Thursday, November 30, 2006

Enough is Enough

Enough is enough, now. I've been Miss Half-Assed all week with my eating, and the time has come to straighten up and fly right!

Okay, now that I've gotten that outburst out of the way, can I tell you how much better I've done today? Mainly in my attitude; I'm starting to wean myself off of the "what forbidden goodies am I going to eat today" thoughts and getting back to my healthier mind set. I don't think I'll ever stop thinking about food, but if I can obsess on getting the right balance of protein vs. carbs, getting the recommended amounts of fruits and/or vegetables and keeping myself properly hydrated, it reduces the time I can think about what fatty, sugary drug-like foods I can seek out and consume.

I just came back from my haircut, and my stylist was really gushing about how much weight I've lost and how much smaller my butt looks! I find this funny, because I really don't think I've lost that much the last two months, and today I'm still carrying around a considerable amount of bloat. But apparently I'm looking thinner, so maybe I'm getting more toned.

The last couple weeks I've implemented the balance ball into my morning exercise routine. I bought the thing months ago, but almost simultaneously my Summer o' Neck Pain began and I left the thing go until I was recovered from my surgery. I still have a little problem with the abdominal crunches (I'm half tempted to put on my neck brace for this part to try to force my abs to take the brunt of this exercise instead of my neck and shoulders), but otherwise it's going well. I definitely felt sore the first few days I used it, because it had been months since I targeted my abs and butt, and I think the claims that the ball helps you tone your "core" are true. I can see why some people use the balls for their office/computer chair, because all that balancing would have to have some kind of effect.

I've also started adding on to my arms/shoulder work. I've got a whole routine of stretches and resistance-band exercises I learned in physical therapy that I do five days a week, and now I'm adding on some dumbell reps to it about three days a week.

I've always focused on the lower body exercising because I lean towards the pear-shaped body type, but at the same time I've always felt that my upper body strength isn't what I'd like it to be. This is very subjective, however. Both my husband and my physical therapist are actually quite impressed with my upper body strength, but I've got a 63 year-old mother who still throws bales of hay and carries around 50-pound bags of animal feed daily.

WAY back in the very beginning of my self-improvement journey I joined a guy's gym (not a Curves or girls-only gym) and the manager gave me a great routine of exercises to do with the weight machines and free weights. I was astounded at the biceps, triceps and forearm muscles that began popping out of my flab. While I've tried to keep up some kind of upper-body workout, I haven't been able to recreate that "woah" feeling again.

However...the other day I took a sideways glance at myself in the mirror and was shocked at what I saw. While the lower part of my upper arm is forever saddled with loose skin and some lingering flab, the shoulder and upper section of the arm looked surprisingly lean and toned. And a few days ago I was on the exercise ball getting ready to do my obliques, which involves crossing my arms across my chest. As I came up in my crunch, my hand had hold of some seriously developed pecs!

Is it just me, or is my mood improving? I'm a little torn about the specific reason why: detoxing from the eating fest, the end of PMS? Or maybe it's the fact that I got a new full spectrum light for my office (for a fantastic price at Big Lots!) and have been leaving it on for 4-5 hours in the beginning of the work day. Whatever the cause, I'm glad it's happening, because I'm feeling more optimistic that I can finish this year weighing less than I did last year.

Still not sure if I'll be able to fully "liquidate" in time for Saturday's weigh-in. It is just a number, after all; what really matters is keeping up the healthy behaviors.


Lori said...

One of the funniest things you ever wrote and I identified with it so much was your description of your upper arms.

You have given me hope; now I just need to do what you're doing. But I know it isn't hopeless.

There's nothing like getting pampered and getting a haircut (along with a compliment or two) to perk anyone up.

You ARE doing great and I'm glad you are feeling more optimistic and happier.

Vickie said...

If you are taking your shoulders and neck into your crunches (I have that same problem!!!) try putting your finger tips (lightly) at the base of your neck and your elbows out to the sides (like high, angel wings) -

then, DO NOT draw your elbows together, in front of you as you come up - keep them relaxed and out to the side -

fingers still light to the touch - not digging/holding on to your neck -

it will MAKE you use your abs, and keep your shoulders back.

Yes, you still tuck your chin - but you keep your shoulders back and your chest more open as you come up.