Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle change’

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Taking Stock: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

April 2, 2012

My brain’s been on overdrive lately, and it occurred to me that I could probably classify a lot of these random thoughts as the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (warning: some brooding ahead! Perhaps not in number, but the Good indeed outweighs the Bad/Ugly). (And how can you not dig that theme song? They don’t write ’em like they used to.)

THE GOOD

It’s damn nice in DC these days. Friday was a little dreary, but I took a friend to Ellicott City for some antiquing and cool-little-old-railroad-town-adventuring. Sunday was lovely and my first trip to the National Arboretum lovelier. Seriously – what a gem! I’m embarrassed that I’ve lived in the area for almost six years and only now made it out there.

Some of the azaleas are in bloom out at the arboretum. Judging by the number and size of the plants out there, when the entire azalea garden is in bloom, it's like a 5-year old's tea party exploded in the woods.

It’s good, damn good, to adventure locally.

I get to adventure not-so-locally soon, too! In two weeks I’ll be in Columbus, MS. It’s not near anything and apparently the town could stand some more attractions, but I have friends in the Air Force who are stationed there, and I’m excited to have a random week off to visit them. Looking forward to a week of relaxing, hanging out with my friends’ awesome baby, and heading up to Memphis. I’d like to, nay, neeto go to Graceland.

Why the random week off?

I start a new job in three weeks. This is a good move, but there’s a little bad involved, too. I’m trying to embrace the uncertainty inherent in transition and roll with the punches. It’s an incredible opportunity, but there are some challenges…

THE BAD

I’m going to be exhausted for the foreseeable future. This new opportunity is awesome, but pretty intense. Having recently finished grad school where I worked some crazy hours while trying to do school, too, I’m OK with intense. I’d feel more comfortable if the following weren’t also true:

My physical health is crap right now. The hip/knee/ass pain/crap/bah is bad right now. I know I shouldn’t run, so I haven’t been, and it’s starting to make me a little twitchy. Not because I think I’m some amazing, super runner girl or something, but because I’m a little stressed finishing up my current job and getting ready to start a new one. Running relives my stress. Much better than my historic alternative:

Hello, gorgeous. My mouth waters just thinking about you.

When the going gets tough, I get going in the direction of dark chocolate-covered almonds and cupcakes. Until recently, when I went in the direction of my running shoes and a nice trail.

I went for a walk with a friend today at lunch, and I was lamenting my current limited activity and pending maelstrom of life changes (oh, did I mention? In addition to changing jobs, I’ll need to move, too! Just a local move, but one more layer of things to think about). I told her that I was upset that I’d come so far (lost 30 pounds, gained ability to run double-digit miles), and I didn’t want to regress. Her response? “You’re not the same person now that you were 30 pounds ago.”

Trying to keep that in mind…not interested in growing backwards with time (excellent song; not an excellent direction for my waistline). In the past, I haven’t always managed transitions well, slipping back into old (bad) habits. It bothers me that I feel like crap. I’m a little anxious about diving into this new adventure when I don’t feel so great physically. Trying not to let the physical blah turn into a mental blah.

THE UGLY

I’m struggling to alleviate the pain. This is my only ugly, but it’s a big one. I’ve never had pain that I couldn’t alleviate. I can lay down or apply ice and feel better for a bit, but since going off of the prednisone, I think the pain is worse. I called my doctor today, and she’s out of town. So while I wait for her to come back, I’m to have my hip x-rayed. And…wait, I guess. I’ll try more foam rolling, stretching, etc., but nothing seems to make the discomfort go away. Sometimes it’s not quite pain, and I’m grateful for those times. Other times I wake up at night because it just freaking hurts.

To throw a small wrench into the problem (small because I’m grateful I have insurance at all), right now I have health insurance that I buy…and I haven’t made my deductible yet. So treatment is potentially quite costly. I’ll have new health insurance with the new job, but I’m not sure yet when that will start…and I hope that if I start in on a treatment that seems to be working, I won’t have to interrupt it because my insurance changes.

I’m a problem solver, a fixer, and not knowing what to do to ease what’s going on has me stumped.

[That crush on Eddie Vedder from 1994? Yeah, I still got it.]

I don’t know what I did, but I wish I could undo it. Ctrl-Z, Ctrl-Z!!

Except for the "good" things. Keep those!

Sorry for a somewhat Debbie Downer post. In general, I’m optimistic, and I keep reminding myself that I can choose my reaction, it will all work out in the end, blah blah blah [insert trite motivationalspeak].

Bitching won’t help. Really, I just want a gin and tonic, a damn chocolate chip cookie, an uninflamed leg/hip/body part, and the knowledge that if I go pick up a new pair of running shoes, they won’t just as soon end up back on the shelf. I’ll settle for just trying to keep my head up and enjoying these damn fine days, one day at a time.

Would happily accept gifts of gin and cookies, though.

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What a “Love”ly Surprise!

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day! I woke up to a lovely surprise!

There was a gigantic pink stuffed teddy bear

Tuesday is my Weight Watchers weigh-in day (I do WW online, and weigh myself wearing the same thing – I’ll leave it up to you to imagine – at approximately the same time on the same day of the week). I suppose wearing winter clothing this wouldn’t be true, but sans sweaters…today’s weight was my first goal weight!

Perhaps someday I'll reveal the hard numbers, but, yes, that's 23 pounds lost. And, ignore the points averages at the bottom - there were some weeks of not tracking, and I don't track every activity....lazy Weight Watcher, right here.

So! Now what? Well, first, I’m really excited. See?

This is my new stock excited pose!

When you reach your goal weight, you get the option to start maintenance or set a new goal. I set a new goal. At the rate I’ve been losing, I should lose 16 more pounds just in time for my year WW anniversary. But that’s at the rate I’ve been going, which, lately, has been pretty comfortable. At the beginning, I was pickier about what I ate at restaurants, I fretted over food, and appropriate portion sizes haunted me in my sleep were something I thought about quite a bit. Now I’ve taken a more relaxed approach where I still track and pay attention to portion sizes, but I’m a slacker less precise and if I get off course, I try to gently steer back on course. If I want to speed up the weight loss a little (I averaged 0.7 pounds per week for the 7 months I’ve been on WW), then I know I can make some adjustments to get back on a steeper slope, if you will:

Yeah…so that looks like right around…November…that I started slacking a little. Makes sense.

Another day, when I’m not frantically trying to get to work, I’ll write about this milestone from the perspective of what’s changed. When I think back, honestly, nothing too drastic. I am proud and confident in this victory because it hasn’t compromised my lifestyle (too much). I’ve certainly made some sacrifices, but, truly, they’ve been pretty easy and 100% worth it.

Onward toward the new goal!

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Three Things Thursday: Evolution, Baby! Pt. 1

January 13, 2012

Since examining my eating and exercising habits in July, I’ve come a moderate way. I won’t say a long way, but I think I’ve evolved in the proper care and feeding of me. As I focus more on fitness and nutrition, I’ve noticed some changes in my life. Here’s a round of three of those changes.

1. Laundry! I do laundry with greater frequency. I’ll attribute this to two things: 1) I work out more, and I don’t have a ton of comfy workout attire, so…I do more laundry. And, 2) dropping 20-25 pounds has left some of my clothes dropping off of me! It’s a good/bad problem. Some clothes were OK to keep wearing, but some things just look funny or flat out don’t fit well. Since I’m not quite where I want to be weight/size-wise, I’m trying to make do with a few purchased pieces and the kindness of friends who have lent me things. That also means: more frequent laundering!

2. Music! This time last year my iPod most frequently spun the likes of the following:

I still love some good bluegrass and folk inspired rock, but it doesn’t get me in the mood to rock a run or workout quite like this:

3. Courage! I have more of it, for sure. I realized this last night when I was looking for the hip abductor machine at my gym. It’s in the basement, where I hadn’t really ventured before. Turns out, the basement is the Lair of Men Who Pump Iron, and at 9:45 last night, I was the only chick on the floor. I was waiting to be exiled, but the guys left me alone. Pre-racy Stacie might have been really intimidated but Racy Stacie really wanted to do some hip exercises, and ignored the looks. Pre-racy Stacie also would never have taken classes at the gym that she didn’t know anything about, but Racy Stacie is more willing to try new things. [We’ll ignore that the instructor at tonight’s new class called me out a little for not doing enough push-ups, but, in general, I’m more comfortable with progress and growing. If I’m not perfect at a class, I’m OK with it. If I push myself and feel like I’m hurting myself, I stop or take a modify. No fear, baby.]

If you’ve started a new routine or made lifestyle changes, what’s different for you?