Back on the Wagon

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It’s the 9th day of the new year and I finally did something exercise-y. Never mind that I had taken off the 2…or…4…weeks prior to that. You would think that purchasing a blog site to keep myself accountable would have, well, kept me accountable.

But you would be wrong.

What I don’t understand is why this is so damn hard. I mean, my workouts in high school and college lasted for hours. Hour…with an “s”. I ran, kickboxed, lifted weights, did Brazilian jiu-jitsu, practiced yoga and pilates. On the 4th of July one year, I ran a 10K in the town where I lived and then grappled for 4 hours. Now I can barely hit play on a 30 minute boxing video.

Is it because I’m 40?

Is it because I have a 6 year old son who pushes my limits every minute that he’s awake?

Is it because I’m too tired, too busy, too overwhelmed about where I’m starting compared to where I left off?

What I do know is that health and fitness are important for anyone to thrive, but with my family’s health history, it’s pretty much non-negotiable. And they are intimately connected. My family likes to keel over from heart disease, diabetes and anything having to do with high cholesterol or increased blood pressure. So, you would think that I would be extra motivated to eat a plant-based diet and exercise regularly.

Again, you would be wrong.

And by the end of the day, when I reflect on what I put in my mouth, I think, “Oh I had an apple at breakfast, some salad at lunch, and a sweet potato at dinner. That’s winning.” But I forget about the breakfast bagel before the apple, the bourbon ball after lunch, and the 3 glasses of red wine I had while cooking dinner. If coffee and wine consumption increase your life expectancy, I’m gonna live forrrreeevvvveeerrrrr. But I’m fairly certain that’s not how it works.

So, I joined Weight Watchers. Again.

I hate Weight Watchers because I hate keeping track of anything. It’s just a lot of work – like one more thing. I’ve started and quit Weight Watchers no less than 3 times. I would lose 5 or 10 pounds after dedicated food tracking, attend a party or go on vacation, end up saying, “to hell with all of this,” and cancel my membership because that money was better spent buying wine. But I think I may have been missing the point.

I’ve been off the wagon for awhile….really since we left Kansas. I have basically tried to eat whole grain carbs, limit my amount of sugar to something that wouldn’t kill me immediately, refrain from single-handedly drinking an entire bottle of wine in one day, and include a vegetable with dinner every night. I’m holding steady at 195 and size 16-ish jeans…most days. But I know this isn’t my best life. It’s OK, but I’m reminded every day when I encourage our son to make better choices that I should be listening to my own advice.

Tracking every single thing I eat is exhausting, but as I see those daily points tick away, I’m reminded of why I’m still carrying 30 extra pounds. Because we really are what we eat. Currently, I’m 60% pasta, 20% tortilla chips and chipotle dip, 10% red wine and 10% bourbon balls. I’m comprised of the worst parts of 3 different food cultures. I kind of knew this already, but Weight Watchers is making me come to terms with it. Most days I would prefer not to log what I’m eating, but what does that accomplish? I may as well take that membership fee and adopt an orphan in Africa. At least it would be money well-spent.

So, today I ate an apple instead of tortilla chips, had 1 serving of pasta instead of 2, drank a little more water (not hard to do when you’re starting at zero), stopped at 1 bourbon ball, did a PopSugar Yoga video for 30 minutes, and walked to the school to pick up Blue. And all of that wasn’t that hard. It was certainly the result of making conscious decisions throughout the day, though. Being healthy and fit is no longer my auto-pilot setting and that makes me sad because it used to be. Some days I wonder if I can ever get back to that. And some days I’m just happy to not die in downward-facing dog.

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When You Don’t Wanna

Between this blog and my writing over at The NeighborGood, I’m having a hard time writing 5 times/week. It’s not for lack of topics, it’s purely a time management issue. So, as far as this blog goes, for the next couple of weeks, I’m going to give myself 20 minutes to bang out each post. There will be grammatical errors and words accidentally omitted, but if I don’t do it this way, there’s a possibility it won’t get done at all. And if there’s one reoccurring theme in this blog, I feel it’s consistency…

Which is what I had to remind myself of this morning when I was thisclose to skipping my workout altogether. But now I’m soaking the microfiber couch with my butt sweat, so something must have propelled me into action. Truly, the only motivating force for me this week has been, “Do it. Everyday.” Whether it’s drinking more water or making sure I’m applying and diffusing oils to keep my body functioning at its best…or making myself sweat, voluntarily, for at least 30 minutes. Both yesterday and today I thought, “I’ll get started with a 30 minute routine and I’ll feel so good that I’ll decide to push it to 45 minutes.” But. No. That did not happen. I did my 30 and called it a day. BUT…at least I did 30 and according to about 20 government health agencies, I met the minimum requirement. I’m not usually an underachiever, but this week I’m completely overachieving at falling short. Sometimes it’s just the way it goes. Also, I was at the vet for an hour this morning and come to find out, our cat has something like kitty COPD. So, now I’m diffusing Respiratory Comfort…all while I listen to some egocentric dumbass rip up and down Western on his crotch rocket. He is probably at least 15 miles away and yet it sounds like he just tore through our living room.

ANYWAY…I did 30 minutes on the elliptical yesterday while watching Anthony Bourdain eat his way through the Philippines (I just had to Google how to spell that), starting with a visit at Jollibee. FYI, there is a Jollibee in Carson and I’m available for anyone who wants to go. First of all, there’s a menu item called ChickenJoy and you can get a Halo-Halo there. I’ve never had a Halo-Halo, but watching Anthony Bourdain eat/drink one while I’m crushing my glutes on a reverse hill was almost more than I could take.

Today was strength training and because I only had 30 minutes to dedicate, I chose THIS VIDEO by PopSugar. It’s a full body strength training circuit (6 upper/lower body combination strength moves with weights, plus 2 cardio moves) that you repeat 3 times. I started with 5 lbs but quickly moved up to 8 lbs for most moves and 10 lbs for anything that involved my chest because apparently the Hulk lives under my sports bra. The first round SUUUUCCCKKKKED. I just kept thinking…I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to do this. Are we done yet? How much longer? But by the middle of the second round, I was on the home stretch and not yet starving. And while I wouldn’t have time for a shower before school pick-up, at least I was getting this done. I did it today. And yesterday. 3 cheers and a pelvic thrust for consistency!

As for food…it’s been a little carb-heavy, even though I use whole wheat noodles. I was craving my (and by my, I mean the author of the blog, Yellow Bliss Road) crowd-pleasing Spinach Sausage Tortellini Soup and they don’t make those tortellini pouches of heaven in whole wheat. Also, last night was a kitchen fail with the driest pork tenderloin I’ve ever watched my family eat and some broccoli sauteed in a bunch of Asian sauces. That was not winning. But my breakfast this morning: 2 scrambled eggs with a teaspoon of turmeric, a teaspoon of oregano and topped with Mexican street corn salad (leftovers from a neighbor’s party last Friday) was everything. So, win some, lose some. My goal for tomorrow’s grocery shopping trip is to fill the cart with more veggies, less things from the middle of the store. I am always open to hearing what your go-to plant-based meals are!

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And oils…it’s no government secret, the air quality in Los Angeles is terrible. For an entire week, we watched a band of smog float effortlessly between us and Catalina Island. The vet tech this morning said normally it hangs out in downtown L.A., but when the Santa Ana winds blow, it blows this way. So, I’ve been diffusing Purification at night to help clear our lungs of everything we take in during the day. And my new favorite thing? Stick a rollerball tip on a bottle of Tea Tree oil (which I had yet to find a way to love) and roll on all these pimples I get under my sports bra from not showering immediately. I haven’t broken out on my face since 2006, but where the sweat gathers is a totally different story. Tea Tree to the rescue!

That’s 20 minutes and 883 words. And I think those were all cohesive sentences. My question to you for next time: What do you do to make sure you are drinking enough water each day?

Peace, Love and Squats…