Focus schmocus

I feel like an over-caffeinated border collie lately. I need coffee to help me focus, but then I’m unable to wind down, so I need a glass of wine to get to sleep, then I need more coffee to help me wake up. It’s a seriously vicious cycle.

Not really sure how the whole “tracking all of money” thing is going. Oh wait, yeah I do. It’s not. But I had fun this weekend with my kiddo, so I know it was money well spent. It was pretty cheap, too. I know some people go on pricey vacations. My kid and I drive around and take in the beauty that is living in one of the most scenic places on earth.

So what am I doing right now? I don’t know. I have piles of old bills (paid) that were in a folder that just kind of cascaded down like a landslide. You know that opening scene from Idiocracy where the landfill fails? Yeah, kind of feeling like that right now. LOL

Feeling better

Back to my mostly sober life. It’s getting that first night of not having a glass of wine that gets me. After that, it’s surprisingly easy. My two glasses of wine every night really is a solid, relaxing habit. Man, dopamine sure is a bitch.

I ate entirely at home yesterday. Made those little egg and cheese muffins I like to eat in the mornings, made a giant pot of soup from one chicken (and still have a chicken breast leftover). I have a whole week of meals planned. Just hope I can stick to it. The pull of tasty fast food really gets me sometimes. It’s not that I can’t eat healthy, it’s that it always seems so much tastier than what I can make at home. Probably because it’s chock full of MSG and other crap. But man, I looked at my credit card bill recently, and holy shit is it expensive to eat out. Just one person every now and then isn’t so bad, but every single day/meal with two or more…ugh. I hate the lack of variety and getting out of the house that eating at home entails, but it’s better for me, better for my wallet, and gives me more time to socialize at work.

So far so good.

Flailing

I did such a kick ass job journaling for most of January and February. March started and I just flailed. I got one post in during the entire month of March. I’m not going to beat myself up over it, but I am going to recalibrate and figure out what went wrong.

I was sober all of January and February. Then I went to New Orleans for a half marathon. It was an awesome experience and I enjoyed myself, but two things happened: 1) I got disenchanted with some friends of mine and 2) I drank. Once I had some beverages, I told myself, “Oh, I’ll only do this on the weekends”. That lasted about a week. Then I was having a half bottle of wine four days a week. And just this last week, I switched it up to everyday.

You can guess what the result was: Weight gain. I think I started out this year at 229. As of yesterday, i was at 231.2. Drinking and I do not mix. Drinking makes me gain weight. And not the kind of overall, “healthy” (if you can call it that) weight, but abdominal fat.

One good thing about March, my goal was to move more. I got really good with that, but not every day. A goal is to keep doing that. Maybe go to the gym three days a week, get some actually classes in (I’m thinking spin, for some cross training to give certain muscles a rest), and walking the rest of the time. I even got a walk in with the hubby this weekend. I enjoyed it even though it was miserably wet and kind of cold.

So here we are, in April. My goal, at the start of the year, was money.

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.

This is more important right now because I need to save money to go back to school. The great thing about this goal is that I’ll need to do meal planning, which will help with my weight, and money. Planning has always been a weak spot for me…the only way to get better at it is to practice!

Long time no write

I was pretty busy for the last few weeks of February and first week of March. I did a bunch of work, working out, and traveling for a half marathon (New Orleans Rock n’ Roll). My goal of getting off of social media in February did not work out at all. I’m solidly addicted. I swear, I have no idea what to do there.

At least I recognize I have a problem and need to do something else. Maybe it’s just a matter of doing it one step at a time. Maybe set a timer for 15 minutes a few times a day as a cue that I’ve done more than I need, and then when it goes off, I just need to stop and get other stuff done. Oh well. When I work a full day, I don’t use the social media at all except at night to wind down. Maybe that’s all there is to it. Work, do stuff, get out of the house.

In other news, this month’s goal isdrumroll, please…

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.

Yes! I’ve been totally thinking about this the last couple of days. I really want to run! I’m getting stronger but I don’t think I’m quite ready yet. I need to focus on my core/stability/glute work, and I’m thinking I might do some intense, focused massage therapy to “fix” my imbalances. I sooooo want to run. I don’t want to run endurance distances, just 5K type stuff.

My goal is to do a mile every day. I’m calling it “move in March”. Just focus on that short distance, gradually getting faster and fitter. Maybe do more than that if I’m getting faster. But nothing more than 30 minutes of intense stuff a day. It’s doable if I replace some of my social media time with running. Because God knows I do social media enough. If I get to a point that I want to do another half marathon, I will, but I know I’m not really built for endurance. I’m fast when I want to be, though.

Other, semi-related (but not really) thoughts. During my trip this weekend, I went to New Orleans. I ended up drinking, and probably a bit too much. I had two drinks the night of my half marathon, and two drinks in the city my last day, followed by two drinks on the airplane. Tuesday and Wednesday, I had one can of cider (about a pint) each night and last night I didn’t drink at all. I don’t know if I’m ready to drink again, or if I need to stay totally dry. Sober January had a huge impact on my health, though, and I know I can’t drink every night. I do enjoy having a little when I’m out celebrating. It’s hard. I Just don’t know. For now, I’m going to keep it to the rare weekend celebration, and not in excess. Easier to say than to do.

My weight is still stuck. Other than my usual strict gluten free, I’m not doing anything else. I think I’ll make a minor goal of trying to get one salad in a day. That should do wonders. Other than that…I’m not going to be hard on myself. I wish I cared enough to really push it, but I apparently don’t. Something’s holding me back. Life is hard, people.

And with that, I’m off.

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.

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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.