Progress Notes – Have I Stuck To My Goals?

So, a little more than a week ago I committed to raising my average weekly steps to above 30,000 steps.  I’m a little short, but better than I’ve been for a long time.  I’m averaging around 27,000. It’s really not that hard to bump that up.

This week I rededicate myself to increasing my average weekly step rate to above 30,000.

I have not been out on my bike, though.  With the kids at home I have been conflicted about just taking off for an hour. I think it’ll be a bit easier when they are in school next week.  Also, my step count will consistently be higher as of next week, too, when I start walking my youngest to school and back again.

I am going to start some weight work.  I bought a kettlebell a few years ago and I haven’t used it in a long time. So, this week I’m going to do a short KB routine every second day.  I’m going to definitely do some swings and some some bent over one armed rowing – I only have one 25lb bell.  I want another exercise, too and will add that in.

My hope is that I will create this habit and then when it gets routine that I will return to learning to run on my alternate days. I don’t want to do too much too soon, however. 

Also, I am going to start listening to some mindfullness/metta discussions on podcast. I’m going to check out the Against The Stream podcast by Dharma Punx author Noah Levine. I want to work on my stress and work up to meditating. This is going to require that I regularly update my ipod so I can listen in my headphones while I take some me time or while I am working around the house. 

Finally, I downloaded the TwoGrand app to my phone.  It’s a food and drink tracking app that only tracks with photos.  It’s a bit like mindfullness in the sense that it helps you become aware of what you are eating and drinking and how much.  I’m shit at tracking and find the process of trying to come up with either calorie or points counts for the food I make from scratch to be completely crazy and overwhelming.  Photo tracking my meals and snacks is not.  But I have to remember to do it. 

If you’d like to “friend” me on TwoGrand, my user name is, wait for it: LeanneP. I set a goal of 2L of water daily – I got a UTI two weeks ago and had to drink crazy to me amounts of water and want to continue – so that is kind of my final goal. 

So, I want to lose a bunch of excess fat from my body. I’m going to walk a little bit more, do a short weight workout a few times a week, listen to some inspiring talks, drink more water and take pictures of my food. Totally doable, right?

Weight Watchers and Healthy Habits

Today’s meeting was about making little changes to form new habits. The leader, Sue, wanted us to identify triggers for behaviours in order to make them a habit. Sounds a lot like classical conditioning. As I know from conditioning, you don’t really ever unlearn bad habits. They’re lurking beneath the surface waiting to rear their ugly heads. However, even though sometimes it can take a while for your brain to build a new associations,  it can be done!

My triggers for unhealthy habits are, in order of occurrence:

1. Being overwhelmed with stress/negative emotions. I’m highly susceptible to other people’s misery.  I can be like an emotion sponge and lately, this has been a bit of an issue. I have felt emotionally heavy lately — not like me at all — because of my occasionally frazzled environment. 2. Also, not planning my day properly or trying to do everything so I have too many things to do in too little time. 3. Not getting enough sleep or fun in my life. Fun? What’s that?

I then go on into cocoon-mode to protect myself, overeat and numb out.

I had a hard time coming up with triggers for positive habits and maybe it’s because I don’t feel like I have too many right now.  So how can I trigger myself for healthy habits?

One super small thing I can do is to start packing my water bottle in my bag. I hate bringing it because it’s so heavy to lug around and with my shoulder injury, my already heavy bag becomes near unmanageable. Maybe that’ll just convince me to drink the water to lighten the load.

I lost 1.2lbs this week. I don’t know how because I haven’t had a great week. Too much stress that I haven’t been dealing with well. Looking to take it one day at a time for the next 7 days.

Night Walks

Yesterday I was running around wearing my FitBit for the first time in many days — I had forgotten to put it in the mornings and it has totally thrown off my step count — but I stuck it on my underclothes and had at it, determined to overcome BirthInTheHammer’s lead. Baha! At the end of a busy but low step count day, I met an old friend for coffee, abandoned the coffee shop after a short sit, and then he and I wandered through the park until I reached my 10K steps for the day. Go me! I overcame my penchant for lazy. Picture proof!photo (6)

There is so much activity after 10pm in parks in the summer! People were sitting around, some folks were playing tennis and squash in the courts, people were walking dogs, and some were out running. Like daytime except there were no children. A perfect time for walking. I’m most energetic in the evenings so I came home and danced my way around the house with headphones — me and a broom, sort of sweeping. You can earn quite a few steps dancing and quasi-tidying!

Also of note, I have had a really good week surrounding food. It’s not seemed to matter that much other than fuel, which is a good head space for me, and I’ve been occupying myself with other things.

Undertows

ImageOn Friday I was at a new yoga studio, one I think I’ll keep attending, in part because it is at a good time for me (early evening) when I’m feeling more energetic and also because the style seems less gym-centric while still being physical.

The teacher said some things that have affected me over the course of the last week and have helped me relax in a few ways. She spoke of how we are rivers with so many currents in them, complex and shifting, and how disguised within those currents are undertows. These undertows are what we discover in our yoga practice. They can drag us down and drown us. They make us only feel really strongly what is happening in that moment like there are no other currents and no river. Lost in the undertow. I dig the river undertow metaphor. Maybe growing up beside a river that drowned a few people in my lifetime makes me keenly aware how dangerous undertows can be and it resonates. 

When I have felt overwhelmed this week by whatever life situation, I stopped. “Undertow. Temporary.”, I thought.  I was still emotional but I was able to stop that cycle of self-soothing with food. I could see beyond whatever was going on in my life, take some deep breaths, and acknowledge what was happening and my pattern of thinking. 

I don’t know that it’ll work in all situations but it’s been a good tool and I’m grateful she spoke about it.

Keeping On

This is where I offer the excuse for the lack of a weigh-in this week. My week just sucked for me following the program. I don’t know what my problem is right now but I can’t seem to stay focused and I don’t feel like I have much support around me. I really shouldn’t be looking for external sources of support, I suppose, but some times I just need someone else to give me a gentle prod in the right direction.
And then Friday was a truly horrible day from the point my eyes popped open in the morning and it extended right into Saturday. It started with needing to take one of my kids to the doctor because they weren’t feeling well, progressed to me accidentally locking myself out of the house while dressed completely inappropriately in summer clothing and waiting for 30+ minutes for someone to assist in -10C (windchill) weather, sitting all day in an ER for my child to have an x-ray, general crankiness, and so on from there. It was almost comedic it was so awful! I woke up with a headache on Saturday so my February goal of attending all my meetings for the month did not work out either. When I did step on the scale, my home scale showed a 5 lb gain in one week!

I’m going to be kind to myself and cut myself some slack, and just make sure I attend my meeting this week. One day at a time.

Cleansing breath!

 

 

 

New Patterns

I can pinpoint the exact moment I fell off the rails last week. It was a terrible day where I had a lot of stressors big and small  descend all at once like vultures, and I felt alone with them. What could I have done instead of trying to comfort myself with food?

I might have taken a walk outside. I could have hopped on my treadmill and walked if I thought it was too cold/icy outdoors. I could have written something about it in a journal. I could have talked to friends about how I was feeling. I could have done some quiet meditation, or listened to music. I could have painted or sketched. I could have done a lot of things that don’t involve a free for all.

Life is full of stress and while feeling occasionally overwhelmed happens and I can just move on, I think it’s important to also change old, learned patterns that are so comfortable for me and figure out new, healthier ways to cope. Easy to type but more difficult to actually do!  Baby steps.

Yeehaw

This week has been fabulous in many ways. I received a notice from a university I once attended that my application was accepted and I’m going to return in September.  It’s a fresh and exciting start! I might have run laps around my kitchen holding my phone to my chest (they informed me via email and mail) and howling like a banshee.  I have a bit of a plan for my life. It shifts and changes but I ponder and list goals. One of them includes applying to two particular programs next spring, either of which would be amazing, and this is a step. I admit that I’m a little nervous about  being the old lady in the room but I’m there for me, not for anyone else, and as is occasionally pointed out, “What other people think of me is none of my business!”

The whole eating and activity thing hasn’t gone well this week. I did allow a bad day to turn into three. Tomorrow I weigh-in and I look forward for a chance to just sit with what happened this week and make better decisions as opportunities arise.