Thursday, September 26, 2013

Challenge - Days 8/24, 9/24 and 10/24

I can hardly reconcile the ability I've had in staying with the program. Really? 10 days? No starches, no dairy? Who is this girl?

Me. I managed to keep on target and not allow myself to binge when crises have hit. I'm over committed a great deal right now and I'm still making myself do what I need to do. I stepped on and got measured within the last 24 hours. I've lost some inches--and stayed the same in some areas. I've lost a total of 8lbs by the wee early hours of the morning on Day 11! Can you believe it? I do workout, but I'm not a demon about it my any means.

Yesterday was eye opening in many ways. I was at lunch with my best friend at work. She and I sat at a cafe table in the concourse of the library and a fellow employee asked if she could leave her BK bag on our table while getting a paper from the machine. Sure. BK was never my favorite, but when the smell of that bag hit my nose I thought I was going to lose it. IT SMELLED TERRIBLE. I wanted to run away from it. My friend assured me it was only for a minute or two. She was right, but foul, foul odor.

For anyone who is reading along, keep me in your prayers. I've entered my 'burn/refuel' cycle now. I will have no fruit! on some days and that will be hard for me. So far today I really haven't missed the fruit...afterall, I had the luxury of a chocolate meal replacement shake for breakfast. DELIGHTFUL! I've missed ice cream and my beloved Arctic Freeze dessert. having an icy beverage really helped soothe some of the cravings for binge and cheat foods that I've been having.

Since 14 whole days remain now, I see that I'm more than one-third complete. I'll be happy no matter what at the end of the trail even if I maintain what I have now completed and achieved. My goal was a reboot of weight loss and I've broken that dreaded 'mark that cannot be broken,' so now it's up to me to keep up the good work.

The first reading from my devotional today:

Haggai 1:1-8

In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of Yahweh was addressed through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel governor of Judah and to Joshua son of Jehozadak the high priest as follows, 'Yahweh Sabaoth says this, "This people says: The time has not yet come to rebuild the Temple of Yahweh." '
(And the word of Yahweh was addressed through the prophet Haggai, as follows,)
'Is this a time for you to live in your panelled houses, when this House lies in ruins?
So now, Yahweh Sabaoth says this, "Think carefully about your behaviour.
You have sown much and harvested little; you eat but never have enough, drink but never have your fill, put on clothes but feel no warmth. The wage-earner gets his wages only to put them in a bag with a hole in it." 
Yahweh Sabaoth says this, "Think carefully about your behaviour.
Go up into the hills, fetch timber and rebuild the House; and I shall take pleasure in it and manifest my glory there -- Yahweh says.

Remarkable how we get what we need when we need it. And so it is with my body as a temple. I am rebuilding, and I will be satisfied and have enough.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Challenge: Days 4/24 - 7/24

Having worked full time this past week, and trying to keep up with some family drama and my coursework, I lacked energy or commitment to do my work on staying on track with the challenge AND write about it. Here is a top level summary.

Thursday, also known as Day 4 was without much disruption. We had much to do at work that day. I worked through my lunch for another meeting and also had zero time for getting work off my desk. I worked on details of a poster I'd be co presenting at conference on Sunday in West Lafayette. I managed my snacks, etc., on time.

Friday came with new challenges. It was the celebration for the library building's 50th anniversary and much food and music was on the plan. I did resist the cupcake and other sweets, but Lord knows I wanted a cookie. My veg and almonds held me satisfied though. In the midst of the university librarian's remarks on the occasion I saw Condoleezza Rice sweep through the concourse with her security team. Suspect she had been visiting Fr. Hesburgh. She is tall, thin and beautiful. Yet another dissuasion from the cookie.

Friday night proved more challenging. Our Apple Festival had opened the night before and carnival food was in the air. Nik thawed some less than appealing perch but the sirloin tips were calling my name. I didn't think of it right away but it is likely the tips are rolled in butter, a violation of the no dairy principle under which I operate now. My tummy turned in the middle of the night but thankfully there were no unfortunate outcomes.  I really didn't feel challenged by the sweets and other food. I am still sad that I cannot have mushrooms right now.

Saturday was more of the same, but my parents were on hand with an agenda of the parade and coffee shop along with junk food alley. Still, I held strong and had the ribeye sandwich sans bread. My craving for fried dough was rising when the elephant ear appeared. Thankfully I learned that I had lost well over the week so I fought hard to stay on track. I was early but could not remember if day seven or day eleven was the right time. Day six was used since I didn't have access yo the gym on Sunday.

Sunday was worst. Day seven was not fair. I wanted buttery corn and sweet and salty kettle corn. Wasn't there a way I could buy it and keep it until October ten? Thank you, but no. In fact I did not take money with me to the fest and Nik had only enough for his lunch. I had leftover ginger chicken while preparing my food for the week. I had to pack for my two and a half day symposium, and take my own snacks to stay on plan.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Challenge - Day 3/24

Up at 4:55, Sparked and ready to Spin at the gym. Lovely strength workout on the cycle and left me feeling like I was ready to take on the world. No, wait, that's muscle exhaustion and elevated heart rate. Why I don't  want to flee from that feeling, I'll never know. I guess it's the love of the bike. Loved and devoured my egg/eggwhite omelette and raspberries this morning. Still not minding the peaches and cream fiber. It must be my own eclectic taste buds that makes it OK.

New daily challenge: Eating clean at lunch with a new faculty colleague. I certainly didn't want to be 'that person' who is overly specific about food and its preparation by restaurant staff as it was our first meeting to discuss a new materials purchase plan for the library and the program she directs.

The restaurant is new to campus and I didn't have time to review the menu in advance. My plan of attack was a plain, mixed greens salad with added grilled chicken breast or salmon. No dressing--I don't mind a tasty salad without it, actually, and I've never been a dressing hound. What's the point of drowning fresh vegetables? I like the taste.

Lo and behold the menu had a grilled shrimp and mixed greens garden salad. No croutons, no cheese. Some sort of ginger peanut dressing came with, but I asked to sub vinegar and olive oil (Thanks, Linds!). I was eating normally at lunch and didn't mind that my host was being satisfied with tasty looking fish and chips. I could not finish the wealth of greens on the plate. I was disappointed the shrimp weren't grilled, but thankful they were perfectly boiled or steamed--they were tender, and not rubbery.

I had another late departure from work, and Nik had an unexpected class to teach from 6-7, so I knew I'd be prepping food when I got home. I wanted to snack when I walked in the door but began to chop instead. We had parsnip hash--diced parsnips cooked with a little salt and olive oil, diced onion and green pepper thrown in and then held off while the ground turkey cooked with fennel seed, savory, white and black pepper. Once that was done I added a diced tomato to the mix and let it stew a little longer, spooned out my 3oz serving and mixed it with a bowl full of the sauteed veg. Delightful. I didn't miss the cheese in the hash I created. Nik loved it and remarked how he forgets how much he loves parsnips. Thankfully they're in season right now with our produce source. Delicious AND organic!

While cooking I encountered crisis. My brother called and the conversation was stressful and hard. I kept fighting the urge for chocolate, yogurt, dried fruit, crackers, bread, peanut butter, deli turkey, cheese, butter, anything that I now consider comfort food and we keep in the house. It was hard enough not to snack while prepping the meal as I usually do, but I kept my resolve while responding and reacting to his words. I ended up hanging up with him after a prolonged silence not acknowledged. I wept a little but knew I needed to get back on track. I wept sorrowfully and painfully after I finished my dinner. I am still hurt and angry, but not so much as yesterday. I will need to make the plan for moving this forward. I will need to stay strong and stay on track. I'm thankful, ever thankful, for my husband and his unending emotional support of my needs. It's not right that he has to handle this fallout for me to keep me standing. But he does. He does every day.

And then there is God. For every need, we are covered. This morning's passage (Day 4/24, as I've been missing the opportunity to write at night), in my delivered reading is from 1 Timothy 4:12-16. I need it. I need to apply it. I was most unholy in my words and thoughts last night after the conversation. I am at a point I can only give what Nik calls 'tough love' and it hurts. I hear Nik speak with encouraging words, even to my brother, and my own ability needs so much work.

Let no one disregard you because you are young, but be an example to all the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in your love, your faith and your purity.
Until I arrive, devote yourself to reading to the people, encouraging and teaching.
You have in you a spiritual gift which was given to you when the prophets spoke and the body of elders laid their hands on you; do not neglect it.
Let this be your care and your occupation, and everyone will be able to see your progress.
Be conscientious about what you do and what you teach; persevere in this, and in this way you will save both yourself and those who listen to you.

Challenge - Day 2/24

After recovering from the great chocolate incident of day one, I realized that yes, I was learning and recognizing self-sabotaging behaviour. I don't believe for one minute it's a result of starting the challenge, but it's a matter of becoming more mindful of what's going into my mouth. So, it's a win, and a pretty big one for me.

I awakened feeling sleepy and hungry but started with my spark and then morning routine--no exercise this morning, and getting ready for work was smooth. I had thanked myself again for taking time to prepare my meal components on Sunday. This was indeed a big help.

One of the challenges I have is feeling OK about eating during meetings. I've let a few colleagues know that I'm on a 'sugar fast' for a few weeks to help them understand my sudden and strange need to eat every couple of hours. It's proving OK. I realized I might want to keep some of the Catalyst at my desk 'just in case' things get off track and I'm unable to snack mid-afternoon.

Nik was not at home for dinner, and I arrived later than I intended after picking up our produce order and being waylayed at work five minutes before my scheduled departure. My dinner included panseared scallops, steamed snap peas and tomatoes, shallots and zucchini sauteed in olive oil with some dried herbs. It was delicious and filling, and, I had enough for leftovers to snack the next day.

By the end of the day I was ready for sleep. It came easily, but I was up again in the middle of the night to void the bladder. I know I have excellent kidney function with all the water I'm drinking. Here's to the quart size Eddie Bauer bottle: The new love of my life. Well, at least daily companion. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Challenge - Day 1/24

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I spent the early months of summer working with a wonderful nutrition coach and a personal trainer at the gym. I was able to shed AND KEEP OFF 18 pounds of weight put on by stress and laziness in my life. My tenacity and interest waned throughout the end days of summer, as is wont to happen with any 'regimen' I adopt. I am not good at writing things down and I believe that I can do it on my own. These things are not true and I do need a good support network.

To get around my 'boredom' with my plan, I approached a friend who is an Advocare Coach. She herself lost 70+ pounds of post pregnancy weight a year or so ago. She is also a track coach at one of the local high schools. A natural cheerleader, she was on board with me getting started with her. I timed things to begin at the end of my vacation. After an hour coaching session last week, and a shopping spree, I was ready to begin.

Day 0 - Food and prep.
I spent time going through the menu plan and supplement plan to determine what I'd need to eat clean without worry for the coming week. I spent an hour after the grocery store prepping, cutting, cleaning and cooking food for lunches and daily snacks. Salads pre-made in quart size baggies, veggies in snack baggies, almonds divided, turkey burgers cooked and frozen to make easy-protein-filled snacks for on the go. I wrote out what to eat at what time. Is this sustainable? It's only for 24 days, so here we go.

Day 1 - My Mondays and Wednesdays always begin at the gym with a 5:30AM Spinning class. I am not a morning person but I have learned to either keep quiet or put on a good face. At 5:00 I had my first legitimate taste of Spark, a vitamin and energy (caffeine) laden drink mix that is a bit sweet for my taste, but down the hatch it went. I sweat like nobody's business at the gym and sustained 75-80% of my MHR during workout--I usually keep it closer to 65. I don't know if it was the supplement or because I had been off the gym for nearly two weeks during vacation--I had been to Spinning the Saturday before today, though, so it wasn't Day one for the gym.

Breakfast came within a half hour of getting home from the gym. Two Omegaplex supplements (fish oil looking things--probably the 'omega' in Omegaplex), a fibery-drink with the flavor of peaches and cream, two eggwhites and one whole egg, scrambled, and a peach. Delish. The fibery drink wasn't so bad as I anticipated. It is like drinking heavy peach syrup. I was recommended to chug it down and so I do. By this point in the day I have had at least a quart and a half of liquid if you count my intake at the gym. know that I'll be in the ladies' most of the day.

My morning snack was a grilled turkey burger and a half cup of raspberries. The burger was still frozen somewhat...boy was that interesting to chew.  Lunch came and my salad exceeded the size of the plate I had on hand. It looked like I was having a smorgasboard for lunch by the time I finished arranging my plate with shredded chicken on top. Water served me well again at lunch. We had a lunch meeting and so I was able to eat with 50+ of my colleagues as we met to discuss faculty matters. I was able to leave early as I had a desk shift to cover back at the library.

During the shift's first hour we were pretty busy. We had a faculty member who needed some assistance getting a high quality scan of a picture in a book. I took him to the Center--to help promote even its lower level services, and spied a community candy bowl on the table with the scanner. I took a Hershey's Special Dark miniature and walked back after handing off the faculty member. At the second chew, I realized what I had so mindlessly done. I found two tissues and spat the whole thing out. I had just shared with the student working the desk with me that I was 'off sugar' for a while and then I did this. I confessed, and we discussed mindlessness--he's a theology graduate student. So the good news is I caught myself before swallowing. The other good news is I have identified a trigger for mindless eating and know how it happens in the workplace so I have the opportunity to focus on that change in the next 23 days.

Dinner was great--orange roughy and steamed peas and Omegaplex. I ate some turkey breast for my evening snack and then took the 'Herbal Cleanse' pills before sleep--honestly, those are the worst-tasting thing I've encountered so far. Wish me well on my challenge. I think I'm going to need it.