Saturday, January 25, 2014

Detoxifying my life....

Thanks for all the comments on my last post. You cannot imagine how much healthier I feel at this point in my life, even if I am not at a perfect weight. I know that I will never fit into mass media's idea of "skinny" and I don't think that I even would want to do that. I truly just want to keep getting healthier and healthier.

So, while I continue to improve my lifestyle in the kitchen and the gym, I am also working detoxifying my life in other ways. I have conquered the biggest detoxifying things already in that I have eliminated processed foods and white carbs from my lifestyle. While we can debate what the right proportion of carbs, fat, and protein is right, there is no denying how much better I feel without junk food in my life.

What other things have I been doing to detoxify my life? First, I working very hard on ridding myself of negative thoughts. It's not always easy for me. For instance, this week I PR'ed on both my deadlift and bench press. Tuesday my trainer pushed my deadlift weight up ten pounds. It wasn't so bad so he added another 10 pounds. This is where I hit my limit. I did lift it once with good form but failed at all other attempts, only managing to get it off the ground but not beyond that sticking point right below the knees. So, rather than being happy 20 pounds more than I ever did before, I was stuck on the fact that I failed at all the other attempts. That morning I also stepped on the scale to see a four pound gain since the prior week. This was enough to set me up for a very bad day. The negative self talk started to flow and be toxic as I continue to just struggle with everything that day.

Fortunately, my husband and a few friends helped me see how ridiculous this was. I heard later that my reaction also confused my trainer (I mean, I PR'ed and got mad about it). My husband gave me this card (and flowers because he is just a wonderful guy) to help me understand that a bad day was just a matter of perspective.

It helped. On Friday, I PR'ed on my bench press. The increase was only five pounds, but it was still better than I had done in the past. I also decreased the counter weight on my assisted pullups. I also got out of my comfort zone by doing bear crawls and lateral jumps at the gym. Things I never would do in the past as I thought I would look foolish doing them. All of these things I can be truly proud of and I fought those negative thoughts from Tuesday to understand that fact. The more I get out of my comfort zone, the more I detoxify my life. It is a good thing.

Then there are the every day chemicals that I am eliminating more and more from my life. Here are just a few things I am doing:

1. Making my own toothpaste -- The more I read about commercial toothpaste and the ingredients in it, the more I want to stay away.

2. Making my own deodorant (I use the second recipe) -- Another product that I just have issues with the ingredients and it is easy to make my own and it works!  

3. The "No Poo" method -- As in no shampoo. I have only washed my hair with shampoo once since December 31, 2013. It hasn't quite been a month but I think my hair is looking fine (although I need a hair cut). I do rinse it every day and wash along the neck line after workouts but that's about it. Again, this is all about the nasty chemicals used in these products.

4. Scent free "natural" laundry detergent -- I avoid scents and as many chemicals as I can in my laundry soap. I do add some baking soda to help eliminate odors. Some day I may try making my own but I am happy with what I am using right now.

5. Finding the best sources of foods possible -- This means that we are very picky at the grocery store. There are several things that I buy only organic. My sources of protein are of the highest quality possible (grass fed, wild caught, etc.). We buy local whenever possible.

6. Sauna -- Being of Finnish heritage, we would go to my grandma's house to take a sauna almost every Saturday. Her sauna sat in the front yard and was heated with a wood burning fire. It was just part of what we did and, as far as I knew, most people did. Growing up, I realized that it was not a part of everyone's life. Moving away from home and being confronted with saunas that were electrically heated just did not seem the same. I stopped taking saunas, except when I was occasionally back in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. In the past few months though, I have learned a lot about the detoxifying principles of a sweaty sauna so I am back in the heat a few times a week. I immediately shower afterwards to remove the toxins from my skin. I am starting to reappreciate the time in the sauna.

7. Detox bath -- There is very few things I like more in this world than a good long soak in the bath tub. I wish I could find the link to the detox bath that I am following but I cannot. If I can, I will update this post. Basically, I use a combination of baking soda, Epsom salt, and lavender/tea tree essential oil. I also like that I shut myself off from things for an hour or so as I soak.

8. Being particular about what I read online and the blogs I follow -- honestly, there are some really negative blogs out there. I prefer to read things that enrich my life so I have pared down a lot of the things I read. 

9. Other miscellaneous things like incorporating apple cider vinegar into my diet, eliminating caffeine, drinking herbal teas, laughing more, smiling more, and being mindful of getting enough sleep. There are more things that I will be changing/doing in the next few weeks to detoxify even more. 

Here are some ideas if you are interested in detoxing things in your life 10 Easy Tips to Detox Daily for a Healthy Life from a blogger that I follow.

Update on 50 things in the year I turn 50

Did you think I forgot about my list? I haven't. I am working on many of the things. I have been taking lots of photos. I am working on the pullups, doing assisted pullups several times a week. The lateral jumps my trainer had me doing are all about working towards the box jump. My deadlift PR is currently 175 pounds, getting closer to that 200 pound mark. 

I have started fund raising for the Susan G. Komen and am over halfway to the goal. I am so motivated and inspired by those that have shown their generosity to the cause. I am walking often.

I started running again. In fact, my trainer wants to me to concentrate on just running for cardio over the next two weeks. I have been trying to "mix" it up and he wants me to cut back on variety for now. I am enjoying the running right now.

I am almost done with Moby Dick, about 100 pages to go. I am going to make sauerkraut this weekend and potentially gluten free pasta. UPDATE -- sauerkraut is fermenting....and it was SO easy to make. Let's see how it turns out.

I have been researching the volunteer opportunities. Some of the trips are in the planning stages. I did realize, after speaking with a friend, that I have already driven through Alabama. So, I already need to adjust the list a bit but that's okay. It is an evolving thing but the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone remains.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Nothing but the truth....the blog post about it all....

I don't blog a lot. Mostly because I don't feel like there is anything earth shattering to pearls of wisdom to throw out inspiring stories to motivate. But also partly because I know I have not thrown out my whole story. I have always been honest on my blog but there is a part of me that I have not shared and I often feel like I should...and that is my whole story. So many other bloggers openly share photos of where they came from and where they are now....not me. I just have not done a lot of that. Last year I was able to share more of my story with a group of close friends and some trusted people in my life. I know that not many people read my blog but maybe it is time to put my story out there. I know it would be good for me. So here is goes, complete with some photos.

I was always the fat smart kid growing up. I wanted to be an athlete but never could do the things I wanted to do. Running was hard. I was happier in my room, reading than anywhere else. My brothers were the athletes and they never let me forget that how I was not one. Every attempt to be something was a chance for ridicule. I have worked hard to get over the feeling of being inept or foolish. The first few months at the gym were enough to give me an least that is how it felt. First few events were even worse. But I digress from the points I want to share.

In college, I lost weight, lots of it so I know what it is like to be thinner but not healthy. I lost more weight after college on nutrisystem....again not healthy.

As I started to gain weight after my divorce from my first husband, I tried all the things that came out...slimfast, starvation, fat free, etc. Meeting my soul mate, I would have thought that my eating because I was depressed would have ended. Well, it did but the eating because I was happy started! As much as I have tried to blame circumstances for my issues, the truth is I let myself be fat and fatter. I chose to indulge and to be sedentary. I may not have known what to do but I knew what I was doing wasn't healthy.

Finally in July of 2007 I was at a point where I wasn't sure if I was going to wake up in the morning. I felt horrible all the time. It hurt to do anything. I knew that I was hitting what I call critical mass. It just couldn't go on. Most of my life was in a good place as far as my job and relationships....but my weight was out of control.

At that point, I got online and found the south beach diet. I committed that day. It started to work and weight started to come off. I finally added exercise in November, aqua aerobics. Do I even have to tell you how hard it was to put on a swimming suit to go to the rec center?

I have been through a lot over the past years. I struggled hitting plateaus, after trying so many diets, I finally understand that real healthy foods are what my body craves and have learned to listen to my body as it reacts to certain thing. I live my new paleo lifestyle happily for the most part.

I have triumphed through challenges. I know that my weight loss for six years hasn't been earth shattering but my mental and emotional transformation has been. I know that I am healthier than ever. I know how to listen to my body. I appreciate my lifestyle of real food and real exercise. BUT I am still struggling to see scale victories that seem to elude me even when I put in the work.

I am not giving up. I will still toil away. Sooner or later, my body will hit its stride, I know it will. After all, my mind has already made major changes, the physical just needs to catch up. This photo is from July or August of last year....before starting some major strength training. I should probably update it soon as I know I have lost inches, even if the scale is not budging.

There photos don't lie...there is my story. My total weight loss has been about 150 pounds with about 80 pounds or so to go...not exactly sure as I don't have a goal weight as much as I just want to be within a healthy range for my body and be able to do the things I want to do.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Weight loss success?

Someone at the gym introduced me to someone else and indicated that I was another "weight loss success." While it is true that I have lost a lot of weight, I am nowhere near my goal size or fitness level. It just hit me sort of strange because I certainly do not feel like a success at this point. I know I have a long way to go....but maybe that is what is getting me in trouble these days...stressing out about the long way I am from being where I want to be. I don't know. It is all confusing. I need to keep working it out. It's not like I am going backwards...because I'm not....and I have gained lean muscle mass...I just am not losing the fat that I want to lose. Well, no matter what...I plan on being (or continuing to be) a success story.

So far, I have only crossed one of my 50 items off the list but I am working on many of the others. I am about one third of the way through Moby Dick. I am working on pullups at the gym. I am starting to run again. All of these are making progress towards items on the list.

The biggest thing on the list is the Susan G. Komen Three Day Walk in November....and the fund raising I have to do. I am happy to say that after my first week or so of gathering support, I am a bit more than half way there! It amazes and motivates me to be surrounded by such good friends and great co-workers.

I know that 2014 will be a great year. I hope it is for all of you as well!