them and to hang out all week (a post for that later) but it kind of wiped me out!

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Andre, Andrea, Nilo, Junior, and Pablo {My Brazilian Soul-mates}

But, now the Brazilians are on to their next stop and I am left to deal with the issue at hand: I have hit a major plateau. You know that 5 pounds that I miraculously lost a couple weeks ago? Well, that was a case of “too good to be true.” I must have stepped on the scale funny or something, because I am back up to the previous week’s weight. Which, let me remind you, was the same as the week before. That means, folks, that I have lost a total of ZERO total pounds in April.

Now, 22 pounds lost is nothing sniff at. It is certainly more weight than I have ever lost in any one attempt before. And, to make myself feel better, I’m going to stop by my trainer’s this afternoon and get some measurements done, so I can compare from when I started this whole process, back in November when I first started working out. My clothes fit a bit better and I feel good, so I know there has been progress. Amazing progress.

But I do not want to be done at 22. The weight I am at right now is not a healthy weight for my body and that is my ultimate goal. Health. So here is where I need your help! How do I get through this slump? My friend David gave me some really great advice about pushing through my running goals (no surprise: it is a mental game). But how can I hammer out some more weight loss? I need a victory here and a push to keep me going.

Next month, Brett and I are going paleo. We are going to give it the ole college try, and I have a post in mind for that as well. We are obviously going to modify it some to fit our needs! But more tips are definitely welcome! Should I journal for a week? A month? Should I incorporate smoothies? Should I work out in the morning? Night? Twice a day? <– Ha ha. I won’t be doing that but you get the idea.

help

The Last Word on Lent

I talked a bit in length about Lent here and here. Now that it’s over, I want to share how it all went.

To be clear, this was a very personal exercise. It would have made no sense, for example, for Brett to challenge himself to practice saying “No” because believe it or not this is a guy who respects his own personal boundaries. If he does not want to do something, he simply says, “no thank you.” It does not appear to be a part of any grand scheme, other than he seems to know how he likes to spend his time. I respect him a great deal for this and really hope it is contagious.

In spite of my somewhat constant efforts to trim down my schedule, I still find myself feeling very overwhelmed. I do not quite have the margins in my life I would like.  Continue reading

April Food Resolutions

So March’s stab at February Food Resolutions was a little half-assed. No reason to lie here. I ate fast food several times. I went a little ham on my Minneapolis vacation. I did not really have them at the front of my mind and as such, they did less to guide me. Ah well. What it did do was indicate where I should loosen the reins and where I should tighten.

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Progress (7)

2 pounds

Pounds Lost This Week: 2
Total Lost: 22
Pounds Left to Goal: 28

So before I continue, an explanation is in order. I did not post a progress update last week. There were two reasons for that. They are:

1) I was in Minneapolis/St. Paul on Monday morning and did not have access to my bathroom scale.
2) I had eaten vacation-style all weekend and I knew I had gained weight and I rather than beat myself up, I figured I deserved a week to reset.

I hope no one feels like I was being dishonest or refusing to face the reality of my eating choices. But part of this process is learning how to accept myself and learning how to get back on track after a few missteps. My reset week was not exactly The Master Cleanse. The 2 pounds I lost since my last post took two weeks. The last bit of March was not my most disciplined time. I cheated on my food rules and I only worked out once or twice a week. I managed to make a little bit more progress, but I am using the last two weeks as an anecdote to remember what happens when too many things are competing for my focus.

Onward and upward toward April! Spring is coming and I have new food resolutions to share. Lent is over and it was a blessing to me again this year (a post on this to come). I also have a few more new goals for April (another post).  I am really looking forward to the new month and keeping up with my lifestyle changes! As always, thanks so much for following along.

A Good Husband

If I could offer another piece of useless advice to those who want to lose weight, it would be this: have a really good husband. I could devote an entire blog to how awesome Brett is, but for the sake of brevity, I will containing my gushing to the following post.

Having a support team is really important to achieve any goal. Humans are pack animals and we need our herd to be of one mind. Having that support team living in your house with you is even more important. Having a supportive spouse is something that I can take for granted. It is an element of our lives that we really only notice when it is not there. I have got it and I have been lucky enough to have always had it.

Last night, after kickboxing I came home to an awesome treat from Brett. I had mentioned wanting to eat mac and cheese when I lost 20 pounds and he hooked me up! We had mac and cheese with hot dogs and it was the very best junk food I have had in my life. He even printed up this great banner and hung it up in the kitchen, congratulating me on my success (complete with inside joke.)


hot dogs

junk food

One of my Valentine’s Day presents from Brett was a yearlong subscription to Brettflix! Brett plans a special movie and a dinner once a month. In February, he made jambalaya and we watched The Princess and the Frog. This month it was Flight of the Conchords and kabobs. (As in: “Let’s get in a cab, I’ll buy you a kebab! Now I can’t believe that I’m sharing a kebab with the most beautiful girl I have ever seen with a kebab.”)

kabobs

dinner

As you can tell by the pictures, they were amazing! We ate so much. (Can you tell we express love through food?!)

Brett is constantly cheering me on. He is always telling me how well I am doing. He eats what I cook and he rarely complains (even if he does not always comply!) Spouses have a big influence on your lifestyle. Like all things, it can be done without all the pieces falling perfect into place, but it certainly only helps to have their support.

Lately, even though I move at a snail’s pace comparatively, Brett has been running with me. He makes dinner on Monday nights while I kickbox. He cheers me on when I feel crummy. He is really the best and he deserves all my thanks and appreciation on this journey.

Progress (6)

four pounds

Pounds Lost This Week: 4
Total Lost: TWENTY POUNDS LOST!
Pounds Left to Goal: 30

As of this morning, I have officially lost 20 pounds. I don’t know about y’all, but I am PROUD of myself! Twenty pounds is a lot. It is six weeks of hard work. It is a good diet. It is frequent exercise. It is an amazing support system.

It also is not going hungry. It is not doing anything “exciting” or “trendy” or “amazing.” It is not working out for hours a time, every day of the week. It is not eliminating solid foods.

It is just doing what feels good for my body. It is what has always made sense all along. It is having the beer at dinner but not the french fries. It is the snack of frozen yogurt after the 2 mile run. It is biking back to work after lunch and dragging a friend to kick-boxing. It is enjoying the sunshine.

It feels good to have made progress. I am really happy about the changes that I have made and I have no intention of slowing down now. 20 pounds down, 30 to go.

When To Lose Weight

If there was a perfect time to lose weight (there isn’t) then I have found it (I haven’t.)

I have been getting some excellent compliments and encouragement lately. Most have them have sounded something like, “Amanda, you are quite literally the best person in the world. How can I be like you?”

Okay, not. But a lot of people have noticed my attitude, my progress, my honesty. Thank you. Please don’t stop (even when I’m being an ass. See: above.)

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