Slacker

I’ve been stressing out about food and exercise and everything. I have terrible allergies. It’s tree sex season and I just don’t feel great. Apparently, when you give up an alcohol habit that you were using for anxiety, all of your body neurotransmitters ramp back up, including one that releases histamine. So my allergies are like 20 times worse than normal and it is AWFUL.

But here I am.

I’ve been tracking my phone use with an app called Mirror. So far so good. It’s easy to get around it and shut it down, even though I’m not trying to. It kind of shocking, but not super shocking, how much time I spend on my phone. Right now I’m in the “track” stage before it starts getting all draconian and shit on me. LOL

My latest exercise goal is to go to the gym twice a week to work out, doing strength training. I picked up a program from Steph Gadreau (Harder to Kill), and I’m hopeful to build some serious strength, particularly core strength. Today is going to be day one!

Trying different stuff

I spent a lot of time social media-ing yesterday. Not happy about that. This morning, I didn’t spend so much time on social media, but I did spend a lot of time on the internet, in general.

I was reading up on a bunch of old “mommy bloggers” I used to follow back in the day. I was a huge fan of a blog called Suburban Bliss. Another blog I followed, dooce, is still going.

Melissa Summers of Suburban Bliss moved to Instagram at some point, and her website got snatched up by someone trying to capitalize on the name, so she doesn’t blog anymore. She does post on Instagram and it’s engaging and I like it, so I spent at least an hour looking at her photos and reading about her. Kind of cool to see pics of her kids who were so little at one point and one is now in college. Blows my mind.

Heather Armstrong of dooce was never one of my favorites, but I would binge read her blog every now and then when another blogger would post about it. I think my big problem with her was how obsessive she seemed to be about most things. Exercise. Diet. Parenting. Decorating. Marriage. Divorce. Travel. Marathons. Outfits. Pets. Everything was so intense for her, and I just didn’t relate to that. Melissa was obsessive about her mental health, but somehow that came across more as endearing to me, less “I have to be perfect”, more “I’m just trying to survive”. Heather’s quest for perfection is what made her so interesting but also so polarizing, I think. In reading her blog this morning, I realized that even the “pathologically trying to be perfect” folks are fucked up. I can see myself in her, just as I see myself in Melissa. I guess the takeaway is that we’re all just human, folks. My interest is piqued that she is now podcasting…I guess podcasts are the new blog, eh?

It was a delightful bit of internet research this morning. I don’t regret it, because it’s Saturday morning and we’re just hanging out anyway. Come later tonight, I’m going to be all “I can’t believe I wasted that time”, though. That and all of the social media between when I was done with reading up on the bloggers and trying to compose this post. Edit: I’m STILL ARGUING ON THE INTERNET. MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STAHHHHHHHPPPP!!!

Awareness is part of the problem right?

One of the things I’m hoping to try is a combo of L-tyrosine, B-vitamins, and fish oil. I already take B vitamins most days, and about half of the days I take fish oil. The tyrosine is new. Supposedly, it helps your thyroid work better (weight loss, I’ll take it!). But it also is supposedly a precursor to dopamine. Dopamine is that great focus neurotransmitter, right? So supposedly more tyrosine = more dopamine = less trying to find interesting stuff to keep my focus. Soooo…who knows?

Edit: OMG I ALREADY WROTE ABOUT THE TYROSINE YESTERDAY. I AM SOOO ADHD OMG LOL BBQ

 

 

Feeling feelings

Haha, kind of a silly title because I’m not really deep in thought or anything. I was just trying to come up with something for today. Anyway…

Trying to figure out ways to curb my social media addiction. This morning, I’ve been online since 8:15 AM. So the current tally is about 3 hours. Yikes. That is SO MUCH WASTED TIME. BLAH!!!

I went down the rabbit hole of Wikipedia, trying to help me figure out this whole ADHD thing. I wrote this on Facebook this morning:

Apparently, ADHD brains break down dopamine (the feel-good neurotransmitter your brain releases when you feel like you’ve done something satisfying) way too quickly.

The precursor to dopamine is protein, specifically an amino acid found in protein called tyrosine. Tyrosine was named from the Greek root “tyros” which means cheese. Some ADHD researchers seem to think that a high protein/low carb diet can alleviate ADHD in many folks. I wonder if just eating meat and cheese all day long would help me curb my social media addiction? LOL

Pretty funny, isn’t it? Hmmm…

Seeing as I feel pretty amazing when all I eat is meat and cheese, I think it’s time to give this theory a whirl.

In other plans, I think the first week (maybe just the first few days, because honestly, how much time do I need) of February is going to be all about awareness of how much time I spend online. Right now, it’s pretty abysmal and I’m depressed about it. But I do want to change because I think it will help me do great things. I’m motivated by…dopamine! HAHAHAHA

Yahoo!

January is SOOOOO OOOOOOVVVVVERRRRRR.

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 9.12.32 PM

I kicked ass! My only real goal was to make journaling a solid habit and…here we are.

The 6th was actually posted on the day of, but I posted from my phone and the calendar was wonky as a result, so it registered on the day after.

A few of the days I missed in the last couple of weeks I actually “mentally journaled” from bed. I think the only day I really missed without registering anything on the matter was the 28th. Just didn’t get it in because I was brain dead.

I am solidly stoked!

Now that I have this journaling thing down, I think it’s time to start limiting my social media consumption. I was hoping to make February my month for tweaking my diet and losing some serious weight, but just giving up wine in January has helped me drop almost ten pounds. I think if I stay off the sauce and keep my carb intake low, while really focusing on nutrition…it will come off slowly. Maybe that’s not what I want, but it’s the best thing for me. Right?

Yay for good things!

Hanging in there

Still just hanging in there, doing my thing. Logging food consistently is hard, so I’m not knocking myself for not getting every last morsel. But overall, since not drinking wine every night, I’m down somewhere around 6 pounds. Not bad for a basic dietary intervention. I’m learning what sets me off. I didn’t eat right away after a 5 mile walk yesterday, which triggered a “MUST EAT CALORIES” response for the rest of the day. I knew that was a thing because a coach of mine told me that last year, but I didn’t really think anything of it. So I ate lots of chips and more chips, and I had a bunch of Coke yesterday! Yikes…coming to terms with the fact that tortilla chips are pretty much my favorite thing to eat way too much of.

I’m doing a 23andme diet intervention study, starting tomorrow. They sent the email out around Christmas, and I signed up. My intervention is low carb, high fat (or something like that). The other options were the flip side of that (high carb, low fat, I think?), or physical exercise. I know historically that just exercising doesn’t make me lose weight. It makes me want to eat more. I feel better, but I don’t eat any less, haha. I’m really excited to start the study, mainly because it’s someone telling me what to do, not me trying to wing it. Though I have been good in the past on just winging it, this is long enough (3 months) that I think I’ll have the potential to lose some serious pounds. Anything over 10 pounds would be amazing, but I’m not setting myself up for failure.

I’ll write more about it tomorrow when they supposedly send out the email. Should be interesting…

Non-Food Rewards

Because I’m a dopamine junkie, I’ve been all over the internet getting super excited about losing weight and getting healthy. I was just going to be journaling every day (going well so far), but then I got enrolled in a 12 week, genetics-based intervention trial via one of those direct-to-consumer genetics testing services. I’m going to be doing a high fat, low carb diet, which historically ALWAYS results in significant weight loss. I’m a little nervous to see how low carb it is, since I haven’t been told the specifics, yet. Hopefully, more than 20 grams of carbs a day. If it isn’t, I’ll get sick (migraines) and drop out. Still waiting on the details.

I had intended this to be a post about non-food rewards, not about how my “goals” for the new year have changed. It’s still important, though. My child sees an ADHD coach and one of the strategies we’re going to use to change his behaviors is to use positive rewards. For me to keep journaling, to stay on task, to eat healthy, I need something IMMEDIATE to keep me going. Those long term, big picture things don’t work for me for some reason. I mean, they kind of do, but nothing beats immediate gratification.

I have been looking for some good non-food rewards to keep me on task. I’ve already purchased two things since I’ve done a great job journaling. The first thing was I put $30 into a dietbet pool (Chris and Heidi Powell’s dietbet). I also bought this cute, visual chart for running. Since I’m not actually running, it’ll be an exercise chart. You just cross out each day you do something. Easy peasy, right? For a visual person like me, I think it’ll work great.

Here’s some more non-food rewards in a list from SparkPeople:

Specifics:

  • 1 star for going to the gym
  • 1 star for going to the gym three times in one week
  • 1 star for walking at least 30 minutes
  • 1 star for walking outside in temperatures below 20 or above 80
  • 1 star for drinking at least six cups of water per day
  • 2 stars for drinking eight or more cups of water per day
  • 2 stars for staying below my daily carb range
  • 1 star for meeting my daily calorie goal
  • 2 stars for not weighing myself more than once a week
  • 100 stars = Get a reward from the list

Depending on the specifics of my diet intervention study, I’ll tweak things. But this is a great start.

Reward ideas: 

  • Give yourself permission to take a nap.
  • Visit the library or bookstore all by yourself.
  • Have a guilt-free home spa afternoon.
  • Sleep in!
  • Take a selfie to celebrate your progress.
  • Spend an hour away from your phone or computer.
  • Eat lunch outside or at least away from your desk.
  • Clean out your closet and donate all your too-big clothes to charity.
  • Post your progress on social media (or SparkPeople) so your friends can celebrate with you.
  • Take a bubble bath.
  • Drive to a beautiful neighborhood or park to walk instead of taking your usual walking route.
  • Use smiley face or star stickers to note milestones on a wall calendar hung in a prominent place.
  • Make your own ribbon or trophy.
  • Make or buy a refrigerator magnet with a motivational quote.
  • Take a vacation day from work to do whatever you want!
  • Unwind with a movie of your choice.
  • Plan a night out with your friends.
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Subscribe to a fitness or healthy cooking magazine.
  • Get a new driver’s license photo. (Don’t lie about your weight.)
  • Download a new fitness app for your phone.
  • Buy a new workout song.
  • Get yourself a bottle of fancy shower gel or lotion.
  • Pick up a new plant for your garden.
  • Invest in some moisture-wicking workout socks.
  • Get fitted for a new sports bra.
  • Try a new shade of nail polish.
  • Get some new shades for outdoor exercise.
  • Come home with a bouquet of flowers.
  • Try a fresh hair color.
  • Buy a small personal blender for smoothies and protein shakes.
  • Order a pair of high-end wireless headphones.
  • Invest is a fitness tracker to motivate you even more.
  • Sign up for a charity walk or running event.
  • Splurge on some nice yoga pants.
  • Go for a mani/pedi.
  • Treat yourself to a massage!
  • Take a cooking class to up your game.
  • Get a new hairstyle.
  • Get fitted for workout shoes at a running store.
  • Go for a flashy piercing or tattoo!
  • Start a charm bracelet.
  • Get your rings resized to fit your smaller fingers.
  • Plan a weekend getaway with your significant other.
  • Adopt a dog so you’ll always have a walking buddy.
  • Hire someone to clean your house so you have more time to hit the gym.
  • Try a fun exercise class like Zumba or pole fitness.
  • Book a session with a personal trainer.
  • Schedule a professional portrait shoot.
  • Two words: Dream vacation!

I love these ideas. I like the movie, night out, lottery ticket, and workout songs. Those are all reasonable and not terribly expensive. Maybe do 50 stars, 100 stars, 500 stars, 1000 stars level of rewards. I gotta keep tweaking this. I have a couple of days to work out the kinks and get things set in stone.

Scared

I don’t know what to write about today other than I’m scared. I’m scared to step on the scale. I’m afraid to lose weight. I’m afraid that once I lose weight, I won’t be able to keep it off. I don’t want to be that cliche. I don’t want to be Oprah with her wagon of fat who gained all of the weight back and then some less than a year later. Remember that show?

Here it is (via Buzzfeed): Oprah Winfrey Rolls Out a Wagon of Fat

So I’m delving into research from the National Weight Control Registry, that organization that tracks people who lost 10% or more of their weight and kept it off long-term. It pretty interesting stuff.

To maintain their weight loss, members report:

  • Engaging in high levels of physical activity ( approximately 1 hour per day)
  • Eating a low-calorie, low-fat diet I’m not going to do low fat because I know what works well for me
  • Eating breakfast regularly
  • Self-monitoring weight
  • Maintaining a consistent eating pattern across weekdays and weekends.

Moreover, weight loss maintenance may get easier over time; after individuals have successfully maintained their weight loss for 2-5 y, the chance of longer-term success greatly increases.

Okay, so how do you stay so focused and diligent, that’s what I want to know? Here is some research that seems to work, from a Stanford University “behavior change research psychologist” named B.J. Fogg.

Three key steps (and an optional fourth but important step):

  1. Identify your specific desired outcome. Be specific!
  2. Identify the easy-win behaviors—he calls them “tiny habits”—that will put you on the path to that goal.
  3. Finally, find a trigger—something that you already do as a habit—and graft the new habit onto it..
  4. After carrying through with a tiny step, give yourself a celebratory pat on the back.

Okay, so for my first step in this process (daily journaling), I will do the following:

  1. Gain greater knowledge about what makes me want to eat and drink and not exercise.
  2. Daily journaling.
  3. I drink coffee religiously, every single morning. If I don’t have enough time to write a huge blog post, like today, I at least need to check in with a sentence or two while I drink my cup of coffee in the morning.
  4. I just wrote this post out, so I’m going to pat myself on the back. Great job, self!

I’m hoping this sticks! All I need is 30 days, right?!

 

Resolute

Yeah, yeah, it’s that time of year again…

I think my only real resolution for 2018 is going to be that I need to journal every day. I unload so much stuff in my journaling, that I think it’s incredibly important. Once every 30 days (28 days is supposedly how long it takes to make something a habit), I’d like to introduce a new focus. These are not resolutions. I will not fail if I don’t accomplish them, but I’d like to “focus” on them. Sooo…


Meesee’s Big Ass List of 2018 Resolutions

30 day goal: Journal every single day. I have a handwritten journal and I have this. I’m not sure which is better. I feel like I’m able to unload so much more in such a short amount of time here, but I wonder if I process it as well here.

I’d like to quit drinking (again), too, but my focus is the journaling. Hopefully, writing those “feels” down will make me feel less like abusing myself. Definitely need to have an element of gratitude for every day.

60 day goal: I’d like to work hard on my eating. To do this, I’ll need to meal plan. Focus mostly on sugar and no alcohol. I’ll try this in January, but I’m not making it a focus until February.  Also, keep journaling!

90 day goal: March will come in like a lion, right? Break a sweat for 30 minutes every damn day. Right now, I have some slight mobility issues going on – screwed up over-firing hip flexors and extremely weak glutes – that I’m doing PT for. I’m hoping by March my PT gives me the okay to start trying to run. He seemed hopeful that we’d get me there (or at least mostly there) by March. I’m kind of terrified about this one.

120 day goal: Money. I need to seriously start saving and planning for retirement. Hopefully, I’ll be working enough to finally make that happen.

150 day goal: By May, I would like to really focus on clutter. We’re hoping to do some work to replace the flooring in our house and possibly some kitchen stuff, too. It’ll be a lot easier to have a beautiful house (it’s tough when your carpet is old and dingy and ugly…nothing looks great even when you vacuum).

180 day goal: Start doing some serious photography again? Six months seems so far out! Maybe make a goal to socialize every week. Something to work toward that isn’t so focused on “improvement” but just a greater sense of purpose?


I think that’s about as good as it gets for now. Resolutions are hard. I would love to weigh less, hurt less, have more money, and have a beautiful, clean house with lots of visitors. I am pitiful at resolutions and each year I set myself up for failure. Maybe doing it with a “focus” goal as opposed to an all or nothing kind of thing will really help. But ultimately, I need to journal journal journal!!!