Archive | August, 2012

Day by day, soon the change will come.

29 Aug

I have wanted to write this post since Monday, but yesterday was a bitter IF day for me and I just couldn’t get the tone right. Through two virtual strangers, I had the rough realization that sometimes you can do everything right and use the biggest, baddest guns that exist to fight your battles and still lose. I have to believe we will eventually win or I will go crazy, so seeing things turn out like they did for these two was a bit of a challenge to that faith.

Oddly, a small bit of restoration in this faith came from the most unlikely of sources: the Duggars. An odd choice for an infertile, 19 Kids and Counting has long been one of my guilty pleasures. TLC re-aired the episode of the loss of their 20th child before the season premiere and something about hearing Michelle Duggar say “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away” really struck me. I am not at all what you would call uber-religious. I have a rough time with some of the doctrines of the Christian faith and consider myself more spiritual than anything…but something about the teary voice of a mother immediately grieving such a loss gave me contemplative pause. I feel slightly ridiculous even writing this, but it also kind of seemed like something worth sharing; so there it is.

Anyway, I digress, so….Monday. After work on Monday I headed to the gym for the first “real” run in a long time, probably 3-4 months. Thinking I might need some help regaining my running fitness I started on Week 3, Day 1 of Couch to 5k. This was a decent place to start as it’s not killing me to do it but it’s also not a cake walk. Three quarters of the way through my run Avicii’s Silhouettes came on. I initially kind of wavered on even putting it on the playlist. It’s an electronic song, so it’s got a decent beat but it’s not your traditional meathead, eff yeah! running playlist fare. Surprisingly, it turns out it was just what I needed. The lyrics are absolutely perfect for someone on any kind of journey, but seemed especially fitting for me in both the weight loss and after yesterday, infertility arenas. I need to remember this when I am burnt out on calorie counting or feeling too lazy for the gym or having a rough day. Change will come, I just have to help it happen.

Press play, fast forward
Non stop we have the beaten path before us
It was all there, in plain sight
Come on people, we have all seen the sunshine
We will never get back to
To the old school
To the old grounds, it’s all about the new found
We are the newborn, the one who wanna bounce
(We are the future and were here to stay)

We’ve come a long way since that day
And we will never look back, at the faded silhouette
[3x]

We’ve come a long way since that day
And when you never look back
At the faded silhouette
x 2

(never look [2x])
Yeah it faded to you

Straight ahead on the pathway before us
Day by day, soon the change will come
Don’t you know we took big step forward
Just either way
We’re gonna pull the trigger
And we’re gonna give up to
To the old school
To the old grounds
Its’ all about the new found
We are the new born
The world knows all about us

We’ve come a long way since that day
And we will never look back, at the faded silhouette
[3x]

We’ve come a long way since that day
And we will never look back
(never look [2x])

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Walking the Walk and Bouncing the Bounce

27 Aug

This morning I really had to walk the walk after talking the talk on Friday. In the last hour I have really had to focus on those positives of working downtown. It’s raining and Randall broke my umbrella a week ago, so I am rocking the drowned rat this morning, with both hairstyle and makeup completely gone:

I called in breakfast on my way in (see, a perk of downtown!) asking for two eggs over medium and two slices of whole wheat toast, no butter (280 cals for those playing along at home.) I got to the restaurant and the server greeted me with a, “Did you forget your umbrella???” It took a lot not to respond in some sarcastic way about allowing the rain to soak me getting me closer to nature and the mystical chi or something but I chose the karma high road and laughed it off. I got my food and headed into work only to open the container to see eggs that were barely over easy. In an effort to accurately document my morning, I took a picture of those too but just looking at the goopy, raw egg whites in the picture made me gag, so I decided to spare you.

Either way, I am dryly ensconced in my office now, so onward and upward to the normal Monday happenings.

The details:

  • Weight loss goal #1 – 25 lbs lost (goal set 8/13)
  • Weight loss this week – 1.5 lbs
  • Progress to date: 3.5 lbs lost
  • Pounds to go: 21.5
  • Overall weight loss goal: 50lbs
  • Pounds to go: 46.5

This week was much better than last week on both the food and workout fronts. I was able to stick to my calorie goal most days and not completely blow it out on the days when I didn’t. I also got in four exercise sessions, two traditional by taking in a couple of runs and two not so traditional by deep cleaning for hours yesterday and competing in the neighborhood challenge involving the monster below on Saturday:

Image Credit

I realize some back story is probably needed here. have a really awesome neighborhood. We have a close knit group of about 20 neighbors (including kids) and tend to hang out quite a bit. Saturday was the 7th birthday party of one of the kids and the entire neighborhood was headed to a local indoor inflatable park. Over entirely too many drinks on Friday night it was decided that there would be a neighborhood challenge between the adults for ultimate jumping champion. Having been there before, one dad suggested we use the inflatable above for our challenge. While this looks like child’s play with it’s fun colors and bouncy nature, don’t be fooled. This is the best cardio workout of your life when combined with the need to pulverize your neighbors in competition. There are climbing walls and things to crawl under, over, through and around all while wearing only socks and on a completely unstable inflated raft thing. Having to dodge children added to the challenge. πŸ™‚

I am sad to say that I was not crowned neighborhood jumping champion. I did however make it through five heats, so I feel like I accomplished something and seriously thought I might die after the fifth time through in half an hour. My lungs were screaming and my heart was racing, so while maybe it wasn’t traditional cardio I’m still calling it a damn good workout.

Checking in with the goals from last week:

  1. Stick to a calorie intake of 1200-1300 on days when I do not workout, adjust for calories burned during workouts on days that I do.
  2. Get in some form of workout at least four times this week.
  3. Dinner out limited to three times max this week.

Unfortunately three was a bust this week as we ate at a restaurant probably five or six times. The other two went very well though, so this week is a solid B-. The goals for next week are the same:

  1. Stick to a calorie intake of 1200-1300 on days when I do not workout, adjust for calories burned during workouts on days that I do.
  2. Get in some form of workout at least four times this week.
  3. Dinner out limited to three times max this week.

My workout partner in crime came back from her cruise vacation on Saturday, so I am looking forward to getting in some more runs and some gym time. We also have to paint her bedroom sometime this week…so I’ll make sure to paint vigorously for max calorie burn.

Until next time…have a good week!

Finding My Grace Friday

24 Aug

It’s Friday, only eight more hours (if you work an 8-5) until the weekend! Randall finished our new living room floors (blog to come) and we plan to pick paint colors for our walls and maybe start the process of putting all of the trim back on. I also want to work on my pie project and get a run or two in. Overall it should be an enjoyable weekend.

Without further ado…

1. What is something small that you take for granted each day? Working downtown. I take for granted the 15 restaurants within a three minute walk or the prime people interaction my .3 mile walk to and from the parking garage affords me each day. Sometimes it gets old when you are walking to the parking garage in the rain or it’s 108 degrees in the shade, but overall I am lucky to have such a fun work environment right outside my office door.

2. What is something you know you are so lucky to have that others don’t? Food. I know this seems all “we are the world” to say, but it’s true. Last night Randall and I were at a Chinese buffet and as I searched the aisles and aisles of food on steamer tables for some low-cal fare I was absolutely struck at the sheer volume of food to be had just in this one restaurant. On the surface I “know” how lucky I am to have this but in truth I have never been on the other side. This sounds “Oprah-esque” but I feel like there is some room for personal growth here.

3. What is something you know you need to be more grateful for and need to work on? I am very blessed in my life. Beyond blessed really and I need to start paying the forward. My goal before the next ‘Finding My Grace’ post is to identify something I can do to begin this process and maybe undertake the aforementioned personal growth.

4. How did you do on being more grateful for your #3 item from last week? I have been working on letting go of “why” the weight is here and the blame I feel for myself and putting a large amount of effort into making the weight a thing of the past. I feel good about where I am headed, still not so much about where I am so there is still some work to be done here.

Until next time, have a good weekend. :)

Pie Season

22 Aug

I am trying to make an effort to blog more than once a week, thus a rare mid-week blog! πŸ™‚

While recently perusing the time-suck that is Pinterest I noticed a pie-related pin trend. It seems that as the temps begin to cool down and school starts again, people have pies on the brain. For me, pies have long been the desserts my great-grandmother makes at Thanksgiving that I steer clear of due to the “cow snot” layer of meringue or some fruit combo I deem weird. I am and always have been a cupcake and cookies girl, but as I get older I have realized there is enough dessert room to go around.

In the past year or so, I have begun dipping my toe into the pie waters. I have found myself ordering a slice of post-dinner pie or, still having a “cow-snot” aversion, exploring the pie beneath the meringue at holiday gatherings. It’s probably a combination of the abnormally cooler weather here in Texas and the numerous recent mentions of pies, but I am declaring this fall pie season in the Ford house. I want to learn to make a homemade, flaky pie crust and explore some of my own weird fruit combos. I will probably even make a few chocolate variations since I just can’t help myself. There might be some meringue, but no promises there as the cow snot moniker is a sticking one.

As for how this all fits in with my weight loss goals (trust me it does!), one of the things I love about using MyFitnessPal and calorie counting as a method of losing weight is that things like pie season don’t kill you. Through many, many failed weight loss attempts, I have learned that it is completely unrealistic to expect to fully embrace healthy eating as a lifestyle and deprive yourself of things (like pie.) The trick to making the pie season idea mesh with my weight loss goals is simple: eat a slice of the pie, not the whole pie. If you want more pie, you have to earn it. A slice of blueberry pie is around 300 calories, so for me that’s a 20-25 minute run. Like the stickers, pins and shirts say…I like to run because I really, really, really like dessert.

I have my grandmother’s pie crust recipe and received the blueberry and pumpkin pie (below) versions of Martha Stewart’s ceramic pie plate when we got married, so that seems like as good of place to start as any. I will probably attempt the blueberry this weekend..so stay tuned.

Weighing In

20 Aug

I have decided to make Monday the accountability day for weight loss for no real reason other than I posted about losing weight last Monday. πŸ™‚

The details:

  • Weight loss goal #1 – 25 lbs lost (goal set 8/13)
  • Progress to date: 2 lbs lost
  • Pounds to go: 23
  • Overall weight loss goal: 50lbs
  • Pounds to go: 48

This week was so-so on the food front and abysmal on the workout front. I did very well with breakfast, lunch and most dinners Mon-Fri. The wheels came off sightly during the weekend. Even so, I was mindful of not absolutely letting go…I made better choices but when tequila/sangria are involved, the pretense of really sticking to that 500 cal or less goal fades away. I did not hit the gym once. I knew at the beginning of the week that this was likely just due to the sheer volume of plans I had made for myself. I was not home until after 9pm Mon-Fri either due to social or work related plans, which is totally an excuse but one I can deal with. Since this first week was mainly about getting myself used to eating smaller meals I am allowing myself to be okay with this but it can not happen two weeks in a row.

All of that being said the goals for this week are pretty simple:

  • Stick to a calorie intake of 1200-1300 on days when I do not workout, adjust for calories burned during workouts on days that I do.
  • Get in some form of workout at least four times this week.
  • Dinner out limited to three times max this week.

Before I fell apart diet/weight loss/exercise-wise earlier this year I was running 3-4miles at least twice a week. I want to get that back so I have decided to go back to the basics and re-start Couch to 5k. Depending upon how it goes the first week I will likely modify the plan to increase running times more quickly. We are having uncharacteristically “cooler” August weather in Texas this week, as in 90 degree highs instead of 105, so I plan to take the runs outside. Randall is joining my gym this week and he will be starting his workouts as well, so it should be a good week in the Ford House.

You Are Here.

13 Aug

If my life was a map this would be a point of interest and possibly a crossroads. The last two years have changed me irreversibly. I will never be able to go back to the person I was but at the same time I know the evolution is incomplete and I will continue to change from here. This is my lyrically waxed introduction to an update post, but all pretentiousness aside, things are okay. They have been better but for now, they are okay.

First and foremost, we met with our fertility doctor (RE.) We had a long conversation and decided that the best path for us at this point is to pursue IVF. This proposition is both scary and exciting at the same time. It’s scary because it means we need about $17,000 to conceive a child, which even under the best of financial circumstances is a daunting amount of money to spend on a chance. It’s exciting because our the RE gave us a 70-80% chance of success, odds that are quite a bit better than those in Vegas or even those of a coin toss but still a gamble nonetheless. Randall and I have decided that we will be moving toward IVF, we have also decided that we will be taking a break from all things trying to conceive until we are mentally ready to tackle the “big guns” of infertility treatment. I have been waiting for ovulation, peeing on sticks, tracking my temperature, getting my hopes up and then getting them smashed to pieces for nearly two years now. I am mentally exhausted from it all and think a time out will do us a world of good.

As always, there is another reason for the time out as well. The RE gave us a 70-80% chance with IVF. What will make the difference between 70 and 80 percent is my weight. I weighed this morning and I am up 25 pounds from my lowest weight (for those who are just joining in I lost 65 pounds in 2011 from diet and exercise.) 10 pounds of this existed before we began fertility treatment – when I hit that low point, I also hit a plateau; after losing weight consistently for many months the scale would not budge. For awhile I really made an effort, I mixed up my workouts, tried calorie gains and deficits but as nothing worked I got lazy and stopped counting calories. The difference this time was that unlike my pre-weight loss days when I ate with abandon completely in the dark about the damage I was doing, I knew just how much I could eat/workout to minimize weight loss or gain. I held steady at those +10 pounds for about six months. Then we started fertility treatment and the wheels fell off. I am going to be honest, I heard the doctor say that I could expect a weight gain of about five pounds per treatment cycle and it was like he had given me the golden ticket to gain without shame. I ate and ate and ate and stopped working out because the meds drained me. I truly believed that I would get pregnant the first cycle and then having gained “a little” weight wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Then when the first cycle failed I was sad and mad and so I ate to make myself feel better. I baked and cooked my way to another weight gain but again…I would be pregnant soon, so it wouldn’t matter, right? So, here I stand with 15 “fertility treatment” pounds and 10 more from just being lazy. To give ourselves the best possible chance at IVF success, I need to lose 50 pounds. I am mad at myself because it would only be 25 if I hadn’t let myself go…but at the same time, nothing good is going to come of that anger, so I have to move on.

So, today is the day. I am going back to the basics, back to what I know works. I ordered a new pair of running shoes that will arrive today. I bought some new workout tops and bottoms that actually fit my +25lbs self. I restarted calorie counting using MyFitnessPal and have signed up for a 5k on 9/29, I am actually going to use my gym membership. This is happening. I have battled my weight all of my adult life and though the doctor assures me that my weight issues have not led to our infertility thus far, I refuse to allow something I know I can beat keep me from living my full life. Watching the closing ceremonies of the Olympics last night, a commercial kept playing about putting your goals on the line, online. So that’s what I am doing.

The Goals:

  • Lose 50 pounds (or more) in six to eight months (aiming for 2 pounds a week)
  • Get my 5k back to where it was…aim for some PRs
  • Get my diet under control and stick to my daily calorie allotment
  • Stop treating my sadness with baked goods (fear not those who enjoyed the muffin recipe, this by no means will be the end of baking for me…it will just be the end of eating the majority of everything I bake to make myself feel better.) πŸ™‚
  • Get Randall involved in both diet and exercise to help him shed his IF treatment pounds.
  • Get truly happy and enjoy being myself again

I am excited about this. I know from experience that you have to want to do something like this to make it happen and I know that for the first time in a while, I want to do this. So, I will. πŸ™‚

Finding My Grace Friday

10 Aug

I typed this out but never actually published it on Friday, so it’s a pretend post from the past…enjoy!

1. What is something small that you take for granted each day? Sunglasses. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I recently went without sunglasses for a bit and I realized just how much I love and need them. I have lighter colored eyes and it is impossible for me to drive comfortably without them. So thank you, sunshades!

2. What is something you know you are so lucky to have that others don’t?Randall is extremely handy. This year alone he has laid tile, re-tiled our fireplace and will be beginning the process of laying wood floors tonight. We have a saved so much money just by using his skills and that is a true blessing.

3. What is something you know you need to be more grateful for and need to work on? I am going to write about it next week, but lately I have been hating on myself for gaining back some of the weight I lost when I did my “big” weight loss last year/early this year. I need to work on not only recognizing that some of the weight has come from things beyond my control (i.e. mass amounts of IF treatment hormones) but also being thankful for the fact that I am strong enough to get where I want to be weight wise and have the tools to make this happen…then I need to channel that and actually make it happen.

4. How did you do on being more grateful for your #3 item from last week? I have really worked on living in the now and being thankful for what I have. I think it is working because I have really noticed how much I love my house/car/life in the last couple of weeks. We are so very lucky to have what we do when so many don’t…there is no reason to seek the “next big thing” right now…things are good.

Have a good weekend. :)