Setbacks Don’t Last Forever

The title above is something I’m working hard to remember this week. You see, on Tuesday I spent the day prepping for a big event on Wednesday: we were getting air conditioning installed in our house, woot! So that meant running myriad errands on Tuesday. I hit up Target, and Home Depot, and went to the grocery store…

And then my back, which had been feeling a bit iffy in the days leading up, completely tensed up, causing sharp pain and general immobility. So much so that I needed to call my husband back from work to assist me.

It wasn’t fun! And it totally disrupted my plans and the routine I had gotten into. I was supposed to oversee the A/C install on Wednesday, start back at the gym on Thursday, and continue with my food making, water drinking, and tracking. All that gets tossed to the wayside when your back decides to be a ninny.

So up to today, I’ve been resting my back and making careful movements around the house to let it relax and heal. It’s really worked for me, but the backslide was definite. I cut my water intake down so I wasn’t running to the bathroom every hour. And food has been convenience only; I’ve relied on my husband to provide food, mainly. He doesn’t really cook much – especially after working so hard every day –  so it’s been a lot of frozen pizza and takeout, or Soylent meal replacement drinks.

Only today am I feeling more self-reliant, and I’ve put myself on a liquid “diet” for the day (Soylent and Orgain protein shakes) to feel a little less mired down after the inactivity, dehydration, and junky eating I’ve been experiencing since Tuesday. Tomorrow I’ll get back to a more normal eating method.

And I gotta say, I’m proud of myself.

Proud for not feeling stuck. Proud for not taking this setback as a loss of momentum. Proud for not letting this experience trash my willingness to keep moving forward. Sure, it has been a hiccup (and to be fair, on Tuesday I cried a little feeling like my back had, once again, sidelined my plans), but as I said in the title, setbacks don’t last forever.

It doesn’t matter that I had to devolve a bit into old patterns for a few days, because I was doing the best I could do on those days. And today I’m able to still do my best, which happens to be a bit better than the previous day. They all won’t be better than the last, but when needed I can wait it out and get back on the proverbial horse when I can. No sooner. No pressure. No shame spiral.

Looking ahead to the coming week, continuing the forward momentum is my goal. Continue with tracking, get to the gym once or twice (only light stuff – this is more to get a feel for the facility, get comfortable there so when I can hit it hard, I won’t be intimidated like I often am in a new environment), and get back to preparing the majority of my own meals. And to get back to drinking my water! This starts today, so excuse me while I end this now, ‘cuz I gotta hit the ladies’ room! 🙂



Water Week Went Well

Can you tell I’m an admirer of alliteration?

How are you, friends? Last week I re-introduced this blog and my efforts to feel healthier, and my goals were to increase my water intake over the week, and to start the process of getting back in the water (a pool) to start some training.

I’m happy to report that both goals were achieved!

Last Monday I dropped by a local gym that has a couple of indoor pools. They’re not gigantic, Olympic-sized pools or anything, but they’re certainly enough for me to do some water walking or the low-key water aerobics that my doctor has recommended in the past. I have a 5-day trial starting next Monday, and so send any encouraging thoughts, because I’m gonna need to get into swim clothes and face the gym-going public in them. *insert grimace emoji here*

Speaking of swim clothes, I ordered and received some pieces from Torrid. I have to check the fit – I think the main suit I ordered (I ordered a classic swimsuit and then some swim shorts to go with it) is waaaaaay too big. But that’s just at a glance. One thing about me is that I have this weird minor body dysmorphia. Sometimes I feel way bigger than I am, and sometimes I feel way smaller. Maybe that’s just normal? Hopefully everything fits reasonably well and I can start the pool stuff this week, otherwise I’m gonna need to call customer support which is always a pain, right?

Regardless of how the swimsuit turns out, I will be going to the gym this week no matter what. They have an indoor basketball court that basically no one uses (it was deserted when I went on my tour, at least) – and I really love shooting hoops – so I’m looking forward to getting the heart rate up on the court a bit.

My second goal for the week was to gradually increase my daily water intake. It’s been really tough for me, over the course of these last couple years, to keep getting in 64-72 fl. oz. of water each day. I know how much proper hydration means to the body, and so I just need to be a little disciplined in remembering to drink it. It’s been tough this week, but I’m happy to report that I’ve worked myself up to the 64-72 fl. oz. range and am gonna keep working to keep those numbers consistent.

I’ve been weighing myself each day, which wasn’t a goal, per se, but I’m a data fan, and thus wanted to start seeing how my body weight and composition is affected by my goals each week. I got myself a fancy new scale that not only reads weight, but also percentages of muscle, fat, bone, and water. It’s too early to spot any patterns there, but I’ll report back any interesting findings.

This week’s goals:

I don’t have any “themed” goals like last week, but for Week Two, here’s what I’d like to accomplish:

  1. Go to the gym at least twice.
  2. Get the swimsuit stuff figured out (if needed).
  3. Keep tracking my food intake.

You may have noticed the word “Keep” in my last goal. See, I’ve started tracking my food off and on this past week, and began to notice how many calories I was eating, and what my eating patterns were. I’d like to keep the tracking up and slowly refine the caloric and nutritional makeup of the food I’m eating. Key word there is “slowly”.

Last week was actually pretty epic on that front. Prior to last week, I had been eating a staple diet of crap. Taco Bell, frozen meals, junk food, and lots of juice. But last week my husband left town for a business trip, and I knew I’d be left to my own devices, so I actually WENT TO THE STORE. Yeah, two stores even – and twice during the week! So I only ate out once (Taco Bell, you’re a hard habit to break!), and felt really great about making most of my meals.

I know that when I’m making my own meals, I can be more successful with managing my health. I won’t really set a goal for that or anything, I just need to keep on truckin’ with that one. I’m doing well, and I don’t wanna put any additional pressure with that.

Hope you’re truckin’ along with any goals you may have for the week. If you’d like to share those goals, feel free to leave a comment. And of course, thanks for reading!

No Happily Ever Before-and-After

Hello friends. It’s been a minute. And by minute, I mean a few years. A few rough years. My last entry was at the peak of my fitness. Down 90 lbs, stronger than ever, starting to run, feeling confident and optimistic about the future…

At least my optimism doesn’t change.

Sure, I’ve had my moments of extreme pessimism and a sense of repeated failure, but I’m #blessed with an inner resilience that always pushes me to keep trying, even when I flounder in the most epic ways possible.

Today finds me far, far away from that lovely summer of 2014. I felt on top of the world with a great new job, great health, and a great sense of pride. Now I recollect that time longingly, as if it’s not even me. And I know, in abstract, that I am her and she is me, but still.

Today my weight is much higher than when I started this blog in September of 2013. And I feel more out of shape than ever, and FEEL bigger than I want to be. I’m certainly not in a happy place with my body, and my mind has recently been in the same dark place.

I’ve been working on my mind though. Recently re-diagnosed with bipolar depression, I’m now on medication that has stabilized my mood to a certain extent and got me thinking about working on something else in addition to my mental health: my physical health.

Now, I’ve struggled a lot with the idea of “weight loss”. After some counseling, I even rejected the idea as a losing paradigm – a Sisyphean struggle that I was gonna let roll down the hill because I was SO OVER DIETING.

But the fact is, I must work to improve my health because IT’S WHAT I WANT. I want to feel like Julie from 2014. No doctor is frowning down at me about my weight, and my husband has never ever treated me with an unkindness about my health; it is my own core being that’s screaming out for change.

And so here I am. Back onboard the blogging train. Hoping to make a go of it once again. My path is different going forward, as I’ve learned more about myself, and how my habits work, so things will be slower.

I’m going to work on little things, week by week. Small, yet important changes that will help me improve my health and feel stronger – and yes – hopefully leaner.

This week the focus is on water. I’m a water sign, and while I don’t believe in that astrological hocus-pocus, my birthday is coming up, so it feels appropriate to focus on how water can reshape me.

I’m planning on two goals this week:
  1. Gradually up my intake of water
  2. Start a path towards taking water aerobics classes (checkout a local gym, get swim clothing, etc.)
I’ll check back in next week to let you know how I did. And I hope that whatever you’re working on, you also achieve your goals this week!