Of course, for awhile now it hasn’t really been “new” habit Monday — it’s been a rehash of habits from the days of yore. This week it’s all about being smart with carb intake — both amount and type, with an emphasis on honing in on what really works for me as an individual.

This is easy for me; I figured out awhile ago that I don’t do well on a typical low-carb diet. When I have a dinner of only vegetables and lean protein, about 45 minutes later all I want to do is eat eat eat (and not vegetables and lean protein, either). By tossing some quinoa, a sweet potato or wild rice into the mix, I find that I’m far more satiated than I otherwise would have been. The issue for me is not overdoing it — I don’t need heaping portions of it, just enough to take the edge off, ya know?

On another note entirely, one of my friends today posted on Facebook on how she had looked back at her BT log on this same day the past few years (beginnertriathlete.com … remember, that’s my virtual hangout despite the fact that I don’t actually do triathlons anymore) .  This got me to thinking, and so I took a trip through the way-back machine as well (I love that I’ve had an online home now for about 9 years … all that history…also makes me appreciate how I can write on and on about myself).

And you know what? Not last year, but every year before that I was working out and in shape and so utterly unappreciative of the motivation I had to get things done. I took it as a matter of fact that I would be running or biking or strength training or doing something active for an hour or more most days of the week — being lazy never involved not working out for a full week, it was more like taking 2 days off. Now that I’m out of shape and fighting injury, I realize how much I took for granted. It’s going to take me a long while to work my way back there — and it’s made me regret (even more – still – again) getting to the point where I am now. 

And this was an easy workout for a Saturday
because I was racing the next day. That’s something
else I used to do — I used to race. I miss that.


Reading about the nonchalant “went out and did an easy 6.5 miles today” or “up before work to get a quick bike spin out of the way” makes me want to be that person again (I still have no desire to swim, though – that will never change, I don’t think! Brrr… cold water… hate it…). I feel like somehow I’ve lost part of my identity the last year or so and I really need to get it back.

And I know how to do it. One step at a time. One foot in front of the other. The hardest part is starting … after that, it’s simply moving forward just a little bit every day. Reading about my recent-past escapades drove home how much I like myself when I’m able to take working out for granted.


Is there anything more to say that I haven’t already talked about this week? I really don’t think so.

I’ve started studying for my third and final certification exam. My goal this week is to do this studying without having to snack at the same time. I might start doing some of it at the library so I’m forced to be better about it.

Oh, and I’ve got the MRI on my foot scheduled for tomorrow. We’ll see if anything fun comes of that.

Measurements
Up another touch from last week. House is pretty much cleaned out of all my trigger foods (chocolate, pretzels, Pop-Tarts) and so I’m going to give it a go next week to stay on task.

Workouts
Nada. Nothing. And this probably won’t change this week, I’m guessing. Perhaps I’ll let my trainer talk me into a workout or two.

Habits
Been working on the 80% habit, except not so much working on the habit. This one serves me well when I’m mindful of it.

Intermittent Fasting
Getting back on that wagon tomorrow. 

Habit Log
Weeks 1-2: Fish oil and probiotic
Weeks 3-4: Eating slowly
Weeks 5-6: Stop eating at 80% full
Weeks 7-8: Lean protein with every meal
Weeks 9-10: 5 servings of vegetables a day
Weeks 11-12: Make smart carb choices
Weeks 13-14: Plan Meals
Weeks 15-16: Log all food
Weeks 17-18: Create a sleep ritual
Weeks 19-20: Drink only zero calorie beverages
Weeks 21-22: Use targeted recovery strategies
Weeks 23-24: Eat only whole foods
Week 25: No new habits (work on the previous ones)
Weeks 26-27: A little more, a little better
Weeks 28-29: Lean protein and vegetables with every meal
Weeks 30-31: Stop eating at 80% full (an encore presentation)

Things are on an upturn: I passed my second exam (with a lot more breathing room than I gave myself with the first one) and the water in my basement has dried up. The dogs are behaving themselves and I ordered a taco pizza to celebrate making it through the last two weeks.

Of course, the pizza wasn’t necessary (but it sure was good!). I ordered that along with an eggplant dish so that I’d have leftovers for the upcoming week. Smart planning, right?

Look, Mom! Two exams passed!

Tomorrow I’ll start studying for certification exam #3, which will be in two weeks (and then I’ll be done! … for the moment, at least), and also fit in cleaning the house which has gone to the dogs (no pun intended!) with my utter lack of time and desire to keep it neat.

This past week our lesson on Thursday was to do a 24-hour fast.  I tried — both Thursday and Friday — but both days made it to about mid-morning and caved and ate. I was home studying both days and I found that a rumbly stomach made it far more challenging to focus on what I was trying to learn. Simply put, hunger overrode my brain.

I’m curious to try it again when I don’t have anything on the line, mostly just to see if I can do it, but unless something awesome happens in the last 8 hours of a 24-hour fast, I think that Intermittent Fasting might be more my style. The feedback from my Lean Eating pals was pretty evenly divided between people who thought it was the bee’s knees (don’t ask me, I don’t know what that actually means either) and people who were sluggish and spent most of the day with visions of sugar plums (or vegetables and lean meats) dancing in their heads. I want to be able to offer up my own opinion. Maybe next week.

Well, after the record 68″ of snow the area has seen this winter (average is under 30″), it’s finally starting to warm up just a bit.  I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to this — I’m just so DONE with this winter.

But how does that saying goes?  Be careful what you wish for … 

The warming temperatures and melting snow brought the outdoors into my basement — yes, puddles and puddles of water.  Just what I need while I’m dealing with studying for an exam on Saturday! My roommate’s been helping switch out towels (most of the leakage is in the workout room, which is good — no carpeting in there) and my Dad came over this afternoon to help me diagnose the problem, figure out if there’s a fix (no, not really) and help get things as good as they can be for the time being. I’m lucky to have people around me who support me in a lot of different ways.

Onto more relevant topics … I’ve been peeking ahead in our lessons and there’s a good one for Thursday: a 24-hour fast.  I’ve done the intermittent fasting as I’ve talked about previously, usually going about 15-17 hours between meals, but a full 24 hours? That’s a bird of a different color.

But I’m looking forward to it. I’ve not only been forgetting what it feels like to be hungry, but forgetting to realize that hunger isn’t an emergency that needs tending to immediately. Fasting will be a good way to reset my brain. At least that’s what I’m hoping for, because I kind of need a kick start back to reality.

This post is a little disjointed, but frankly, so am I at the moment. After 2 hours spent dealing with water and then another 2.5 hours studying (and it’s not like I didn’t work a full day first), my head is ready to relax. Or at least go to sleep. Which is what I’m going to do. Right now, in fact. Good-night!

Stress fracture, bone abnormality
or just all in my head?

Saw the foot doctor today to get the X-rays read, and like Google had already told me — if there’s a stress fracture, it’s not readily apparent. Which it should be, since the length of time that I’ve had the pain would be long enough for the calcification of the bone to show up. The doc did say that she saw some “abnormality of the bone” where I’ve got pain, but she’s not exactly sure what might be the issue.

So – onto the next step: an MRI. Oh, joy. Part of me wants to abandon all this right now and just deal with it, like I have been for the past 7 or 8 months. It’s not a stress fracture, so I’m not in danger of breaking my foot, right? It’s only been 2 weeks and I’m already sooo over this whole thing. Doc did concede that if the walking boot didn’t seem to be doing any good, then I could consider ditching it, though now I feel like I ought to give it more time. Catholic guilt at it’s best.

Thing is, if it were just this same ol’ low level pain all the time (think: 3 or 4 on a pain scale of 10), I wouldn’t think anything of it. But there are moments when I step a little on the side of my foot, or just the wrong way and …. YEEEOOOOWWW… and all of a sudden, the 3 or 4 becomes an easy 8 or 9 (plus a few curse words). And it hurts whether I’m standing on it, running on it, squatting 145 pounds or laying down trying to sleep. Very weird, in my estimation.

If the MRI doesn’t show anything then I really am going to just start ignoring the pain and waiting for it to go away on it’s own eventually. What’s the worst that can happen, right?

So.

Um, yea.  It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

No good excuses, though I’ve been struggling (and losing) to keep forward momentum going.  

About 2 weeks ago, I finally made an appointment with a doctor to see about the pain that I’ve had in my foot since, oh, the summer or so.  The pain had never been bad, but it also never went away, and within the past month or two, it had gotten worse.  The doctor confirmed what I already suspected:  I had a stress fracture.  So, I’m in a walking boot with orders to not do much of anything.  And yes – of course I can still work out – upper body and core don’t require me to use my legs – but have I?  Nope.

Stylish, eh?



And remember me talking about that long-ass Microsoft class that I had taken?  Nine days, 12 hours a day?  Well, the class is done but the exams are not.  I’ve taken the first one, and passed (just barely!), but still have the next two ahead of me.  One thing that’s messing with my brain a bit is that I thought the first exam would be the easiest, but it was much more difficult than I thought it would be, which makes me really stress out about the next two.  I’ve been studying every night, and yes, I can’t seem to manage to not snack while I’m doing it.  I’m usually okay with being hungry, but it’s almost like when I need to focus on something, I can’t also deal with a rumbling stomach — I need to be comfortable in any way possible to facilitate the studying.  Which is really, really bad for me eating healthy.  Because along with that, no, vegetables don’t count as a snack that scratches that itch.

I’ve got my next exam this coming weekend, and then — assuming I pass — the one after that is in two weeks.  Enough time to study, but not enough time to overly worry about it.

So everything health-wise is going in the wrong direction:  weight, measurements, appetite, food choices, foot, sleep and stress level.  I need to rein things in and get back on track (though I’ve been telling myself that for two weeks now).  Somehow I need to start small and work my way back since I seem incapable of simply returning to the habits that I held just two weeks ago.

Along with that, I need a good dose of forgiveness as well.  I can’t constantly berate myself on my mistakes — that’s counter-productive when what I really need is a genuine, heart-felt, “You’re okay! You can do it!” from my head.

It’s funny because things were going so well.  And then, not so well.  This is a pattern — whenever my weight starts consistently going down (and I’m using weight simply as an easily quantified measure of progress), something happens and it rockets back up.  Of course, this is life — never the same, never easy, always challenging.  I think that if you look at the graph of anyone’s journey, you’ll see the same thing — periods of good with spikes of bad.  But the thing that I have to keep in mind:  I want the trend to be downward.  There are always going to be the bubbles of not-so-good, but the important part is recognizing and moving past it.  I can’t do anything about yesterday, and I can’t do anything about tomorrow, but I can certainly do something about today.

So – a very short review of the past (two) week(s):

Measurements
All up.  That’s what happens when you eat everything in sight and don’t workout.  I’ve said it before, but is amazes me how quickly the weight goes on and how slowly the weight comes off.

Workouts
Since I got the walking boot, I’ve done exactly one workout.  It was frustrating and annoying and I kind of hated it. Of course, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be doing it.

Habits
Another New Habit Monday has passed by — this time it’s revisiting the eating to 80% full habit.  This is definitely a foundational habit that I need to be paying more attention to. For the first time in awhile, I did that yesterday and not-so-remarkably felt better. Go figure.

Intermittent Fasting
Another thing I haven’t been doing. Add it to the list.

Habit Log
Weeks 1-2: Fish oil and probiotic
Weeks 3-4: Eating slowly
Weeks 5-6: Stop eating at 80% full
Weeks 7-8: Lean protein with every meal
Weeks 9-10: 5 servings of vegetables a day
Weeks 11-12: Make smart carb choices
Weeks 13-14: Plan Meals
Weeks 15-16: Log all food
Weeks 17-18: Create a sleep ritual
Weeks 19-20: Drink only zero calorie beverages
Weeks 21-22: Use targeted recovery strategies
Weeks 23-24: Eat only whole foods
Week 25: No new habits (work on the previous ones)
Weeks 26-27: A little more, a little better
Weeks 28-29: Lean protein and vegetables with every meal

Week 30:  Stop eating at 80% full (an encore presentation)

My class is over, but I have to admit — I probably spent too much time “recovering” (meaning, not working out, not posting here, not doing anything productive).  But – I’m back!  Aren’t you happy?

I’m studying for my first exam (which is this coming Saturday) and assuming that goes well, I’ll schedule out the second and third.  I’m having a hard time cracking the books, but I’ve been pushing myself to anyway.  It’ll be over soon, right?

Measurements
About the same as last week.  Again – with what I’ve been doing (ie nothing), I’m pretty happy with that.  I was up during the middle of the week, and brought it down by the weekend, so I’m headed in the right direction.  I’m as low as I’ve been for about a year, which feels pretty good.

Workouts
Um, yea.  So, I kinda dropped the ball on this one.  Monday and Tuesday I just couldn’t wake up early enough before class to get it done.  Wednesday was a crazy day back at work.  And Thursday and Friday?  No excuse really, other than I didn’t wanna do it.  But – tough strength training session yesterday (holy schnikey am I sore today!) and an hour on the treadmill today.  And I was peer-pressured into signing up for a half marathon on Labor Day weekend, so I suppose that means I ought to start training one of these days.

Habits
So, I missed New Habit Monday.  That’s probably okay because I’ve been absolutely terrible at getting it done.  The habit is to have a lean protein and a vegetable at EVERY meal. Unless Pop-Tarts (actually, Trader Joe’s organic equivalent) have chicken and broccoli in them, I’m pretty well sunk before I’ve barely even begun the day.  This is one of those “just for two weeks” habits to get you out of your comfort zone and experiment with getting more good stuff into your diet.  So far, it’s not working for me, but that’s because I’ve spent exactly 0% effort into making it happen.

Intermittent Fasting
This has been my saving grace throughout this time, I’m pretty sure.  I simply eat less (even though it’s not like I’m starving myself by any means).  It might not be for everyone, but it works for me.

Habit Log
Weeks 1-2: Fish oil and probiotic
Weeks 3-4: Eating slowly
Weeks 5-6: Stop eating at 80% full
Weeks 7-8: Lean protein with every meal
Weeks 9-10: 5 servings of vegetables a day
Weeks 11-12: Make smart carb choices
Weeks 13-14: Plan Meals
Weeks 15-16: Log all food
Weeks 17-18: Create a sleep ritual
Weeks 19-20: Drink only zero calorie beverages
Weeks 21-22: Use targeted recovery strategies
Weeks 23-24: Eat only whole foods
Week 25: No new habits (work on the previous ones)
Weeks 26-27: A little more, a little better

Week 28:  Lean protein and vegetables with every meal