Just Keep Swimming

Almost two years ago I declared that I would never drink alcohol again. I am very hard-headed. I can be extremely arrogant and once I’ve decided on something I dive in, determined to swim. It was a bit of a panicky, floppy, doggy paddle in the beginning but eventually it turned into a calm easy backstroke. After 18 months of stargazing and cloud viewing I ran into a buoy called moderation. If you, the reader have read any of my blog posts before, you know where this is going. I slipped, more than once in the past six months. I am not starting over. I’m not going to reset the clock to saying that I quit drinking last Sunday. But I do want to be honest with everyone who follows me, who knows me and who may be wondering where I’m at with sobriety. I’m also writing this to humble myself and bring myself down a few notches. I inhaled a mouth full of salt water, chocked on it for awhile but I’m breathing again and plan to just keep swimming.

 

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Fitness Friday – One Size

mod•er•a•tion
ˌmädəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun
1. 1. the avoidance of excess or extremes
synonyms: self-restraint, restraint, self-control, self-command, self-discipline;

I do not moderate. I do not avoid extremes. In fact, I excessively practice extreme things. For example, I quit smoking. I did not use nicotine patches. I did not cut back. I did not start using an e-cigarette. Instead, I quit cold turkey. After a year I decided that moderation could be a possibility. I started taking a drag here and there. A drag turned into a cigarette. In no time at all, I was back to smoking a pack a day. I have quit again, cold turkey. It’s been a little over a month.

In June of 2014, I quit drinking. This was also extreme. That’s what I do; I jump from one extreme to the other. I was an extreme drinker. I can’t count the number of times people told me they had never seen anyone else drink liquor the way I did. You know, the hold the bottle by the handle and tilt it back kind of liquor drinker. I quit. I quit cold turkey. I am a non-drinker.

So now I am applying my inability to moderate to my eating habits. I decided I should not cheat. I should not have cheat days, cheat meals, cheat-treats. If I’m going to eat a piece of cake, it’ll end up being the whole cake. If I’m going to eat a candy bar a day, it will be a family size, not a bite size. I do not want to be an extreme eater, so instead I’m avoiding all added sugar and junk. This is not for everyone. There are people in the world that can have a drag of a cigarette and will never end up smoking a pack a day. There are people who can have one glass of wine without finishing the bottle and then driving to the store to buy another. There are also people who can eat a mini dark chocolate candy bar every night to get their sweet fix without ending up at McDonald’s at 2am buying 3 for $1 chocolate chip cookies with a milkshake to wash them down. I am not one of those people and that’s okay. I am great at extreme restraint from things that I can’t moderate.
It’s been 16 days without added sugar and I’ve lost an inch and a half in my waist already.

The inches that I’ve lost bring me to my next point; we cannot all measure our success by the scale. I have read so many articles that say it’s practically impossible to gain muscle and lose weight at a rate where you will not see a fluctuation in the scale. As in, you will lose weight faster than you will build muscle. The website where I get all of my workout routines and diet advice from says this too. I have lost over 15 inches now. I have lost a cup size. I have dropped a pant size if not two (my current pants are getting loose!)

I asked my husband how much weight he thinks I’ve lost since this whole new fitness journey and he said 20-25 pounds. In seven months I have lost 5 pounds. In the past, this would have been extremely discouraging. The scale and I would have had it out, I would have cried a lot and then I would have drowned my sorrows in a package of Oreo’s. Now however, I have my tape measure. The scale has been replaced and the articles can say what they want about it. I have the photos and the data to prove them wrong.

We are not all the same. One size does not fit all. If cheat days keep you going then by all means, eat that bacon cheeseburger. If the scale moves for you and keeps you motivated then stand on it as many times as you can. But if you find yourself using your cheat day as an excuse to devour three days worth of food in one then take away your cheat day. And if you have stood on the scale every day without results it’s time to invest in a tape measure. We are all succeeding but the paths and results don’t all look the same.

That concludes my intensity for the week.
To add a little lightheartedness, here are some photos of what I do on my rest days.


Bicycle crunches in my pajamas while binge watching Netflix. I followed these up with three sets of calf raises, punches and arm circles. It’s my new Netflix Routine.


This feels as awkward and inappropriate as it looks but rumor has it, it helps with a split. If being ridiculously sore the next day is any indicator that it’s working, I should be able to do a split in no time.

Thanks for following. Thanks for reading. Thanks for being different!

On to the next

I went on a 5 day cruise to the Bahamas, I came home and got on a plane and spent 4 days in Jamaica.
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I had 5 days in-between trips. I ran twice on the cruise, and I did one workout in Jamaica. In other words, I slacked off big time for a large chunk of October.
Everywhere I went in Jamaica someone was there offering or handing me drinks. There were “mangosas” (Mango Juice and Champagne), Bob Marley’s (strawberry daiquiri,  pina-colada, and something green on top),  BBC’s (Baileys, Banana, and Coconut), alcoholic fruit punch, alcohol in coffee, rum ice-cream, rum runners, white and red wine, mudslides, and on and on it goes. There was alcohol everywhere and in everything and it all looked delicious. I have never said, “No, thank you” and “I’m sorry, I don’t drink” so many times in my life. 
Somehow I (or the sabotaging voice) turned this into the perfect excuse to eat whatever I wanted. I mean come on, I was being so strong-willed and awesome saying no to all these drinks I couldn’t say no to wild-berry cheesecake and chocolate coconut cupcakes too. So I ate, and I ate like a gross fat-kid hiding in the closet with the whole box of ho-ho’s. And now, because of this, I have decided to give up sugar completely. 
No more Take 5’s after dinner because I ate healthy all day and deserve some candy. No more I’ll skip lunch so I can eat dessert (but really I ate enough snacks to equal lunch and still had dessert). No more peppermint mocha coffee creamer and no more “maybe just a bite”. 
I’ve written about moderation with alcohol, and how it’s impossible for me to do. Well apparently sugar is the same way. The main reason I fell into this unhealthy rabbit hole was because I told myself I can’t deprive myself of everything, otherwise I’ll fail. 
Um, no. I fail because I start off with just a little bit, just one little candy bar this one time, and that turns into 1 king size Take 5 every night, and then finally I end up with a dessert the size of a dinner plate and I finish the whole thing!
cake

So, no more!
I know it will be hard. I know there could even be withdrawal, headaches, irritability, mood swings, and of course, extreme food cravings. I also know that I’ve already experienced all of these things before with quitting smoking and quitting alcohol. My personality is obnoxious; it latches on to things and can’t get enough. So, now I have to find a way to get myself to latch on to exercise and fitness instead of sweet treats. 

I am not going to give up fruit, but I’m also not going to allow myself to start eating ridiculous amounts of fruit because I can’t have any sugar. My plan is to drink a hot mug of tea (without honey) every time I get a craving, to be nice to myself, and to have some headache medicine at the ready. 

My reward for not eating any Halloween candy is a 5K at 8am the next morning.
Wish me luck 🙂 

Aint nothing gonna break my stride!

Aint nothing gonna break my stride!

Oh but something will certainly try to.

I decided to start running, well more like jogging. It’s hard and exhausting but I do enjoy it and it feels great. However, little things are trying to get in my way. The sabotaging voice is not just a voice after all.

I went to the beach with my family in the beginning of August and my sister and I decided to jog every morning. My legs didn’t throb, I didn’t get any side cramps, but I could not breathe. I could not catch my breath, even after we stopped running.
Natalee tried to give me advice, thinking that I was probably just breathing wrong and nothing seemed to work. I did not run after we got back from the beach, and I basically stopped exercising.
I went to the doctor for the first time in about 4 years, and after a PF test and a chest x-ray it turns out I had bronchitis. Well, that explains the coughing fits after a burst of laughter. 
Anyhow, this was very exciting news for me. The doctor told me after I finished antibiotics and used an inhaler for a couple weeks; I shouldn’t have any breathing problems during exercise.

My goal last week was to be able to run a mile without stopping.
I started on Wednesday. I was a little nervous that it was too soon to be able to tell a difference with my lungs since I had just finished my antibiotics but I really wanted to test it out. I pressed start on the Charity Miles App and started jogging. I made it half a mile in 6 minutes and was completely out of breath. I actually thought I was going to throw up. I ignored the sabotaging voice that was saying things like,
“This is pointless.”
“You suck!”
“hahahaha, you can’t even run longer than 6 minutes”
Instead, I walked for 3 more miles and decided I’d come back the next day.

The next day was hot, humid and very sticky. I only ran for 3 minutes before the vomit feeling showed up. I tuned out the voice again and said to myself, “It’s okay! You’re out here, you’re trying, keep going at your own pace.” I walked, I seemed to catch my breath a lot quicker, and started jogging again. I did this walk/jog for 2.7 miles before deciding it was too hot to go any longer.

The third day was much nicer. There was actually a breeze. I made it .8 miles.

I took Saturday off, because my ankle didn’t feel quite right and I didn’t want to push too hard and end up injured and unable to continue.

Yesterday, I was going for the mile.
And here is when the sabotaging voice, became a sabotaging force.
I put my headphones in, pressed play on my work out tunes, and pressed start on the Charity Miles App. I started jogging. As I’m jogging, my headphone cord starts smacking me in the face. I tuck it in to my shirt, without stopping and while trying not to trip over anything. I get back into the flow and my headphones start pulling out of my ears because the cord is stuffed down my shirt. I pull the cord back out and just decide to let it smack me in the face. The wonderful feeling and rhythm of my feet hitting the ground, one after another was accompanied by this cord slapping me in the face over and over. I ignore it. I am determined to go the mile. I begin sweating. As gross as it is, I don’t really mind it because it means I’m working hard. The sweat makes my bangs get wet and they too, begin smacking me in the face. It’s fine, whatever, I can ignore those too. 
The first song finishes and the sabotaging voice starts telling me that I have to pee. I do not have to pee. I just used the restroom before I started running and it’s only been like 4 minutes. Add that to my ignore list. I decide to focus on my breathing, because it hasn’t been bothering me and I’m super excited about this. Then I get a side cramp. You know the kind that makes you want to distort your body to one side to make it not feel like that anymore? Yeah, that kind.  But it’s okay I’ll focus on the music and ignore that too. Sail is a really great song, very distracting. I almost really don’t care about the cord hitting my chin, the bangs that keep hitting my right eyeball, the feeling that I have to pee, and the side cramp. It’s all good; I’m just focusing on the music. Pandora then decides it’s time for an advertisement. In my head I’m screaming,
“YOU HAVE GOT TO BE F***ING KIDDING ME!!”
I’m starting to think I’m going to quit. I look at how far I’ve gone as another song starts and I’m at .8. I have to keep going.
When I looked and it said 1.06 all of those things disappeared (mainly because I stopped running). I was ecstatic! My legs were on fire, I was drenched with sweat, but I was happy. Not only was I super proud of myself, but I could still breathe too!        Adrienne: 1          Sabotaging Voice/Force: 0

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Sweaty with success!

As far as eating healthy goes, I’m feeling a lot better than I was at the beginning of the month (The Big Reveal (The Big Breakdown)). I’ve been reading a lot about Paleo and I like it. But I also like dairy. I watched Food Inc. too and that’s been on my mind a lot. As of right now I’m basically just using common sense about food and doing smaller portions: unlimited veggies, some fruit, and protein; mostly chicken, (although Food Inc. has made this difficult for me) and fish. I’m doing some red meat from time to time, Greek yogurt and yogurt dressings, nuts, some dark chocolate, and limited amounts of cheese. I’m not eating any bread, pasta, tortillas, rice, oats, or grains. This is mainly because it’s easier for me to cut it out completely than to moderate it. I’m also not eating pork (even bacon), corn or potatoes.

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Chicken and “Pasta” Salad, without the pasta.

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Steak, Mashed Cauliflower, Asparagus

image (2)
Cauliflower “Home Fries”

I’ll be honest, I’ve cheated sometimes. I’ve had some tortilla chips and salsa, I’ve grabbed a French Fry off of Kenny’s plate when they look too good to resist. I haven’t given up my flavored coffee creamer (or coffee for that matter), and I still use small amounts of butter. But overall, still healthy, still sober (85 days), and I feel great!

“Ain’t nothin’ gonna to break my stride
Nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on movin'”

Judgmental, Arrogant Pricks

The first thing that’s been aggravating me lately is the common misconception about gaining weight. Somehow, if you’re getting larger that means that you’re happy and comfortable in life. On quite a few occasions I’ve had people say to me “awe, it’s okay! You must just be really happy!” or “Oh, you got married and now you’re just comfortable and settling in.”

WTF?!

This whole concept is completely ridiculous to me. I do not gain weight because I’m happy and content and it certainly has nothing to do with getting married. I gain weight when I am lonely, stressed, or sad. In no way does my chunkiness represent happiness. I gained weight when I quit smoking. I gained weight when my parents got divorced. The heartbreak diet would not work for me, because I would stuff my face with food hoping to find comfort IN IT, I do not eat because I’ve already found it. 

Lately, I’ve been wanting to quit and throw in the towel on this whole healthy living thing. I’ve been wanting pizza, fast-food, and candy. The urge seemingly came out of nowhere and hit me like a ton of bricks. I wanted anything but healthy food and I was struggling to figure out why I shouldn’t eat it. Then, I decided to sit with myself for a minute and try to find out why I was feeling so discouraged and wanting to eat so badly. What was going on in my life that was making me crave food? Oh, that’s right we’re in the middle of possibly buying a foreclosure and deciding to sell or rent our house. Stress eating, that’s what I wanted and vegetables do not suffice. Fortunately, I’m practicing self-control and I have not fallen off the healthy wagon.

Speaking of wagons, if one more person talks to me about moderation I might explode.
“Why can’t you just moderate?” 
“You’re really never going to drink again?”
“What about when you’re travelling?”
“Come on, it’s a lot of fun sometimes!”

When you can answer why it is necessary for you to ever drink alcohol again besides it being “fun sometimes” or because “it tastes good” then I will answer your absolutely ridiculous questions about why I have no desire to drink anymore because alcohol has absolutely nothing to offer me.
What’s so incredibly obnoxious about this whole thing is that I used to think that non-drinkers were judgmental, arrogant pricks. I have now learned that they become that way over time because the drinkers are judgmental, pressuring, condescending assholes to non-drinkers. I do not care who drinks and who doesn’t. But if one more person asks me why I can’t “just moderate” I’m going to become that person that says “why can’t you just quit drinking?” and I never wanted to be that person. But I see now that there’s no other way. So I’m sending out apologies to all the non-drinkers in the world that I ever judged, rolled my eyes at, or assumed were self-righteous just because they didn’t drink. I was wrong and I now understand. 

 As for my healthy living thing. I weigh in on Monday for the 1st time since this whole thing started. I have not failed or given in to the sabotaging voice that wants me to be a big fat slob. Last night I made spaghetti sauce with grilled chicken breasts seasoned with basil and oregano and served it over spaghetti squash. It was delicious!
Wish me luck this Labor Day!!
I might have a break down if I’ve only lost 5 pounds after all this work.