Sick of being sick.

“From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”
—From “Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” by Bronnie Ware (fantastic article, by the way), reposted at BeyondTheOpposites.com

No, I’m not dying. Thank God. I don’t have a terminal illness. Thank you Lord. There are many people so much worse off than for me. I have only temporarily lost my health.  I shouldn’t complain.

But right now I’m sick of being sick.

I was sick with a cold/flu the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s. Like, in-bed-for-three-days sick. Our third wedding anniversary in the middle of that week was a total bust. I was much improved the first week of January, and my husband and I went out a couple of evenings for dinner and a movie or show. We took in some comedy at the local Improv. One male comedian joked about women who let themselves get fat after they get married. He complained that his wife told him, “If you really loved me, it shouldn’t matter how much weight I gain.” He replied to her, “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t get fat!” The men in the audience laughed hysterically while the women were silent. He said, “I know you women out there are pissed off at me right now for saying that, but it’s true. You know it’s true.” I cringed. I’m thankful for my husband all the time. He married me when I was at my heaviest weight.

Sunday night, I was ready to hit my eating plan full throttle for this serious next weight loss push. I prepared my intentional, healthy snacks and lunch that night, then went back to work on Monday. Several of my coworkers had been ill the week before, and some were still out sick. Ugh.

My husband and I had a fantastic workout at the gym on Monday night. Then Tuesday came, along with the all-too-familiar cruddy feeling: burning eyes, sore throat, headache, body aches.  I went to bed Tuesday night at 7:30pm, didn’t get up until 8:30am the next day and emailed-in sick.  Then went back to bed until 1pm. How many hours of sleep is that? Like 16? Sheesh.

Back to work Thursday and Friday. I ate normally, which means stuff like turkey sandwiches and shredded beef tacos. I’m feeling better, but now I have a hacking cough which, experience tells me, will last for weeks. Drives my poor husband nuts.

It’s just so frustrating. Starting is hard. Getting into the mindset is hard. Then a ginormous wrench gets thrown in.

Trying to figure out why I relapsed. My husband thinks I started too hard and fast on the food and exercise after being sick.  That along with one really bad night of sleep on Sunday apparently created the perfect storm.

And now I’ve gotten my husband sick. Eegads.

I’m trying not to fret too much about losing my flow. The amazing feeling I had throughout the fall as I dropped the weight. I want that feeling back. That focus. That commitment. That excitement. That hope. Right now I just want to feel better, which sometimes means having a chocolate chip cookie.

Doesn’t help that I’m PMS-ing, a time when my personal reality is completely altered.

My inner critic is saying, “You can’t stick with anything for long. You always quit after a few months.” Shut. Up.

Well, one hopeful sign of permanent change is that we miss the gym. We can’t wait to get back to the gym. It’ll still be there tomorrow.

I miss my health. I want it back.

Weight loss menu. Simplicity is the key.

Before I started this weight loss journey last summer—back when I could eat whatever I wanted—choices were sometimes overwhelming. I’d make selections based on what I felt like eating rather than what was good for me. I rarely planned ahead, which meant I was spending a lot of money eating out.

My current limited weekday menu is actually quite liberating. I don’t have to give it much thought. My biggest challenge is alternating it enough so that I don’t get bored. I also tend to stay at my desk to eat lunch when I really should get away from my office and take a break. I get a bit more creative with my food on weekends when I have more time.

A few people have asked me what I’m eating, so I thought I’d display my very simple weekday menu here; pardon my very limited photography skills. I get a lot of my protein from dairy and nuts. I just prefer the taste of milk/yogurt/cheese/eggs over chicken/beef/seafood.

Breakfast always includes:

Coffee with 2 tablespoons sugar-free Coffee-Mate vanilla creamer

1 teaspoon sugar-free Metamucil fiber, 2 adult chewable vitamins, 1 chewable calcium vitamin

…and one of the following options:

1 cup skim milk and 3/4 c Cheerios

1 slice of toast with 1 Tbsp Laura Scudder peanut butter

1 slice of toast with 1 scrambled egg (fried with a few squirts of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)

Mid-morning snack options:

Raw Almonds, 1 oz (that's about 19 almonds) - surprisingly satisfying!

Ham and Cheese or Turkey and Cheese Roll

Ham & Cheese Roll: Measure out 1.25 oz Ham (1 slice) and 0.5 oz Cheese (cut this cheese in half)

Turkey & Cheese Rolls: Measure out 1.25 oz Turkey (2 slices) and 0.5 oz Cheese (cut this cheese in half)

Lunch options:

A salad. Always a salad. 2 cups of Romaine, 1 tsp fat free Italian (sometimes), and usually cucumbers, Chinese pea pods, celery, carrots

Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt (1/2 cup) with Raspberries (3/4 cup)

Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt (1/2 cup) with Raspberries (3/4 cup)

Dannon Lite & Fit Yogurt (1/2 cup) with Strawberries (3/4 cup)

One of my favorite lunches: 1 apple, 1 oz cheese and 9 raw almonds.

My latest discovery: Progresso Light Chicken Noodle Soup. Extremely hearty and satisfying!

Afternoon snack options – always a nutrition bar. Must have something sweet in the afternoon!

ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel protein bar

ZonePerfect Cashew Pretzel protein bar

Lindora Peppermint Cocoa Crunch Bar

Dinner options. What I eat for dinner varies quite a bit. It always includes a salad similar to the one I had at lunch, as well as…

Dinner always includes a piece of fruit—usually an orange.

And perhaps:

Lemon Garlic Shrimp – 1 tsp olive oil, minced garlic, 2.5 oz cooked shrimp, lemon wedge

An omelette. Heat up 1 tsp olive oil, add minced garlic, onions and tomato, add egg. Yum.

Chicken Vegetable Soup

Evening snack options:

Always a Lindora Wildberry Passion drink (15 grams of protein, 3 carbs) after our workout at the gym

What are your favorite standard weight loss menu items?

What if…? It’s about so much more than losing weight.

I found some notes in my food journal—written on August 6, 2011—at the very early stages of my weight loss.  It’s a prayer I want to remember as I continue on this journey.

What if I have underestimated myself? What if I can do much, much more than I ever thought I could?

What if I can truly envision, for once, the good that can happen?

How powerful I can feel.

How much control I can have.

How far I can go.

Lord, please help me reach this goal. To accomplish what I set out to do.

To be healthy.

To honor the life you have given me.

To not waste my good health.

To be an inspiration to others.

To feel a sense of rightness and balance.

To feel light and small but powerful and strong.

To establish the pathway for a healthy old age. To be active, able to help others rather than needing help.

Amen.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
—Philippians 4:13

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
—Isaiah 40:28-31

The way station was nice, but I’m moving on…

Way Station No. 2. Artist: David Carmack Lewis

“…Mental health is based on a certain degree of tension, the tension between what one has already achieved and what one still ought to accomplish, or the gap between what one is and what one should become… What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.”
—Victor Frankl, as quoted in Lean for Life Phase Two: Lifetime Solutions

This past summer, my husband and I took a driving trip across the United States to support my nephew as he graduated from Army boot camp. We traveled from southern California to South Carolina and back again. It was an adventure, but sometimes it was grueling; the stops along the way were very brief—only to gas up, eat, and sleep. On the other side of the country, we had about five days of rest. We stayed put, saw some sites, and just hung out with each other. The respite was much needed, but eventually we had to say farewell and get back on the road.

The journey to lose 95 pounds will be long and sometimes grueling.

I’ve been at the same weight for almost two months. I have enjoyed the side trip that was this weight, because the contrast between 225 and 188 pounds is enormous. It has felt fantastic. I have felt light and free.

However, at my current weight, I’m starting to feel as yucky as I did at 225.  I feel big. I feel encumbered. My reality check mirror is telling me the truth. You’ve got a ways to go, chica. Get back on the trail.

So the little side trip I took, hanging out at this weight, this way station? I’m done with this place. It was tempting to stay, but I’ve stayed too long. It’s not home. There are much better destinations ahead.

Undeserved weight maintenance. Again.

My husband and I had a kicka** session at the gym today—after having seven days off. It felt so good to MOVE, to get the blood flowing, to use my muscles, especially after feeling so awful last week.  We were completely exhausted afterwards—but it was that kind of tired that feels so good and relaxing.

Before working out, I weighed myself on the scale in the locker room: 189 lbs. The gym scale has always registered my weight at one pound higher than the scale at the Lindora clinic; thus, I have not gained any weight. I have not gained any weight!!! (From now on I’ll be using the gym scale as my primary, official gauge, even though it’s a pound higher.)

It is, once again, undeserved weight maintenance as I’ve been off program for about three weeks.  Except for last week, we’ve continued going to the gym, which I’m certain has helped offset the extra food I’ve been eating.

Mind you, my jeans are tighter, so I know I must have gained fat and lost muscle, but I’m still totally tripping out that I didn’t pack on 5-10 lbs. That’s what I expected.

This hasn’t been my usual gorgefest that is Christmastime. I haven’t gone all out crazy, but I have imbibed. Oh yes, I have. Tamales. Tacos. Spanish rice. Refried beans. Chocolate chip cookies. Popcorn with butter and parmesan. Barbecue ribs, mashed potatoes and buttery bread. But not every day. I’ve also eaten lots of soup, salad/veggies, fruit, yogurt.  The only thing I can figure is I’ve been much more aware of what I’m doing. I haven’t just mindlessly porked out.

I have enjoyed eating off-program food guilt-free, knowing I’m taking a break from the diet, knowing I’ll get back on track soon.

Because if you’re not going to enjoy it, then what’s the point?

So… I’m on a total high, knowing I don’t have too much damage to repair as I refocus my eating and exercise efforts toward my goal.

By the way, I love the new Weight Watchers commercial where Jennifer Hudson’s old and new self are singing “Believe.” Fun to imagine the former old me and the future new me standing right next to each other. I’m standing here beside myself…

Weight Watchers – Jennifer Hudson: I believe in you and me

Check it out: An inspiring blog about losing 135 lbs and keeping it off

During my sick-on-the-sofa week last week, I came across an amazing blog written by Andie, age 26, who lost 135 pounds five years ago. How she lost it, why she lost it, how she’s keeping it off… it’s so much more than a list of to-do’s and shoulds; it’s an emotional journey she has traveled successfully.

Andie’s writing is insightful, inspiring, and even lyrical. Here’s some good stuff from her Peace with Food post:

Throughout my lifetime I developed what Geneen Roth calls “the inclination to bolt.”Since I didn’t confront my emotional eating until I had lost all the weight, I met it at a time when I was sober from food. I was a thin person reconciling with two decades of compulsive eating. It’s like drinking yourself into an oblivion at night, getting sober by morning and having to clean up the house party you didn’t realize you threw. I came to understand that ending my emotional eating meant resisting Roth’s “inclination to bolt.” I had to stay here, to sit with myself. Just as I wouldn’t turn away from a friend who needed me, I had to love myself as much. I promised the little girl, the teenager, and the adult versions of me that I was going to stick around for the hard parts and that I was willing to feel. I made an agreement to fully live in the present moment. Because if I leave the moment when I feel uncomfortable, I am missing the opportunity to grow, to learn, to be strong, and to be loved.      —Andie, CanYouStayForDinner.com

For the most part, it seems Andie has come to terms with her issues with weight and exercise. She found her happy weight and discovered how to maintain it. She’s honest about what she misses about being fat; otherwise, I would have thought she was too perfect to be listened to. 🙂

Give yourself an hour to check out these inspirational posts:

CanYouStayForDinner? – My Exercise History

CanYouStayForDinner? – What I Miss from 135 lbs Ago

CanYouStayForDinner? – The Journey to Lose 135 lbs

CanYouStayForDinner? – Maintenance

CanYouStayForDinner? – Peace with Food

Enjoy. I sure did! 🙂