Sunday, June 28, 2009

Help . . . My Treadmill Is Rolling Backwards

Ahhh!!! For 7 months now, I've been doing really good and dedicated to using the Jenny Craig weight loss plan. I like the plan, because it includes a good balance of exercise, prepackaged and preplanned meals, and weekly support by meeting with a counselor.

I lost 22 pounds from November to February. Then in February, I just started kinda of staying the same - somewhere between 136-138 pounds. I wasn't totally satisfied with that, but I had managed to get into a low enough size that I was proud of where I was, and hoping to at least maintain that loss and maybe gradually continue to creep down and perhaps eventually lose an additional ten less pounds. I'd be delighted to weigh in the mid to high 120 range.

But I've actually been really content to be where I'm at. At 5'3" weigh 22 pounds less than I use to is no small accomplishment. But ever since I started my new job in mid-May, I've been focusing on it, having some additional stress that the STRETCH part of my job has been creating, and in short, I've not been sticking as much with the exercise and eating plan the past couple of weeks as I should be.

It's finally showing up on the scale, at my Jenny Craig weigh-in yesterday, I was up to 140. Eeekss!!! Not that 3 extra pounds is all that dramatic, but it's a trend of gradually gaining and getting off program that I don't want to allow to happen.

I need to step back on the treadmill, literally and not let the lack of exercise and poor eating habits creep back into my lifestyle again. I feel SO MUCH BETTER when I am healthy and fit. So . . . . starting today . . . I'm back to wearing my pedometer, eating the JC foods instead of eating out so much, getting in 10,000 steps a day no matter what. I know that it will make me feel happier, less stressed, and more in control of my life. The exercise makes me feel so much better.

The word I picked for this year was "Priorities" and clearly I am not keeping my health and fitness center stage, where it needs to be for me to accomplish my fitness goals.

Another helpful tool I have been using, and need to watch today to recharge my motivation is called "Touchstones for Success." It is a Jenny Craig sponsored DVD and CD program that was done by Martha Beck, a writer who I've met in person at our local writer's conference and who has since risen to fame on Oprah. She has a regular column in Oprah's magazine. Martha is phenomenal. She provides insights in many arenas of life that are very helpful. So if you need a dose of inspiration in terms of fitness, I'd highly recommend this program. You can get it used on Amazon for around $16. I bought mine new at the JC center, but wherever you get it, it's worth every penny and MORE.

They say the first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging it. And as you know, I like to call a problem what it is a PROBLEM. Euphemisms like "issue" just tick me off and minimize the situation. So I'm facing a problem in fitness motivation, and I'm facing it head on. Okay? It may take me a week or two to see results on the scales. I can't control my mid-life hormones or many other things affecting the scales, but I can get on the treadmill, eat my JC meals, keep my food diary, and do the right actions to hopefully produce better results. I'll check back in by next week and let you know the results.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's a (Big) Stretch

Several years ago, when I broke away from being a legal secretary and went back to my dream of being in sales and marketing - I started reading a book by Rhonda Britten called Fearless Living. I loved that book. Rhonda's personal story of how she overcame an extremely dysfunctional childhood makes you feel like by God, if SHE can overcome her fears and obstacles, anyone can. She shows you how to figure out what your deepest fears are - so that you can overcome them. If you go inside and feel the fear, you can tell what really makes your stomach clench up.

In the book, she talks about setting goals at different levels - some are easily obtainable, while some are "stretch" goals. Lately, I've been setting myself some stretch goals and in fact my whole job right now is a "stretch" job for me, but I love it so far. There's just so much to learn and do that I'm pretty much just focusing on it right now, which is why you haven't been hearing much about my knitting lately - I haven't been doing much except learning my new job and reading books on my Kindle.

Nevertheless, I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm enjoying the lifepath right now, which is SUCH a refreshing change. It's not all fun and games by any means, but I just returned from a 3 day trip to Vail, Colorado which was such a treat in the dead heat of summer. I learned a lot, I absorbed a lot of information about the industry, and I'm stretching my skills to a whole new level.

My boss and I flew into Denver's Stapleton airport last Tuesday and got back late on Thursday. We drove the two hours from Denver to Vail in a rental car and I was simply awestruck by the beautiful scenery. I've only visited Colorado one other time, and I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the mountains. Vail is the most stunningly beautiful place I've ever been. I wish I could have brought the family and stayed a couple of weeks. Oh well, back to reality now.

But it just goes to show that sometimes if you reach high, on a rare day, you almost feel as if you can touch the clouds.

Edited four days later (June 25th) to add: Yeah this job is a really different one than I've ever had before - some days I feel really happy and high with it and other days . . . like yesterday, I feel stretched TOO far. Felt a bit tired and defeated the last couple of days. A bit OVERstretched.

So what I'm saying is that there are definitely days where I miss the ease and comfort of my old comfy job. After exercise and stretching yourself, you CAN stretch too much and make yourself sore. This morning I'd give anything to walk into my OLD office instead of the new one. I'm tired and feeling down on myself - so opposite of the day I posted this, only three or four days ago? Self-defeat and doubt still creeps in - and I just wanted to reflect both sides accurately. Today it's a slog and I'm certainly not high with the opportunity. Glug, glug.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Really Into Lavendar Right Now

Ever since I started reading, THE WILDWATER WALKING CLUB by Claire Cook, author of Must Love Dogs, I have been fixated on Lavendar - both the color and the plant. This novel is about a 40-something senior executive woman who has taken a Voluntary Buyout from a tennis shoe company and feels at a turning point in her life. Her boyfriend has dumped her. She feels frumpy and depressed. With a ton of newfound time on her hands, she is creating a new life for herself. She meets two new friends who join her on a plan to walk 10,000 steps per day. They all wear pedometers and begin taking walks together every morning - in the beginning the goal is to get in shape, but as the main characters says (I'm paraphrasing here): "I started walking for vanity's sake, but ended up walking for sanity's sake."

The reason for the lavendar obsession is that one of the friends owns a lavendar farm and they all begin making lavendar sachets, dream pillows, lavendar and mint in their gardens, as well as cooking with it. I have been having a serious desire to go out and buy some lavendar to make my own Dream Pillow and maybe some Lavendar Essential Oil - to make who knows what concoction. The book is full of recipes that sound really fun to try.

I also started making a shawl for myself, the Aoelian shawl from Knitty, that I think will be beautiful in a lavendar-grey color called "New York." I have some lavendar beads to go with it. It's a beaded shawl and is my first attempt at ever making a shawl out of cobweb like lace. My extremely patient friend Kay helped me get it started. Though I LOVE making shawls, I hate starting them, so she got me on my way through the provisional cast on and the first few rows that were the most frustrating. I think I have 27 stitches on the needles now and am on like maybe the 8th row of the setup section of the chart.

Now I'm getting ready to dive into a bath of Lavendar and Chamomile.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Kindle 2

Where have I been? The new job has kept me hopping - busy, busy, busy in extreme crash learning mode.

But there's another thing that has snagged my time and attention of late and that is . . . . my new Kindle2. Here she is, and although we were a total blind date, since I'd never tried one or even seen one in person before buying, I have wanted one ever since the Kindle first came out, and when it arrived, it was love at first sight.

With the Kindle, you can download books instantly from Amazon thorugh their Whispernet technology, which is really fun. I love downloading the sample chapters of books to see if I'm going to like it before buying. I also love the free books that are available, many of the classics that I haven't read in far too long. Right now, I'm immersed in War and Peace alongside a Richard Bandler self help book called Get the Life You Want. He uses some sort of meditative, self-hypnotic exercises to move you into make changes in your mental and emotional life. Excellent.

Though I thought I'd really MISS the real page sensory experience of reading paper books, the Kindle is an experience in itself - very much like reading but better in some ways. More portable. Less expensive to download electronic books than to buy real ones. I sat cuddled up in my swinging porch chair today, reading my Kindle, and it reminded me of those carefree summer days in childhood when I sat in a tree swing and read.

This was a fun day - went to Lawrence, ate breakfast at Miltons with Bob, Emily and my Mom. We shopped around a little bit in the beautiful springlike weather - nice breeze. Read in my porch swing - knitted with the knitting girls. Then ate an absolutely delicous dinner with Bob at Bombay Palace, a new Indian restaurant in town. It was the most relaxing place - a real total sensory experience. We ended the meal by sharing mango ice cream and drinking hot chai tea.

Ah, nice day! And I am growing to love my Kindle2 more every day. But Bob's not TOO jealous yet.