Andreahís Frazzled to Fabulous WISH Journal (Comments Welcome)
Hi! Iím Andreah and Iím trying my best NOT to be frazzled.
I discovered DisBoards a few years ago while planning my wedding and was SO excited to have a place to share my experience with other Disney Brides who were incredibly encouraging and supportive. Sadly, due to other commitments in my life, I havenít been posting consistently in the last couple of years. But, I have been fortunate to keep up with some of the wedding couples I met on the DisBoards via other social outlets like Facebook. (And Iíve been lurking around the boards from time to time.) Iím very excited to have found the WISH boards and hope to get some of you as well!
My WISH, basically, is to maintain control of as many areas of my health and well-being as I possibly can so that I can react to the uncontrollable stuff with at least a teeny amount of dignity and grace. Iím incredibly blessed and fortunate, so Iíll try to keep the venting to a minimum. Overall, I love my life, my family, my friends and, yes, I even love my work. Iím pretty cheerful most of the time. However, like so many others, I often feel like Iíve become some sort of magnet for crazy drama lately. Itís all OVER the place and it seems to be descending upon me all at once. For a number of reasons, I do have to use discretion in how much and what types of information that I share, but thatís not the point of this journal Ė the point is to make progress a little bit at a time Ė to minimize the ďfrazzledĒ and maximize the ďfabulousĒ Ė to encourage others to do the same. And I canít think of a more fabulous sub-culture of people than Disney enthusiasts who are looking to make progress in their own lives! I look forward to getting to know you.
Health-wise, Iím doing okay. Iím in a weight range that is healthy for my height, (but I certainly wouldnít complain about losing 5 to 10 pounds). This hasnít always been the case. I weigh now about 40 lbs less than I did at my highest point. I lost most of the weight in 2003 when I discovered the Weight Watchers At Home program and, for the most part, have kept the weight off.
Iíve fluctuated a little over the years. Since my initial large weight loss, Iíve been as high as 10 lbs above where I am now and, just before my wedding in 2009, I weighed about 10 lbs less than what I do now. I was that weight for, like, ten minutes. And I wasnít exactly being as healthy as I should have when getting ready for the wedding. I was eating about 900-1000 calories a day and exercising quite a bit. I was scared to eat sometimes, and I do NOT want to have that type of relationship with food ever again.
And, for now, Iím in no position mentally to declare any type of weight loss goal. I donít need to add any more stress to myself than I already have. And I have enough experience with the scale to know that it has a mind of its own sometimes. What I intend to focus on are goals that are TOTALLY within my control Ė things like the number of miles that I walk and run, the number of minutes that I spend on the elliptical machine and the number of days that I complete my Weight Watchers journal.
I hope that, in doing so, that I will minimize my stress levels, minimize the number of migraines and keep my coping mechanisms sharp. Any other benefits would be icing on the cake!
One other thing - I'm determined to complete a RunDisney half marathon as soon as I have the chance! They just look TOO fun!
There's something about the first of the month that feels a bit like a fresh start! Before I set out making plans for September, I wanted to take a moment to recap progress made in August.
I've been trying to get back on track since about the middle of the month. After meeting with a counselor to help me deal with some of my stress, she reminded me that, right now, sleep and exercise are like oxygen. I had been very frustrated because I enjoy exercise, but that's kind of the one thing that I had let go of when dealing with all of these things that have cropped up. That was a pretty big wake-up call for me. I can't help others if I'm not in the right frame of mind.
So, I decided to go out for a run one day - it's my favorite kind of exercise. And I use the term "run" loosely - I use the Galloway Run/Walk/Run method. I started with 10 sec run / 50 sec walk, and I've worked my way up to 20 sec run / 40 sec walk. At that point, I was back on track and I've been to determined to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day for as many days as I can. I got my elliptical machine up and running for days when cruddy weather keeps me away from outdoor running. Friday is my "rest day" typically and, since I've started tracking, I did manage to get at least 30 minutes on most days this month.
I also decided that I need to keep track of my nutrition using my Weight Watchers Online trackers. It's so convenient since I always have a computer, and iPad or an iPhone nearby. The "rule" that I made was to track my nutrition, not necessarily to stay within a certain number of PointsPlus. But, naturally, having that accountability has motivated me to stay within my recommended PointsPlus range. Funny how that works. I don't feel as much pressure and yet I'm making a good amount of progress.
Since sleep is another one of those things that is like oxygen right now, I decided to start tracking the amount and quality of sleep that I've been getting. For the most part, it has gone well. On days a couple of days that I had a lot of worries on my mind, I did take Simply Sleep pills, which are very very mild. I never have a hard time falling asleep, but if I wake up in the middle of the night, I have a hard time getting back to sleep and I'm a mess the next day. But I did pretty well during the second half of August.
Since I'm a migraine sufferer, I thought it would be good to track the number of migraines that I have and the suspected triggers. Since I started tracking my exercise, nutrition and sleep, I've had ZERO migraines! YAY! (Coincidence?)
So, by the numbers, how did the second half of August shape up?
Migraines - NONE!
Sleep Quality - Average "Good"
Sleep Amount - Average 7 hours 44 minutes
Running / Walking - 52.7 miles
Elliptical Trainer - 50 minutes
Weight - Lost 2.2 lbs!
So, overall, the second half of August went really well! I feel much more relaxed and in control than I did a month ago, and I FEEL much much better!
Looking Forward to September!
Now that I've recapped the month of August, it's time to look forward to September. As a Southern girl who loves to run and walk outdoors, I'm DEFINITELY looking forward to temperatures to get a little cooler. I just hope that we get a nice loooong fall and don't go from 90+ degree weather to mid-50's overnight.
So, September should be a fantastic month. I've joined the September Exercise Challenge, stepping up for 900 minutes this month (at least 30 minutes per day). I've done 144 minutes in the first two days alone, so I'm well on my way.
I've got some exciting things on the agenda this month, but will have to take precautions not to get derailed from some of the positive things that I've been doing.
The first, and most exciting, thing is that I'm leaving on Thursday for my very first visit to New York City!! I look forward to visiting the 9/11 Memorial, shopping on 5th Avenue, and going for a run in Central Park. But the MAIN reason that we booked the trip was to see Madonna in concert at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night. It should be a great show! If anybody has any ideas for not-to-miss things to do, please share! So very unlike me, we haven't planned much. Our hotel is at Rockefeller Center, so the location should be fantastic. Most importantly, it will be a great opportunity for the hubs and me to spend some quality time together.
I will definitely partake (in moderation) of some tasty treats and cocktails, but will try my best to track in my journal and balance with a lot of walking and a little bit of exercise as well. And, if I'm not able to stay on track, I will get right back on track as soon as I get home.
The only other challenge that I'll encounter this month is a couple of training weeks at my work. I'm a Training and Development Director for a Real Estate Investment Trust that owns and manages about 170 apartment communities throughout the country. We often host training sessions at the office and, on those days, we have lunch catered in. The cool thing is that I've developed methods that allow me to stay on track while not completely depriving myself of tasty treats, so it really shouldn't be problem.
So, bring it on September! Let's enjoy 30 days of "fabulous"!
Some of the things I'm looking forward to seeing in NYC:
5th Avenue Apple Store
Times Square Disney Store
Flagship Kate Spade Store in Soho
Empire State Building
Madonna in Concert
New York Trip Update
** Happy Labor Day! **
This has very little to do with staying healthy, unless you look at it from the "play is good for us" perspective, but I spent some time last night making arrangements for our upcoming trip to New York. I can not believe that we'll be on the plane in 72 hours!
I can not stand to NOT plan something, but I don't want to have every second of every day scheduled. So last night I hit the web last night in search of info. Here's our plan for the extended weekend:
Thursday, September 6
Friday, September 7
Saturday, September 8
Sunday, September 9
Monday, September 10
For me, it's really tough to measure "progress" using my weight because at the point that I'm at, unless I approach things in an unhealthy way, progress is slooooooooooow and unpredictable. As I mentioned before, my scale has a mind of it's own and it is sooooo easy to be frustrated, to start beating myself up and get so discouraged that I want to give up. After all, it does take time and energy to track every teeny little thing I eat and do I really need to exercise EVERY day?
For example, Monday is my "official" weigh-in day, when I enter my weight into my Weight Watchers online account. So, this week, I ROCKED it. I tracked everything. I had 25 Flex Points (Are they still called that?) left over for the week. I earned 23 Activity Points, which I didn't touch. (I have my tracker set up to use the Flex Points before using Activity Points.) This week I lost 0.2 lbs. Better than nothing, but I feel like if I had one teeny little extra snack this week I wouldn't have lost anything, or worse, might have shown a gain. But, that's why I CAN'T get hung up on what the scale says. I just can't. I KNOW I did well this week and I KNOW that I'm making progress. My clothes are telling me and I'm seeing progress in the mirror. And MORE importantly, I feel more empowered, more in control and more relaxed.
So, how DO I stay motivated over time?
I'm really blessed and fortunate to work with an amazing group of ladies who are smart, witty and fun. And, each one of us is "health-conscious", each for our own reasons. We talk every day about exercise and nutrition. We share snacks and recipes and motivate each other. We support each other and we're proud of one another.
Earlier this summer, a couple of my co-workers got together and started a fitness challenge. It was as simple as it gets. They printed some blank calendar pages from an online template and bought a pack of those little star stickers that teachers use. If they work out, they get a star. The goal is to have two stars on the calendar for each day - one for each person. There is much disgrace in NOT having a star on the calendar. So, they have these calendars posted on the cabinet in one girl's office. They are FULL of all these teeny little stars.
So, one day, I said "You guys are doing SO great! I'm really inspired by what you're doing." And then I showed them the tracking app from my iPad and how I was doing sort of the same thing, but on my iPad instead of paper. They promptly responded "THAT'S no fun." Whoa. It was a shock, but funny. There's something FUN about using the most un-technical tracking system in the universe and taking a moment each day to perform the ritual of sticking the stars on the calendar. Fair enough.
I went back to my office with my tail tucked between by legs. Then I had an epiphany. Kate Spade (my favorite designer) had just released some really cute new items for the fall. I was on the verge of planning a little shopping spree, but then I had a much better idea. What if I challenged myself to EARN my happy treats? And what if those challenges were things that were TOTALLY within MY CONTROL. Who cares WHAT the scale says? I know that if I exercise I will make progress. And if I keep my nutrition in check I will make progress.
I needed small mini-goals. I need to be able to meet my goals often enough to keep me motivated. So, here's what I did. I created a file in Microsoft Excel with three pages. On each page, I listed a challenge, I posted a picture of a treat that I wanted to earn, and some blocks that I can color in with a highlighter as I make progress. (THAT's my ritual) And I posted them on my cabinet for all my co-workers and visitors to see.
CHALLENGE #1: Walk / run 35 miles to earn _____. Why 35 miles? Because whether I walk a mile or run a mile, I burn about 100 calories. 35 miles = 3500 calories = 1 pound lost (or not gained). I will, in theory, be one pound less than I would have been without walking / running those miles. Do that 10 times and I will be 10 pounds less than I would have been, etc.
CHALLENGE #2: 500 minutes on the elliptical trainer to earn _____. As much as I LOVE outdoor walking / running, the treadmill is lame and I need a backup plan. Some days will be cruddy, and some days I just won't be able to get outside. On those days I can hop on my elliptical machine and watch a DVR episode of The Young and the Restless. I can highlight my progress in 10 minute increments. After doing the math, I see that 500 minutes is really more like 3000 calories, but I'm not too worried. I don't like it as well and need a little more motivation to do it.
I can do all the exercise in the universe, but if I'm eating like a madwoman, I won't make much progress. So, I need a mechanism that is not too demanding and totally within my control to keep the nutrition side in check.
CHALLENGE #3: Complete Weight Watchers tracker for 30 days to earn _____. Notice that I didn't say 30 consecutive days and I didn't say that I had to stay within a certain number of PointsPlus. I'm not TOO worried about that right now. I just need to condition myself to be accountable for what I do, even when I have slip ups. I also need motivation to get back on track as soon as a slip up does occur. In the past, I've had a bad habit of having a challenge one day, not staying within my Points, or not having a clue how many Points was in something so maybe I didn't track, and then it seemed like it didn't make any sense to try to start tracking until the following Monday, and the next thing you know I'm "off program", etc. So, I feel like THESE "rules" will encourage me to (1) attempt to track as much as possible, even if I've had a slip up and (2) get right back into my good habits if, for some reason, I don't track for a day or a few days.
So, what about the expense of the rewards? I started thinking to myself, if someone told me that I could pay $1,000 and lose 10 pounds instantly with no negative side effects, would I do it? Ummmm . . . probably in a heartbeat. So, there you have it. It's not quite the same, but it seems to be working for me so far.
And, how are things going so far?
I'm proud to say that I SMASHED my first walk / run challenge in 13 days and I'm currently working on my second walk / run challenge. My first reward earned was a cute sweatshirt from Kate Spade:
I'm only about 10% toward my elliptical trainer goal because I prefer to walk / run whenever I have the opportunity.
I'm not far from my first WW tracking goal. Currently I'm at 21/30 days. We'll see how well I'm able to track when in NYC but I have motivation to do so. And, if I'm not able to keep up with my tracker, I'll be motivated to pick back up as soon as I return home - and NOT be tempted to wait until the following Monday.
To track or not to track?
So, as we approach our New York trip, I've been struggling to decide whether or not to track my nutrition in my Weight Watchers online journal while we travel. I don't want to lose the momentum that I've picked up over the last few weeks, but I also want to ENJOY the trip and not obsess over trying to figure out Points the whole time. So, I think I've decided on a decent compromise. I plan to journal my nutrition, but I won't try to count Points. I'm just going to use the Quick Add feature and enter 0 Points for everything. We plan to eat at some local places, so even trying to guesstimate Points will just be a hassle . . . not to mention the tasty cocktails. Yum! But, by at least writing down what I consume, there's a LITTLE bit of accountability and I won't be mindless about what I'm consuming.
And next week, as I absorb the shock of my scale's abuse and shame, I'll be able to look back and (hopefully) feel like it was worth it.
Provided I track everything I consume, I'll give myself a green check mark on my iPad calendar for each day. BUT, I won't count those days toward my "Complete WW Journal for 30 Days" reward. I'll pick up the last few days for my reward once I get back.
The WW journal tracking reward that I'm working toward is a white t-shirt from Kate Spade with black letters that say "Pardon My French" ... Soooo cute! Part of me wants to get it and trash it at The Color Run in October. The Color Run is a 5K where they pelt you with brightly-colored corn starch along the route. You're supposed to wear a white shirt. I don't know if I can bring myself to do it, though. I will probably find a cheaper tee to trash.
Just got an alert from my Flight Tracker iPad app . . . our layover in Chicago tomorrow morning has been cut from 55 minutes to 40 minutes. So much for grabbing a bite of breakfast and a cup of coffee between our two flights tomorrow . . . We're boarding in Memphis at 5:30ish and nothing will be open yet. And, depending on the distance between our arrival and departure gates, I may be putting my run/walk/run skills to the test tomorrow at O'Hare International on an empty tummy.
Lack of Sleep + Air Pressure Change + Time Zone Change + Starvation = Guaranteed Migraine
Must plan accordingly!
Ugh! Killer migraine today. Just what I was afraid of, only one day early. Feeling a little better now, but still a bit zapped from the meds. Good news is that I found out our layover in the morning is 70 minutes instead of 40 so breakfast may not be a crisis after all. Grabbed some packets of nuts to snack on just in case of delay. I hope to get the migraine totally out of my system today and have a lovely weekend.
Heading home from a fun-filled weekend in The Big Apple. Just popped in from my layover to say ...
(and I'm afraid to see how mean my scale is going to be to me in the morning!)
Still trying to get into the swing of things after our long weekend, but I thought I'd drop in to do a quick recap of our trip.
From a health perspective . . .
I didn't mark any exercise in my journal because I didn't do any "deliberate" exercise during our trip. As much as I had every good intention of making use of our hotel's fitness room and living out my vision of a leisurely run in Central Park, my workout clothes, sadly, did little more than take up space in our suitcase and cause our luggage to be 1.5 pounds overweight. That being said, we must've walked (and "briskly" I might add) at least 10 miles each day. We made no less than 3 trips to Duane Reade for "Blister Relief" Band-Aids and I now have a significant appreciation for my new friends, Fast Flats. :lovestruc
Okay, let's be real, going on vacation is probably NOT the best thing when it comes to diet, but I really did OKAY, considering. I was on vacation, in a new place, and I intended to enjoy some of the local flavors. That being said, I didn't go nuts, kept portions in control and logged all my meals and snacks in my Weight Watchers online journal. I didn't count Points or anything . . . I would have been difficult to even "ball park" some of the things that I ate. I felt like the act of simply listing the foods did make me more mindful in some of my choices and was a good balance between accountability and relaxation on a vacation. I plan to do the same thing during our Christmas vacation in December.
My favorite "worth the Points" treats from NYC included:
- Pistachio Macaron from Bouchon Bakery
- Pizza from Lombardi's
- Raspberry Almond Croissant from Bouchon Bakery
- Lavollini's (similar to Bellini's) from Lavo
- Oreo Zeppole from Lavo (Oreos, fried in doughnut batter, served with a teeny milkshake for dipping . . . 'nuff said . . . please know that hubs and I shared this and we did NOT finish it)
- Cheddar and Chive Scone from Dean and Deluca
- Spicy Hot Dog with Mustard from a street vendor on 5th Avenue
- Dessert at Serendipity 3 (I chose the Carrot Cake . . . again, I didn't eat all of it)
I slept okay during the trip, but our schedules were definitely "off" a little. And, naturally, there's always the "travel anxiety" factor on the nights before flights. On the first morning we traveled out, we had to wake up at 3 am for our 6:30 am flight. But, we decided to take a nap after lunch so that we wouldn't be worn out for the rest of the trip. The bed wasn't near as comfortable as our bed at home and the comforter didn't stay put very well so the hubs and I kept turn stealing the covers from one another, but it was okay and in the "sort of" comfy range. The only other night that our sleep was cut short was the night of the Madonna concert. Rain caused the show to be delayed about an hour-and-a-half, so we were a little late as it was. But then, my sweetie got chatty with another subway passenger and when I said "How many more stops do we have?" we realized that we had missed our stop entirely. Trying to navigate our way back uptown delayed us for another hour and by then we had "hit the wall". Tears did flow and I'm not gonna say from whom! Anyway, we were both feeling a MILLION times better the next morning and managed to have a fairly easygoing day. I have learned a long time ago to plan time for afternoon naps when on vacation.
After a few weeks of no migraines at all, last week was kind of rough. I had a KILLER sad-tummy, sensitivity-to-light-and-sound migraine on the afternoon before we traveled. The ladies at work FORCED me to go home and sleep it off and by that evening, I was feeling better and managed to get my suitcase packed. It tried to sneak back up on me on the day of travel (not unexpected, given my change in eating and sleeping patterns + radical changes in altitude). But a dose of meds + an afternoon nap got me back on my feet in time for Fashion's Night Out. No headaches since.
My scale did fuss at me a bit when I returned, but it wasn't TOO bad. I brought back 2.2 lbs as a souvenir, but as of this morning I'm back at my morning-of-travel weight. I'll certainly take it! Maintaining over a couple of weeks is a small price to pay for the mental break that vacations allow.
I'll try to post a few photos of the trip if I can hijack hubs' iPhone long enough to retrieve them. So, overall, the trip was fantastic! I really enjoyed The Big Apple!
Walk / Run Challenge #2 Complete!
Woo hoo! I completed my 2nd walk / run personal 35 mile challenge on Saturday! This one took 22 days, given our trip to New York (during which I didn't track ALL that walking that we did) a couple of rainy days and a couple of migraines. No worries! It's all about getting right back to it as soon as I can.
The reward for this challenge to myself is a Rainforest Room pass for our Disney Dream cruise in December. I'll probably actually just get a Disney gift card and start loading it up for my vacation-related rewards.
During the time that it took me to run these 35 miles, I lost 1.4 lbs! Not bad at all!
Weight Watchers Journal Tracking Challenge #1 Complete!
I also completed my first personal challenge to track in my Weight Watchers journal for 30 days. Please pardon the handwritten typo on my sheet. The start date and end date are 8/13 and 9/16. During this time, I lost 2.3 lbs, which isn't bad at all. Most people would be disappointed with a 2.3 lb loss in a whole month, but (1) this includes a mini-vacay and (2) every little bit helps! If I did this 10 times, that would be 23 lbs. My reward is a "Pardon My French" T-shirt from Kate Spade, if they still have any left.
UPDATE: Just checked the Kate Spade website and the Pardon My French T-shirt is sold out in all sizes except extra small. Ain't no way I can even fit one of "the ladies" in a XXS. Boo! Guess I'm gonna have to find a consolation prize and, in the future, run really really fast if the reward is really really cute.
It's hard to believe that September is already over! Before I set out making plans for October, I wanted to take a moment to recap progress made in September.
My goal for the month was to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, and I made that goal . . . barely! I signed up for the September Exercise Challenge with a goal of 900 minutes for the month and finished up yesterday for a total of 903 minutes which is - you got it - almost exactly 30 minutes per day.
I try to exercise 6 days a week, with Fridays being my "rest day". The challenges / roadblocks that stood in my way this month included:
- 5th: Migraines / getting ready for travel
- 6th - 10th: Trip to New York. (However, let's be real. I did a TON of walking on that trip. I just didn't get a chance to do any "deliberate" exercise.)
- 13th: Dinner with a friend
- 19th, 26th, & 27th: Church events
- 25th: Girl's Night event for a friend who is getting married
I can't be upset at myself for missing exercise on the days that I did . . . all of the reasons were either a good use of my time, a worthwhile activity or couldn't be helped. I'm aiming again for 900 minutes in October.
There were times that I didn't want to, but I managed to track my Weight Watchers points in my journal every day this month!! The accommodation that I allowed myself while on vacation was to track everything that I ate into my tracker using the "Quick Add" feature as 0 Points. It was a way to keep me from eating mindlessly and "somewhat" accountable while allowing freedom and flexibility to enjoy my vacation.
My sleep was varied for the month, but overall good. There were only a few nights that I didn't sleep well. My program said my average quality of sleep was "Neutral" and I got an average of 7 hours 51 minutes of sleep per night.
So much for that "no migraines" streak that I enjoyed in August. I did have a few migraine episodes in September, but I can't complain too much.
So, by the numbers, how did the month of September shape up?
Migraines - 5 days
Sleep Quality - Average "Neutral"
Sleep Amount - Average 7 hours 51 minutes
Running / Walking - 52.3 miles
Elliptical Trainer - 90 minutes
Weight - Lost 1.9 lbs!
The month of September was good overall. I feel that I maintained as much control as I could and rolled with the punches fairly well. I think that I need to try harder to relax and enjoy "the good times" without guilt in October. I'll let 'ya know how THAT goes :-)
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