Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I Tumbled but I'm Not Slipping Away

Hi all, I know that I've been away for what seems like forever, but I had a little accident early last week that has kept me off the couch (probably a good thing in the long run).

I went hiking with my teenage son - one of the rare times that he wanted to stretch his legs and hang out with his mom after school.  We hiked this pretty steep trail, but one that would get us back home before sunset.  It offered a beautiful view of the surrounding area, including the ocean.  We had a wonderful chat along the way.  On the way down, though, I lost my footing on some slippery small rocks and took a tumble.  After clearing my head and assessing for broken bones, I realized that although I had a very seriously hurt shoulder, nothing appeared to be  broken, thankfully.  I was bloodied, but we were able to make it down and I was able to drive us home.

What a bummer!  This was not the way I wanted to end my rare, lovely visit with my son.  The hike left me in serious pain, so I treated it with a combo of ice, heating pad and ibuprofen.  After a day or two I tried a little walk, and did okay.  So I decided that I would just do leg weights at the gym, and give more time for my shoulder to heal.

Very big mistake.  At some point I strained my lower back, perhaps related to the fall, and then I was REALLY hurting.  I've never had back pain like this.  It hurt to sit and lay down.  So I treated it with the ice and heat and anti-inflammatory meds.  I am pretty much okay to stand and walk around, but sitting or driving is still painful, over a week later. Today both are getting better, but I don't think I'll be lifting for another week as least.  I've been getting in some long walks that keep me moving and help to clear out the cobwebs.  I've become one of those people who now feel cranky when I don't get out and exercise a bit each day, preferably in the outdoors.

In the mean time I started a HUGE Spring cleaning project at my house, finally unpacking things and getting really organized after living here for three years.  Better late than never, but this sort of thing is not something that comes natural to me.  I consider myself a recovering slob.  My hubby and sons have done the heavy lifting for me and things are shaping up nicely.

A funny thing about the start of this cleaning frenzy -- my son, who is a Sophomore in high school, has been seriously looking into attending college in Scandinavia.  He is interested in the culture and hopes to have a career in the Foreign Service/State Department.  He told me about a number of very good universities that have degree programs taught entirely in English.  This could be an excellent adventure for him, especially given his career interests.  The plus side for us as parents is that college is MUCH cheaper there, and the programs are only three years.  We will see.  He is bright and can probably get accepted into some excellent universities in the USA, but if in the next couple of years, and thorough research he decides to go abroad, we'll be supportive of the idea.  This summer he will attend an International Relations/Economics program at Princeton University (this type of camp is actually thrills him), and we will tour lots of universities on the East Coast.  I can't believe my little boy is at this stage.

So how does this relate to cleaning?  While researching Sweden and Swedish culture I learned about the concept of "just enough, not too much" and looked at lots of pictures of lovely uncluttered Swedish homes and architecture.  It made me look around my home and realize that I can do much better with less.  So I decided to make it a mission to get rid of the things we don't use or need.

Not my living room - but it's so clean and uncluttered!  
My father-in-law used to say that we spend the first half of our lives accumulating stuff and the last half getting rid of it.  I had a laugh and realized that I'm there.

Hopefully by the end of the week, and many many bags/boxes of items delivered to the Goodwill, I will have an open concept closet (meaning I will be able to open the door all the way without stuff falling out), and I will have some exercise equipment neatly in place in my newly organized garage.  It will feel very good to not have an elliptical machine in my bedroom.

Diet wise, I am in a holding pattern as well.  I haven't fallen off the deep end, but I'm neither low carb nor low fat specifically - just not employing a strategy, which is worrisome.  I have not weighed myself, but am mustering up the courage to do so very soon -- probably this weekend.  I will reassess my strategy and tighten up my eating.  I don't want my diet focus to get lost in the activity.  I've come too far to let it go.

I'm very behind in reading my favorite blogs, and I look forward to catching up with everyone.  I hope all of you are feeling Springish as well, and that you're starting to feel the changing of the season.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Trying Something New...Again

173 lbs.

I've been getting very frustrated over the past couple of weeks.  Maintaining weight loss is a different leg of this journey, and it has been tough for me.   I have gained 20 pounds from my lowest weight, and I know it needs to stop - I need to make changes to stop gaining weight.  I feel like a ship out at sea without a sail or rudder.  I've read about and tried different approaches -- low carb, paleo, primal, high fat, "primarian".  People who try these approaches swear by them.  I'm not finding my groove with any of it.

To date, I've been tracking everything on MyFitnessPal.  I also exercise regularly.

I've decided to try something new...again.  I need to find what works for my body and activity level after having lost weight on Optifast, and taken up hiking and running.  One of the people in my Optifast maintenance group is finding success with the Weight Watchers Simply Filling technique.  Weight Watchers posts their food list here.  You don't count points, but eat freely from this food list, until you are full.  It isn't a large departure from the foods that I enjoy eating, except that it allows for some grains and bread.  It focuses on whole foods such as veggies, fruits, lean protein and low fat dairy.

Even though it allows for grains, I'm still aware of my trigger foods, so certain types and brands of foods won't be coming back into my diet.  I'm going to eat some legumes, though.  Maybe some oatmeal.  I am not a fan of low fat dairy, but I don't consume a lot of it anyway.

Since I track my foods, I've found that I am naturally eating fewer calories so far.  I think this is due to the lower fat intake.  I feel good, though, and time will tell whether or not eating more carbs is going to be my friend or enemy.  It's not like I'm eating processed or packaged foods in any way, shape or form, and that's the way I like it.

There are many who follow my blog and may think "What the F is she doing!?"  But all I can say is that I'm still searching for the best way of life for me, and I'm just being honest in my blog about my choices.  I will certainly keep everyone updated about how this goes.

Maybe you're reading and relating to my mad quest to find weight stability.  At least you know that you aren't alone, that's for sure.  This is one of the most challenging times in my life.  I try not to focus too much on what's at stake.  I'm still living a very different, and healthier life than I lived when I weighted 257 pounds last year.  I don't have any intention of giving up and going back there ever again.  Hell no.