29 April, 2010

90 minutes of cardio later...

Okay. I sweated through Parks & Recreation, the Office, and 30 Rock. 60 minutes on the elliptical, 30 on the bike. Kept my heart rate in the green zone. Because I had a microderm appointment today, my face felt like it was sweating Sriratcha sauce. I drank a liter of water while I was at it.

Maybe tomorrow I can avoid the drama and just walk away from the treats. Seriously, why put myself (and any blog readers I have left) through that nonsense? It's a heck of a lot easier, I imagine, to type "great day today! had willpower. worked out. going to bed now."

At least that last part is true. And I have a session with my trainer in 11 hours. Good night!

The longer you run away, the longer it'll take you to get back to where you started.

[warning: rant ahead. I need to figure some stuff out and be held accountable for my actions.]

I actually need to change that to a responsible pronoun: The longer I run away, the longer it'll take me to get right back here where I'm standing. Here's the difference between someone who loses weight and then gains it all back, and a person who does not gain it all back: stopping yourself. It's the hardest thing I can imagine right now. I have a huge hurdle that I'm dealing with right now, the hurdle that comes when I've "fallen off the wagon" or "had a cheat day" or whatever your other dieting friends call it. Gone "off program" is one of my faves from Weight Watchers, as if when I'm being good I'm following some sort of internal robotic program and it's as easy as following steps 1, 2, and 3. It is never easy, people. So I was all set to blithely continue on this numbing two-day binge that started with the nasty leftover pizza squares I was handing out to the after schoolers and that has included 3 brownies, a gigantic chocolate peanut butter muffin, more pizza, more cheddar cheese squares than i care to think about, pita with cream cheese, Cheez its, Dove dark chocolates, an entire tin of wasabi almonds, and countless string cheese sticks. I started running away. But I'm hungry, I said to myself when I had eaten the day's allotment of calories, and doesn't hunger justify my actions? Don't I deserve to eat anything I want? And then begins the slippery slope of crazy irrational rationalizing. I think of my naturally slim friends and think, "well, she wouldn't think twice. She'd just eat it. La la la, I can be carefree and skinny and just eat like she does!" This is the grown up equivalent of a first grader sticking her fingers in her ears and running away from whoever is talking to her. It doesn't work. I have to claw my way back again, because I do care. Like it or not, I am someone who has to watch what she eats and exercise all the time. I can't pretend not to be. Or rather, I can definitely pretend not to be, and then I can be back at 191 lbs and feel terrible and guilty and ugly again. And trust me, I know, I know-- it's not that fat = ugly, it's that my ignoring what i know I need to do = me feeling like a terribly irresponsible and weak person for not buckling down and doing it already. Continuing to eat like i was, long into the time when I had realized I needed to turn my habits around, now that felt weak.

Calming Down
Okay. So. This has been a 2+ year journey. It's been a lifelong journey. But I've been writing down my foods, counting calories, weighing in weekly (sometimes daily) for more than two years now, but with a few "la la la" fingers-in-my-ears blackout periods. Here is one thing I am learning from this: no matter how good it will taste, no matter how comforting and numbing it is to stuff myself silly, no matter how much fun it would be to just not have to think about it all the time, I just can't take the guilt. The weight on my shoulders, no pun intended, that I carry knowing the only thing that made me mess up was me. My brain. It's like I'm experimenting with responsible eating: let's see if the world notices if I sneak away and wolf this entire thing down. Did my pants immediately rip at the seams? No? Hmm... okay, let's have another one. Now let's see what happens when i write down my calories, think before I bite, and just say no to the junk food. Did my pants automatically grow too loose and fall away from my gorgeous flat stomach? No? Hmm... screw this. Why am I so enamored with the instantaneous results? They do not exist. I am the sum of all my small decisions. Right now I am stuffed full of mediocre sushi and stir fry, which I ate to try to make myself feel better after the gigantic muffin. At 1pm today I had already eaten the day's calories, and I told myself I would stop there and not eat anything else until after my evening gym session (at which point I could have just gone to sleep, I was sure, because it really does work for me sometimes to just stop eating after lunch and let myself digest all day. Seriously, and trust me, I'm not anorexic at all, I have a very slow metabolism). Of course I didn't stop there, even though I had my gum and my water and my White Strips and my knitting (all trusted fallbacks to keep my mouth & hands busy), but something happened. Hmm. What happened? I was feeling a little stressed during afterschool, but I started my "binge" (what i call thoughtless eating) before the kids even showed up. Hmm. I need to do some emotional sleuthing to figure out the why.

Assessing the next step
Because I know I often fall prey to the "all or nothing" school of thought, I knew what I would try to do: i sat myself down on the couch with the bowl of dark chocolates, got out a DVD, and settled down to continue the binge. Then i went onto my Google Reader, saw that shrinkinginthecity had posted, and sighed. Because I knew that whatever she had written would begin to bring me back to the land of the thinking, and sure enough, what she wrote inspired me to start this post and journal it through. Thanks, girl. You're such a valuable voice, even though I think you've reached your goal already and for the love of god you are 20 years old and a size four and you can run eight miles at a time so please just enjoy your dinners out in Manhattan!!! But it's not my journey, it's hers, and I know she'll settle in a happy place soon. And just because this post is not long enough already, sheesh, here is what I read just now that helped me make up my mind to-- wait for it-- GO TO THE GYM TONIGHT ANYWAY, EVEN WITH TWO DAYS WORTH OF CRUD IN MY BELLY:

Pauline Nordin | Wednesday, 28 April 2010

- If you dream about having a perfect body it’s time to stop dreaming and act on making the dream come true. Every
day. It means you will not be a member of the “I occasionally visit the gym” crowd anymore, you will team up with the
loyal league of gym rats who are the gym franchises worst customers because we USE their equipment HARD. When
you want to get lean so you can feel your abs under your shirt you will need to treat the cardio machine like your car:
it will TAKE you places.

- Getting a perfect body means you will go to the gym and workout because you planned it. If you don’t feel like it, it
does not matter. You know you cannot love every workout and it’s ok. It’s ok and mandatory to be a bit worn out from
time to time, it’s just a sign you are working hard.

- Getting lean means stepping out of the comfort zone where it’s ok to cheat during weekends and work your way up
again during the following week.

- To reach your goals you must accept you will need patience. You will need dedication. You will need discipline.
None of them you can find anywhere to buy. Can you imagine, the only things really stopping you from achieving all
those goals with your physique are inside your mind?

- Accept and acknowledge that YOU are the only one who can whip your butt in shape. No trainer can push you
through workout after workout, you must be the driving force, the trainer your helper. Not the other way around.

- You will need to create your own super human. Your super human YOU. There are no excuses, nothing is too hard,
it’s only a matter of how much you want it. Do you want it enough? Ask yourself daily. When you see that donut or
cookie on the shelf, before you just drool away, ask yourself if that taste of it for a minute is worth 3 more cardio
sessions on top of your daily routine of double sessions 5 to 6 days a week?

Feeling Better
(Is anyone still reading this?!) Okay. You know what? I had a bad two days. It happens. Here's what I can do: I can go get some exercise, because even if I can't burn off the calories I know that the endorphins and the sweat will help me think more rationally about it all and give me some perspective. I can congratulate myself on how far I've come (I mean, 158?! When I left for the Folk School I was 175! I remember writing in my journal and warning myself, "when you get down to 170, you'll start feeling that hunger every day, but do not succumb!" Now I can't imagine how I let myself get up to 170, let alone the miserable 190 I was at before). Also, i have fabulous motivation directly ahead of me, because LEAF is next weekend! I'll be twirling and whirling and sweating in the most luxuriously fun community that I know of, to the Duhks and Lift Ticket (yay yay yay) and on the very same dance floor where i first learned to contra in 1999. Oh my god, i am so ready to be there. Plus, Ozomotli, the Sim Redmond band, local pals Sol Driven Train and Rising Appalchia, plus Ken's favorite, the Blind Boys of Alabama-- all while camping there with friends and enjoying being back in western NC. This is going to be a great week! It's all leading up to LEAF! Now I want to go exercise and eat right! Thanks for taking this frighteningly bipolar journey with me tonight. I'm going to go change into my biker shorts. :)

25 April, 2010

Ahhh, Sunday.

(This is my "I can't believe you haven't finished knitting yourself yet!" face. Apparently my shawl was uninterested in being proactive while I was busy knitting entrelac hats for no reason at all.)

After going on wedding-related errands like crazy most of the day Saturday, and most of today as well, Ken and I are finally plopped down on the couch to cuddle up with our Hulu queues (Dr. Who for him, Community & 30 Rock for me). And of course, this means knitting time. Hooray! But it's the wedding shawl that calls out-- only 4 weeks left, and the little guy is still pretty little. Bah humbug. Will it ever end?

23 April, 2010

Wedding Dress Wednesday: 4 weeks to go

I guess I decided to do this WDW every other week, because seriously, how much change can you expect to see in 7 days? Since the last one was at T-6 weeks, here's how things are shaping up at T-4. (It's a Flickr set).

One special picture that I gave a whirl this week is the flexing shot:
4 weeks to go
Just because, hey! I see some definition! Yay! I haven't been as sore as I thought I'd be, working out w/ a personal trainer 3x a week, so I'm thinking about doing more basic pushups/pullups on my own on the days in between. Another update in 2 weeks or so, and then actual wedding posts!

(oh yeah, and the dress? It's actually sort of loose in the belly region. Holy bananas.)
4 weeks to go

17 April, 2010

Williamsburg... for the win!?

Tonight was a bizarrely satisfying night out-- and we never went further than a mile from our new apartment. We moved from the grad student ghetto to Condo Land (well, Kenny moved us while I was still at the Folk School), and I returned to find all of our belongings in shiny, new(er) surroundings. We live on an extremely quiet, rarely active courtyard with beautiful flowering trees at pleasingly irregular intervals. We have wall to wall carpet (a sad thing, since I much prefer wood or cork floors) and assigned parking spaces. Condo Land is just between Cracker Barrel and Golden Coral. It is somewhere I never, ever pictured myself living but I'm trying not to be a conceded hipster and wishing my surroundings were more eclectic. Instead, I'm being grateful for it exactly the way it is, and tonight was a grand time in our new neighborhood.

We can walk to a gigantic, jungle-themed mini golf course called Pirate's Cove, located conveniently by Kmart. It was a shockingly chilly night, but it sort felt good to be that cold after our summer-esque hot week last week. I'd almost forgotten the horror of winter, of hugging yourself to keep warm and stamping your frozen, slow-moving feet, but tonight I had on flip flops and shorts and it was a little distracting to be shivering while putting, as you can imagine. Not that I blame the cold for my seriously piss poor golf game. I mean sheesh, I thought I sucked at bowling! Anyway, It was just so surreal to be standing on the side of a fake mountain, on a bridge made of rope and planks above dyed-blue water, where the most swollen, obese-looking carp loll by the banks of the astroturf. Plus, sucking at mini golf is okay, I've decided. Kenny is such a cheerful winner, it's hard to wish him any ill will or regret his triumph.

[5 minutes later] Okay, Hulu is back on in the background and I've lost my train of thought. I think the point was, Kenny and I were pleased to have been enjoying ourselves in Williamsburg on a Saturday night. Not that we've had bad times, it just seems like there's not much to do here at night if you're not into drinking at sports bars. Every once in awhile we go to something fun at the college (like a step show, or a movie on the green), but most of the time it's the standard dinner & a movie or staying in. It's great for saving money. I miss Asheville so much, but I realize every day how many things I appreciate about Williamsburg. The addition of Trader Joe's into my life, for example, has been quite fun. An amazing local yarn store, beautiful and plentiful biking/running trails, a train station I can actually walk to, and lots of fun-for-the-family type weekend events in Colonial downtown, which are free and at least provide interesting people-watching opportunities. Not to mention the Montessori school community that so enriches my life every day. Oh, and our tiny Farmer's market is mostly seafood and baked goods, and in the height of summer we get some nice looking organic produce (and the goat cheese guy is there every single time without fail). It's not a bad life at all, for now.

Also good are our few but fantastic friends here in Williamsburg (and Newport News- hi Daniel! We're planning something. Plans to be revealed at the Jefferson lab tour). My mission is to spend way more time with local friends this year, and now that I'm not in grad school anymore I think that I will. We started by running into Cal and Wendy at the farmer's market this morning. Wonder if I can turn that into a streak?

And thus ends my random but heartfelt babblings on Williamsburg. Thanks for reading. :)

13 April, 2010

Just a quick bit of inspiration...

Today is my birthday! But we really celebrated this past weekend, what with driving to Charleston, eating as many scallops and shrimp-and-grits as we could find, and contra dancing to Notorious (and Anna's Bananas) all weekend. We took as much time away from the dance as we felt like, walking around the historic downtown area, eating (x 1,000), and walking on the beach.

I'm almost done "moving in" to our apartment. There are certainly some beautiful little spots that I want to show off. But for now, enjoy this great post about how to make gorgeous tie-dyed eggs (would have been better if I found this before Easter). But these are so pretty, it would be fun to do any time.

09 April, 2010

My birthday is sooon!

When I was little, my favorite cake was "rainbow chip." This is a boxed cake mix that I believe you can still buy- just a vanilla cake mix with multicolored mini "chocolate" chips (99% artificially colored and flavored, I'm sure), with rainbow sprinkle frosting. I can still taste it, even now...

But all I want for my birthday this year are Trader Joe's gift cards. They're so useful, and helpful, and I can buy everything we need there, except for rainbow chip cakes, which let's face it, I no longer need.

Kenny and I are off to Charleston, SC for Bug Stomp (a huge contra dance weekend with reportedly one of the best bands ever, Notorious, who I have never seen before). Dancing, sunshine, seafood! Hooray!

07 April, 2010

The winds of change are blowing (pollen)

Back in Williamsburg! There's a fine layer of green dust all over everything. So, because I am officially not living at the Folk School anymore, I need to change the title of this blog, and the description as well. I'll need to ruminate on that for a bit. Speaking of the description, it says, I write about knitting, teaching, weight loss, Montessori, crafts in general, dancing all over the place, and the process of planning a wedding when you're both "not wedding people." The weight-loss talk has been mysteriously absent, has it not?

So here's a yay for you: I managed to move to the Folk School, land of EAT ALL THE TIME, and HERE, HAVE SOME MARGARINE, and come away about 12 lbs. lighter than when I arrived. Now, don't get me wrong: the food is amazing, most of the time. I could think of way worse fates than to have to eat there for the rest of eternity. Also, don't get me wrong about the losing weight while being there thing, as it was probably just my muscles atrophying from only doing handwork for six months (but my fingers are lookin' good). Now that I'm back home and going to the gym again, it will be interesting to see if my weight goes up or down. I officially have 12.8 more pounds to lose before I'm at my goal weight, but to tell you the truth, at this point it's way more important to me that I am toned. I started this weight loss journey on January 1st, 2008 at 191 lbs. This morning I was 162.8. Most of the charts I've found have 150 as being the most a woman my height should weigh, so that's what I'm going for.

Once a week for the next 6 weeks, I'll be documenting the progress I'm trying to make on Ye Olde Batwing Problem. Ahoy, here is the first installment (yes, that is my wedding dress!).

03 April, 2010

It's my last night in the Keith House.

This is the face of a woman at ease with her own small place in the world.

All is quiet, save for the distant whispering giggles of the workstudies getting ready for bed above me. I smell like woodsmoke and my mouth tastes like pomegranate wine from the Ingles in Murphy (Murphingles, in case you keep track of these things). I am in love with my life here. Usually, I'm ready for the next adventure by the time I end my current one. It's one of my strengths: always able to look forward, shunning endings, planning the what's-to-be. But this time... I don't know. Brasstown is different. I felt so full here. People listen. We are all singer/songwriters. We go from place to place to see the same faces, but so readily greet new ones. I walked miles in the dark here, on my own, and made an honest name for myself. I had good work to do, and I mostly did it. And like it or not, it's time for the next adventure.

I'm sort of mourning the end of my Folk School self. But I'm so, so glad I got to be her for awhile.

I'm on Flickr a lot.

Jessica K.. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr