Sunday, October 25, 2009

Creeping Back Around to Thoughts About Weight

So, a good friend of mine and I were having a conversation about weight loss shortly before I left for vacation. She had some good questions, and I had some surprising (to me) answers. It has taken me many years (and one pregnancy, long enough ago not to be any excuse) to get me to the weight I am now, but I have actually not been at my ideal weight or fitness level for many years, arguably never. As early as high school I was already larger than my frame required and didn't look or feel my best, and despite a spot of low weight in college due to some emotional issues, I was never "fit". And since then, it's been a gradual climb upward, despite finding, at times, various physical activities to work my body with. So, the really startling question was, "can you actually picture yourself succeeding in weight loss, and picture yourself at your fit, healthy weight?" I've always fantasized about it, had visions about it, certainly have spouted off about it in this blog on multiple occasions, but as time has gone on, especially since having had my kid who is now 4, I've gotten further and further from that place, and it's gotten harder and harder to imagine genuine success. So, when I thought really hard about it, and realized my answer was "no, not really", I was a little disheartened. Any trainer, coach, etc. will tell you that a key aspect to succeeding at a particular activity is visualizing the successful outcome, and "imprinting" in your subconscious the sensation of doing it right, and the feeling of success. So, I realized that to be able to move forward, I really had to picture a success point that seemed achievable. (Rather than supermodels, we decided we could settle for being MiLFs, hahaha.)

-During my vacation, I truly escaped, not only in body, but in mind, and it was a wonderful thing. I was able to spend the whole trip being moderately indulgent with no guilt, and mentally felt completely refreshed afterward.-

After vacation, however, came a second revelation. This one upon looking at the pictures from our trip. Now, as I'm sure anyone who is not happy with their weight has felt at times, pictures do not always reveal the version of ourselves that we would prefer. For this particular trip, however, I felt that I came up with a fairly decent and flattering wardrobe to suit my current physique, and I thought I was pulling it off ok. And in the pictures it's not that I wasn't "pulling it off", per se, it was a little weirder than that. It was like I didn't recognize myself, like the person in the pictures is not who I see in the mirror every day, and that's not the first time in the last couple of years that I've had that sensation. Like I just do not picture -that- as fully my "look", and it seems to surprise me on a fairly regular basis. Is that only a factor of being in denial about what I look like at this weight, or an age thing thrown in too, or what? Either way, it was startling as hell. I like the pictures, they turned out well, and yet I don't feel like that girl in them looks like me. That's messed up!

So, I was pondering today, it seems like I am at two opposing sides of a coin (or coins?) on this weight loss thing, and where I want to be is at the other two opposing sides. On one hand, I am having trouble picturing getting back to where I want to be, on the other hand I can't accurately picture that I am where I am. Not that I am in denial of my weight struggles, obviously I've been blogging about that in complete honesty for over a year now. But it's just that the visual result of that problem and the visual perception of myself, despite knowing I am overweight, don't match. Which makes looking at pictures a little weird, needless to say!

Why, then, can't I flip those two conflicting issues both to serve me for the better? I should USE the vision of how I kind of think I am looking and nudge it along to picturing how I kind of think I can and should be, so it doesn't seem like quite as much of a stretch to get there. And I should also try harder to USE the reality of how I look now to be a more regular reminder of the place where I do not want to remain. I have to be careful, of course, because it can cause or aggravate a negative spiral if I become too disgusted with how I look and perpetuate that into eating to soothe those bad feelings. Rather it should illustrate to me a contrast between my desires and potential. Something to think about.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Vegas was Vegas.

What else is there to say about it? It was fun, indulgent, interesting, expensive, varied, beautiful, tacky, unexpected, delicious, intoxicating, and perhaps most of all, it was refreshing to really be outside of one's regular life for a while. And it was especially great to share with my awesome husband and two of our greatest friends. Viva Las Vegas!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On Light Reading (Off Topic)

Ok, so what is so bad about doing a little light reading, I ask you, for relaxation and entertainment? When my brain is half-melted at the end of the day with a full workday trying to get ready for an upcoming vacation, a heaping mental plate dealing with an amazing but challenging four year old kid, the rest of the hectic-ness of a busy life, and a tad of recent mid-life crisis thrown in for good measure, do I REALLY have to read something deep and intelligent all the time, if I am going to read at all? I am confident in my own intellect, mind you, but it still raised my hackles a bit when it was insinuated by some of my other (dear and) intelligent friends that I am essentially a dumbass if I can dig a certain book that is fraught with overexposure in popular culture of late. Isn’t reading a book, even if it is a light and easy book, still a step up intellectually from watching TV or reading a magazine, which are also considered perfectly valid ways to unwind? (And I do those things a fair bit, thank you very much!)

When the “Twilight” books came out a while back, I saw how goofy everybody got over them, I even knew people who were posting that they had to drop everything for a couple of days to finish reading them because they couldn’t put them down, and I was inclined not to like the idea of the book(s) myself as a result of such silliness. I really thought it was weird that people I thought of as so normal got so obsessed over them. (I still do.) However, more out of curiosity than anything else, I recently decided to read the first one in the series. In light of the impending protest by several and proclamation by one good friend that people should read Bram Stoker’s Dracula instead, because it is “classic for a reason”, I purchased a copy of that, too, and plan to read it next as an exercise in contrast and comparison. Perhaps I’ll even write a book report of sorts, analyzing the two jointly.

Because I was in the mood for a distinctly lighter read, I chose to read Twilight first. Apparently I have shocked and disappointed the above-mentioned folks in the process! Can ye naysayers not appreciate a light read? Granted, the characters are teenagers, but I’m sorry, the sexual electricity created with this story is fantastic. WHAT IS SO WRONG WITH ENJOYING A LITTLE CHEAP THRILL now and then, come on?! Further, the back story with the vampires and the differences in their characteristics from those we are previously most familiar with is not half bad. I can see, however, that several of the “special” effects described in the book, which are intended to create a picture in your mind, which are fairly cool in the context of MY mind, probably look really lame on a screen, so I don’t intend to see the movies. Likewise, with the way they describe the looks of some of the characters, I fail to see how they can be done justice by any lame angsty teenage actor, such as they who are plastered all over the magazines..

My opinion is that people who are obsessed with the book must be missing a little something in their lives (apologies if this hits home!) But, after almost finishing it I stand firmly by the book as being GOOD. It is not the end-all-be-all of teenage, vampire, or any other books, but it is reasonably good, and fairly entertaining. In conclusion, anyone that thinks I’m a cheesy dumbass for reading and kinda liking Twilight can BITE me. (Pun intended!)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Must Exercise Soon!

Ok, so I've come fairly unraveled of late in the health management and weight loss/fitness improvement department (sounds a lot more positive and healthy to put it that way than "diet", right?!), and I can attribute it to several things. The biggest one, I think, is lack of exercise. For 8 sessions now (just over 5 weeks) I've been getting physical therapy to work on my sore hip, and tomorrow is the last visit. Thank God, because as wonderful as it feels to get a body part massaged, stretched, worked out, and electro-treated, it has been killing my work schedule. And, not exercising has been throwing me so far off that now that I'm being asked to return to doing it a little bit, I'm so used to slothing again that I'm not getting it done. Ugh, the all-or-nothing mentality rearing it's ugly head again!

Mentally things have been no picnic, either. I've got a host of unproductive and outright negative things going on up there, but I did get over one hurdle that was causing a little bit of angst, my 20 year HS reunion. Mind you, I didn't go to the main (expensive) event, but instead took control of the situation and created my own mini-event as part of the reunion weekend. This allowed me to see a fairly good number of people, primarily the ones I'd want to see, invite a few people from surrounding classes, and have it in a less expensive and more casual venue. This was perfect for me, and I was very pleased with the turnout as well as the enjoyability of the evening. Sure, the pics of the main event make me kinda wish I had gone, but at 100 bucks a head plus cocktail attire (of which I have none) plus cash bar = no thanks, need the money for the Vegas vaca. But I was surprised at how much weirdness this event brought on mentally, and am glad it is over.

I will probably have nothing else good to say on-topic until after the Vegas adventure. The good part is, despite the fact that we will be eating in fabulous restaurants and several all-you-can-eat situations, usually in Vegas I walk my feet off, and usually lose a pound or two as a result, rather than gaining. Either way, I am confident I will return feeling refreshed and re-inspired. Especially since the "pressure" weight loss deadlines have passed, and prove that it is not a good idea for me to have a goal deadline. I weigh a couple of pounds more now than when I started this blog last year, but the reunion is over, I have clothes I'm happy with and revised expectations in that department for the vacation, and a costume that I love despite the lack of weight loss for Halloween. Yes, "starting" during the holiday and cold weather season is brutally tough, but as I will be recommencing the Sugar detox again post vacation, I think it can go much differently this time.

Wish me fun and luck! :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Thought Soup

Loving, loving, LOVING all of the pink "stuff" (cap brims, gloves, patches, etc.) in the NFL games today for BC awareness. I mean really, 1 in 9 of half the people on earth are affected, that sucks.

Had an uber BLAST at a pumpkin patch farm festival yesterday with the fam. We closed the place down, it was fantastic. And the weather was the best kind of day to be outside all day.

One of the boy's teachers asked me Friday if I was expecting. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHGH!!! Not a safe question unless the baby is actually crowning out of the woman.

4 years old is a fantastically amazing brain explosion. The complexity of things he says, does, and is learning is fantastic. It's too bad he's also being such a pain in the ass lately.

I need to take better care of myself and get more sleep.

Vegas is in 2 weeks.