Friday, June 15, 2012

Sleepy and Grumpy Rolled Into One!

It's been quite a week.  A sleepy week.  I'm not sure why but I can't seem to keep my eyes open.  I thought that perhaps it was a virus because my throat felt sore one morning, but I really think it's because my CPAP machine needs to be adjusted.

I went for a sleep test a couple of weeks ago and I will meet with the Doctor on Tuesday morning, but in the meantime, I have been struggling to wake up and stay awake.

At work I have resorted to having lunchtime naps in the car or my boss's office.  Closing my eyes during meetings and conference calls.  That works except when my head starts to nod and I scare myself.  A couple of nights I went to bed as soon as I got home from work and slept for 2 to 4 hours and then turned around and went to bed for the night a few hours later.

It's not a good feeling.  I have no patience and that shows in my face, which is visible to everyone, so then I get questioned about why I'm so grumpy.  I don't mean to be a grump, I just want to curl up in the corner somewhere and sleep.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that when I meet with the Doctor and get the results, that it will mean some adjustments that will bring me some relief.  I was diagnosed with sleep apnea 5 years ago.  Not long after obtaining my CPAP machine, my mother and I moved to Burlington and the sleep clinic lost touch with me.  So I didn't realize that I should have been going for annual check ups and tests which may have led to minor adjustments in the amount of pressure being delivered.  I was well overdue for a test by the time I spoke to my family Doctor about going to a new clinic in Burlington.

It was the best sleep I had had in a long time.  They hooked me up to a new machine and pumped the air out so strong and it felt absolutely wonderful!  In comparison, my machine dribbles the air rather than pumping and sometimes, I'm not even sure if it is on.

I guess I've pretty much diagnosed my tiredness.  In spite of the sleep issue, I managed to get out on my bike twice last week.  Not as much as I had planned, but my rides were much longer than the anticipated 30 min workouts. Instead of 3 -30 min workouts, I did 2-55 min workouts.  I was further ahead even though I worked out less.

This week I will try to do better in that area.

I also had two eating out challenges.  One dinner with co-workers and a lunch out with another peer.  They weren't supposed to happen all in one week, it just worked out that way, back to back.  Wednesday night I went out with the girls to Montana's Cookhouse.  Prior to going, I printed out the nutritional information and made an informed decision on what I would order.  My top three choices were the Apple Pecan Harvest Salad, the Southwest Salad and the Cedar Smoked Salmon.  I finally decided on the Salmon and was very happy with my choice.  I LOVE salmon and it had a Cajun seasoning that was delectable.  It was served with a small bowl of rice and broccoli with carrots.  It was a nice serving size - bigger than I would cook at home, but that didn't stop me from eating it all.  I already had the information I needed to know that I was still within my plan points.

Lunch was more challenging.  We were going to go to Turtle Jack's but they were too busy so we ended up at Shoeless Joe's instead.  I wasn't really unhappy about the shift because I couldn't find any of their nutritional information online and I was apprehensive about making the right decision.  Since I didn't have a chance to peruse the nutritional data prior to ordering, I kind of flew by the seat of my big ass pants and ordered what I thought would be OK.  I chose the Blackened Sirloin and Goat Cheese Salad with Balsamic Dressing.  Absolutely delicious!

I could estimate the points value on Weight Watchers with the calculator but I know it is high because on the Weight Watchers plan you don't have to assign points for fruit or vegetables and lets face it, most of a salad is vegetables.  I started to also track what I am eating on a free website, My Fitness and on that website it tracks 4 categories for me, Calories, Fat, Carbs and Protein.  I started to use it in conjunction with Weight Watchers because it has lots of nutritional information to help me track and I was curious to know how many calories I am consuming each day.  Too much information is not a bad thing, in this case.  I love the site.  You can print out reports that track your progress for your weight, activity and nutrition.  It's very interactive.  So with the two sites, I can't help but succeed.

And I do feel very successful right now.  I lost 3.7 pounds last week and am now down a total of 16 pounds.  I've lost a dress size and a bit.  Some items are two sizes smaller than I was and some are just one - depends on the make.

Happy weekend, here I come!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Taming Lucy!

My relationship with Lucy has not been smooth going.  She has resisted and fought me every step or should I say pedal of the way.  She resists my butt to the point that it aches the day after a ride and now she insists on creaking and rattling the whole trip.  She only shuts up when I stop pedalling to catch my breath now and then.

Last night, I thought enough is enough.  I am ready to tame this bike finally and show her who is boss.  I had a destination in mind; it was Shell Park, Oakville.  I live near the border of Burlington and Oakville so it was not out of the realm of possibility.

On my trip, I took a detour along a trail heading east.  That was my general direction so I thought it would be fun to see where it went.

It was like riding through the jungle.  Everything is so lush and alive right now.  I am sure that there were birds chirping and insects buzzing, but I could not hear anything except the rattling and creaking of my bike.  I sounded like a freight train rolling at high speed along the tracks as the noises bounced off the brush lining the trail.  I do believe that the folks I scared either thought it was a train or a bear crashing through the brush by the look of shock on their faces as I came hurtling over the crest of a little hill.  The woman tried to explain her look by telling me that they had been standing there looking at all the deer who were just hanging around.  I yelled, “Oh cool!” as I flew by.  I was too busy to stop to look, knowing that they must have long taken off when they heard the racket coming along the trail.  Deer are smart.  They would not wait around for a bear to attack them.

Lucy was good in the beginning, other than the noise, but while we were on the trail, she dug in her wheels at every slight incline so that I had to really, really pump to carry both her and myself up the hill.  It was brutal.  I actually had to get off and walk up a hill no bigger than an anthill, because I did not have the strength to get the pedal around one more time.  I should have felt defeated, but I did not.  I was even more determined to win this battle.  I jumped back on the saddle, blew out the other end of the trail, and found myself on Great Lakes Blvd.  I was not far from Shell Park.  Victory was almost mine.

My plan on arriving at the park was to find a nice quiet spot to rest and just think.  I like to do that sometimes.  Especially in a natural setting where I can enjoy the sounds of nature.

I passed another athletic person leaving the park who gave me a congratulatory look and smile.  He did not say a word, but I could read his mind.  He was thinking, “Good for you!  You have moxie, getting on a bike that is about to implode and wheeling around like your half your size.  Way to go!”

Rest was near and my butt was screaming from the pain of the seat.  This is in spite of my installing a new gel seat cover over the already supposedly comfortable saddle.  I cycled into the park on the driveway and followed it to the very back of the park.  I passed all four soccer fields, and followed the roadway back towards the entrance.  I was looking for that spot that was going to call out to me to stop.  I did not see it.  Then I came to the realization that stopping would probably be the worst thing I could do.  If my butt was yelling now, what would it be like to get off the bike and then try to get on in a few minutes and ride all the way home?  There was no way I was going to walk my bike back home.  That would be ridiculous.  So, as I rattled past the cool young men doing tricks in the skateboard park and the young families with their toddlers at the kiddie park, I made up my mind to ignore my derriere and head for home.

In my mind, I told myself to slow down that I needed to make the last half of this hellish tour a leisurely ride but my butt could not stand the pain and was pushing my legs to pump even harder so that I could get off this damned bike.

The heavy traffic on Lakeshore and Burloak was disconcerting.  I didn’t like seeing the small convertibles flying down the road in the opposite direction, the passengers with shear enjoyment plastered on their faces while I was struggling with the uphill grade (it’s not visible in a car or walking – only on a wretched bike) and trying to give the impression that I was enjoying myself.  I am certain that my face was portraying pain not pleasure, but at this point, pain was winning and I did not have the fortitude to hide it, so I needed to get away from people and traffic.

I shot down a westward road at the first opportunity.  I was smart enough to choose a “road” and not a “court”.  Even though I did not know where it was going, I was certain it would go “somewhere” and not bring me right back to where I started.  That is the problem with modern subdivisions.  They all have curvy roads to nowhere except where you started.

My plan did not quite work out.  Yes, I was away from the busy vehicular traffic, but now I was riding with other pedestrians, people who could actually speak to me and give me compliments on the pretty bike.  Little do they know, looks are not everything – she is mean.

I tried to feign enthusiasm and happiness as I struggled to get home.  Getting off wretched Lucy was foremost in my mind.  Before I reached my destination however, I did have a car slow down beside me and the driver, who I could not make out, yelled some greeting at me as his wife/gf smiled or laughed.  Thinking back to the look on her face, it might not have been a greeting, maybe it was an inflammatory insult like “Are you completely mad?  Don’t you know there is a noise by-law?  Get off the road, Fatty!”

It is a good thing I have a hearing deficiency in that ear.  I can choose to believe it was a greeting and continue oblivious to the mocking that had just occurred.  My destination was in sight now, so with victory salivating in my mouth, I focussed on my legs, push, push, push, come on, keep going, you’re almost there, push, push, push...

I deeked into the first entrance to my complex, so I could coast slowly to my door, just pumping enough to keep the bike upright and moving.  The last hurdle, the curb to the driveway was not happening.  I looked at it and could feel the jarring in my tailbone so I stopped short of going over and struggled to pull my leg up, over the seat, and off the bike.  It was all I could do not to throw her on the ground and yell, but I was too tired for that.  So instead, I walked her slowly into the garage and made sure she was standing solidly on her kickstand, and then gave her a dirty look while I watched the garage door close down locking her away until the next time.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Hurting Words

I have discovered that something that is important to my success with my weight loss journey is not only what I put in my mouth, but what comes out of it.

The things we say can have a huge impact on how we think, and ultimately on our success. Chocobear started a message board about daily affirmations and I agreed with her that I truly believe they work. I have, at different times throughout my life, used this technique to win a race, succeed at high jump and win a judo match. So I know it works.

I'm not sure why, if I know this, that I don't always think about the words I use before I blurt them out. Words are a powerful tool. They have the ability to comfort and wound.

Earlier today, I was sharing a story about my little trip to Costco last night and my mess up at the snack bar. My daughter and I had decided to go to check out a little water feature as soon as I got home from work. I was hungry and I had suggested that we eat first, but she was concerned that if we did, we wouldn't head out the door and go afterwards. 

So hungry and tired, we got in the car and headed over. I decided that we might as well eat at the snack bar while we were there. Their food is cheap and that way we wouldn't be eating too late. I had been dreaming of their hot dogs since I had been in the store the day before.

Since this wasn't a planned dinner out, I wasn't prepared. I didn't have any idea how many Weight Watcher points anything was and I didn't care. I wanted a hot dog. I also wanted some fries, but I wasn't going to have any. My daughter decided to get some though, so I gave into my desire and shared them with her.

I was elated when she also said she wanted an ice cream cone. I had no intention of getting one, but was more than happy to consume 1/3 of it when she got too full. 

Today I finally figured out how many points I consumed during this little "snack bar" meal, thanks to a new web site I found called My Fitness It has a huge data base with information about nutritional contents of many foods. I'm not sure but I believe that the members of the website contribute the information. No matter, it was a blessing to find the information and face the truth about what I had done.

I felt like I had totally messed up last night with my dinner. The guilt was driving me crazy and I felt like I was about to spiral out of control. The hot dog and roll was a whopping 16 points, half the fries were 12 points and 1/3 of the ice cream cone comes in at 5 points. So in one fell swoop, I consumed 33 points. 

I was telling my co-worker how much I had screwed up last night. I told her how I didn't have any discipline, about how I ate half the fries and some of my daughters ice cream cone.

She cut me off and asked me why I was looking at this as a negative experience instead of a success. I didn't understand at first, but then she pointed out that in the past, I would have ordered the hot dog, the fries and an ice cream for myself and I would have eaten the whole thing. But I didn't do that this time. I consciously decided to share the fries and have a tiny bit of the ice cream. I should be proud of myself instead of upset.

She was right. I was defeating myself with my negative talk and hadn't even realized it. She helped me see what I was doing and stop it before it got out of hand.

So instead of going on an all out binge, I came home tonight and rode my bike for a half hour, did a load of laundry, cooked a nutritious dinner and watered my flowers outside.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Real Pain In The Butt!

Lesson learned - yet again. You can't judge a book by it's cover! I didn't listen to that old piece of advice. I decided that I liked her right away, based on her looks.

Turns out I was very wrong. She is pretty, looks like a lot of fun, soft and hard in all the right places. I just thought that we would be great friends and I'm really disappointed this morning.

I'm still feeling the pain from last night. We were only together for 1/2 an hour but in that little amount of time, she managed to be a real pain in the butt. She never gave up for the whole half hour, just kept poking me in the wrong place.

Finally I decided that enough was enough and took her home. I felt bad. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I had great hopes for a long lasting friendship that would help me forget about him. I can't believe that I was wrong. I'm usually very good at this sort of thing.

Before I closed the garage for the night, I pulled my bike back out into the driveway and spent some quality time with her, by installing the new wicker basket that I had purchased when I decided that she was the one that I was taking home. 

Perhaps if I have my water bottle in the basket, so I can take replenishing sips of water, the pain in my butt won't seem so bad!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Warning - Beware of Sweet Craving, Hormonal Woman (aka Daughter)

We all experience obstacles to overcome during our weight loss journeys. I am a veteran weight battler and am well aware of this fact, but thought it would be prudent for me to warn the rest of you out there that sometimes your obstacle can present itself in the form of your own loved ones.

In my case, it's my daughter. Like her mother, she struggles with being "big boned" and "chubby" and has done her own fair share of dieting in the past.

It always seems like one of us in "on track" while the other is running amuck. Although she says she is onboard with our goal to eat healthier and slim down, her actions don't always confirm her conviction.

We were at the local grocery store the other night and I lost track of her. It didn't occur to me to look in the bakery section, but after running all over the store, I ventured to the forbidden zone and there she was, smile on face, slowly floating around the baked delights breathing in the scent of fresh baked goodness. I had to speak to get her out of her trance. She had a box of mini donuts in hand and was trying to decide whether or not to buy them. As much as I wanted to talk her out of it, I really wanted to go home and when I realized that my weight loss logic wasn't working, I decided to let her make her own decision and the donuts found themselves in our grocery bags.

The next morning, I got up before my daughter and when I spotted the evil donuts lounging on the counter, I decided to protect myself and throw them in the freezer. It would be slightly inconvenient for her to defrost as required, but better that than her deciding to eat the whole container because they would only spoil if left alone.

She was surprised by my actions but understood. 

Later that evening, we attended Cirque Du Soleil - Dralion in Hamilton. Excellent show! We went to the 5:00 pm show on Sunday because I thought it would be less busy. I made sure we ate before attending so we wouldn't be tempted.

During intermission, she decided to venture upstairs on the excuse of needing a washroom. When she returned however, there was a small bag of warm, just baked, cinnamon mini donuts in her hand and a pop for us to share.

So I relented and tasted one of the donuts. That was a huge mistake. 10 or so later (each), we were down to the bottom of the bag and I started to worry about how many useless points I had just consumed. Funny how now it's important to me, but during my "weight-gaining" period, it would not have been a second thought.

But, because I screwed up on the donuts, I continued to consume sweets that evening and by the time I was ready for bed I had managed to down a medium Dairy Queen ice cream and a Twix bar. Both things, I would not normally think of doing.

So be warned of those lovable people in your family - they're the ones who will most likely sway you to partake in some extracurricular eating activities that you may not have planned on.

All I can say is Thank God for the extra Weight Watcher points!