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I miss *us*

I am definitely in a down time.  I did, however, express to my husband that I felt like he and I needed to reconnect in a “romantic” way because I feel like he and I are not as close as we have been as far as that sort of thing goes.  He has been great to me lately, very supportive of the things I’m trying to do to change my life, but as far as feeling like we are in love with each other, that feeling has not surfaced in a while on BOTH of our parts.  I know he loves me, and I am just feeling that maybe my declining beauty and getting older is really affecting his attraction to me.  Plus the weight and all that.  I don’t *feel* sexy so I don’t want to have sex, etc.

I have been focusing too much on that lbs number.  I kind of lost sight of why I started working out and taking better care of myself in the first place.  It wasn’t about getting skinny.  It was about getting *healthy*.  If I am feeling healthier — that is, less pain, more energy, better moods, etc. — THAT is the goal.  Not a number on the scale.  If I achieve the goals and I’m still a size 16 then that is going to have to be OK.  I cannot happily focus on something like that.  I have to find my beauty no matter where I am.  If as a side effect of living a bit healthier, I lose some weight, then fine.  But that cannot be the purpose. 

It has disappointed me that I am having to watch my calories SO damned closely.  I can’t do that.  I am going to continue to track my food, and try to stay within the caloric range.  I am trying to include lots of water, veggies and fruit, and protein in the mix; less carbs; but I’m not going to obsess over it.  I’m going to try to focus on getting more exercise…and worrying a bit less about eating rabbit food all day, every day.  This is not to say that I am going to go hog wild and eat junk food all the time again.  I know that is bad for me.  That is counterproductive to the “feeling better” mission. 

I have noticed that when I go a few days without drinking lots of water, my newly cleared-up skin starts breaking out like crazy.  I get canker sores in my mouth, my skin gets even drier than normal, etc.  So I know that water is absolutely imperative.  And I have been going kind of crazy with the pop drinking.  Because it is in the house.  Now that it is all gone (thanks to my binging), I can start over with that. 

I actually really enjoyed myself when I was holding out my streak on not drinking pop, and doing crunches every day, etc.  And I do enjoy doing cardio.  I wish I enjoyed strength training a bit more.  I hate doing it.  I hate calisthenics, and I hate dumbbells.  This is where I wish I was using circuit training machines.  Maybe if I had a workout bench, etc., and a specific place set aside for me to work out it would be easier.

I wish I could have time every day to do 45 minutes of (enjoyable) cardio, and 20 minutes of yoga.  The yoga I would prefer to do in the evening.  I *could* do it at night but after I put Lola to bed, I’m just so tired I want to sit and have a quiet moment or just go to bed.  I would do even more cardio if I could because I know it will benefit me.  The strength training I know I should do every other day 3 x a week.  It is just SO boring and hard to do when I have to look at the computer screen for every exercise and try to use things around the house for stability or balance. 

This has nothing to do with my mood except that I know that my lack of activity or structure really affects my feelings. 

After I shared with my husband today that I feel lonely and I miss our love and our chemistry, he came home with a card and flowers.  I love him.  I know he loves me and I just want to know that he still adores me like he used to.  I feel so scared that these inches of extra weight on me are draining his attraction to me.  And since I know my birth control pills are sapping all my libido our sex life has been nil lately.  I am switching back to my old pill at the end of this pack. 

I think I need to take a bit of time for myself — I mean, to spend a little time on being a *girly girl* and recharge my feminine batteries so to speak.  I need to color my hair, I need to get a pedicure, I need to go through my clothes and get all the prettiest stuff out for wearing.  I need some new shoes (as we’ve discussed), and I’d LOVE a little extra money to get some good outdoor walking clothes, and some Bare Essentials makeup.  Oh, wouldn’t that be lovely.

Money would help.  A lot.  As usual.

Great Day!

Ladies — Today is going GREAT.

I woke up at 8:20 a.m. and actually got up out of the bed on my own, NO prodding from the hubby, and I got dressed, did my stretches, got ready to go and walked into my bedroom.  My hubby was laying there with his eyes open, and he looked really surprised that I was dressed, mp3 player and timer ready to go.  I said, “I’m outta here, hon.” and he looked really impressed.

Out the door I went.  The music was great on my mp3 player and I was walking fast…I’ve been reading on this great walking website (http://www.thewalkingsite.com/beginner.html) about short and quick strides and visualizing walking a straight line, looking straight ahead and not at the ground, etc.  Also they said the faster you swing your arms, your legs will follow and this works.  The sun was filtering through the trees, so every few steps I would emerge into a shaft of sunlight and it felt so good.  It was chilly, but the sunshine was warm.  I walked without pain for approximately half the walk.  Started to get a bit sore in the second half, but not as bad as it has been previously.  I suspect that this is because of the flexibility exercises I’ve been doing from the previously mentioned walking website.  I just felt happy to be alive, happy that I am sticking to something for the first time in years, and knowing that my husband is proud of me.

I have been working out my plan for weight loss when going in to Phase 2 of the SparkPeople program.  I have figured it out that for the first 10 or 20 lbs I need to keep my calorie intake to no more than 1720 calories per day, and I want to try to burn 200-600 calories per day.  I’m not sure how I am going to structure this, now that we are going into the lovely season of Winter here in Michigan and I am not a penguin so I don’t like being out there too long.

I am planning on making Phase 2 last 12 weeks instead of 6.  I’m going to work for 2 weeks on each of the week’s points so that I can make sure they are embedded in my mind.  I need that extra bit of reinforcement to make sure things stick. 

If I could lose 2 lbs per week, by the time I am out of Phase 2, I could have lost 24 lbs.  That would take me down to 166 lbs., and a lot closer to my first goal of 160.  Once I’m there, I am hoping to get down to 150 or 140.  I think this is a nice weight for me to be, not too skinny, I get to keep my curves that my hubby loves and still be slim enough to wear the things I really enjoy wearing. 

Weight loss has become more of an interest since I have begun this change in my life-style.  I originally started this to work on modulating my mood swings for the bipolar disorder.  I have found without doubt that this is working for that.  These changes I’m making are not only exercise and nutrition, but also being more conscious of how I spend my time and making sure that I take care of my responsibilities as a wife, mother, friend and daughter.  Now that I have proved to myself that this is really helping me emotionally and mentally, and I am starting to see the benefits of consistent exercise and controlling my urge to overeat, I am hoping that my dream of getting back to a sexy body is closer than I had been thinking.  It seemed as far away as the moon.  I figured I couldn’t even meet my basic needs, how the hell could I possibly get fit?  No self control, no determination, no dedication, etc.  But I’m finding that I still have that in me–and the momentum builds as I get up and add another day to the tally of days I have lived this new way.

I am also seeing a definite lack of “fun” in my life, and I am really thinking about what I can do to infuse some enjoyment back into my days.  I mean, hanging out with my kids is fun, but I mean “MY” kind of fun…reading, other hobbies, etc.  It is time.  I am hoping that I can really curb the internet time, and spend that time with my kids, and also making time to seize joy during my days. 

Today for instance, the house is basically straightened up.  I don’t worry too much about the living room because that is where Lola plays.  I clean that up at night before bedtime so we start fresh in the morning.  The rest of the house is straightened, beds made, etc.  Tomorrow I will need to sweep and mop in preparation for my sister’s arrival, although I doubt she really cares about such things.  I will also do a load of laundry today as well, but other than that, housework is done.  It is currently 11:30 a.m. and I do have to run around this afternoon, so my time at home is short.  I have to go to my SIL’s house for 2-3 hours this evening while Princess is attending a babysitting course with her cousin in SIL’s neighborhood.  After that I need to get some groceries in the house this evening before my sister comes tomorrow.

I think I feel a bit uneasy like I’m missing something or should be doing more.  I can’t really see what though.  I am really not in the mood to take on some huge house overhaul or anything.  No special projects other than overhauling myself.  I think I may feel a bit funny about how much time I’m spending on SparkPeople right now but I think in order to effect the changes I’m trying to effect, I need to be on there to help keep my mind focused, or my eyes on the prize, as it were.

I just spend an hour or so going through the site, reading articles, etc.  I go to My SparkPoints page and I basically go down the list and do everything and get my points — but it helps me because I am watching those videos, and reading about nutrition and health conditions, etc.  It stays with me through the day and keeps me more conscious of my health decisions.

Wow, this is long winded.  I guess I should go and live my life today.  Thanks for listening.

Today’s Inspirational Muse brought to you by:

Would I Lie To You? – Eddy & Something or other, the name is screwed up.
Shining Star – Earth, Wind & Fire
Rock Steady – The Whispers
Where Da Party At – Nelly (feat. Jagged Edge)
Last Night I Didn’t Get To Sleep at All – Fifth Dimension
Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
Do Me! – Bell Biv Devoe
The Power – Snap

Time Management Really Matters

I am really getting into the habit of doing all these “basic needs” things I have on my checklist.  I am getting them done in the first part of the day, leaving the rest of the day to get other things done or spend time with my kids.  Limiting the time on the internet especially seems to help me.  I do not count my time journaling or doing SparkPeople or Bipolar Discussion Board in that “time wasting” time because those things are good for me.

My moods have been much better.  I haven’t necessarily been over the top happy but I haven’t been despairing to the point of really negative thoughts.  I feel simply content with the situation.  Part of me thinks I should be doing more, but part of me knows I’m lucky to be completing the tasks I have set for myself right now.  I would think a month is a good enough lead in time to developing a few good habits — I am hoping I can step up things, just a tiny bit more, after 11/1/07.  I’m really invested in baby-stepping this process.  Baby-Stepping to a Healthier ME.

Yesterday was great in that I spent a lot of one-on-one time with my daughter, giving her my sole attention.  For one straight hour, I didn’t answer the phone, or do any housework or anything like that.  I just spent time with her and did things with and for her.  It felt really good.  I am going to start making that a huge priority.  We read more books yesterday than we have done in a long time.  We also did flash cards, and watched a show together.  We danced, and other things.

I am giving thought to increasing my workouts once my month of “fast break” is over.  To walk to lose weight I have read that it takes 45 to 60 minutes  of walking for weight loss.  I just can’t commit to that big a piece of time being outside, at least at this time of the year.  I am wondering if I can do three 20 minute walking sessions and get the same effects or does it have to be 60 straight minutes? (Yvonne?  Can you answer this question?)

Well, I actually have a lot of extra things that need done today–my sister and brother-in-law are coming to visit this weekend–so I need to go and address all those things so I can enjoy my afternoon with Lola. 

PS. I look HOT lately.  And I haven’t even lost the weight.  I’m actually back up to 190 and wondering when I will actually lose weight?!?  I am eating less calories and have increased my exercise level.  Should be a no brainer, right?  So where is the weight loss?  Aside from that, my skin looks pretty good, my hair looks great, I have some of that old energy back.  But I wouldn’t mind losing some weight people!!!

Today’s Inspirational Muse Provided By:

Groove Is In the Heart – DeeeLite
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – The Police
In The Summertime – Mungo Jerry
Part-Time Lover – Stevie Wonder
Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
If You Leave – OMD
Shattered Dreams – Johnny Hates Jazz

Stay Positive!

Today, my intention is to stay positive and just keep on truckin’.

I didn’t do any housework yesterday, and that’s ok, but I need to do it today so that it doesn’t get piled up.

This is my 6th day of no soda.  I miss the energy boost of caffeine, but I don’t like any other caffeine sources — I don’t like tea or coffee.

I think that after I have been doing my different fitness routines for one month (that would be November 1) I will go out of Fast Break and into the next phase.

One thing I’m going to start doing is get an egg timer and set limitations on how long I spend on this computer.  Seriously.  I definitely waste a lot of time on this computer that I could be investing in myself or my daughters.

On the health side–I am slimming down in some areas — I could tell my gray slacks I wore to therapy and the parent-teacher conference were pretty darn loose at the waist and behind!  I still have a way to go because all the other slacks I have are still too tight to even wear.

Speaking of Parent-Teacher Conferences – Princess is of course doing great!  She has 5 A’s, a B+ (only 1 point away from an A! agh!) and another solid B.  The B is in Algebra.  The Algebra teacher said that for a kid who skipped pre-Algebra and went from basic math right into Algebra, she’s hanging in pretty good.  She is setting up a study/tutoring group for Princess and a couple other kids who came into Algebra without the pre-Algebra — so that they can be learning the core skills.  Princess is very good at math, so I know that once she gets those basics down she will be at the head of her class. 

In History she is doing awesome.  She got the best grade on their first History test of the year, the best grade of the whole 8th grade.  Yay Princess!

All her other teachers were full of praise for her too.  We heard a lot of comments that Princess is a leader, very outgoing and bubbly.  The Algebra teacher said, “Princess is so quiet and shy.”  That tells me Princess feels out of place because she is not up to where the other kids in the class are, because normally she’s all Hermione-ish in class.  So we will have to work on getting her a good foundation to carry through the rest of the year.

I’m really proud of her grades and hard work. 

TOO COOL

I found a message thread on the Challenge Message Boards and I thought it was a great idea.

I am currently keeping track of my miles walked anyway, and I found the one to “Walk from Hobbiton to Rivendell” (Lord of the Rings theme), and there’s a website that has the milestones marked out for you so you know where you are at what mile you’ve walked to.  Not only can you do the first leg of the trip to Rivendell, but you can follow characters of the Fellowship all through the story, and when you get to the end, you can walk the whole way home with the hobbits!!

This is really neat and a twist to what I’ve already been doing.  So every day when I do my morning journal entry, on the right side of the screen I have a widget for this, and I’m going to post how many miles I am at, and the last milestone I passed. 

I also was intrigued by the 100 crunches each day challenge, and I am thinking that would be awesome, but I don’t know if I can handle 100 to start with.  I didn’t want to commit to it and not be able to stick to it (like my yoga challenge, which is proving really hard for me).  So I am thinking I will try 50 per day.  I can do this while hanging out with my little one watching TV in the afternoon. 

And the best one is going to be giving up soda.  Or should I say the Hardest?  It will be very rewarding in my weight loss plans, so I just need to make that motivational collage to put up to give me something to look at when Dr. Pepper is beckoning me to come and find him. LOL. 

So at this point, as my ROUTINE stuff everyday, I am doing my 20 minutes of fast walking each morning, then strength training on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, and yoga if I can every evening.  I am going to kick up the walking to 30 minutes after a month or so of walking and I can work myself up to it.

And these are my small “challenges” right now:

3 Day Mini Challenge – Yoga 3 days in a row
50 Crunches Per Day – no end date – just trying to create a streak and see how long I can go.
No Soda Challenge – no end date – just trying to create a streak and see how long I can go (this has to start tomorrow since I already had pop today)

I’m trying not to do too much.  What is cool is that the walking, daily stretching and strength training are all done very first thing, before Hubby even goes to work.  So it’s not overwhelming me to add the other things to do during the day.  If I had to be responsible for myself to do all of the morning exercise AND my personal challenges without Hubby’s support, then I don’t think I could handle it.

My Hubby is so awesome.  The last two days in a row, he has nudged me out of bed.  Is that not AWESOME?!

And this day is going great.  I have finished 95% of all my goals for the day — I still need to do the yoga, crunches, and do another load of laundry.  We are pleased.