Steps to Maintaining. So Simple. So Hard.

This PPT webinar talk about how values lead to thought patterns which lead to actions and actions lead to outcomes inspired me to figure out why I’ve been struggling for the months since I hit goal (149 pounds in July 2012) to not gain back  the weight on and off over the past 35 months.

I’m up 10% to 155.3 or 63 pounds lost, 6.3 gained.  I did get all the way down to 143 for a minute, but 147 to 149 is where I want to maintain.

So I spent a few minutes this morning analyzing what I do to keep if off and trying to figure out where my weakness is.

This statement is a “duh” obvious one, but is the fact of the matter:

Keeping weight off is a combination of eating healthy, exercise and enough sleep.

Each element is hard in it’s own way with internal struggles and external struggles. But just setting up some plain old habits and routines for keeping the actions and doing the actions without interruption will keep the end result.

1) Eating Healthy Actions:

  • meal planning
  • shopping
  • meal preparation
  • prep snacks, lunches and pre dinners
  • doing dishes
  • putting away

Feeling good, not feeling cravings. Not making a decision each time I eat.

Hard Part about Eating Healthy

  • going out with friends
  • attending a party/BBQ
  • restaurants
  • treats
  • 3 oclock duldrooms/bored at work

2) Doing Exercise Actions:

  • getting up earlier
  • putting on exercise clothes
  • go to gym
  • take a shower


My friends at gym. Endorphin hormones on the drive home. I actually really like to exercise.  Bike riding with friends is awesome. Hiking is good. Walking the dogs is good (except for the dog hair in my car.)

Hard Part about Exercising

  • Injuries have limited my habits (do my hip exercises every morning right away!)
  • Embarrassed that I can’t do what I used to do
  • Easier to hide at home

3) Getting Enough Sleep Actions:

  • Limit caffeine
  • Go to bed before 10
  • Evening routine
  • Melatonin

Positives: When I get enough sleep, everything in life is easier and happier. Definitely affects my mood.

Hard Part about Getting Enough Sleep

  • Watching TV at night
  • Not going to bed, but falling asleep on the couch
  • Netflixs
  • The “doing one more thing” syndrome
  • Waking up in the middle of the night 3 am ish and not being able to fall asleep again
  • Naps (are they good or bad?… they feel to good to be bad!)

Next post should be, what I’m going to do about the hard parts to make them easier, right? Anyone have any good suggestions for me?

10 Tools I Use to Keep Motivated to Keep the Weight Off

  1. Scale (yes, everyday)
  2. Tape measure (yes, about every month)
  3. Tracking (find a better way. Tracking weight 3 ways, but I need to track food better. Using MyFitnessPal. But I need a paper system.)
  4. Drink Water (add tracking to this. Pretty water bottle. Cucu/Strawberry water)
  5. Skinny Jeans target (add this. I keep hiding my size 8’s so i don’t feel bad. Need to get an outfit front and center.)
  6. BFF (Angie. Margie.gini? via text. )
  7. Specific goal (run/reunion,30 day challenge) & Big picture (dr check ups, health #’s)
  8. Keep a chart of fitness ( daily mile, mapmyrun, strava)
  9. APP (sparkpeople, loseit, myfitnesspal)
  10. pedometer (movband)
  11. rewards (massage?)

Just read this article about how to stay motivated. Most of these I’ve already been using. but going to add in number 11 with a scheduled massage every month, track #4 and put #5 front and center on the ho0k in my closet.

Better! Finally!

Okay, it took 2 months of recovery this time.

I can lie down on my stomach and raise my leg up without it quivering and shaking and falling. So I’ve got my glutes firing in the right order (I think) and have strengthened and retrained my muscles.

In 60 days, I think I only skipped my exercises maybe 4 times when I was really hurting. I didn’t do 2 or 3 sets, only one set, but still, compared to what I do when I’m by myself, I’m really proud of myself for following thru.

Biking: On Sunday I did a 24 mile bike ride with only twinges getting back into the truck or sitting at breakfast maybe 3 times or so.

Diet – food

Not going as well as I’d hoped, but not a disaster either. I started a 30 day challenge on May 5, I’m halfway into it and have not really attended to it. But I’ve done it enough that I’m EXACTLY the same weight this morning as when I started. I’m 2.8 pounds heavier than when I got hurt.

Avoiding Reinjury
I’m going to keep up my warm up and stretching routine before working out and stretching after to keep my glute muscles from getting inhibited.

Sleep with pillow between the knees and don’t cross the knees. Stretch a little (20 seconds) thruout the day.

Change my Running:

To reduce the potential for chronicity, runners with piriformis syndromes should sleep on their side with a pillow folded between their knees, and sit with their knees straight. Because a piriformis syndrome tends to produce low grade discomfort that can go on for months, it is usually possible to continue running with this injury. To reduce strain on the piriformis muscle while running, consider shortening your stride by increasing your cadence 10 percent. Also consider switching to a midfoot strike pattern. By correcting common perpetuating patterns and improving hip strength and flexibility, most piriformis syndromes can easily be resolved in a few months.

You know, I had that low grade discomfort before the big event on 3/21 but just ignored it. I’m not going to ignore it again. When I feel it coming on:

1) go get a massage
2) do the 3 part routine of roller, side-to-side, standing out to side warm up. Then cat/cow, hydrants, straight backs, squats, lunges, bird dogs and mountain climbers. Then the side plank, 90 degree knee, twist to back, crossed leg standing and forward fold. First two parts particularly before a workout and the last one after.
3) ice, ice, ice. then heat for blood flow.

Complex Carbs, Lean Protein and the Right Fats

Glute Updated and Avoiding Trigger Foods from a Friend

Today marks the 6th week since I’ve been without the butt pain. While it is MUCH MUCH better, I still don’t dare go back to my much loved T/Th/Sat HIIT workouts. I still have trouble doing 15 squats and the 15 hydrants and worry about doing the lunges.

On Thursday night I rode 15 miles on my bike. Warmed up before hand and did a bit of stretching afterwards. It’s awkward getting on the ground and doing the warm up/stretching afterward. I’ve got to “get over it” because I know that is a key to getting/keeping my glutes working right and not straining the piriformus muscle.

Yesterday was a food struggle. I’m doing the 30 day challenge for May. Did okay early on. Morning of fried eggs, no toast. Fruit at the Panera breakfast (but of course my well intentioned friend had put at least 1/4 cup of sugar on the fruit. For some reason she thinks it’s not sweet enough.

On the way to the office stopped at the grocery store, bought almonds, berries and sweet potato. Ate berries and almonds but forgot the S.W. in the car. So I ate too many almonds, resulting in a gain this morning. You really shouldn’t have them as a MEAL!

But about 3 pm (my worst time of day!) a coworker walks in to wish all of us “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY”. So nice. But with chocolate. No thanks I say. Oh come on she said. No, really, I’m trying to quit. Oh come on it’s dark chocolate! she says. So I take it. But I’m mad. Between her chocolate and her office mate’s cookies it’s always full of sweets and carbs. I keep bringing in fruit and nuts, but I have a tough time controlling the environment. When I came home, I made gluten free pasta, not too much and ate it with sockaroni sauce. Not too bad, but too much salt and sugar in a prepared sauce. Too tired to cook my own. and I added parmasain cheese. Also not part of the 30 day challenge. So I’m up 1.3 on the scale today.

I ended up taking the chocolate back into the kitchen and out of my office. But I noticed she left a pile of the chocolate in the front conference room about 10 steps in front of me. I think I’ll move them back to the kitchen on Monday.

Otherwise, they will live in my head all day until I unwrap one (then another and another and another) at about 3 pm when my willpower weakens and the sugar / caffeine craving is the strongest.

she doesn’t know my struggle. And I don’t feel like telling her. I’ve tried. She doesn’t listen. She’s just offended I won’t take her gift. Maybe you think I should just take it and then say thankyou. And then when she leaves the room, throw it in the trash. But there is something psychological inside my head about taking it and saying thank you that is accepting it. I have the hardest time accepting a sweet/treat something and then throwing it away. If I don’t take it, it’s not mine. So it’s much easier to give away, throw away or put back. But as soon as I take it and say thank you. UGH!

People sometimes put the cookies and sweets in the freezer. On a really bad day (bad client call and 3 pm and tired with maybe a cold layered on top) I really can’t resist. None of use really “needs” the cookies, but they show up. Maybe in the OLDEN days, donuts/cookies/chocolate were a good gift. But I look at it like a huge trigger food for me. And most of the people who give it to me are not trying to get healthy, watch their weight, overcome this particular hurdle so they look at me like I have 2 heads.

I usually keep a can of tuna packed in water in my desk. Nothing like a bunch of protein to get me thru a tough afternoon.

Any body have good strategies for getting thru the 3 pm witching hour? Or how to not accept the trigger food that will haunt me until I eat it?

Day 32 and still sitting on ice

Well, my piriformis pain is “better” but still acting up. I’m sleeping with a pillow under my thigh or between my knees when I’m on my side. I’m doing my 1/2 hour to 40 minutes of physical therapy type exercises. I’m doing ice 20 minutes a day for 3 times. I’m trying not to do the things that make it worse (sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time.)

But still it persists.

I wanted to do the Raccoon Run on Sunday. (It was so fun last year.) I’m thinking of walking it, but you know, there are lots of hills and my gut says “Mistake. Don’t do it.” even though my heart says “c’mon, it won’t be that bad.” and my head says “Are you nuts! You’re having trouble going from the car to the house!”

Isn’t it weird how I have 3 parts of me with “distinct” voices. I like to listen to my heart (eternal optimist) over my gut (always the worrier) or my head (just the facts ma’m.) It’s my heart that gets me thru the tough stuff!!!

Just this Once… Why Not?

Interesting article about LoopHoles

Basically, what is the difference if I skip the gym today, just this once?
What’s the difference if I eat this Panera breakfast bagel, just this once?
What’s the difference if I don’t go to weight watchers or track my points today, just this once?

The difference is… nothing if it really is just this once.

The problem is the incremental onces.

Which visit to the gym was it that I turned into a gym rat?
Which bike ride was it that I turned into an athlete?
When was it that I became fit? Which exact day?

It’s maybe the first day – because that was the very most HARDEST!
I still remember my first bike ride with the SOB’s (I had gone 8 miles and BEGGED my husband to go back.)
I still remember my first time walking into the spinning room and the nervous feeling.
I still remember the first day i signed up for boot camp and almost threw up before I even showed up because I was nervous.
My first time to train with my favorite instructor and I was almost in tears because I was scared.
The first time I climbed up the climbing wall at the gym (well, actually I’ve only done it once but it was soo soooo scary before I did it and felt so sooooo fun after I did it… Just haven’t made time to do it again.)

My first 5K (I wasn’t scared, but I didn’t train. and I came in dead last. And it was 15 minutes after the person infront of me.) Not a good experience. Now I don’t get too nervous (I still get nervous, just not too much.) It still doesn’t feel like “old hat”.

But Getting OUT of a habit… which time of the “just this once” mentality breaks the athlete? The fit gym rat? The weight watcher who tracks? The spinning bike rider who actually enjoys breathing hard and doing the jumps?

Each workout has the potential… or each skipped workout.

How Much Exercise is JUST RIGHT?

Today I read an article that identified just the right amount of exercise to live the longest:

The sweet spot for exercise benefits, however, came among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise, working out moderately, mostly by walking, for 450 minutes per week, or a little more than an hour per day. Those people were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who never exercised.

Train My Brain to Prefer Healthy Alternatives

Love this article about retraining the brain:

I’m going to focus on this for a while for getting my diet motivation in high gear so I’m thinking of resisting foods that taste good but rather preferring food that will strengthen my body.

Food as fuel. What a concept.

(not food as reward or punishment.)

Exercise update: still fighting the piriformis muscle. A 28 hour trip to Nashville really had it swollen and hurting by the time I got home. i checked my bag on the way home. Seems like a good idea right? NO! Don’t do that again. I had to carry my laptop instead of rolling it around on my bag. Would have been better to deal with a lift into the overhead bin and clenching my abs to get it up there (like I did on the way to Nashville) than slinging the laptop and purse over my shoulder, lifting and carrying it for 75 minutes waiting for plane and then from gate to baggage claim.

Never thought of that. But as soon as I checked my bag, I realized my mistake!!

I created a checklist of 42 exercises (I count left and right separately) for waking up the glutes and retraining my muscles. Roller, clams/hydrants, pigeon pose, bridge, lots of stretching. Gonna try it everyday for a week and see how that goes. Today Yoga. Tomorrow a half hour with a trainer.

Sitting on Ice

More ice. Yesterday when I was trying to hide it in my purse, it melted. Getting business cards and flash drives wet. Luckily my phones were in the front and didn’t get damp.

Gotta get over this sciatica! I’m getting so tired of this pain!